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# Thursday, 14 January 2010

First, I need to emphasize that this Lego MOC is not designed to glorify the forces of the dark side, depicting the miserable and horrible suffering of the Hoth Rebels is a way to show the sacrifices they made in performing their duties.

I am not sure if I am the first one to make use of this technique to simulate a blood stain effect in Lego in my previous Hoth MOC, but I think it interests a few people, this time I added 2 new fun features to the MOC:


Please note the head of the shot snowtrooper


Can you notice the blood stains on and below the turret, as well as blood "flowing" inside the back pack?

Another interesting thing I tried is the "flying up" speeder Bike, thanks to the new Lego 8083 and 8084 sets, they gave me this vehicle as well as low cost ways to get the needed minifigs! I have also done reviews for the 2 sets separately:

8083 review (Rebel Trooper Battle Pack)
8084 review (Snowtrooper Battle Pack)

And of course, 7749 helps, perhaps I haven't utilized it fully, and that would be something to think about for the Version 3 MOC.

Yeah, it is a little bloody, just hope that you enjoy my MOC not because of its being bloody.

MOC
Thursday, 14 January 2010 17:59:58 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

For Lego Starwars collectors, there is no such thing as which one to get when it comes to 8083 (Rebel Trooper Battle Pack) and 8084 (Snowtrooper Battle Pack), we'll sure get both. But if somehow you have to choose only one, well, despite my attachment to the Hoth Rebels, I would say 8084 provides better overall value.

It is not just the Snowtroopers, the new AT-AT Driver and Imperial Officer, these minifigs can be the main reason why people grab them, but the set offers more in the other "equipments" - I especially like the speeder bike, it is very well designed and has very good playability, when you check out the speeder bikes in other sets, such as:

30005: Imperial Speeder Bike
7128: Speeder Bikes
7139: Ewok Attack
4483: AT-AT .... you may agree that this one in 8084 is one of the better designs (if not the best) that Lego provides in a set, especially when it comes with a low cost set that includes 4 minifigs which are all very useful!

The mini outpost is small and looks impoverished, but the missile launcher is quite good as some playability can be provided with a few simple parts.

In terms of future appreciation, I expect this set to do well, so keeping a few additional sets can be a good idea even if you are not a trader.

Thursday, 14 January 2010 14:34:16 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Using a Hoth Rebel as my avatar, it is a sign that somehow I identify myself with the attributes of this character, whether it is a good choice or not is hard to say, but getting a set of Lego 8083 Rebel Trooper Battle Pack is sure a right thing to do.

I remember that around 2 years ago, it would have cost me USD 7.5 to get a single Hoth Rebel (from one of the older sets such as Lego 4500 and 7666), now this is a great deal for me to have 4, building a hoth scene sure will cost much less now, unless you are trying to build something like Mark Borlase's recreation of Echo base (that is an amazing work and one of the best Lego Hoth creation ever)!

Another thing that they do right this time is to use different heads for the rebels, I am not sure if works like my previous Hoth MOC tells them what Lego players need, it is quite obvious that we should add individual personality to each of these characters. The Pilot face is kind of new to me too, I don't know anything about Zev Senesca but this pilot is a new design and it looks nice.


Correct me if I am wrong, these helmets are new parts?


The vehicle (ice cutter?) that comes with the set is not very attractive to me, it is a little boring actually, it seems to me that the dark side has more fun equipments in 8084. By the way, if you check out an ice-cutter at http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Laser_ice-cutter, you may also feel that this landspeeder can be designed to look better.

After all, 8083 is a must get set for Lego Starwars Fans, it is just a matter of how many.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 22:14:43 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 08 January 2010

I guess there are many among us who are not only Lego Players, but someone who invests in Lego. Well, this may not necessarily has to be trading, but the thoughts of owning a set that appreciates, let's say, by 100%, definitely is a pleasant thing. With such mentality, I previously owned three pieces of 32X32 Blue base plate, which was considered rare commodity, as they have been extremely useful in building oceanic MOCs, but were only available from a few old sets, believe it or not, I got my first blue base plate from the 2004 Spiderman set 4856 Doc Ock's Hideout, and that is a very costly set to buy in 2009. The other source, 9286 Large LEGO Baseplates from 1998, was not economical either.

So when Lego announced the 620 Blue Building Plate, it was quite a "surprise", but aside from having some assets depreciating, having a good supply of this blue baseplate may actually allow many to build more MOCs, including myself, and after all, three pieces is no big deal really.

As expected, 620 is exactly the same blue baseplate as released earlier, at first glance I somehow feel that the new one is a little darker in complexion, but I think that could be an misperception only, inspecting closely and I think they are of the same quality. But if anyone notice any quality issues during building process, I hope they will be echoed somehow.

New blue baseplate 620  ------------- Old blue base plate from 9286

The pricing at US ($4.99) is very good, but in HK they sold it at HKD 74.9! Equivalent to USD 9.6! A 192% price difference!! At the US pricing Lego is doing a good job responding to customer needs, but for HK players, despite that we are used to such huge discrepancy in regional pricing,  this near double pricing is not helping customer satisfaction.

Finally, an interesting observation, the package paper of 620 base plate says the item is made in Denmark, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic, a plate produced in 5 countries? Wonder from which one mine was made.

 

Friday, 08 January 2010 20:13:46 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 05 January 2010

Just found out more information about this lady jedi that comes with 8091. Lego is truly very smart in manipulating the mix of set content, such as  including a rare minifig with a set of few pieces to justify a higher pricing.

After a quick research, I learnt that Barriss Offee is a Padawan to Jedi Master Luminara Unduli, since Season 2 of the Clone Wars are not yet being aired in Hong Kong, I have yet to see the new episodes to see her debut, but the character looks interesting, I am glad to have this minifig as I was not able to collect a minifig of Master Luminara Unduli yet, which is very hard to get. Personally I think Luminara Unduli is very cool, Barriss Offee appears to be so as well.

On the value of this new minifig, a check on history may help. Luminara Unduli's appearance (only in the Light-Up Lightsaber form) in only one single set 7260 Wookiee Catamaran in 2005 may be a good indicator. Besides, with Barriss Offee in the designed costume you may probably feel that she can be the prettiest jedi of them all.

I look forward to watch Season 2 of the Clone Wars soon in local TV, wonder if there would be an episode where Barriss will confront Ventress, I guess that would be a spectacular combat.

For fun purposes, I also tried to change the outfit a little bit, including a new hairdo, the effect seems not to be so good. But that somehow reminds me of a character named "Red Rose" (黑玫瑰) in a local movie series during the 60s.

So I guess I should buy another set of 8091 as collector item when my new batch of ToysRUS coupons arrive, assuming stocks would still be available locally then.

Reference: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Barriss_Offee

Tuesday, 05 January 2010 18:51:25 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 04 January 2010

The long awaited lego 2010 sets finally becomes available today (Jan 3, 2010) through the ToysRUS store in TST here in Hong Kong, I am not passionate enough to queue in line much early to be the first 100 buyers in order to have a chance to get a HKD 400 gift pack (for purchases above HKD 800), I only got a poster and a small gift item, but that's ok, and I was lucky to get the assistance of a kind staff in ToysRUS, who got me a 8091 (Republic Swamp Speeder) which were all "seized" by people who bought in large quantities (like a full cart of the same item).

I built this Swamp Speeder tonight, the HKD 299 pricing is quite high for a set of this size (it is quite small), it is not bad, but not superb either, I guess the "limited" edition thing makes this set a hot item, in fact, along with 8092 they were the first sets to be out of stock in this morning's first sales.

The Jedi Commander Barriss Offee minifigure is kind of cool although I am not sure who this Jedi Commander is, the other figures are not that special (sorry, I am not a clone collector). The speeder itself is quite unique, a side-by-side two seater, with a knob at behind that allows turning and manuvering of this speeder like a car, there are wheels below although the movement is not really that smooth. The bar-thing at the middle seems to be decoration item only, I can't see any practical use or playability in it. There are missiles which look nice, but I don't like to play with that anyway.

But the propeller type of thing reminds me of the swamp vehicle in Miami, after all, either on earth or some where in another galaxy, it makes sense to have a vehicle design like this for moving in a swamp.

For me, this set is hot not totally for its qualtiy but for the perceived rareness and unique design, locally it is a ToysRUS exclusive.


The box size is very inproportionate to the content


The main body


The movement mechanism


The wheels

Lego 8091 Republic Swamp Speeder is unique and special, so even if I may not rate it high, it is still a must-get.

Monday, 04 January 2010 01:40:55 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 24 December 2009

Just found out that the long awaited lego 2010 sets will be sold on Jan 3, 2010, through the ToysRUS store in TST here in Hong Kong, these new sets have been available in US and other countries for awhile, and many local Lego players are anxious to get them, I personally would be happy to pay a little more to be the first few locally to get the Starwar sets, but it seems that no local lego shops in Hong Kong are importing and selling them yet, not sure if they are under pressure from someone and prohibited from doing so before the "official launch".

This kind of first-day selling offers many promotional goodies, for example, the first 100 customers who will purchase more than HKD 800 will get a gift pack worth HKD 400, and there will be raffles too, but there are also dark sides in such activities - aside from spending time to fall in lines, I have heard about cases of unfriendly competition for items on shelf, although I have not seen that in person, but I did experience chaos in such kind of events before. I am not sure if the HKD 400 gift pack is all worth that effort, my only concern is that, would some of the hot items being sold out and swept by lego shops/vendors before the real users come in?

The starwar sets will be key targets for many, I read that 8083, 8084, 8085, 8086, 8087, 8088, 8091 and 8092 will be available, all of them are attractive and I may get each one of them, hope that there will still be inventories left that day when I get there.

By the way, the location of ToysRUS TST can be found here: http://www.toysrus.com.hk/inside/location.htm, perhaps to avoid affecting the Christmas sales of old Lego Stock, there is no information available in their web site yet.

Thursday, 24 December 2009 17:43:31 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 20 December 2009

I remember I was able to complete wave 50 solo in Gears of War II Horde Stasis quite sometime ago, but I did not take any evidence picture at that time, and I was trying to do that again just for "Picture taking". But that turned out to be a nightmare, I cannot describe the level of frustration this attempt gave me.

Stasis is a very tough map, a small area with no good hideout, and Bloodmount attack seems to be much furious than what I experienced in Day One, and the most annoying thing was, the location and timing of the spawning of opponents seems to be so harsh and damaging, I once even become doubtful on how random that is.

Good that I finally figure out a new variant of the strategy I used before to complete wave 50, and get it done after all.

But this map and the way the program executes it is very disturbing to me, I doubt if anyone else is willing to spend time to try it out my way, it could be a waste of life.

By the way, if you read my blog and willing to try and know how I overcome it, please leave a comment here.



Sunday, 20 December 2009 00:58:43 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 14 December 2009

Sometimes people tend to think that it must be costly to build Lego MOCs, as evident by the many great creations that we've seen in Flickr and BrickShelf, but in fact, it is possible to have fun with limited number of parts as well. The small set Lego creator products such as 6741 Mini Jet are not really that hot, but I think it contains a good combination of parts that can be useful for building mini Starfighters, so I just give it a try.

First, let me introduce the three officlal models that comes with the set, they are all nice but honestly not extraordinary attractive, when I purchase the set, I was actually after the parts:


Model 1


Model 2


Model 3

Well, here comes my MOC, I used up all the parts and only parts from 6741:

Would welcome any comments.

Monday, 14 December 2009 17:56:07 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 12 December 2009

After I blogged about 9286 last time, I actually bought another set of this Large LEGO Baseplates in order to have another blue 32 X 32 baseplate in my Lego Inventory, at USD 40, this is actually very costly as the 2 green baseplates and the old gray 48 X 48 are not really of big practical value. But the blue base plates are really too useful for oceanic MOCs, I thought the spending would be worth it, until now.

I just read about an upcoming Lego set 620 blue building plate (http://brickset.com/detail/?Set=620-3) from a Eurobricks thread, although I am not sure how much this one would cost when it is available, it is definitely a much better (and targetted) option to get the blue baseplate, well, just like buying stocks, what have been invested is already done, I have to look forward, after all, it is a good thing that the supply of blue base plates would be better soon, and it can really help a lot of Lego players.

One question remains though - How much is 620 going to cost?

Saturday, 12 December 2009 14:55:53 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)