Archive for July, 2015

Mega Bloks Minions

July 23, 2015

Last night I went to the dark side of the toy aisle. Being a die-hard LEGO fan, I very, very rarely purchase any off-brand products and Mega Bloks is especially known for its pour quality of the bricks themselves.

But then they acquired the Minions license.

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I couldn’t help it, they are cute. Adorable in fact. I mean heck, they were supposed to be background for the Dispicable Me movie. Gru’s minions, goof ball assistants that were anything but evil.

Its the blind bags that got me
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As you can see from my first picture, they span all the different time frames of the movie — I haven’t seen the movie yet, but hey you see it in the commercials.

I’d been seeing several of the sets, but I had only picked up one, mainly because it just happened to be half off and I wanted at least a couple of the Minion figs
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But as you can see, I haven’t opened it yet. Frankly I’m quite busy at the moment and should be building instead of writing this, but after finishing two large buildings in the last couple days, I needed a break so I went to Toys R Us.

And after looking at the LEGO sets, I ventured down the other row…

And there they were. Lots of them. Lots of different sets, but I didn’t really want the sets, all I wanted was the figures. And that’s when I saw the blind bags.

Now, being that I’m an expert of the Collectible Minifigures — I can go through a box of 60 in about 15 minutes and tell you what each and every figure is with 99.999999% accuracy, they weren’t really “blind” to me.

These were trickier than LEGO ones.

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As you can see, since the Minions are separated by body parts — arms, feet, head, body, etc — and there is a 2×4 brick in the bag, its harder to find the unique elements that distinguish one figure from another. And there’s a “mystery” fig, in the time I went through the figs, I didn’t find the mystery fig, nor did I find all the other 11 figures. I did find 8 or 9 of them, but settled on the 6 I bought. The blind bags cost the same as LEGO Collectible Minifigures — $3.99 USD.

What’s interesting is that the feet and arms have ball socket connections, so they can swivel a little. And the head section can also twist a little when connected to the torso section. The eyes are part of the goggles that are on a stretchy rubber ring that fits around the head. In fact there are a few rubber parts, which also make it harder to tell by feel.

And since I was already going dark, I went darker and bought a set.
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It was partially because of the set itself, partially because of the parts. It wasn’t till I opened it I found that there were several parts that LEGO doesn’t make
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Now yes, the parts are still of a poorer quality, one got stuck and I almost broke it trying to take it off. But still there’s some interesting parts that I kinda wished that LEGO would make.

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The build was pretty quick and fun. I like the over all design — which is something I’m surprised to say about a Mega Blok set — although the stretchy clear rubber tubes were kind of a pain because they are in a weird question mark shape so when building, it didn’t want to stay where you put it.

So, will I be buying more? Maybe. But only because they are Minions. Will it draw me further to the dark side? Probably not. I like my LEGO too much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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San Diego Comic Con 2015 Post Recap and a Surprise Giveaway

July 15, 2015

Well, I survived another year at the San Diego Comic Con. It was either my 25th or 26th year (I’m still not sure if I started in 1990 or 91′). But who’s counting? ๐Ÿ˜€ **** Slight rant coming on ***** Read through till the bottom though, I promise, its worth it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I feel a lot like this model when I go to Comic Con 20150708_184313

I realize I’m very lucky to have gone for the past quarter century, of course its only been in about the last 10-15 years where it went from being a fun Con to becoming the Mecca of all Pop Culture madness that it is today. I also realize that having the job that I do allows me to go to many conventions every year, its literally part of my job to be at them. However, this year I just wasn’t feeling the Comic Con love. I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with Comic Con. I love seeing all the cool things, great cosplay, and everything else that makes Comic Con worth visiting, but ever since Hollywood took over its just not as fun as it used to be. Maybe if I were younger (and I’m not that old), or maybe if I didn’t remember a time when you could easily walk up to the door a purchase your ticket that same day, a time when the legendary Hall H (where all the biggest panels are held) wasn’t near impossible to get into, and a time when there weren’t as many celebrities, but those that were here it was possible to actually meet without sleeping over night to get their signature. I don’t go to Comic Con like regular fans go to Comic Con, I mainly go to network and see friends that fly in to work Comic Con. It may seem like 5 days of fun, but believe me, its work. And by the end, when you feel like you’ve been run over by a Mach truck, that’s when you know you’ve survived Comic Con yet another year. I think part of the problem too is that now that I go to a lot of LEGO Conventions, I find that they are just way more fun. Sure they are smaller, but they are less hectic. No resellers, not as much drama. And we have better after parties too. ***** Okay rant over *****

So, back to the fun things about Comic Con. This year I focused mainly on LEGO naturally. I don’t go to many panels any more, mostly I just go to the LEGO ones and ones that my friends are on. And there was a heck of a lot of LEGO this year! Prominently displayed right across the street from the convention center was the LEGO Dimensions Display 20150708_141244

They took over the top floor of the Hard Rock Cafรฉ and covered the entire outside. I have to admit, until I finally got to play the game I’d been on the fence about it. Sure it looked cool, but I wanted to sample the gameplay. 20150709_154327 20150712_111037

I watched the people ahead of me play the Scooby Doo level and then I played the Doctor Who level (both of which are available as expansion packs) I also got to see all the expansion packs — some will be available in late September, some in November and some in January

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The game has the same feel as traditional LEGO video games but because of the reader platform, it also has a lot of new features that make it unique and much more than a normal LEGO game. Of course you need to buy all the expansion packs to play all the levels and characters, but who are we kidding, its LEGO and its a video game. Considering that I have all the other games, in both the PlayStation and Gameboy versions going back to the original LEGO Batman and Star Wars I’ll be getting it, and most likely getting it all. ๐Ÿ˜† There are a lot more LEGO Dimensions pics on my SDCC 2015 Flickr Album. Another of the cool models was the life size Mstery Machine Mosaic with all of the Scooby Doo gang 20150709_093204

They also were selling all the new sets at the LEGO booth, I took pics but didn’t pick any up 20150708_190354

There were life size LEGO raptors at Petco Park 20150710_162759

And Chris Pratt on his motorbike at the LEGO booth 20150712_165506

Someone even cosplayed as Chris

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The LEGO booth unveiled the new Batmobile for Superman vs. Batman 20150709_110745

Created by my friend set designer Marcos Bessa 20150712_153614

I went to Marcos’ panel

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There’s a ton of pics from that panel on the Flickr album too, but here’s just a few 20150712_144934 20150712_145916 20150712_150321

There was also a life size Stormtrooper from Star Wars 7

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Not the greatest pic, but I saw the new Ninjago Tower set, it really is awesome! 20150711_154630

And LEGO also has a sneak preview of the new Big Bang Theory Set 20150708_184405

There’s way more, check the SDCC 2015 Flickr Album for the other pics I took. So here’s the extra surprise — A San Diego Comic Con giveaway! I know I just did one last month, but hey, I’m allowed to do them when I feel like ๐Ÿ˜‰ 20150715_093723

Not only is there the new LEGO Ideas Big Bang theory, I’ve also managed to get a LEGO Marvel Avengers poster and the exclusive LEGO Justice League comic.

There will be three ways to enter โ€”

1)Comment on this post

2)Like my Model Building Secrets 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 #SDCCLEGOGiveaway

There will be one winner. Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight July 22nd (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will. And if you are willing to wait, I can get the comic signed by the illustrator Paul Lee (it helps that he’s my friend ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Thanks to all my fans and Good luck!