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# Wednesday, 05 August 2009

Our Hong Kong Lego Ambassador Tsang Yiu Keung created a Lego Eiffel Tower using a part that you may have never been able to imagine: Binoculars

I feel that at this scale the model is even more attractive than the official set, especially with some nice supporting models as nearby environment and background. I also learnt the microscale way of forming the group of trees, which fits extremely well into the model.

Please check out CK's Brickself gallery for more of this great creations

Wednesday, 05 August 2009 14:24:52 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 03 August 2009

I found this Pirate Captain Bag Charm today and it looks quite interesting! It is a Duplo and it seems that the product line is already stopped, I don't think this will be used, as it will be kept as Souvenir. Lego does offer a lot more than sets and bricks, and it is fun to see many interesting items today at ani-com.

Did you once come across this? Or do you own one?

Monday, 03 August 2009 22:16:04 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 02 August 2009

There were recently some heated discussions in Hong Kong regarding the preservation of a traditional Chinese art - Yue Opera (粵劇) , Yue (粵) is the shorthand name for Guangdong, a southern province in China where Hong Kong originally belongs to (and Guangdong dialect is the local tongue here), the dialect, culture and life style of Guangdong is quite different from the northern part of China, such as those from Beijing, where they have the Beijing Opera (京劇). These opera usually depicts the stories of famous personalities in ancient history, and Yue Opera used to have a large number of fans here a few decades ago, but not any more.

I am not a fan of Yue Opera, in fact, I would switch TV channel when I saw it on TV (when I was a kid), but I strongly agree that such cultural art should be preserved, and this creation from Vincent Cheung (fvin) is truly astonishing! I am not surprised at all to see it featured in brothers-brick!

The work represents a character (with face mask made-up) and the decoration usually involved in a Chinese Opera show, the character is General Kwan (關羽), a famous personality from the Three Kingdom era (around A.D. 200), who is also a symbol of Loyalty and brotherhood in Chinese history, please note his famous weapon, which has a special crescent moon shape. General Kwan is popularly idolized as Master Kwan and served in many homes here in China, I believe that many police departments in Hong Kong also do that.

This creation is one of the 20 finalists in the Lego Hong Kong MOC Competition, I believe that it should be in top 3, and is a true champion material, but I think the meaning of this work is more than Lego skills, I deeply appreciate that Vincent choose this topic, which is both challenging, and helpful for the young generation to understand a shining page of Chinese art.

And I think this creation also proves again the feasibility of a Lego Chinese Theme, looking forward to see more exciting work like this from fellow Lego players in Hong Kong.

Sunday, 02 August 2009 10:28:49 (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)
# 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)