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# Saturday, 09 July 2011

The Geonosian Starfighter has a unique shape, according to some web resources, it is designed to maneuver through asteroid fields, and for such purpose the shape would make sense then, but for some lego player, this vehicle may not look too attractive, I do feel that way and the set wasn't on my shopping list originally, but since I have little time this week, this would be a quick model to build, as a new Starwars lego set, it would be a good choice.

The vehicle is quite interesting, the finished model feel much better than the picture, having good swooshability and relatively good playability for its size, as a special type of Starfighter, I think it is worth collecting, after all, it has been years since they released the last Geonosian Starfighter 4478 in 2003, the caveat is the price, which I think it is really over priced for the content.


The Cockpit


Rotating laser cannon


Torpedo launcher hidden in compartment of the vehicle's belly


Engine cylinder


On the other hand, perhaps the price factors in the three minifigures included. Ki-Adi-Mundi is not a familiar figure to me but it does look special, Commander Cody appeared in 7676, which is a very expensive set nowadays, but perhaps the most valuable one is the Geonosian pilot, this new one improves over the old version but the set should have included the  Geonosian warrior (who has a wing).

I would not say this is a must get set, and the value for money is not very good, perhaps a good reason to grab it is for collection purposes.

Saturday, 09 July 2011 15:56:50 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 27 June 2011

I have noticed this set for sometime but the size and look of the box picture was not too attractive, but with a small investment I still managed to get a set and build it over the weekend.

The key reason for driving me to buy this set is Asajj Ventress, a few weeks ago I noticed that the prize of the version of this minifig from 7676 is very high at around USD30! And in fact 7676 was the only set with Ventress before 7957 comes out, the 7676 version contains a skirt cloth but this 7957 version in my opionion has a more combat feel (or sports feel) and looks slimmer.

The other minifig Savage Opress is the other lego minifig with a horned head aside from Darth Maul in 7961, and Anakin Skywalker also got a new and IMHO better torso pattern, besides, all the minifigs has back printing, so this set does contain very special minifig inventory.

But the vehicle is also very nice, usually Lego speeders are very simple but this set provides a sophisticated combo night speeder system with a base and engine on the left, and two speeders that can be detached, and can be connected to the base with a bar stick. The vehicle has good swooshability, I am not very fond of missiles but playing with the speeders is quite fun enough for me.

The two speeders are very sleek, building the set is fun and the techniques are inspiring, but the biggest surprise is the six printed slope bricks, which are used for the front, it is interesting that Lego designed this to be a combo of printed and stickered slopes, and perhaps it is the printed slopes that makes this set relatively pricey, and if the back slopes are also printed, the price could go so high that the set will sell badly if they do so, therefore Lego have to take a Balance, but on the other hand, if the set uses all printed parts, it would probably make the set so special and become a hot collector item, though Lego needs to be careful about the message to the market, but after all, this is an interesting set and the Lego decision for including the six printed slope bricks can be very interesting too.

This set is a must buy despite the relatively higher price for its size, but for the price range, it is a light investment to get a set that includes exclusive cool minifigs and an unique vehicle with special design, not to mention the unusual inventory of six printed slope bricks with nice pattern, this is a special Lego Starwar set to collect.

Monday, 27 June 2011 00:57:14 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 20 June 2011

I have an old box of unopened MISB 7663 Sith Infiltrator, not because I cherish it, but it just hasn't been a set that I would choose to play with, after building 7961, I think it was because the vehicle in 7663 just doesn't have the sophistication to be appealing.

Actually I was not supposed to get 7961 as well, it is just in the right price range to get a new starwar set for playing during this free weekend, but I have to say that the set exceeds my expectation, in fact, I think I have got an excellent vehicle model!

The new Infiltrator has a lot of detail contour, it makes use of a rich varieties of slope bricks to create the minute details of every section, the result is a bigger and more realistic Infiltrator. The cockpit/cargo space is relatively large for a starwars vehicle, the upper hatch has a printed pattern, and although the lower hatch plate is stickered, the design is very solid and fits the model beautifully with good playability, talking about playability, aside from the probe droids that can be released, there are flip missiles (I am not a missle fan though), foldable wings, and the hatch can be opened to see the interior, where the Sith nightspeeder can be kept.


Proble droids


Batches and retracted landing gear

This set also has a rich inventory of minifigs, I actually like this head pattern of Darth Maul over the old ones (even though the old one was fine too) for the yellow eyes and sharper look, but of course, Darth Maul is a rare minifig, so if you happen to have a chance to get 7663, you may want to own it too to get that version of Darth Maul's minfig. The horned head is also amazing, my set has two pieces of it, I read about this horned head and it seems that the other minifigure that has it is Savage Opress in set 7957 Sith Nightspeeder.

Oops! I miss-aligned the horned head when taking pictures!!!


Darth Maul!

Padmé now has a flesh color minifig head, Charaptain Panaka's minifig is nice, but I think the look lacks the masculine feel that the character should possess, the designer may have tried to create the cool lips but ends up mis-projecting a pessimistic feel. For Master Qui-Gon Jinn, the facial expression in this set is too soft, I prefer the old one that more closely reflect the movie character.

7961 Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator is an example of how lego should design the Star war vehicles when it comes to details, in contrast 7663 is a rudimentary model, I am glad that I have not missed out this wonderful vehicle!

Monday, 20 June 2011 22:50:55 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 16 May 2011

I have been a space fan since I was a kid, but I wasn't able to have many space related toys back then, and among the Lego space sets, Space Shuttle and lunar landing sets have been the most wanted sets I believe, missing the discovery theme back in 2003, having the chance to have a Lego space shuttle definitely is something exciting to talk about.

if budget and space allowed, 10213 is a great set to have the Space Shuttle, 3367's shuttle is not proportionally right to make you "feel" the Shuttle, the designer could have scale it up just a bit to make it more appealing, but on the other hand, to provide the shuttle for young kid's educational purpose, for budget and storage/display space consideration, it is a good set to fit the need of a particular Lego user base. In fact, I was not the one who built this set, my 5 years old daughter did it.

The shuttle in 3367 features a hinged arm and a satellite, all can be fit into the compartment, and cockpit cover is a printed part but the pattern is not that space tech looking to me, and the internal deco is also not so good, for example, I am not sure why a cup is there instead of control panel, yes, the space is small inside the cockpit, but it should be enough to accomodate a few more items there to make the cockpit internal more interesting.

The landing gear cannot be retracted and that is something that can be improved in the design.

The astronaut is a key component there, I am not very pleased with the minifig head as I think a better and more professional looking guy would be a better fit, but the gold coated helmet for the astronaut to use when working in space is an excellent piece.

Again, if you are looking for a serious shuttle model, 3367 may be disappointing, but for a small kid with passion about space, this set is a very good place to start, for which I think is extremely useful in my case.

Monday, 16 May 2011 23:04:42 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 13 May 2011

Just kidding, the bones are indeed why I bought this set, but this small lego set from the Pirates of the Caribbean theme does have something else nice to offer, the pieces of structure are simple but interesting, I like the bottle rack a lot, using just a few simple parts, this is a two stories rack with movable bottle holder, the bottles with printed pattern are also valuable. The table with Skeleton legs isn't too appealing to me, the Globe holder is just fine.

This set offers a few special parts, the globe can be something that attracts people to get this set, it can probably be very useful for decorating a reading room, the printed map tile is also nice.

The zombie minifigs are nice but if minifigs are what you are after, IMHO other sets such as 4192 would be more worth buying, Jack is definitely a main character here, but you can have him from many other sets as well (There are two variants), so minifigs would probably not the key focus on this set.

So the bones is why I got it, the other stuffs together makes the spending more worthwhile.

Friday, 13 May 2011 23:47:25 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 05 May 2011

I went to a local lego shop last night planning to buy some star wars set on discount, but instead I saw the Pirates of the Caribbean sets on shelf, I was aware of this new series but wasn't paying too much attention to it as I am not a fan of the movie, but when I browse through the boxes, I found the minifigs very interesting, but I am not ready to invest heavily on them yet, Queen Anne's Revenge looks cool, but that isn't the coolest Lego ship I think, The London Escape is even more interesting, but to get a smaller set that can be done in an hour as first experience, I was drawn between 4181 Isla de la Muerta and 4192 Fountain of Youth, since I kind of guess that the gold pieces in 4181 is not chrome, I chose 4192, as the waterfall looks very unqiue.

After reading some brickset reviews, I found some negative comments on this set, which I kind of understand why they have such impression, the waterfall is a piece of plastic that may not be shaped well to make you feel that there is a waterfall, and the way it hangs there is wierd if you see it from the back, is there no other way to make this design better? I cannot say so, but perhaps the real lego experts may wish to comment.

But the real treasure is this set or perhaps the entire Pirates of the Caribbean theme would be the minifigs, the hairdo and their accessories are all excellent, and very close to the film characters, so this set is good value from that aspect.

I would very likely get more sets from this theme, but perhaps I would wait for a price drop, the price now sold at unofficial channels are relatively expensive, as I am paying more than USD 30 for this set in Hong Kong.

Blackbeard is especially interesting as the bread piece is so nicely designed, and his sword is also very special! I think this is the set to have Blackbeard other than 4195 Queen Anne's Revenge, which relatively costs more. And for people who would only collect a few but not all of the minifigs in this set, especially for a casual player who are not a fan of this film, but just want to get a set to experience, this set can be a good candidate, especially due to the price range.

Thursday, 05 May 2011 22:33:54 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Several years back I had seen the 10152 Maersk container ship at some local store at around USD 150 to 170, it was quite high compared to the original price of USD 75, although this pricing was not the main reason that deterred me from getting it, I did not have it after all, and I did regret for that.

So it is really a great thing to see Lego re-issuing the Maersk vehicle in form of 10155, despite at a higher price (the price in Hong Kong is even much higher than the US pricing at more than USD 200 per set!), I did not hesitate to grab one, and not sure if it is due to the pressure of 10155's appearance, a few 10152 sets show up in the market, and I was able to grab one at near the same price of 10155!

But for box opening, definitely it is going to be 10155 as it is still available on the market, I'll keep the 10152 as collector MISB.

The size of the ship is not as big as I once thought, the design is quite straightforward and is crafted with the help of a number of special parts, aside from the legend like Maersk blue bricks that some would focus on this set, I think the dark red bricks that forms the base is very useful too, especially for building other ships such as aircraft carriers, I am not really after the Maersk Blue but just cannot deny that its rareness does mean a lot for any lego collectors.

The stickers are kept in a plastic bag, which is not usually done for stickers but perhaps a norm for models with that many stickers, the containers form an important part of the overall body, since you have stickers for both side, there are 60 gray and 28 white stickers, plus two big ones on the hull, one on the top of control tower, and one at the front.

The Cargo control room or control tower is also a key structure of the ship of course, the pair of boat windows make the ship more realistic. Overall building the ship is not difficult, building the containers and applying stickers to it can be boring, but it is worth the effort, by looking at the finished work, I think this is a good spending.

Although I have 10152, but it is MISB and not opened and built, so I cannot make a comparison, but based on many info I got, the two are very similar and the difference is mainly on the stickers, in 10152 it was "Maersk Sealand" while in 10155 it is "Maersk Line" now. A few people also mentioned about brick quality, which I tend to believe but cannot make conclusions based on the suspected blemishes I observed as they can be subjective.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011 23:12:50 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 05 February 2011

When someone is seen buying this Mace Windu's Jedi Starfighter set, many would think that they are targetting the R8-B7 astromech droid and the Tactical Droid TX-20, yes, these two items are bringing values to the set, but I got this set for simply what it is, the Starfighter.

While the Plo Koon's Starfighter was a little disappointing, the color combination makes this Starfighter looks better, though the use of stickers is still a bad thing for me (despite being a better sticker set), the movement of the wings in this Starfighter seems to be rather limited, and the vehicle is poorly armed, with only a missile launcher at the bottom of the cabin.

Another feature which is highlighted in the manual is the placeholder of the lightsaber, but in two pieces, which is a strange idea.

But after all, it is a good looking Starfighter, plus the R8-B7, TX-20, a nice Separatist speeder, and two STAPs (Single Trooper Aerial Platform), it is a good value set to get, and a must get if you a Starfighter fan.

However, this set is another sign that sticker wedges for Starfighters is the norm now, I understand that stickers are common in lego, but for Starfighters, they should really consider a printed wedge as it is the essence of the vehicle.

The ironic part of this set is Mace, despite being a wonderful character, the minifig is also available in 8019, so I am not sure if the minifig would become the focus of the set.

Saturday, 05 February 2011 21:13:08 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 04 February 2011

I got a copy of the DK Lego Starwars Heroes Sticker Book a few days ago, not bad for a collector item, and it can be a fun book for your kids, as they can match the pictures to the sticker page, it is also a helpful resources for you to know some of the less popular characters in the starwars saga.

There are 8 sticker pages:

Heros
The Jedi
In Trouble
To the Rescue
Super Speed
Rebel Power
On Ice
Ultimate Duels

And there are 7 pages of large stickers and 1 page of small size stickers

There is definitely no wow for this item, but if the price is right, getting a copy is fine as it won't occupy too much space, but it can come handy if you suddenly got a wierd idea, for example, using them in creating a lego red pocket (樂高利是) like what I did before?

Friday, 04 February 2011 20:47:47 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 09 September 2010

This Starwars Brickmaster book from DK appears much earlier than I thought, and I would say it is the best Brickmaster book, perhaps being Starwars itself is everything, but being able to design 4 sets (8 models) of vehicles out of a fix set of bricks simply isn't something easy, especially when many of the models are great!

So this is a clone trooper vs Battle Droid confrontation, and each of them have 4 vehicles to fight under the following scenarios:

Battle on Christophsis
This set of models uses up all the bricks, you get a AAT Battle Tank and a NU-Class Attack Shuttle. The battle tank is simple but nicely scaled, the shuttle has good playability and looks quite cool, but it is not designed well for stand display though. This set is also not minifig scaled.

 

Ice Encounter
This is a very simple set, not much sophistication on the STAS (Single Trooper Airspeeders) and the LAAT (Low altitude Assault Transport). The LAAT is too much of a toy feel, the quart-circle wings look rather childish.

 

Desert Raid
The Mobile Missile Platform in this set is very interesting and innovative in my opinion, the mountable blaster cannon is very cool. The S-Wing Speeder bike is also excellent!

Forest Fight
This is actually my favorite among 4, the VTS (Varied Terrain Speeder) looks like a firepowerhouse with good agility, while the AT-RT walker is definitely a formidable foe.

But as I also feel about the true value of brickmaster, it is all about packing all these ideas (tank, shuttle, airspeeders, transport, walker etc) into a pack of 200+ bricks, yet with so many good designs among them, and while I got this for around USD 20 only, this is truly a bargain!

The book also has nice content and some cool trivias to entertain the readers.

I understand that it may not be available everywhere yet, but it is definitely worth waiting for.

Thursday, 09 September 2010 02:03:31 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 30 August 2010

Got a copy of this Lego Atlantis The menace from the deep Activity book from LadyBird, it is a nicely printed book, there is no bricks like the Lego Brickmaster Atlantis book, but it comes with a Squid Warrior, I got it for HKD 72 (USD 9.2), quite expensive, but for a single copy for collection, it is fine.

The book also provides some knowledge learning on sea creatures, so it can actually be used to let kids know more about things such as Squid size, and information on Sharks, turtles. The knowledge content is simple but there is a underwater quiz for fun.

Monday, 30 August 2010 23:59:08 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 29 August 2010

With my past experiences on the Lego BrickMaster Castle and Pirate book from DK, I was having high expectations on the Atlantis version, this time the local supply is rather limited, and the pricing is not very nice either, and after getting it, I think it is not as good as I expected.

The parts list is nothing surprising, from the set you got Bobby Buoy and a Manta Warrior

One key thing I notice about this brickmaster theme is the emphasis on vehicle and rather limited focus on structure, and the book content is less appealing too. The so called models are also very monotone in design, perhaps partly due to the limitation of the theme itself.


Some of the models that I do not have strong motivation to build

But I need to say that some of the vehicles are quite interesting, especially the Explorer Submarine, it must be fun to be maneuvering a real underwater vehicle like this in the deep ocean.


DEEP-SEA DASH (scenario) represented by the Secret Chest and the Scorpion Submarine


Scorpion Submarine and the Hammerhead Shark

Ridiculously, some local book stores are charging customers HKD 296 (USD 37) for this book, I paid at around half of that price but still consider it a little overpriced, the pricing range of DK books is quite wide open and as a consumer, I would tend to think twice even if I see an interesting product from them.

Additional models available online: http://atlantis.lego.com/downloads , but I can only locate the PDF for Drum Sub and evil bug only, and the DK site seems require username/password for access.

I think this Brickmaster Atlantis book would still be worth getting, but there is less excitement and I wonder how the upcoming Brickmaster Starwars would be designed, it may not be an easy theme to come up with flexible designs.

Sunday, 29 August 2010 16:46:07 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 08 August 2010

I did not buy many Lego sets in the recent 2010 ani-com in Hong Kong, but there was one that I got without much hesitation, mainly because it is not official available locally yet, but after building it, I think that was really worth the money.

8128 Cad Bane's Speeder is a unique vehicle, although the color is a little dull, the design is quite interesting, I ususally would focus equally on the vehicle and minifigs, but I have to say that the bounty hunter is really a cool villain, as well as Shahan Alama, the Senate Commando Officers are nice but somehow I do not like the blue color much.


Come and get me, huh


Senate guards Duo on patrol



Parts list


Some interesting parts


Technic Brick Liftarms


The new 2010 2 x 4 tiles

When it comes to parts, there are quite a lot of new ones, including the new 2 x 4 tiles, and others, one observation is that there are more technic 2 x 6 plates used than actually needed, perhaps Lego designer just do not want to include one more part type when the technic counterpart can also fulfill.

The vehicle has some playability, the rear end compartment can be opened, but moving the propeller along with it seems to be a little wierd, missile launchers have not been my favorite, but the real nice thing is the six seaters, and the driver cabin is quite cool

8128 pricing is quite high, a little overpriced but tolerable, but since this is the only set to get Shahan Alama I believe, and you also get Cad Bane and the senate guards, as well as the cool vehicle, it is worth collecting.

Sunday, 08 August 2010 14:36:43 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 20 June 2010

It is not a very attractive product based on packaging, the blue and white starfighter looks dull, although I kind of like Plo Koon, I got the minifig a long time ago from 7676 Republic Gunship already, the brown droid R7-D4 is important, but is it worth the high price that I have to pay for getting this at this time? Well, I did get this 8093 set, for one very simple reason, I have to collect every Starfighters, and I won't miss any of them.

After building the set, I think the real thing looks better than how it appears on the box, but there are things which are truly disappointing, one big issue is, it is annoying to see that the wedges of a starfigher is now a sticker thing!


Inventory of Lego 8093

Actually when you put Ahsoka's Starfighter beside it, you'll see that the design is not being improved, but even simplified, the eject mechanism is nice but there are obviously no big effort to make the Starfighter looks better, as the designer does not seem to be willing to add a few more stickers to decorate it. And note that there is no missiles available.

I think at the end it is not a matter of whether this set should be recommended or not, but it is a bad sign on how Lego manage the product design, I don't think it is good thing that they think people will buy a set simply because they throw in a new astromech droid. In a way I think the same design philosophy is behind 8089, although I am easily happy to have the snowspeeder there, but the real new stuff there is only Wampa.

I like to see how other people would review this set, I am sorry that I do sound negative in mine, although after all this is a Starfighter.

Sunday, 20 June 2010 22:15:36 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 19 June 2010

I was actually looking forward to get this when I travel to US next month, but since it is available here in Hong Kong, I would not hesitate to get it even the pricing is extremely high at around USD 80! Hey, it is Hoth!

The highlight of the set needless to say is Wampa, although it is still a little comical, but I would say it is better designed than TaunTaun, the big claw that can hold a minifig is quite interesting.


The Wampa is separately packaged, you would still need two blue pins from the bags to connect the arms though

Talking about packaging, here are the content of each bag, the items on the right side are from small bag within each bag

But the coolest thing from the set would still be the snowspeeder, yes, there are already Nth versions of it and this one may not be any much different than the rest, but it is always exciting to see a Snowspeeder coming, the Hoth battle is just too fascinating for many of us.

But one disappointing observation is the sticker, the alignment seems to be not right for this part:

And the structure that seems to be simulating an icy environment does not look good to me either, there are many great examples out there created by Lego experts which I hope Lego would learn from.

The fake bone thing is quite interesting but the laser sword holder is a strange idea

And see, they found a way to add a Castle Skeleton to Starwars

And how can we forget Luke, I think this is a new Luke minifig, please correct me if I am wrong

Overall it is a must get set, but I hope it would not suffer the same fate as 7749 Echo Base where a lot of idle stocks are around.

Saturday, 19 June 2010 15:36:36 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

My kid actually has little exposure to the Toy Story characters yet so far (she is more a fan of Japanese Cartoon Character), so I think a Duplo Toy Story Set probably would be a good start for her, and it is good that she actually like Buzz.

Lego 5691 Alien Space Crane is way too expensive in my opinion, but as a ToysRUS limited, I have decided to get it to have these two "limited" sets (along with the 7599 Garbage Truck) in my possession, the set is kind of ok, not bad except the price tag really.


Disappointing to see the manual in such bad shape, Lego needs to think of ways to improve their packaging.


Putting the Duplo and regular Lego Buzz together

The set has some playabilities and comes with nice minifigs, but for such price it would be better to have more bricks and structures included.
Saturday, 19 June 2010 14:12:14 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 07 June 2010

After months of no lego life, finally I am able to build lego again! And it is good that Toy Story 7599 Garbage Truck Getaway is not disappointing!

One of the negative thing I felt about the Toy Story sets are the wierd vehicles that comes with the cool minifigs, I am not saying that they are bad, may be they are just not my cup of tea, but in 7599, you get a very realistic garbage truck which is nicely designed, many mentioned about this truck's City theme feel, I don't think I agree completely, coz City Theme may not necessarily produce a garbage truck as sophisticated as this one!

The minifigs are nice, when I saw the packaging of the minifigs at first glance, I wanted to applause Lego for isolating the minifigs, but later I found out that it was partly just an illusion, Buzz and Twitch's body and feet were still in another bag. However, overall these are good minifigs, and we have Jessie, who is probably the tallest minifigs in Lego.

Actually for the Toy Story line, Buzz is the only character that I really wants to collect, this seems to be good set to get the "dirty feet" version.

The truck can work mechanically, and that's an ingenious design, you can turn the knobs to move the arms and actually dump things into the container (the cover will open automatically), except for big "items" like Lotso that may get stuck!

The container is quite spacious, it can accomodate a standing Jessie and the blue trash bin!

The printed license plate is a big plus, I am surprise that there are people who prefer stickers.


My workload is still very tough, ironically I am able to play lego again not because of better work-life balance, I got time because of a very simple reason: I am on sick leave today.

Wonder when can I build a lego set again....

Monday, 07 June 2010 20:13:07 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 06 April 2010

Traditionally the smallest set in a Lego theme is usually best for minifig collection, and it is also true for the Prince of Persia theme. But for this theme, which in my opinion offers some of the best minifigs in recent Lego productions, that set should be extra attractive.

After a very positive experience with the largest set in the theme (7573 Battle of Alamut), I would say I have the same level of satisfaction with 7569 Desert Attack, only one caveat, the price mark-up is too high for Hong Kong! Sold at HKD 138.90 (USD 17.80), it is a 162% mark-up! And that price is close to the selling price of 7570 in U.S.! Although I can take advantage of coupons, but such official pricing is very discouraging.

Minifigs obviously are the center of the set, you get the same Dastan from other sets, but you can get Claw Hassansin and Hatchet Hassansin only from 7567, the skeleton is a nice extra, but the horse is also a star item here.


The armour plate of Claw Hassansin looks cool on him, and we got three claws! one is extra! - Picture on right are the extras

There is nothing special about the structure, except the gray plant and sand color plant bush, which are new I think, Desert is a mysterious landscape and this theme gives us now the necessary elements to bring it to the world of Lego!


There are two pieces of Gem that can be hidden under the gray plant plate

The double sword Destan is really a very cool minifig, especially with the double face, which shows the gentle and heroic sides of the personality, it would be fun to try to create combat scenes with him.

Tuesday, 06 April 2010 15:05:06 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 05 April 2010

After completing Lego Prince of Persia 7573 Battle of Alamut, and reading through reviews of other Prince of Persia sets on the web, I stand firm in my conclusion that this is the best value set in the theme, and is truly an excellent set that I would applause Lego for doing a great job.

Basically I do not see any cons in the set, but there are many pros that I would like to point out:

Excellent minifigs and creatures
It is actually very obvious for most sets in the theme. In 7573 you have a complete masculine cast of warriors with different characteristics:


The cool and handsome Dastan, supported by his friend Seso


The Antagonist warriors headed by Nizam including Gool, Tamah and the Alamat guards


The cunning Tamah minifig looks very real with his malicious smirk!


Although the camel is available is also available in 7571 (The fight for the dagger), this is a tan one and I read that the one from 7571 has a different color, I think I would get the 7571 soon and shall confirm it.


Great castle

Need to say more? the new Sand Orange like color + tan + white combination creates good effect! Four sections linked together to form the complete structure




Beautiful golden dome, the quarter-moon shape parts create an effect that looks like a "ribbon effect" to me!

 



A nice mini-throne

 

Rich parts inventory
Parts wise it is very generous in terms of spares, and contains a rich varieties of new or high value parts. This set also introduces a lot of new parts: The bigger doors that looks good even from the other side, gold domes, smooth edge archs, and many others. But honestly, it is hard to think about using this set for parts only, perhaps combining 2 sets to build an even bigger castle would make sense.


Bag 1+2 for Castle gate and minifigs, Bag 3 and 4 for the two sides respectively, Bag 5,6,7 for the main tower

 




Spare parts, dagger may not count as the other one can be held in Nizam's hand 

Excellent playability


hinged section linking


mini-cannon


Nice Doors looking good from both sides of the wall


The use of 1 x 4 stub bricks allows Dastan to "walk" on the wall


The retractable stairs is also very interesting!


Breaking door


Catapults and Oil pouring devices




The Dagger is very cool! So is the way it is stored

By the way, I got this for HKD 789.9 after using HKD 80 coupons off the standard price of HKD 869.9, which translates into around USD 100, which is around 25% mark-up over the US Pricing of USD 80, this is already a very good price point as most mark-ups are above 50%.

Overall the theme reflects a unique middle eastern culture behind the story line and the lego design does it so well, however, the smaller sets cannot show a grand picture of the theme line and are limited by the size, some may say that the castle can still be bigger, but at his price range, 821 parts + 7 minifigs + camel, 7573 gives very good value in terms of "price-performance", with a size that is good enough to give a feel of "magnificence"

I would highly recommend this set!

Monday, 05 April 2010 14:53:00 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 03 April 2010

Taking advantage of the holidays, I steal time to play Lego, and what a good timing for Lego to release Prince of Persia theme here in Hong Kong, from what I know they are very hot and stocks in Toysrus are being grabbed as many local players are taking advantage of the discount coupons.

If financially feasible, I think getting all the sets in the theme is fine, as all of them seem to be worth buying, but having limited budget, I decided to get only 1 set, but the problem is, which one?

Honestly, many of the lower cost sets are both nice and not too expensive, but after some careful checking, I think they are actually too costly in terms of "price-performance", the best value set in my opinion is the most expensive set - 7573 Battle of Alamut!

I opened the box tonight, not having enough time to build the entire set, I completed only bag 1 and 2, but so far the impression is very positive, I believe I have made the right decision, and this Prince of Persia theme seems to be very good.


This set is made up of 7 bags, a camel and a tan plate, I can't find any stickers?


Only have time to build bag 1 and 2 only, which includes all minifigs and weapons.


This is something that I have been wanting! Cool!

 


The other facial expression of Dastan (two side minifig head)

So don't hesitate, check out the Prince of Persia theme, I think it is worth buying, at least for this 7573.

Stay tuned for the full review of this set, I hope I can find time to complete it in the next 2 days.

Saturday, 03 April 2010 02:28:53 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 02 April 2010

More than a year ago I was thinking of building a boat MOC, and I bought a set of 8636 for the boat base parts, but due to work the plan was totally abandoned and the lego set was opened but unattended until now - the Atlantis set reminded me of this nearly forgotten Lego asset.

Somehow I got an impression that this Lego Agent set did not seem to be a hot item, not many people talked about it and it was on shelf for a long time, and were even on sale for a very low price! Looking at the box, I think it may not have triggered a lot of excitment except perhaps the glow-in-the-dark octopus, but after I built it, I think I appreciate this set more than the Atlantis ones.

The boat that I bought this set for is not that impressive really, although the torpedo launcher and the head lights looks quite nice to me, but the overall design and color mix is too ordinary, and beware of the flick-fire action, it is very strong and can hurt.

What really impress me in this set is the submarine, if you compare it to a traditional submarine, you might say that this is nowhere like it, but if you consider it as a small underwater combat vehicle, it is indeed an impressive one. With a flip-up missle launcher and side missiles, plus a Bionicle claw at the front, it is well armed. The compartments for keeping a chest box is also a nice design, as well as the docking mechanism for the small sub, the whole vehicle is good for play and display. I would even imagine myself manuvering the vehicle in deep sea!


The submarine has a periscope that can raise

The minifigs are not what I care really, but I think the octopus is very valuable, it really glows in the dark as expected (yeah, of course it would you might say), and I guess it is available only from this set.

Although this set provides nice stickers, putting stickers on is still the most difficult tasks and the most annoying one, it is important to do the task carefully, or else it would spoil the overall look of the submarine and other vehicles.


Imagine how this sea scooter would look if the stick is poorly applied

8636 Deep Sea Quest is a wonderful set and contains a lot of good parts, I got it at regular price but still consider it an acceptable deal, it was a pity I was not able to grab another one when it was on sale, not really because I did not want to, but just were not able to buy one during that time.

Friday, 02 April 2010 22:43:06 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 14 March 2010

Although I am rather "junior" in my Lego experience, I have learnt about a few "under water" sets that Lego had released in the past, while I still haven't opened the Aqua Raiders sets I own, I was lucky to get a wonderful 1997 set under the Town-Divers theme: 6441 Deep Sea Refuge.

Despite being an incomplete second hand set, since the price is rather reasonable, I see it as a very good deal, especially after finishing the build and seeing the finished product, it was quite a hassle to find replacement parts (which are more than what the seller mentioned but I think it was a honest mistake) and I had to settled with using parts of different (but seemingly compatible) colors, but I think I was able to come up with something that can reflect the value of the original set.

This decade old set contains a lot of unique types of parts not seen in recent years any more, such as the winch, portholed and various shapes of panels, there are many printed parts too. The attention to the details is also amazing - x-ray machine, storage area for equipments, knives.

The lab structure is built on two 16 X 32 Tan baseplates (which are very useful) hinged together, and can be fold and unfold to work on the interior, there are so much playability there.

The submarine itself is also already an excellent piece of vehicle by itself, the driver is seated inside a hinged dome, and the cabin doors can also be opened, equipped with the arms, it is very realistic as an undersea explorer that can collect specimens.

You also have a boat with winch, which can be hooked to the base. Please note that the back of the boat was originally a blue plate, but it was missing from the set when I got it, so I replaced it with a white one.

I think a lot of people looking at this set would focus also on the sharks and Stingray, in this second hand set one of the stingray and a shark is missing, it is still ok as I got enough creatures to keep the ocean floor busy. By the way, how easy is it today to get a Lego Stingray?

 

Please note the Underwater Scooter that the divers can use to move around, this is also a cool part of the set!

The porthole are very cool, making the interior lighting extremely realistic for an undersea feel.

The minifigs shown here may not be equipped as the same from the original set (I think even the cast is not correct either), according to Peeron there should be 4 clear diver masks in the set, but I got only 2 here, but overall this crew with the set as I got it is acceptable to me.

Comparing the Atlantis sets to this Deep Sea Refuge set, I think that Lego has not been exerting best effort in the new theme, having great minifigs/creatures like the Squid Warrior is not enough, the attention to details and being generous in enriching the content would be necessary to come up with a great set, if the quality of 6441 can be found in the Atlantis set, it could easily be one of the best Lego theme in 2010.

Sunday, 14 March 2010 19:07:48 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 13 March 2010

I built the 8056 Monster Crab Clash tonight, and feels better about this set than 8061. Although The crab is still not very realistic (the body is relatively small), but it is quite well designed in coming up with the claw and legs.


The diver is the same design as 8061, but with a different two faces minifig head.


And from this set, you get the yellow key ring!

One observation on the diver's helmet though, not sure if that is a defect or something by design, I found the same crack in all three diver's helmets. Anyone can comment on this?

Saturday, 13 March 2010 01:07:22 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 10 March 2010

After completing 8061 Gateway of the Squid, I would say the overall impression is not really that good, the minifigs, which includes the Squid warrior and divers, are quite impressive, especially the very cool Squid warrior, but the squids and the temple are disappointing.

The design of tentacles in one single long piece is not ideal but still acceptable, but the squid body and claw do not appear realistic to me, same for the smaller octopus, I understand it may not be easy to design these two sea creatures, but in such forms I just feel that they look odd, the octopus looks more like a white spider to me.

The color mix of the temple is a strange contrast of gray and tan, which does not look harmonious. The mechanism to open the gates through rubber band is hard to use, wouldn't using technic parts provide a smoother movement?

I think Lego is very smart in providing the colored keys, many would be tempted to buy more Atlantis set to collect all 5 colors, but I feel that there are poor designs in some elements, which would weaken the value of the Atlantis theme despite having some very cool minifigs.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010 22:25:47 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 11 February 2010

After I have done my review on Lego 4996 Beach House, I decided to see if my 4 years old kid can handle the regular lego and graduated from Duplo, and to my surprise, needing less than 20% of help, she can build all three models mainly by herself, a good test of patience and bricking skill, despite having some challenges along the way.

But the small bricks are really difficult for her, especially on removing them, it was painful even for adults to pull out the closely aligned 1 x 1 tiles!

By the way, many creator sets are great for family fun and provides good value as they provide multiple models, this beach house is excellent in these aspects, all three models are fine, but the primary model obviously is the best. And 4996 is affordable too, good for play and good for parts as well.

Anyway, my kid is not giving up on Duplo yet, and I have no plans to let her touch some of my high value sets, such as those new Starwars sets...

Thursday, 11 February 2010 22:17:54 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 03 February 2010

After I shared my review on Lego Ben 10 8409 (Spider Monkey) at a few forums, I got far many responses than I expected, it seems to me that a lot of people were looking forward to this new theme, but most of the feedback were not really favorable to this new Lego theme, to be fair and trying to take a second look, I opened the second box of Ben 10 set I purchased, and that, is 8519 Big Chill.

Among the Lego Ben 10 sets I saw, Spider Monkey and Big Chill look more interesting because the monkey has six limbs, and Big Chill has a pair of wings, the other sets looks simple and feel like containing only a subset of the two I chosen.

The parts inventory of 8519 looks familiar after building 8409


The head is actually made up of two parts, the screw can be removed to re-position the joint.

Honestly these characters looks scary, I don't know them and they can be good guys, but the look scared my young daughter quite a bit. The building process is really simple, so I spent time in playing with it by making a few wierd postures.


High kicks can be as good as Kung Fu masters like Bruce Lee


Kung Fu training postures, the second one is a legendary style called 如來神掌

After playing with Big Chill, I must say again that the flexibility this design provides is really impressive, the joints must be a design work of careful thinking, and if we just treat it as just another Lego product line, and as long as Lego would not "contaminate" other existing theme with this design, can we say that this Ben 10 theme does have some value as a toy? Even if it does not feel that Lego to us? Another question is, with this type of design, aren't there any existing better options than Lego?

And the responses I got from polls in Eurobricks as well as a Greater China forum is also very interesting, that would be very helpful in driving thoughts on this theme from different angles. I am waiting for more responses.

Wednesday, 03 February 2010 20:22:57 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 01 February 2010

I found Lego Ben 10 sets on display yesterday in local Toysrus, despite that it was the first time I ever noticed such theme, I purchased two sets to find out what this is all about. The first thing that came to my mind was: another Bionicle?

A quick check on the web revealed that it is indeed some sort of successor to the soon-to-be-discontinued Bionicle series, a new theme based on an American Cartoon licensed from a company called Cartoon Network, while I have absolutely no idea on what this Cartoon or Company is all about, I just see some sort of Bionicle feel in it. Another interesting find from the web are some rather negative remarks about this new product line.

The first box I opened is 8409 Spider Monkey, among the 6 sets on display yesterday, this seems to be a more interesting one, I was not surprised by the content, as there were already clues on the box, this is not a typical lego set, it is indeed a new twist, big parts that can be used to build a character probably in less than 5 minutes, quite un-lego in a way to me, even Bionicle sets would contain some smaller parts as well as regular lego bricks, but this one is totally different.

I guess I can understand why Lego makes such move, the traditional market segment, which probably includes you and me, may be kind of saturated, at this times where PSP, Wii and XBOX rule, Lego needs to identify new customer sources, and I think this Cartoon series very likely has a strong loyal supporter base that will sure purchase good related products. But here in Hong Kong, I think this product will meet cold response, for around 10 minutes in that crowded store, no one except me barely care to pick up a box to check, and there is so little discussion about this in local forum (well, I may try to test water with my Chinese review later).

So is the product really that bad for me? Honestly, as far as this 8409 is concerned, it is kind of interesting, the color is nice, and the creature can be played by making different postures with a lot of flexibility, I even would imagine using the parts on future MOCs, I think the parts are Technic compatible just like Bionicle.


The standard posture of Lego 8409 Spider Monkey


I tried turning this into a Spider-like posture and it works!


The torso can actually be further disassembed! The one with multiple connector may be useful in MOC design


The monkey head and tail

Overall, getting one or two good sets from this theme is fine, even it can be a little overpriced, at this price range it is tolerable, but it is definitely not something to feel excited about, at least not for me. In fact, this kind of design concept based on big parts is very unlike the built-from-details design philosophy that I see in Lego, I hope this type of design is limited to this theme and will not spread to other themes.

Monday, 01 February 2010 14:44:32 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 29 January 2010

With so many hot discussions around the new Lego 2010 Harry Potter sets, it reminds me of the few Lego Harry Potter sets I have owned.

Honestly I am not a fan of Harry Potter, I don't even know much about the story and never watched any of the movies, I bought a few Lego Harry Potter sets simply because of the Lego elements in them, and I actually got them only around an year ago, in reasonable pricing luckily (I would not have got them if too expensive), I think such pricing is not possible nowadays any more.

One of the set which I have actually built is 4704 - Room Of The Winged Key, it is a nice small set, the old gray parts and tan color mix well, and I would say the elements (spider and web, flames, keys+wings) all works well together. The architecture is good, nice design integrating the arch, roof, door and having the two plates hinged together nicely, which added a little playability aside from the minifigs and keys.

The minifigs are wonderful too, with wands and capes (star pattern), the all white queen minifig (if you count it) is also interesting, I think the white torso with white hands is not very common and can be quite useful (please correct me if I am wrong), the chrome silver crown is available in very few sets too.

The old sets seems to include quite a few nice extras, in the case of 4704, there are two nice small posters!

There are also a number of other useful parts in it, mainly "winged keys" of course, but I don't think I would break up this set and use the parts else where, I better keep them intact in one set, perhaps only temporarily "borrow" a few items for external deco in an MOC, and will return them to the set afterwards.

Another interesting thing in playing with this set is how to break down the built product into components that can be easily re-assembled, and keep them in the original box, usually this is difficult for most Lego sets, but this one seems to be working well.

Looking forward for the new 2010 Lego Harry Potter sets, not for Harry Potter but for the high quality lego design associated with the theme.

Friday, 29 January 2010 23:20:21 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 24 January 2010

I found out about this DK Lego sticker book from Brickset, and fortunately it is available at a local store at a good price, I did not hesitate to get a copy, and it looks like a good deal to me.


The book is composed of three sections:

- A 31-page booklet, on each page are spaces where you can put stickers on

The booklet pages represents 16 themes (2 page per theme except spongebob)
City
Train
Castle
Pirates
Space
Adventurers
Agent
Exo-force
Underground
Aquaraiders
Batman
Atlantis
Starwars
Harry porter
Indiana jones
Spongebob

The booklet pages are quite simple, but in a way it reflects what the editor feels would be the representative set of a theme, in Starwars, it is 10143 Death Star II. But I think they can actually make the booklet pages even richer.

- 13 Pages of stickers for use with the 31-page booklet, on each page there are around 16 stickers


- 19 pages of "Extra stickers, 4 of them are smaller size ones, aside from having a second set, there are 2 pages which are new (not available in the booklet related set). These extra stickers are supposed for free use beyond the booklet pages. There are 150 small stickers on each page.

In total, there are 512 regular stickers and 600 smaller ones.

The value of this book lies in the stickers, how to use them can imply a lot of possibilities, but would it be attractive to mature brick builders? I guess that would be interesting.

Personally, I have no plan to put these stickers on my stationeries, books, door or anywhere, I'll keep one copy as collection item, and is contemplating a wierd usage on the other one...

By the way, as the news from Brickset mentioned, there seems to be a Lego Star Wars version of DK sticker book coming (Lego Star Wars Ultimate Sticker Collection?), as there are some early information at borders.com.au, if that is true, the Starwars version can probably be a even hotter item!

Sunday, 24 January 2010 22:00:48 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 23 January 2010

4996 is a very nice House based set that Lego produced, but it was on sales probably because Lego produced too many of them, but in my opinion, it is a good set that should be hot, and Beach House is a very romantic idea.

It is designed as two pieces so you can remove the top one to add amenities (or residents) to the interior, there are movable windows and doors!

Thinking about houses, I also think of the tragic earthquakes that have been causing loss in both properties and human lives, not many people had personally experienced an earthquake, I did, so I know how terrifying it can be, and poorly constructed houses can kill people. Just wish that none of this will happen again. And using 4996, I try to depict a scene on a rescue of a earthquake victim, those teams that had exerted best effort will always be able to make a difference.

Here it goes ....

The owner of this nice beach house is a pretty young lady

Sometimes she would sit on the stairway, contemplating....

Watching the street from the balcony

Looking out the window....But....

One day ..... suddenly, something strikes! - The ground is shaking terribly

And the house is breaking up!

Ceilings falling down

In seconds, the building collapsed

Rescue team rushing in! Every second counts!

Efforts paid off, this is indeed a wonderful moment!

Although in reality, not everyone can reach safety after all, but what had happened can alert people who live in earthquake zones to prepare themselves on how to get a better chance of survival when the natural calamity strikes. Well, just hoping that 2010 is a good year for all.

By the way, usually people would take photos of their Lego work in sequence when they build it, but this time I am doing it the other way around, and in the process, I found out that tearing down a Lego structure is also something to learn and practice carefully too.

Saturday, 23 January 2010 02:56:33 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 14 January 2010

For Lego Starwars collectors, there is no such thing as which one to get when it comes to 8083 (Rebel Trooper Battle Pack) and 8084 (Snowtrooper Battle Pack), we'll sure get both. But if somehow you have to choose only one, well, despite my attachment to the Hoth Rebels, I would say 8084 provides better overall value.

It is not just the Snowtroopers, the new AT-AT Driver and Imperial Officer, these minifigs can be the main reason why people grab them, but the set offers more in the other "equipments" - I especially like the speeder bike, it is very well designed and has very good playability, when you check out the speeder bikes in other sets, such as:

30005: Imperial Speeder Bike
7128: Speeder Bikes
7139: Ewok Attack
4483: AT-AT .... you may agree that this one in 8084 is one of the better designs (if not the best) that Lego provides in a set, especially when it comes with a low cost set that includes 4 minifigs which are all very useful!

The mini outpost is small and looks impoverished, but the missile launcher is quite good as some playability can be provided with a few simple parts.

In terms of future appreciation, I expect this set to do well, so keeping a few additional sets can be a good idea even if you are not a trader.

Thursday, 14 January 2010 14:34:16 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Using a Hoth Rebel as my avatar, it is a sign that somehow I identify myself with the attributes of this character, whether it is a good choice or not is hard to say, but getting a set of Lego 8083 Rebel Trooper Battle Pack is sure a right thing to do.

I remember that around 2 years ago, it would have cost me USD 7.5 to get a single Hoth Rebel (from one of the older sets such as Lego 4500 and 7666), now this is a great deal for me to have 4, building a hoth scene sure will cost much less now, unless you are trying to build something like Mark Borlase's recreation of Echo base (that is an amazing work and one of the best Lego Hoth creation ever)!

Another thing that they do right this time is to use different heads for the rebels, I am not sure if works like my previous Hoth MOC tells them what Lego players need, it is quite obvious that we should add individual personality to each of these characters. The Pilot face is kind of new to me too, I don't know anything about Zev Senesca but this pilot is a new design and it looks nice.


Correct me if I am wrong, these helmets are new parts?


The vehicle (ice cutter?) that comes with the set is not very attractive to me, it is a little boring actually, it seems to me that the dark side has more fun equipments in 8084. By the way, if you check out an ice-cutter at http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Laser_ice-cutter, you may also feel that this landspeeder can be designed to look better.

After all, 8083 is a must get set for Lego Starwars Fans, it is just a matter of how many.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 22:14:43 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 08 January 2010

I guess there are many among us who are not only Lego Players, but someone who invests in Lego. Well, this may not necessarily has to be trading, but the thoughts of owning a set that appreciates, let's say, by 100%, definitely is a pleasant thing. With such mentality, I previously owned three pieces of 32X32 Blue base plate, which was considered rare commodity, as they have been extremely useful in building oceanic MOCs, but were only available from a few old sets, believe it or not, I got my first blue base plate from the 2004 Spiderman set 4856 Doc Ock's Hideout, and that is a very costly set to buy in 2009. The other source, 9286 Large LEGO Baseplates from 1998, was not economical either.

So when Lego announced the 620 Blue Building Plate, it was quite a "surprise", but aside from having some assets depreciating, having a good supply of this blue baseplate may actually allow many to build more MOCs, including myself, and after all, three pieces is no big deal really.

As expected, 620 is exactly the same blue baseplate as released earlier, at first glance I somehow feel that the new one is a little darker in complexion, but I think that could be an misperception only, inspecting closely and I think they are of the same quality. But if anyone notice any quality issues during building process, I hope they will be echoed somehow.

New blue baseplate 620  ------------- Old blue base plate from 9286

The pricing at US ($4.99) is very good, but in HK they sold it at HKD 74.9! Equivalent to USD 9.6! A 192% price difference!! At the US pricing Lego is doing a good job responding to customer needs, but for HK players, despite that we are used to such huge discrepancy in regional pricing,  this near double pricing is not helping customer satisfaction.

Finally, an interesting observation, the package paper of 620 base plate says the item is made in Denmark, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic, a plate produced in 5 countries? Wonder from which one mine was made.

 

Friday, 08 January 2010 20:13:46 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 05 January 2010

Just found out more information about this lady jedi that comes with 8091. Lego is truly very smart in manipulating the mix of set content, such as  including a rare minifig with a set of few pieces to justify a higher pricing.

After a quick research, I learnt that Barriss Offee is a Padawan to Jedi Master Luminara Unduli, since Season 2 of the Clone Wars are not yet being aired in Hong Kong, I have yet to see the new episodes to see her debut, but the character looks interesting, I am glad to have this minifig as I was not able to collect a minifig of Master Luminara Unduli yet, which is very hard to get. Personally I think Luminara Unduli is very cool, Barriss Offee appears to be so as well.

On the value of this new minifig, a check on history may help. Luminara Unduli's appearance (only in the Light-Up Lightsaber form) in only one single set 7260 Wookiee Catamaran in 2005 may be a good indicator. Besides, with Barriss Offee in the designed costume you may probably feel that she can be the prettiest jedi of them all.

I look forward to watch Season 2 of the Clone Wars soon in local TV, wonder if there would be an episode where Barriss will confront Ventress, I guess that would be a spectacular combat.

For fun purposes, I also tried to change the outfit a little bit, including a new hairdo, the effect seems not to be so good. But that somehow reminds me of a character named "Red Rose" (黑玫瑰) in a local movie series during the 60s.

So I guess I should buy another set of 8091 as collector item when my new batch of ToysRUS coupons arrive, assuming stocks would still be available locally then.

Reference: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Barriss_Offee

Tuesday, 05 January 2010 18:51:25 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 04 January 2010

The long awaited lego 2010 sets finally becomes available today (Jan 3, 2010) through the ToysRUS store in TST here in Hong Kong, I am not passionate enough to queue in line much early to be the first 100 buyers in order to have a chance to get a HKD 400 gift pack (for purchases above HKD 800), I only got a poster and a small gift item, but that's ok, and I was lucky to get the assistance of a kind staff in ToysRUS, who got me a 8091 (Republic Swamp Speeder) which were all "seized" by people who bought in large quantities (like a full cart of the same item).

I built this Swamp Speeder tonight, the HKD 299 pricing is quite high for a set of this size (it is quite small), it is not bad, but not superb either, I guess the "limited" edition thing makes this set a hot item, in fact, along with 8092 they were the first sets to be out of stock in this morning's first sales.

The Jedi Commander Barriss Offee minifigure is kind of cool although I am not sure who this Jedi Commander is, the other figures are not that special (sorry, I am not a clone collector). The speeder itself is quite unique, a side-by-side two seater, with a knob at behind that allows turning and manuvering of this speeder like a car, there are wheels below although the movement is not really that smooth. The bar-thing at the middle seems to be decoration item only, I can't see any practical use or playability in it. There are missiles which look nice, but I don't like to play with that anyway.

But the propeller type of thing reminds me of the swamp vehicle in Miami, after all, either on earth or some where in another galaxy, it makes sense to have a vehicle design like this for moving in a swamp.

For me, this set is hot not totally for its qualtiy but for the perceived rareness and unique design, locally it is a ToysRUS exclusive.


The box size is very inproportionate to the content


The main body


The movement mechanism


The wheels

Lego 8091 Republic Swamp Speeder is unique and special, so even if I may not rate it high, it is still a must-get.

Monday, 04 January 2010 01:40:55 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 14 December 2009

Sometimes people tend to think that it must be costly to build Lego MOCs, as evident by the many great creations that we've seen in Flickr and BrickShelf, but in fact, it is possible to have fun with limited number of parts as well. The small set Lego creator products such as 6741 Mini Jet are not really that hot, but I think it contains a good combination of parts that can be useful for building mini Starfighters, so I just give it a try.

First, let me introduce the three officlal models that comes with the set, they are all nice but honestly not extraordinary attractive, when I purchase the set, I was actually after the parts:


Model 1


Model 2


Model 3

Well, here comes my MOC, I used up all the parts and only parts from 6741:

Would welcome any comments.

Monday, 14 December 2009 17:56:07 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Do you think playing a game by picking up parts for Robo building is fun? I don't. But why do I get this Lego 3835 Robo Champ?

Simple, because of the parts, check out the following and you may agree with me:

 

The 1x1 tile is a costly piece, especially the green ones, believe it or not, someone is selling it at more than USD 2 per piece!

The three Robots are quite cute indeed! So just set them up for some fun photos!

It is worth buying as a souvenir item, the parts themselves are worth the money, plus you can play the game if you have young kids at home.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009 22:45:28 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 29 October 2009

When I first heard about the games theme from Lego, honestly there were not much excitement, first of all, I am not especially fond of this kind of game (instead I like X-BOX games), and secondly, my impression is that Lego is not a company good at this kind of stuff.

But after coming across 3840 Pirate Code by chance, it somehow caught my attention, and since a local vendor is selling it at HKD 279 (Around 22 Pound sterling), a 1.3X mark-up for a low cost product is truly acceptable, and I think perhaps I can play this with my kid too.


Nice packaging! Why can't all Lego sets boxes be designed this way?

And the result? Well, I would say this set is a jewel, not that it is a great game, but that it is a well-designed model that can be used to play a game in the pirates spirit, and its parts inventory is very interesting!

It is not a set for minifig collector, as there is no real Pirates elements in this set for that sense, the only "minifig" is a skeleton, but the game is about guessing the pirate secret code, and the most cunning pirate will win, the secret code is expressed in a mix of colored gems (6 colors). And guess results and hints can be expressed according to some rules. Honestly, I am really not a fan of these type of games, I would rather play Gears Of War II instead, so I am not going to play it now, and really can't elaborate any further.

The model is very interesting, built out of many high value parts, you got big number of stud plates, panel and other parts that you cannot possibly get in such quantity from a set! An example, for gems alone, you get 72 pieces of them (12 X 6 colors)! Checking out how much each of these will cost in bricklink, you'll know what you have got! By the way, as of now, the parts list are not inventorized at peeron yet, the photo below gives you a good idea on what's in the set.

The building process:



I like the treasure boxes a lot!

 


The dice! The "thing" beside it is used as a tool to remove the tiles easily


Not many left overs, but ok as the parts inventory is already very rich.

It seems to me that the games theme is available in Europe but not in USA, the price I got it in Hong Kong is still ok, the model is good and the parts can be a good supplement for building MOCs.

With my experiences on this 3840 Pirate Code, I think I need to take a serious look into other sets in the Games theme.

Thursday, 29 October 2009 21:21:51 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 23 October 2009

When you ask a Lego Star Wars fan on which vehicle is the symbol of the series, I guess many would say X-Wing, I still remember years back when 6212 was so scarce in the market, many would have been willing to pay 2 times the original price to get one, but in comparison, 7658 Y-Wing Fighter has been on cold shelf and even today, some shops have to sell it as bargain item.

The same fate hits 8037, Anakin's Y-wing Starfighter, so I ask myself, is Y-Wing ugly? Is it lacking the exposure or charisma to be a Star? Personally I think the vehicle is great, the two special big nacelles is a unique design, the many small pieces of bricks peppered over the main body reminds me of a sophisticated vessal sailing the oceans, so what's wrong with it that makes it a poor seller?

Could the answer lies in the minifigs? Comparing 7658 to 6212 in terms of minifigs is definitely a big mismatch, 8037 includes a special version of R2 but all Lego Star Wars fans must have obtained Anakin and Ashoka from other sets long ago.

So let's take a look at the building sequence of 8037:

I think 8037 lacks playability, as you got only a firing missile and one of two not so interesting moving parts, and the chamber for Ahsoka is badly designed, not only it is too small, it lacks maneuverability, the sides are also too hefty, and the use of stickers in this case is very disappointing. As far as the Y-Wing itself is concerned, I think it is a great vehicle to have, but personally I like 7658 much better, though for completeness, I need to have a 8037 too.

Two Y-Wings side by side comparison:

 

If having one Y-Wing is good enough for you, I would suggest 7658, it is simply elegant!

Friday, 23 October 2009 21:03:36 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 06 October 2009

I was not looking carefully and thought that taking out Celebration Luke minifig from the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary would cause some sort of damage to the book's look, but the fact is, all I need to do is to cut the tape and the cover can be freely opened and closed, taking the minifig in and out is extremely easy, what a nice design!

Thanks to Huw from Brickset, who had not only pointed out my misunderstanding on the design, and had also done an excellent review on this book!

Tuesday, 06 October 2009 18:39:00 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 05 October 2009

Finally the long awaited book from DK is available at local store, no need to say, it is a must-get for Lego Star Wars fans, aside from the colorful and high quality illustrations, you get the special edition of Luke Skywalker - Celebration Luke as the author calls it - An exclusive minifig where Luke dressed for the celebration scene at the end of Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope.

This 95 pages book nicely put together all the major Lego sets and minifigs produced, as a dictionary, it is not as comprehensive as an encyclopedia, but amazingly perfect as a collector item. It also brings attention to some special but less known items, for example, I only learn about the Zam Wesell's Airspeeder after reading this book. Other examples are the Geonosians and wookiees sections. There is also a Community section where great lego fans' work are being highlighted, I am not surprised to see that one of my favorite, Mark Borlase's recreation of Echo base, is there.


One of the most wanted set, the 2006 Slave 1 makes it at front page, it is a sign on how special this craft is!


The new minifigs displayed on content page


An example: A page telling you almost everything you need to know about The imperial army


Since I intend to keep it as a collector item, I am not going to take Luke out yet, so I just keep it there, please note the way it is packed, I think it would take quite some effort to remove it without causing some damage to the book's look.

By the way, the book is not as thick as it appears to be, 50% of it are for containing the minifigs, so you get 95 viewing pages, which is less than 50 physical pages I believe, but since the price is quite reasonable, it is still very much worth the money.

Monday, 05 October 2009 20:08:51 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 10 September 2009

The lego community obviously are all now focusing on the new products coming up, what excites Starwars fans most must easily be the 10198 Tantive IV, while these new sets are truly wonderful, let's recall the same excitement that ignited the lego starwars passion last year.

Lego 7676 Republic Attack Gunship may be forgotton by many now, but it is probably one of the best Starwars vehicle produced by Lego so far, I am not going to repeat the features here as you must already known about them or read about those somewhere many times, I just like to point out a few of my observations:

1. Republic Attack Gunship may be the Starwars clone wars vehicle with the most exposures, and it is really beautiful. The Lego implementation reproduced the movie details to its best:



Opening cabin door, compartment for command station and healing chamber 



Two seats camel style pilot cabin



Compartment can carry combat units and a speeder bike, and there is a backdoor for entry


2. It is a vehicle with much flexibility and playability




Positionable cannons, missiles, flexible wings, combat chamber on wings.

3. The minifigs mix is great, with the passion of Lego Starwar fans, never would be a set be good enough in that aspect. But remember, this is the only set that gives you Ventress.


Commander Cody and Clone Trooper


Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon

Talking about Ventress, despite being a villain, she is a fascinating character and one of the most fearsome nemesis of the good jedi clan, without her, wouldn't the war be less fun?

Thursday, 10 September 2009 19:20:05 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 13 August 2009

Among all the Lego sets, there is a set which holds a very special status among my collections - I have 5 boxes of it!

7657 AT-ST once was a scarce commodity, the highest price I paid for it was HKD 290 (USD 37), today it seems that not many are looking for it any more, but it is (or has been) a very interesting model really.


7657 is not a big set, consists of plain color parts

 


The structure at a glance, the legs are rather rigid, but the knobs at the back can make the upper compartment rotate

 


The minifig is cool, the head and helmet are very useful else where too

 


The minifg looks great on top of the control room

 


Adding Yoda into the scene, with the master around, even the mighty AT-ST machinery cannot do anything

 


This is a nice set, but why do I get 5 boxes? I really don't know, just bought them 1 after 1 over a period of over a year, may be it is time to sell one or two of them...

Thursday, 13 August 2009 21:56:06 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 11 August 2009

I have recently seen a number of great Lego creations with Oceanic background, and in each of these work, there is a common part that caught my attention, and I also notice that this particular part is also frequently asked in many Greater China forums.

I first notice the blue 32 x 32 Baseplate from my Spiderman set - 4856 Doc Ock's Hideout  - but at such as high price nowadays, that obviously is not a economical way to get the blue baseplate, then I found 9286 - Large LEGO Baseplates - this set is not cheap either, but it is very targetted, you get exactly what you need.

The Old Gray 48X48 baseplate is a classic, I can't even figure out how much it worths today, the two 32X32 green baseplate are very useful too, and with the blue plate (now I have 2), it is a ok price to get them at USD 40.

Now I can start thinking of a new MOC idea, an oceanic one probably... 

Tuesday, 11 August 2009 21:18:02 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 01 August 2009

While a review for a minifig pack like this can be boring, I tried to add some flavors to it to make it more interesting, I hope this works.

But let me answer a few key questions first:

Q. Can the tiles on the Tic Tac Toe plate be removed?
A. Yes, I did it, but the plate of course is glued seems uneasy to be removed, I have not forced the issue for fear of damaging the box, can someone who owns the older Tic Tac Toe sets share some clue? I think I may have made the wrong conclusion earlier (my fault)

Q. Are they regular minifigs?
A. I believe so, see the anatomy of the selected minifigs below


Someone who leads by being the Sample (for anatomy analysis)


Who should I choose from the pirates side? well, believe me, this is a random choice


Q. Is it fun to play with?
A. if you really play Tic Tac Toe with it, it is. But.....

The full cast in close up:

And the packaging is quite smart, you can fold it this way for easy storage:


How about playing a game first?


So far so good, nothing weird yet...

 


Oops, someone got hot tempered...

 


Looks like we have a tie as usual, really boring....

 


But wait....

 


Someone cheating!!!

 


Things are getting out of hand!

 


It is truly sad that peace cannot prevail...

 


At the end, nobody wins....

 


What a mess....

 

Actually all these can be avoided, the conclusion: DO NOT play Tic Tac Toe.

So how can we use this thing?

 


How about a dance?

 

Grab a set of Lego Pirates Tic Tac Toe, and have fun in a way - whatever way you can imagine...

Saturday, 01 August 2009 18:18:20 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 30 July 2009

In the previous review of this interesting book, I have only shown the primary model Two Castles, but the book actually contains 6 other models that can be built out of the bricks. After building the remaining models, I feel even more satisfied with the value of this product. So here I share all the 7 models of the Lego BrickMaster Castle:


Two Castles: This model uses all the bricks, the knight has the strongest fighting strength here. But I think the skeleton's assets looks very great too!


Castle Jail: The Knight is having an upper hand here, and this mini jail also has a defensive weapon (the catapult)


Skull Castle: This one is truly inspiring, I am going to build a MOC....


Castle Chariot: The knight is in trouble here! But a mobile jail without cover? I think it looks more like a comfortable transport


Castle Lookout: A simple one, but the skeleton feel is strong! Imagine running into this amidst heavy mist!


Castle Battle: The Knight defense can look grand even with so few bricks! Against a fully equiped Skeleton!

Castle Defense: The Skeleton vehicle looks great from the front, but one question, how does this thing moves?

I need to mention that the book has very good photo background for the models, a seaside background that fits exceptionally well to the storyline! This is a must get set really!

Thursday, 30 July 2009 13:58:07 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Having a good experience with the BrickMaster Pirates, I expect the same level of satisfaction with the BrickMaster Castle set, and I am not disappointed. From first glance the bricks in the set does not seem to be superb, but the rich variety of models that can be built out of them again makes this simple set of bricks extraordinary.

The high quality printing makes the 45 pages book a collector item, the book is not for illustrating Lego castle information as some people thinks, it is actually an instruction manual for 7 alternatives models that you can build with the included bricks, but it is printed at high quality that no Lego manual had been produced like this before, and there is a compartment used to keep the bag of bricks.


Bricks Contained - Inventorized


But one caveat is that my set has one missing brick, instead of 2 Brown 1x1 tile, there is only one, instead I got one extra 1x1 black brick, so the soldier's small castle will be a little improvished.

Here is one of the model in completed form - Two Castles (you can use the same set of bricks to build 6 others based on the instructions)


The completed Two Castle in completeness - No left over bricks (all used)


Soldier with Two faces

Ratings:
Minifigs: 7/10. Just Ordinary, but good to fit in what the set can offer

Parts: 8/10. Not that there are great parts, but the value lies in the models that the same set of bricks can be used to build

Playability 10/10: With so many alternative models to build, rarely can a set be having such good playability

Price: 10/10. 2 minifigs and 140+ pieces plus a nice printed book is a good deal for HKD 99 (Around USD 12.70), Amazon is pre-selling it at a higher price

Overall: 9/10. This is truly a great value set! I would highly recommend it (subject to the price in your region may be).

Regarding on how I got this? Check out my previous blog entry here.

 

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 15:07:18 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 27 July 2009

I think this set+book thing published by DK Publishing (Please check out their site link for the item) provides great value at HKD 99 (around USD 12.70), it contains a lot of good parts, and being able to come up with so many models with the same set of material is simply astonishing. I am not sure if it is related to the BrickMaster program (http://shop.lego.com/Product/?p=KBM27) or is this a new product line to be released in such format (while I believe that the later is more likely).

So here I am sharing one model that we can come up with the bricks, it looks really good, especially good when we think about the price, after all, good pricing will definitely affect customer satisfaction, right?

Completed model - Treasure Island

 


The Good Guy


The bad guy


Nice Cannon


Left overs (which should be usable in other alternative models)


Parts that worth a second look, I think this set/book is also a good source for some useful parts

You can find out more about this product from here

 


 

Monday, 27 July 2009 10:42:30 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 26 July 2009

It is rather strange that no one from Hong Kong has posted a review on this yet (Correct me if I am wrong), are they all planning to keep this as a souvenir? (I do have such a thought) But since I did blog about it and many friends are asking what are the content inside, I decide to sacrifice and open a set!

Well, another reason that prompt me to open this set is the condition of the packaging:

A torned plastic bag, that's why it looks like some content is missing from outside

 

But nevertheless, at HKD 99 (around USD 12.70), it is a good deal, you got over 140 bricks and 2 minifigs, and a very nicely printed instruction book, which contains ways to use this set to build 6 different models! And there are also quite a number of good parts!

 

As a book,this is a very nicely printed high quality instruction book (no Lego manual have such printed quality), and in the spirit of BrickMaster, a single set of material can be used to build different models!

Seeing this marked as "to be released on Aug 31,2009" on Amazon, I am not sure if this can be found else where, but here in Hong Kong, they can be hunted down with luck at some MTR station's 7-11 stores, see my previous blog on how I got these, beware though, availability seems to be subject to luck and there is NO guarantee that they can indeed be available at a specific 7-11 store.

Sunday, 26 July 2009 14:44:06 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 24 July 2009

Truly unexpected, these two sets of BrickMaster items (are they sets or books?) appear on shelfs of local 7-11 stores, they are NOT widely available but seems to be appearing and disappearing in some 7-11 stores in some MTR Stations, I heard that they have been seen in Kowloon Tong, TST, Central, North Point, Taikoo and Terminal 2 of Hong Kong International Airport.

These items look special, at HKD 99 each, it is around USD 12.70, a little less than the pricing in Amazon (and Amazon says "released on Aug 31st"?) and no need to pay for shipping, I heard that many local Lego fans ran from one 7-11 store to another, and many were disappointed. Personally I am not especially excited about these two sets, but today I got passed a 7-11 store in MTR Central station, and decided to take a look, and found 2 boxes there (they are sold along with books and magazines), so I just bought it, well, the price is kind of ok indeed, nice to have if you don't need to run around in hot weather in order to buy.

In case you would travel to Hong Kong in the next few days and you truly want these two sets, may be you can check casually in the 7-11 stores that you would come across "naturally".

Friday, 24 July 2009 19:08:38 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 13 July 2009

I saw some folks in GCR (Greater China Region) doing a review on 8420 Street Bike recently, that reminded me of this old set which I got quite sometime ago. With a engine, gearing system, and suspension mechanism, plus many parts (such as the two big wheels) which are not available else where, it is a great set with great playability.

Somehow I sense that this item has been quite hot in mainland China, but I do not see many talking about it here in Hong Kong, the price has reached around USD 90 already here, not much more costly than bricklink price.

By the way, I have taken a set of outdoor pictures of this bike model:

This red Lego 8420 Street Bike in my opinion is one of the best set of Bike (or may be one of the best Technic Set) ever made by Lego.

Monday, 13 July 2009 21:58:20 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 07 July 2009

Lego keep coming up with new minifigs and along with them new vehicles, 7753 Pirate Tank gives us 2 new lego minifigs: Hondo Ohnaka and Turk Falso (sorry, I actually get to know them only by now),  Obi-Wan Kenobi is not new, but nice to have if you haven't got him already.

At around USD 50 in Hong Kong, I would still consider this a good buy, with 372 pieces including 3 minifigs (2 new and rare ones), again, the value would be determined by the quality of the vehicle. And for this one, I would give it a thumbs up.

The vehicle is not looking great actually, and honestly I haven't seen it in the Star War movie or TV series before, just did some research on the web and gradually knowing more about these pirate guys and their tank, but I found the design quite interesting, specifically the rising seat, but together with the minifigs the whole thing suddenly makes sense, a guy holding two guns appearing from the vehicle and starting combat action!

The Technic mechanism for the rising seat:

The covering plates for the compartment of the rising seat:

Rising for combat actions:

Besides, the two minifigs are good, at first impression, Hondo may appear to be a bad guy, but after some reading I think the character is a complex one, better watch the episodes before jumping into conclusion, and for now, let me just take a nice shot of this guy:

 

Hondo Ohnaka:

 

Turk Falso

 

Aside from the rising seat, the firing missiles at the back is just a small thing, but the missile firing mechanism at the front seems quite new to me (pushing a plate), the wings at the front are not very stable but the rest are fine, I also enjoy building the wings at back, as they are solid and well designed, and the vehicles happens to have wheels too, well, I almost forgot, it is a tank and not a plane.

Front missiles, can be triggered by pushing the gray plate

 

Missiles at the back, hand pushed, nothing special

 

The wheels, well, without seeing this, I almost forgot that I was building a "Tank"

The wings (or are they wings? Correct me if I am wrong), these two pieces are not very stable and can easily get loose

Tail wing Internal, just to show how it is built

Tail wing completed, very solid

Anyway, overall I would strongly recommend getting this set, after all, it is not expensive, why miss it?

 

Satisfied with final work, so put the stickers on

The fully completed Lego 7753 Pirate Tank!

Tuesday, 07 July 2009 00:02:39 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 03 July 2009

Based on what I observed from forums and reviews, I suspect that this is another under-rated Lego Star wars set, is it possible that being a lady's starfighter discourages guys from buying it? But my personal experiences with this set is very positive, and as a result, I bought another box for storage.

Ahsoka is a wonderful character adding much vitality to the cast, her interaction with Anakin in the clone wars brings much youthful sensation to the series. The animation did a great job in presenting the young padawan but the lego character does not seem to duplicate the animation character very well, the minifig looks too mature to me.

But aside from Ahsoka and R7, the starfighter is very good, with printed parts (which is getting rare) and a nice dark red based color scheme. The droid fighter is also good, with a design which I think is very similar to 8016 Hyena Droid bomber, it can fold and stand vertically, quite an interesting model.

And despite hating stickers, the stickers in this set is well fit into the model, well, if it can be properly placed, for me it is always challenging to place stickers on the bricks nicely.

The two buzz droids, however, can get loose easily, it is great though for us to have them again without getting the expensive old sets such as 7252 Droid Tri-Fighter.

I have read some reviews complaining about the price and it seems that some could have bought it at a strangely higher price, but I got it here in Hong Kong at around  USD 50, for 2 nice vehicles + 2 buzz droid + 2 minifigs, I see this as reasonable.

I would highly recommend this set!

Here are the pictures of the set:

Base body of Ahsoka's starfighter

 

The mechanism for triggering the missiles

 

The landing gears

 

The wings, very solid

 

The Buzz droid, good to get them (two of them!) at 7751

 

Base body of the droid fighter and one of the wing's parts

 

Completed droid fighter

 

Completed Starfigher (without stickers yet)

 

Buzz Droid attacking Ahsoka

 

Placing the Lego 7751 vehicles along side with the XBOX controller for size reference

Friday, 03 July 2009 19:25:54 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 11 June 2009

Among all Starwars characters, I have a special sentiment toward the Hoth Rebels.

Being small potatoes, the Hoth Rebel is a tragic character, fighting a battle that is destined to fail, sacrificing without causing damages to the enemies, but their fighting spirit and courage are definitely respectable.

I have collected quite a number of Hoth Rebels mainly from 4500 before the release of 7666, although I don't really like the yellow face Brown Hair over Eye minifig head, it is better than the 3 dot face now comes with 7749, just wish it were LtFlesh as I somehow just feel that Yellow faces are wierd. I also feel that the old Aviator Goggles is better.

Another goodie from the 4500 Hoth Rebel is the weaponry:

Anyway, my ideal Hoth Rebel minifig probably has to be custom mix one.....

Thursday, 11 June 2009 21:03:57 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 10 June 2009

When I look at the Snowtroopers minifigs, there is one thing which puzzles me, why would the Lego designer responsible for this come up with a helmet with a backpack attached? And that, is a leaking backpack!

I hope it has nothing to do with cost-saving.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009 14:43:07 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 09 June 2009

After talking about the strange Tuan Tuan in 7749, I think I can write a full review on the set.

Aside from the cutie Tuan Tuan, this set comes with Han Solo, two Hoth Rebels and two Storm troopers, in terms of number of minifigs this set is a good deal, but to rebuild the battle of Hoth? I think this idea has been around for years, but after seeing many of such great work in Flickr, I gave up any attempt to do it, as there seems to be no point in repeating something that many others have done so well, especially when doing so requires a lot of money.

The good guys:

The bad guys:

The Hoth Rebels now share the same white pants with the Storm Troopers, I think it was grey in the movie, not sure why they changed it for the Rebels starting in 7666. And they also get a new pair of Aviator Goggles, seems in line with the latest fashion trend, but somehow looks funny in battle scene though.

Beside the minifigs, the rest are slight variation from the counterparts in 7666, the missile-firing defense turret can house a rebel, but honestly I never appreciate those firing missile mechanism, which I doubt even how many young kids would care to play with. The springboard mechanism is also ridiculous, why would a Hoth rebel do that for?

This set is fair in pricing, but since the new Tuan Tuan is a disappointment, the rest are just copied from 7666 with no new surprise, buying a set is ok, but seeing some local folks buying half a dozen of it, I really can't understand their passion.

Tuesday, 09 June 2009 22:49:34 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 07 June 2009

I found out that many people are very excited about 7749 Echo Base, personally I am very passionate about the battle at Hoth, but I really feel that there is something wrong with this new 2009 set, something not found in all the predecessors, such as 7130, 4500 or 7666.

The first weird thing is the Taun Taun figure, this lady-eyes animal is more like a disney character than a Star War figure:

Although I should not be expecting a piece like this:

Picture From: http://www.amazon.com/Star-Empire-Strikes-Skywalker-Tauntaun/dp/B000065CLL


However, at least  it should not be so cute and look so much like a baby kangaroo with a few pimples on the head.

And having a big single piece that you attach the horns and forearm is not very good, the Tan color for the horns also looks incompatible.
 

And the crack between the asymmetric half on the box picture is quite obvious, good that the real thing is not so.

Personally I think this Tuan Tuan is very disappointing.

Sunday, 07 June 2009 22:30:11 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 02 June 2009

I have been scratching my head on which set to blog about at the launch of my blog, I have quite a few interesting sets, but probably all of them are not interesting at all to others, so I need something that few would have blogged about, or even have played with, and this is what I got for my first set review:

8036 Separatist Shuttle has been mentioned extensively along with other Lego Starwars 2009 Summer sets such as 7749, 8038 and 8039, these are all interesting new additions but 8036 offers 2 new minifigs that caught a lot of attentions. To be honest I am not a minifigs freak (or geek), so even if I buy a set for the minifigs, I would complain loudly if the vehicle stinks, such in the case of 7752.

So how do I rate 8036? Well, I won't complain even slightly, except for the price I paid for in order to get this set at this moment (it is my fault and has nothing to do with Lego), it is truly expensive and I hate to mention it to make me appear like a fool, but because of this, I would complain more than loudly if somehow I am disappointed with the set.

The set is composed of a few relatively small Bags:

 

The shuttle is quite small, but a shuttle is a shuttle, especially in the world of Lego, if emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader together can only ride on such a small shuttle in 7264 (Imperial Inspection), how can Nute Gunray and Senator Farr expect to have a big shuttle? Here is a picture of the shuttle beside an X-BOX controller so you can feel accurately how small it is.

Actually I can feel how small it is by the size of the box, and when pulling out the bags from the box, but it is ok, coz this shuttle IMHO has been designed well, I am not sure how all the other much experienced builders would say, I am quite impressed by the sleak design.

The knob controlled doors is quite impressive over the common hinged doors, it is not easy to design a container space inside such a small vehicle. Besides, the building process is very smooth, the rear tail wing is very solid and nicely layered, and unlike many of the Star Wars vehicles, the shuttle is extremely solid! It is so solidly designed that it can be solidly separated and packed in chunks inside the original box, which if attempted on other vehicles, such as 7752, would instantly result in a vehicle break down.

There isn't any special parts in this set, but I don't think anyone would buy this set for reusing the parts really, the minifigs are what people mainly look for in this set I think, and the 2 minfigs are truly valuable, you get Nute Gunray and Senator Farr for the first time, and the 2 minifigs are quite good looking (in minifigs standards, which focus on color and pattern instead of being handsome), despite being the villains.

Overall this is must get set for Star War fans, "must get" are truly overused nowadays but I do mean must-get because it does not cost unreasonably if you buy it at regular price, you get 2 rare minifigs in addition to a nice shuttle, even if pay a foolish price I do not regret paying extra to have a first hand experience on it.

By the way, I do not remember exactly where this shuttle appears in the movie or TV series, is there really a cockroach like vehicle in Starwars?

 

Tuesday, 02 June 2009 17:05:59 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)