Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links
# Thursday, 09 July 2009

Music plays an important part in most of our lives, I would not consider myself a Fan, but I truly respect those great artists whose sounds and moves once touched our hearts, especially during some of the most frustrated moments.

Thanks to fellow Flickr user Jack'o (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jack_is_great/) for inspiring me with his comment, and of course, this great work from Ciamoslaw Ciamek  (http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/131223)

MOC
Thursday, 09 July 2009 23:55:08 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

Like a competition, people from different groups in a particular geography who sought to become a Lego Ambassador will feel differently as the result is announced, there will be joy and disappointment, while I believe that all the ambassadors definitely deserve the honor, there must be folks who also deserve such honor but have not gotten it this time. I have known some good people whom I feel have made significant contribution to the Lego community, compared to them, I feel like a very small potato.

I had worked on a community building role before (for the Hong Kong subsidiary of a big company, bigger than Lego I think), the hard thing was that there were always more people who deserved recognition than the resources that could be made available to make such recognition possible, the only good thing was that with proper recognition beyond the official ones, the community would still grow harmoniously.

I hope the same recognitions will go to all those who shared their passion for Lego everywhere, in one form or the other.

Thursday, 09 July 2009 18:08:35 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

Just read the news from Brothers-brick.com on the Cycle 7 LEGO Ambassadors announcement
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2009/07/08/cycle-7-lego-ambassadors-announced/

I noticed that there seems to be more representatives from Asia this year than last year, and Thailand has two representatives, which I think is really exceptional. I think players in some countries in Asia are having more challenges than US and European players:

1. Parts Supply: Local shops usually may not have rich varieties of parts, and ordering from Bricklink etc can be costly due to shipping costs.

2. Family Support: Unfortunately, in many Asian Families, there seems to be misconception that Lego are for Kids only, so it is hard to get support from family, I guess the concept of AFOL is more mature in US and Europe.

3. Working class in many Asian countries need to work longer hours, and may have less time to dedicate on personal hobbies

Hong Kong's situation on parts supply is not that bad though may still get people frustrated at times, but Family Support and free time would definitely be big issues, and we have another super big challenge - Space! With the high real estate price, it is really hard to find space to build lego, not to mention the needed space for keeping them.

Congratulations to all the ambassadors, I guess many of them overcome a lot of challenges to achieve that.

Thursday, 09 July 2009 11:06:06 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 08 July 2009

It has always been an interesting thing in my mind, how come the parts of minifigs are always packed into the different bags in a lego set? May be there are already a lot of discussion on this, but let me talk about my observations.

A quick anatomy of the bags of my most recently opened box - 7753 Pirate Tank - as an example:

The bags of Lego 7753 Pirate Tank:

 

The bags opened:

 

How the parts of minifigs are distributed:

Why are the parts contained in 4 different bags instead of 1? Is it a way to discourage people from re-selling some portion of a set in a "unopened" form? Here in Hong Kong it is common for people to resell the vehicle and keep the minifigs, it is especially common for the recent Star Wars set, where people has little interest in the vehicles. And "unopened bags" can be sold at better prices as it is a sure indicator of being "New". I wonder if this is also something happening in other parts of the world, do people in US and Europe trade this way?

By the way, I am not a "minifigs only" guy, I think the power of Lego lies also in bricks and MOCs, I love to keep and collect vehicles.

Link: My set review for Lego 7753

Wednesday, 08 July 2009 11:05:16 (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)
# Saturday, 04 July 2009

I am proud to see these great work from a fellow lego player in Hong Kong, IcedPlusCoffee (John Ho) created this pair of transformers duo - Mudflap and Skids! What a time to refresh us with something beyond the Hasbro toys.

Source:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iced_coffee/3676749481/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iced_coffee/3677593102/

 

Need to say more? Please visit John's photostream at Flickr for more of his amazing robotic creations!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iced_coffee/

Saturday, 04 July 2009 11:27:56 (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, 02 July 2009
 #
 

When the new Hasbro transformers models were being promoted when the movie launched, I noticed that only Optimus Prime and Megatron were available for the leader series, but what actually caught my attention was Jetfire, which can be transformed into a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird! Based on pictures alone, I felt that this model must be a great one, and today I think I have been right. I bought the Hasbro Jetfire model (Leader series) today!

 

Taking pictures for this while the item is still in box is difficult due to light reflection, but since I still don't have time to take care of the Optimus Prime I bought last week, I feel like keeping the Jetfire as is for the moment, but even when looking close through the box plastic cover, I can still sense the goodies of this model.

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is a legendary warplane completing its mission, lego expert Lego monster (http://www.flickr.com/photos/legomonster/) has created a lego model for it (http://www.flickr.com/photos/legomonster/sets/72157603680930793/), it is a must see!

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/legomonster/2166681842/in/set-72157603680930793/ 

 

 

Thursday, 02 July 2009 21:58:05 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 26 June 2009

When the first Transformers movie came out I purchased an Optimus Prime Leader Class figure, but after learning that it would take quite a lot of effort to do the transformation, I delayed playing it and the toy ended up unopened and packed until now. After watching the recent movie, despite having some disappointments (even questioning on some of the hidden political messages there), I consider this the fault of the production and should have nothing to do with the Autobots themselves, so I would still consider getting a new figure.

But what is the point of getting a new one unless I know what the differences are? Well, I went to a department store and I found out that the new one is much slimmer and more like the movie figure, but a quick research on web led me to another angle, there is actually a Japanese verison of it (code is RA-01)! So I went to some local shops (the smaller shops as all the department stores and ToysRUS are penetrated by Hasbro exclusively) and found out that they are indeed available, but I couldn't spot the difference except a Japanese sticker on it, at one point I even suspected that the so-called Japanese version is exactly the same item, as the box looks exactly the same!

Only after further research on the web that let me find out the difference (At least one spot)! The part below the neck is painted red in the Hasbro version, while the Japanese version is silver, after checking out the movie site, it seems that it is true that the Japanese version is indeed more accurate!

For Hasbro version photo, please check out: http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/en_US/shop/details.cfm?guid=C7B0855F-6E9A-1014-8306-F81AE4AFE356&product_id=24097&src=endeca

So do I have to pay more for the Japanese version? The retail prices are almost the same, but since I can only get the Japanse version at those smaller shops, I can't take advantage of the discount coupons and Credit Card promo (cash rebates), and I ended up paying around HKD $100 more (Approximately USD $12+), is it worth it for just a small color difference? Well, I am happy to pay for that, how about you?

And has anyone come up with a Lego Optimus Prime that's transformable? If you know, please share it!

Friday, 26 June 2009 22:45:23 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Today is a big day for fun, the showing of Transformers 2 (Revenge of the fallen) definitely is an important entertainment to catch, so despite having to travel a long way to the SkyPlaza at terminal 2 of the Hong Kong International airport, I still go for it. Why the airport? The IMAX threater is so fully booked! In the days of H1N1, better play safe to watch it in a place with less people, the mcl cinema at Skyplaza is a good choice, I see around only 20+ people watching the 10:00a slot.

So is the movie good? I think it is "just ok", the fresh stimulus we got when the first movie came out may have diminished, so it is only a "ok", and I don't like the story line as it creates too much chaotic scenes without depth, if you ask me which scene in the movie is the most impressive one, I can't really tell, there are just too much reckless psuedo-heroic battle fights which drives you nuts. But to be fair, for plain entertainment, it is still a must watch movie if you like movie of this kind, it is not easy to have something better, may be I was just expecting too much.

So how about the quality? Is the 4D Extreme Screen (which they claim to have a dimension of 64 ft X 44 ft, close to 5-storey high) comparable to IMAX? Well, this movie has no 4D element exactly except that they create some winds and gas at some moment, besides that, I guess it is just an ordinary movie showing, with only around 60% to 70% usage of the screen, the quality is not as good as IMAX, but it is still a bit better than most theaters in Hong Kong, and one special thing about this MCL Cinema is the distance between the audiences and the screen, which is quite comfortable. In the IMAX threater, the distance is too close for such a wide screen, so even when you are taking the highest row, the viewing is still not comfortable, but I believe that the IMAX version should still produce better quality, I would try that out a week or two later when less people would go to watch this movie.

Wonder if anyone has built any transformers in Lego? One that really transforms?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009 17:37:20 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)