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# Wednesday, June 3, 2009

May be many of you who would buy the Lego 2009 H2 Starwars sets would wonder, which set is the most demanding one. Here in Hong Kong, some of the clues include:

1. 7749 Echo Base is the first set to be reviewed in local forum

2. 8036 Separatist's Shuttle is the first set that is out of stock in a ToysRUS branch in the busiest district in Hong Kong (Causeway Bay)

3. Someone already discovered that the R2-D2 in 8037 Anakin's Y-Wing Starfighter is new!

But these are random pieces of information, I have another angle of looking at it, which is trying to read the mind of the local Lego distributors through their pricing strategy.

Typically the pricing in Hong Kong is much higher than the US, the price at ToysRUS represents the official prices, and usually ranges from 110% to 130% of the US retail price. I think the pricing may somehow indicate how the distributor expects the sales of respective sets in local market, through common sense, the better selling sets with better demands should be marked up higher, based on the this theory, I calculated the pricing of the new Starwars 2009 H2 sets as followings:

Set No Description USD HKD HKD to USD % 
7748 Corporate Alliance Tank Droid 25.00 268.90 34.47 137.90%
7749 Echo Base 25.00 268.90 34.47 137.90%
8036 Separatist's Shuttle 30.00 366.90 47.04 156.79%
8037 Anakin's Y-Wing Starfighter 60.00 689.90 88.45 147.41%
8038 Battle of Endor 100.00 989.90 126.91 126.91%
8039 Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser 120.00 1289.90 165.37 137.81%

So does this mean 8036 will be the hottest set if my theory is correct? But it is hard to convince myself that 8037 is the next hottest, the Yellow Y-Wing does not look good to me, and having no hot minifigs, how can it be more demanding than the others? And if someone tells you that 8038 Echo Base is the least demanding set, you must think that he is nuts. So my conclusion: My theory is wrong, I have no clue why the pricing is set this way. I can only say, buying 8036 locally is mostly hurting, and I just did that, even buying at a price way much higher than the regular price...

But the good news is, buying 8038 locally is a good deal, especially when I can use HKD 10 coupons per HKD 100 purchases at ToysRUS, they are really very good in driving you back for more purchase with this coupon strategy, but it helps indeed, as there are something that I sure will buy without the need for them to drive anything.

Anyway, a message to lego players in US, you are the lucky guys, you pay less for the same lego set we got. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 9:57:31 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, June 2, 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, June 2, 2009 5:05:59 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

I am not a kid, though I wish I am. I like Lego a lot, though I am not sure if I wish I have not. But this blog is about my daily struggle with lego, and I hope some folks would read it.

Let me start by sharing my sentiments on my lego playing experiences, like everything else on earth, there are always pros and cons to everything, and lego should not be an exception, so I feel like listing down the goods and bads about being infested with AFOL syndrome.

Top 5 good things about being an AFOL
- Having a hobby after all
- Have an area of interest in common with the Kids
- Owns something that most likely won't depreciate
- Create miniatures of things that one can't really have in reality
- There is something nice to look forward to at least (especially when you are rejected for....)

Top 5 bad things about being an AFOL
- $$$$$
- Losing spaces to lego sets
- Long term tension with spouse
- Have to act like a smuggler when bring home a new set
- When passing away, would leave over a heritage of treasure that the family will dispose like crap

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 4:27:38 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)