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# 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)
# Saturday, 15 August 2009

Today I want to blog about a top notch Lego player in Greater China Region, as many may have aware of, Taiwan is a mature base for Lego and many great works circulated around are actually originated from there, you may also have seen Rack911's work in his MOCpages or BrickShelf Gallery, in fact, his work has also been highlighted in Brothers-brick a couple times.

What impressed me most from this gentleman is this solid battleship named "Iron Cross", built amidst a mysterious oceanic background, from the sail down to the sea, and the statue on a piece of sea rock, it is not only a lego model, it is a art piece with so many rich details.

Source: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/114535

Rack911 is also very active and contributing heavily in local Taiwanese Lego forum, it is great to have people like him inspiring Lego players in this part of the world.

Saturday, 15 August 2009 14:09:02 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 13 August 2009

Among all the Lego sets, there is a set which holds a very special status among my collections - I have 5 boxes of it!

7657 AT-ST once was a scarce commodity, the highest price I paid for it was HKD 290 (USD 37), today it seems that not many are looking for it any more, but it is (or has been) a very interesting model really.


7657 is not a big set, consists of plain color parts

 


The structure at a glance, the legs are rather rigid, but the knobs at the back can make the upper compartment rotate

 


The minifig is cool, the head and helmet are very useful else where too

 


The minifg looks great on top of the control room

 


Adding Yoda into the scene, with the master around, even the mighty AT-ST machinery cannot do anything

 


This is a nice set, but why do I get 5 boxes? I really don't know, just bought them 1 after 1 over a period of over a year, may be it is time to sell one or two of them...

Thursday, 13 August 2009 21:56:06 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 11 August 2009

I have recently seen a number of great Lego creations with Oceanic background, and in each of these work, there is a common part that caught my attention, and I also notice that this particular part is also frequently asked in many Greater China forums.

I first notice the blue 32 x 32 Baseplate from my Spiderman set - 4856 Doc Ock's Hideout  - but at such as high price nowadays, that obviously is not a economical way to get the blue baseplate, then I found 9286 - Large LEGO Baseplates - this set is not cheap either, but it is very targetted, you get exactly what you need.

The Old Gray 48X48 baseplate is a classic, I can't even figure out how much it worths today, the two 32X32 green baseplate are very useful too, and with the blue plate (now I have 2), it is a ok price to get them at USD 40.

Now I can start thinking of a new MOC idea, an oceanic one probably... 

Tuesday, 11 August 2009 21:18:02 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

Malaysian PhotoBucket user jztrain1 mix Chinese literature with Lego art in recording his dream manifested in an impressive storyline.

Source: http://s289.photobucket.com/albums/ll227/jztrain1/dream%20story/

The story is about a young girl rescued by a hermit, and when the girl grown up, they got married and live happily, but suddenly the girl was found to be a missing princess, and was asked to return to the kingdom to inherit the throne, but then things go for a sharp turn...

It is a wonderful work presenting Lego with great photographic design, but what our western friends will certainly miss when reading this will be the poem, I was truly impressed by the artistic composition.

 

Tuesday, 11 August 2009 09:26:20 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 09 August 2009

I have not been travelling for a long time and really wish I can have a relaxing moment somehow somewhere, although tropicial climate is not my favorite, I do like this interesting creation by Flickr user 74louloute

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74louloute/3775178845/ 

More interesting are the notes on the picture, which lead us to realize what the front of the guy looks like:

Source: http://www.bricklink.com/PL/973pb585c01.jpg

 

Sunday, 09 August 2009 10:17:02 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 08 August 2009

There has been a lot of great Predator Lego creations being made by experts everywhere, but the fascination on this legendary character is so strong that it would never be enough, another Lego master from Taiwan, cezov0514 created the following Predator model using Bionicle parts.

Source: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=333315

And what can more irresistable than an Predator model like this? It definitely has to be an AVP, I wish the author could have taken more pictures to depict this thrilling scene

Source: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=333315

Saturday, 08 August 2009 10:21:32 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 06 August 2009

One of the places that I enjoyed visiting when I was in Taipei definitely had to be the Taipei 101 building, I spent a wonderful hour there, including a mind refreshing moment watching a beautiful sunset on the roof of the building.

Lego player RMing has not only recreated this giant structure in Lego, he has also recently built a mini version of the famous Grand Hotel in Taipei.

Source: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?m=RMingTW

 

Source: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?m=RMingTW

Please feel free to visit RMing's BrickShelf gallery to enjoy more of his impressive creations.

Thursday, 06 August 2009 21:46:30 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 05 August 2009

Our Hong Kong Lego Ambassador Tsang Yiu Keung created a Lego Eiffel Tower using a part that you may have never been able to imagine: Binoculars

I feel that at this scale the model is even more attractive than the official set, especially with some nice supporting models as nearby environment and background. I also learnt the microscale way of forming the group of trees, which fits extremely well into the model.

Please check out CK's Brickself gallery for more of this great creations

Wednesday, 05 August 2009 14:24:52 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 03 August 2009

I found this Pirate Captain Bag Charm today and it looks quite interesting! It is a Duplo and it seems that the product line is already stopped, I don't think this will be used, as it will be kept as Souvenir. Lego does offer a lot more than sets and bricks, and it is fun to see many interesting items today at ani-com.

Did you once come across this? Or do you own one?

Monday, 03 August 2009 22:16:04 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 02 August 2009

There were recently some heated discussions in Hong Kong regarding the preservation of a traditional Chinese art - Yue Opera (粵劇) , Yue (粵) is the shorthand name for Guangdong, a southern province in China where Hong Kong originally belongs to (and Guangdong dialect is the local tongue here), the dialect, culture and life style of Guangdong is quite different from the northern part of China, such as those from Beijing, where they have the Beijing Opera (京劇). These opera usually depicts the stories of famous personalities in ancient history, and Yue Opera used to have a large number of fans here a few decades ago, but not any more.

I am not a fan of Yue Opera, in fact, I would switch TV channel when I saw it on TV (when I was a kid), but I strongly agree that such cultural art should be preserved, and this creation from Vincent Cheung (fvin) is truly astonishing! I am not surprised at all to see it featured in brothers-brick!

The work represents a character (with face mask made-up) and the decoration usually involved in a Chinese Opera show, the character is General Kwan (關羽), a famous personality from the Three Kingdom era (around A.D. 200), who is also a symbol of Loyalty and brotherhood in Chinese history, please note his famous weapon, which has a special crescent moon shape. General Kwan is popularly idolized as Master Kwan and served in many homes here in China, I believe that many police departments in Hong Kong also do that.

This creation is one of the 20 finalists in the Lego Hong Kong MOC Competition, I believe that it should be in top 3, and is a true champion material, but I think the meaning of this work is more than Lego skills, I deeply appreciate that Vincent choose this topic, which is both challenging, and helpful for the young generation to understand a shining page of Chinese art.

And I think this creation also proves again the feasibility of a Lego Chinese Theme, looking forward to see more exciting work like this from fellow Lego players in Hong Kong.

Sunday, 02 August 2009 10:28:49 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 01 August 2009

While a review for a minifig pack like this can be boring, I tried to add some flavors to it to make it more interesting, I hope this works.

But let me answer a few key questions first:

Q. Can the tiles on the Tic Tac Toe plate be removed?
A. Yes, I did it, but the plate of course is glued seems uneasy to be removed, I have not forced the issue for fear of damaging the box, can someone who owns the older Tic Tac Toe sets share some clue? I think I may have made the wrong conclusion earlier (my fault)

Q. Are they regular minifigs?
A. I believe so, see the anatomy of the selected minifigs below


Someone who leads by being the Sample (for anatomy analysis)


Who should I choose from the pirates side? well, believe me, this is a random choice


Q. Is it fun to play with?
A. if you really play Tic Tac Toe with it, it is. But.....

The full cast in close up:

And the packaging is quite smart, you can fold it this way for easy storage:


How about playing a game first?


So far so good, nothing weird yet...

 


Oops, someone got hot tempered...

 


Looks like we have a tie as usual, really boring....

 


But wait....

 


Someone cheating!!!

 


Things are getting out of hand!

 


It is truly sad that peace cannot prevail...

 


At the end, nobody wins....

 


What a mess....

 

Actually all these can be avoided, the conclusion: DO NOT play Tic Tac Toe.

So how can we use this thing?

 


How about a dance?

 

Grab a set of Lego Pirates Tic Tac Toe, and have fun in a way - whatever way you can imagine...

Saturday, 01 August 2009 18:18:20 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)