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# Thursday, 09 September 2010

When I did my review on the Lego DK BrickMaster Star Wars book yesterday, I forgot to mention one thing, there is such an item among the parts!

Since there is no missing item, so this is an "extra", useless and even an indicator of worrying Lego quality, but since there is no lacking parts, there is no ground for complaints, especially when the book itself is good.

Not sure if anyone else experienced the same.

Thursday, 09 September 2010 21:42:25 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

This Starwars Brickmaster book from DK appears much earlier than I thought, and I would say it is the best Brickmaster book, perhaps being Starwars itself is everything, but being able to design 4 sets (8 models) of vehicles out of a fix set of bricks simply isn't something easy, especially when many of the models are great!

So this is a clone trooper vs Battle Droid confrontation, and each of them have 4 vehicles to fight under the following scenarios:

Battle on Christophsis
This set of models uses up all the bricks, you get a AAT Battle Tank and a NU-Class Attack Shuttle. The battle tank is simple but nicely scaled, the shuttle has good playability and looks quite cool, but it is not designed well for stand display though. This set is also not minifig scaled.

 

Ice Encounter
This is a very simple set, not much sophistication on the STAS (Single Trooper Airspeeders) and the LAAT (Low altitude Assault Transport). The LAAT is too much of a toy feel, the quart-circle wings look rather childish.

 

Desert Raid
The Mobile Missile Platform in this set is very interesting and innovative in my opinion, the mountable blaster cannon is very cool. The S-Wing Speeder bike is also excellent!

Forest Fight
This is actually my favorite among 4, the VTS (Varied Terrain Speeder) looks like a firepowerhouse with good agility, while the AT-RT walker is definitely a formidable foe.

But as I also feel about the true value of brickmaster, it is all about packing all these ideas (tank, shuttle, airspeeders, transport, walker etc) into a pack of 200+ bricks, yet with so many good designs among them, and while I got this for around USD 20 only, this is truly a bargain!

The book also has nice content and some cool trivias to entertain the readers.

I understand that it may not be available everywhere yet, but it is definitely worth waiting for.

Thursday, 09 September 2010 02:03:31 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 05 September 2010

Thanks to user wongkw who left a comment in my blog entry on Lego Brickmaster Atlantis review, who shared the link to the online models pdf download:

http://www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.uk/static/html/features/legoatlantis/atlantis.html

Sunday, 05 September 2010 12:02:20 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 02 September 2010

Interesting to see that the Lego Atlantis Activity Book is now available in 7-11 for HKD 49 only, I got mine a few days ago for HKD 72 at a bookstore...

There are also news about the DK Lego Brickmaster Atlantis book being available in 7-11, but I don't see them in the 7-11 stores I passed by, perhaps only at selected stores along the MTR station line, I remember last year when the Brickmaster Pirates and Castle came out in the market, it was a super hot news and people searching around 7-11 stores to get them, but it seems that it is not the case this time for the Atlantis set, really wondering if it has something to do with the Atlantis theme's attractiveness, anyway, let's see what will happen when the Starwars Brickmaster comes out later this year.

 

Thursday, 02 September 2010 21:49:19 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 30 August 2010

Got a copy of this Lego Atlantis The menace from the deep Activity book from LadyBird, it is a nicely printed book, there is no bricks like the Lego Brickmaster Atlantis book, but it comes with a Squid Warrior, I got it for HKD 72 (USD 9.2), quite expensive, but for a single copy for collection, it is fine.

The book also provides some knowledge learning on sea creatures, so it can actually be used to let kids know more about things such as Squid size, and information on Sharks, turtles. The knowledge content is simple but there is a underwater quiz for fun.

Monday, 30 August 2010 23:59:08 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 29 August 2010

With my past experiences on the Lego BrickMaster Castle and Pirate book from DK, I was having high expectations on the Atlantis version, this time the local supply is rather limited, and the pricing is not very nice either, and after getting it, I think it is not as good as I expected.

The parts list is nothing surprising, from the set you got Bobby Buoy and a Manta Warrior

One key thing I notice about this brickmaster theme is the emphasis on vehicle and rather limited focus on structure, and the book content is less appealing too. The so called models are also very monotone in design, perhaps partly due to the limitation of the theme itself.


Some of the models that I do not have strong motivation to build

But I need to say that some of the vehicles are quite interesting, especially the Explorer Submarine, it must be fun to be maneuvering a real underwater vehicle like this in the deep ocean.


DEEP-SEA DASH (scenario) represented by the Secret Chest and the Scorpion Submarine


Scorpion Submarine and the Hammerhead Shark

Ridiculously, some local book stores are charging customers HKD 296 (USD 37) for this book, I paid at around half of that price but still consider it a little overpriced, the pricing range of DK books is quite wide open and as a consumer, I would tend to think twice even if I see an interesting product from them.

Additional models available online: http://atlantis.lego.com/downloads , but I can only locate the PDF for Drum Sub and evil bug only, and the DK site seems require username/password for access.

I think this Brickmaster Atlantis book would still be worth getting, but there is less excitement and I wonder how the upcoming Brickmaster Starwars would be designed, it may not be an easy theme to come up with flexible designs.

Sunday, 29 August 2010 16:46:07 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 08 August 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, 08 August 2010 14:36:43 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 07 August 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, 07 August 2010 00:10:27 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 04 August 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:

寶蓮寺與天壇大佛
Giant Buddha / Po Lin Monastery / The Wisdom Path
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/outlying-giant-buddha.html

 

黄大仙祠
Wong Tai Sin Temple
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/kln-wongtaisin-temple.html

 

鴨寮街
Apliu Street
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/kln-fashion-apliu-street.html

 

李小龍像
Avenue of Stars (Statue of Bruce Lee)
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/kln-stars-avenue.html

 

大埔林村
Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees and Tin Hau Temple
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/nt-lamtsuen-wishing-trees.html

 


屏山文物徑
Ping Shan Heritage Trail
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/nt-pingshan-heritage-trail.html

 

 

香港鐵路博物館
Hong Kong Railway Museum
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/museum-hongkong-railway.html

 


長洲太平清醮
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/events/festival-cheung-chau-bun.html

Interesting to see Buzz competing for the buns!

 

香港體育館 (紅館)
Hong Kong Coliseum
http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/hkc/

 

萬佛塔 - 萬佛寺
10 Thousands Buddhas Monastery
http://www.10kbuddhas.org

 

香港魅力之都
Hong Kong - A City of Charm
A mix of the best of Hong Kong


1881 Heritage
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/kln-1881.html

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

Wednesday, 04 August 2010 23:30:39 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 31 July 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, 31 July 2010 00:35:43 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)