Posts Tagged ‘Video Game’

“Did someone call for IT support?”

July 2, 2014

" did someone call for IT support ? "

Okay, this isn’t really a build per se, but it is one of my new favorite minifigs — Terabyte from the new Ultra Agents Set 70165 — I just need to get the set (or buy him off bricklink).

Legoagogo created this fun pic. I think the stacks of 1×1 transparent red plates in the background really make this pic pop!

And I love Terabyte’s torso design. Why does LEGO keep making cool minifigs that are in expensive sets? :D

Carbine Studios’ LEGO Rocketship House

April 25, 2014

So, if you’ve been following me on my Model Building Secrets Facebook Page then you know that I went to PAX East in Boston a couple weekends ago. Carbine Studios asked me to create a 4 foot LEGO Rocketship House for them for the upcoming game WildStar Online.

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Not only did I build a 4 foot version, I built two 1 foot versions and a 3 foot WildStar logo.

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That’s my 6 foot dinning room table to give you an idea of size.

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1 ft LEGO Rocketship House 2

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Both the little and big LEGO RocketShip House were challenging builds — the larger one was one of the most difficult in my career so far. What made them challenging builds was the organic shape of the RocketShip House itself, and the tiny landing gear that looks cool in a video game, but that doesn’t hold a big round heavy body that well in real world physics. :D

On the smaller model, the way I figured out how to design and build the round organic shape was by designing the nose of the ship first and then building from the middle out, using a ton of cheese slopes in the process.

I solved the weight distribution problem by creating clear pillars. In the little one the pillars are barely noticeable, but in the larger one, I had to make them sturdy and strong to hold the 50 pounds — 50,000 LEGO bricks — that was the larger model.

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The 4 foot version of the Rocketship House is a doubled up version of the 1 foot model. Basically what I did was take every part on the small one and multiply it by 4 in length, width and height. So in actuality, the larger one is 64 times bigger than the smaller one!

Another challenge with the larger one was that they wanted me to build it onsite at PAX East. Now normally this would mean starting from the base and building up, but for this particular model, that wouldn’t have worked and there would have been no way that I could have built it in the 3 days of the event. One of the main problems were all those lovely cheese slopes on the smaller model. A lot of them are sideways. At first when I tried to build the larger version I was building straight up, but it wasn’t working. To properly represent all the cheese slopes on the smaller model, I would have to build them sideways as well.

So I came up with a building technique I’d never done before and had never seen done in a building event — I made all the giant “cheese slopes” as panels that I would build onto a central core –

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This isn’t the greatest picture, but its the only one I have of the central core without all the panels on, and without the side engines and tail wings.

The coolest thing was that Carbine Studios created a time lapse video of me building the model so you can get an idea of the process

Both the large LEGO model and a check for $10,000 was donated to Child’s Play Charity

Carbine Studios® made a special donation to Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in its network of 90 hospitals worldwide. Carbine Studios partnered with LEGO® artist and instructor Mariann Asanuma to bring a WildStar® Rocket House, an exclusive in-game item only available through pre-order, to life with 50,000 LEGOs. The sculpture, standing nearly three feet high and four feet long, will be auctioned off at the annual Child’s Play Dinner and Auction taking place later this year, with proceeds going to the partner hospitals and facilities in the Child’s Play network.

In addition to the LEGO sculpture, a $10,000 check was also presented to Child’s Play which will be donated to the Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Massachusetts Children’s Medical Center.

“Child’s Play is deeply grateful for the support of Carbine Studios and the WildStar team,” said Jamie Dillon, program coordinator and development, Child’s Play. “Creative, gamer-focused fundraising is the cornerstone of Child’s Play and we’re honored to be the recipient of both an incredible donation for two of our network hospitals as well as a work of LEGO art to be featured in our annual auction. These donations will allow us to provide video games to children who are in need of distraction, empowerment, entertainment and more. The contributions have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of sick kids, and we are so grateful to Carbine Studios and WildStar for their donation.”

“We wanted to not only find a fun way to bring a small piece of WildStar to life, but also see the efforts go to a good cause,” said Mona Hamilton, vice president of brands, Carbine Studios. “Child’s Play is a wonderful charity doing really great things with the gaming industry and we’re looking forward to seeing the result of the auction later this year. It was also important for us to say thanks by giving back to the Boston community; they’ve been great to us over the years at PAX East.”

It was a fun build and an awesome experience to be a part of. :)

The LEGO Movie Experience at LEGOLAND California

February 21, 2014

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I’ve been on LEGO Movie overload ever since it came out two weeks ago. First, seeing it 3 times in 3 days, plus buying the LEGO Movie Video Game for both PS3 and 3DS (review to come later) and playing the PS3 version, and the ongoing news, reviews and accolades that the movie keeps getting from pretty much everywhere. The “Everything is Awesome” song is now permanently lodged in my brain — it doesn’t help that they keep playing it throughout the video game. And then to culminate it all, yesterday I went to The LEGO Movie Experience that made its debut yesterday at LEGOLAND California.

Warning! Spoliers Ahead!!!!

If you haven’t watched the LEGO Movie yet, and don’t want to find out one of the major spoilers, read no further. Come back after you’ve watched the movie. ;)

Okay, now that that’s done, lets get to this.

The Lego Movie Experience at LLCAVia: Miro Dudas

Like I said when I wrote my Non-spolier review, I still have a lot to write about this movie. One thing I didn’t like that much in the movie was its biggest spoiler — entering the real world. I get that it taught a valuable lesson of creativity over keeping things just so, but I felt that it pulled you out of the story. I would have preferred if we never entered the real world. Even if remnants of it (band-aid, “kragel,”etc) were in the LEGO world.

However, if they had not added that real world element, The LEGO Movie Experience would not have been possible.

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In the movie, the “real world” is basically an Adult Fan of LEGO’s basement LEGO room. And what a room! A full town layout in the middle, castle, western, and space themes along the wall, a corner that looks very much like my desk with all the “nuts and bolts” drawers full of LEGO and various LEGO kits and creations on display. But of course Finn — the son — isn’t supposed to play with any of it. Those are all Dad’s collection — not toys!

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Sound familiar? Many of us die-hard AFOLs have LEGO Rooms of one sort or another. Our rooms vary in collection size and how much our roommates or families allow it to exist. Not all have rooms like Will Farrell’s character in the movie, but I know quite a few who do — me included.

And some have the “my collection” and the “kid’s collection.” Most who do will allow their children to borrow from them, but there is a definite line. Even my brothers (who I took their LEGO when they grew out of it) like to play with my collection (they are 35 and 27 by the way) when they visit and sometimes I bristle silently (or not so silently) when they mess up my system.

Finn’s LEGO collection
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You can see the “Magic Portal” tube in the back of the room.

But, despite all that LEGO can be, it is first and foremost a toy. If and when I have children they will definitely be allowed to play with my LEGO, and they will have their own. Of course I’ve never been one that leaves huge LEGO displays out. For one, leaving displays out permanently causes them to get dusty and color fading can happen. For another, I don’t have the room to leave large things out. I never know when I’ll need the space for a commission. I’ve been known to take over the dining room table when the project is too large for weeks. So leaving a large model or display up, at least at this point, is not in the cards for me.

As an added bonus for the grand opening, they had a special guest — Jadon Sand, “Finn” of the LEGO Movie.

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He was on hand to tell of his experience working with Will Farrell and being in the LEGO Moive. During the question and answer part, I asked him if he wanted to be a Master Builder. He said yes, he definitely does. When I got to talk with him and his mom later he said he would like to be a Master Builder, Director and Writer. I also asked him what his favorite theme was and he said he loves the Harry Potter sets. He even treated us to a rendition of “Everything is Awesome.”

I took lots more pictures, you can see them on Flickr as well as these pics by Miro.

I was fortunate enough to get in as Media, because when I emerged from the building it was to a massively long line. Some of my fellow SandLUG members were in line for over an hour and a half!

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I would have taken more pictures, but as the public came in, and it got more and more crowded, I felt it was time to leave.

One cool thing I got was a picture with Jadon that his mom took
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It was great meeting Jadon Sand and seeing the awesome models that were used in the movie.

And check out this Awesome video LEGOLAND made for the opening.

If you get a chance to come to LEGOLAND California, be sure to check this out. I’m not sure for how long this will be there, but I imagine it will be for quite a while, especially considering the popularity of the movie. ;)

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game Review

November 4, 2013

So I’ve been a little under the weather (okay more than a little), which is part of the reason there’s been a lack of posts. So since I haven’t been feeling all that great, and since the new LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game just came out I’ve been playing the game.

I’m not much of a gamer anymore, but LEGO video games are always the exception. And unlike my LEGO Chima video game experience, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this game from the get go. :)

*** Warning Spoiler Alert! ***

Okay now that the warning is in place, I can freely mention all the fun goodness that is the game. From all the previews of this game and the demo I saw at the San Diego Comic Con, I was sure I would love this game. I mean what’s not to love? Its got practically every Marvel character — ever! There’s over 100 characters in the game. Of course you have to play and replay levels to get all the goodies and find all the characters.

But even from the start this probably my new favorite LEGO video game. I really, really liked LEGO Batman 2 but the main failing with that game was that it was all about Batman. Sure Superman and several other Justice League-ers show up, but its still mainly a Batman game.

That’s where this one differs. At each level you have a different mix of characters — from Spiderman with the Hulk, to Mr. Fantasic with Ironman. You don’t get to play with every character during Story mode, but you get a nice mixture.

The voice talent is top notch! Including the actual voice of Agent Colson (yes he is alive in the LEGO world too)– Clark Gregg. So much better than the watery sound bites they used for LEGO Lord of the Rings and much more in line with Batman 2. The story line is pretty darn cool too and you have all of New York City as your background. There’s tons of hidden areas and you can even ride the train!

If I have one complaint, the levels seem a tad easy this time. Maybe its because I’ve played basically all the TT LEGO Video Games since they started in 2005 with LEGO Star Wars. Maybe, but even so, there wasn’t anything new about the basic gameplay. Each level took about an hour. They would have probably taken less time, but I was going for “True Believer” status on each level — in other words, getting all the gold and silver studs I could — and smashing everything takes time.

Another good / bad thing about the game is that when you beat all the levels you only have 25% of the game completed. There’s a lot to do.

****super spoiler alert****
There isn’t just one extra level. There’s a whole bunch of extra levels! The more gold bricks you collect, the more levels you unlock. And just like the story levels, there’s a story level and a free play level. You need to play both to unlock everything.

On top of the gold bricks, Deadpool bricks (red bricks), minikits, characters and vehicles there’s one additional thing you have to find throughout the game — Stan Lee in Peril. There are no less than 50 of them! And of course Stan Lee voices himself. ;)

Even after 2 weeks of playing I still have less than 40% of the game complete. I’ve gotten half of the characters, extra levels and Deadpool bricks. But I’ve only saved 10 Stan Lees. So I still have a lot to go.

This is definitely a game I highly recommend!!!!

And if the LEGO Movie Video Game is anything like this one (which I’m sure it will be) I will be picking that one up as soon as it comes out next year. ;)

Comic Con Swag Giveaway #2

August 24, 2013

Considering my previous post, this one is a little ironic. But I had already planned to do this before I played the game, especially because Prima Games was awesome enough to send me a copy of the strategy guide so that I could give it away here. And I’m sure some of you will want to play this game so here’s your chance.

Chima DS Giveaway

As promised, here’s my second Comic Con Swag Giveaway. I didn’t get the guide at the Con, but I did make the contact there, so that counts right? :D

There will be three ways to enter:
1)Comment on this post
2)Like my Facebook Page. and then Like, Share, and Comment on my link about this post
3)Follow me on Twitter @MariannAsanuma and reply to my tweet about this post with the #Chimagiveaway

Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight August 31st (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will.

Good luck! :)

LEGO Legends of Chima 3DS Game Review

August 22, 2013

So right before I went to my two week / two LEGO Convention trip I picked up a copy of the LEGO Legends of Chima 3DS video game. I figured it would be a good plane ride and airport game to do while I was traveling cross country.

*Start Rant*
There’s only one problem, I don’t really like Legends of Chima — at all. Don’t get me wrong, I like the parts. All that lovely bright orange and olive green is awesome. I just don’t like the theme. I suppose if I was 8 or 10 I might be interested, but most likely not. The story line is weak at best, and a little disturbing at most. I mean think about it. There’s all these different animal tribes in this magical land that all get hopped up on “Chi” and fight each other.

No, not the energy force from Chinese culture. The lack of cultural respect that LEGO has a tendency to run right over on occasion has always bothered me. They don’t even change spelling they just go with it — Sensei Wu (a mixture of Japanese and Chinese names) is just one example. The Māori language controversy of the original Bionicle wave is another.

So back to Chima. The main character looks a lot like Lion-O from Thundercats, a show I actually did like watching when it originally came out in the 80s (of course I was like 8 when it came out). And according to the first episode of the TV show Lavel (the lion) and Cragger (the crocodile) were friends until Cragger took a Chi ball before he was ready for it and it results in misunderstanding and the loss of Cragger’s parents which in turn causes a war in the “peaceful” land of Chima.

And that’s where the video game comes in. I had read another’s review that said the game was a weak addition to the LEGO TT Games line as it couldn’t hold up without a licensed theme like Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Harry Potter.

Now I wasn’t expecting an epic game, far from it. The fact that it is only available on 3DS, DS, and PSP Vita shows that they didn’t put as much effort into the game like the much anticipated LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game coming out later this year.

And the addition of talking, which was a definite plus in the LEGO Batman 2 game, is just plain distracting here. The most annoying thing is that you can’t bypass it. You have to listen (or not listen if you turn the volume down) to the cheesy commentary that goes on and on, all the time.

Well even though its been a week and a half after my trip, I finally beat the story version of the game last night. Playing the game felt rather like a chore. The game-play is the same — break things, fight bad guys, get through levels. But because the constant collecting of Chi, you don’t get to collect the hearts (life energy) as much. And when you have a full circle of Chi, you can power-up. Sometimes you have to power-up so that you can get to the next part of the game. So you’re constantly looking for Chi and Chi vents. (Kind of like an addict.)

One thing I though that was really weird was they never use those Speedor bike things in the game. In fact there’s only one part near the end of the game (slight spoiler) where you build one but it immediately crashes and revels a character disk. You’d think that something that is so prevalent in half the sets would be more in the game.

Was it fun? Sort of. There were fun elements, but I actually had to cheat with a couple walkthrough tips or I wouldn’t have been able to get past certain areas. Maybe I could have muddled through eventually, but I didn’t have patience for it.

Will I be playing the free play mode? Not for a while. I’ve had my fill of Chima and all its silliness. Would a kid like it? Probably. I’ve loved all the LEGO Games so far, but this one fell flat. *End Rant*

BrickWorld Chicago 2013 Recap

June 25, 2013

Okay I know I’ve totally been MIA for the last couple of weeks and I apologize for that. BrickWorld was fun, amazing and totally exhausting! I’m still not fully recovered from the trip. That’s what happens when you only sleep 2-4 hours every night. :D

So BrickWorld this year started out with a bang, literally. I happened to fly in just before a major storm that actually had torrential rains, lightning, thunder, and even tornado warnings. I only really experienced it while riding in the shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel. Even though it went on all night, and lots of flights were canceled, once I was in the hotel / convention center I rarely looked outside as I was busy setting things up, talking with friends, and starting on all the LEGO Convention fun.

This year’s theme was Heros and Villians
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There was a set unveiling — the Sydney Opera House
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It looks really good in person and all that dark tan! Also there’s a 48×48 stud baseplate in blue!
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And they also showed what the next Cusoo set will be
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There were awesome models, here’s some of my favorites:

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I think this was my favorite micro scale model
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There was a lot of buzz about the new roller coaster LEGO compatible parts. I was going to get one, but I didn’t have any room in my suitcase, so I’ll be ordering one instead. ;)
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And this was rather random but cool — tiles and flowers making a “glove”
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What it looked like during Public hours
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I have tons more photos on my Flickr photostream although I know I didn’t get pictures of everything.

It was a great show and I look forward to next year. Now on to planning for BrickFair Virginia and Bricks by the Bay — back to back weekends I might add and cross country for me. But I’ll be at both. ;)

Walmart Iron Patriot Exclusive

May 7, 2013

So, have you seen Iron Man 3 yet? I just got a chance to catch it last night and it was just as fun as one and two.

One thing I was disappointed with **warning: slight spoiler** was that of the three Iron Man 3 LEGO sets, only the Malibu Mansion has anything to do with the movie. I realize that the sets are often designed while the movie is still in production, and perhaps there is a small chance that the other two sets may have been left on the Editing room floor, but considering the continuity of the movie, I really doubt that.

On that note, LEGO Marvel Super Heros the video game is coming out at the end of the year. And for this one Walmart, not Gamestop, has the exclusive figure — Iron Patriot.
Via FBTBVia FBTB

Its a pretty sweet fig, although I still think that the helmets look a little on the big side.

Iron Patriot is available with the preorder of the game on PS3, XBox, or WiiU — all for just a hair under $50 each. Sadly it doesn’t look like it works for Nintendo DS or 3DS. :(

The weird thing is that it says that the game will be available for shipment on Dec. 31st, everywhere else it says Oct. 31, which makes more sense. So we’ll see what the actual date is.

LEGO Batman Movie Review at WonderCon

April 3, 2013

The LEGO Batman Movie may not be out on DVD till May 21st, but I got to see the West Coast preview at WonderCon! Not only did they show the movie, but there was a Q&A afterward with the director Jon Burton of TT Games and several of the voice actors.

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If you haven’t seen the trailer, here it is:

I’ll get back to the Q&A part in a minute. Now for the review — if you haven’t played LEGO Batman 2 yet, or don’t want to know what happens, you might not want to read this review. Spoilers ahead –

If you have played LEGO Batman 2 like I have, read my review of the game here, and read the description of the movie you would think what I thought — that the LEGO Batman Movie is basically the cut scenes from the game.

That is both true and not true. The story line is the same, but an interesting fact that I discovered from the Q&A is that the game is based off the movie!

According to Jon Burton, the director, they were working on the movie and then realized it would be a great game. But the game took less time to make than the movie and that’s why it came out first.

So in watching the movie, the plot is not really a surprise for those of us that played the game. Even so, this is worth watching. I have to admit I enjoyed it a lot more than any of the latest LEGO Star Wars mini movies. It was cute, fun and funny.

And watching a Gotham that’s built of LEGO is just plain cool. One of the coolest scenes is something that isn’t in the game — Lex’s airship. Its massive, shiny and “built” of over 20,000 parts. Like Jon Burton said, all the models in the games and the movie can be built in real life. TT Games actually has LEGO Master Model Builders on staff to ensure this.

What I like about the movie is that you can just watch it, you don’t have to do anything like in the game, and when you get the DVD you can pause it to look at the models more closely.

If you want to watch the Q&A here it is: (more spoilers)

After the panel I was able to meet both Jon Burton and Christopher Smith (the voice of the Joker)

Here’s a picture of Christoper
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It was awesome seeing it on the big screen and meeting some of the talent behind it. I highly recommend it!

And don’t forget that you get this awesome minifigure with the movie ;)

Overall 5 out of 5 stars! Fun movie, and I’ll be wanting to watch this one more than once.

WonderCon 2013 and mini set review

April 3, 2013

I’ve done it again and been gone from here for the past week or so. Lack of an internet connection and my third convention in March kind of took the writing wind out of my sails. This month I’ve got a little bit of a break from Cons, which frankly I needed it.

I will be going back in time and writing about both Emerald City Comic Con and BricksCascade, but as WonderCon, my latest convention, is still very fresh in my mind, I’ll focus on that one first.

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This was supposed to be my “fun” Con. I wasn’t planing on working really, just going and hanging out with friends and my brother. But I seem to find LEGO and LEGO related items everywhere, and its really not a stretch that would find it at a comic convention. :)

The Nintendo booth had a giant picture of the new LEGO City Undercover game.

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I would like to review it, but I can’t (at least currently) justify buying the WiiU just for one game. And I would have tried to play it at the show, but unfortunately there were way too many people trying to play it. That went for the 3DS game “LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins” too. But as I actually have that game system, I’ll be picking it up when it comes out. GameStop does have the Chase McCaine figure if you preorder it, but as he’s also in a set and let’s face it, he’s just a cop figure, I’m not as focused on getting one.

I went slightly to the dark side and picked up the Character Building brand Doctor Who Tardis set. I normally stay away from non LEGO brands but this was the Tardis after all.
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There’s not all that much to the set at 53 parts considering the price (I paid $15)
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The interesting thing is that the Amy figure is basically naked under her skirt which is a separate piece. Why they didn’t make the hip part white or some other color than skin tone is a curious decision to me. Both figures are kind of like hybrids between minifigs and Friends figs. They have the more human shape of the friends fig, but they have the rotating hands of minifigs. I still wish that friends figs had rotating hands.
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The disappointing thing to me is that all but the doors are large panels (you can see it on the left of the picture). There is very little building, just the bottom, and top of the model for the frame.
One interesting thing is that they give extra stickers, like they expect you to make a mistake or that they will eventually come off. And there’s a cardboard insert for the “inside” of the Tardis.
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I do have to admit that there was a pretty cool 4×4 grey tile for the floor of the model and the 1×6 tile with 2 studs for the doorway (there’s two in the set, one for the top and one for the bottom). The roof was disappointingly one part, but the tiny light at the top is a separate part.
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For some reason I didn’t take a picture of it built while I was at lunch (yes I built this while waiting for my order) but here’s it almost completed
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Was it worth it? Not really. The plastic is clearly inferior and the figures aren’t all that great, which is why I didn’t buy their version of collectible minifigs. They did have a set with all 11 Doctors, but as I only like 9-11 and the cheapest I saw it for was $45, I couldn’t justify buying it — I’d rather spend that on a LEGO set! :D

Most of the rest of my WonderCon experience had nothing to do with LEGO, that is until the last day. But that will be a post all its own. ;)


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