Not a set review – a BrickLink order

I’ve been spending some time during the coronavirus lockdown attempting to build a modern style Lego house and found my spare parts wanting (as always) so I ordered some on Brick Link.

order as packed
My BrickLink order as packed.

It was about $110 and here’s what I got.

alltheparts

I am building the house in mostly white and tan and I needed some more bricks and plates.

white bricks
Lot of white brick.

I wanted to get large white plates for the roof but plates in white seem to be the most expensive so I got some more colorful ones and will make do.

plates
A few Friends or Easter colors in there.

I also got some tiles for floors, though I’m not going to tile the whole floors but will put them down as area rugs probably.

tiles and leaves

And I got a few special parts and 3 minifigures.

minifigures and guitars

The middle figure is the mayor from the Lego Batman Movie and even though she? it? cost $8 I thought it would be good to have a politician minifigure especially for 2020. Now I just need to get facemasks for all my minifigures.

brick bricks

And lastly, I got some brick bricks. I love the sand green color in every part, it seems to be a really good real world color. The sand green bricks were just under 19 cents each and the dark tan ones were just under 37 cents.

And now the bad news… Although the bricks were all mostly in great shape some still needed to be cleaned and if I was going to clean some I might as well clean them all, so there I was slaving over a bucket of soapy Lego and then taking over the living room for 3 days to let them dry out. I’ve found it takes Lego about 2 days to dry and I did them in different groups because you can only wash Lego for so long before you get really bored. But now they’ve been dry for awhile and my modern house has a nice tan and purple first floor.

I’ve since ordered some pieces from the Lego Shop At Home Pick a Brick or whatever they call it now and the prices seem comparable, PLUS they won’t have to be washed.

Review: 10232 Lego Palace Cinema

Pieces: 2196  Minifigures: 6  Retail Price: $149.99  Price I Paid: Retail (which seems like a deal now)

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I had held on to this set for several years now and the pandemic finally provided the right time to build it. It originally came out in 2013(!) and they stopped selling it in 2017.

10232minifigures

There great thing about the minifigures are their wonderful classic LEGO smiling faces. I wish they hadn’t stopped using these heads in the modular series, the Assembly Square model which came out in 2018 was the last one with classic heads. These are also high quality figures, the plastic just feels heavier and the heads go on with a good snap.

10232car

This set comes with a car/limo that seems to have comically undersized tires. I don’t feel the need for a car with the modular sets, they’re not play sets but I will admit the car does look good with the rest of the set.

And now we come to the model…

10232front

Beautiful. It’s big and substantial, colorful and intricate. Ready for opening night.

10232left

It’s a corner modular so you get sidewalks on two sides.

10232right

The back isn’t much to look at, nor is the roof, but the back of a movie theater is supposed to look like this. The roof seems like a good place for some shady characters to meet.

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And now for the inside-

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You have a classic movie theater lobby with red carpet and snack bar.

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The ticket windows are approachable from the outside also very classic movie theater.

Other than that it’s a little sparse inside which continues as we go upstairs.

10232theater

The second floor is the movie theater and this is where the modular limitations show. There is only room for 6 seats and no aisles. The chairs are not one piece chairs but constructed with slopes and flags, maybe the chair piece wouldn’t have had the right recline. The projector is a nice little build.

10232theaterscreen

The screen has a sticker on it but I guess I can’t blame them. I would have been ok with a blank screen I think. But why are there windows in a movie theater? It’s certainly possible that there would have been windows built in an old theater building but they’d need to be blocked up on the inside. Maybe this is nitpicking about reality but it’s a pretty obvious problem as you build the set. The windows obviously make the building look better from the outside.

10232movieposters

I think the LEGO movie posters on the outside are my favorite detail. They are also stickers – double sided so they are viewable from the inside too – and they are full of puns. Which is probably why I like them so much.

10232rooftiles

The roof goes for a terra cotta effect (I think) in a clever way. The red/maroon roof is what really distinguishes this model.

10232starplate

There are also star tiles in the sidewalk outside. This further replicates the Grauman’s Chinese appearance.

By Rtercero – TCL Chinese Theatre, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
10232marquee

And the marquee. What a marquee. You can almost see the blinking lights chasing up and down. I am impressed at how well they depicted the letters, the end result is a consistent, very readable font.

10232setb

And there you have it. I’m giving this set a 9.5, it’s truly beautiful from the outside. Inside it’s lacking a bit, but the amount of time spent looking inside of a modular like this is small. I enjoyed building this and it’s right there with the Detective’s Office as my favorite modular.

Thoughts on the Lego Masters Finale

Now that it’s been almost a week since the finale of Lego Masters I thought I’d share my thoughts. Like many I was disappointed that Mark and Boone didn’t win. They just had so much enthusiasm and seemed to represent the AFOL community as a couple of dudes. They were also the most entertaining and they seemed to win challenge after challenge. So I was both rooting for them and thought that based on the episodes I saw, they deserved to win.

Having said that, I’ve seen many episodes of the Great British Baking Show and am aware that each episode is judged by itself and doing well throughout the series is not enough to win the final episode. So with that in mind, everyone would have gone into the final with equal chances.

We got three very distinct builds which made the judges jobs that much harder or easier. If they had a specific style they liked, it would be easier to just choose that, but when you saw the three final builds it was clear it was comparing apples to oranges to pears.

Mark and Boone built like they always build, lots of minifigures and little stories within the build. They had a mechanical element to it with the rotating walls but it wasn’t connected to their and their main building was just a building. Their original concept looked really cool but they were warned off of it by the judges and changed course. So they had already been warned that just a building wouldn’t cut it. In the end, this wasn’t their best executed build but of the three, it was the most like a Lego play set. For me the one standout element were the “streams” of paint being applied to the building, that must have taken awhile to get right.

Sam and Jessica built an art piece made of LEGO. If it wasn’t the most creative it was the most beautiful I’d say. It had color and narrative, the two things the judges constantly asked for. But it didn’t have a single minifigure and I think that despite the challenge being “build whatever you want” this apparently wasn’t what the judges wanted to see.

And then we have our winners, Tyler and Amy. They built what I would call a “high MOC” style build. The kind of style most used for castle builds with high repetition of natural elements and large structures of rock and sections of blue for water. I remember discovering this style of building when I first started seeing castle MOCs and being impressed. All the little bricks together look pretty impressive. It looked like they had a few minifigures in their build to have some stories but they didn’t feature on the show. And then, the “pieces” de resistance the slowly flapping wings of the Griffin. Apparently that alone took 3 or 4 hours. When I saw that Tyler had managed to execute that part of the build I was pretty convinced they would win.

And ultimately as we know, they did. I was disappointed for Mark and Boone because again, they were so entertaining and joyful. They were just having fun building Lego, which is really what it should be all about. They were the kids in all of us when we build a lego set well into our adult years. As I thought about it, I did start to see that Tyler and Amy had a more impressive build given the unifying theme and especially the flapping wings. I think without that mechanical element it’s a different contest. But then I spoke to my friend who also watched and he thought Sam and Jessica should have won, pointing out that they were the most creative of the final three builds. As a non Lego builder he was looking less for a minifigure element probably. I was fairly convinced by this argument. So next time there is a finals on Lego Masters I think the judges should actually come up with a task and have a criteria for judging the builders.

Finally, the criticism that people are giving the judges or the winners and saying it was fixed is pretty ridiculous. All reality tv shows are fixed to an extent but I don’t think there was some conspiracy permeating the show. Let’s step back from conspiracy theories everyone. It’s a tv show, a reality tv show. And lets dial back some of the anger at the winners, especially Amy. True, she is not a life long AFOL but it is important to recognize that a lot of the criticism of her “LEGO skills” are based in sexism and NOT reality. I will agree that it rubbed me the wrong way when she mentioned the $100K prize but so did Sam and Jessica as I recall, that definitely seemed to be life-changing money for the contestants. Let’s not forget the role of the producers and editors in a reality tv show and the choices of what comments by the contestants to show and what not to show. For all we know, they asked the contestants about the $100K. And if you’re a producer, you’re pretty happy with the invented controversy because your show will make more news and get more viewers next season.

The best way to get over the outcome is to just honor Boone’s words – go build something amazing!

Review: 76056 Rescue from Ra’s al Ghul

Pieces: 257  Minifigures: 4  Retail Price: $29.99 (since retired)  Price I Paid: I don’t remember

Hello from the quarantined Lego blog-sphere. We’re at it again at BrickKnight. Now let’s see if I can remember how this set reviewing works…

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Ra’s al Ghul makes his only appearance so far in LEGO along with his daughter Talia and they’ve kidnapped Robin!

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76056desertbatman

Sadly this is not a Christopher Nolan Dark Knight set and the minifigures aren’t representative of Liam Neeson and Marion Cotillard. But it’s ok, we have desert Batman and a dune buggy.

76056batbuggy

Those are some nice tires. Hopefully Batman deflated them to the appropriate PSI before he drove through the sand.

76056base

The set itself is small as usual for a $30 set. Robin has a jail cell and Ra’s has a radioactive green pit to reverse the aging process according to the step-by-step hierogylphics on the wall. But don’t worry Robin, Batman is coming through in his Batbuggy!

76056wheels

If he could only get through the doors. That’s right, the Batbuggy doesn’t fit through the doors, which would be why they are being smashed down on the box. Very nice doors they are though – one piece each – great parts to have. Between the desert Batman, wheels on the buggy and the doors it’s a nice little set to have for those parts. I enjoy collecting the iterations of LEGO Batman, which was fairly easy until the collectible minifigure series 1 AND 2 for the Lego Batman movie.

76056set

Reviving the 10 point scale for sets I’ll give this a 7.5. I’m glad I bought it during a mini dark age and finally came out of the dark age to build it. Look for more soon, I’ve got some newer sets coming.

The Lego Movie 2 Review (Hello Again)

Hello again LEGO verse! I saw The Lego Movie 2 last night and here are my thoughts:

Just like the first one, the sequel is a near barrage of pop-culture and Lego jokes. Even though it’s a kid’s movie many of the jokes come flying at you and are aimed squarely at adults, e.g. a joke about Radiohead! The movie starts right where the first one left off, the Duplo have just landed and begin attacking the Lego world. Instead of the reveal at the end that this is human directed play manifesting in the Lego world, we see more frequent live action shots throughout. The whole allegory is that the younger sister, formerly the Duplo user is trying to play with/alongside her brother and it asks the question – can two siblings play nice? It gets a little too heavy handed in this aspect at times but I respect it for going for an overall theme with some emotional heft instead of just being all silliness. They pretty much wrap this up at the end of this movie, it gets a bit Toy Story 3 there for a minute, so any sequels may have to just go for the silliness or not use the human control component. I assume there will continue to be sequels, Lego Movie 2 made $34 million in it’s first weekend and I’d think even if the movies just break even the merchandise sales are enough to keep it going. Hopefully any sequels will continue to be creative and not keep following the “everybody teams up to fight the threat to the universe” formula.

But anyway, plot wise, right after Duplo attacks we’re taken to five years later where they live in Apocalypseburg and it’s gritty and dusty, basically Mad Max has come to the Lego universe and it leads to some pretty funny moments. They could have spent more time here as far as I was concerned.

But then they’re attacked by a minidoll (I’m still not buying any minidolls) and they’re on the run then the main crew aside from Emmett is abducted and taken upstairs. They meet the villain for most of the film a Duplo face that seems to have LEGO pieces surrounding it, and likes to sing and rap. I really didn’t care for the character, there really wasn’t anything funny about it the way there was the first movie’s Lord/President Business by Will Ferrell.

So Emmett goes to save everyone despite worrying he’s not tough enough. He meets another Chris Pratt voiced character who is tough and has a spaceship crewed by velociraptors. From there it’s just all saving the universe and jokes sprinkled in with a somewhat satisfying resolution.

Overall, it was entertaining and not a bad thing to see in the theater, the sound of kids guffawing is probably the main reason to pay $15 vs waiting for dvd/streaming. Lots of good pop culture humor and a lot of Lego specific humor, a great scene where two minifigures fight in stop motion by banging together just like they do when you’re a kid and make them fight in real life. So I’d recommend seeing it at some point and maybe watching the first Lego movie beforehand to remind yourself of the characters if you’ve only seen once or a long time ago.

Lego Star Wars Assault on Hoth – What a piece of junk!

I’ve been waiting for this set for awhile, as any right thinking person, I’m a huge fan of Hoth. But this is just a lame combination of the prior Hoth sets. The keyword here is creativity, the massive lack of it, that is. Lego is supposed to be a creative toy and we’ve already bought this creative toy before. If not for the minifigures, the parts value of this set must be really low. It’s sad to see how cool the Ewok Village was and how comparatively lame this is – and yes, this set is $250. And for $250 you only get one Tauntaun. And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.

Review (Finally): 21304 Lego Doctor Who

Pieces: 623  Minifigures: 4 + 2 Daleks  Retail Price: $59.99  Price I Paid: Retail

Well I finally got around to posting in 2016 and reviewing a set I had been waiting for for a long time, Lego Ideas Doctor Who. It’s great. It’s expensive. But it’s great.

21304 box front

It comes in the usual nice Lego Ideas box.

21304 box back

And has 4 or 6 minifigures depending on if you count Daleks…

21304 11th Doctor

Bowties are cool.

21304 11 w fez

Fezzes are cool.

21304 Doctor and Clara

Clara thankfully doesn’t have short legs. She should – but short legs are not as playable and don’t lend themselves to all the running that is done on Doctor Who since the reboot.

21304 figures back

They are printed on the back, if you are someone into that sort of thing.

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Weeping Angel and 2 Daleks. Lego Minifigure Weeping Angel. Insane. If any minifigure is going to give you nightmares, it’s this one.

21304 Police Box

The Tardis – Police Box is well proportioned and dark blue. No stickers involved! I do wish they could have printed that all on one long flat piece but they sort of couldn’t have…

21304 Run

If the David Tenant minifigure were here, he’d say, “Allons-y!”

21304 Weeping Angel

Don’t Blink.

21304 Box Opening

And there you see, the pieces lift up and…

21304 Set

Voila! We’re in the Tardis!

21304 Tardis full

21304 Set reverse

As you can see, 3 of the 4 Police Box flats have to be two pieces.

21304 Doctor in the Tardis

You can close the Tardis with one minifigure in it. Handy for travelling through time and space.

And there you have it. This set gets a 9.5. It’s a shame it isn’t cheaper so you can stock up on weeping angels and Daleks. Here’s hoping that it sells well enough to warrant more Doctor Who sets and iterations of the Doctor and his companions in Lego minifigure form. As you probably know you can get a Cyberman with the Lego Dimensions pack and the current Doctor in a different coat as well. The Cyberman is only $7.49 currently and tempting me even though I won’t be playing Lego Dimensions.

Well there you have it – the review you’ve hopefully not been waiting for – hopefully you’ve bought it for yourself already.

And I made it through the whole review without saying “wibbly-wobbly, time-y wime-y stuff.” Oh.

Buy it on Amazon.

LEGO 2015 Pre Black Friday VIP Invite Sale Items

I got an invitation to the Lego Store for the first time in 2015 and wanted to post the items that were on sale for VIPs, nothing too special, I didn’t buy any of the items on the list. I was interested in the Town Square but settled for the Cinema Modular with more pieces and less of a play set feel too it. The freebies were the ones everyone can get, the calendar and the Lego Gingerbread House. So here’s the list:

2015 VIP Invitation BF Pre Sale Items