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# Monday, 12 October 2009

When I saw the Lego BrickMaster Pirates on the shelf of PageOne bookstore today, I was happy and thought of buying one more set, but after seeing the price tag, oh....it is sold at HKD 249 (roughly USD 32), around 2.5 times the price I got it more than 2 months ago! The Lego book is sold at 401.50 (around USD 50)

I guess the importer who sold the set through 7-11 did not know much about Lego products, luckily for those who were able to got it at that low price then.

My previous review of Lego Brickmaster Pirates is here.

Monday, 12 October 2009 14:20:33 (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)
# Tuesday, 15 September 2009

I received notices from helpful folks in Eurobricks and Flickr about my previous work being stolen, I have heard about cases like this but never imagined that this would happen to me, after all, I am just an ordinary player, so after knowing that my work is worth stealing, it is a good sign indeed.

But on the other hand, stealing is bad, even stealing something of small value, even a rotten egg, is still stealing, this is unquestionably something that must be stopped!

Information at flickr that alerts me

Source of issue (2009-09-16 update: already removed)

My Original work

But it is a pleasure to find people who use their precious time to help others and stop bad things from distracting the young generation about proper attitude and values, again, thanks to them for the help! 

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 16:56:41 (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)
# Sunday, 06 September 2009

One of the real life category that people uses Lego Bricks to build is food, in the recent ani-com event, local Hong Kong lego experts also demonstrated their lego skills on this aspect, mostly delightful for me is the lego dim sum, as dim sum is my most favorite food over all, I am glad to have a chance to take photos for these impressive creations:


Lego Dim Sum!


Lego Cakes


Lego Sushi


Lego fish dishes


Lego Pizza


Lego seafood, a lobster in this case


Lego Steak and wine


Lego snacks (Hong Kong style egg pie)


Lego ice cream and desert

By the way, if you shall visit Hong Kong and like to know more about food in Hong Kong, feel free to check out my food blog at http://www.biginhongkong.com too!

Sunday, 06 September 2009 10:22:56 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 04 September 2009

I recently blogged about the nice review I found at Eurobricks on the Lego Pirates Chess set, and later I found out that the "hats" wore by the imperial soldiers in the Chess set is different from those from the Tic Tac Toe set, I am not good at western history and asked about this in Eurobricks, and a number of nice people shared very helpful information, please find the thread at http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=32695, I think a good understanding on this "hats" history can help us to recreate accurate historical scenes on Lego.

Friday, 04 September 2009 22:00:18 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The power of the internet as a great medium for information distribution is indisputable, so is its power to distribute misinformation, I read about a forum post in a Greater China Lego forum about a body part of a Lego Giraffe in Germany being stolen, and they also posted a link to Yahoo news in Taiwan, which says that the body part is a sex organ!

When I read this news, I was a little puzzled, could that be real? I really doubt if the Lego builder in charge of building the giraffe would pursue details up to that level, obviously that part should not be a focus of effort involving 15000 pieces.

A quick research reveals that it was not the sex organ, but the tail which was stolen:

http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE57O4AO20090825

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090825/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_germany_giraffe

So after all the power of the web can correct itself, all we as readers should do is to remain alert on any possible misleading articles that do not seem to make sense, and use the power of the web to dig out the real news. I am not sure where is the origin of the misinformation, I think the editor of the Yahoo News may be a victim as well, so perhaps a safer way is to search for pictures of the Lego Giraffe, which I did find some:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lego_Giraffe_Potsdamer_Platz_Berlin.jpg

http://www.reisenews-online.de/2008/07/11/lego-giraffe-ohne-schwanz/

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/PsGz4e0N8BpwTYl3kSjl0g

On the topic of the tail being stolen, I also wonder on the motive, is it simply greed as the tail is the part that can be easily detached? Or is it the passion of lego turning evil? What do you think? 

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 12:40:16 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 23 August 2009

Three weeks ago when I did my review on the Pirates Tic Tac Toe, I already had a chance to get also the Pirates Chess set, after reading a great review on the Pirates Chess set on Eurobricks, I have much better understanding on the set details, and I do not regret for not getting it at that time during the recent ani-com in Hong Kong, it is not bad, but there seems to be something that makes me feel like buying it later.

First of all, I already have too many "chess sets" at home already, compared to Tic Tac Toes, they occupy more space, although the pricing seems to be quite economical as well (USD 19.99 for 10 minifigs vs USD 49.99 for 24 minifigs + 2 monkeys + 2 horses heads + 4 rocks), the soldiers do not have epaulettes is a big minus.

For army building I still prefer the Pirates Tic Tac Toe over this one, as collector item, I would wait patiently. Based on pricing history, Tic Tac Toes does not seem to depreciate as badly as the chess sets, I expect to get this Pirates Chess set when it is sold at discounted price like the fate of the Castle Chess set today.

For playability, getting use to a "Pirates" cast seems to be quite wierd, imagine a "monkey knight"...

There is also an ongoing discussion there on the quality of the minifigs in the latest Pirates product, I still need to check on that yet.

The review by Eurobricks user einsteinonthebeach on the set is very good, I strongly recommend that you check that out for more details on the set for more second opinions on the value of the set.

Sunday, 23 August 2009 21:52:29 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 16 August 2009

There are so many great Lego artists out there that can impress us again and again with their great work, but some are very exceptional in certain ways - their creations can bring back many good memories - in the lego way.

One such Lego artist is AndyBear (小熊), a very popular Lego Master in Hong Kong, his work, usually labelled as <小熊建築>, is a symbol of great architecture work here in many greater China forums.

AndyBear has many great work as you can find them at his Brickshelf gallery:
http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?m=andybear
One of the example that I like a lot is the Japanese Temple, I used to travel a lot and Japan is my favorite destination, but since my daughter was born, I rarely travel and really long for the good times I had, this work reminds me of the great moments during some of my previous trips to Japan.

Source: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=378256

AndyBear is very good in oriental style buildings, another of his masterpiece is the traditional Chinese style residence that he built for the Beijing Olympics Lego exhibitions, 四合院 (szu-ho-yuan) is a compound with sections of rooms built around a courtyard (a courtyard with houses on four sides), and is a popular tourist attraction in Beijing, AndyBear did it so well and can fully recreate the essence and atmosphere of the structure.

Source: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=373248


The work of AndyBear is not just about buildings and structures, his work usually are also composed of nicely decorated surroundings and furnitures, and people with surprisingly detailed features, you can feel the happiness and warm sensation when going through the details.

Sunday, 16 August 2009 12:12:14 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)