Posts Tagged ‘AFOL’

The LEGO Movie –The Spolier Free Review

February 9, 2014

So this past weekend I watched the LEGO Movie 3 times in 3 days. I wasn’t really planning on seeing it that many times, it just sort of happened. The fact that both Regal and AMC theaters were offering a limited number of free minifigs — a different one at each theater mind you — was definitely one of the reasons.

I’m not one that has to have all the special poly bags, but I kind of liked both the figs — Emmet wearing pajamas at Regal and the DJ Robot at AMC. I wasn’t going to go for the DJ robot, but then I saw the torso, which looks an awful lot like the LUGOLA (LA LEGO Fan Group) logo and since I’m a LUGOLA member, I made the half hour trip down to San Diego to get the fig.

So, back to the Movie. When I first heard about the plans to make a full length LEGO movie about 2 years ago I was a little worried. Images of the Smurfs movie– which I still have yet to see and no desire to do so — were what I feared the LEGO movie would turn into. Sure, there have been the Star Wars mini movies, the Ninjago series and the lesser Chima series (sorry, but I just don’t like Chima). But they were different and on a smaller scale. I wasn’t sure what the LEGO Movie would turn into, and until the trailers started showing up, I wasn’t all that excited.

But then they did start showing up. And the more I saw, the more I liked it and wanted to see it. Even if I wasn’t into LEGO, I would have wanted to see it for the animation. I’m something of a movie nut — which has made me contemplate writing a blog on movie reviews, but even though I go to a LOT of movies, there are a lot I don’t go to and wouldn’t watch so a blog on movie reviews would only be the movies I like and want to see.

Now that I’ve finally seen The LEGO Movie, and seen it and seen it, I still want to watch it again — on DVD — frame by frame to catch all the cool stuff that happens so fast you miss it. There’s a lot, and I mean a LOT, going on in the background, in the foreground, or for only a fraction of a second. The LEGO Movie was everything I wanted it to be in terms of LEGO times ten! The “Everything is Awesome” song is fun, although it does stick in your head, and by the third time seeing the movie I wanted to sing along with the movie.

Is the movie one big commercial for all the LEGO Movie kits, and LEGO in general? Yes. There’s no question about that. Unlike other movies, you can literally make what you see in the movie, even if they don’t make kits for some of it, you can make it. Maybe not in all the colors — Cloud Cuckoo Land is guilty of this — but you could still build it. That’s the point. So I’m okay with it being one big commercial, encouraging more children to create their own worlds with LEGO is something I fully advocate.

To me the LEGO Movie is what I dreamed of building when I was a kid. Unlike now, I didn’t have a huge collection then. But what I couldn’t build, I dreamed about. That’s what made me want to become a Master Model Builder. I could see making a whole castle valley, with towns, forests, mermaid lagoons, pirates, the works. And this movie shows what dreaming about building can do. If you had unlimited bricks that is.

The biggest plot point is that you can build whatever you want, with whatever parts you want. It can be crazy, multicolored, and make no sense at all. That’s okay. I can’t tell you how many parents ask me what glue to use so that the sets stay together and don’t fall apart. My response is always the same — you aren’t supposed to glue it together. Its supposed to fall apart and make something else, that’s the point. If this movie can drive that fact home to all those misguided parents, then that’s great.

The characters are fun. I really like Emmet, the unexpected hero. And I love Wild Style, although she could have been a little bit more of her own girl rather than having to cling to her boyfriend — Batman. Batman was just perfect. The only portrayal of Batman that I like better was the 90’s cartoon version. Bad Cop / Good Cop was awesome! UniKitty manically cute. Vitruvius is Morgan Freeman — nuf said! And Lord Business was everything an evil overlord should be. Oh and Benny, I love Benny. Spaceship!!!

Now when I saw the trailers, I thought that the LEGO Movie looked like a child’s version of the Matrix, and without getting into spoiler territory — it pretty much is. And no, I don’t want to do spoilers, there’s enough reviews out there already doing that.

Are there some holes in the film? Yes, but that won’t stop me from watching it again. Like I said, the lack of a really strong female that can stand on her own was a tad buggy. The story could have been better, and there’s a section at the end that could have been left out without really hurting the movie at all — it almost might have been better without it in my opinion.

There were a ton of things I loved — nods to the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) community and things that only we would get how funny or cool that they were added. One of my favorite parts, without spoiling it, is how the “Master Builders” see the LEGO world.

And no, I’m not going to breakdown the whole movie, the characters, etc. There’s already a ton of reviews out there doing that, and putting way too many spoilers in the reviews. Besides, if I do write a post with spoilers, it will be a separate post, this one is already too long. πŸ˜‰

So my overall score — 9 out of 10 bricks! See it — in theaters and watch it at least twice so you can catch more of the background. You don’t need to see it in 3D, although I did all 3 times (again mostly for the figs). It doesn’t really add that much to it other than a little sense of depth. I’m not really a fan of 3D though. And if you really love LEGO like I do, get it when it comes out on DVD.

They are already talking about a second LEGO Movie, and I’ll be there at the first showing I can get to. πŸ˜€

Storing your LEGO

February 4, 2014

So I just recently was asked on my Facebook page about how to properly store your LEGO. What’s the best way to sort them? By part? By color? By kits? Just dump it all in a box?

Well, I wish there was a simple solution, some magical formula that I could give you that would instantly be the answer. Unfortnately, as most AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) know, there is no magic formula. And sorting and storing your LEGO will change as your collection changes (and most likely grows).

The solutions that worked for me when I was a child, heck the solutions that worked even 5-10 years ago, won’t work for me now and I will have to reevaluate it probably in another 5 years or so — if not sooner.

When I was a kid, I kept all my LEGO in one box, but early on I realized how frustrating it was to find that one particular piece, as it was always at the bottom of the box. So by age 11 I had started sorting my LEGO to a small degree.

Now, I sort and store my LEGO by part and color. My storage system is certainly on the extreme side, very similar to the storage system that I had when I was a Master Model Builder at LEGOLAND California. But I need such a system as I literally build day in and day out. I have to know where all my parts are at all times.

Most of my LEGO are in drawers like these
LEGO Room 6

And my desk looks like this
LEGO Room 2

LEGO Room 3

Now it is rarely this clean, as I tend to be a messy builder.

When I was younger I just had 4 of these “nuts and bolts” drawers (I call them that since you usually find them in hardware stores) where I stored all my little LEGO elements — weapons, feathers, food, etc. As you can see that set of 4 has grown…

Here’s a close up of the “nuts and bolts” drawers
LEGO Storage 4

I also have a fairly large collection of these official LEGO storage drawers (which unfortunately they are phasing out)

LEGO Storage 2

I like to keep one element per set of trays, its a nice way of seeing how many of what color you have.

I have a lot of the LEGO drawers and containers, as you can see in this picture.
LEGO Room 1

This is in no way all my LEGO, and I have tons that still needs sorting (which is a constant problem for me).

But enough about me, what’s the best thing for you to do? Well as most of you probably don’t have quite as much LEGO as I do, there are some steps you can take to solve your storage problems.

1) Sort by part, not color — its much easier to find a particular color in a bin than a particular element type in a sea of one color. You don’t have to have everything super sorted like I have it. You can put similar things together — technic parts, tiles, clips, etc.

2) If it is your child’s collection, involve them in the sorting and storage process or it will never work — You can have all the LEGO perfectly sorted for your child, but unless they are involved, and actively sorting the bricks themselves, it won’t work. The only reason my LEGO sorting has worked for over 25 years is that I was the one who initiated it when I was younger. My parents didn’t care how I stored my LEGO, but I did, as I took my collection seriously from a very early age.

3) Don’t keep your LEGO sorted by kit — unless you are an adult collector that wants to keep them organized this way, I highly discourage keeping your LEGO by the kits they came in. The whole point of LEGO is to mix them up. The new LEGO Movie addresses this very issue.

4) Sort them by how you build — depending on your building style, that can determine your sorting and storage system. If you are a car builder you want lots of wheels, tires, rims, etc. If you build castles you want castle walls, gray elements, roof elements, etc. Since I build anything and everything, that is why I have a super sorted collection. But the things I use with regularity — bricks, plates, tiles, etc — are in the easy to reach places while the things I hardly ever use — castle parts, technic, wheels, etc — are accessible, but not in easy reach.

5) Start your storage and sorting small — You don’t have to do it all at once. I’ve been doing it since I was 11, and my storage system is constantly changing as my collection grows and fluctuates. You can just get a few “nuts and bolts” drawers, a few containers. Then as your collection changes your storage can change.

As a side note there are a couple Flickr groups about LEGO sorting — LEGO Storage Extravaganza and LEGO Sorting

So, what do you do to sort and store your LEGO?

Cloud Cuckoo Land

January 16, 2014

Cloud Cuckoo Land

We’ve all thought about it (well I have at least), ever since the new Cloud Cuckoo Palace set hit the scene we’ve wanted more — more pink, more clouds, more Uni-Kitty!

Is it bad that I’ve already bought three of the set? πŸ˜€

I’m not a girly girl, really I’m not. But the pastel goodness in this set brings it out of me!

Now I’m not saying Ryan Howerter is a girly girl either, but the fact that so many guy AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) are going crazy over the set, I can see how Ryan would want to expand it to a whole world.

I’m really interested in seeing what it will look like in the LEGO Movie. Some of my friends that work for LEGO got to see a premiere yesterday and loved it! Of course they’re a little biased, but aren’t we all? πŸ˜‰

BrickCon is almost here

September 7, 2013

There is less than a month till BrickCon is upon us and even less if you want to register as a full attendee. The cut-off date is September 18th if you want all the benefits — goody bag, chance for door prizes, presentations, games, etc. For all you get, its well worth the $55 USD price.

But if you’re not as much of an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), there’s always the Public Days on Saturday and Sunday. Of course if you weren’t a fan of LEGO you wouldn’t be reading my blog. πŸ˜€

There is a policy change this year, anyone under the age of 14 is no longer allowed as a full attendee

β€œBrickCon is a convention for Adult Lego Hobbyists. Its focus is on building friendships and community through the sharing of time, ideas, building techniques and unique creations.”

You can read full details on BrickCon.com.

And don’t forget the epic struggle between Pigs versus Cows! Who will win in the battle across all themes?

I will be there of course, both as a presenter and as a vendor. I’ll have a bunch of my jewelry, keychains, and stickers for sale and Guy Himber will be on hand with Pig and Cow heads if you want to stock up and make your own bovine or swine army.

And of course I’ll be posting about BrickCon for those of you who can’t go. I know, I know. I still haven’t covered BrickFair or Bricks by the Bay. I’ll get around to it one of these days. πŸ˜‰

STUDS Collectible Trading Cards

May 10, 2012

Hi all! I’m back after a very long absence! I’m sorry I’ve been so lax with writing, but right after I got back from my trip from Florida I had a huge model (two 2 ft long models) and very little time to do it (6 days). So I didn’t do anything including sleep the last week. There will be a future post on it, just not quite yet.

Now that the model is finished and delivered in Vegas (long story) and I’ve had a little bit of sleep I can finally get back to my version of normal. πŸ˜‰

Even though I have lots of great stories and future posts from my Florida trip, including what I was doing down there, I still haven’t uploaded the several thousand — and I mean that literally — photos I took from the trip. I will tell you that I hit all the important LEGO sights. πŸ˜€

So as you can tell none of this has anything to do with my post title. While here is what STUDS is all about.

Fellow LUGOLA member Brandon Griffith has cooked up a very cool idea — STUDS trading cards.

I can’t seem to upload the video, but if you click on the picture it will take you directly to the Kickstarter site and you can watch it there — which I highly recommend.

Here’s the description:

The adult Lego building community is a vital, diverse and interesting world. An alliance of creative individuals, each with their own unique building style, artistic focus and distinct personality. You’ve all seen incredible Lego models in the news and on the Internet – now learn the names and faces of the people responsible for creating the work. STUDS is a trading card set that profiles the men and women who use Lego to build incredible, original sculptures and brings you an close-up view of this fascinating world. Each card has the image of an amazing Lego creation on the front of the card and info about the work and the artist on the back.

It sounds like a great idea and I’m all for it!

Guys build with Friends too

January 23, 2012

IMG_0901

Cale Leiphart’s newest MOC (my own creation) is a good example of what LEGO Friends mixed with “normal” LEGO bricks can look like.

As I pointed out to a hesitant AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), the building potential of the new friends sets is very high, why limit either guys or girls to gender-specific sets? LEGO is LEGO is LEGO. Even the worst themes have great parts.

Regardless of the LEGO Friends controversy, this is a great model. πŸ˜‰

LEGO Friends — Controversial or Cool?

January 9, 2012

If you’ve been paying attention at all to the buzz around the internet, you’ve probably seen at least on or several posts or articles about the LEGO Friends line. When I first heard about a new girl theme coming out over a year and a half ago at the LEGO Conventions I kept hearing “It’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

My reaction, like most AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO), was — we’ll see.

The first low-res pictures didn’t do much to sway my cynical opinion. It looked like a rehashing of older themes. Once I finally saw good quality pictures, I thought it looked a lot like Polly Pocket. And it does. But so do a lot of other toys geared towards girls.

Unlike previous girl LEGO lines, LEGO Friends was widely promoted by the company. And almost before the first press release got out, the backlash started.

“LEGO already has a LEGOs for girls — they are called LEGOs” one person touted (and I apologize to all who cringe when an “s” is added to LEGO).

This comic posted on FBTB.net showed another side of it.

But what a lot of those who are complaining don’t know, or don’t care to research. Is that this is hardly the first time LEGO has made girl sets. They’ve been doing it for decades. Ever since the first Homemaker sets in 1971, LEGO has made sets clearly geared towards girls. That’s over 30 years people!

So why now? Well part of it is just because these naysayers can. Part of it is because LEGO didn’t promote previous incarnations like Belville and Scala as strongly as LEGO Friends. So all of these people who never really paid attention to LEGO themes before are taking sides over LEGO Friends. There’s even a petition to stop LEGO Friends.

A petition? Really? Don’t we have anything else to worry about?

I admit, Belville, Scala, and Clickits were never my favorite lines. I felt and still feel that they were an insult to my intelligence. There were no difficult builds and the figures looked like Barbie for LEGO — especially Scala. The only girl lines I liked were the Homemaker line which is a little bit before my time, and Paradisa.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I’m not a girly girl. In fact I took over my brothers’ LEGO bricks when they grew out of them. Something I never did. So even though I like Paradisa, it was too girly for me. I much preferred Castle or City — before it was populated only by cops, firemen, and robbers. I grew up in the golden age of LEGO when some of the truly great lines came out. I was just as into space and pirates as my brother (my little brother was a little too young at the time).

So when Scala and Belville were finally available in the US — they were originally only available in Europe — I was already a die-hard LEGO fan. These sets annoyed me and I ignored them. I refused to buy them because I didn’t like them. But what I didn’t realize was how many cool accessories there were. Food and cooking elements especially. So as I got more building savvy and started looking as sets more like parts packs and less like sets, I started to purchase Scala and Belville.

So what do I think of LEGO Friends? Well I wanted to wait until I had gotten some before I gave my opinion. I was getting more and more excited as I saw all the fun elements. And now that I have a couple sets I really, really like them.

Even with the images I’d seen of Friends to Minifig scale comparisons, I didn’t really appreciate how very small they Friends dolls are. They are tiny! Which naturally makes them cuter. They won’t replace my love for the Minifig, but they won’t be relegated to the back of the LEGO box either.

When I saw the sets in the stores I wanted to buy all of them! Okay, maybe that is my girly side coming out, but I am a girl, so that’s okay. πŸ˜‰

Lots of non-LEGO people are complaining about the pink. But there is actually very little pink in the sets. And there are all these great new colors and parts! There are just as many, if not more, male AFOLs wanting these sets because of the accessories.

So in short — after this long rant — I like LEGO Friends. Is it exactly what I would have wanted as a child? No, but that’s what Modular Buildings are for. I do want all of the sets, if not multiples. I love the new accessories and colors. The MOC (my own creation) potential is very high! And I will be recommending them to everyone. I hope they come out with more. My opinion — Cool. πŸ™‚

Tiffeny’s Carousel for The Costa Mesa Festival of Children…

September 15, 2011

Tiffeny…

Thats me!! Mariann has asked me to help write on here from time to time and I am starting with a little something I built for the mall. It is a carousel that looks a lot like the one at the mall.
P1300938

I am another Adult Female Fan of Lego and I love to build all kinds of things. In the Lego community you can find me under Divinity3d in all kinds of Lego related websites. I hope you enjoy my posts as you enjoy hers and keep building cool new things! =D

BrickFair here I come

August 2, 2011

Well here I go on to another LEGO Convention. It will be my first time to BrickFair and I look forward to meeting all the East Coast AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) that I haven’t met yet and seeing all my friends. πŸ™‚

The full BrickFair runs from August 4th-7th, with public days on Saturday and Sunday.

Unfortunately I am not bringing any MOCs to display, but I will be bringing my products for sale and I will also be doing two presentations.

If you are going to BrickFair come and stop by, I’ll be sharing a table with BrickShirts once again so come on over and say hi. πŸ˜‰

Karen’s Southwestern Ranch House

April 3, 2011

Southwestern House

Karen Farmer is relatively new to being an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), in fact, she’s only been building for about 6 months! Karen, along with her boyfriend Skyler are new members of my LUGs (LEGO User Groups) — SandLUG and LUGOLA. She was worried that her Southwestern Ranch House didn’t fit into the rest of the layout, but that didn’t stop her from entering and winning “Best Building” in the Town and Train Layout at Bricks by the Bay. πŸ™‚

Southwestern House

The exterior design is impressive, but it doesn’t stop there. There are three interior levels as well.
Attic/Bell Tower

Downstairs living room and kitchen

If you want too see even more images of this very cool house check out Karen’s Flickr sets.

Karen’s attention to detail and enthusiasm in building make her a nice addition to my LUGs and to the AFOL community as a whole. I look forward to seeing more of her wonderful creations. πŸ˜‰