Archive for February, 2010

Alice is Back!

February 28, 2010

Tommy Williamson’s Miniland scale versions of the Mad Hatter and Alice from Tim Burton’s new Alice in Wonderland immediately caught my eye when I was scrolling through my pictures on Flickr.

Well they are actually a bit tall for Miniland, but we’ll just say they ate the side of the mushroom that makes you grow. :D

Doctor Who’s K-9 — Bladewood Style

February 27, 2010

Louise Dade creator of Tranquility Base Comic has created a trio of K-9 models in a variety of colors — classic Doctor Who gray, Classic Space blue, and Space Police white.

Simple in design yet properly proportioned considering the Minifig scale. I can just see them rolling along behind the Doctor. :D

Minifig Ice Cube Tray

February 26, 2010

One of the “coolest” products that LEGO has come up with to date is the new Minifig Ice Cube Tray. :)

Minifig Ice Cube Tray

If you remember the Brick Ice Cube Tray from a few years ago, this is pretty much the same thing, just more awesome! I found this at LEGOLAND California for $6.99 USD. I haven’t tried it yet to see how well the ice cubes or even better chocolate does in this mold, but trust me, that is on my to do list. ;)

Minifig in Ice Cube Tray

As you can see real figs fit into the tray, although this one doesn’t like it too much. :D

Horay for Girl Power!

February 25, 2010

The LEGO Vintage Minifigure Collection Volume 5 is all about the girls! For some reason its taken LEGO a very, very long time to acknowledge that girls like LEGO too. Until the last few years, female minifigures were few and far between as seen in this new Vintage Minifig Collection. Just the fact that this is the 5th collection and that all the previous ones feature only men might be an indication.

My opinion? Its about time! Feature girls, and not just in pinks! The newer sets have a much better male/female ratio. The new Harry Potter sets and the new Collectable Minifigs offer even more variety and hairstyles to delight even the pickiest female. Watch out boys, I feel the winds of change. :D

LEGO Snake Belt Buckle

February 24, 2010

Snake Belt Buckle

One of the things I’ve been working on this week was a LEGO snake belt buckle. This was one of the more unusual model requests I’ve gotten and it was an interesting challenge. My client asked me to make a LEGO replica of an actual belt buckle. Any sort of organic shape can be difficult, so creating the the look and feel of the real belt buckle including the snake skin and the glass eyes made for a fun build.

Real and LEGO Snake Belt

The glass eye took me a little time to figure out. Although the purists out there might consider it “cheating.” The way I ended up getting the eye to look just right was by chopping the knobs (or studs) off of a 1×2 black plate and then fitting them into a 1×1 backwards round plate. I can say with fair certainty that this is a new technique, I know I’ve never seen it before. If any one has, feel free to correct me. ;)

Flat Snake Belt

On the whole the model only took me about a day to design. I’d never made a snake before. Now that I’ve designed it, my brother suggested that I try designing a snake with some sort of snake-like pattern. It was tricky enough to make the snake, especially with all the SNOT (studs not on top) that I put into it.

When I was at LEGOLAND one of my coworkers created a rattlesnake for the Wild Woods Golf Course. I can remember how much trouble he had trying to keep to the pattern with all the twists and turns of the body. Adding any sort of design often makes a model much harder and much more interesting. :D

Adventures of Clutch Powers Movie Review

February 24, 2010

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With the excitement of going to the World Premiere of Adventures of Clutch Powers on Saturday I realized today that I didn’t actually review the movie (can you say duh? :P ).

Well as you can probably guess from the above picture, that although Clutch Powers and his team are based in LEGO City (the Theme that is) that end up in a Castle era world. Although I won’t give everything away, I may be giving some of it away so . . .

**** Warning!!!! Spoiler Alert!!!!! *****
In other words, if you want to be totally surprised when you watch the movie, wait until after you have seen it to read further. :D

The movie spans four LEGO Themes — Power Miners, City, Space Police, and Castle. Now although this seems like a strange mix, and even I found that the storyline was a bit of a stretch, considering that the movie is basically a 90 minute LEGO commercial for all non-licensed LEGO themes it works (well not completely). I counted about 40 or so actual sets throughout the movie.

The movie opens with Clutch “I work alone” Powers down in a mine driving the Thunder Driller (at least I think its that set). He drills into a new area of the cave and happens to find a whole bunch of “power crystals.” While trying to grasp one he runs into what else? A Rock Monster, naturally. After a bit of a scuffle (where you see another Power Miners set get destroyed) with the Rock Monster he happens to escape and get a crystal.

Clutch returns to headquarters, after driving through what seems like the whole city. All of the modular buildings except the newest Grand Emporium are in LEGO City along with the Grand Carousel and the newer Town Plan. There is at least two Creator houses that the protagonist zips by more than once in the film.

On getting at headquarters Clutch finds out that his boss (I forget his name) decides he needs a team. Although none of them want to work together, they decide they have to. Then they get a distress call from the Space Police prison.

You’re probably asking yourself “What?” at this point. I know I was. Not a very smooth transition of story. My theory is that the when they wrote the script, they figured that since all of the LEGO sets exist at the same time on the toy shelves, they can all exist at the same time in the movie. Yeah, sure, that works. ;)

Anyhow, back to the movie.

So they fly (using the Galactic Enforcer ship) that was “created” by their resident scientist Artie to the Space Prison. Upon arriving and finding no one about they get attacked by the evil wizard Mallock the Malign one of three prisoners (the other two are seen as shadowy cloaked figures behind the wizard). Mallock and his cohorts steal their ship, while destroying the two other ships on the landing pad (two more Space Police sets, big surprise). But since it is a LEGO world the team just builds a new ship.

They figure out that Mallock has headed to the medieval planet of Ashlar. This is where I again asked myself “What?” Why would an evil wizard who has magic powers in a “modern” world decide to go back to a medieval planet? Even after watching the whole movie, I was still asking myself this question. The movie definitely is not very big on well thought out story lines.

Once Clutch and his team arrive they find out that they have to help the crown prince fight Mallock and his skeleton army. Without making this review too much longer, they end up wining the war and recapturing Mallock to take him back to the Space Police prison. They learn the valuable lesson, after much squabbling throughout the whole movie, that they need to work together and “build on each other” to get the job done. The movie ends with the team getting yet another mission. Can you say sequels?

All in all the 90 minutes was a little long for me. I loved the cute characters, but the story was just a tad too strung out and slow in the middle. I can see Power Miners and City going together, and maybe even Space Police, but throwing in Castle (especially as the whole second half of the movie) was just a little much, and not in a good way.

6-10 year-olds will like it. The obvious plot holes, the unlikelihood of the story, and the randomness of it all will make perfect sense to them. I enjoyed seeing, but I can’t say that I would buy the DVD.

**** Spoiler Alert Ends ****

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post. ;)

AFOL A Blocumentary

February 22, 2010

Although I can’t seem to get the video to link directly onto my blog you can watch the video if you click the picture.

This is a nicely in-depth look into the minds and world of the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) created by Jess Gibson. The half hour video features several of my North West Coast friends including:

Lino Martins
Thomas Rafert
Wayne Hussy
Mark Neumann
Robin Sather
Jordan Schwartz
Jason Ruff

It was filmed at Brickcon 2009 and at a SEALUG meeting. I really enjoyed watching my friends getting a chance to see BrickCon 09. :)

The Adventures of Clutch Powers Premiere at LEGOLAND California

February 20, 2010

Clutch Powers 1

LEGOLAND California was seeing stars today. Specifically Ryan McPartlin and Yvonne Strahovski of the NBC TV show Chuck. They are two of the voice actors for the new straight to DVD movie The Adventures of Clutch Powers.

Clutch Powers Voice Actors 1

Today was the World Premiere at LEGOLAND California including a walk down the red carpet, a lunch box, and even a LEGO set for every person. Besides all of the people that worked on the movie and media like me many LEGOLAND pass holders who had entered online were chosen randomly to get a chance to see the movie.

In fact I got to sit right behind Ryan McPartlin (aka Captain Awesome on Chuck) and his family during the movie. Ryan is really nice and I enjoyed meeting him and Yvonne Strahovski. Actually I got to meet several people involved in the movie including the director Howard Baker and the music composers David and Eric Wurst.

Howard Baker was sitting a little bit behind me and he noticed how much I was laughing at certain parts of the movie (I have to admit, I have a loud laugh :D ). Without giving anything away, there is a nice nod to the LEGO enthusiasts out there which he noticed I really liked. Howard told me that for the scenes where you see LEGO city from the air he was inspired by many of the town layouts that LEGO fans create. I counted around 40 or so real LEGO buildings, cars, and other sets that were used throughout the movie including the Cafe Corner, the Grand Carousel, and the Fire Brigade. Howard said that he used whatever LEGO sets the LEGO company gave him Maya images of.

After the DVD movie we were all given the special treat of watching the new Clutch Powers 4D movie. Although they still have some kinks to work out on the effects, (we kind of got soaked by the water effect) it was an enjoyable experience. ;)

“We at LEGOLAND California are honored to have the opportunity to host the premiere of this fantastic film,” said Peter Ronchetti, General Manager of LEGOLAND California Resort. “It was especially exciting to watch the movies surrounded by the creative team that made it all happen.”

Clutch Powers is a brand new character from LEGO and is the best builder and explorer in the LEGO universe. In “LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers,” viewers join Clutch on his most dangerous mission yet as he and his team travel from LEGO City to the Space Police prison planet to the medieval world of Ashlar where they must help the rightful heir to the King’s throne find the courage to regain the kingdom from the evil wizard Mallock the Malign.

In “A Clutch Powers 4-D Adventure,” Clutch and his team head out on another mission where they are forced to battle with an evil Rock Monster. The movie features amazing 3-D effects combined with wind, water and snow for an action packed and fun 4-D adventure.

LEGOLAND California also honored the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption today with a $10,000 donation to Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, a program responsible for dramatically increasing adoptions for the more than 150,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Louis Elguera, the Vice President of Operations for Wendy’s accepted the donation.

In the U.S. “A Clutch Powers 4-D Adventure” will be playing only at LEGOLAND California and at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago. The movie is included in the cost of admission.

via LEGOLAND California’s press release

The voice actors also sat for signings and photos at the end of the event. I didn’t get in line since I had already gotten to meet them and I wanted all the kids that were in line have a chance.
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I won’t give any of the movie details away or mention any spoilers, but I really did like the movie. I loved seeing the LEGO Minifigs come to life and finally talk. For any true LEGO fan it is definitely worth watching at least once. :)

Robo T-Rex

February 18, 2010

Alyse or Remi aka Bolt of Blue (I’m not sure which) created this crazy articulated reptile.

My first attempt at gear-based articulation joints. I don’t think I could have chosen a more difficult shape! He stands, barely. There’s 5 articulation points in the legs, but trying to extend the legs at all just busts axles. Dude needs to shed some pounds.

Loosely inspired by this crazy German commercial for… something…

A very impressive and slightly terrifying model. :)

Looks like Walter is in a bit of trouble. :D

Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics Inuksuk Logo

February 17, 2010

It was inevitable that some one would do this, the design simply screams “build me in LEGO!” I even thought about it, but considering I don’t currently have the time I’ll just have to post Janey Red Brick’s model instead. :)

Yes it is a simple design, but so is the original. Great job Janey and good luck to all the Olympic athletes!


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