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# Sunday, August 8, 2010

I did not buy many Lego sets in the recent 2010 ani-com in Hong Kong, but there was one that I got without much hesitation, mainly because it is not official available locally yet, but after building it, I think that was really worth the money.

8128 Cad Bane's Speeder is a unique vehicle, although the color is a little dull, the design is quite interesting, I ususally would focus equally on the vehicle and minifigs, but I have to say that the bounty hunter is really a cool villain, as well as Shahan Alama, the Senate Commando Officers are nice but somehow I do not like the blue color much.

Come and get me, huh

Senate guards Duo on patrol

Parts list

Some interesting parts

Technic Brick Liftarms

The new 2010 2 x 4 tiles

When it comes to parts, there are quite a lot of new ones, including the new 2 x 4 tiles, and others, one observation is that there are more technic 2 x 6 plates used than actually needed, perhaps Lego designer just do not want to include one more part type when the technic counterpart can also fulfill.

The vehicle has some playability, the rear end compartment can be opened, but moving the propeller along with it seems to be a little wierd, missile launchers have not been my favorite, but the real nice thing is the six seaters, and the driver cabin is quite cool

8128 pricing is quite high, a little overpriced but tolerable, but since this is the only set to get Shahan Alama I believe, and you also get Cad Bane and the senate guards, as well as the cool vehicle, it is worth collecting.

Sunday, August 8, 2010 2:36:43 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, August 7, 2010

Aside from the work of the finalists of the local Hong Kong Lego competition, there were actually other very impressive Lego arts being displayed in this year's Ani-Com.

I had actually tried on the Lego Mah-jong idea before but was not able to complete it, obviously this is an excellent work that I can learn from! I wonder if it is feasible to come up with a Lego mahjong set that can be played with.

Saturday, August 7, 2010 12:10:27 AM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, August 4, 2010

To be fair to Lego Hong Kong, their booth in Ani-com does provide values to some Hong Kong Lego players, but as an ordinary person (not a VIP of any kind), you would need to set the right expectations, and IMHO, the management is not really impressive in handling this event, I am quite curious on what they wish to achieve in setting up a booth in ani-com:

1. For Product selling - the hot items would go anyway regardless of what they do (they have a stock supply shortage issue and not demand issue), for slow moving items, I don't think they can sell many anyway, in general, whatever they can achieve in sales in these few days, I think they can achieve the same easily in many other channels

2. For customer satisfaction - By providing hard to get products, and also selling parts, this should make local Lego fans happy, but somehow there are many complaints on alleged lack of fair play in distributing hot items, no matter whether the accusations are true or not, obviously there are many unhappy customers, it is definitely a failure in event logistics and managing customer expectation


3. For Lego promotion - Well, I have once worked in a very large global company before and I played major role in running events and evangelism, for me, promoting brands and products would be a top priority, and the exhibition of top local competition entries is a right thing to do, which Lego Hong Kong did a great job, however, the way the booth was setup definitely was not able to maximize this effect, the Lego booth is very much like a castle, I guess more people can be influenced if the booth has an open area

Perhaps this can be a good way to setup an open booth to draw more people to appreciate Lego? A separate area for product selling and an open dedicated area for exhibition?

Anyway, one of the biggest thing in this anicom Lego booth were the local lego competitions that highlight important Hong Kong land marks, and here are some of the photos that I have taken:

Giant Buddha / Po Lin Monastery / The Wisdom Path


Wong Tai Sin Temple


Apliu Street


Avenue of Stars (Statue of Bruce Lee)


Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees and Tin Hau Temple


Ping Shan Heritage Trail



Hong Kong Railway Museum


Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Interesting to see Buzz competing for the buns!


香港體育館 (紅館)
Hong Kong Coliseum


萬佛塔 - 萬佛寺
10 Thousands Buddhas Monastery


Hong Kong - A City of Charm
A mix of the best of Hong Kong

1881 Heritage

Great work and although I have preference on a number of them, I admire the skills and dedications of all these lego artists!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 11:30:39 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, July 31, 2010

One of the biggest event for Hong Kong Lego players would probably be the ani-com (香港動漫電玩節), as Lego would host a booth there to sell products and display the art work of local lego competition winners, usually they would sell hot products at "slightly" discounted price, and some items that are not available officially can be found there, and sold at prices lower than those parallel imported ones.

I had been there in the past years, and honestly it was a difficult experiences, so I did not plan to line up for the Lego store anymore this year, and when I did drop by to take a look this afternoon, it was as bad as I expected, long queue and same small booth that wants to be everything, I think the local lego management seems to be unable to learn from past experiences.

Reading what people posted in a local forum about their experiences, it is interesting that after all these years, the lego folks here in Hong Kong still do not know how to manage this event well, and I doubt if the Lego management in Denmark do realize how some local lego fans feel about Lego because of this.

If this happens in the old company that I worked for, ha......

Saturday, July 31, 2010 12:35:43 AM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just returned from a New York trip, I was having big expectation to the Lego Store there at Rockerfeller Center, but I was quite disappointed.

Lego replica of the Rockerfeller Center

The store is conveniently located, not big but not very crowded even on a Saturday, but it is disappointing to see that many new sets available online are not found there, such as 10213 Shuttle Adventure, and they always run out of cups for purchasing bricks from the wall!

By the way, there is a Lego model at the Empire State Building, very nice work but the building itself may not be easily expressed magnificently as a lego replica, and I also notice that 21002 is abundantly available in many places, but the set is really too plain and small to be impressive, so I doubt if it is sold well.

It seems to me that perhaps Lego Stores in Europe would be better options.

Sunday, July 25, 2010 11:11:54 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, July 10, 2010

How much would the White Boba Fett worth? This is an interesting question as I see people trying to sell it online for HKD 750 (around USD 95!) here in Hong Kong. Well, personally I won't pay this amount for getting the minifig, and I have no plan to sell it either.

I read news from Brickset (http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=783) about how the White Boba Fett could be distributed, if only around 20,000 will be distributed world-wide, then this item should be really kind of "limited", but it is interesting to see how it will be distributed.

So I won't open the bag for the mean time, better keep it that way and see what would be happening to the product item.

How I got this set is blogged here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010 2:02:57 AM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, July 5, 2010

Usually this kind of pre-launch activities would be a test of endurance, but for getting a White Boba Fett free (if you can go and fall in line for hours and purchase over HKD 1,000 worth of new Lego Star wars product), I guess the motivation is rather strong. In fact, despite the not so pleasant experiences before, I was tempted to do so, fortunately, this time there were not that many people around, so even that I arrived late, I was able to be among the first 150 people.


So is it worth it? In terms of monetary gain I guess there isn't much, and my plan to work on my laptop during the lining up did not work out so fine, but for Lego experience of another kind, it may be psychologically ok to do so. By the way, for HKD 300 purchase, you'll also get a small gift pack, this time there is no key chain, but a bunch of assorted bricks.

And the price of the new starwars set? See if this makes sense?

8093 Plo Koon's Jedi Starfighter - HKD269
8089 Hoth Wampa Cave - HKD 469
8095 General Grievous Starfighter - HKD 499
8096 Emperor Palpatine's Shuttle - HKD 699
8097 Slave I - HKD 899
8098 Clone Turbo Tank - HKD1299

* 1 USD = 7.8 HKD

Monday, July 5, 2010 2:01:59 AM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, June 20, 2010

It is not a very attractive product based on packaging, the blue and white starfighter looks dull, although I kind of like Plo Koon, I got the minifig a long time ago from 7676 Republic Gunship already, the brown droid R7-D4 is important, but is it worth the high price that I have to pay for getting this at this time? Well, I did get this 8093 set, for one very simple reason, I have to collect every Starfighters, and I won't miss any of them.

After building the set, I think the real thing looks better than how it appears on the box, but there are things which are truly disappointing, one big issue is, it is annoying to see that the wedges of a starfigher is now a sticker thing!

Inventory of Lego 8093

Actually when you put Ahsoka's Starfighter beside it, you'll see that the design is not being improved, but even simplified, the eject mechanism is nice but there are obviously no big effort to make the Starfighter looks better, as the designer does not seem to be willing to add a few more stickers to decorate it. And note that there is no missiles available.

I think at the end it is not a matter of whether this set should be recommended or not, but it is a bad sign on how Lego manage the product design, I don't think it is good thing that they think people will buy a set simply because they throw in a new astromech droid. In a way I think the same design philosophy is behind 8089, although I am easily happy to have the snowspeeder there, but the real new stuff there is only Wampa.

I like to see how other people would review this set, I am sorry that I do sound negative in mine, although after all this is a Starfighter.

Sunday, June 20, 2010 10:15:36 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, June 19, 2010

I was actually looking forward to get this when I travel to US next month, but since it is available here in Hong Kong, I would not hesitate to get it even the pricing is extremely high at around USD 80! Hey, it is Hoth!

The highlight of the set needless to say is Wampa, although it is still a little comical, but I would say it is better designed than TaunTaun, the big claw that can hold a minifig is quite interesting.

The Wampa is separately packaged, you would still need two blue pins from the bags to connect the arms though

Talking about packaging, here are the content of each bag, the items on the right side are from small bag within each bag

But the coolest thing from the set would still be the snowspeeder, yes, there are already Nth versions of it and this one may not be any much different than the rest, but it is always exciting to see a Snowspeeder coming, the Hoth battle is just too fascinating for many of us.

But one disappointing observation is the sticker, the alignment seems to be not right for this part:

And the structure that seems to be simulating an icy environment does not look good to me either, there are many great examples out there created by Lego experts which I hope Lego would learn from.

The fake bone thing is quite interesting but the laser sword holder is a strange idea

And see, they found a way to add a Castle Skeleton to Starwars

And how can we forget Luke, I think this is a new Luke minifig, please correct me if I am wrong

Overall it is a must get set, but I hope it would not suffer the same fate as 7749 Echo Base where a lot of idle stocks are around.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:36:36 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

My kid actually has little exposure to the Toy Story characters yet so far (she is more a fan of Japanese Cartoon Character), so I think a Duplo Toy Story Set probably would be a good start for her, and it is good that she actually like Buzz.

Lego 5691 Alien Space Crane is way too expensive in my opinion, but as a ToysRUS limited, I have decided to get it to have these two "limited" sets (along with the 7599 Garbage Truck) in my possession, the set is kind of ok, not bad except the price tag really.

Disappointing to see the manual in such bad shape, Lego needs to think of ways to improve their packaging.

Putting the Duplo and regular Lego Buzz together

The set has some playabilities and comes with nice minifigs, but for such price it would be better to have more bricks and structures included.
Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:12:14 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)