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# Sunday, 21 February 2010

For fans of Star Wars, what kind of items are worth collecting aside from Lego Sets? I found these metal plates from Bandai and they look kind of cool, do you think they are worth buying?

The whole set of 6 plates represents Yoda, Clone Troopers, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Asaji Ventress and Obi-Wan Kenobe, which one do you think is the hottest and hard to get?

Sunday, 21 February 2010 23:59:48 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Just read about the happenings at the 2010 Toy Fair at New York, aside from the new Lego models, I found out that some lucky people got a White Boba Fett minifig along with a Star Wars collector's book for 2010.

You can check out the following Flickr album for a photo:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/47496150@N05/4360062182/

And there are also rich details at:
http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2010/02/16/cool-lego-toy-fair-swag/#more-3282

Wednesday, 17 February 2010 20:36:10 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Having a tiger head pattern may seem to be fine at start but it is obviously inadequate, I should really put in more effort to complete the body I think, so despite lacking parts and ideas on how to do it, I give it a try.

The Chinese new year holidays ends today here in Hong Kong and everything going back to business tomorrow, I hope better things are installed for us in this new year.

MOC
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 22:04:48 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 14 February 2010

樂高虎圖賀新歲! - Celebrating the Chinese new year with a Lego Tiger pattern!

祝大家虎年萬事如意 「樂在磚裡尋, 高朋享心得」- Wishing eveyone good fortune in the year of Tiger, enjoying the fun of Lego brick building, and sharing ideas with friends in the Lego community

MOC
Sunday, 14 February 2010 00:34:42 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 11 February 2010

After I have done my review on Lego 4996 Beach House, I decided to see if my 4 years old kid can handle the regular lego and graduated from Duplo, and to my surprise, needing less than 20% of help, she can build all three models mainly by herself, a good test of patience and bricking skill, despite having some challenges along the way.

But the small bricks are really difficult for her, especially on removing them, it was painful even for adults to pull out the closely aligned 1 x 1 tiles!

By the way, many creator sets are great for family fun and provides good value as they provide multiple models, this beach house is excellent in these aspects, all three models are fine, but the primary model obviously is the best. And 4996 is affordable too, good for play and good for parts as well.

Anyway, my kid is not giving up on Duplo yet, and I have no plans to let her touch some of my high value sets, such as those new Starwars sets...

Thursday, 11 February 2010 22:17:54 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A group of local Hong Kong Lego masters have organized an exhibition that is attractive for all ages! It is not very often that we can have such opportunity here, fortunately I was able to find time to visit, it is very different indeed to be there in front of the real thing, watching everything in one grand view.

The exhibition is until Feb 12 only (11:00a to 9:00p), so any lego fans who are currently in Hong Kong may want to check it out, the venue is within walking distance from MTR Kowloon Tong station.

Venue:
4th floor, Amenities Building,
City University of Hong Kong

Thanks to all the experts, including a friend from US, for giving us a chance to enjoy and learn more about Lego creations!

You may also check out the creations online at:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/bricksadventure2010/

Wednesday, 10 February 2010 22:16:46 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 08 February 2010

I blogged about a Lego 40004 look-alike last time, but I made a mistake in mentioning the base, I think it should be a Round Dish 6 x 6 Inverted instead of an 8 x 8 I mentioned last time, and the 6 x 6 inverted dish is readily available from a set I just reviewed: 4996 Beach House! So here I have an exact replicate of 40004 built using parts I have on hand.

Lego 40004 available at: http://shop.lego.com/Product/?p=40004

There are quite a number of Lego Valentine gift options, check them out!
http://shop.lego.com/valentinesday/Default.aspx

Check out this Rose too, though I like the heart much better
http://shop.lego.com/product/?p=852786

Monday, 08 February 2010 23:37:05 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 07 February 2010

For kids in China, Hong Kong, and other cities with Chinese new year celebration, aside from the fun, sweets and holiday, another great thing to be happy about would surely be red pocket (紅包 - Hóng Bāo in Mandarin, 利是 - Lai See in Cantonese/Hong Kong, and some would call it red packet). Red Pocket is a small red envelope with cash inside, given by married people to unmarried people (who nowadays may not necessarily be young) for good luck and blessing. The amount usually are small (around HKD 20 = USD 2.5), except from people with close relationship, which can reach 50X more, but since you'll get it from most people you'll meet during the Chinese new year visit (拜年), the total can be quite a big amount.

In recent years, the design of red pocket has gained a lot of new twist, interesting designs and licensed art works are used to make the red pockets much more interesting, but so far I am not aware of any Lego red pocket 樂高利是 being available yet, the discount coupons from Toysrus disguised as red packet should not count.

So why not create one when I can? The DK Sticker book I reviewed before can probably be useful in doing that, so I just give it a try, and here it goes....

I think it would be great if Lego subsidiary in greater china region (especially Hong Kong) would come up with some nice red pockets for Lego fans next year, imagine the marketing effect when these red pockets are distributed, and they would hit the exact customer target group! Looking forward to a Lego Starwars red packet with Anakin and Ahsoka saying "kung Hei Fat Choi"...

Sunday, 07 February 2010 12:02:27 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 06 February 2010

I was able to trigger quite a lot of feedbacks after I posted my reviews on two Lego Ben 10 sets (8409 and 8519), including the following poll results as of this moment (around 5 day period):

From Pockyland (Taiwan) - 95 votes
對 Ben 10 系列的設計方向, ,我會: 
支持 (Support)     5.26% (5)
反對 (Against)    51.58% (49)
觀望 (Observing)   22.11% (21)
無意見 (No opinion)  21.05% (20)

From Eurobricks - 72 votes
Opinion regarding this design trend:
Like                                  8.33% (6)
Don't like                          66.67% (48)
Unsure at the moment          8.33% (6)
Don't care                        16.67% (12)

Despite some variations in numbers, the trend is rather consistent, there are vocal negative feelings from these audiences even if they can simply choose to ignore it, in a way it may reflect that there are lots of people who do not like to see Lego doing this.

I think Lego needs to handle this with care, especially when they try to include such parts into other lines, or extend similar design ideas into other themes, the fundamental challenge with this Ben 10 type of Lego, in my opinion, would be mainly the big deviation from the lego bricks and parts, a even bigger deviation from Bionicle. And another issue would be the lack of building experiences and flexibility to build from smaller parts. In general, it is very un-lego, even though I would say the design itself is quite interesting, and the thing as a toy is quite fun, especially for young kids.

From a sales perspective, Lego may wish to both tackle new market segment for quick revenue, and as well attract new customer base to the Lego brand, which in the long run, would benefit all existing themes. Whether the Ben 10 fans would embrace this Lego version of Ben 10 is yet to be seen (pricing and other alternatives being factors), but this may distort people's perception on the true value of Lego from their first experience.

These two boxes of Ben 10 Lego will be kept at a dark corner in the bottom of my storage place, but I would not regret investing in them, who knows, may be a few decades later, it would emerge with high value, just like many rare stuffs that is rare because of very short life span.

Saturday, 06 February 2010 11:45:04 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 03 February 2010

After I shared my review on Lego Ben 10 8409 (Spider Monkey) at a few forums, I got far many responses than I expected, it seems to me that a lot of people were looking forward to this new theme, but most of the feedback were not really favorable to this new Lego theme, to be fair and trying to take a second look, I opened the second box of Ben 10 set I purchased, and that, is 8519 Big Chill.

Among the Lego Ben 10 sets I saw, Spider Monkey and Big Chill look more interesting because the monkey has six limbs, and Big Chill has a pair of wings, the other sets looks simple and feel like containing only a subset of the two I chosen.

The parts inventory of 8519 looks familiar after building 8409


The head is actually made up of two parts, the screw can be removed to re-position the joint.

Honestly these characters looks scary, I don't know them and they can be good guys, but the look scared my young daughter quite a bit. The building process is really simple, so I spent time in playing with it by making a few wierd postures.


High kicks can be as good as Kung Fu masters like Bruce Lee


Kung Fu training postures, the second one is a legendary style called 如來神掌

After playing with Big Chill, I must say again that the flexibility this design provides is really impressive, the joints must be a design work of careful thinking, and if we just treat it as just another Lego product line, and as long as Lego would not "contaminate" other existing theme with this design, can we say that this Ben 10 theme does have some value as a toy? Even if it does not feel that Lego to us? Another question is, with this type of design, aren't there any existing better options than Lego?

And the responses I got from polls in Eurobricks as well as a Greater China forum is also very interesting, that would be very helpful in driving thoughts on this theme from different angles. I am waiting for more responses.

Wednesday, 03 February 2010 20:22:57 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)