Archive for July, 2012

10229 Winter Village Cottage

July 30, 2012

Via Eurobricks
It may be July, but its never to early to think about Christmas and the now annual Winter Village set. This new set does not disappoint.

I love all the fun new details — the igloo, the dark blue and white 1×1 tile floor in the kitchen, the Christmas tree in the living room just to name a few. :)

This is yet another must have for me so I can watch my personal winter village grow each year and my wallet shrink just a little bit more. :D

Sorting — What not to do

July 29, 2012


I don’t know if you’ve seen this video or not. On one hand it looks impressive. And sure, a huge pile of LEGO poured onto the floor and then sorted out is pretty impressive to the uninitiated. A true AFOL however, is not uninitiated. If you have any sort of large collection and if you’ve bought any large quantity of LEGO at one time you’ve done your own fair amount of sorting.

Now lets examine the video. Sure there’s 100 LEGO boxes, but from the looks of it, they are all the same LEGO box. And sure, ripping open all the plastic bags and dumping them on the floor may look dramatic, but its not very effective or logical.

LEGO bricks come in sets of bags in a box. These bags are either sorted by steps (i.e. — 1, 2, 3, etc.) or in size. These sets look to be one of the basic creator brick boxes. So its just basic bricks in different colors and sizes. If they are in fact the same LEGO set, as these seem to be, the more logical thing is to open all the same types of bags. So then instead of going through a huge pile you have a smaller pile but with all the same types of parts.

What is more difficult is when you have to sort an assortment of various sets that have very little in common. Now of course everyone has their own process of how to sort and store their LEGO. I even wrote about sorting a couple of years ago.

I am in fact currently in the process of sorting quite a lot of LEGO. Its not 100 sets, but its probably in the range of at least 30 and up to maybe 50. I’m not sure as I didn’t really count the amount of sets. But these are not the same set and that makes a big difference in how I sort them. In this case, you have to do levels of sorting. Not just one large sort. You can’t even really do that with any sort of practicality, there would just be too many pieces. And, you have to remember, I sort everything by piece and color.

So my first step is to sort into — plates, bricks and “other.” Something like this –
Presort 1
And before you ask, yes those are full and no, that isn’t all the LEGO I have to sort.

Once all the elements are in their pre-sorted state. I go to the next level. The bricks and plates get sorted by size — 1×1, 1×2, etc. Then they get sorted by color and get put away (yay!). The “other” is more complicated. I sort them out into tiles, slopes, minifig accessories, etc. Then I sort them out by size or style, then by color (if needed) and finally they get put away too.

So your sorted elements can look something like this:
DSC00019

I know it sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but when you need to be able to get the exact part you want, exactly when you want it, as you are building, it makes all the work worth it. ;)

Rubber Duckie, you’re the one!

July 24, 2012

LEGO Rubber Ducky

And once again Bruce Lowell has made something adorable!

This is so accurate it looks like you could easily pick it up and squeeze the cute little Duckie. The sea of 1×1 round transparent light blue plates make a wonderful backdrop too. ;)

“LEGO! NO.”

July 22, 2012

IMGP8848

I don’t know about you, but this awesome creation by Deborah Higdon based on the print by Lim Heng Swee is simply perfect. In fact, I’m surprised no one’s done it before now. :D

I think my favorite part of it is how she did the arms and legs.

I know I’ve been a little missing in action here on my blog, this year really is a year of project after project. I love the fact that I’m super busy, but it does take me away from doing this blog. And going to Comic Con really drained me. It used to be Comic Con was my one main convention of the year, but this year it was my 6th so far and I have at least 2 more (maybe 3) that I’ll be going to. So I do have a Comic Con wrap-up that I’ll post soon, just not tonight. ;)

Comic Con Day 1 and LEGO Hobbit News

July 13, 2012

Bag End

What is a hobbit without his home? We saw the figures, but not the set until today when it was unveiled at Comic Con.

My first thought was — Green Parts Pack!!! Oh, and you get some figures too. :D

Okay at $59.99 its not exactly a steal for all that green, but of course you do get all those awesome new figs with fun new elements!

Today at the booth was all about Lord of the Rings and Hobbit. There was a scavenger hunt at the very, very start of the day where you got a map and had to get the parts of Bilbo

Map of ComicCondor

Unfortunately due to the crazy factor, the line for this was capped very early so even I was not able to get a map or a fig :(

There was also a mosaic build, part of a 4 day mosaic build. That anyone could participate in and a station so you could play LEGO Lord of the Rings Video Game.
P1370120

Tomorrow the craziness factor increases to a factor of 11 (at least) due to it being Super Heros’ Day. Where they will be giving four different figures (100 of each) to those lucky enough to get their badges scanned early. You will only get a chance to win one of the four, if you win one at all.

It will be slightly (and I do mean slightly) better than last year’s fiasco with the Batman and Green Lantern figs. It will be more fair, but still the crazy factor will be off the charts. Lucky for me, I’m not working the LEGO booth this year, so I don’t have to deal with disappointed people unhappy with not getting a chance to participate.

I will be doing something I’ve never done before tomorrow (well today since its already 1:30 am) — I will be on a panel! I’m excited about it. Of course there are eight of us on the panel so I will only have about 5 minutes to talk, but hey, that’s more than most people get at Comic Con. I’m looking forward to my 5 minutes of Comic Con fame. :D

That’s all for now. I still have 3 days to go and very little time to sleep before I start all over again tomorrow. ;)

First Look at LEGO Hobbit Minifigs and San Diego Comic Con News

July 9, 2012

The 2012 San Diego Comic Con starts Wednesday and once again I’ll be on the scene checking out all the cool new LEGO models and exclusives.

I did a little digging on the internet and found this on The Hollywood Reporter

Here we see Gandalf, Dwalin, Bombur, Bofur, Bilbo and Balin

Its the first I’ve seen any official images of the Hobbit Minifigs and I’m sure they will have the actual figs on display at the LEGO booth.

There will also be these stunning Gandalf and Bilbo life size figures on display:
Via: USA Today

I’m really looking forward to seeing the models in person. :D

Still no word on what the LEGO Comic Con Exclusive will be this year. They like to keep that under wraps until the very last moment. So I guess I’ll find that out on Preview Night. I will do my best to actually post some of Comic Con while I’m there.

Oh and for those that are lucky enough to go there are two LEGO related panels that I know of —

On Friday featuring your’s truly ;)
3:00-4:00 LEGO Fan Community and What They Build— Jim Foulds (community relations manager for the LEGO Group), Joe Meno (editor of BrickJournal Magazine), Mariann Asanuma (author of modelbuildingsecrets.com), and Steve Decraemer (model builder for LEGOLand California) discuss the LEGO Fan community, what they build, how they build it, and what it takes to become a member of this growing community. Room 28E

And on Saturday
5:00-6:00 BrickJournal— In the past decade, a community has grown around the toy bricks produced by the LEGO Group. With Joe Meno (editor of BrickJournal magazine and contributor to The Cult of LEGO book) as your guide, see how the community has grown and what they have built, with builders Brandon Griffith and Elizabeth Cortes, plus Jim Foulds of the LEGO Community Team and LEGO certified professional builder Nathan Sawaya. Dust off those bricks and join the community of LEGO builders! Room 23ABC

So if you are going, come to the panels. And if you aren’t I’ll be there to post the happenings. :D

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

July 7, 2012

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Do you remember our fine four fendered friend? I sure do, and this new creation by Jordan Schwartz evokes all the shiny goodness of the original flying car. :)

I really like the shiny factor and the use of the new Lord of the Rings ring. There may be “only one” but I’m glad that we get so many in the new sets. ;)

Newton’s Cradle of LEGO

July 3, 2012

Newtons Cradle

Matt Armstrong is known for his quirky building skills and as soon as I saw this I thought, why didn’t I think of that!

I’ve been wanting to buy a few of those Star Wars Planets sets for quite a while.

I just have a problem with so few bricks for the cost, but every time I see something like this I want to get some. ;)

LEGO Batman 2 Video Game Review

July 2, 2012

Now that I’ve had the game for a couple of weeks and I’ve already beaten all the story levels I’ve gotten enough of a sense of the game to properly review it. Warning — there will be some spoilers.

I have a special place in my heart for LEGO Batman. The first game resulted in my first freelance commission the LEGO Batman Mosaic and an awesome trip to New York. :)

First impression — another splendid edition to the LEGO Games lineup. This game is set up differently from past LEGO games as you actually have an entire city to roam around in. This is a both a good and bad thing. It took me quite a few minutes trying to figure out where the 3rd level was because I didn’t catch that it was a moving truck. So I was driving aimlessly through Gotham trying to figure out where the heck to go.

I am the first to admit that I’m not all that game savvy, which is why the LEGO Games keep me sufficiently satisfied and why I don’t mind basically playing the same type of game over and over. I still haven’t finished playing either Harry Potter 2 or Pirates, but that didn’t stop me from playing LEGO Batman 2.

So anyhow, back to this game. Since I was giving myself a mini vacation — as you know I’ve been running around like a crazy person going to all these conventions — I spent several days playing the game (I did more than that, but I did spend a good deal of time playing ;) ). It probably would have been more fun playing with someone, but unlike some of the past games, its not difficult to play by yourself.

This game is the first that the characters actually talk. In my opinion, its about time!! I get that the main reason they did the characters with non-specific verbal sounds was so that they didn’t need to change the language for different countries. But with LEGO programs like Clutch Powers and Ninja Go on Cartoon Network we want our minifigs to talk!

I kind of wish that this had been more of a LEGO Justice League Game than a Batman and friends game. Superman shows up pretty early, but it isn’t until the last couple of levels that you have any other superheros to play with. And frankly I think its kind of weird that Lex Luthor is the main bad guy, I guess you could argue that Batman already beat all his enemies in the first game, but still it still is a little strange to me.

Once you beat the story mode, then its time to collect all those gold and red bricks, minikits and of course all the playable characters.

I have to admit, I did cheat a little bit and found the codes online for unlocking the red bricks, mainly because finding all the gold bricks (there’s 250) would be rather difficult without it and I’d rather not spend endless hours wandering. Sure you get several of them by playing the levels but then there’s all those ones around the city. And I mean all around the city — in the park areas, roof tops, out in the waters. If I didn’t have the gold brick finder on, I wouldn’t have ever found some of them. And I still have a good deal of them to go. The ones in the park areas are tricky because they can be just a set of trees or bushes that you have to destroy and they are hidden in some pretty out of the way places. But the rooftop ones are just as tricky because there’s a whole combination of things you have to do — jumping, changing suits (Batman and Robin have several different ones), etc.

Finding all the characters to unlock is also a pain. The best way to find the villains is to use one of the flying characters — Superman, Wonder Woman or Green Lantern — and fly over the city. There will be these blue and red beams of light you can see all over the city. The beams are where you can activate the remote Bat computer terminal and get vehicles. Some have to be unlocked before you can access them. Once you go to the different locations they will activate where the nearest bad guys are on the map then you can go and beat them so you can purchase them with gold studs. Some villains were only available if you pre-ordered the game. For the heroes, you need enough gold bricks and to scan the map. It will ping nearby doors and then you can build the door and buy the heroes. So far I’ve found several of the villains but only a couple of the gold doors to unlock. And of course there’s lots of cars, boats and flying vehicles to purchase as well.

So all in all. I really like the game. I have lots more of the game to play to get all the goodies, but I’ve had a lot of fun so far. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes the other LEGO Video Games and I find I like it a lot better than some of the past games.

I’ve already got my LEGO Lord of the Rings Video Game pre-ordered so I’ll have another review in a couple of months. I would be picking up LEGO City Undercover, but as I don’t see myself buying a Wii U or a 3D DS anytime soon (the only platforms it will be available on) I won’t be getting that game at least for now.


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