Archive for the ‘Disney’ Category

Sneak Preview of the LEGOLAND California Death Star

February 11, 2015

LEGOLAND California Star Wars Days is just around the corner and they have just released a few sneak peeks of their newest addition to the Miniland Star Wars area — the Death Star.

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It may not be planet sized, but its plenty big. 13 feet high, 8 feet wide and it weighs almost a ton! That’s some serious stats!

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One thing I love about these pictures is that it answers that often asked question — are LEGO Models hollow?
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As you can see its not hollow, but due to the shear weight of the model and the fact that its a sphere, there is some serious bracing on the inside! The cross sections help hold the model together. When Master Builders make bracing on the inside, the bricks don’t all have to be the same color because except for rare occasions like this, you never get to see the inside of the model. For buildings and less complicated models, there isn’t this level of bracing, some of the smaller buildings are just hollow shells. So now you know ;)

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2015) – The LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Death Star Model Display has arrived to LEGOLAND® California Resort! The planet shaped LEGO® model, made out of more than a half million LEGO bricks, stands 13-feet high, 8-feet wide and weighs more than 1,900 pounds. The LEGO Death Star is the largest LEGO model to be added to LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland and opens to guests on March 5.

Under the watchful eye of R2-D2, a team of builders used a fork lift to maneuver the massive LEGO model into position high above LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland, which opened to guests in 2011. The LEGO Death Star is designed from the version featured in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The new model display also features the famous trench run scene where Luke Skywalker maneuvered his X-Wing fighter through the combat zone to destroy the Death Star. Below the LEGO Death Star, guests are invited to use their imaginations to construct their own LEGO starships at building stations, while LEGO X-Wings, Tie Fighters and Y-Wings circle overhead.

The unveiling of the new LEGO Death Star on March 5 kicks-off the fan favorite, LEGO Star Wars™ Days event on March 7 and 8, where guests can spend the day participating in Star Wars™ related activities. LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Death Star Model Display is included in the cost of admission to LEGOLAND California Resort.

I’ll be at Star Wars Days so I will be able to give my impressions of the model first hand in just a few weeks.

2000 Likes Passed on Facebook and a Giveaway!!!

February 9, 2015

Its happened! I’ve reached over 2000 likes on my Model Building Secrets Facebook page!!!

This is a real milestone and pretty darned awesome :)

As I’ve been blatantly hinting, I promised a giveaway as soon as 2000 likes was passed. So here’s what I’m giving away.
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I’ve thrown in a fun mix of sets — a rare 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean set, a Martian Manhunter poly bag, a Creator princess set as well as a PS3 LEGO Marvel Video Game!

There will be three ways to enter —
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 #2000Giveaway

There will be one winner. Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight February 15th (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will. The PS3 game is regional, so if the winner is International the game can be substituted for a set. Thanks to all my fans and Good luck!

76042 SHIELD Helicarrier

January 29, 2015

The much rumored is now fact. The Helicarrier is coming and its a big one.

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Until I saw this, I wasn’t sure if I wanted it or not. Sad to say, but I’m bored with the Star Wars UCS sets, with the exception of the new Slave One, I haven’t even really looked at them in a long time.

But this peaks my interest!

I love miniatures. That’s one of the things that drew me to LEGO in the first place. People may be arguing that this set doesn’t have Colson, but I don’ really care. You can create a Colson fig. What draws me to this set is the nano figs!

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They are just so darned cute!

I think one of my favorite features is the command deck
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The details are all kinds of awesome
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Even the planes are cool

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Now I admit, its pricy. At $350 USD it will take a chunk out of your wallet. But it looks like an awesome display piece and at 31 inches long its a decent size.

Here’s the details

76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier
Ages 16+. 2,996 pieces.
US $349.99 – CA $399.99 – DE 349.99€ – UK £269.99 – DK 2999.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Build and display the huge SHIELD Helicarrier!
Take on the challenge of building this awesome LEGO® model of The SHIELD Helicarrier. Construct the flying aircraft carrier with 2 runways, microscale Quinjets, fighter jets and ground support vehicles. The set also comes with many of your favorite LEGO Marvel Super Heroes minifigures, plus 12 microfigures to display on deck and within the highly detailed interior. Includes 5 minifigures: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Maria Hill.
• Includes 5 minifigures: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Maria Hill, plus an iconic SHIELD eagle stand to display them on
• Features 3 microscale Quinjets, 3 fighter jets, a gasoline truck, 2 forklift trucks, 2 runways, 4 road blockades, armored exterior with translucent elements, detailed interior, plus 12 microfigures (Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man and 8 SHIELD agents)
• Also includes a detailed runway
• Weapons include Hawkeye’s bow, Black Widow’s gun and Captain America’s shield
• SHIELD Agent Maria Hill minifigure is new for spring 2015!
• Includes a plaque with facts about The SHIELD Helicarrier
• Add lights and spinning rotors to the Helicarrier with the 88000, 8883 and 8870 LEGO® Power Functions sets (sold separately)
• Rotors can also be turned manually
• Includes a display stand
• Helicarrier measures over 11” (29cm) high, 31” (80cm) long and 17” (45cm) wide
• Each Quinjet measures over 1” (3cm) high, 2” (7cm) long and 2” (7cm) wide
• Minifigure stand measures over 4” (12cm) high, and 2” (6cm deep) and 6” (16cm wide)

Oh and here’s the minifigs

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This is definitely on my wish list. So what do you think?

LEGO Birds Set Review

January 20, 2015

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So on Saturday, I picked up the new Birds set with the plan of building it as soon as possible. Even before the set came out I knew that I would love this set. Its something new and teaches great building techniques. But as I was staying with friends, I ended up having a guest junior master builder — Max Lee. :)

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Max said he would “help” me build, but he ended up doing most of it all — I can always buy another one for me to build right? ;)

Even though the set suggested age is 12+, at 9 Max had no problems building the set. Of course his dad Paul Lee is also an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) and a comic artist for the LEGO Club Magazine, so Max is a LEGO kid through and through.

If you follow me on my Model Building Secrets Facebook Page, then you already saw several of my pictures of the hummingbird build. We did the birds “out of order,” starting with the humming bird, then doing the red robin and finally the blue jay. You can do them in any order of course. ;)

I love the look of the box, both the front and the back are very pretty and totally theme appropriate.
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On to building!
Hummingbird

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As you can see, there’s a lot of good parts in this set, in fact this is a great parts pack. At $45 USD its a decent price too, especially if you consider that the Disney Friends Frozen set is $40, and has a lot less pieces.

The book is great with gorgeous pics of the actual birds and cool info about them
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First build is the base and flower. I like how the flower is built, simple but nice.
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What I really like is the nonconventional building, most of the hummingbird body is upside down
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Now sure, I build like this all the time, but for the burgeoning junior Master Builder, its a great teaching set.

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Red Robin

The Robin is my favorite of all three birds, I love how cute it is when its all built.

Each instruction book features a picture of Thomas Poulsom, the set’s creator, holding one of his birds.
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Max had a lot of fun building these.
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Here you can see the central core of the Robin, this allows for having studs in all directions
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I love how the finished Robin looks
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Not the greatest pic, but you can see how nice the back looks even if the photo is blurry
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Blue Jay

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This is my least favorite of the three birds, that’s not to say that I don’t like it, I just don’t like the gaps that are in the final build.

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I do like the interior core that is in both the Blue Jay and Robin models.

Besides the gaps, I don’t like the back connection, it is a tad week and tends to fall off
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Final Thoughts

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I love, love, love this set! When I was still just dreaming of being a Master Model Builder this is the kind of set I would have wanted to teach me the tricks of the trade. Its a great value at $45 and should be added to your collection as soon as possible!

What I really like about this set is it doesn’t look like every other LEGO set out there. It looks like the birds Master Builders make to add to a tree or bird house at LEGOLAND. It has appeal for the non LEGO builder and for that rarest of creatures, the older female collector. I’m not saying that boys won’t like this set. Max certainly did. But girls like animals, especially cute animals. Hint, hint LEGO company. :)

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Thanks Max for all the help!

Happy New Year! Magnificent Maleficent and other assorted models

January 5, 2015

Hi all, its been a while. Happy New Year! One of my new year resolutions is to keep up my blog more. So lets get this started

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I created this minutes after the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve / Day. I posted it on Facebook, but not here on the blog.

I was looking on Flickr and found this cool Maleficent model by legorobo:waka. Its almost Miniland scale.
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He also created this cool insect scene
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Tyler Clites always known for his fun and whimsical builds created this cute Eskimo scene
Free Eskimo Kisses!

And because I like Unikitty, check out this cool Super Angry Kitty by Mark Holden
Super Angry Kitty!!!

And last but not least is Saturday Morning Bender by Sean and Steph Mayo
A Saturday Bender

Sorry for being so incommunicado, I hope on doing better this year! May we all have an awesome year of LEGO in 2015!

Sword in the Stone

December 6, 2013

The Sword in the Stone

This truly epic scene by Chris Maddison is awesome! I love the Disney movie Sword and the Stone and Chris’ version of it is simply perfect.

The Sword in the Stone

I love the technic connectors as bare winter trees and the slight glow on the alter. :)

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

May 26, 2013


Hi all. I realize I’ve been totally off the grid for the past couple weeks. Finishing up a large commission (which will be covered later) and feeling under the weather has been keeping me occupied.

But I’m back now, and the only thing that’s on my mind at the moment is BrickWorld Chicago, which is just about 2 1/2 weeks away. I have a pretty awesome new mosaic planned, we’ll see how much of it I’ll get done before the show. Its in four parts, so even if I don’t get it all designed, at least some of it should be ready by then.

And if any of you readers are coming, either for the whole thing or just the public days on the weekend, stop by and say hi. I’ll have my vendor table there and I’ll be selling not only my own stuff, but also BrickShirts shirts so that’s a good place to find me, at least during public hours.

Oh and if you some how weren’t paying attention to any of the other LEGO blogs and sites out there, there was an unveiling of the largest LEGO Model ever in New York’s Time Square this weekend

As I wasn’t there, I defer to Joe Meno and his guest post on Brother’s Brick for all the details.

The exciting thing, at least for me is that now that the event is over, the giant X-wing will be coming here just in time for Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND California on June 15-16. Of course I’ll be in Chicago for BrickWorld, but it will be here for the rest of the year, so I’ll get to check it out soon enough. ;)

And if you are coming to LEGOLAND California for the Star Wars weekend, then be sure to check out the LEGO display put on by LUGOLA, SandLUG, LGuage and FBTB.

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.

If Iron Man 3 were in LEGO…

April 13, 2013

This is what the posters would look like

LEGO Iron Man 3 Poster 2

You’re welcome ;)


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