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# Saturday, July 30, 2011

I shared my review on 7962 Anakin Skywalker and Sebulba's Podracers at Eurobricks and it is interesting that the poll for the set is very positive, indeed it is rare for a set to receive no poor/below average rating, with more than 60% rating it as outstanding.


Click here for My review for 7962 at Brickand.me

Saturday, July 30, 2011 12:34:21 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Geonosian Starfighter has a unique shape, according to some web resources, it is designed to maneuver through asteroid fields, and for such purpose the shape would make sense then, but for some lego player, this vehicle may not look too attractive, I do feel that way and the set wasn't on my shopping list originally, but since I have little time this week, this would be a quick model to build, as a new Starwars lego set, it would be a good choice.

The vehicle is quite interesting, the finished model feel much better than the picture, having good swooshability and relatively good playability for its size, as a special type of Starfighter, I think it is worth collecting, after all, it has been years since they released the last Geonosian Starfighter 4478 in 2003, the caveat is the price, which I think it is really over priced for the content.

The Cockpit

Rotating laser cannon

Torpedo launcher hidden in compartment of the vehicle's belly

Engine cylinder

On the other hand, perhaps the price factors in the three minifigures included. Ki-Adi-Mundi is not a familiar figure to me but it does look special, Commander Cody appeared in 7676, which is a very expensive set nowadays, but perhaps the most valuable one is the Geonosian pilot, this new one improves over the old version but the set should have included the  Geonosian warrior (who has a wing).

I would not say this is a must get set, and the value for money is not very good, perhaps a good reason to grab it is for collection purposes.

Saturday, July 9, 2011 3:56:50 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, June 27, 2011

I have noticed this set for sometime but the size and look of the box picture was not too attractive, but with a small investment I still managed to get a set and build it over the weekend.

The key reason for driving me to buy this set is Asajj Ventress, a few weeks ago I noticed that the prize of the version of this minifig from 7676 is very high at around USD30! And in fact 7676 was the only set with Ventress before 7957 comes out, the 7676 version contains a skirt cloth but this 7957 version in my opionion has a more combat feel (or sports feel) and looks slimmer.

The other minifig Savage Opress is the other lego minifig with a horned head aside from Darth Maul in 7961, and Anakin Skywalker also got a new and IMHO better torso pattern, besides, all the minifigs has back printing, so this set does contain very special minifig inventory.

But the vehicle is also very nice, usually Lego speeders are very simple but this set provides a sophisticated combo night speeder system with a base and engine on the left, and two speeders that can be detached, and can be connected to the base with a bar stick. The vehicle has good swooshability, I am not very fond of missiles but playing with the speeders is quite fun enough for me.

The two speeders are very sleek, building the set is fun and the techniques are inspiring, but the biggest surprise is the six printed slope bricks, which are used for the front, it is interesting that Lego designed this to be a combo of printed and stickered slopes, and perhaps it is the printed slopes that makes this set relatively pricey, and if the back slopes are also printed, the price could go so high that the set will sell badly if they do so, therefore Lego have to take a Balance, but on the other hand, if the set uses all printed parts, it would probably make the set so special and become a hot collector item, though Lego needs to be careful about the message to the market, but after all, this is an interesting set and the Lego decision for including the six printed slope bricks can be very interesting too.

This set is a must buy despite the relatively higher price for its size, but for the price range, it is a light investment to get a set that includes exclusive cool minifigs and an unique vehicle with special design, not to mention the unusual inventory of six printed slope bricks with nice pattern, this is a special Lego Starwar set to collect.

Monday, June 27, 2011 12:57:14 AM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, June 20, 2011

I have an old box of unopened MISB 7663 Sith Infiltrator, not because I cherish it, but it just hasn't been a set that I would choose to play with, after building 7961, I think it was because the vehicle in 7663 just doesn't have the sophistication to be appealing.

Actually I was not supposed to get 7961 as well, it is just in the right price range to get a new starwar set for playing during this free weekend, but I have to say that the set exceeds my expectation, in fact, I think I have got an excellent vehicle model!

The new Infiltrator has a lot of detail contour, it makes use of a rich varieties of slope bricks to create the minute details of every section, the result is a bigger and more realistic Infiltrator. The cockpit/cargo space is relatively large for a starwars vehicle, the upper hatch has a printed pattern, and although the lower hatch plate is stickered, the design is very solid and fits the model beautifully with good playability, talking about playability, aside from the probe droids that can be released, there are flip missiles (I am not a missle fan though), foldable wings, and the hatch can be opened to see the interior, where the Sith nightspeeder can be kept.

Proble droids

Batches and retracted landing gear

This set also has a rich inventory of minifigs, I actually like this head pattern of Darth Maul over the old ones (even though the old one was fine too) for the yellow eyes and sharper look, but of course, Darth Maul is a rare minifig, so if you happen to have a chance to get 7663, you may want to own it too to get that version of Darth Maul's minfig. The horned head is also amazing, my set has two pieces of it, I read about this horned head and it seems that the other minifigure that has it is Savage Opress in set 7957 Sith Nightspeeder.

Oops! I miss-aligned the horned head when taking pictures!!!

Darth Maul!

Padmé now has a flesh color minifig head, Charaptain Panaka's minifig is nice, but I think the look lacks the masculine feel that the character should possess, the designer may have tried to create the cool lips but ends up mis-projecting a pessimistic feel. For Master Qui-Gon Jinn, the facial expression in this set is too soft, I prefer the old one that more closely reflect the movie character.

7961 Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator is an example of how lego should design the Star war vehicles when it comes to details, in contrast 7663 is a rudimentary model, I am glad that I have not missed out this wonderful vehicle!

Monday, June 20, 2011 10:50:55 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quietly, the new starwars series arrive at local market without much funfare, while there are many attractive sets such as 7965 Millennium Falcon, the one I got immediately was 7962 Anakin Skywalker and Sebulba's Podracers.

I have missed 7171 Mos Espa Podrace and I believe many were longing to own the podracers, in fact, there are many hot podracer building competitions over these years, and we have all seen many excellent creations, the podrace is definitely something special among Starwar fans, so I would say 7962 is a must get, and after building it, I would say this set is truly excellent and not disappointing.

Compared to 7171, here we got only two podracers without Gasgano's, but aside from that, and the use of stickers instead of printed plates, there are improvements in all areas:

1. Larger podracer body with excellent details

For Anakin's pod racer, there are more details at the engine, which makes it more solid, and the cockpit also has a small flipped wing, but the biggest improvement comes in Sebulba's Podracer, the main engine is composed of Arm with Clip, Rods and wheel cone, which not only gives more details and size to the podracer, but also power and contour, the four solid side engines are more sophisticated, the use of more slopes and curves all over the podracer make it look wonderful, although there is no more printed parts, but the stickers mix well into the model.

Chainsaws at all 4 side engines! A real treacherous weapon for a pod race!

The beams connecting the cockpits to the engine is now transparent, while I feel that it may look better with colored beams, I read about some writing saying that the transparent beams would create a sense of electric current, what do you think?

2. The stands

One of the caveat of the old podracers has got to be the way it is made to stand, using a few bricks to elevate it is too plain, now there is a nicely crafted stand, and the use of transparent bent beam makes the display look great, I wish the base stand are all transparent parts as well. This is a sample that perhaps we can use for setting up display for models that cannot stand naturally like the pod racers

3. Minifigs

Sebulba is now in color and not monochrome, which makes the old minifig not appealing at all, the same happens with Watto, this set includes two of the rarest Lego Starwars minifig, I can still recall people selling Watto at very high price in local market (I think the Bricklink price is still very high), this is a great opportunity to get these figures, the better ones too. But this also raise an interesting topic, with a better and general available new minifig around, would it have any impact on the selling price of the old minifig?

Another goodie would be Wald, although this is not a super character but I think it is his first appearance in Lego. You also get the old good Obi-Wan, it is not something special but it is a bonus too.

Anakin has also great surprises, the head is a two side one, and the helmet has nice pattern, I like this new version a lot!

4. Price

I think this set is reasonably priced, with two bigger, better and nicely designed pod racers, and all the wonderful minifigs coming with it, I think there should be no complaint on the pricing this time?

5. Packaging of Finished product

The design actually allows you to pack the finished podracers into the box with qiute some free spaces! A nice design for people with limited storage space at home.

No doubt this is a must get set, and I think Lego has done a wonderful job this time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011 6:48:17 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, May 16, 2011

I have been a space fan since I was a kid, but I wasn't able to have many space related toys back then, and among the Lego space sets, Space Shuttle and lunar landing sets have been the most wanted sets I believe, missing the discovery theme back in 2003, having the chance to have a Lego space shuttle definitely is something exciting to talk about.

if budget and space allowed, 10213 is a great set to have the Space Shuttle, 3367's shuttle is not proportionally right to make you "feel" the Shuttle, the designer could have scale it up just a bit to make it more appealing, but on the other hand, to provide the shuttle for young kid's educational purpose, for budget and storage/display space consideration, it is a good set to fit the need of a particular Lego user base. In fact, I was not the one who built this set, my 5 years old daughter did it.

The shuttle in 3367 features a hinged arm and a satellite, all can be fit into the compartment, and cockpit cover is a printed part but the pattern is not that space tech looking to me, and the internal deco is also not so good, for example, I am not sure why a cup is there instead of control panel, yes, the space is small inside the cockpit, but it should be enough to accomodate a few more items there to make the cockpit internal more interesting.

The landing gear cannot be retracted and that is something that can be improved in the design.

The astronaut is a key component there, I am not very pleased with the minifig head as I think a better and more professional looking guy would be a better fit, but the gold coated helmet for the astronaut to use when working in space is an excellent piece.

Again, if you are looking for a serious shuttle model, 3367 may be disappointing, but for a small kid with passion about space, this set is a very good place to start, for which I think is extremely useful in my case.

Monday, May 16, 2011 11:04:42 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, May 14, 2011

My recent reviews on the Pirates of the Caribbean sets 4191 and 4192 at Brickset are receiving negative ratings, I would not say this is a blow but there is definitely a need to think in the direction of making improvements.

By the way, the recent Facebook PR Fiasco has raised hot discussion locally, I have been thinking about this for quite sometime already even before this news, it is a known fact that many posts, reviews, blogs or news on the web are created with commercial backing, fortunately in the world of Lego, such behavior is not necessary, so we can somehow read the web content on Lego with more trust. But like all web channels, certain quality issues on web opinions should also exist, and Lego related content may not be immuned from it totally, just hope that bad behaviors such as cyberbullying would not be rampant in Lego communities.

Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:15:08 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, May 13, 2011

Just kidding, the bones are indeed why I bought this set, but this small lego set from the Pirates of the Caribbean theme does have something else nice to offer, the pieces of structure are simple but interesting, I like the bottle rack a lot, using just a few simple parts, this is a two stories rack with movable bottle holder, the bottles with printed pattern are also valuable. The table with Skeleton legs isn't too appealing to me, the Globe holder is just fine.

This set offers a few special parts, the globe can be something that attracts people to get this set, it can probably be very useful for decorating a reading room, the printed map tile is also nice.

The zombie minifigs are nice but if minifigs are what you are after, IMHO other sets such as 4192 would be more worth buying, Jack is definitely a main character here, but you can have him from many other sets as well (There are two variants), so minifigs would probably not the key focus on this set.

So the bones is why I got it, the other stuffs together makes the spending more worthwhile.

Friday, May 13, 2011 11:47:25 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, May 5, 2011

I went to a local lego shop last night planning to buy some star wars set on discount, but instead I saw the Pirates of the Caribbean sets on shelf, I was aware of this new series but wasn't paying too much attention to it as I am not a fan of the movie, but when I browse through the boxes, I found the minifigs very interesting, but I am not ready to invest heavily on them yet, Queen Anne's Revenge looks cool, but that isn't the coolest Lego ship I think, The London Escape is even more interesting, but to get a smaller set that can be done in an hour as first experience, I was drawn between 4181 Isla de la Muerta and 4192 Fountain of Youth, since I kind of guess that the gold pieces in 4181 is not chrome, I chose 4192, as the waterfall looks very unqiue.

After reading some brickset reviews, I found some negative comments on this set, which I kind of understand why they have such impression, the waterfall is a piece of plastic that may not be shaped well to make you feel that there is a waterfall, and the way it hangs there is wierd if you see it from the back, is there no other way to make this design better? I cannot say so, but perhaps the real lego experts may wish to comment.

But the real treasure is this set or perhaps the entire Pirates of the Caribbean theme would be the minifigs, the hairdo and their accessories are all excellent, and very close to the film characters, so this set is good value from that aspect.

I would very likely get more sets from this theme, but perhaps I would wait for a price drop, the price now sold at unofficial channels are relatively expensive, as I am paying more than USD 30 for this set in Hong Kong.

Blackbeard is especially interesting as the bread piece is so nicely designed, and his sword is also very special! I think this is the set to have Blackbeard other than 4195 Queen Anne's Revenge, which relatively costs more. And for people who would only collect a few but not all of the minifigs in this set, especially for a casual player who are not a fan of this film, but just want to get a set to experience, this set can be a good candidate, especially due to the price range.

Thursday, May 5, 2011 10:33:54 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Several years back I had seen the 10152 Maersk container ship at some local store at around USD 150 to 170, it was quite high compared to the original price of USD 75, although this pricing was not the main reason that deterred me from getting it, I did not have it after all, and I did regret for that.

So it is really a great thing to see Lego re-issuing the Maersk vehicle in form of 10155, despite at a higher price (the price in Hong Kong is even much higher than the US pricing at more than USD 200 per set!), I did not hesitate to grab one, and not sure if it is due to the pressure of 10155's appearance, a few 10152 sets show up in the market, and I was able to grab one at near the same price of 10155!

But for box opening, definitely it is going to be 10155 as it is still available on the market, I'll keep the 10152 as collector MISB.

The size of the ship is not as big as I once thought, the design is quite straightforward and is crafted with the help of a number of special parts, aside from the legend like Maersk blue bricks that some would focus on this set, I think the dark red bricks that forms the base is very useful too, especially for building other ships such as aircraft carriers, I am not really after the Maersk Blue but just cannot deny that its rareness does mean a lot for any lego collectors.

The stickers are kept in a plastic bag, which is not usually done for stickers but perhaps a norm for models with that many stickers, the containers form an important part of the overall body, since you have stickers for both side, there are 60 gray and 28 white stickers, plus two big ones on the hull, one on the top of control tower, and one at the front.

The Cargo control room or control tower is also a key structure of the ship of course, the pair of boat windows make the ship more realistic. Overall building the ship is not difficult, building the containers and applying stickers to it can be boring, but it is worth the effort, by looking at the finished work, I think this is a good spending.

Although I have 10152, but it is MISB and not opened and built, so I cannot make a comparison, but based on many info I got, the two are very similar and the difference is mainly on the stickers, in 10152 it was "Maersk Sealand" while in 10155 it is "Maersk Line" now. A few people also mentioned about brick quality, which I tend to believe but cannot make conclusions based on the suspected blemishes I observed as they can be subjective.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:12:50 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)