Posts Tagged ‘Youtube’

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
Me and Jadon Sand 1

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. ;)

LEGOLAND in Boston looking for a Master Builder

December 19, 2013

If you live in the New England area, and have always wanted to become a LEGO Master Model Builder then here’s your chance.

Via: Boston Magazine

On January 25 and 26, at the Boston Public Library, an “intense competition,” called Brick Factor, will be held to try and identify the perfect candidate to take on the job of building Lego projects for the Discovery Center Boston coming to Assembly Square in the new year.

Applicants will be asked to tackle several construction challenges over the course of two days, competing in multiple rounds to take the title. The lucky winner of the competition will be offered a full-time, salaried position from the Discovery Center, and will become responsible for constructing new features, exhibitions and models at the new attraction.

So what does it take to become the next “Master Model Builder,” a title that only a handful of other people in the United States hold?

According to Lego representatives, the perfect candidate should have “a natural love of Lego bricks…be creative,” and show that they are a skilled model builder and passionate about working with and teaching kids.

“The Brick Factor Competition is a unique opportunity to turn one lucky individual’s hobby into a dream job,” said David Gilmore, General Manager for Legoland Discovery Center Boston. “The Master Model Builder will become an integral member of the team, bringing all the incredible Lego brick models within the attraction to life. We can’t wait to put New England’s building skills to the test.”

Here’s a look at what the “Brick Factor” was like in Toronto

Tips from a former Master (me :D ):

1) Practice before you go. Do timed building tests — both free style and theme to get and idea just how long (or short) half an hour or hour is when on a clock

2) Have a portfolio of your previous LEGO models — a booklet or tablet with pics of what you have done can give LEGOLAND an idea of what you can already do.

3) Don’t just show one style / theme of building — Master Builders can be required to build anything. So you have to be able to build a building one day, a mosaic the next and then make a sculpture and a microscale model. If you just specialize in one type — Castle, Space, Mecha, etc. — and don’t diversify your building style they might not be as interested in you. That’s not to say that you won’t get hired, but it helps to be versatile. ;)

On the flip side — Remember it is a real job. Its not just playing with LEGO all day. Whoever wins will have budgets and time frames. You can’t spend months on a foot long model getting it “just so.” Its also a corporate job, no matter how creative it may be. And sadly, they don’t pay all that well. Which is part of the reason I’m not at LEGOLAND any more. So if that’s not your cup of tea, you might not want to do it.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying out. I don’t regret the 5 years I spent working at LEGOLAND California. It was amazing, life-changing and I learned to be a much, much better builder because I was there. But there were days when I didn’t want to go into work. Its a job and you work hard. I want anyone trying out to go in with their eyes wide open and not have false expectations.

So for those that do plan on trying out in January, Good Luck! And if any of you readers do try out, I’d love to hear how you do.

LEGO Birthday Party

April 25, 2013

Wow, sorry for no posts, I’ve been in a non-posting mood.

Well any how, since it was my birthday yesterday I thought this video was rather relevant.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game!!!

January 8, 2013

Some said a collaboration between Marvel and TT Games could never happen. Apparently, nobody told the studio behind the popular series of Lego games. After all, Warner Bros. is the parent company of both TT Games and DC Comics, which made many people assume that a Marvel Lego game was off the table. As our cover story shows, those people were wrong.

Via: Gameinformer.com

Not much news is available yet, but just the name LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game conjures excitement! How can it be anything but cool? Especially after watching this video

LEGO Lord of the Rings Video Game was a pleasant surprise for me and I really enjoyed it. Of course to be honest I’ve enjoyed pretty much every Travler’s Tales LEGO game out there. But the Lord of the Rings story just isn’t my cup of tea. Marvel on the other hand — well lets just say I went and saw Avengers three times in theaters and leave it at that. ;)

The one thing I’m hoping, and they probably have fixed this if LEGO Lord of the Rings is any indication, is that the Marvel game will be about more than one character. I loved LEGO Batman 2 but its one failure was that you only got to be Superman at the very end of the story portion of the game. Once you got into Free Play, it was much cooler. I mean who doesn’t want to fly around the city looking for citizens to save?

Lord of the Rings was very different, and had to be, since it was the Fellowship of nine characters traveling around together for the most part. So you got to use all the different characters with all their different abilities much more frequently, even if it that can also get a tad old after awhile. I have to admit, I still haven’t finished the game. A week is about my limit on playing a game constantly. I don’t know of any of the games that I’ve fully finished except maybe the old LEGO Star Wars video games, but that was many years ago when I didn’t have quite so much going on in my life.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game won’t be out till the fall, so we have a while to wait. LEGO City Undercover exclusively for the Wii U game console is set to come out March 1st and although it looks like fun, I don’t have a Wii U and don’t have plans to get one any time soon.

Even if we do have a bit of a wait I’m looking forward to being Iron Man, Spiderman, and Wolverine when it finally does come out. And of course as soon as I know more info I’ll let you know. ;)

Building Life-size Bag-end

December 20, 2012

The pictures were impressive, but didn’t really highlight the shear size of this model. This new video released by LEGO gives you a much better perspective on how really massive this model is.

Don’t have a chimney? Build one!

December 13, 2012

Okay, maybe we can’t do this in the real world, but in the LEGO world anything can be built from anything else. ;)

LEGO Lord of the Rings the Video Game Review

November 22, 2012

So I’ve been playing LEGO Lord of the Rings the Video Game for about a week now. I’ve beaten the story portion and I’m making my way through gathering all the extras. I’m playing it on PS3, as that’s my console of choice. First impression — Awesome!!!!

Before I played it, I was a little hesitant with this game. Some of you might cringe when I say this, but I’m not a fan of the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy. I love the Hobbit, which I’ve read several times, but the LOTR is just a little too heavy and depressing (if I want to be perfectly honest). Sure it has a grand sweeping story of power, tragedy and good triumphing over evil but I just can’t get into it.

I couldn’t even get excited about the sets too much. Somewhat because of my lack of interest in the subject matter, but also because there isn’t all that much in the way of parts that interests me in the sets. Yes, it is a bevvy of castle parts, and I used to be almost exclusively castle when I was younger. I just don’t build castles much anymore. And of course there are the minifigures but I don’t need to collect every figure either.

Putting all of that aside, I wanted to get the game and see for myself what it was like. And of course I wanted to share my opinion of the game with all of you. ;)

Now after LEGO Batman 2 I wasn’t sure how TT Games could top it. Being able to traverse all of Gotham was simply awesome, especially flying around as Superman. There’s no flying in this game (or if there is, I haven’t found it yet :D ) and like the books you are walking around Middle Earth — all of Middle Earth.

Take that in for a moment. All of Middle Earth. Peter Jackson may have opened the window into the world, but running around a LEGO version of it is simply cool. Its all there — the Shire, Mines of Moria, etc. And you get to bash all sorts of things for golden coins to your hearts content. Its all laid out on the familiar map of Middle Earth and as you go through the different stages you unlock more of the world. The initial playing of the game as I beat each “story” version of the levels really kept me wanting to play till I beat the whole thing.

The Fellowship characters are all used with pretty equal amounts of time, which is nice. Giving even Pippen and Merry specific tasks that only they can do. Although I’ve found that Legolas is one of my favorite to play. Is that on purpose I wonder? :D

One thing I like even better than LEGO Batman 2 is that it is much easier to find the special silver bricks and items. In Batman I got a little tired of trying to find all the specials. I didn’t completely finish it after I went around the city for what felt like the 50th time.

You will probably get a little tired of traveling around here too as there is a vast assortment of items you need to collect. It is a little tiring traveling around all over. I feel as if I’ve gone on the long journey that the fellowship took. Here its easy to go on the map and actually select where you want to go and have the helpful transparent travel studs to show you the way. The only time I’ve found it hard to see them is in the snowy mountainous areas.

If you don’t want to wait for the game, but want to see all the “mini movies” you can see it here:

If you aren’t familiar with the story (and who isn’t really?) then there might be a few spoilers. There’s the now classic TT Games humor as well. But I have to warn you, it is an hour and a half long. So in essence, its really a full length movie.

So my over all opinion — get it! It might be a tad scary for the little ones, although they’ve skipped over a lot of the truly scary parts of the story. It would be a great Christmas gift for any little (or big) kids to play.

Here’s hoping (and I bet it will) that there will be a LEGO Hobbit the Video Game in the future.

LEGO Lord of the Rings Video Game out Nov. 13th

October 28, 2012

Here’s a look at the LEGO Lord of the Rings Video Game play. Its now slated to release November 13th, two weeks later than originally. But, now that I’ve watched the video, I’m not as excited as I was about this game. I personally am not a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I much prefer the Hobbit, as its more adventure and less darkness. And I doubt it will be as fun as LEGO Batman 2, as that went above and beyond my expectations on the coolness factor.

But don’t worry, I will be getting it and reviewing it, once it finally is out. I’m just less excited than I was. We’ll see how it actually plays once I’ve got it.

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 –
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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:
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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. ;)

Dynaway Sorting Plant

January 20, 2012

I know I could certainly use one of these.

I’m not a Mindstorms person, but I love seeing what other people can make with them. BrickIt has created a Brick Sorting Plant. It only works for 2×4 and 1×2 bricks, but it does sort them in both size a color.

It’s build for a company called Dynaway (www.dynaway.com). They use this model to demonstrate their manufacturing execution system. The model is designed to fit inside one large flightcase, for easy transport. The model is the second model we’ve build for Dynaway.

I’d love a sorting machine, only mine would need to be much bigger and sort every LEGO element in every color. Hey, one can dream right? :D


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