Archive for August, 2010

Eurobricks Raffel and Mystery Treasure Hunt

August 30, 2010

Just like everyone else, the members of Eurobricks are searching for the new Series 2 Collectible Minifigures. But they are doing it in a fun and interesting way. A combination of a scavenger hunt and a raffle all rolled into one their newest contest is a bit of both. If you’ve been drooling to get your hands on the Pop Singer, Karate Master, Pharaoh, or any of the other figures this might be your chance.

They are systematically unveiling a figure a day and giving you a hint at where in the vast Eurobricks forums to find them. Once all 16 are revealed (they are on figure #5) you have to compile a list of the exact link of where the figures are and send it in. If your list is correct then you get put in the raffle for a chance to win one of the 16 figures.

I guess I’m not all that good at guessing the clues, I only found the first one so far and the others seem to stump me pretty good. Not that I’ve tried very hard. ;)

If you are not already a member of Eurobricks, then unfortunately you can’t enter. But if you are, this is a fun and interesting way to win one of the new figures. You can read all the official rules of the contest and then get hunting. Good luck! :)

BrickCon 2010

August 28, 2010

Anybody Excited? Photo by Adam Hally

There is only about a month before BrickCon 2010 starts and just about two weeks left to register online as an attendee.

Now is the time to register for BrickCon 2010. This year’s Theme is “Tales of the Brick!” Build your Tale and tell (and show) it to the world!

We return to the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall and have added the Rainier Room (Northwest Rooms) to our venue space. We’ll be using the Rainier Room (6,000 sq ft) for all of our Convention Activities including the Thursday Meet and Greet and our General Assemblies, seminars and contests.

Registering now will guarantee you’ll receive a customized engraved name badge you can wear proudly to the entire three day (four if you count Thursday – and we do!) event. Included with your registration will be a great Goody Bag, a Free Luncheon on Friday. And, if you’re old enough, you can attend our Thursday Meet and Greet get together where mixed drinks, beer and wine will be available ($4 per drink – cash only) along with free Mexican fare (snacks).

BrickCon 2010 now has three definitions of Attendee:

Adult (21+)($65) – For our Thursday Night Meet-and-Greet, where alcohol will be available and under 21’s will not be allowed.
Adult (18-21)($60) – All other AFOLs
Teen (13-18)($60) – TFOLs – TFOL Registrations cannot be purchased separately and require a second registration of a Parent/Guardian, (Adult 21+ $65)
We recommend that children under 14 attend BrickCon as guests at our Public Exhibition. Although there are some activities younger persons may enjoy, most of our Convention events are meant for more mature persons, primarily adults.

If you procrastinate too long, September 15th is the “deadline”, we cannot guarantee the terrific Goody Bag and custom badge. Registration will close September 28th. Then registration will only be at the door at the Exhibition Hall

I am still not sure if I’ll be attending this year, although I’m really hoping to. When I attended in 2008 I had a wonderful time and made lots of new friends.

If you are on the fence about going, my recommendation — go! Seattle is lovely, the AFOL’s are great, and there are all kinds of fun events to join in. :)

Laputa — Castle in the Sky

August 27, 2010

Laputa - Castle in the Sky

Iain Heath’s Miyaakitopia now has its centerpiece. I posted twice on various parts of what will surely be a really impressive display of Hayao Miyazaki’s films. As I am a huge fan, seeing all of my favorite characters like Totoro, Kiki the witch, and Nausicaa come to life in LEGO is very cool.

You can see all his other Miyazaki related models on his Flickr photostream. Iain is planning on having the whole diorama on display at this year’s BrickCon.

BrickForge’s Newest Items

August 25, 2010

In June I previewed some BrickForge prototypes that Armothe showed me at BrickWorld in Chicago. Well at BrickFair he made all these fun and new elements to the LEGO fans and they are now available on BrickForge.com

I have to say my favorite is the new Centaur body.

Centaur - Tan

Available in tan, dark tan, and brown they are $4 and very cool!

I also like all the new instruments so that you can actually create your very own LEGO Rock Band
Dixie Brix and the Studs

I picked up a couple of the electric guitars at BrickWorld. They only had them in red and blue though, I would have liked to have gotten one in black. But now I can. ;)

There are other new items like the shepherd’s crook, the flintlock pistol, and the ammo pouch. They are all worth a look and add that much more custom-ability to your minifigs.

Stained Glass Cheese (slopes that is)

August 23, 2010

Defeat

Katie Walker is becoming known for her intricate design work. A woman after my own heart, she is creating intricate cheese slope mosaics.

Framing is hard...

8-22-10 2 015

8-22-10 042

A cleaner version of the cheesy madness...

I’ve known the potential for making these kind of mosaics, but I haven’t really played around with them myself. But looking at Katie’s makes me want to break out the cheese slopes and get designing. :)

L.D.M.

August 21, 2010

L D M

L.D.M. has made many an interesting model, but this one just jumped right out and screamed “awesome!”

No photoshopping, except for the usual (cropping, enhancing colors, rotating, etc.) Letters are very much unphotoshopped. :)

It’s a deceptively simple looking model until you realize that he managed to shape all three letters of his online handle and the fact that it’s not photoshoped! 8O

Miniland Inception

August 20, 2010

Inception, "Level 2"

Inception, “Level 2″

Inception may just about be the best action/adventure movie that I have seen in 20 years. It’s like The Matrix, James Bond, Dreamscape, and Minority Report, all rolled into a big meaty ball and dipped in a syrupy Hans Zimmer soundtrack. The movie is absorbing and complex (for an action flick) and keeps you engaged to the very final frame.

When I saw the movie Inception I too was blown away by the special effects, especially in this scene. Iain Heath created this Miniland version a while ago, but I just hadn’t gotten around to posting it yet.

In a way I’m actually kind of glad I did, as he has “rebooted” it so that it is more LEGO-like. :)

Inception (reboot)

And why did Iain reboot it? Because Alex Eylar created his own version after seeing Iain’s.

Inception

Inception

And the coolest thing? Both Alex and Iain’s versions were recently featured on wired.com

So it was a case of a movie inspiring a model, inspiring another model, inspiring the first model. Kind of like a dream within a dream. Very appropriate considering the source of inspiration. ;)

Collectible Minifigure Series 2 starting to show up in the US

August 18, 2010

While Europe has had the new Collectible Minifigures for a while now, they are slowly starting to trickle over on this side of the pond.

There has been only one confirmed sighting that I know of so far, at least among my friends. Tony Sava down in Texas found them at his local Toys “R” Us. I imagine that if it is a one TRU, than it will be at many soon.

Like Series 1, this is a small production run. So if you see them, get them, as they will most likely disappear just as fast or faster than the previous set.

I don’t know what will be the “hot” figures from this set. There definitely seems to be more winners than losers in this one. There are so many fun new elements, my favorite being the tiny Minifig trophy the karate master has.

There is a very nicely done review of all the figures on Eurobricks and Tony was nice enough to compile a barcode sheet for the US.

What’s even more exciting is that Steve Witt confirmed LEGO already has up through Series 5 designed and that they will keep making them as long as they are popular.

I look forward to the hunt and good luck at finding your favorites! :)

Are LEGO sets gender biased?

August 16, 2010

LEGO Collectable Minifigs Series 2 - Captions!

There has been a discussion going on lately on the Flickr group FFOL Brick Chick (Female Fans of LEGO) on whether LEGO as a company is gender biased or if it is the parents that buy into the stereotype that LEGO is a boy’s toy. Now with only 40 members in the FFOL group and 6,220 members in the LEGO Flickr group this is a valid point of discussion.

Here’s a little bit of what I said on FFOL:

I think it is a little bit of both the parents steroetyping and LEGO itself for still not getting what girls want. Even while LEGO tries to make inroads with female LEGO fans, they still mainly market and produce sets for boys.

No, I didn’t see LEGO as a gender biased toy growing up, but then again, I was more of a tomboy than a girlie-girl anyways. But even I made mostly houses and castles as a child. In fact the whole reason I got into LEGO was that I saw it as miniature houses that I could take apart and build in what ever way I wanted.

As I got older and realized that I was the odd girl out with most of my friends and family (heck, I took all my brothers’ LEGO when they grew out of it) and that most girls, including my sister stopped playing with LEGO when they were still kids. I also realized how much LEGO miss marketed their products, making it very clear what the “girl” sets were with pastels and pinks in the sets.

In fact, it seems that they were less gender biased when I was a kid in the 80s. At least then they didn’t make all the girl’s sets pink. Granted, that was because they didn’t have pink or much more than the six colors at that point but still.

According to Steve Witt, there is a new line of girls sets coming out next year that “is nothing like you’ve seen before” (direct quote). And that these new sets will have four new colors. I’ll still wait and see on that one.

But at the same time, I also asked Mads Nipper if they were ever going to produce a dollhouse-like set. He said no, and yet now we have the new city set that I could only call a dollhouse.

My real question is this — does LEGO even realize what constitutes as a girls versus a boys set? My own conclusion is no. I honestly don’t think LEGO even knows what they already have and what they need.

In the New York Times there was a recent article that talked about this:

There’s a particular kind of story one reads occasionally, making fun of the worst excesses of political correctness. But this entry is about the other extreme—a toy manufacturer so far in the dark ages that even Don Draper might snicker. I’m told that the latest craze among the toddler set is Lego Minifigures—little people to inhabit the recently-built creations of your own little person. I’ve been looking forward to the day I can build Lego houses with my daughter. But we won’t be playing with these Minifigures. You see, there are sixteen characters in the set, but only two are female. That’s the sort of gender ratio you see at a typical economics conference, but even we economists know that we need to do better. But the lesson that Lego leaves for impressionable minds is even worse. The two female characters are a cheerleader and a nurse. Even on Mad Men, Peggy Olson rose to copywriter.

Even Barbie stopped saying “Math class is tough” eighteen years ago.

Now knowing what I know of how LEGO is trying to find a better balance of male/female sets and representation, this article is a little harsh. But at the same time, even the next Collectible Minifigure series is stereotypical = pop singer, witch, and “baywatch” babe lifeguard for the female figs. Females can just as easily be Karate masters, surfers, etc., etc.

Of course since they are minifigs, you could always make the “boy” figures “girl” figures and vise-versa. ;)

So what do you think? And what can we do to change it?

Star Wars Celebration V LEGO Mosaic Build

August 14, 2010

LEGO Star Wars mural getting closet o completionPhoto Credit: Ricky Brigante

As I can’t be at Celebration V, I have to live vicariously through the pictures of others. One of the LEGO building events is a 15 foot wide mosaic.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, LEGO Systems, Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd. are summoning the force of LEGO® and STAR WARS fans and families to participate in a three-day collaborative build of an eight-foot tall, 15-foot wide LEGO mystery mural to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The mural will be constructed by attendees of Star Wars Celebration V and a LEGO Master Builder at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center from August 13-15.

Fans who help the LEGO Master Builder to construct the mural will receive one of 10,000 limited edition white Boba Fett LEGO minifigures. Additionally, for every LEGO plate a fan builds and adds to the mural, LEGO Systems and Lucasfilm’s “The Empire Gives Back” program will donate 330 LEGO System and LEGO DUPLO® bricks to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to encourage imagination and creative play and support the patients of St. Jude. In total, more than 1.5 million LEGO bricks will be donated..

“The STAR WARS franchise has creatively inspired so many people since its debut, and has motivated LEGO enthusiasts to build models, create their own stories and, in some cases, produce their own films,” said Michael McNally, brand relations director, LEGO Systems, Inc. “We’re particularly proud to partner with Lucasfilm’s ‘The Empire Gives Back’ charitable giving program to both commemorate an important milestone for The Empire Strikes Back, but also to help carry forward its creative spirit with yet another generation of children through St. Jude.”

STAR WARS enthusiasts will also be able to see new LEGO products on display, have their picture taken with life-sized LEGO STAR WARS models and check out fan created LEGO models. A second LEGO Master Builder will be doing a live build of a 6-foot tall Boba Fett model.

The LEGO Store will have products available for purchase and will feature an exclusive Celebration V STAR WARS CubeDude set, designed by fan and Pixar animator, Angus MacLane, who will be on-site to sign boxes. To purchase the set, a raffle ticket must be drawn. Tickets will be pulled at the LEGO booth each day at 11 a.m.

One of the coolest things about the LEGO mosaic is who helped build it — none other than George Lucas himself!

Photo credit: Michel McNally.

Yep that’s right folks, apparently the father of Star Wars plays with LEGO too, at least a little bit. And from the looks of the photo, Master Model Builder Mark Roe is so excited he can’t even stay still for a photo. :D

Another random photo I found on Flickr is of a rather cool LEGO R2-D2
R2-LegoPhoto Credit: legoriki

Celebration V is in full swing and will continue today and tomorrow. For those of my friends who are down there, have fun! :)


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