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# 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)
# Friday, 31 July 2009

At today's Ani-Com, the Lego booth has two great display sections, one is the Starwars creations section, the other is the display area for the 20 finalists of the Local MOC Competitions!

It is really great to see so many impressive creations by local Lego masters in one place, so here I am sharing my snapshots of these great works:

I wish I can take pictures with much better quality, but the venue was quite small and I did not want to block the passage, I believe that the owners themselves should have better photos of their own work, and you may easily come across them somewhere somehow.

There are a few creations that I especially appreciate, and some of them exhibits the oriental cultures and are the kind of work that most people in Europe and US rarely sees, I'll try to elaborate on a few of them in the next few days.

Friday, 31 July 2009 22:50:20 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

Although it does not sound like the perfect venue for Lego to host a booth, but the biggest annual event of Lego Hong Kong here in this city is at the Ani-Com! (http://www.ani-com.hk/front.htm). Ironically, despite their intention to make Lego fans happy (and having big sales at the same time), they got criticized every year.

It was a long and difficult day of Lego purchase, I am not crazy enough to queue up 5 days before the event starts (someone did here, but not for buying Lego I think), I arrived 15 minutes before the event started, and arrived at the Lego booth 45 minutes later, this was already fast compared to last year, thanks to the rennovation at the Convention Center which makes the flow smoother. But at the Lego booth, the queuing time was still the same as last year, it was another over 45 minutes wait.

I did not make much purchase (I got only a Pirate Battle Pack and Pirate Tic Tac Toe), my main purpose was to buy parts, and it took them 4 hours before I can pick them up, their estimation was 2.5 hours - and for that, I almost skipped lunch. Not to blame the local Lego Staffs, I think they are good tempered and works hard, but it was really too difficult for them to manage. Lego Hong Kong have improved this year, but obviously still not enough.

I once worked for the Hong Kong Subsidiary of a US Company (much bigger than Lego) and took care of the product evangelism of certain product/customer segment, it was always not easy to please everyone, but measurements are measurements, not only that you have to please a lot of people, you are not supposed to make one customer mad, so how to manage customer expectations would be key, I think Lego Hong Kong suffers because they did not handle this aspect well, plus the ineffective flow and insufficient backend support, no wonder there are angry voices.

But don't get me wrong, I was not unhappy at all, as I have been in their places and understand what's going on, I just calmly accept that, and after all, I got the parts I need, and Lego Hong Kong did a great job by getting these parts to Hong Kong, so even if I have to wait for hours, I got them at a reasonable price without paying high shipment costs to overseas sellers. What makes me sad is that my favorite hobby product provider was not able to be the best in making the fans happy, while there sure can be ways to do so.


A small brick-wall (samples), not comparable at all to what I saw in US Lego Store, but better than none.


A narrow Passage with buyers


The product item in the name of the poor general was simply left unattended

I look forward to Lego Hong Kong doing a better job next year, no worries, a true Lego fan should always be forgiving, though most people in Hong Kong usually aren't...

But there are also some super stuffs that is available at Lego Booth today!! See my next blog....

Friday, 31 July 2009 22:23:05 (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)

Just read about the fourth anniversary of The Brothers Brick, they shared a lot of interesting figures and stats, one thing that caught my attentions is that Hong Kong is in the top 20 countries where Brothers Brick readers are coming from, and they specifically mentioned that "Hong Kong jumps nearly ten places"!

I am glad to see that Hong Kong readers contributing to Brothers-Brick, and specifically mentioned. Personally I check the blog a couple times every day, it has been a source of inspirations!

Sunday, 26 July 2009 13:16:55 (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)
# Thursday, 23 July 2009

My obsession on Hoth seems to be driving me nuts, I am not a skilled lego player (it should be obvious) but it is fun to build (which all of you should agree), so here comes another Hoth related MOC, a bloody one as I am trying to illustrate how unfortunate the Hoth Rebels have been.

I wonder what would be the best way to create a "bloody" effect, it would be great if someone can point me to a better example. I have also seen some great work recreating the icy/snow landscape, but unfortunately I don't have the necessary bricks and decided only resort to what I have onhand, may be I should really sort out more money and do a serious purchase at Bricklink.

Would welcome any comments :-)

MOC
Thursday, 23 July 2009 10:04:28 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)