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  1. Legocionado

    Old Memories, New Dreams

    I was 8 years old when I got my first Lego Classic Space set LL918. I remember I spent hours with catalogs looking at LL924 and the Galaxy Explorer LL928. When I got LL928 from my grandma I was thrilled and couldn't let go. I even took it with me on holidays. Galaxy Explorer Dropship by Giorgio Chronas, auf Flickr A few years later I saw the Galaxy Commander in the store. At the time, due to my father's job, I was living in an a developing country in Africa, where Legos were very rare. I was gazing at the store window, nearly paralyzed and probably with a wide open mouth. I had just past my birthday and for Christmas time I would have to wait a long time. As quickly as I could I ran back home broke that piggy bank into pieces, took everything I had and ran back to the store. I still remember the feelings I had when building this spaceship and looking at every new part as if it were yesterday. Galaxy Commander Dropship_1 by Giorgio Chronas, auf Flickr Now, decades later, being an AFOL I still love space topics, specially neo classic space models from other Afols. A few years ago I remember seeing Wolf Leews modernized version of LL928 (and 924 and 918) in LegoIdeas and having exactly the same feelings. I tried to push it in LegoIdeas but unfortunately it did not make it to the threshold. Wolf Leews, if you see this post, thanks for sharing the instructions. I have your models in my showcase ever since. The idea of an own classic space model did not let go of me. It took me again years of thinking how to approach this topic. My problem was I wanted everything. I wanted to have a command centre, several spaceships, some robots some cool versatile and functional vehicles, a garage where the vehicles would go for repair, a habitat, a repair bay for the robots. And I wanted the antagonists as well: Blacktrons! And I wanted everybody to build up his own space station. Uff! Galaxy Explorer Commander Dropship I knew this was impossible. Then my Lego Pueblo came to mind. It was a 4in1 set proposal at LegoIdeas that you could buy multiple times and stack to each other building up your own Pueblo village. My Lego Pueblo did not make it to the threshold but if I did such a concept once, maybe I could do it again. Many months of thinking and planning what to do, which bricks to use, color scheme, how to combine classic space with Blacktron, drawing and doing research followed. Then I started building. The target was a 3in1 space creator set with three different scenarios that you could combine forming a big space centre. Each scenario should have its own theme and its own playability concept. At the same time some models of one scenario should connect to models of other scenarios, so at the end you have one big unity. I also needed a story. As I love sci-fi and astronomy this part was the easiest one for me. What came out was space station "Antares", a 3in1 space creator set, where New Classic Space searches for Legonit ressources and Blacktrons trying to steal it from them. One alternate build is the Mining Outpost, the other one is the Bot Repair Bay and one is the Galaxy Dropship. 9 Antares Classic Space3x by Giorgio Chronas, auf Flickr With the Galaxy Dropship I combined the features of the Galaxy Explorer and the Galaxy Commander and built a mashup that had its own look. Like the Galaxy Commander the dropship can be split into a space fighter and the cargo bay. Like the Commander it may hold a space lab. But it also may hold a space buggy like the Galaxy Explorer. Since the space buggy is from scenario Mining Outpost, I decided it may also hold the truck from its own scenario. Then I continued. The Galaxy Dropship may hold the trailer the fuel or plasma tanks or even a small space fighter which actually is the cockpit of the robot of scenario Bot Repair Bay. The set seems to be huge, too big, but actually it is only big when the set is acquired multiple times. As a single set it has less bricks than the biggest official LegoIdeas set. I hope you like it and support it at LegoIdeas. It is another attempt to bring back some space without StarWars. 5 Antares Galaxy Dropship by Giorgio Chronas, auf Flickr 6 Galaxy Dropship Hangar by Giorgio Chronas, auf Flickr Guys I do not want to bore you too much. Please take a look for yourself at LegoIdeas. Check out the three different video animations (search for "Legocionado" at YouTube) and take a look at the pics of the updates at LegoIdeas (I have made some animated gifs explaining the concept). Here are the direct links: To LegoIdeas "Antares": 2 Antares Classic Space by Giorgio Chronas, auf Flickr To YouTube animated video for the "Galaxy Dropship":
  2. Then and Now - Comparing 4892 Prehistoric Power and 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs Just to provide an initial image of both sets together, please find below the main model of the 31058 with my MOC of a T-rex from 4892 using 85% of the available pieces. There are more pics of both sets along the post, which goes through Facts, Commercial, Parts&Techniques, Models & Community and Conclussions Now and then I buy old sets and they surprise me how archaic they look in respect to more recent ones. I am not trying to review boths sets here but to remark the changes in Lego across the years using these sets. Specially in the ball joints or articulation elements. If the Lego-volution topic is of your interest, please do not take this post as a comparison skipping to the end to find a winner because for me the meat is in the discussion so please feel free to share your thoughts. And my final conclusion is that both are excellent, “Each, in its own way”. I am publishing here to enable an open dialogue and your opinion is welcomed. Then and Now: Facts Year: 2006 2017 Set number: 4892 31058 Set name: Prehistoric Power Mighty Dinosaurs Branding: 8in1 3in1 Piece count: 380 174 (2.2 times) Weight of the pieces (grams): 381 108 (3.5 times) By the way, I am convinced that set size, part count and weight are only considered by AFOLs during purchase consideration, and not by children who are more comfortable with smaller sizes and sturdier and lighter models. Then and Now: Commercial Both Creator sets belongs to the 3in1 lineup, although the old one was advertised as 8in1. They are obviously similar because of the theme but going into the substance, both sets are alike because they were designed to build several brick-built creatures using articulated joints and giving them an organic look with wedges and slopes. The Creator line is now well established and there is a yearly spot for a “small brick-built 3in1 creatures set”, whereas in 2006 it was starting to understand its space in the product lineup. In fact it was its first year of life as we know it today, replacing the “Designer’s Set” range. The modern 31058 fills a spot in the 15 €/$ low range and the old Triceratops 4892 was positioned in the middle size spot of that year with a suggested price of 20 €/$. Do not get fooled by the proximity of the above numbers. Prices have changed in 11 years so the double box-size and piece count - and triple weight - puts the older set in the range of 2017’s 31064 Island Adventures or 31068 Modular Modern Home of 30 to 35 €/$. Pictures reflects clearly the differences in size. Then and Now: Parts&Techniques The old set has bigger, sharper and heavier pieces. By 2006 there were no small smooth curved slopes, as the 2008’s curved 4x1 no studs 61678, the 2013’s Curved 1x2 no studs 11477 or the 2014’s Curved 2x2 no studs 15068. So the organic shaping was achieved by straight slopes, being the smallest available the 45º 2x1, but in general by 4x1 and 4x2 wedges. This requires a bigger scale to achieve relatively smooth shapes and as a result the old set feels bulky, heavy and sharp in every ridge and corner whereas the new one is light and comfy to the hand allowing better child play. Even the old brick separator included in 4892 is heavier and sharper! Well, 31058 does not include the orange one but you get the point. The solutions for the articulation of limbs and jaws shows an even more drastic change. Joints have evolved greatly in 11 years. I suggest to have a look to the following links for further detail in joints: link1, link 2 (Mecha builders are the experts in this topic) My understanding is that the families of joints are, from strongest to weakest and from more degrees of articulation (flexible) to less: Special - as the “AT-AT leg joint” or compass seen in V-shape in the image Rackets - also known as Exo-Force joints, now discontinued and the 4892 main solution in red and grey Bionicle balls -could be “Big balls” but I am not looking for jokes- these are present in 31058 Hinges, as the yellow example, in many variations Mixel joints or “Small balls” also known as, small cups, also included in 31058 Old style turntables in various formats The old cups for small balls, in old grey in the top-left corner The infinite possibilities of bars and clips When I started with Creator animals I was a bit puzzled on how many solutions are available to provide articulation, the above pic is my effort to make sense of them. I think that Lego just produced different solutions at different moments in time for different needs/product lines (Exo-Force, Bionicle, Mixels…) Yes, the Lego brick is 60 years old and its patent has expired; that applies just to the old 2x4 brick. Joints and slopes in 31038 are designs of the recent 21st century, just around the corner; and I do not think that it was possible to produce them with quality even in 2006, comparing the loose grip of old cups with the nice one of the new small balls.This and the bigger one in black in the top-center of the image was one of the hardest family to distinguish across sets inventories and in bkicklink. The bigger is a bit stronger but both are excellent, the smaller is also simpler to use. Variations of SNOT pieces have been released in these years as well. Not sure what has refrained Lego from making available all variations at once from the beginning, apart from brackets which might have required additional technology to avoid cracking. The fact is that from the 2006 set we just get three models of 2-ways SNOT elements in small quantities which pales in comparison with the assortment of 2-ways and even a 3-ways pieces in the modern set. Then and Now: Models & Community At that time the AFOL community had not available all current tools and cameras, so 4892 reviews are not as detailed as the ones for 31058. Brickset’s Review 31058 and Eurobrick’s Review 4892 Jangbrick’s video review 31058 and Video for 4892 Regarding alternates or C-models, both sets are designed for this purpose offering each a huge number of possibilities. The old one missed a T-Rex among the 12 suggested in the instructions’ booklets, maybe because there was one as the main model of 4507 - Prehistoric Creatures from 2004, under the “Designer’s Set” range. I had filled that spot, which can be found in rebrickable , and anyone could make another dozen of excellent models. It is the first alternate to that set in rebrickable, a symptom of what was going on online in 2006. The instructions include 8 models but I’d say just 3 use 75% or more of the available pieces. The new one seems to “only” include instructions for 3 models in the box but there is a fourth one (diplodocus) available for download by Lego (plus some additionals!?) In addition to that it was the star of a contest for alternatives in 2017 and as a result it showcases 24 excellent MOCs in rebrickable and there should be many more in youtube and other pages. What I read from the above is that the Lego effort in producing alternatives /C-models has been substituted by the community activity, with an astonishing improvement. I do not mean that Lego is not doing nothing to promote, create and provoke us, the community, just that the move has been good and it is providing more “play” for all. Due to its nature and parts selection, there has not been any problem in finding examples or ideas to make equivalent models for both sets.I picture here the official main models for each set with the other set matching the “challenge”. I have enjoyed this a lot!! Then and Now: Conclusion Both sets are excellent but if you are used to the 2010’s Lego experience the old set feels … old Despite the new slopes giving a better look and the new SNOTs allowing amazing solutions, there is a complaint I keep on reading from AFOLs feeling a bit cheating in respect to the old times.That is because there are too many specialized pieces. There is a blurry border between a prefabricated plastic toy to be assembled once and played and a construction blocks toy to be built and rebuilt. And the line might be drawn based on the number of available elements and its ability to be used in several builds, fostering or killing creativity. I would say that yes, we have 10 times more parts than before, but the way they are designed to be combined gives as well 10 more models out of the same pieces, keeping the level up. I would say that creativity is king in both sets and the “specialized elements” in 31058 provides lots of opportunities,more than the old blocks from 4892. The main reason for that is the flexibility added by the small joints and the variety of SNOT elements. Anyhow, I am extremely happy with my old triceratops and its bulky and heavy feel fills me with nostalgia and joy.
  3. 31078 Treehouse Treasures Creator 3-in-1 INTRODUCTION Ooooh, a pirate boat? No, a treehouse! Wait, it's a pirate boat again... wha - it's a treasure cove now? Aaaah, it's a 3-in-1! What a lovely set, great parts, lots of play value. It immediately caught my attention when I was trodding along the aisles of my local supermarket. Who doesn't love pirates, anyway? And don't you dare to say "Nay" when I swing my rapier in your general direction... Arrrr! Having built 6289 Red Beard Runner lately, I just can't wait to get this started, so let's set sails and head over to the -> SET SPECS Number: 31078 Title: Treehouse Treasures Theme: Creator 3-in-1 Released: 2018 Part Count: 260 pieces Retail Price: DE - 29,99 € GB - 29,99 GBP US - 29,99 $ DK - 270,00 DKK With 260 pieces, the retail price of 29,99 € equates to a price of 0,12 € a piece. This is in the higher range for 2018 creator sets. In comparison, set number 31072 Extreme Engines comes down to 0,09 € per piece. And the 31074 Rocket Car is even down to 0,08 €. Well, I'm not sure the parts of latter set will be of versatile use with those strange colours... Funny enough, all 3 sets have been designed by the same person: Jeremy Luettgen. He has also been active designing some of the Mixels. Anyway, given the basic and tuned down colours of this set I think it's worth buying it for the retail price. LINKS 31078 @ 31078 @ LEGO PRODUCT SUMMARY Set out on pirating treehouse adventures! Enjoy imaginative pirate adventures with this LEGO® Creator 3in1 31078 Treehouse Treasures set, featuring a 3-level pirate ship treehouse with a ship deck, ship’s wheel, treasure chest hideaway function, bowsprit with flag and teddy bear, crow’s nest, tire swing and an upper-level den. Pirate accessories include a hat, telescope and 2 swords. This 3in1 model rebuilds into a Pirate Ship or a Skull Cave for more pirating fun, and includes 2 minifigures rigged out for pirate adventures, plus a scary spider figure. THE BOX As with all the Creator 3-in-1 sets, the front features the LEGO logo, set number and the main model in all it's glory, claiming three quarters of the available space. To the right we can have a look at the two alternative models. The age range is given as 7 to 12 years. While the lower limit seems quite fitting, the upper limit makes me wonder if I'm really too old to play with it... *makes sad face* The back shows the play features for each of the 3 sets and a link to the LEGO Creator homepage. You can also see the tabs to press in when opening the sets. I have to say that I am impressed by the simple look of the packaging. Nothing too distracting, nothing much to shift your attention away from those wonderful builds. THE PARTS After prying open the side, we have 3 bags with pieces, 1 Green plate 8x16 and 3 instruction booklets in our sweaty hands (or, hand and hook if your name is Captain Red Beard). We will get to the instructions later, so let's take a look at the pieces now. The Arch Bricks 1x5x4 in Dark Brown are nice parts for castle or ship builders. The Wedge Plate, 8x8, Cut Corner in Dark Azure is unique to this set. The Round Corner Tiles, 4x4 (called Maccaronis as I understand) in Medium Dark Flesh are also unique to this set. The wood planks are prints, overall there are NO stickers in this set. The decors are all printed. The short wood plank (1x3) together with the longer ones pictured here (1x4) can also be found in 21310 Old Fishing Store. 2x3 Tiles are quite new to me, while in fact they have first appeared in 2016. There's also a treasure chest in Medium Flesh in this set, which adds to the play possibilities. However, I do have a bit of a problem with it: You can close the lid, but as there is no resistance while closing it opens on it's own if you turn it upside down. Having some old-time sets around here and also a chest in brown (from the 80ies or 90ies?), I was wondering if they had the same problem? Well, nope. They do have a bit of a resistance while closing, maybe related to that pin on the lid, and they definitely do not open themselves without assistance. Seems LEGO employed some mold change, as the older ones are also missing those 2 ridges at the inside front. MINIFIGURES This set features 2 minifigures, a boy and a girl. Both minifigs have a single sided head, yellow arms, short legs (non-posable) and torso prints on front and back. The boy has a lime hoodie, while the girl features a white shirt with green print. It also includes one of these nice little teddybears with a torsoprint. While both minifigs are unique to this set, both torsos have seen use in other sets too - the boy's torso in 10260 Downtown Diner, the girl's one in 10261 Roller Coaster. As accessories, there is a pirate hat with a feather. 2 spare feathers are also included, which is a nice treat as those small parts have an affinity to getting lost. The plume feathers are not on a sprue, as LEGO has done in the past with Pirates or Castle sets in the 90ies, but come loose in the bag. However, there is no "normal" hair piece included for the boy, if you decide to make your place somewhat less pirat-ey. 2 pirate swords are present along with a golden telescope and a printed 2x2 tile with a treasure map pattern to complete the play experience. INSTRUCTIONS Overall, the instructions are nice and clear to follow. No printing errors or other mishaps. Instructions of the main model start with building the minifigures and continue with a somewhat ridiculous Step 1... When you are finished with building model A, the play feature is explained on the left side. On the right we have some more models available from the 3-in-1 series as house advertising (Avast ye bastards, look at that Pirate Coaster set ... ahem... Excuse me for getting a wee bit distracted here....). The parts list is in the back of model B. MAIN MODEL - TREEHOUSE Building goes along without any troubles. As stated in the last paragraph, the instructions are easy to follow. Progress goes bit by bit, sometimes only 1 or 2 bricks per page. Alas, I'm getting older and older, so I won't complain about that. There comes the day when I'll be happy about it :D What amazed me is the stability of the construction. I had the opportunity to build set 31080 Modular Winter Vacation and that thing just disassembled itself after 5 minutes of play time. In stark contrast, the Treehouse is rock solid and will surely be better suited for heavy play. Nice little details here and there, like the little rocks in the water and the spider waiting to catch those nasty little ki... err, let's just say it is waiting for prey. Here are the left-overs after building the main model: PLAY FUNCTIONS Play feature No. 1 definitely is the hidden treasure cache in the tree trunk. There is a little flap with a lock on it, which can be raised manually. The flap itselfs sits on a bar which is held in place by 2 blue technic pins. Behind that flap is space to hide the treasure chest. This chest can be ejected with the help of technic axles and axle connectors at the other side of the trunk. Other play functions are the openable top room (sides and rooftop) with crows nest atop, the tire swing and the ships bow with the steering wheel. Not to forget the slide at the side of the treehouse, which can be raised to be used as a plank. B MODEL - PIRATE SHIP A lot of parts are left unused, which could have been integrated easily. Therefore it's a pretty straightforward build experience and the B model is thus lacking a bit in play value. There is the crows nest and the lower deck with the spider in it. A posable rudder is present at the back and the steering wheel is now in the right place. I wonder why the treasure chest is placed on the deck, it may better be kept below deck. Oh well, as luck would have it our unexperienced seamen have a rather unpleasent encounter at sea. Seems someone else noticed that treasure chest too. Some useful armament wouldn't go amiss on this little bark. Maybe throw that teddybear over to soothe those angry pirates? SUMMARY & RATING PROS: + Adorable A and B models + Lots of play value + Nice, tuned down colours + 3 full grown instructions booklets + All prints, no stickers! CONS: - B model could have been better - C model does nothing to me... - Somewhat higher part price ratio Design: 8 / 10 Build: 8 / 10 Playability: 9 / 10 Minifigures: 7 / 10 Price: 7 / 10 Overall: 7,8 / 10 I couldn't be bothered assembling the C model, it's just too plain and definitely not a cave at all. But the treehouse and ship have been great fun to build and play with. While this set overall may not be outstanding to me, I would definitely put it into the "Above Average" category. It's play features and overall value due to the parts and colours and the fact that there are 3 full blown instruction booklets makes it worth. I can repeat it over and over again: All prints, no stickers! I guess that's also the reason why the price per part ratio seems a bit unfavourable. All in all a very nice set. To err is human, but to arr is pirate!!!