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  1. Here is my review on the new City 60314 Ice Cream Truck Police Chase: THE GOOD: New Ice Cream Costumes! These are great! Great Ice Cream Truck given its size and easily can repurpose to a genuine one (also remind me the LEGO movie one, very similar colour way) The front grill of the police car is a very interesting build. THE NOT SO GOOD: The price is high compare to the volume you get. The rear of the police car can be more streamlined. ATM doesn't really look like an ATM. I wanted to get this on 1st Jan but supply chain delay is really having an impact down here in NZ. But back to this set, I really like the ice cream truck, it's small but look great and can easily re-purpose to be a genuine ice cream truck quite easily. The highlight and main reason I bought this are the two ice cream costumes and these don't disappoint. Some elements could have been improved for example, the overall design of the police car and the ATM. However, the biggest draw back is the price, at NZ$60RRP really feel the price hike in general, even I bought this with discount still wish it further $10 cheaper. Anyway, will still recommend this set if you want to get the new ice-cream costumes and the cool ice cream truck!
  2. A review of Ingmar Spijkhoven Building Experience Kits Introduction and Backstory Now the late Ingmar Spijkhoven was a father, husband, and a talented builder of Lego trucks and machinery. I found his Flickr site about 8 years ago when i joined Flickr with my first account there. I followed him, and he followed me which is an honor for me still to this day. Iam even using his fifth wheel design since then on a MOC truck i built at that time. (pictures of said truck down below) Couple of years later he started his own website and business with selling instructions for you so you can build your own truck or trailer. Soon after he started selling full "Experience Building Kits". On his site it says: "Our Building Experience Kits are exclusive sets, hand picked and packed of which only a limited number are made. Each kit has a unique limited edition serial number. The complete set comes in a luxurious high quality magnet box. It comes with printed building instructions with spiral binding and with high quality pre-cut custom stickers if required. Together with all genuine new LEGO® parts, added custom parts if required and all necessary so-called LEGO® Power Functions to remote control the model. These Building Experience Kits are complete and therefore ready to build!" They also sell accesories like brick build realistic engines, like a Detroit Diesel or Scania V8. And also sticker sheets and chrome wheels for your build, if you only bought the intructions and wanna build it with your own parts. I said to him on Flickr that sometime i want to buy one of your kits. But back then i couldn't afford it... Fast forward to mid 2019... Ingmar sadly lost the fight against ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and passed away. On his last picture i wrote again that one day i will buy a kit. So last week i did... bought 3 kits. Last week i stumbled across @ritztoys thread about his Truck T17 moc which was inspired from Ingmar's builds. And it got my attention back into the whole theme. It all went quick. Ritztoys and I wrote back and forth and i wasn't really sure if i should buy a kit. A day later, july 27th, i ordered Truck T12 in yellow and lowboy trailer Tr4 in blue, both without RC stuff. Two days later i also ordered Truck T18 with Chrome and RC stuff. Expensive week that was... Nowadays his wife Esther, and probably some family members, are running the website and do the packing and shipping. All parcels arrived a week later... With this review i hope to get some attention for these kits. They well deserve it!! Disclaimer This is my first review and feel free to write some critique, sure it is needed :D. It is based on other reviews (like Jims and Sariels) throughout this forum. I don't have any fancy photography equipment so my pictures aren't the best. I can not show too much pictures of details and how everything is built. Spijkhoven also sell instructions and want to profit from that after all! This review is not sponsored by anyone. I bought all this! Truck T18 Now lets start with Truck T18 which resembles a Mack Vision. Released: 2018 Part Count: 2606 Weight: 2,20 kg Size: 47cm x 15cm x 20cm Scale 1:17,5 Building time: 6-7 hours Price: 1240€ (cheaper without optional RC and chrome) All boxes are custom and have a magnetic lid. The lid is closed and held in place by the limited edition number label, which unfortunately you have to cut to open the box. Each box is 42cm x 31cm x 16cm in size. I got edition #29 out of 100... Now there are either 71 of this kit left, which would mean they don't sell that often when its available since 2018, or they sell it random. So the next person might get #5 or so... Once you have opened it, you are greeted by a nice letter and about a million foam peanuts. Under that you have lots of bags. Some numbered and split in sections you build, and some unnumbered. The Instructions come as a single booklet with good quality paper and metal spiral binding. Everything is relatively easy to follow and straight forward. Again relatively! They are definitly not as easy to build as an official Lego set. Sometimes it is unrepetitive, you have 3 parts for one step, and 30 for the next. At some steps you have to look really carefully since it doesn't show well where a part goes, even with arrows. You have to check the next step quite often to make sure where it goes. Still, everything is possible and 99% thought through and doable! The stickers come precut from a 3rd party supplier and seem to be in nice quality. They are thicker and better quality than Lego! It even comes with extra Mack specific decals if you wanna build it in a different color. The chrome parts also come in its own bag. I think is the supplier of those. They are good quality, but on the underside you see the original part color. And sometimes you have some chrome chipped off on one spot, but you can turn that spot to the inside. These parts are for rims, bumper, exhaust, fuel tanks and other details, and replace the light bluish grey parts in these areas. Lets start with the build of Truck T18 aka Mack Vision You start with the frame, suspension, detailed engine and some interior bits. You also install a second servo motor inside the sleeper cab which is used for a mechanism to rc controll and auto-open the fifth wheel. And i can tell you right now, i don't like this feature. You span a string from the fifth wheel all the way to the servo and there is lots of backlash in that system. When the servo turns and does it's thing, nothing opens on the fifth wheel. I had the string very taut and could not get it to work properly. Also that servo is only used to turn 90° to one side. The other way is blocked and if you try to turn it that way, it stalls, which could damage it. So after taking these pictures, i took it out. Not worth wasting the servo and a second IR receiver just for that, in my opinion. I open the fifth wheel with my fingers easy. More sleeper cab wall, fuel tanks, exhaust and wheels installed Leftover parts. Everything red is used as stands to help building and get removed after you finished it. Everything light bluish grey got replaced by the chrome pack. (apart from that one dish piece which would be a chrome differential detail, which i didn't like). I had a white rubberband missing in the kit. Should not happen at this price point!! And there it is, finished in all it's glory. The included RC control. Wheels for driving and one of the lever for the fifth wheel opening. Features: Fully RC controlled tractor unit. Openable hood and doors. Highly detailed interior, exterior and engine. Very sturdy model. Yeah some detail can fall off, but the frame is sturdy and everything feels well put together. Full suspension on all axles (solid axle suspension front, walking beam suspension rear). Truck T12 Next up is Truck T12 which resembles a Mack Granite. It is available in full yellow, or in orange with red stripe and white roof, but this one wasn't available at the moment. I ordered it without RC or chrome. Released: 2017 Part Count: 1920 Weight: 1,70 kg Size: 45cm x 16cm x 20cm Scale 1:17,5 Building time: 6 hours Price: 563€ (more expensive with RC pack) The box. I got edition #8 out of 100 After opening you have some numbered and unnumbered bags. For building you have to open all bags at once, since some chassis parts where inside the bodywork bags Stickers, same quality as T18's. Also has different colors available This Truck comes with some 3d printed parts for the steering. They replace some older hard to come by parts. You start building with the frame again of course. Everything pretty straight forward. Though, i had a cracked u-joint right away. Either this was a used part, or just bad quality... An L motor would go into this build, but i didn't had those, so i used some XLs instead. Pretty easy to adapt, more torque and they look like fuel tanks. Speaking of torque. The kits comes with 3 different set of gears. So if you need more torque or more speed you can choose. Both XL motors combine to one driveshaft under the cab, but splits into two driveshafts shortly after. One for each rear axle. Cab, engine, wheels and hood almost finished. The hoods of both trucks have some interesting building techniques inside to get the half hight steps for the wheel arches. Leftover parts. Building helpers, different gear ratio gears and some bits i had to remove for the XLs. I had two missing parts: 2 black 2l beams with a bar sticking out at a 45° angle. Again, should not happen at this price point!! And there you have you finished Mack Granite. Features: Fully RC controlled tractor unit. Openable hood and doors. Highly detailed interior, exterior and engine. Very sturdy model. Yeah some detail can fall off, but the frame is sturdy and everything feels well put together. Full suspension on all axles (solid axle suspension front, walking beam suspension rear). Trailer Tr4 Trailer Tr4 is an RGN (removeable gooseneck) lowboy trailer. I ordered it without RC or chrome. It can be ordered in blue, yellow, red and black. Released: 2014 Part Count: 1440 Weight: 2,00 kg Size: 95cm x 20cm x 14cm Scale 1:17,5 Building time: 6 hours Price: 610€ (more expensive with RC pack) The box. I got edition #25 out of 100. Inside you will find only unnumbered bags. So lets go puzzle. Leftover parts. Everything red are build helpers. The other parts... i don't know. You don't really have spare parts in these kits, but i checked the instructions back and forth... And there you have your finished trailer. I have already put some LED cables inside while building. In this picture of the underside you see some axles running through the framework. These are the parking break. There are cam pieces at the front which push that long axle against the wheels when you lower the trailer to the ground. Features: -Fully RC operable lowboy trailer -Solid axle suspension on all axles -Rear lift axle -Removable gooseneck -Parking break when lowered -removable side extensions Accessories Spijkhoven also send me some smaller accessories kits with my purchase for free. I didn't order them, but it was a welcome surprise. Tanker Trailer Tr11 It's an american style tanker trailer, which resembles a model from a manufacturer called Polar. It can haul fuel, chemicals, oils or acids. Now this is not a kit. I only bought the intructions, stickers and chrome rims from Spijkhoven. Most of the parts are from me or from bricklink. So this is a budget build. Also a full kit of this trailer is currently not available, and probably won't be anymore. Soon after ordering, i received the instructions as a PDF and couple of days later, stickers and rims arrived. I also customized mine a fair bit. I didn't use anything RC in this build. Parking brake and landing gear is RC operated original, but i made them manual operated. I also added LED lights powerd from the tractor unit, and a spare wheel where the battery box would sit. Spijkhoven has this trailer (and many other cool models) on Rebrickable Spijkhoven/trailer-tr11-dark-bluish-gray/#details so you can export the part list to Bricklink and just buy everything you need. I had about a third of all parts in my collection. Released: 2018 Part Count: 1430-ish Weight: 1,80 kg Size: 71cm x 15cm x 20cm Scale 1:17,5 Building time: 4,5 hours Price: about 300€ (includes stickers and chrome rims, and when you buy all parts used of bricklink) When building you start of with two frame sections. Rear with suspension and front with landing gear and king pin. Then you build the huge cistern basically from ground up. The top is on the front, so you build a giant silo and lay it on the frame. It is quite fragile while building but once everything is connected, it's very sturdy Stickers are great quality as usual. The trailer also has a parking brake. You turn the gear and some levers press on the front axle tires and blocks them. Again, this is originally a RC controlled function. Features: -fully RC operable (landing gear and parking brake, if you build it after instructions) -Solid axle suspension on all axles Are they worth it??? might ask. Hmm tough question!! I'd say yes. They are well built models with cool features and building techniques from a talented builder. It really is an experience! Still, it is a stupid amount of money. If you just don't have it or don't want to spend that much money, just get an intruction and your own parts. But you won't regret it either way! Additional pictures
  3. Local stores put this on shelf earlier than expected and here is my review on 2022 Chinese new year set, 80108 Lunar New Year: THE GOOD: Good concept and enjoyable building experience despite the base of each section are the same build. The mandarin tree is one of the best plant build in recent years. God of Fortune minifigure is awesome. Some fun call backs to previous sets in the form of stickers. Some great new minifigure parts. Love the sleeping dad face. Each tradition can be displayed on its own based on your preference. Some great new printed parts. Designed to be a fun family building experience. THE NOT SO GOOD: The modular stacking is not as easy as it seems. Can be a bit flimsy too when stacked up. The central piece has a few decorations but you can't really see if all connected. It doesn't look that good on its own. Overall, this set exceeds my expectation. Originally, I was more into 80109 but after building this set I started to appreciate this a lot. The concept of small section with LOTS OF DETAILS that can stack up in a modular way is great. And some of the small details in each section just blew my mind. (the mandarin tree). Once again the CNY theme delivers excellent minifigures and parts. The god of fortune is really authentic. Now I really hope all these new parts can be ordered from B&P from 1st Jan. Having each section to be built separately and having individual instruction booklet for each really promote the whole family fun idea. While this is a great set, I did find the stacking do not work as smooth as I would hope. However, the set is still too good to not recommend to everyone. The price is a bit high but I do believe the enjoyment and satisfaction from this set overweights the price. Highly Recommended.
  4. REVIEW - 42082 - ROUGH TERRAIN CRANE INTRODUCTION The biggest set of the second wave of 2018 sets is the Rough Terrain Crane. Actually, it is THE biggest Technic set ever, with 4057 parts, surpassing the 42055 - Bucket Wheel Excavator, which has 3929 parts. This set contains 128 parts more than the BWE. Which immediately raises the question; has TLG purposely made this set bigger, so it has the highest part count ever? The reason I am asking out loud, is that there has been some debate in the Technic Forum about the growing size of the sets, related to the functions. Some say that the part count is intentionally high, without adding significantly more (or better) functionality. While I do see a trend in sets getting bigger (i.e. higher part count, thus higher price), I don't think that TLG designers are filling their workday finding out ways to add lots of unnecessary parts. I do like to think that the style of building is adapting/evolving to the contemporary standards/requirements. Of course, I don't want to sound too naive, because at the end of the day, it's all 'bout the money. It's all 'bout the dun dun do do do dumb. I don't think it's funny to..... Anyway, why not use this review to dive into this delicate matter. Before we start I like to point out that I do like big sets. The experience of opening the box and seeing the plethora of parts is overwhelming. On the other hand, with Technic sets getting more and more expensive, I can understand that people stop buying the (bigger) sets. In this review, I simply want to find out if this set could have been made with, let's say, 3000-odd parts while maintaining the same functionality. Another thing I'd like to address in this review is the use of extra elements (playable items), like a chains, tools etc. There has been some debate about this in the Technic forum, so I like to give you my opinion. If you see this icon, you can click the image on the left or right side of the image, to cycle through alternative images. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42082 Title: Rough Terrain Crane Theme: Technic Released: 2018 Part Count: 4.057 Box Weight: > 5kg (I forgot to weigh the box, because my kitchen scale couldn't handle it.) Box Dimensions: 57,5 cm x 47,2 cm x 16,5 cm Set Price (RRP): £ / $ 299.99 / € 229,99 Price per Part: £ / $ 0.074 / € 0,056 Links: Brickset, Bricklink So, with an RRP of 229 euro, the price per part comes down to 5,6 cent per part, which is a steal. It's even slightly less than the BWE (5,9 cents per part). This makes it one of the cheapest Technic sets in terms of price per part. Let's compare some stats with previous flagships. COMPARISON WITH OLDER SETS 2011 - 8110 - Unimog - 189 euro, 2048 parts, 9,3 cent per part. 2012 - 9398 - 4x4 Crawler - 169 euro, 1327 parts, 12,8 cent per part. 2013 - 42009 - Mobile Crane Mk II - 199 euro, 2606 parts, 7,7 cent per part. 2014 - 42030 - Volvo L350F - 219 euro, 1636 parts, 13,4 cent per part. 2015 - 42043 - Arocs - 199 euro, 2793 parts, which is 7,2 cent per part. 2016 - 42055 - BWE - 229 euro, 3929 parts, 5,9 cents per part. 2017 - 42070 - All Terrain Truck - 249 euro, 1862 parts, 13,4 cent per part. 2018 - 42082 - Rough Terrain Crane - 229 euro, 4057 parts, 5,6 cent per part. All of these sets have Power Functions, some more than others. The Volvo is literally packed with Power Functions, which explains the high price and low part count. A potential candidate for a comparison with the 42082 - Rough Terrain Crane is the 42009 - Mobile Crane Mk II. The 42009 packs 2606 parts for 7,7 cent per part, while the 42082 packs 4057 parts for 5,6 cent per part. So, the universally praised Mk II crane has a 37,5% increase in price per part. Or the 42082 has a 27,3% decrease in price per part, depending on how you want to look at it. That is 5 years ago, and I'm not taking inflation into account. In other words; for 30 euro extra you get 1451 extra parts. This comes down to 2,1 cent per parts, which isn't bad at all. Some of you might argue that this is not the way to compare two sets, but these numbers are based on RRP and part count, which are numbers we can work with. Since this set has four of the big Claas wheels, a gearbox, and not a lot of PF, I could also compare it to the 42070. But that set was way overpriced, so I don't think that would be fair. The average price of a part in a flagship, based on these 8 sets, is 9,4 cent. So for 229 euro you can expect 2155 parts. You get 1901 more than that. Thus drawing the preliminary conclusion that this set is big, but the price is more than reasonable. Of course, the original debate wasn't focused on the price per se, but whether the models are getting unnecessarily big. Let's carry on unboxing so we can find out. THE BOX The front of the box shows the model and its Power Functions components, a Battery Box and a Large Motor. No sign of new Powered Up elements yet. It also shows a picture of the model with an extended boom, measuring 100 cm high till the end of the boom and a chassis size of 48 cm long. Going by the size this isn't some two-bit crane. But size doesn't always matter. The box has the same width and height as last year's flagship (42070 - 6x6 All Terrain Truck), but it's a couple of centimeters deeper. INSIDE FLAP Like the 42070, this box also has the flap, common to flagship sets. The inside shows a big picture of the model, which is most likely almost 1:1 scale. It's pretty impressive, that's for sure. You can also see that the upper body with the boom can rotate freely, thus 360 degree. This means that most of the mechanics, and battery box, are probably placed in the upper body and not in the chassis. This makes sense, and we have seen it before. Another picture shows the boom can be raised up to 60 degrees. BACKSIDE The back is divided into two sections/sides. The left side shows the functions of the main model, while the right side shows the alternative model, a Mobile Pile Driver. I will express my love for the B-model later this review CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 1x Inner box 1x Sealed pack with two booklets and the sticker sheet 4x Rim 4x Tire 25x Numbered bags (8 of which are in the inner box) INNER BOX The inner box contains the sealed pack with instruction booklets and sticker sheet. And it contains the bags for steps 1 to 4. INSTRUCTION BOOKLETS Two instruction booklets. One for the chassis and one for the crane. Makes you wonder if one person can start building the chassis, while the other starts working on the crane. STICKER SHEET Quite a few stickers to decorate this model. A construction vehicle just isn't the same without black and yellow stripes. And of course, a bunch of stickers indicating how to operate the functions. POWER FUNCTIONS ELEMENTS A battery box and a large motor. TIRES These, so called Unimog Tires, seems to be very common nowadays, but they have only been used in two Technic sets before. RIMS Four big red rims, also used in the 42054 - Claas Xerion and the 42077 - Rally Car. TIRES ON RIMS Here a picture with the tires fitted on the rims. NUMBERED BAGS A total of 25 numbered bags. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS Actually there is only one interesting part in this set and that is the 11 x 11 Curved Gear Rack (or banana gear as some call them) from the 42055 - Bucket Wheel Excavator in a new color black. I am very happy that this gear has appeared in a color which can more easily be used in a MOC, for example an EV3 Robot Not sure why I forgot to take a picture of the part itself, but here is a picture of the subassembly. This set contains a total of eight of these curved gear racks. PART LIST A whopping 4.057 parts, but still only two pages with parts. THE BUILD Bags, bags, bags and more bags. Lucky for us, they are numbered. If you like a challenge, open all the bags and create a big unsorted pile. That will keep you busy for quite some time. I will simply go from step to step As expected we start with the chassis. And to be more precise; with the gearbox in the chassis. Really, orange pins?! Yes, really! Right off the bat, lots of gears are added to the chassis. A white clutch gear is used in the bottom of the chassis. This indicates that these gears/axles will be connected to the Power Functions. At the end of the first step the center of the chassis has finished. This chassis with center gearbox is kind of reminiscent of models like th 8110 - Unimog and the 8258 - Crane Truck. Lots of gears, densily packed in a small space. There's little room left. The bottom of the gearbox. This set contains the 5x7 frames in two colors, light bluish grey and black. This is what you can do with two different color frames. I am not really fond of these kind of solutions, but I understand it can be convenient. Ohhh, and then there's the green liftarms. Because we need green in a red vehicle. I reckon someone opened up the bucket with green dye, so we do need to use more of these of parts in green Actually, I am being semi-serious here. The Forest Machine uses these liftarms in green, so it's probably cost-effective to use them in multiple sets. We are seeing this with other parts as well. For example, the beforementioned orange 3L pins with bush and white 1L connector, etc. TLG tends to minimize the overall number of different parts used in (Technic) sets. I reckon this has something to do with optimizing their warehouse space. New parts are added every year and storage space is limited. Instead of using five different colors TLG uses one (maybe two) color. Doing this over the entire range of sets will save up a lot of space. Technic seems to be the ideal theme to use these kind of strategies. And it adheres to the "color vommit in the chassis" strategy. One of the wheel assemblies. As you can see there is no actual suspension. Not even pendular suspension. Which seems odd for an Rough Terrain Crane, but I am no expert. Here's the subassembly attached to the center of the chassis. An almost similar assembly attached to the other side. Instead of green liftarms, this one uses orange ones. This way you can more easily tell the sides apart. This is actually not a bad thing. I have mentioned it before, but I am actually a big fan of the color vommit approach. Altough I must admit that using these orange 3L pins with bush is definitely pusing it. Blue might have been a better choice, but that would have confliced with the Bugatti color scheme. Therefore, I think TLG made the decision to use orange in this as well. By the way; this set does also contain 40 of these 3L pins with bush in black. The picture below shows how you can align the wheels. After aligning them, you slide the 16T gear in position. When I was building the set, I wondered why there was space between the gear and the liftarm, but it soon made sense. A subassebly for the outriggers. I do like the design, but as with most outriggers on Technic models, they I would love to show you a video of the outriggers, but since it's Tuesday now, I don't have enough time to lower them before the embargo date of this review Just kidding of course. They do take a while, but since they are outriggers I find this acceptable. As long as the other functions aren't that slow. The chassis with front and rear wheel assemblies, and the front and rear outriggers. This is what you would expect from a crane this size. No unncessary use of extra parts so far. Next stop is the V8 engine with white oil filter and orange propellor/fan. I really like the oil filter. It's simple, but it adds detail to the model. The choice of orange as the color for the propellor seems odd, but it's likely a safety precaution. The emphasize that this is a part you need to watch, since it will be rotating when you move the crane. Not entirely sure, but it must be something along these lines. After the engine you will be building the connection between the chassis and the upper structure (crane body). This is done by using eight curved gear racks and an ingenious system in between. Click on the images to construct the ring. At that point you will attach the rims and the chassis is done. Worth noting is that the wheel caps in the rims use a lot of extra parts. Per cap approximately 12 parts are used, which boils down to 48 extra parts, just for the caps. This picture will be very hard to shoot with the crane attached, so I will give it to you now. This model implements Ackerman Steering Geometry. Or Reversed Ackerman Steering. Or even Reversed Reversed Ackerman Steering hehe. Not sure what the consensus in the forum was. I am no expert on steering assemblies, but Ackerman Steering boils down to the inner wheels turning at a different angle than the outer wheels, due to the fact the outer wheels have to travel a wider diameter. Ackerman Steering is something Technic fans like to see in models. For more information I suggest you start with Wikepedia and go from there SECOND BOOKLET This is an interesting part in the build. Reminds us of the 8043 - Motorized Excavator. Admittedly, I didn't think of this myself, but it has been addressed in the forum. Since the two 20T Bevel Gear with Pinhole have been placed on opposite sides of the actuators, this results in them turning in a different direction when the boom is raised (or lowered). Basically, this means that when the boom is raised, one of the LA's extends, while the other retracts. If one of the 20T gears was placed the other way around, this problem would not occur. Of course, the turning direction of one of the axles feeding the LA should be reversed for this to work. Since the gears attached to the LA's only rotate a tiny fraction when raising the boom, it leads me to believe that this is a calculated flaw. In this video I try to demonstrate the issue at hand. You continue to work your way back to the rear of the superstructure. Again, lots of gears and space which will be filled with gearboxes. This is the point in the second booklet where you can't build any further, untill you finish the first booklet. At this stage you will attach the upper section to the chassis. The boom is really massive. Feels solid like a rock. I am impressed with the sturdyness of this boom. It does a lot of panels and H-frames, so it's only logical, but I was still impressed. No wormgear to extend the boom this time. The other side of the boom with a white clutch gear for safety. The boom attached to the crane. Needless to say I am having a hard time getting the entire boom in the picture. The back of the upper section is closed with panels. The black ones can be removed for easy access to the battery. There are two gearboxes on the top of the crane. The left (bottom) one is to switch between crane and chassis functions. The right (upper) one is to switch between raising/lowering the boom, extracting/retracting the boom and lowering/raising the hook. The chassis functions are rotating the super structure and raising/lowering the outriggers. COMPLETED MODEL It is rather difficult to shoot decent pictures in the photo studio. I sure hope sets won't get much bigger than this. Looking at this model, I think TLG has done a remarkable job with this Rough Terrain Crane. The black chassis, with red elements, combined with the red super structure looks spot on. Lots of technic gears and elements provide an interesting build. I love how the two (or three) gearboxes work together. Here you can clearly see the gearbox on this side of the chassis is used to rotate the crane. Because of the weight, the chassis tends to bend a little, but nothing to worry about. The boom of the crane can exend way more than this, but that makes is impossible for me to take pictures. A close up from the front of the vehicle. The cabin door swings open to reveal the interior of the cabin. And one from the reaar. I'm sorry I don't have anymore pictures of the completed model, but I think you have seen most of it. You can find out more by building it yourself FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS This model packs features you would expect from a mobile crane. Raising/Lowering the boom Extracting/Retracting the boom Raising/Lowering the hook Raising/Lowering the outriggers Four wheel (Ackermann) steering Working fake engine Other than that there are some details like two cabinets which can be opened to store some gear. TLG has even added some walls which can be turned into part of a house or cabin. OUTRIGGERS Okay, let's get this out of the way. The outriggers are slow, really slow. I turned them on this morning and when I came home from work, they were halfway. Obviously, I am joking...I didn't go to work today. It's not that bad, but it would be nice if they operated a wee bit faster. You do need to use the four plates for them to properly reach the ground. STEERING AND DRIVING For a set this size steering and driving work properly. Even better than I expected. CRANE The thing I am most impressed with are the crane functions. These work like a charm. And, unlike the 42043 - Mercedes Arocs, this gearbox (or rather gearboxes) is very easy to understand. One look at the stickers is all it takes to be able to operate this thing. It offers a ton of playability. Linking gearboxes, instead of direct connection to a motor, can cause some slack. This can be seen when turning the crane. But this is just a minor gripe, just like the outriggers. DOOR A nice detail is the sliding door. PLAYABLE ITEMS It's time to talk about the added playable items, like this toolbox. Some people don't feel this is necessary and some even seem to be a bit annoyed by it. I have addressed this in my 42069 - Extreme Adventure review where I state that I like these added details. And I still do. The Forest Machine also packs some extra's like a chainsaw, some logs etc. Actually, I see it in most of the Technic sets. What I have seen is that this greatly enhances playability for younger LEGO fans. I am absolutely aware that this is a 11+ set, so it is not designed for a 5-year old. But seeing a 5-year old play with these Technic models and use all the extra items in the set for his "story" makes you realise that by adding playable items to a Technic set, it suddenly becomes a set for all ages. So, a handful of extra parts might be enough to prepare a 5-year old for Technic enthusiasm later down the line. After all, he (or she) is the future Technic target audience. Therefore, I am 100% in favor of adding these little details to Technic sets, even if these sets are 11+. PART COUNT And now for the part count discussion. No doubt this model could have been made using less parts. It you take away the playable items, wheel caps, grey construction panel and outrigger plates, you already save a couple of hundred parts. In the old days a Technic model used to be liftarms with gears inside. These days are over. Models are becoming more and more realistically looking, which means that less of the interior is visible. This also goes for the boom for example. In the old days we would have seen the interior of the boom and now it's covered with panels. I am not convinced that TLG is deliberately adding parts to the boom just to have more parts. I think TLG is doing this because they need to compete with other toys in the stores and these toys look like the real thing. Therefore TLG wants its models to look more like the real thing to, resulting in adding panels and other embellishments. Granted, TLG's marketing department won't mind having the biggest Technic set every year, so they can use this in Ads. Like I said in the introduction; I am a fan of big sets. I love putting together a 4057 part set. But I reckon people are more upset about the price of bigger sets than the part count. This can be a false assumption, because I know not all AFOLs think like this. But if TLG had used 3057 parts instead of 4057 they could have easily maintained the same RRP. 3000 parts at 229 euro is 7,6 cents a piece, which is still rather cheap. So my conclusion is that TLG might have upped the part count a bit, but still presented this set at a very affordable price. We already see this set popping up for around 179 euro, which boils down to 4,5 cent a piece, which is extremely affordabl for a Technic set. For me it would have been an issue if TLG priced this set at 349 euro RRP. Then I would have figured TLG was doing it on purpose. Basically, this is a UCS-like Technic set and you get it for 229 euro, or less if you do some online shopping. Personally, I think this is extremely good value for money. Of course your mileage may vary, but this is how I see things. B-MODEL The B-model, a Mobile Pile Driver, is a cop out, nothing more, nothing less. I mean, seriously?! 4000+ parts and we get a model that is 95% the same as the original model. And if that's not the worst part, it's ugly AF, as some people would like to phrase it. The Pile Driver extension looks like something I could have built....when I was four . Maybe, well probably, I am insulting someone at The LEGO Group, but I can only hope that they were lacking time and/or resources, so they came up with this at the last moment. The argument of time is rendered invalid, because this is what you can in a couple of days. Well, maybe not everybody, but @nico71 was able to turn this set into a front loader. Nobody will probably argue that this would have been a better B-model. Not sure what TLG's policy is regarding alternate models but the 42030 isn't in production anymore, so I don't see any reason not go for something like this. The rear view of the model. And even the grey construction elements can be turned into something useful. SUMMARY I am a big fan of this set. It packs a lot of functionality and parts, for a decent price. The forum contains pages and pages with potential improvements, but that's out of scope for my review. Almost every set gets improved by AFOLs, so that's no surprise. Bottomline is that this is great set for existing AFOLs and new AFOLs alike. I can remember coming out of my dark ages in 2005, building the 8421 - Mobile Crane, which had a whopping 1885 parts. I remember the endless quantity of parts coming out of the box. Imagine a set with more than twice the part count. And again, this doesn't automatically mean a better set, but you will be impressed when you open this box. Much has been said about the color vommit in the chassis of this model. I have grown fond of color vommit, because I like the variety in the parts. I do enjoy seeing all the colored parts. However, using orange 3L Pins with Bush is pushing it to the limit, especially on a red model. I would have preferred blue instead of orange. My final conclusion is that for around 200 euro, you do get a LOT of value for money. I can see myself getting an extra copy, just because of that. I would almost go as far a stating that this could be considered a UCS Technic set. PROS Good looking model Properly working functions (even Ackermann steering) Several (linked) gearboxes Great parts pack (especially for people new to Technic) Very affordable, almost cheap CONS Some slack due to drivetrains and gearboxes Outriggers operate very slowly No suspension No special parts besides the new curved gear rack in black SCORE How do I rate this set? 9 DESIGN I love the looks, color scheme, everything. 9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Very enjoyable build with several gearboxes and other functionality. 8 FEATURES Great features, with some room for improvement. No suspension though. 9 PLAYABILITY Implemented features provide lots of playability. 8 PARTS Mostly common parts, but you do get a lot of them. 10 VALUE FOR MONEY Price goes down to 4,8 cent per part if you shop around. It doesn't get any cheaper than this. 8,8 UCS ANYONE? Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  5. Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, an AFOL lived in California all by himself under the username of Oky, which means that he had the username over the door in gold letters and lived under it. One day, his friend Winnie-the-Pooh came over from Disneyland where he lived. "Good morning, Oky," he said. "Good morning, Winnie-ther-Pooh," said Oky. "I wonder if you've got such a thing as a camera about you?" "A camera?" "Yes, I just said to myself coming along: 'I wonder if Oky has such a thing as a camera about him?'” "What do you want a camera for?" Oky said. Winnie-the-Pooh looked round to see that nobody was listening, put his paw to his mouth, and said in a deep whisper: "Honey!" "But you don't get honey with a camera!" said Oky. "I do," said Pooh. “How?” "It's like this, " he said. "When you go after honey, the great thing is not to let the bees see you. Now, if they had an interesting review to read, they would be distracted and wouldn’t see me take their honey, so I figured I’d make a review of my house for the bees to read." "Wouldn't they look up from the review and notice you?" Oky asked. "They might or they might not," said Winnie-the-Pooh. "You never can tell with bees." "Then you had better make sure it’s a really good review," Oky said. “Yes,” said Pooh. He thought for a moment and said: "The thing is, I don’t really know how to take pictures… or write for that matter. Will you help me take pictures of my house and write a review about it, Oky?” "Silly old Bear!" Oky laughed to himself. “Sure, I will help you.” And so he did. Set Number: 21326 Name: Winnie the Pooh Theme: Ideas Year of Release: 2021 Ages: 18+ Pieces: 1265 Price: £89.99 / $99.99 / 99.99€ The Box As you may know, I’m about as enthusiastic about the boring black boxes that LEGO uses for 18+ sets as Eeyore is about anything. They look depressing and usually don’t suit the subject matter, and this set is no exception. It just doesn’t fit the bright and colorful world of Winnie the Pooh, although I’m glad that in this case they at least hinted at a more fitting background by having some illustrations of flowers, fences, and bees showing from behind the set. If only the whole box looked more like that. Oh bother. The back side of the box looks a bit more interesting as it features a large picture of the interior of Pooh’s house, a couple of close-up scenes, and a blueprint drawing of the set with dimensions, along with a brief explanation of how the LEGO Ideas process works. The top of the box shows a nice lineup of the minifigs along with the 100 Acre Wood sign, a few logos, and a “Hunny” pot fittingly serving as the size reference. The bottom only has some info about the packaging and trademarks. As always with these “Adults Welcome” boxes, there is a strip of various LEGO pieces going around the whole bottom part of the box and all over the bottom. The strip is colored honey-yellow in this case which does fit the set very well. There are several pieces in there that have not been released in yellow yet. Could this be a hint of things to come? Probably not, but one can hope. The right side of the box has a lovely illustration of Pooh Bear holding on to a balloon as he is known to do drawn in the style of E. H. Shepard’s art from the original book. The other side has some more legal jargon along with the French version of the Winnie the Pooh logo. It reads “Winnie l’ourson” which translates to Winnie the teddy bear. Not very imaginative, and I’m not sure why they felt the need to change the name in France, but c’est la vie. Like many Ideas sets, this one has an opening lid. I really like this type of boxes as they can be reused for storage. The bags are stacked neatly inside and are even almost in chronological order. The instructions and stickers lay freely in the box, with the stickers placed between the bags, but fortunately none of them were damaged. Contents Inside the box there are seven numbered bags, two sticker sheets (one reflective, one not), and one instruction booklet. The cover of the instructions features the same picture of the minifigs walking in a line, but this one has nice watercolor background like you would see in a Winne the Pooh book. This is exactly what the boxart should have looked like in my opinion, but I digress. Instructions The instructions book is full of nice illustrations of Pooh and his friends like the one that is on the side of the box as well as a map of the 100 Acre Wood. The first few pages of the booklet feature background info on the characters, stories, and fan designer Ben Alder, along with a few words from Ben and the LEGO designers about the creation the set. The instructions themselves are pretty clear and easy to follow. The colorful build really pops against the light gray background. There is another lovely illustration of Pooh with Christopher Robin heading off into the sunset which is a perfect image to end the build on. It is accompanied by that oddly ordinary French title. Notable Parts As is the norm for Ideas sets, there are now new molds in this set (besides those on the minifigs), but here are still a few notable parts. This set sees the debut of the large macaroni part in medium nougat, the coral piece in bright green, that Technic piece with 4 clips in reddish brown, and an unprinted minifig head in dark orange. Santa’s sack also appears for the first time in an official set in white. Another piece that is new to me even though it has appeared in a few sets already is the 2x4 double jumper plate. There are a few other parts in rare colors that have only appeared in one or two other sets which you can see here, and several more which have only appeared in four other sets which aren’t included in this picture. Also, while most of the graphics are stickered in this set, some of the parts are printed. Aside from the large and small tree stump tiles and ladybug tile which have been in several sets before, there is a new bee tile, the Mr. Sanders sign, and the honeypot with the “Hunny” label. It’s hard to see in these pictures, but there is a slight metallic gold shine to the “MR SANDERS” letters. Minifigs While Ben’s original submission was comprised of a mix of minifigs with preexisting headpieces and brick-built characters, LEGO apparently decided to go all out on this set and created minifigs with new molds for all the characters, something that is unprecedented in an Ideas set and is much appreciated. Unfortunately they omitted Owl and Christopher Robin from the lineup, but they kind of out of scale, so I can see why they did it. Kanga and Roo are missing as well, but they were not in the original submission either, so that’s fair. We do get 5 excellent figs of the most important characters from the 100 Acre Woods though. Let’s take a closer look at them, Starting with Pooh himself, his BFF Piglet, and Rabbit. Pooh bear’s belly and part of his chin are printed onto his torso which looks a tad odd, especially since the yellow on the print looks darker than that of his head and limbs, so I wish they would have put a bit more quality into the printing, but otherwise he looks great, especially his dual-molded arms. Piglet also looks spot-on and just as adorable as he should, but he is way too large in my opinion. He is nearly as tall as all the other characters and therefore feels out of scale with the rest of the set. Being a small animal who is afraid of anything bigger than him is, like, his whole thing, so I think he should have been a trophy-sized microfig, but Piglet fans will probably be happy to get a full minifig of him. Rabbit looks nearly perfect. His torso printing features dark hip curves that are usually reserved for female minifigs. I guess having Pooh constantly eat all his honey and living off his vegetable garden helps him maintain a girlish figure. The only thing that looks a bit off are his somewhat derpy eyes. This rabbit looks like he has seen some stuff. If I’m not mistaken, he is the first minifig to come with light yellow arms, legs, and hands, so between him and the dark orange minifig heads, this set should make monochrome fig collectors happy. All three have back printing which in Pooh’s case is just as off-color as his front unfortunately. Next, we have the two long-tailed characters, Tigger and Eeyore. Both look outstanding, especially Tigger whose body suits the minifig proportions perfectly. It seems that being a minifig is what Tiggers do best! His top isn’t made out of rubber and his bottom isn’t made out of spring, but he is just as bouncey-trouncey-ouncey-pouncey-fun-fun-fun-fun-fun as the real thing! But the most wonderful thing about Tigger is, he’s the only one with arm and leg printing, heeee’s the only one! (Let me know if you read all that in his voice) Tigger has the same feline tail as other cat-like minifigs and back printing, both with scribbly tiger stripes on them. Eeyore’s tail is sadly not detachable, although the bow on it is. Which is probably a good thing since he is quite “attached” to his tail. Winnie the Pooh and accessories too! Each character comes with a fitting item: Pooh has a red balloon for getting honey, Piglet comes with a scarf and an umbrella for cold, rainy autumn days, Tigger has a cleverly built bindle for when the gang goes on one of their “expotitions”, and Rabbit has one of his beloved carrots. Yes, every character comes with an accessory. Well, all except poor Eeyore (unless you count his bow). The Build The first thing you build is a small patch of grass with some leaves, a honeypot, and a sign for the 100 Acre Wood on it. It’s a quick and simple build, but it makes a nice addition to the set and the use of the 3x3 heart plate as a base gives it a nice organic look. The build is pretty straight-forward, starting from the bottom of the tree and going up to the top, but it involves several interesting SNOT techniques, such as the hills with slopes pointing in all directions and leaves attached to their corners. The fact that the designers chose to make most of the filler bricks bright yellowish orange like honey is a nice touch. Here is the build after the first two bags. After bag 3, Pooh’s house starts to take shape. At this stage, you can get a good look at what the interior of the house looks like when it is closed. Once you finish the walls of the house, it’s on to the tree. The lower branches of the tree are sandwiched between the front and back of the trunk and angled slightly upward using an interesting Technic connection which also strengthens the stability of the tree. The top is built on a turntable which held in place at an angle by four offset studs under the round plate which is an interesting technique I didn’t know about until now. Bag 7 includes all the parts for the treetop, beehives and front yard details. Building the treetop involves building six of the same branch section which means that you need to attach 3 leaf pieces to each of the 24 green coral pieces in the set. Needless to say, this is a bit repetitive. Rabbit may enjoy such tedious plant work, but me not so much. The Complete Set Here it is all put together! It looks abso-posi-tutely terrific! It's unlike any other set and all the bright colors make it look very friendly. The house looks pretty accurate when compared to the source material, aside from maybe the missing hills around the back of the house. There are lots of nice details around the front door such as the door knocker and bell, the little mushrooms built out of red Porg heads, and the big log where Pooh can sit by the fire and think. However, my favorite detail has to be the tiny 3-piece snail on the side of the house that uses a swirl piece as the shell, even though red is an odd color for a snail. I also really like how the tree is made out of a mix of nougat and dark tan parts. It looks really nice and I hope to see more trees in this color in other sets. The use of corals for the tree branches is also NPU. The shingles on the roof of Pooh’s house are made of cheese slopes which is not a new technique, but always looks nice, especially with those leaves scattered over them. It’s clever how they built the chimney out of hinges, a BB-8 head, and an ice cream cone. The only thing that bugs me a bit is how there is a small gap between the roof and the dark red bars in the back of the house, although I’m not sure how that could have been avoided. Also, it’s interesting that they chose to use modified tiles instead of actual shutters on the windows. I think it would have been better if they would have used shutters that you can actually close instead, especially since we haven’t gotten them in dark red yet. The back of the tree and house is a bit bare. I think they could have added a bit more foliage to fix that. However, I like how they hid they gray parts that hold the house closed with a wooden board and plants. As you probably saw on the back of the box, Pooh’s house can split open in the back to allow you to play inside. The house is held together by a single clip that inserts into a click-hinge which works pretty well while also making it easy to open the two halves without much force. The interior is stuffed full of detail! On the left there is a furnace, a picture of honeybees, a comfy-looking chair, and a table with a teacup and a honeypot. Next to the front door, there is also a sideboard with another teacup and a teapot as well as a map of the 100 Acre Wood on the wall. I especially like how they made the brick-built curtains. The chair is only connected by one stud, so it can easily be removed to seat a minifig in it or move it elsewhere. On the right is Pooh’s bed which cleverly uses roller skates as detailing on the bed ends along with a small table with a candle. In the rafters above the bed are various honeypots just in case Pooh wakes up at night and is hungry for a smackerel of honey (i.e. the entire pot) which I imagine happens every night. On the wall next to the bed hangs his Pooh-coo clock which tells him when it’s time for his stoutness exercise. The standing mirror in front of which he does said exercise is to the right of the front door along with a brown Technic pin connector that serves as an umbrella stand. It works surprisingly well as such, although the umbrella tends to get a little stuck in it. While I really like how the Pooh-coo clock is constructed, I think it could use a clock face, even if it was a sticker. Pooh’s house is filled with references and easter eggs! The rafters on the left side of the house carry a box of Poohsticks, the game that Pooh invented in one of the stories where two or more players drop a stick from one side of a water bridge and see whose stick comes out first on the other side of the bridge. The back of the box has the initials C.R. which presumably stands for Christopher Robin. Next to the box is a pearl-gold heart-shaped tile which represents the locket that Tigger found in The Tigger Movie and hoped to find his family with. The book on the bed is meant to represent a Winnie the Pooh book which is pretty meta. Inside the book, there is a nice Lego-fied silhouette of Pooh holding onto a red balloon. LEGO Graphic Designer Ashwin Visser added Ben Alder’s name on the inside of the cover which is a lovely shoutout to the fan designer of the set who enjoys reading these books to his children. Another detail that’s worth noting is that the honeypot on the kitchen table and the one above the bed have a stack of trans-yellow pieces to represent honey, a detail which Pooh much appreciates. There are some play features as well. Do you hear that noise? That buzzing-noise means something. You don't get a buzzing-noise like that without it meaning something. If there's a buzzing-noise, somebody's making a buzzing-noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you're a bee. That’s right, there are two identical beehives in the tree, each with four bees around it. The bees are mounted on a frictionless Technic pin, so you can make them fly around their hive like a mobile. Of course, a new bee mold would have been more realistic than printed tiles, but then again, maybe these really are just pictures of bees hanging from the hive. You never can tell with bees. Since each of the six treetop sections are mounted on ball joints and each of the branches is attached by a clip, the tree is surprisingly posable, so you can adjust it however you want or make it look like there is a lot of wind. Happy Winds-day everybody! Spare Parts Aside from the teal brick separator, there are many little parts left over after the build, including the small printed tiles, an extra Poohstick for a third player, an extra teacup in case clumsy Pooh breaks one, a pile of Pooh poo, and some extra trans-yellow honey pieces which should make Pooh bear very happy. Ratings Design: The tree and house look unique and colorful, and it’s faithful to the source material. Lots of great details. Build: An enjoyable build various interesting SNOT techniques, but with some repetition. Playability: There aren’t really many play features, but there are enough characters and accessories to play out many scenarios. Figures: All 5 look spot-on, feature new molds, and are new and exclusive to the set. Aside from Piglet’s scale, Rabbit’s derpy eyes and some quality issues on Pooh, they’re great. Parts: No new molds, but several parts in new or rare colors. Price: $100 for 1265 pieces including 5 new minifigs is a pretty good deal. Overall: Nine honeypots out of ten! This is a nearly flawless set. Disney/Pooh fans will love the minifigs and all the easter eggs while Lego fans will appreciate the unique, detailed, and fun-looking build and rare, useful parts. It's more of a display piece than a playset, but it has enough features to have plenty of fun with it too. While Winnie the Pooh was never my favorite Disney franchise, it was my sister’s and we both grew up watching The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh along with the other Disney Afternoon shows. Besides, I am a Disney fan in general and a huge fan of Jim Cummings who voices both Pooh and Tigger these days, so when I saw Ben’s excellent LEGO Ideas project, I supported it immediately, and I am very happy that it was turned into such a good set. Thanks for taking a look back at this 2021 set with me and thanks to LEGO for sending it to me for review. What do you think of the set? Let me know in the comments and the poll. And don't forget to check out some of the other Revember reviews! TTFN - Ta-ta for now! PS: You didn’t really think I would end the review without a Tuxedo Pooh meme, did you?
  6. INTRODUCTION From the first episode it was clear that The Mandalorian was going to be uniquely special in the realm of new Star Wars media. Two seasons later you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't love the live-action western-samurai-sci-fi inspired show. Lego has released a total of 8 sets inspired by The Mandalorian so far, and the Imperial Light Cruiser is the largest of them all. It also provides the setting for the climax of the 2nd season. If you haven't watched The Mandalorian Season Two yet, be warned that there are potential spoilers in this review SET INFORMATION Number: 75315 Title: Imperial Light Cruiser Theme: Star Wars Released: 2021 Part Count: 1336 Box Dimensions: 58.2 cm x 37.8 x 8.7 cm Weight: 2304 gram Set Price (RRP): 159.99 EUR / 149.99 GBP / 159.99 USD / Price per Part: 12 EUR / 11.2 GBP / 12 USD / Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX The box is very standard for Star Wars sets these days. The front shows the ship in space. While the back shows off the play features. CONTENTS OF THE BOX Inside you'll find bags numbered 1-9 and a bagged set of instructions and stickers. More on the stickers as we get into the build. Here's the obligatory picture of the bags. Does anyone like these shots? How did it become normal for us to include them in reviews? Anyway, moving on to the build! THE BUILD Bag 1 Our very first bag gives us the main hero and villain of the set. I'll come back to the minifigures later. Side note, this is my first time trying to arrange the pieces of each bag in an aesthetically pleasing shot. So please forgive me if some of the pieces aren't perfectly aligned! Completing the first bag gives you a solid start on the main structure of the ship. While finishing the first bag you are instructed to apply the stickers to create some computer consoles. I have a love/hate relationship with stickers and Lego. Sometimes I'm glad I have the option whether or not to use a sticker on a part if I'd rather use the element elsewhere un-stickered. Printed parts don't give you that option. But in this set most of the stickers are great for Star Wars MOCs and I'll certainly use them again. But because they are stickers I'll always be worried about whether they are going to fall off. This is the most expensive set for The Mandalorian so far. I wish Lego would have printed more parts for it. Bag 2 The second bag has a bunch of Technic and hinge pieces. So you can already guess that we'll end up with more of the angled Star Destroyer shape by the end. And that's exactly what we get! Bag 3 More Technic and a whole bunch of plates. 3 bags in and were still just working on the core structure. But for a ship of this size that's needed so you can swoosh it around when you're done building it. Bag 4 A lot more plates in Bag 4, but also the elements for our first round of greebling. The end result is very satisfying. Lego designers have managed to add greebling to Star Wars ships in a simple but effective way over the past few years. And what we get in this set follows that excellent trend. Using a simple plate w/clip attached to a plate w/bar greebling panels are added to the rear of the Imperial Cruiser. We also get the micro TIE Fighters with their fantastic printed windscreens. More on those later. Bag 5 Half-way in and we get our 2 female minifigures in the set and the parts to complete the command tower. Also in this bag is the most frustrating sticker application of the set. Trying to line up the windows with 5 different stickers is certainly not as frustrating as trying to put stickers on curved Lego pieces. But it comes close. I really wish Lego would have at least given us the 2x2 brick with windows printed on all sides. That could have allowed for multiple copies of the pieces to be used to create all manner of Imperial bridges. Thankfully I managed to get the windows lined up enough that I won't start twitching every time I look at them. And Lego has always been good to send replacement stickers (and the parts they go on) when you mess up. So while it's not ideal, Lego does make the it the best possible bad scenario. The finished command tower also doubles as a carrying handle for the set. The Technic structure inside the tower is very stable and also easily grab-able! Bag 6 After all those angles we get a bag full of round pieces needed to build the cylindrical engines. There are some really great techniques used throughout this set to achieve the various shapes. Here in the back we see click hinges used to create the housing around the center engine. Simple, but oh so effective! And here's where we're at by the end of the bag. Bag 7 Nearing the end we get the parts needed to build the interior of the Cruiser as well as the angled panels and front greebles. Here you can see the clever techniques used to get the lower, angled sections attached using Technic. The mandibles get their top hull plating finishing off Bag 7. Bag 8 Our second to last bag has a lot of plates and the only Dark Trooper in the set. Finishing it gives us 2/3s of the top hull plating. Bag 9 Our final bag gives us the parts for the other 1/3 of the hull as well as what we need for the laser canon turrets. We also get the most highly sought after minifgure of all time, Grogu! Wait, you're telling me you already have 5 copies of Grogu? And even if you didn't you could buy him for $5 on Bricklink? Moving on then... Completing the ninth bag gives us the finished ship. This is a properly imposing Imperial vessel. Lots of angles and light grey make it obvious which side the ship fights for. The back of the ship looks decent too. Ship Analysis While the Light Cruiser looks amazing at first glance, there are some unsightly areas. The insides of the front mandibles have a lot of exposed blue Technic pins. This is a set, not a MOC, so it's understandable that there are some Technic elements visible. But, it would have been nice if they could have done greebling on the inside to cover all the blue. You can also see how far into the "bridge" the play-feature, TIE launcher extends. It's not a great play feature as you have to have the hull panels lifted to reach the plunger. And when you place a TIE in front there is nothing holding it in place. There is room between the jumper-plate wings and the plate w/rails so friction doesn't hold it in. You just have to balance things perfectly to achieve a successful launch instead of a fumbled drop. The TIEs themselves are cute. The fact that the solar panel wings are square instead of hexagonal is unfortunate, but understandable at this scale. But, you only get 2 in this set. If you want to launch one from the front, you have to remove it from the side docking bay to do so. The back portion also has gaps under the panels. A couple inverted slopes could have solved this easily. THE MINIFIGURES The lineup of figures in the set is certainly going to be a big draw for Star Wars fans. First up we have the "good guys." Fennec Shand is exclusive to this set so far. She has an exclusive head, dual molded helmet, leg printing and arm printing! Lego could have added a braid to the back of the helmet, but that would have limited it's re-usability so I'm glad they didn't. Fennec is pretty much the epitome of Star Wars minifigures. Cara Dune is exactly the same as her other 2 appearances in Star Wars sets. She has a head exclusive to her character (Lego is infamous for re-using female heads so this is a big deal) and leg printing so she's still a decent fig. Din Diarin, the Mandalorian himself, is also a repeat. Like in 75299 he has arm and leg printing. Grogu, or baby Yoda, is also a repeat. Next up are the really, really bad guys: a Dark Trooper and Moff Gideon. Both are exclusive to this set and look outstanding. The Dark Trooper uses the new armor mold that's been appearing in Star Wars sets this year. And Gideon has a newer-fabric, dual-color cape. The fact that the Dark Trooper has leg printing while Moff Gideon doesn't really makes his plain legs stand out. Neither has arm printing which also stands out next to Fennec's and Din's amazing prints. Minifigure Analysis There are some real knockouts in this set. And as the most expensive Mandalorian Lego set you would expect nothing less. Fennec and the Dark Trooper have great prints, unique parts, and just look great overall. Din, Cara, and Grogu are all repeats which is fine. But Moff Gideon could really use some arm and leg printing. And at $160 it seems cheap of Lego not to include a 2nd Dark Trooper. That figure alone is going for $50 on Bricklink right now. So what would it look like if Lego dialed these minifigures up to 11? Here's my customization of the figures using only purists methods. OVERALL Most people will be buying this set to add to their display, for the figures, or both. And in those categories this set performs pretty well. From most angles the Light Cruiser looks both Imperial and imposing. Just watch out for those blue Technic pins. And the figures are certainly worth getting. If you wanted to get the exclusive figures by themselves to save on buying the whole set it'll cost you $30 for Gideon, $35 for Fennec and $50 for a Dark Trooper going off the current averages on Bricklink. That's already setting you back $115. For an additional $45 you get 3 more minifigs and a pretty cool ship. The price per part on the set is a little high, but the end result doesn't feel like your getting shorted at all. SCORE How do I rate this set? 8 DESIGN The set looks like an Imperial Light Cruiser. It's very sturdy. And it uses clever techniques to get all the angles. It's only brought down by the few unsightly areas that could have been easily fixed and the unfortunate use of stickers for things like computers and windows. 9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE I really enjoyed building this set. It doesn't feel repetitive at all. And seeing all the cool techniques used to get angles and greebling is fun. 8 FEATURES There are not many features I would ask for to begin with in a ship of this size and scale. We get an area of the bridge to recreate scenes from the show. We have a handle to carry the ship with. The missile launchers are well integrated. What really drags this score down at all is the TIE launcher. The set should have included a 3rd TIE that fit more snugly into the forward bay. And the launching mechanism should have been accessible from the underside of the ship instead of the inside play area. 9 PLAYABILITY  Even with it's impressive size this ship is swooshable! And the interior play area allows for great scene re-creation. It would have been nice to have a doorway for characters to enter and exit the bridge. But at this scale that would have been hard. 7 PARTS There are no unique molds or colors outside of the minifigures. Though the molds for Fennec and the Dark Trooper certainly drive this score up! The best parts for Star Wars builders all come as stickers, which is a bummer. But, if you don't have a lot of grey or Technic to MOC your own Star Wars ships then this is a good set for those parts. 9 VALUE FOR MONEY  If this set had 2 Dark Troopers then this would be a perfect score. The set may not be at that golden 10 ppp, but the end result feels like it is. FINAL SCORE: 8 If you can afford this set, you should absolutely go buy it! This set was provided for review purposes to Eurobricks by The LEGO Group. The opinions presented in this review are my own and do not reflect those of The LEGO Group.
  7. As part of Revember, I'm taking a look at a set from a line that hardly anyone seems to talk and/or care about here on Eurobricks (this one's obviously not for the stats). Some people somewhere must care about these sets though, since LEGO is in the money-making business, not the "niche products nobody wants" business. Join me as I dive into... SET INFORMATION Number: 43181 Name: Raya and the Heart Palace Theme: Disney Released: 2021 Part Count: 610 Minifiguresdolls: 2 Set Price (RRP): 79.99 - 89.99 EUR / 74.99 GBP / 119.99 AUD / 79.99 USD / 99.99 CAD Links: Brickset, Bricklink INTRODUCTION As I mentioned up top, the Disney Minidoll line (and most Minidoll sets, honestly) go oft-overlooked in our slice of the internet AFOL community, though I don't see a tremendous amount of coverage or discussion of them on the other AFOL sites I read either. But for me, a lover of eye-catching, colourful designs and unique parts, the Disney sets based on recent films provide some of the most displayable and special location-based playsets that LEGO puts out. All that makes it sound like I'm a voracious purchaser of LEGO Disney, but to be totally honest this is only the second set from the line that I own - the first being the previous time I requested to review one, 41068 Arendelle Castle Celebration way back in 2015. That's partially because the playsets they make that are NOT based on new films haven't been all that impressive to me, nothing in the intervening years based on Moana or Frozen II truly caught my eye, and my LEGO budget is still more concentrated on Harry Potter, Star Wars, and buying parts and minifigures. Still, I requested to review this set for the same reason as I requested the Frozen one six years ago: a unique, impressive-looking location set, cool parts, and bright colours. THE FILM At the time of writing this review, I have not seen Raya and the Last Dragon, nor watched any trailers, so I really know next to nothing about the story, location, or characters presented in this set. Through that lens, I will see if the details make sense or if there's anything I feel like I'm obviously missing, which might provide some fun. It also means I'll be judging the set just as a set, and not against the source material. I intend to watch the film after writing this review, and make a follow-up section or post on how the set achieves whatever it's going for. THE BOX The box doesn't let an uninitiated consumer like me in on any plot secrets. Namaari seems to be waving some swords, while looking at her (magical?) purple pet fox, as Raya arrives to the Heart Palace on a giant slug-armadillo - let's call it a slugadillo, coining it now. The back provides a tour through the set's moveable parts, features and hiding spaces. I especially appreciate the LEGO-fication of the same Raya picture as the front of the box. THE PARTS & THE BUILD Five colour-filled numbered bags greet us out of the box, along with an un-numbered bag containing the big parts used on the dome, the slugadillo, and the grey disc part which is no bigger than some of the parts that do come in the numbered bags. The instructions and sticker sheet come nicely packed in their own bag to avoid crumpleage (coining that word now too). This set has the fewest black or grey parts I can recall seeing in a set of this size - just five black and one grey - and it shows here. Pretty much every single patterned detail, besides the dome and randomly one 2x3 tile, uses a sticker. There's no use crying about it. There IS use crying about the sticker that goes on the 8x8 round tile though. I was used to that part being printed when it has a pattern, but Bricklink proves me wrong. I'm still annoyed that's not a print anyway, but at least it isn't four independent stickers applied to the one part. 1996 was a weird time. BAG 1 The first bag contains a lot of basic bricks and plates to kick off the base of the palace, plus the parts to make the saddle for Raya's slugadillo. In contrast to the trend of sprinkling figures throughout the build in minifigure sets, both minidolls come in this bag, along with the purple fox. The basic bricks in medium azure turn out to be a lot more common than I thought they would be, but the hinge parts are exclusive to this set in that colour. They remind me of Alien Conquest, though only the minifigures in that theme used medium azure. Upon completion, we get a long base hinged into multiple section plus the figures which I'll look at closely later. BAG 2 Bag 2 brings a lot more large parts, including the 4x5 panels with window exclusively in blue, and the cylinders with handle in teal that come in just three sets. You can also see the printed tile, which again I'll talk more about later. The palace now has some rooms and an elaborate throne, but is still looking more like a wall than a palace. Note the low number of leftover parts. BAG 3 More medium azure and teal here, including those 4x4 dishes that were created for the Vidiyo Beat Boxes. RIP. Our wall has some minarets now! I noticed the window sandwiched by double-cheese slopes is the same build used in the recent Chamber of Secrets, though the Vidiyo dish caps it off much more nicely than the weird thing with clips that the Chamber designer went for. They have different looks trying to be achieved though, of course. BAG 4 Woah, this is different! Suddenly lots more colours, and lots of tiny parts. One of those big Mario plates has crept out of the Mario theme for the second time (a reddish brown example did it first last year), which is nice to see, plus we get the classic Adventurers crate in dark red for only the second time. You could call this bag the detailing bag, because it has put a lot of life into the palace by way of small details. Look how many spare parts there are! BAG 5 Bag 5 feels much lighter, with parts to finish things off on the front of the palace. Notable parts include the 4x4 Mario plate in white that's been in just four sets, and the opalescent fishbowl helmet, also in four sets currently. Voila, our palace is complete - annoying sticker on 8x8 tile and all (minus one pearl gold spike I must have knocked off). I should note that those four lanterns are an intriguing build - I haven't seen an official build before requiring plates stacked at a particular angle from each other. THE MINIDOLLS Much like fleshies, stickers, the changes to the greys and brown, etc. etc., minidolls are here to stay, so there's no use raging about them if you don't like them. I'm happy to complain about the quantity of them included in sets, though. Now again I haven't seen the film, so I can't say for sure if the Heart Palace is a lively, thriving place, or a desolate palace in a remote location that only Raya and Namaari visit, but just two figures feels like not enough for an $80 USD set. From LEGO's perspective, I get it - minidolls have a lot of work put into them, and are surely more expensive to produce than minifigures, but from the consumer side it's more fun to have more figures and we don't necessarily "feel" LEGO's costs. Let's talk about how deluxe these figures are, though. Both have unique headgear designed for them, extremely fine detail, and a fair bit of personality, especially Namaari (the one without the hat, if you didn't know). Raya's face looks a bit more bland. Both figures use the same pants part, but it looks totally different given Namaari's "hips" being a different colour and her having silver boots painted on. Her foxy friend looks a bit strange though, with all that gold and tusks. Is the fox actually a boar in disguise, or vice versa? I've removed the headgear and cape for a better look at the details. Namaari has asymmetrically printed shaved hair on her head, to work in conjunction with her hair piece. Raya's torso looks exceptionally good, and this is the only set where she wears a cape and brown shoes. She's got bare feet in the other sets, for some reason. Perhaps her booting up to get serious is a big sequence in the film, I don't know. More excellent detail from the back. While Raya's hat/hair includes a pin hole for accessorizing as is standard with minidoll hairpieces, it's thankfully inobtrusive. Unlike most minidoll sets which eschew direct conflict, this set contains a few *gasp* weapons! Raya's unique sword looks nice in shaping, but is reminiscent of those creepy old Ewoks and Gungans and original Dobby that lacked painted detail and desperately needed them. Look at the front of the box and you'll see that only the handle should be green, while the blade should be metallic. It's odd because the sword already seems dual-moulded, with a solid handle and more flexible blade, so they could've at least gone with a sand green handle and flat silver blade, if not printing for the inlaid gem as well. They almost got there, but stopped short. In case you're wondering, the hairpieces work perfectly well on minifigures. I've seen plenty of people using Namaari's hair for Cara Dune from The Mandalorian, although I don't know where all those people are getting the hair piece, because I haven't seen it on Bricks & Pieces and it hasn't been very available on Bricklink (though somebody sold 93 in one go, what the heck!). And if you ever wanted to see a whole lot of Raya's cone hat on minifigures, check out Megbricks' picture. Good stuff. THE SLUGADILLO The Raya sets really include a lot of unique moulded elements. I have counted nine in total across the three sets (two hairpieces, three Ongi monkey things, this slugadillo, Raya's sword, and two parts for the Sisu dragon's head and mouth), which strikes me as a lot for a line of three sets. This guy is no small fry either. It's moulded with lots of excellent detail, while not being too detailed to the point of feeling out of place with LEGO. The face printing and little toes are exceptionally cute. All in all it bodes well for a LEGO Appa, if they ever get another shot at Avatar: The Last Airbender (please, LEGO!). The little build for Raya's saddle also looks quite cute, with perhaps a sort of rolled up blanket and a sack of food. The parts down the side represent a bridle, I suppose? And just for the heck of it, one more picture of everything in the set besides the palace itself. These are some truly fun things to play around with, and all done to a very high level of quality besides the somewhat lacking sword. THE PALACE OVERVIEW With the side dishes out of the way, let's move on to the main course: the eponymous Heart Palace. At a glance, it looks stunning. The various blues, white and gold coalesce into a model with a lot of shelf appeal. The bulbous dome stands out (the second use of that part, after Trolls World Tour), towering over the rest of the set. You can also glimpse a click hinge at the front, underneath the stickered dish. That's for adding an entranceway, included in 43184 Raya and the Sisu Dragon. Does that mean that this courtyard is technically inside the Heart Palace, and enclosed all around? Not sure, but as it is without that set the whole palace feels light and airy with no true exterior to enclose it. Like we saw in the build, the "interior" side also has a fair bit of detail and looks good as well. Let's take a tour... THE GRAND TOUR We begin in the central courtyard. I whinged about this being a sticker, but regardless it looks great. I also appreciate any set that takes up a larger footprint than its physical LEGO parts, because more space feels like more value for play and display than a densely packed but smaller model. Before I take you "inside" around the semicircle, we'll look at the sections most visible from the outside. In the centre we have an exquisite throne, which you might think is only playable from the courtyard side but in fact folds down into a relaxing daybed. What luxury. Moving over we have a section with a revolving platform, that includes the2x3 tile with a printed map that resembles the Sisu Dragon with a bunch of yellow labels. So is the Heart Palace where Raya goes for a map to find the Last Dragon? Honestly, I have no idea why this part is printed. I guess LEGO has a habit of printing maps. One last stop before the "internal" rooms: the front most rounded panels open up for spots to store Namaari and Raya's weapons while they're grabbing a bite to eat in the banquet hall. Now working our way around from left to right, the first room contains just enough space for the decorative crate, which contains a whole lot of diamonds. I'm getting more Adventurers vibes from those. Next is the banquet hall, which contains some fun micro builds like those wooden cups of water and built up food. It all looks very healthy. A couple of slight problems with this room bug me, but probably wouldn't bug a kid playing with it. For one, given the table's construction and minidoll proportions, the figures sit so low that the table winds up at chest height and the stuff on the table towers above them. Second, since minidoll feet take up more space than just two studs and can't separate, they can only be placed abutting with the table. All in all a great looking room that doesn't interact with figures as well as I'd like. Flipping past the throne room we come to the other larger room, which contains the rotating platform and some kind of zen tree with a tea-preparation station? The tree cleverly makes use of the new-ish coral piece in the coral colour. That looks fantastical, but then again the whole set looks like fantasy. Usable floor space becomes an issue once again in this room: you actually can't place minidolls ANYWHERE if you want the platform to turn. It looks like there should be plenty of space for figures, but I tried, and no dice. If you leave the platform static it's fine, but you'd assume you could both pose figures and turn the platform without issue. The final room has what looks like an apothecary, and only has studs for figures to stand on one side of the table. It's... fine. We have the dome section left to explore, containing a very spacious bedroom making great use of the Mario plate as a base. There's loads of space on the bed, a cute little reading lamp and one more of those decorative three-toned paper lanterns hanging above. Cute stickered portraits adorn the walls, though they intriguingly look like actual cartoon characters and aren't LEGO-fied. One shows the three Ongi from 43185 Boun's (Extremely Overpriced) Boat with a character I don't recognise, while the other shows Boun himself with Slugadillo. So, who lives here? Are these Raya's pictures, showing past adventures? To show just how much space there is on the bed, I've positioned Namaari and her fox-boar friend comfortably, with Raya climbing up by way of those bar pieces that serve no other purpose. The whole dome spins loosely, which can be taken as a play feature. If you wanted to see what the Heart Palace looks like with the bedroom facing out, here you go. For display this doesn't make much sense, but could be fun for a kid playing around. Show up to the Heart Palace and jump straight into the bedroom, why not. SUMMARY & CONCLUSION As a disclaimer upon disclaimers, though I requested to review this set because it looked cool to me, and there's the suspected subconscious bias that receiving a set for free will colour one's opinions, I really would've had no qualms lambasting it had I found it extremely lacking. Just look at my review of 76387 Hogwarts: Fluffy Encounter - I received that set for free to review and thoroughly walloped it. If you've managed to read through my whole review, you'll be able to tell that I feel pretty warmly towards this set. It looks great, it takes up a good amount of space once built because it has plenty of larger panels and creates empty space within itself, and it has lots to offer in the way of unique or rare colours of parts, including the slugadillo which is unlikely to ever be seen again. The design isn't perfect: most of the interior rooms are limited, including the larger ones, and even without having seen the film it's kind of obvious that the Heart Palace has been miniaturized, given the unusable windows especially. Still, for kids I think it would be a fun set to play with, and for adults it's either a unique model to display or a good parts pack. Bring on an Agrabah Palace done to this level, I say! SCORE How do I rate this set? 8 MINIDOLLS The two included are fantastic, some of the best I've ever seen, but there should have been at least one more for a set this size. 10 PIECES Amazing selection and lots of exclusive or rare parts. 9 DESIGN The Heart Palace looks great, with a good mixture of big parts to build it up and small ones for fine detail. Only the interior rooms have some design faults, which are not detrimental. 8 PLAYABILITY Overall there's a fair amount of space for play, and a couple of built-in features like the spinning platform and dome. Less figures make for less playability though, and the problems in the banquet hall and rotating platform room could annoy some other people. 7 PRICE Given there are only 610 pieces for $80 USD, the set doesn't feel as overpriced as one might expect. The palace is relatively large thanks to the larger pieces used and the shape employing empty space in the courtyard, and our friend slugadillo adds value. Still, ten units of currency less wherever you are would sit better. 8.4 OVERALL - An excellent set with a few flaws, and an easy buy at a slight discount. Until next time...
  8. REVIEW - 42052 - HEAVY LIFT HELICOPTER INTRODUCTION Helicopters, planes...basically everything airborne is +1 for me. The 9396 - Helicopter is one of my favorite models. I own three copies, which says it all. the news about a new helicopter made me very excited. The news about twin rotors made me even more excited. Although I must admit I was hoping for a Chinook style tandem rotor, instead of a double rotor where one is positioned on top of the other. This set does come with a Chinook style B-model, so maybe that will be worth building. One thing I immediately like better than the 9396 is the color scheme. I love the bright orange-white combination. This set seems to have a huge number of panels, which is not to everyone's liking. Let's find out what's going on underneath that smooth surface! Note: All images can be clicked for hi-res versions. SET INFORMATION Number: 42052 Title: Heavy Lift Helicopter Theme: Technic Released: 2016 Part Count: 1042 Box Weight: 1831 gr Box Dimensions: 57,0 cm x 37,3 cm x 8,0 cm Set Price (MSRP): € 119,99 Price per Part: € 0,115 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX The box is fairly big, which indicates a pretty big model. Unfortunately the box was damaged. Some cracks and dents, but luckily it wasn't ripped apart, like my Mercedes box. I'm not sure if TLG sends out the sets the same way when they sell via S&H, because I would be slightly disappointed to receive my sets like this. Update: I've seen more complaints about wrecked and/or damaged boxes, so there's room for improvement in the shipping department. The front of the box shows the helicopter lifting it's load. The model is 60 cm long and 53 cm wide. It also shows the contra-rotating rotors. As you can see an M-motor and battery box are included, so there are some powered functions. BACK The back of the box shows which functions are powered. We will deal with the functions later. It also shows the Chinook style B-model, which has motorised functions too. Looking at the front of the B-model I am not very tempted to build it. It looks like a flying guinea-pig CONTENT OF THE BOX The box contains: Sealed instruction booklet with stickers 6 Helicopter Blades 1 Sealed M-Motor 1 Battery Box 2 Soft Axles 10 Unnumbered Bags SEALED INSTRUCTIONS WITH STICKERS The stickers are sealed with the instruction booklet, like we are getting used to with bigger sets. I've said it before, but TLG deserves a big thumbs-up for this! The sticker sheet is still in perfect shape! HELICOPTER BLADES This set contains six of the Large Technic Rotor Blades, first released in the 9396 - Helicopter in 2012. PF BATTERY BOX AND M-MOTOR SOFT AXLES Two Soft Axles, or Flex Axles, are delivered unbagged. 19L? Who knows! More on these later BAGS Ten bags containing the rest of the, mostly white, parts. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This chapter describes new and interesting parts. Not sure if it's a trend, but like the 24 Hours Race Car this set also has an abundance of panels. I've counted 51 of 'em (not counting the engine covers). It does have two new panels, introduced in most of the 1H 2016 sets. As from today this set officially contains the most Technic Panels. One more than the 42025 - Cargo Plane. 42052 - 51 panels 42025 - 50 panels 42039 - 47 panels BLUE 5x3 BENT PANELS These new Bent Panels seem to be very suited to make fenders/wheel arches and seats. AXLE AND PIN HOLE The axle counterpart of the Pin and Pin Hole. YELLOW 5L AXLE From what I can tell at the moment, the yellow 6L Axle is unique to this set. I made a mistake here. It's actually a yellow 5L axle instead of 6L. RED 6L AXLE Like the yellow 6L axle, the red 5L Axle seems to be unique to this set. This will obviously change over the course of time, but for now it's the only set containing them. I made a mistake here. It's actually a red 6L axle instead of 5L. 19L SOFT AXLES Finally, the black 19L Soft Axles! A lot of people will be glad to see these being used again. Only released in the 8450 - The Mission in 1999, this part has become very rare. DRUM TIPPER Of course these are no Cement Mixer Drum Tippers (60018 - Cement Mixer, 7990 - Cement Mixer). These are Helicopter Engine Covers, and quite good looking ones. They seem to be more versatile then you'd imagine, since they already appeared in 4 other sets. GREEN 3x11 PANEL Two green 3x11 Panels, not to be confused with bright green, used in the 42039. This is the same green as the 42008 - Service Truck from 2013. ORANGE PANELS A collection of 13 orange panels. WHITE PANELS A collection of 34 white panels. WHITE 5x11 TAPERED PANEL PLATE Introduced last year in the Fire Plane, this is a relatively new panel. 2x4 PERPENDICULAR BENT PIN CONNECTOR This 2x4 Perpendicular Bent Pin Connector was introduced in 2013 and it's one of those parts flying under the radar. You won't be needing this every day, but who knows when it might come in handy. PART LIST The set consists of 1042, shown below. THE BUILD Upon opening the booklet with building instructions, I noticed the color of the pages has slightly changed. The pages are lighter blue than we're used to. Probably to increase the contrast and make the difference between the darker colors better visible. This new color is used in every booklet of the new sets. The build setup is a bit different than we're used to. Usually you start by building one side, followed by adding things inside and finished by closing up the model. This time you start by building the fuselage, after which you continue with the gear box and rotors. ROTORS The image below shows the mechanism for the contra-rotating rotors. Actually I made a mistake here. I switched the two turntables. Luckily it didn't take me long to find out. At the top you can see an Axle Connector with Axle Hole which is connected to an axle going through the turntables. This axle is only connected to one of the turntables (obviously). The first set of rotors is connected to one of the turntables, while the other is connected to the axle going through the turntable. This is demonstrated in the video below. GEARBOX Here you can see the setup of the gearbox. A basic setup with a single layer of gears (more or less). You can see the 3L Driving Ring on both sides of the model, used to switch between the different functions. CARGO BAY DOORS I found the mechanism to open the bottom cargo bay doors to be very intriguing. Here you can see three stages of moving the H-Frame down. The video below demonstrates the gearbox and the mechanism for the cargo bay doors. This video shows the gearbox mounted on the fuselage, and the contra-rotating rotors. CARGO CONTAINER The cargo container wraps up the build. FINISHED MODEL Leaving the other building steps for you to discover, we skip right to the finished model. There's always a lot of debate about panels and closing a Technic model with them. I personally love a finished look with panels. Looking at the image below, I can only compliment the designer with his accomplishment. The helicopter looks fantastic! The design itself is fantastic and the color scheme is really spot on. This helicopter looks even better than the 9396 - Helicopter, which I will compare later in this review. The Drum Tipper parts used as engine covers is very well done. You would almost think they are designed to be used in this helicopter. SIDE REAR VIEW In this picture you can clearly see the rear cargo bay door/ramp and the landing gear. The tail rudders are operated manually, which is slightly disappointing. The solution in the 42025 - Cargo Plane was much better. The landing gear is pretty clever though. Very simple, but it works like a charm, using nothing more than gravity. SIDE VIEW The side view shows how well the helicopter has been designed. The panels align very well and the model is almost entirely closed. This is a matter of personal preference, but I absolutely love it. BOTTOM VIEW Yup, there it is...the battery box. You can also see the mechanism to operate the tail wing. I find this to be a weak spot of the model. The lever is positioned very close to the wing itself, which feels a bit useless. It would have been great to operate the wing with the orange Bionicle Tooth located near the tail gate. You can clearly see which panels are used for cargo bay doors. Two 3x11 panels are used as bottom cargo bay doors, and a 5x11 is used as the back cargo bay door (ramp). Both are operated by the Power Functions motor (see features and functions). FRONT VIEW REAR VIEW ADDITIONAL IMAGES Here are two additional images from different angles. PARTS LEFT It's interesting too see TLG provided an extra 19L Soft Axle. It appears to be used in the B-model, but it somehow feels like an added bonus, since this part is wanted by a lot of builders. The 6L"]http://alpha.brickli..."color":11}"]6L Rigid Hose[/url], which is also used in the B-model, is extra too. Since the instruction booklet tells us we are only supposed to get a single 19L Soft Axle, I am not sure whether it's used in the B-model (it looks that way though). FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS This set has the following features: Contra-rotating rotors (Power Functions) Opening bottom cargo bay doors (Power Functions) Opening rear cargo bay door/ramp (Power Functions) Operating the winch Operating tail wing (Manual) Operating tail rudders (Manual) Landing gear Castering nose wheel The following video demonstrated all of the functions/features. I have added an IR receiver and I am using a PF remote to operate the powered functions. As you can see all the functions work very smooth. The powered functions work pretty fast, so there's no waiting for ages before the cargo doors open up. The winch is the slowest of them all, but that makes sense. As you could read in the review, I don't really like the manual tail wind and rudder functions. I know a designer needs to make concessions, but wasn't it possible to operate the tail wing with the orange bionicle tooth. The castering nose wheel does work properly, and so does the landing gear. Both very simple, but they do their job. SUMMARY Like I said at the beginning of my review, I am fan of flying machines. And to be honest, I am an even bigger fan of helicopters than planes or jets. This might influence my judgement. I am also a big fan of white, orange and grey, so that's another plus. And I happen to like models finished with panels. Do you see where this is going?! I absolutely love this model. The 9396 - Helicopter was one of my favorite models, but I like this one even better. The closed design is something I like a lot, as long as the model is packing some functions too. Panels alone don't cut it. Well, this set has some cool features under those panels. The mechanism for the contra-rotating rotors is pretty nifty. So are the bottom cargo bay doors. The things I like the least is are the tail wing and tail rudders. The tail wing is operated manually, but it's a simple lever positioned very closely to the actual wing. And the rudders are operated by simply moving the rudders themselves. As with the Mercedes I am not a big fan of operating a model by using the switch on the battery box. It confuses me, and you can't easily reach it. I understand TLG can't throw in a remote and IR receiver each time they supply a PF motor, but it's probably one of the modifications most AFOLs will immediately apply. That being said, I absolutely recommend getting this fantastic model! SCORE Okay, so how do I grade this set? 9 DESIGN Absolutely magnificent. 8 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Great build with some clever techniques. 8 FEATURES Great functions, but rudder and tail controls need improvement. 8 PLAYABILITY Lots of things to operate, but would work better with a remote control. 9 PARTS Contains lots of new parts and loads of white panels. 9 VALUE FOR MONEY Worth every penny. Will buy another one. 8,5 ABSOLUTE EYECATCHER BONUS COMPARISON I will end this review with a comparison between the "new" and "old" helicopter. As you can see my 9396 has a yellow and black color scheme, instead of the original yellow and red, but it will give you a clear picture on how these two compare. More pictures can be found on my Flickr page. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.
  9. A list (with links) of all the Harry Potter lego content that's been active on eurobricks within the last two years. Premise: there's a lot of Harry Potter content strewn about the "licensed themes" forum, but too much of it goes unseen by too many who'd probably be interested in the material. Far from everyone uses tags on their posts, those tags aren't normed, and many of the titles of the posts don't necessarily lead to them being found in your typical forum search for HP material. Further premises: we'd have even more material here if there were more "reward" (positive feedback) for posting here; too often those posts languish, largely uncommented, and there's no system for otherwise liking or upvoting the contribution, which in combination can be demoralising. We'd also have happier users if they had an easier time finding the content they like. It sounds almost like a match made in heaven... What I'm trying to do about that... Well, in the absence of subforums, I'm attempting to create a somewhat sorted and curated list of the HP content. I've worked my way through over an eighth of the forum scouring for HP material, indexing whatever was last commented on within the past two years, and I think I got most of what was there. (If I missed something, please let me know. If this is an acceptable format (fingers crossed it's allowed as it was a *lot* of work... lol), I'll eventually work my way through the rest and then start tidying this entry. (The quality of the curation will improve as I add more content to link to.) Ideally I'll also add a listing of the MOCs from the MOC Megapost, otherwise folks like our @Micmac and a few others will go seriously underrepresented, which won't do at all. Table Of Contents of the Categories Below Very active Harry Potter threads (comparatively, lots of replies, particularly recent ones) Older / Inactive / Locked (but possibly of interest due to volume) [placeholder] Recent Additions things added in the last month (Coming Soon) MOCs / SECs / MODs The Wizarding World - Hogsmeade The Wizarding World - Diagon Alley Hogwarts 2018/20 Hogwarts System Scale Set Arrangements Specific Scenes Misc Items / Locations Art Nanoscale Misc Minifigs Things / Creatures Brickheadz - official, MOCs / SECs / MODs Reviews News Misc HP lego stuff Prolific Eurobricks' Designers' MOCs and MODs from the MOC Mega-thread: Bugbot20082 Metanoios Micmac part 1 - Hogwarts Locations, Diagon Alley Micmac part 2 - other locations, creatures and minifigs Seaber Whovastron
  10. Here is my review on 76940 T. Rex Dinosaur Fossil Exhibition: THE GOOD: Great looking T Rex fossil both in terms of design and colouring. Baby Triceratops in a small set like this. Great cheaper alternative to the Ideas Dino skeleton set if you are looking for a Dino fossil build. THE NOT SO GOOD: While the set trying to base of the Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous series, too much elements not from the show. Darius should have used medium sized legs. Overall, I really like this set. I think the value is good. You don't need to buy $200 set to get something nice. The T. Rex fossil is really the standout, it's a simplified version but it's works especially the colours. Also the scale is the same as other Lego T. Rex. I also like how stand is designed to not look the fossil on it but a more easy to remove design. Including 2 minifigures and a baby triceratops in new colour in small sets like this is great and I wish this happen more often. The only mian issue I have not just with this set but entire wave is that while characters from the Netflix's Camp Cretaceous series feature in this and other sets but the overall outcome is none of the sets really reflect the shot except the characters. Also, should have used mid legs. However, put this a side, this is a great Lego set for everyone and I strongly recommend it.
  11. Hello! It’s-a me, Oky! And I’m back with another special review! For many years now, Mario, the stereotypical Italian plumber, has not only somehow evaded cancel culture, but also has been delighting the hearts of gamers everywhere with his simple and fun series of video games. One of the most influential entries in the franchise was Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 as it was the first Mario game to make the jump from 2D to 3D as well as one of the first successful open-world 3D platformers ever made. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the game, so after the success of the NES set, LEGO decided to celebrate this occasion by releasing a brick-built version of the iconic yellow ? Block that appears in many Mario games – which is ironic since Super Mario 64 was actually one of the few games where this block didn’t appear in. It may seem like a strange choice for a set, but these ? Blocks are always full of surprises, so perhaps there is more to it than just a big yellow box? Read on to find out! Let’s-a go! Set Number: 71395 Name: Super Mario 64 ? Block Theme: Super Mario Year of Release: 2021 Ages: 18+ Pieces: 2064 Price: $169.99 The Box The box of this set has the same kind of branding as every 18+ set nowadays with a glossy black background and a white strip of greebles made out of various plates and tiles running along the bottom instead of the white background like all the “regular” Super Mario sets. If you have read my previous review you will know that I’m not really a fan of LEGO’s decision to market all adult-oriented sets with such a depressingly dark box art. It usually detracts from the set, although in this case I think it kinda works. The darkness adds to the mystery of the ? Block. There is not much else on the front of the box except for the set name, the Super Mario 64 and LEGO logos, and some numerical info about the set which also adds to the mystery. To uncover the secret of the ? Block, you don’t have to punch it like Mario, just simply turn around the box to its backside. This side of the box reveals that instead of a powerup or coins like in the games, what comes out of the top of the block is a bunch of microscale Super Mario 64 levels! How cool is that! There are several little close-up shots of some of the details, the transforming feature, and a schematic showing the measurements of the set. The main image and the schematic hint at the fact that there is another flap on the front of the box, but don’t show what’s behind it. What could it be? The mystery continues! The top of the box shows a lineup of all the characters included in the set along with some closer looks at Peach’s Castle and Bob-omb Battlefield. There is also a side view of the Princess Peach figure for size comparison. The bottom of the box shows some choking hazard warnings and other legal info on top of the white greebles. It also reiterates the number of pieces in the set – just to let you know exactly how many pieces you can choke on. The left side of the box features another closeup of Peach’s Castle - which is fitting since previous rumors for this set only mentioned the castle. Maybe whoever spread them only saw this side of the box? The right side shows the set name in different languages and a seal certifying that this is indeed an “official Nintendo licensed product”. Contents Inside the box there are 19 numbered bags, one bag with the instructions, and one with large plates. Some of the build stages are split into multiples bags which is not unusual. For some of them it makes sense, like for the bags with the number 2 since they contain a lot of parts, but for the bags with the number 9 it seems wasteful as the bags are less than half full and contain the same kind of parts, so I don’t understand why they didn’t just put them all into one bag. The bag for the large plates also seems wasteful as it is so big that it could have fit a 32x32 baseplate easily (I had to fold the bag twice to fit it into this picture). I thought TLG wanted to get more ecofriendly, not less? Instructions The instructions booklets starts with a few pages of the set’s designers talking about their love for Super Mario 64, the design of the set, and comparisons between the set and screenshots from the game. It’s always great to get such a little look behind the scenes at LEGO and at the talented people who develop these sets. The instructions themselves are nice and easy to read thanks to the new light gray background they’re using for these adult sets. There isn’t a lot of repetition in the build, although step 183 on the following example page asks you to put inverted 2x2 tiles onto a 16x16 plate 64 times. You don’t see such a high number every day in these callouts. Notable Parts There are quite a few parts in new or rare colors and even some new molds in this set! New molds include a downward 2 stud long bracket and a 2x3 plate with a 1x1 gap in dark brown, although each of those debuted in one other set recently. The only mold that I have never seen before is the 2x2 corner plate with the corner rounded off which is used to extend the bottom of the 2x2 curved corner slope. The latter appears for the first time in yellow, as does Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi’s crown and the 2x2 inverted tile. We also get not one, but two new colors of the cattle horn, red and yellow, plus some in tan which is a color it hasn’t been produced in since 2009, so anyone who is trying to assemble a Mola Ram will be pleased. Other new part-color combinations include a support beam in sand green (which is odd since it is hidden inside the build, so there is no reason to cast it in a new color), moldy (dark green) ice cream , 1x1 inverted bracket in lime, 1x1 brick with studs on 2 adjacent sides and telescopes in bright green, 2x2 round tile in green, 1x3 tile in nougat, 2x2 inverted dome in brown, and 4L bars in trans-clear, so if you want your Jedi to have a colorless lightsaber, you’re in luck. There are plenty of other parts in rare colors that have only appeared in a handful of other sets. If I missed anything new, let me know in the comments. I have some good news for all you sticker haters out there: Almost all the decals in this set are printed, and the only one that is a sticker, the barcode/star pattern on the yellow round 2x2 tile, is already pre-applied like in the other Mario sets! There is a large assortment of printed 1x1 tiles, the printing of which is impressively detailed. Figures It’s no secret that many Nintendo fans have been clamoring for proper Super Mario minifigures ever since LEGO acquired the license but so far all the Mario figures have been brick-built ones at a different scale. This set is no different as it comes with a slew of microscale brick-built representations of the characters similar to the ones in the LEGO Cuusoo Minecraft sets. Unlike the Minecraft figures, however, they made the odd stylistic decision not to print eyes on any of the characters (except for Mr. I for obvious reasons). Even the Bowser sliding puzzle in the previous picture doesn’t have eyes. Let’s take a closer look at them, starting with the good guys: Mario, Princess Peach, and Yoshi. The only one out of the three that has any kind of printing is Mario with his iconic mustache. They are all very recognizable despite the lack of detail. I always like it when designers can pull off a minimalistic design like that. It reminds me of the figures from LEGO’s old “IMAGINE” ad campaign. Still, I kind of wish they would have given Peach just a bit of detail as she looks a little plain next to the others, be it her lips or some features of her dress or something. Also, I’m not sure the part used for Mario’s hat was the best choice. It’s a bit large and looks as if someone had pulled Mario’s hat over his eyes. Or maybe Cappy is swallowing him?! Oh wait, wrong game. Yoshi looks good for the most part, although I wish they could have incorporated some white into his color scheme. Next we have the neutral characters: a Lakitu Bro, mama penguin and baby penguin. The penguins are not much different from other brick-built penguins that have appeared in many sets over the years, but you know what they say about things that aint broken. The Lakitu Bro has a simple yet clever design for his cloud that even includes his little camera. Lastly, we have the enemies: Mr. I, Big Bully, King Bob-omb, and a Chain Chomp. King Bob-omb is easily the best-looking character in the set as he is not blocky like a lot of the others and looks very accurate except for his lack of arms and eyes. The use of that new wheel piece for his body is perfect. The only downside to him is that he is stuck to the Bob-omb battlefield ground. I had to disassemble him and loosely stack the pieces here for this picture. Big Bully on the other hand just might be the worst figure as he just looks like a brick with horns. He should have been round like the others and some indication of his green feet would have been nice too, although I’m not sure how they could have achieved that with legal building techniques. Mr. I and Chain Chomp are fine – again, except for the odd lack of eyes on Chain Chomp. Actually, there is one more secret figure included in the set! The designers intended it to be a surprise for you to find during the build, hence why it isn’t in any of the official images of the set, so I will put it in spoiler tags. If you want to see it, click below, otherwise skip to the build section. The Build It’s time to get building! Here we goooo! First, you build the inner structure of the block, then the back panel. I struggled a bit putting on the rubber bands that hold the back panel up as they get stretched to their limit. Hopefully they won’t snap any time soon. There is a gold star like the power stars that Mario collects in the game placed inside the structure above the purple tile. It has no purpose and is no longer visible once the build is finished; it’s just a neat easter egg included by the designers for you to discover during the build which is pretty neat. Next, you build the front panel. As I mentioned before, there is not much repetition in the build since the construction of the front and back are completely different despite them looking the same from the outside. Never judge a block by its cover! After that, you can put the block aside for a while as most of the rest of the build is the top panel with all the microscale vignettes on it. You start building each vignette by building the base, then the scenery, then attach it to the rest of the build. Each vignette is very different, but all of them are constructed very intricately. I like how going from a big, rough support structure to such small, detailed scenes makes the build feel like it is getting more challenging as you go. Once the whole top section is complete, you just drop it into the block from above. The last step is to build the side panels which are identical, so unfortunately you end the build with some repetition, but it’s not too bad. Spare Parts There are tons of little 1x1 bits left over after the build, including extras of a lot of the printed tiles and other new/rare parts! Since there is an extra mustache plate, you can build a second Mario out of the spare parts, one that looks closer to the big LEGO Mario. Alternatively, you could also build his brother Luigi, even if poor Luigi was never in Super Mario 64. The Complete Set Yeahoo! The build is finished! The completed block looks sooo smooooth! Except for on the question marks, no stud is to be seen, and the rounded edges and corners really add to the smooth feel. They even managed to cover up all the transforming functions very well. Usually, you only see such large, tiled surfaces on MOCs and it looks fantastic. It looks so accurate to the ? Block in the games that it’s not much different from any other replica of it. The only difference is those studs on the question marks which give them some nice texture and remind you that this is indeed still a LEGO set. The block looks great from all sides – except for the bottom where it’s just a big hole. It looks dark and ugly and makes the block hard to hold up from the bottom. This is not a huge issue and I understand why they made it this way as you will likely not see the block from this angle very often and it makes easy to access the interior of the block to fix any potential mechanical errors, but I still wish they would have made this part of it a bit more sightly. Once unfolded, the block becomes a great display stand for the four microscale maps. If you thought the block looked too boring before, it definitely becomes more interesting in this form! Let’s take a closer look at each of the micro-builds, starting with the first level and the hub world of the game, Peach’s Castle, which fittingly hovers over all the others. There is lots of nice part usage here such as the cattle horns as flags, the moldy ice cream scoops as trees, and the telescope as the warp pipe through which Mario enters the game. The castle itself looks nice and accurate, although it’s a shame there is no inverted version of those 2x2 wedges they used for the turret roofs that they could have used for the underside of the turrets instead of the cheese slopes. And in case you’re wondering, no, unfortunately Mario does not fit through the castle entrance as it is one plate too short. The backside of the castle is not so interesting as there is only a small tile indicating a backdoor, although to be fair, I don’t think there is much back there in the game either. The only fun detail is Yoshi hiding behind the tower at the top where you can meet him after you beat the game. The next level (if we’re going by the order in which you visit them in the game) is Bob-omb Battlefield. This is probably my favorite of the micro-vignettes as it is sprawling with details and it really feels like they managed to recreate most of the map in this little 14x14 space. The cannons, the bridges, the trees, the tree stumps, the patches of yellow flowers, the floating island with the red coins box; it’s all there. They even managed to include one of the cannon balls that roll around behind the gray bridge using a microphone piece. There are no secret hidden areas or play features in this vignette, although you can aim the cannons vertically. They even included the little nook you can use as a shortcut to teleport to the top of the mountain where you fight King Bob-omb. Next up is Lethal Lava Land which is mistakenly named Lethal Lava Trouble in the description of the set. There is a fair amount of detail here as well even though part of the transforming mechanism takes up a lot of this space. The printed platform tiles and the Bowser sliding puzzle really add to the authenticity. This is also the only level with a physical representation of one of the power stars that Mario collects. Lastly, there is Cool, Cool Mountain. I don’t think it’s all that cool, though, since it looks a bit plain compared to the others. That’s not to say that it’s bad however! The designers managed to represent most of the level fairly faithfully. They included the log cabin at the foot of the mountain, the wooden bridge suspended over the abyss next to the cabin, the top and bottom halves of the snowman that Mario has to unite, and even the ropes of the ski lift. I just wish they would have included some face printing for the snowman, even if it’s just the mouth. On the back of the mountain, you can see the snow slide leading down from the small cabin at the top as well as the penguin and her baby that Mario has to return to her. Play Features The last few 18+ sets that I reviewed didn’t have many play features, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this set has more than expected! Of course, the main play feature is the transforming function. It is very simple and works as smooth as the block looks. To reveal the vignettes, instead of punching the block from below like Mario, you push down from the top. The vignettes flip up, and once they’re on top, you give Peach’s Castle a little push which will cause it to swing back, pushing down the side vignettes in the process, and that’s it. Pretty easy, although once the vignettes get to the top, it doesn’t stop, so you need to balance it a bit before you push it open. I wish they would have added a stopper so that they don’t turn too far. To fold them back in, you just pull the castle forward again, flip up the sides to hold the castle in place, and push the whole thing back. Both of these motions work so smoothly and flawlessly, it feels very satisfying to do, so you may find yourself transforming the block over and over. Every time it flips, the back panel of the block gets pushed open by the edges of the side vignettes and gets pulled closed again by the rubber bands inside. Brilliant. You can see it all working in the video below. Some of the vignettes have a hidden interior! The entire front section of Peach’s castle can be removed to reveal the entrance hall. It features the paintings that serve as portals to the three other levels in the set which is a nice touch, even though in the game those paintings weren’t actually in the entrance hall, but locked behind doors. In case you didn’t know, the story of Super Mario 64 is that Bowser trapped the inhabitants of the castle in paintings, so Mario has to jump into them, fight enemies like sentient bombs, and collect power stars to power the doors of the castle and free all the little mushroom people. The Mario world is weird, yo. You can also remove a chunk of the back of the Cool, Cool Mountain to reveal the ice slide inside the mountain that Mario slides down to win a race with a penguin so that he can get a power star from him. Again, Mario is weird. Lethal Lava Land has different play features. The volcano and its surrounding low-poly ring are built on top of a turntable, so they can spin like in the game. There is also the log that Mario has to roll to get to one of the power stars which is attached to a rail so that you can push it back and forth. The following animation shows the two features in action. There are a couple more features which were teased on the box, but the designers wanted these to be a surprise, so I will put them in spoilers too in case you want to discover them yourself. But that’s not all! Even though this set is a completely different scale, it works with the electronic LEGO Mario and Luigi figures. You can use one of them to go on a hunt for 10 power stars hidden around the set by scanning the barcode inside Peach’s Castle, then scanning certain parts of the vignettes. There are clues where to find each star at the beginning of the instructions booklet. Some of the hints are fairly obvious while others you need to be familiar with Super Mario 64 to get them. Unfortunately I don’t have either of these figures, so I can’t test it out for you, but I’ll let you figure it out for yourself. I’m not into the “regular” Mario sets, but it’s pretty cool that they make them compatible with other Mario sets like this to expand your play experience. Ratings Design: Great looking, accurate, and very unique design with lots of great detail in the vignettes. Build: Fun build with nice surprises that gets more and more intricate but ends on a bit of repetition. Playability: Transformation works great and all the vignettes have some kind of play feature, except the Bob-omb Battlefield. Figures: Nice minimalistic approach; most are recognizable, although some could have been better and had eyes. Parts: Lots of new/rare parts, everything is printed. Price: $170 for 2064 pieces is a pretty good deal, especially for a licensed set. Overall: Honestly, I am hard-pressed to find any faults in this set. It’s a fun build with lots of good parts and a great looking result that even has several play features. It’s a set unlike any other and makes for a nice piece of nostalgic gaming memorabilia as well as a detailed display piece. Like with the Diagon Alley set, it was a nice surprise to find features in the set that were not advertised. My only gripes with the set such as the figures or the bottom of the block are mostly just nitpicking. It may not be the minifig scale set everyone’s been asking for, but it's an unexpected and innovative set that we didn't even know we wanted which is even better, so I applaud the designers for that. If you’re a Super Mario fan, you will enjoy this set. If not, you will probably still enjoy the unique design. Thank you for reading and thanks to Lego for sending me this set to review. It will be available on October 1. What do you think of the set? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll above. To conclude this review, I will leave you with some wise words from Batman: Some days you just can’t get rid of a Bob-omb.
  12. Here is my review on 76176 Escape from the Ten Rings: THE GOOD: The vehicle is great especially the headlights build. (better than some city vehicles) Two bikes included with minimum customisation. THE NOT SO GOOD: Volume feels like a Battle Pack (having multiple shooters and very small weapon stand) Razor Fist arms doesn't feel like razor fist but more him holding a big sword. Overall, I'm surprised with the SUV vehicle build. At least for me, I really like the headlights design. I so think the minifigures are great, even with Razor Fist not being the best but the printings on the torsos are top notch. Having very simple motor bikes is also great. This set does indeed feel like a battle pack with the inclusion of 2 shooters, funny enough one of those doesn't even feature on the box art. This is cheap than the Battle at Ancient Village set, so it's great in both sets Shang-Chi and Wenwu are identical. This allows us to make a choice if we can't or don't want to buy both. Of course, if you are a MCU fan you probably ends up buying both. The other set has better volume though for more non-MCU fan.
  13. Red Unimog U2150 L Heavy Truck by ikorgik IGo to to find out how you can get a MOC review and an interview!!!I A designer who goes by the name ikorgik has designed an amazing lego technic U2150 Unimog L. Now I have the pleasure of interviewing him on this amazing model, but before we start to go into some details about the Unimog let's get to know the designer. Interview. Can you tell us something about yourself? Who is behind ikorgik? Ikorgik: My name is Artem, I am 32 years old, I work as a graphic designer, I live in Moscow in Russia When did you discover your love for lego? Ikorgik: The first set I had when I was 6 years old, it was small sets of Lego city, castle, aquazone, wild west, I still remember the catalogue of 1996. The cherished dream was the 5571 Giant Truck set. Then Lego was replaced by computer games, walking with friends. I started collecting Lego models again in 2019, saw some BrickGarage RM8 videos, and bought myself 42077 and 42095. Now I buy many new sets and something from the old ones. Lego has always liked the fact that you can build something of your own. Did you get inspired to make this model? ikorgik: There is a group of Lego fans in Moscow who organize races once a month. They prepare specific conditions for each race and based on them, the participants build their models, for this race it was necessary to build a truck on 62mm wheels. Before that, I was building a small Unimog on 56 mm wheels from the new jeep wrangler, and I became interested in building the same one on 62 mm. After I built the Unimog, I decided to put new buggy wheels on it, and it turned out that it looks amazing on them. How long did it take you to build this model? Ikorgik: I built two Unimogs in two weeks, in the evenings, the main idea was to make almost identical models, but with different electrics, on Power function and Control plus. Walk us through your line of thinking when you were designing this model? Ikorgik: I try to build models of real cars, as a rule, these are SUVs, I start from the size of lego wheels and build according to the blueprint. This car had to have a suspension, the interior of the car, the car should go well on stones and sand, I paid no less attention to the external similarity. I tried to make the truck look like a real one and with good driving qualities. Was the design of the truck heavily limited to the parts you had earlier? Ikorgik: Lego construction is always a search for compromises, there are a lot of cool old parts, there are new ones, but they are not always at hand, this has its own charm, you have to look for loopholes, come up with solutions that are not always obvious. So there were no strong restrictions, if something did not work out the first time, I redid it, just so it happened with the grey Unimog. Do you buy sets with the intention of designing them? Or do you buy parts individually? Ikorgik: More often I buy sets, I start from the details, the basic sets are on the shelf for about a month, then I disassemble and start assembling something of my own, but I also buy on bricklink separately. What’s your favourite lego theme and why? Ikorgik: My favourite ones are, model team lego, Creator, Expert, and of course Technic, these are the 3 most favourite directions, model team lego and Creator, Expert, exceed their elaboration, complexity, you can admire them for hours. In Technic, most of all, I like the opportunity to motorize cars, make them drive slowly over obstacles, or quickly on a flat surface, supplement them with a winch, install lighting, or a bunch of other things that can come to mind. The MOC. I hope you all enjoyed the interview, Ikorgik showed gave some insight on how to design a MOC and a few hidden tips that can help everyone to become better MOC builders. Now let's check out this model, here is the description that was found on Rebrickable. That he wrote on the MOC's page: A copy of the Unimog U2150 L heavy truck model, working suspension, all-wheel drive. The model uses an electrician Powered UP, two L motors for movement, 1 L motor for turning, powered by a large hub Powered UP. To see more of his high-quality photos please go to his >>>>bricksafe link<<< First Impressions. I am also privileged enough to ask an experienced MOC builder who goes by the name OldEnoughBrickFan to give us his first impressions of this model. From: OldEnoughBrickFan: Ikorgik’s Unimog U2150 is another example that this is possible to create great design or functionality using a surprisingly small scale. Looking at MOC dimensions we can assume this is pretty much fitting the Corvette or Car Transporter scale. An impressive model of the worldwide known vehicle and I can see why it’s U2150 version – not complicated car body style along with light’s mounted in the massive front bumper making it very nice fitting in Lego elements scaling(I missing small blinkers to be pushed in “pins” on sides, the bulb trans orange elements 58176, like in Claas Xerion set) I must check how it’s made one day, unfortunately, I must get the Wheels to do it. An interesting and very nice fact about MOC is having two versions – this one with Control+ and the second – Dark Bluish Gray Unimog based on Power Functions and BuWizz control unit. Everything packet in digital PDF instructions with pretty reasonable prices. Final thoughts. This model is well designed, well planned and also it just looks amazing. Ikorgik truly put in soo much thought into making this Unimog one of the best online. As OldEnoughBrickFan has said, I think this is an excellent example of how to marry an excellent design with fantastic functionality. If you wish to purchase this model please go to this Rebrickable Link. The instructions are generated on Studio And are of HIGH QUALITY. Red Unimog U2150 L Heavy Truck by ikorgik A designer who goes by the name ikorgik has designed an amazing lego technic U2150 Unimog L. Now I have the pleasure of interviewing him on this amazing model, but before we start to go into some details about the Unimog let's get to know the designer. Interview. Can you tell us something about yourself? Who is behind ikorgik? Ikorgik: My name is Artem, I am 32 years old, I work as a graphic designer, I live in Moscow in Russia When did you discover your love for lego? Ikorgik: The first set I had when I was 6 years old, it was small sets of Lego city, castle, aquazone, wild west, I still remember the catalogue of 1996. The cherished dream was the 5571 Giant Truck set. Then Lego was replaced by computer games, walking with friends. I started collecting Lego models again in 2019, saw some BrickGarage RM8 videos, and bought myself 42077 and 42095. Now I buy many new sets and something from the old ones. Lego has always liked the fact that you can build something of your own. Did you get inspired to make this model? ikorgik: There is a group of Lego fans in Moscow who organize races once a month. They prepare specific conditions for each race and based on them, the participants build their models, for this race it was necessary to build a truck on 62mm wheels. Before that, I was building a small Unimog on 56 mm wheels from the new jeep wrangler, and I became interested in building the same one on 62 mm. After I built the Unimog, I decided to put new buggy wheels on it, and it turned out that it looks amazing on them. How long did it take you to build this model? Ikorgik: I built two Unimogs in two weeks, in the evenings, the main idea was to make almost identical models, but with different electrics, on Power function and Control plus. Walk us through your line of thinking when you were designing this model? Ikorgik: I try to build models of real cars, as a rule, these are SUVs, I start from the size of lego wheels and build according to the blueprint. This car had to have a suspension, the interior of the car, the car should go well on stones and sand, I paid no less attention to the external similarity. I tried to make the truck look like a real one and with good driving qualities. Was the design of the truck heavily limited to the parts you had earlier? Ikorgik: Lego construction is always a search for compromises, there are a lot of cool old parts, there are new ones, but they are not always at hand, this has its own charm, you have to look for loopholes, come up with solutions that are not always obvious. So there were no strong restrictions, if something did not work out the first time, I redid it, just so it happened with the grey Unimog. Do you buy sets with the intention of designing them? Or do you buy parts individually? Ikorgik: More often I buy sets, I start from the details, the basic sets are on the shelf for about a month, then I disassemble and start assembling something of my own, but I also buy on bricklink separately. What’s your favourite lego theme and why? Ikorgik: My favourite ones are, model team lego, Creator, Expert, and of course Technic, these are the 3 most favourite directions, model team lego and Creator, Expert, exceed their elaboration, complexity, you can admire them for hours. In Technic, most of all, I like the opportunity to motorize cars, make them drive slowly over obstacles, or quickly on a flat surface, supplement them with a winch, install lighting, or a bunch of other things that can come to mind. The MOC. I hope you all enjoyed the interview, Ikorgik showed gave some insight on how to design a MOC and a few hidden tips that can help everyone to become better MOC builders. Now let's check out this model, here is the description that was found on Rebrickable. That he wrote on the MOC's page: A copy of the Unimog U2150 L heavy truck model, working suspension, all-wheel drive. The model uses an electrician Powered UP, two L motors for movement, 1 L motor for turning, powered by a large hub Powered UP. To see more of his high-quality photos please go to his >>>>bricksafe link<<< First Impressions. I am also privileged enough to ask an experienced MOC builder who goes by the name OldEnoughBrickFan to give us his first impressions of this model. From: OldEnoughBrickFan: Ikorgik’s Unimog U2150 is another example that this is possible to create great design or functionality using a surprisingly small scale. Looking at MOC dimensions we can assume this is pretty much fitting the Corvette or Car Transporter scale. An impressive model of the worldwide known vehicle and I can see why it’s U2150 version – not complicated car body style along with light’s mounted in the massive front bumper making it very nice fitting in Lego elements scaling(I missing small blinkers to be pushed in “pins” on sides, the bulb trans orange elements 58176, like in Claas Xerion set) I must check how it’s made one day, unfortunately, I must get the Wheels to do it. An interesting and very nice fact about MOC is having two versions – this one with Control+ and the second – Dark Bluish Gray Unimog based on Power Functions and BuWizz control unit. Everything packet in digital PDF instructions with pretty reasonable prices. Final thoughts. This model is well designed, well planned and also it just looks amazing. Ikorgik truly put in soo much thought into making this Unimog one of the best online. As OldEnoughBrickFan has said, I think this is an excellent example of how to marry an excellent design with fantastic functionality. If you wish to purchase this model please go to this Rebrickable Link. The instructions are generated on Studio And are of HIGH QUALITY. Purchase Instructions I hope everyone enjoyed this Review on the Red U2150 Unimog L Heavy truck by Ikorgik. Please leave comments and share this article. Purchase Instructions I hope everyone enjoyed this Review on the Red U2150 Unimog L Heavy truck by Ikorgik. Please leave comments and share this article.
  14. Hi everyone. Before we begin, I have to confess something. I am NOT into sports. Like, at all. I'm a lazy nerd and the only sports I care about are Quidditch, Pro-bending, and Podracing. So when LEGO kindly sent me this set for review, I didn't even know what it was supposed to be at first. What is FC Barcelona? Why is LEGO offering a GWP (gift with purchase) celebrating it? Why are those minifigs dancing around a weird lamp post like in some sort of cult-like ritual? And most importantly, is it a good set? Join me as I find out the answers to these questions and more! Set Number: 40485 Name: FC Barcelona Celebration Theme: Promotional Year of Release: 2021 Ages: 18+ Pieces: 178 Minifigs: 5 Price: Free with purchase The Box So after some research, I now know that FC Barcelona is a Spanish professional football/soccer club, one of the most popular and valuable teams in the world who have won many trophies since their founding in 1899, so I can see why LEGO chose to base a set on it, although the timing of the release of this set is a bit questionable as the club seems to be struggling at the moment, especially after their star player Messi recently left the team. The "weird lamp post" is a drinking fountain located in La Rambla, Barcelona, known as La Font de Canaletes which has become a traditional gathering spot for FCB fans to celebrate victories. Such an occasion is nicely depicted on the box where a group of minifigs is waving their flags around the fountain. A couple of them have even climbed up onto the fountain which seems a bit excessive, but knowing how wild sports fans can get, this is actually pretty normal. The back of the box shows a similar scene, but at a slightly lower camera angle and with an alternate setup for the minifigs. One of them is now jumping off of the lamp post. These figs are getting wilder with every picture! The box is very tall and features the same "Adults Welcome" branding as every adult-oriented set in recent years with a glossy black background and a monochrome strip of various tiles running all around the bottom of the box. The strip is colored dark red in this case to match one of FCB's colors. And boy does it look depressing. Look, I'm not completely against this dark adult branding as it does work for certain sets, but this is one of the cases where I don't think it does. Instead of celebrating in a colorful painted environment (such as a rendition of the plaza in which the fountain is located), the minifigs are waving their flags in a cold, dark void. It's just doesn't look as fun as it could. However, I have to give Lego credit for creating a full professional box design for this set rather than just sticking a picture in a generic yellow box like they did for previous GWPs like the Roman Chariot or the Ulysses Space Probe. The top of the box features the LEGO and FCB logos as well as a picture of Lamp-jumper Guy for scale reference. He seems to be quite happy about having the honor of being the featured fig here. The bottom just has the usual icons and small print and a barcode. The left side of the box just had the logos again while the right side has choking hazard warnings and the set name in different languages. Contents Inside the box you will find two loose black 6x16 plates and four unnumbered bags, one of which includes the instructions and stickers. It's nice that they chose to protect the instructions and stickers this way, although in my copy of the set the booklet was still bent in the middle, meaning that the stickers that lay in the center of it were too. The stickers weren't really damaged though, so it's alright. Notable Parts There aren't a whole lot of notable parts in this set, but here are a few that are worth highlighting. There is only one exclusive part which is a large rectangular flag in dark red that appears for the first time in this color. The only printed part in the set is the 2x2 round tile with hole with rotor blades printed on it of which there are four in the set. There are also four black lanterns, a fairly recent mold which is nice to get a few of. The only rare part in the set is the gray wheelchair which has only appeared in 7 other sets so far. Instructions While LEGO is keeping the dark background on the boxes, they have thankfully done away with the black backgrounds on the instructions for these adult sets after many complaints from consumers. Thus, the instructions in this set are pretty easy to read thanks to featuring the new light gray background which provides good contrast to the rather dark build. One thing I found interesting, though, is that the instructions have you attach the faucets in a way that they don't line up with the sinks. I already noticed this inaccuracy in the pictures on the box, but dismissed it as it could have been a mistake by the photographer, but no, this is how they are supposed to be oriented. It's not a big issue as it is very easy to fix by just turning the lamp post so they line up right. I just thought it was odd they designed it this way. Minifigs Apparently one of the things that makes FC Barcelona special is that unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. Its supporters are so important they even have their own wiki page. Therefore, it only makes sense that a set that celebrates FCB features minifigs of its fans. And they didn't skimp on them either. This small set comes with a whooping 5 minifigs which is unheard of for a GWP set. But you know what they say: 3 is a crowd, 4 is a party, and 5 is a football club. Yup, that's definitely how that saying goes. Not only are there a lot of figs, but there is also good diversity as there are 2 female and 3 male figures, including a handicapped person, all with different heads, hat/hair pieces, and pants colors. Furthermore, unlike the GWP that came with the Old Trafford which came with minifigs with unprinted torsos, all 5 figs here come with a new FCB jersey torso. It's not super detailed (the badge is a bit too simple for my liking) but it's still instantly recognizable. Aside from the torso, they are all made of very generic and common parts, but that makes it easy to mix and match parts to create your own FCB supporter minifigs. They all also come with accessories to show their love of their team, except for the dark haired lady - which I guess is good since someone should have their hands free to wheel the wheelchair around. Below you can see the women and Larry Lampjumper as I have decided to call him. Ponytail Girl has a dark red 1x4 tile with a sticker to make it look like a scarf with the name and founding year of the club on it which is pretty neat. Larry has a simple yellow flag with red stripes which should be a lot more versatile. The other two figs are Glasses Guy and Wheelchair Guy, both of whom are wearing baseball caps. Or should I say soccer caps? Or sportsball caps? Yeah, let's go with sportsball caps. Each is in one of the two main FCB colors. Glasses Guy has the giant flag with the FCB stripes and logo while Wheelchair Guy has a regular yellow flag with the word "Barça" repeated on it which is what the club is colloquially known as. All of them have printing on the back of their torsos which is much appreciated. However, only the black haired figs have alternate faces printed on the back of their heads, mainly because they're the only ones whose hair covers the entire backside of their head. The woman's is a sleeping face and Larry's is sad face. I guess these could be useful for when the game is not going well or when it gets so boring that the spectators fall asleep. Build The is actually pretty simple with hardly any interesting techniques. In fact, the first half of the build is quite repetitive as you are mostly just putting 58 1x3 plates and tiles onto the base. Thankfully, the designer had a bit of mercy and spared you from putting on 6 of the plates/tiles that would have been under the fountain and instead just has you put a yellow 2x2 plate there instead to support the fountain. The real reason they did this is probably for cost-cutting, but it's appreciated all the same. The build of the fountain is slightly more interesting as the faucets section is attached upside down, but that's about the only unconventional technique. My OCD doesn't allow me to attach the faucets so that they don't align with the sinks, so excuse me if I don't follow the instructions in this case. The lamp post is also not very stable as the anti-studs on the 2x2 round bricks at the bottom are kind of weak and the bars that are meant to support the post on the inside don't go all the way through which only adds to the frustration of the build. It's tempting to lift up the build by the lamp post in order to move it, but that only results in taking off a section or even the entirety of the post. I guess this is why this set is aimed at 18+ year-olds; you're only supposed to look, not touch. Spare Parts After the build, there are only 2 parts left over, 1x1 round plates with hole in pearl gold and dark gray. Usually there are more extras, even in a small set like this, but I'll take what I can get. The Complete Set The fountain is finished and the minifigs have gathered to celebrate the latest game! They all look so excited! I'm guessing their team just shot a touchdown with the quaffle and scored a homerun or... something. It's interesting how the fountain is built in the upper right corner of the base instead of the center, giving the model a more compelling, asymmetrical look. This also provides plenty of space to place the minifigs to the left and front of the fountain and the use of alternating plates and tiles on the floor allows you to easily pose them at angle. There is enough space for all the figs to stand on the floor, so there is no need to put them on top of the fountain like on the box art, but Larry couldn't help himself and started climbing it again. Dang it, Larry, get down from there! Here is an image of the real Font de Canaletes from Wikipedia. When compared to this, the fountain in the set is a lot less ornate. I also think the wide section carrying the faucets could have been more acorn-shaped. I'm sure a skilled MOCer could do a much better job at recreating it more accurately, but for a free set, the build captures the look of the fountain and surrounding sidewalk well enough. You can find more inaccuracies when looking from above. For one, the dark tiled area around the fountain is missing. This means that it is also missing the plaque that is on the ground next to the fountain with an inscription which states that legend has it that the one who drinks from the Font de Canaletes will eventually come back to Barcelona. It is an iconic part of the fountain, so it's a shame that it wasn't included in the set, even in sticker form. Also, as you can see, the rotor tiles were used as the grates on top of the sinks. I don't think they are a very good representation of those grates. Creating a new print, even if it's just a sticker, or using the classic grille tile would have been better in my opinion, but I guess it's better than no printing at all. In fact, with all these fan blades, I guess you could say the fountain is really fan-tastic! There is not much else to say about it, so if you stuck around after that terrible pun, let's get into the final verdicts! Ratings Box: 4/5 - A professional looking box that's not as generic as that of other GWPs, but not as fun or unique as it could be. Design: 4/5 - The look of the fountain is represented fairly well and makes a decent display piece, although some of the details leave a bit to be desired. Build: 2/5 - Repetitive and not very challenging. Not what you would hope for in a set aimed at adult builders. Minifigs: 5/5 - A very generous number of minifigs who, while being pretty generic for the most part, all come with a neat new torso design. Playability: 1/5 - You can create different scenes with the minifigs, but that's about it. Parts: 3/5 - One new recolor, one semi-rare part, and some printed round tiles, but otherwise pretty common bricks and plates. Overall: 3.5/5 - As far as GWPs go, this is a pretty decent set. The build and the resulting model may not be very intricate, but it still looks pretty good on display and serves its purpose as a celebration of FCB and its fans with a piece of the popular club's history. What puts it above average are the large number of minifigs with exclusive torsos, the unique box design, and a couple of useful parts. It's certainly leagues better (hehe) than the incredibly underwhelming United Trinity GWP that was offered with the Old Trafford. If you're an FC Barcelona fan, I'm sure you will appreciate it quite a bit. If not, at least you'll get a few useful minifig parts and bricks out of it. This set will look nice next to the Camp Nou stadium, but also looks good on its own. You can get this set for free with purchase of the new Camp Nou Stadium from now through September 12 at Shop @ Home or in Lego stores. Thank you for reading and thanks to LEGO for sending me this set for review. Let me know what you think of this set in the comments and in the poll above.
  15. Here is my review on 76177 Battle at the Ancient Village: THE GOOD: The Ten Rings effect. The Dragon head and tail are nice. Good selection of characters in minifigure form. THE NOT SO GOOD: Nothing representing the village in set title. Dragon body looks more like a snake due to it's too narrow. Price is a bit high considering the volume of the set. Overall, it's a set for MCU fans. The idea of a dragon build like this is nice but apart from the head and tail it's too thin to be a dragon. Being called Battle at Ancient Village but no parts to portrait a village also raises questions. Having said that, getting 4 different characters from the MCU in one set is nice, the quality of print are great too. The highlight is definitely the ten rings for me, although you can only get 6 rings in this set. (Time to go Bricks & Pieces to complete the ten rings) This does feel like the designer has a nice idea but budget/pricing target constraints not allowing the best possible execution of this. And yes, this is a pricy set. I wish it's $20NZD cheaper. I will recommend this set if you are MCU fans like me otherwise you may not find this set interesting or worth your money,.
  16. Here is my review on 76201 Captain Carter VS The Hydra Stomper: THE GOOD: Hydra Stomper looks better than in photos and surprisingly great build. Excellent quality for the 3 minifigures. THE NOT SO GOOD: Although the minifigures are great quality but I do wish Captain Carter is the one you've seen from series. (Lego saved that one for the CMF) Tesseract is too big for minifigures. Can be $10 cheaper. Overall, this set is better than what I originally expected. At first I was disappointed that both What If? sets are mech but this one turned out to be great. I think in terms of proporiton, this Hydra Stomper looks better compared to previous Hulk Busters type mech. Just the colour a bit too bright compared to one you've seen in the animated series. The way both arms and legs are built are also different to previous ones. While the minifigures are excellent quality, the only disappointing thing is this Captain Carter does not comes with the original colour nor the unique hair style which you going to get in the upcoming CMF. In fact, this version of Captain Carter never make an appearance in the episode. However, this set is good if the marvel What If? series appeals to you and I would recommend this set to any MCU fans and especially if you don't own any of the previous Hulk buster type mechs.
  17. Pchan1983

    REVIEW: 40487 Sailboat Adventure

    Here is my review on 40487 Sailboat Adventure: THE GOOD: Excellent display piece as the boat looks good! Lot of details and interesting build. Great new sailor torso! Including 2 dolphins. THE NOT SO GOOD: while it's interesting use of crystal pieces but I feel it's a stretch to represent splashes. Threshold for this GWP is high (at least for us in NZ ...) Great GWP to be honest, I really like the boat. Both the end product and the building experience. It's great this comes with an excellent sailor torso and 2 dolphins! It will be interesting to see if people prefer a brick built sail or traditional fabric one. I wish Lego release these kind of sets more often and more widely. It's very hard to get GWP like this down here in NZ due to limited stock and it doesn't help with a high threshold but then this is the whole point of GWP, something desirable to increase sales. I wonder if it's easier to get these GWP in other parts of the world??? Anyway, great set and recommending this to everyone.
  18. Here is my review on 76200 Bro Thor's New Asgard: THE GOOD: Bro Thor! The printing on legs for the lower belly still not perfect but not as bad as I expected. Very detailed interior with lots of great references to the movie. THE NOT SO GOOD: Miek ... it's a weird design. I really like this set as a fan of Endgame, never thought Lego would make a set based on Bro Thor and so many empty wine bottles. The Bro Thor minifigure is just great, I do with they have the sun glasses look but nevermind. Korg is good but can be better, Miek on the other hand looks really weird. Much prefer a moulded piece. You do get to build lots of interior details which is great. This is really a display set for the fans as it as no action or play features integrated. I also love those easter eggs and references in the stickers designs. I'm pretty sure there will be fans out there going to buy multiple to build the full Bro Thor's man cave. Will totally recommend this set to any Avengers fans.
  19. Here is my review on 75296 Darth Vader Meditation Chamber: THE GOOD: Great display piece. Love the design of the open/closing experience. Interesting building experience. Great details in building the stairs. Love the stand. Great minifigures. THE NOT SO GOOD: none (really can't find anything negative about this) I like this set very much. I had a great experience with this and I do think this is an excellent set. Really like some of the design and building experience in this. On top of that, it's a great display piece on any desks or shelves. It's always nice to see Lego releases Star Wars sets not based on vehicles. I wish LEGO releases more sets like this. Anyway, totally will recommend this to everyone.
  20. WesternOutlaw

    ARTICLE: Pirates 2009

    Pirates 2009: A Critical Review Article by TheBrickster 11/27/08 Ahoy Maties! It’s been a great year for Lego with a number of outstanding City sets, Indiana Jones, and the highlight of the year, the early release of the new 2009 Pirates theme. For the Lego Pirate fans that live in the United States, many Toys R Us stores have the complete Pirate 2009 line-up, and what a great thought considering Christmas is just 27 days away. The Collection The Pirates 2009 theme offers a nice collection of sets from Impulse to “Big Ship” providing buyers with a variety of different sets and price-points to choose from. Of course, if you’re any “die-hard” Lego Pirate fan, you will soon find yourself with the complete collection with even multiples of the smaller sets. 8396 Soldier’s Arsenal - 17 pieces (Impulse) 8397 Pirate Survival - 16 pieces (Impulse) 6239 Cannon Battle – 45 pieces 6240 Kraken Attackin’ – 78 pieces 6241 Loot Island – 142 pieces 6242 Soldier’s Fort – 367 pieces 6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty – 592 pieces 6253 Shipwreck Hideout - 310 pieces Minifigs Lego really did an outstanding job with the new Pirate minifigs. This time around, what makes them extra special is the two-sided torsos. For this first wave of sets, there are two distinct opposing forces, the red-coated Imperial Guards, and marauding Pirates. Imperial Guards A total of six different Imperial Guards and variations are contained in the eight-set Pirate collection. Unfortunately, one minifig (third from left), makes itself into the majority of the sets creating a number of “clones”. A total of 11 Imperials are contained in all the sets. The Imperial minifigs have three different types of hats including the Bicorner, Tricorner, and Shako. This time around, the Shako is printed with a gold emblem and red top feather for added detail. All of the Imperials have blue Epaulettes, with the exception of the blue-coated Imperial commander found in 6242 Soldier’s Fort. His is red. Imperial Guards & Backside of Torso Pirates The Pirates outnumber the Imperials at a total of 15 for the eight-set collection. Out of these 15 Pirates, 13 are unique with only Brickbeard, the Pirate captain, duplicated in three of the sets. Three of the additional Pirates from 6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty are not pictured. The highlight of the Pirates is the new female pirate with green torso and eye patch. She’s a real “beaut”. All of the new pirates, with the exception of Brickbeard, have sleeveless shirts and vests with yellow arms. Unfortunately, only dark green and blue hat rags (or scarves) are used, but this does allow one to create two factions of pirates. In addition, one of the minifigs that I’ve labeled a pirate is a castaway contained in 6241 Loot Island. He has a nice long grey beard and sad face expressing his discontent with the small island. Pirates Additional Minifigs Two additional minifigs are included within the Pirate theme, both contained in 6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty. These include the white dressed Imperial queen/princess and a mermaid used as part of the ship’s bow. These minifigs and the pirate wench bring a nice female element to the new Pirates theme. Set Variety Lego did an excellent job in offering a wide collection of different types of sets in this first wave. Pirates can hop aboard the flagship of the collection, 6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty in search of lost treasure. If any of the pirates have to walk the plank, they may find themselves marooned on 6241 Loot Island; but they can cook a fish while they polish their gems from 8397 Pirate Survival. For additional adventure, they can build a makeshift raft and venture out to sea in 6240 Kraken Attackin’, but beware the “Little Kraken”. The pirates have the perfect place to hide on a nearby island in 6253 Shipwreck Hideout. During all of the pirate adventure, the Imperials can organize their assault from 6242 Soldier’s Fort, building up their army with 8396 Soldier’s Arsenal and 6239 Cannon Battle. With these numerous types of sets on land and sea, children (and AFOL) have an endless possibility of imaginary play. Unique Pieces (Not Necessarily New) The new Pirates theme offers an abundance of unique pieces including but not limited to the new metallic painted shooting cannon, a great piece for those of us from the U.S. that never had a shooting cannon. With the new “metallic grey pearl” color, the cannon look terrific. For those wanting to stock up on the cannon, 6239 Cannon Battle is the perfect set. The new theme also includes some great minifig accessories including a dynamite stick and banana contained in 6242 Soldier’s Fort. I also love the gold, blue, and red epaulettes, esp. the gold one used for Brickbeard. A new fish has been added to the theme, this one with an open mouth that allows it to be attached to a pole/stick, as contained in 8397 Pirate Survival. In addition, a new multi-colored parrot provides nice tropical colors for island scenes. Shooting Cannon Unique Pieces The new theme also introduces a new color for the classic 5x14 boat, dark blue. For those of you who dislike the new color, 6242 Soldier’s Fort does contain one in brown. The dark blue boats appear to be for the Imperials while the brown is for the Pirates, based upon boxart. Paddles for these boats are white and brown. Imperial Blue Boat & Brown Pirate Boat One of the nicest elements of Pirates 2009 is the new tan base plate found in 6241 Loot Island. The base plate serves as a sand mound representing an island. Its middle section is open allowing one to place an 8x8 vignette-sized plate in its center. The small pit inside makes a great place to store pirate loot. It will be interesting to see what new creations others will make utilizing this new piece. Island Base Plate Imperial and Pirate Flags It’s great to see the use of the old classic cannon insignia on the Imperial flags, but the Pirate skull and crossbones is a bit different. The new skull and crossbones has a Jolly Roger that has a larger top skull section giving it a more cartoon-like appearance. I hope the clips of the smaller flags hold together better than the old ones from the Classic Pirate collection. Flags The Kraken Set 6240 Kraken Attackin’ introduces a new dark red/maroon octopus that serves as a Kraken to attack pirates aboard the masted raft. The Kraken has been criticized for being too small to be a creature of formidable attack. Options could have been to create a larger sea creature like the dragon in the new Castle theme, or a brick-built creation similar to that of the Vikings theme. If one considers that the Kraken is “just a large octopus”, rather than a huge sea creature from the depths of the ocean, it isn’t too bad. Kraken Theme Colors Pirates 2009 offer a nice selection of colors including many Earth-tone colors like browns, grays, tan, and white. Accent colors include a splash of gold and red. Unlike Imperial forts found in the Classic Pirate theme, 6242 Soldier’s Fort delivers a nice combination of white, tan, and brown, with no yellow (except for a single banana). The Earth-tone colors work exceptionally well for 6253 Shipwreck Hideout giving the set a “more natural” look. 6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty is mostly brown, black, tan, and gold, with bright red and white striped sails, two bearing a large Jolly Roger. I’m surprised the new dark blue color was not used as “water plates”, but rather Lego stayed somewhat true to the classic color scheme in keeping regular blue. Dark blue is used for a sloped rooftop in 6242 Soldier’s Fort. Overall, the colors were nicely combined to create a more realistic palette to the theme. Modular Construction Set 6242 Soldier’s Fort offers a nice modular construction design that allows one to attach sections of buildings and walls with two technic beams. It will certainly be great if Lego continues to expand this building method and offer additional add-ons to future pirate sets. 6242 Modular Construction 6192 Pirate Construction Set Special mention must be made to a new Pirate set not included within the theme. Targeted for a younger audience, set 6192 Pirate Construction set is more along the “basic creator” variety and utilizes mostly standard bricks. The set does offer one exclusive blue-torso minifig not contained within any of the eight-set collection. 6192 Basic Pirates and Exclusive Pirate Minifig Set Reviews With special thanks to all of the individuals who were kind enough to share early image reviews of Pirates 2009, Eurobricks has pictures of the complete line-up. The following reviews and comments can be found for each set: 8396 Soldier’s Arsenal & 8397 Pirate Survival: NewRight 6239 Cannon Battle, 6240 Kraken Attackin’: TheBrickster 6241 Loot Island & 6242 Soldier’s Fort: Lego12 6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty: Svelte_Corps 6253 Shipwreck Hideout: Moose and TheBrickster 6192 Basic Pirate Construction Set: TheBrickster Note: If I've failed to mention/miss a review, please forgive the oversight. Eurobricks Rating With polls for each of the Eurobricks’ reviews, an analysis of the ratings based on the 1 to 5 point scale was performed. As of November 27, 2008, this is how Eurobricks’ pirate fans rank each of the sets. Based on the polls; surprisingly, no set scored in the 90 percentile category. The highest ranked set was 6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty at 89.7%, the “flagship” of the new theme. The small impulse set, 8396 Soldier’s Arsenal was the 2nd highest ranked set at 88.4%. 6253 Shipwreck Hideout was the second largest set ranked at 87.4%. The rest of the scores as well as the number of voters appear on the graph: Eurobricks' Polls My Rating All things considered, if I were to go out today and buy just a few of the sets, I would start with 6242 Soldier’s Fort that surprisingly was only rated an 82.3% (my personal favorite of the collection), followed by 6253 Shipwreck Hideout (rated 87.4%). To help build my Imperial army, I would pick up a few of 6239 Cannon Battle sets because I really like the cannon. Between these three sets, they offer a great amount of diversity and play to really create some fun pirate adventures. Opportunities for Improvement I have only a few complaints over the new theme. 1) Although the gold chests contained in a few of the sets are a nice change, I still prefer brown over gold. I was surprised to find a brown chest in 6242 Soldier’s Fort. 2) When trying to attach the upper mouth/snout of the crocodile contained in 6241 Loot Island, the piece was so hard to fit into the main crocodile body piece, the mouth showed white stress marks once attached. This is poor quality on the part of Lego. 3) The multiple use of the face of the Imperial soldier contained in 8396 Soldier’s Arsenal is too redundant. I think a more standard face would have been a better option, esp. for 8396 which will most certainly be used as an army-builder. 4) As mentioned above, the Kraken is too small. Pirate fans like their Krakens big! 5) More palm trees are needed. With the entire collection of eight sets, only one palm tree is included in 6242 Soldier’s Fort. Surprisingly, 6253 Shipwreck Hideout has none. 6) The new Indiana Jones crate appears in the theme more than classic-style barrels. I prefer barrels, but would enjoy seeing a better balance of both. Future of the Theme I can’t wait to see what new sets will be added to the 2009 Pirates theme. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some sort of Imperial ship, and perhaps the expansion of the modular 6242 Soldier’s Fort. I’m really looking forward to adding more walls and buildings to the fort. Another faction of soldiers like Spanish Armada or Blue-Coat Soldiers would be nice, not to mention some adventure with a large Islanders set. Whatever the set, I’m sure the continuation of the new Pirates theme will be welcomed. Summary I’m a big Adventurers and Indiana Jones fan who also likes the historic themes like Castle and Pirates. Unfortunately, I really missed out during a long dark-age period when collecting Lego was not something that I would be proud to admit. I only received a few Pirate sets as a gift choosing not to buy any on the store shelves. Although I really missed out on the great Classic Pirate sets, I think Lego did a fantastic job at creating the new Pirates 2009 theme. Lego stayed true to its building style and pieces, while still introducing new colors and elements. The theme is close enough to the old classic collection that its sets might integrate well for those individuals with an older collection. With more Indiana Jones sets, the introduction of the Farm sub-theme, and potential for more Castle sets including 10193 (Medieval Market Village), Pirates 2009 is certainly an exciting theme that will appeal to AFOL and the kids who enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean. Good luck finding the sets at a store near you! References Brickset Eurobricks: Peeron Wikipedia: Lego Pirates
  21. Here is my review on 10776 Mickey & Friends Fire Truck & Station: THE GOOD: Minifigures are great. Finally, Pluto and without the need to spend hundreds of dollars. THE NOT SO GOOD: Not much memorable to talk about. Lacking play features considering this is a 4+ set. Price still a bit on the higher end. I bought this set purely for Pluto. And it's great it's a set under $100 but feel pricey though. For those who still don't own a Goofy minifig, this set will be a bargain although the torso of this Goofy is a variant to the one in the Disney Train set. Overall, as an adult fan of lego I'm not expecting anything from a 4+ set in terms of building experience but compared to the farm set, I found the Farm one is a lot more interesting. I will recommend this set if you want Pluto and Goofy OR if you are just a disney fan. Otherwise, go for the farm one.
  22. My review is below, lengthy but the speed build takes a lot of time and there are chapters for your convencience. Will write more whan I have time, and the 42128 video review is coming tomorrow. Also coming shortly: the 42129 detailed outdoors test and 42129 competing against custom-built LEGO trial trucks.
  23. It may come as a surprise but I really don't enjoy being negative towards LEGO sets. So it came as a relief to me that 42128 seems to be one of the best Technic products in the last few years, and it's incredibly reasonably priced on top of that. Fans of trucks, of highly functional Technic sets and of pneumatics should all be very happy with it, especially seeing as you can buy two of these for the price of a single Zetros set. I only wish the colors were different and the stickers less trashy, but that may just be a matter of personal test.
  24. Here is my review on the GWP 40486 Mini Adidas Originals Superstar: THE GOOD: looks great and impressed on how it looks in its side. interesting build overall and some great use of new pieces. Printed tiles for the iconic 3 stripes. THE NOT SO GOOD: It depends on your region but better roll out plan in AU/NZ please. This is a great GWP. To me, it made a better impression than the 1:1 one. I like this colour scheme better too. Having a minifigure is just a nice icing on the cake. I'm also surprised with the overall building experience and Lego did went the extra mile for packaging on this one. I wish the adidas decors are also printed but I probably asking too much. I just hope the roll out / availability of this set can be improved and less stressful. For AU & NZ, this promotion is not yet live on Lego shop at home but it was available when physically purchasing the Adidas Originals Superstar in Certified Store. But they didn't have stock on 1st July so they ended up taking everyone's details and stock finally arrived few days ago. Anyway, totally recommending this to everyone if you can still get hold of this set.
  25. Here is another review from me on Vidiyo 43111 Candy Castle Stage: THE GOOD: The bear minifigure is excellent, especially the head piece. I like the mini drum set on stage. THE NOT SO GOOD: Pricing as usual is high for Vidiyo sets. Bland compared to the other 2 Vidiyo sets I own from this wave. This set, it does capture a very pop vibe and nice candy themed stage but definitely not a castle as per the set name. The minifigures are excellent especially the Blue Beary Guitarist, I was surprised to see how they dual moulded the head with the clear blue on top. Some nice touches in the build but compared to the other 2 sets I have from this wave, It does few a bit bland both in terms of the end product and building experience. It's really really an expensive box of pop colour parts pack. Having said that, if this is your first Vidiyo set or for kids that only started collecting Lego, this is not a bad choice if you can get it with a discount.