Posts Tagged ‘FBTB’

LEGO Friends or Foe?

August 20, 2013

Hi all, I know I fell completely off the blog register. Traveling to two LEGO Conventions in less than two weeks will do that to you. That and the current commission I’m working on have sapped all my time. I will be writing posts on both BrickFair Virginia and Bricks by the Bay a little later, but a recent post on GeekMom really jumped out to me.

The issue was LEGO Friends. GeekMom Cristen Pantano was like many others before LEGO Friends was out. She wanted to hate it for all the gender stereotypes that it “perpetuated.”

This Studs comic from FBTB showed how silly it all was becoming.

So LEGO Friends came out, and soon became one of the best selling lines of LEGO. And yet still the taint of them being “for girls” left a bad taste that for some it couldn’t shake.

I wrote a whole post on the controversy. And I love my LEGO Friends parts (not so much the mini dolls) as I love all the rest of my LEGO.

And that’s where GeekMom Cristen Pantano comes in. Oh she fought it, but when her daughter finally started asking for LEGO of her own instead of playing with her brother’s Cristen gave in and actually bought a couple sets.

No surprise to me, her daughter loved them. And now her daughter plays with both her LEGO and her brother’s.

You can read the whole article here, but to sum it up:

The most important thing is that girls are now building. They are gaining confidence, developing spatial and math skills, figuring out how things work, and having fun. There are aspects of the line that I do not agree with. I think that the animated characters on the web page are too old and sexualized for the target audience and our daughter is a bit confused why all of her boxes and instructions are purple. Maybe this line could have been sold with boy and girl mini-figs, since boys like my son and his friends love her kits too.

I had to respond on the post, heck I couldn’t help it. Here’s part of what I wrote:

Many people who were complaining about with the Friends line never took into account that Friends was an addition, not a substitution for “regular” LEGO. I’m all for new parts and colors — any colors. I like the new Legends of Chima theme for the same reason — new parts and colors. I’m not a big fan of those animal minifigs either, but I still like all the bright orange and olive green parts that come in the sets. LEGO isn’t about one particular theme. The whole point is for ALL the bricks from all the themes to be mixed together to create something new.

I’m glad she’s come around. I just wish she had bought the sets before she complained about them. What really surprises me is that there’s no petitions and ranting blog posts over the new Mega Blocs Barbie sets which are pretty much exactly what they were complaining about with LEGO Friends — Just saying. ;)

Comic Con Swag Giveaway #1

July 22, 2013

Okay, I’m still barely conscious. Too little sleep, and too much San Diego Comic Con. I will be doing a full recap as soon as I’ve gotten more than a few hours of sleep. ;)

You can read pretty good recaps on FBTB, but I have my own take on the Con and I’ll be tackling that soon.

If you’ve been following my Model Building Secrets Facebook page or my Twitter feed you’ve seen that I managed to get a nice bit of LEGO and building toy swag — enough swag that I’m willing to share :D

So here’s the first batch –
2013 Comic Con Swag 1

Yes its mainly MEGA BLOKS figs (and no, I don’t know which ones), but there’s a LEGO Star Wars Yoda Chronicles Comic and I’ll throw in a couple of my Folded Fancy keychains as well as a surprise or two.

Just like the last give away there will be three ways to enter:
1)Comment on this post
2)Like my page and then Like, Share, and Comment on my link about this post on my Model Building Secrets Facebook page
3)Follow me on Twitter @MariannAsanuma and reply to my tweet about this post with the #giveaway

Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight of July 29th (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will. ;)

This isn’t the only swag I got, so I’ll be doling the rest of it out in the next few months. So if you don’t win this time, don’t worry.

Have fun and good luck!

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Official E3 2013 Trailer and Variant Covers

June 11, 2013

If you’re a gamer, you know what E3 is, and you know that its going on right now in LA. I’m in to games, but the ones I’m most interested for this blog are the LEGO ones ;)

So, seeing the newest LEGO Marvel Super Heroes trailer makes me seriously excited!

It says its coming out in the fall. And if you want the exclusive figure, at least here in the US, you’ll need to pre-order it from Walmart

As a way of promoting the game Marvel will be releasing variant comic covers. Thanks FBTB for the info. :)

LEGO artists Leo Castellani, Christopher Jones and Adam DeKracker are providing a series of variant covers for some of Marvel’s September-releasing titles recreating some classic covers from the past in iconic LEGO minifigure form.

“Working with the folks at The LEGO Group to do these homage covers is an absolute blast!” said David Gabriel, SVP of Sales, Print & Digital. “As soon as we came up with the concept of doing the covers, I couldn’t wait to get an idea off the ground that really does justice to both the Marvel heroes and the LEGO brand.”

Here’s a list of all the variants that will be out

All-New X-Men #17
Avengers #21
Avengers A.I. #4
Captain America #12
Daredevil #31
Fantastic Four #13
Guardians Of The Galaxy #7
Hawkeye #15
Indestructible Hulk #14
Infinity #3
Iron Man #17
Marvel Universe: Avengers Assemble #1
Mighty Avengers #1
New Avengers #11
Nova #8
Secret Avengers #10
Superior Spider-Man #19
Thor: God Of Thunder #14
Uncanny Avengers #12
Wolverine & The X-Men #36
X-Men #5

Great, just one more thing to collect. :D

The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey Target Exclusive

March 21, 2013

Hi all, as you can see I’m still not fully recovered and not posting at all regularly yet. I did get back home finally after an almost 3 week trip up and down the West Coast. And once I’ve managed to upload all my images to Flickr I’ll be posting about the trip in more detail.

But I wanted to post about the recently released Hobbit movie on Blu-Ray and the Target exclusive version with the Bilbo Baggins minifigure.

I won’t go into a full review of the movie, as others such as FBTB have done a very good review already.

No what I want to talk about is the small featurette on the making and designing of the LEGO Hobbit Models that is on the Target Blue Ray and the Bilbo figure — cause let’s face it, that’s really the main reason I got it at Target. ;)

Its not that I “must have all minifigures!” But since I was going to get the movie anyways, I might as well get it with a Bilbo minifig. :)

Target Exclusive Bilbo Minifig Target Exclusive Bilbo minifig back detail

Its a pretty cool fig, with a nice blue waistcoat and printing on the back. There’s even an alternate scared expression on the other side of his head.

What I found that interested me more than I thought was the featurette about how they designed the LEGO Hobbit models.

Now as I’m not as tech savvy as some, I took pictures from my TV while I watched the feature so that you could get an idea of what it shows.

DSC04985

The thing I thought that was coolest to me was the original prototype of Bag End, Bilbo’s house.

DSC04983

DSC04984

You can see how it differs from the actual set and what stayed the same.

They also talked about how they designed the Goblin king and his minions.
DSC04981

Its only about 15 minutes long, and there’s scenes from the LEGO Lord of the Rings Video Game at the start and end of it. What I’m hoping and predicting will happen is a LEGO Hobbit game about the time the 3rd Hobbit movie finally gets released.

The Blu-Ray / DVD combo pack is on sale at Target.com for $24.99 in the US. I found it at my local Target for $22.99 so if you want it, I’d recommend getting it there before the week is over and they jump the price up to $29.99.

Is it worth it? Well the feature was interesting, I don’t see myself watching it over and over again. I’m of the reluctant Blu-Ray crowd. I don’t care all that much that my image is that much crisper than the DVD version. However, it seems that is the way the world is going and that’s why I picked up a PS3, so at least I could play games and watch movies.

I do like the exclusive figure, and I imagine that it will cost as much as the movie once it starts making its way to Bricklink. But if you are going to buy the movie any ways, you might as well get this one.

10240 – Red Five X-wing Starfighter

February 15, 2013

10240 Red Five X-Wing Starfighter

My interest in Star Wars isn’t what it was when LEGO came out with their first sets in 1999, so yet another X-Wing isn’t really my thing. Sure its big, its grand, and I’m positive many of you can’t wait to get your hands on it. I however, can’t get too excited, sorry.

Here’s the press release

10240 – Red Five X-wing Starfighter™
Ages 16+. 1,558 pieces.
Build the ultimate LEGO® Star Wars™ X-wing Starfighter!
US $199.99 CA $249.99 DE 199.99€ UK 169.99 £ DK 1699.00 DKK

Collect and create the most highly detailed LEGO® Star Wars™ X-wing Starfighter ever produced. This iconic starfighter is featured in many of the most exciting Star Wars battle scenes, including the decisive battle scene above planet Yavin™. Recreate the moment when Luke Skywalker’s X-wing delivered the proton torpedo that led to the destruction of the Imperial Death Star! With 1,558 pieces, this realistically detailed model features opening wings and cockpit, a special display stand, data sheet label and R2-D2.

Includes R2-D2 atromech droid
Features highly authentic detailing, and opening wings and cockpit
Includes 1558 pieces
Measures over 10″ (26cm) high, 20″ (52cm) long and 18″ (46cm) wide
Includes display stand and data sheet label!
Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning
May 2013

And the video

One thing that did interest me about this set was the controversy of how this set was announced.

What I am much more interested in is the new Palace Cinema which I realize I haven’t posted anything about here on the blog yet. That will be in my next post. ;)

LEGO Lone Ranger

December 8, 2012

Update: Image removed by request

The rumors can be put to rest, its now official. The LEGO Lone Ranger sets will be tied to the new Disney Long Ranger movie that is coming out July 2013.

Its sad, but at the Creation Nation Event we had here in San Diego a few months ago, we were talking about the then rumored Lone Ranger sets and a 10 year old (or so) kid asked what the Lone Ranger was — I feel old when I hear things like that. :?

On one hand, I’m interested in seeing this movie, even if Johnny Depp (who I do like, don’t get me wrong) as Tonto kind of rubs me the wrong way. But on the other I doubt this movie will live up to the classic series I remember seeing reruns of when I was a kid — no, I’m not old enough to remember when they were originally on TV, so at least I’m not that old. ;)

Either way, we (the LEGO fans) finally get the Western theme we’ve been asking for for years. I have all the original Western sets that came out in 96′ and 97′ so regardless of how the movie does, I look forward to seeing what’s in these new sets. The picture shows us a few new elements — Tonto’s ax, a long horn skull, a new revolver, and what looks like a black crow on Tonto’s head (although that may be part of the hair piece). On BrickSet you can see the set names, although no set images have shown up yet.

These sets, along with all the other fun new stuff (Galaxy Squad, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Creator, etc) that is starting to pop in stores now or just around the corner for 2013 are getting me excited for the upcoming year.

Wil Weaton signing a model of Wil Weaton…

April 2, 2012

Although some people are into April Fool’s jokes, I’m not one of them. So I avoid the silliness all together. I did however post this on my Facebook page yesterday. I would have posted it here too, but Iain Heath hadn’t posted it on Flickr yet. :D

While I was hanging out with the guys of FBTB, SandLUG, and LUGOLA at LEGOLAND California Star Wars Days, Iain and the rest of SeaLUG was at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle.

I will be posting a follow up to Star Wars Days, but until then check this out.

Since Iain is Iain (you have to know him, or at least his models, to understand that one ;) ) he created a LEGO model of Wil Weaton signing a LEGO model of himself and then he had the actual Wil Weaton sign it. Its so meta, it almost blows my mind! :D
Lego model of Wil Wheaton signing a Lego model of Wil Wheaton ...actually being signed by Wil Wheaton!

Here’s a close up of the model
Wil Wheaton signing (front)

Of course there were other, much larger, models on display. I know Scott Fowler’s MOC certainly deserves its own post. But I’ll be visiting those another day. For now, live long and prosper! — Hey, I had to get a Star Trek reference in there somewhere!

LEGO Friends — Controversial or Cool?

January 9, 2012

If you’ve been paying attention at all to the buzz around the internet, you’ve probably seen at least on or several posts or articles about the LEGO Friends line. When I first heard about a new girl theme coming out over a year and a half ago at the LEGO Conventions I kept hearing “It’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

My reaction, like most AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO), was — we’ll see.

The first low-res pictures didn’t do much to sway my cynical opinion. It looked like a rehashing of older themes. Once I finally saw good quality pictures, I thought it looked a lot like Polly Pocket. And it does. But so do a lot of other toys geared towards girls.

Unlike previous girl LEGO lines, LEGO Friends was widely promoted by the company. And almost before the first press release got out, the backlash started.

“LEGO already has a LEGOs for girls — they are called LEGOs” one person touted (and I apologize to all who cringe when an “s” is added to LEGO).

This comic posted on FBTB.net showed another side of it.

But what a lot of those who are complaining don’t know, or don’t care to research. Is that this is hardly the first time LEGO has made girl sets. They’ve been doing it for decades. Ever since the first Homemaker sets in 1971, LEGO has made sets clearly geared towards girls. That’s over 30 years people!

So why now? Well part of it is just because these naysayers can. Part of it is because LEGO didn’t promote previous incarnations like Belville and Scala as strongly as LEGO Friends. So all of these people who never really paid attention to LEGO themes before are taking sides over LEGO Friends. There’s even a petition to stop LEGO Friends.

A petition? Really? Don’t we have anything else to worry about?

I admit, Belville, Scala, and Clickits were never my favorite lines. I felt and still feel that they were an insult to my intelligence. There were no difficult builds and the figures looked like Barbie for LEGO — especially Scala. The only girl lines I liked were the Homemaker line which is a little bit before my time, and Paradisa.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I’m not a girly girl. In fact I took over my brothers’ LEGO bricks when they grew out of them. Something I never did. So even though I like Paradisa, it was too girly for me. I much preferred Castle or City — before it was populated only by cops, firemen, and robbers. I grew up in the golden age of LEGO when some of the truly great lines came out. I was just as into space and pirates as my brother (my little brother was a little too young at the time).

So when Scala and Belville were finally available in the US — they were originally only available in Europe — I was already a die-hard LEGO fan. These sets annoyed me and I ignored them. I refused to buy them because I didn’t like them. But what I didn’t realize was how many cool accessories there were. Food and cooking elements especially. So as I got more building savvy and started looking as sets more like parts packs and less like sets, I started to purchase Scala and Belville.

So what do I think of LEGO Friends? Well I wanted to wait until I had gotten some before I gave my opinion. I was getting more and more excited as I saw all the fun elements. And now that I have a couple sets I really, really like them.

Even with the images I’d seen of Friends to Minifig scale comparisons, I didn’t really appreciate how very small they Friends dolls are. They are tiny! Which naturally makes them cuter. They won’t replace my love for the Minifig, but they won’t be relegated to the back of the LEGO box either.

When I saw the sets in the stores I wanted to buy all of them! Okay, maybe that is my girly side coming out, but I am a girl, so that’s okay. ;)

Lots of non-LEGO people are complaining about the pink. But there is actually very little pink in the sets. And there are all these great new colors and parts! There are just as many, if not more, male AFOLs wanting these sets because of the accessories.

So in short — after this long rant — I like LEGO Friends. Is it exactly what I would have wanted as a child? No, but that’s what Modular Buildings are for. I do want all of the sets, if not multiples. I love the new accessories and colors. The MOC (my own creation) potential is very high! And I will be recommending them to everyone. I hope they come out with more. My opinion — Cool. :)

LEGO for Charity

December 4, 2011

There are lots of ways to be charitable with LEGO this year. One of the fun, and easiest ways is legosantayoda.com

FBTB.net is providing an extra incentive to get you to be charitable.

You may have seen the post I made in the forums last week about LEGOSantaYoda.com pledging to donate up to 1 million gifts to the US Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots program. The catch is they only donate one gift for each e-greeting sent from the website and so far the total is limping along at just over a hundred donations a day.

Let’s see if we can’t kick that number up a notch. Ace has generously offered a MISB 8095 General Grievous Starfighter set to one lucky winner chosen at random who sends an e-greeting from LEGOSantaYoda.com to giveaways@fbtb.net. Make sure the message reads FOR THE TOTS! and feel free to send as many as you like. The more you send, the more chances you have and the more donations get made to a great charity. The giveaway ends when they shut their program down, so be quick and get those greetings in!

You can also be charitable on a local level. My local LEGO club SandLUG gathered sets and cash donations that were turned into sets to donate to a local charity.

SandLUG Toy Drive 2011 (everything)

So come on guys and donate! You can send an E-card through legosantayoda.com or donate a set at your local toy drive. Whatever you decide to do, Happy Holidays. :)

New LEGO Target Gift Card

November 3, 2011

Last year Target made one of the coolest gift cards out there — a LEGO gift card. Not only was it a little LEGO set of Bullseye the Target mascot, but the clear acrylic box it came in was an actual gift card. I admit, I had to get several. :)

Well they are at it again. And this time its even better. Not only can you again make the Target Dog with the 49 pieces, you also build a polar bear or a snowman with the same parts!

Image via Brickset

This picture is of the display that you will see at stores
Image via Chris Christian

The gift cards were a little tricky to find, especially if you wanted a quantity. But the cool thing is that you can put as little as $5 on each card. And then use that $5 on any Target purchase. So basically if you shop at Target, you can get a free, exclusive LEGO set.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell this is a US only promotion as Target is only in America. But even so, its pretty cool!


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