Archive for the ‘Star Wars’ Category

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? :D **** Slight rant coming on ***** Read through till the bottom though, I promise, its worth it ;) 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 Café 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. :lol: 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 ;) 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 —

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 ;) ) Thanks to all my fans and Good luck!

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.

Building, Building, Building

March 3, 2014

Sorry for the lack of posts everyone. I’ve been so busy with commissions, which I will talk about as soon as I’m able, that I haven’t had much time at all for doing anything else including keeping up with my blog here. Its a good / bad thing. Good because I’m busy and have several projects going on at once. Bad, because I don’t get to post or write about all the news and new stuff that’s happening with LEGO.

This week there are two LEGO Conventions happening —

And BrickWorld Indy

Normally I’d be going to BricksCascade, but this year with all the work I have to do, I just can’t make it. My products — keychains and jewelry — will be available through BrickShirts at BricksCascade and through Milton Train Works at BrickWorld Indy. So at least part of me will be there. :)

I do post quick things on my Model Building Secrets Facebook page so be sure to like and follow it.

One of the things I’m kind of excited about is the announcement by LEGO Cuusoo that the issues with Doctor Who licensing have been resolved. In the few days since that was posted, several projects, including one by a friend of mine —

I urge you to support it and any others that strike your fancy. ;)

Also the first image of the rumored SandCrawler set has popped up — thanks to someone finding it in the new expanded LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary: Updated and Expanded


Via:BrickFan

More images will be popping up soon as I’ve heard it will be unveiled officially at BricksCascade. I do have the old SandCrawler — the only set to contain Jawas — and that’s the main reason I bought it. This one certainly looks better, but its also possibly $350 USD! If that is the price, that’s rather pricey in my opinion. I still haven’t picked up the Ewok Village. Its a great looking set — but at $250 I’m still on the fence with it. And since I have my jawas from the first one, I don’t know if I’ll be picking up one of these this time around.

So what do you think? Will you be picking up the new SandCrawler?

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. ;)

Fett Christmas Tree Ornament

November 20, 2013

Fett Xmas Tree Ornament

Its not all that much of a build, but its pretty darn clever non the less. Okay Yaramanoglu made this for the Eurobricks Christmas Raffle that’s going on now through November 28th.

Looks like fun, and I just might have to enter ;)

T-Rex

November 10, 2013

T-Rex

Okay, this clearly isn’t a build. Its just a really great shot of the T-rex. But what a shot! Mark Holden has created several awesome shots that just beg to be blogged! :D

Sit back and enjoy!
Pteranodon

Lego Star Wars

The Rancor had escaped again!

The Rancor

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*

From the Pit

July 24, 2013

Sometimes its not about the build, its about the lighting.

Rancor's Pit

Vesa Lehtimäki has made a rather scary scene of TK-24/7 looking for Death Star plans in the dungeons of Jabba’s Palace and Jabba’s favorite pet stealing Tk-24/7’s helmet.

This isn’t really a build, but the lighting is what makes this photo noteworthy. ;)

Darth Star

July 15, 2013

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John Cooper has created this pretty darn cool Darth Star featured in the LEGO cartoon Empire Strikes Out.

Making an image on a spherical surface is kind of tricky and John managed it excellently. :D

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. ;)


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