Posts Tagged ‘Bionicle’

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*

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Bricks by the Bay 2012 Recap

March 31, 2012

Okay, so its a tad late, but I’ve finally found a bit of breathing space to sit down and talk about Bricks by the Bay 2012.

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As always, I love going to LEGO Cons! They are just downright fun and I love hanging out with friends. πŸ™‚

I did make a bit of a mistake this year though, I agreed to do too much!

Not only was I a vendor as always, but I also agreed to give 2 presentations and participate in 2 panels as well as being the Art Theme coordinator.

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And although I did love making the Art trophies, I wasn’t very good at coordinating, mainly because I wasn’t there. 😦

That coupled with a semi-accident while driving up there — don’t worry, I didn’t get hurt or anything, but I did puncture 2 tires and have to get a whole set of new ones 400 miles from home — kind of wore me out.

I had planned to drive back down to Southern California on Monday, but I totally underestimated my exhaustion factor. I ended up staying up there one more day and checked out the Winchester Mystery House, which was only a few miles from the convention — I see a potential MOC, that’s all I’m saying. πŸ˜‰

Needless to say, I won’t be doing as much next year.

One of my favorite models this year was Bill Ward’s Kermit
BBTB 2012: Kermit

I was happy he won my Supreme Sculptor Art Award. πŸ˜€
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And it was no surprise that Norbert Labuguen almost exclusively swept the Bionicle category.

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I really liked this Tron model
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I didn’t get nearly enough pictures, but Bill Ward took quite a few. πŸ˜‰

As seems to be common now, I didn’t get to see or do everything I wanted too, but even so, it was the fun start to my LEGO Con season.

Oh yes, it is a season of conventions for me this year. Not only am I planning on going to 5 LEGO Cons, 2 Comic Cons, but also one or two other Cons this year! I’m not complaining mind you, I’m just looking at a very hectic year. I was already planning all these trips in January, and since they go till October I was a little amazed that my year was already so full! πŸ˜€

Hopefully I’ll do a little better reporting at my next convention. I will be working a commission at a convention next month, and if I’m allowed, I’ll post about it, but I have to wait and see if I get permission.

One fun fact I can say about it is that it will be in Florida and since I’ll be down there any way, I plan on visiting LEGOLAND Florida and the LEGO Downtown Disney store to check out all the cool models with my own eyes. Of course I’ll be checking out the other theme parks as well, especially as the trip just happens to fall on my birthday. πŸ˜‰

In May I’ll be at the Phoenix Comicon. I’ll have some of my LEGO models on display with the local LEGO LUG and if I have time, a new mosiac for the event. So I will certainly be talking about that as it gets closer.

LEGO FriendsHats and other thoughts

January 13, 2012

The controversy over LEGO Friends continues to rage. Although I try to stay out of it for the most part, not commenting on other blog or Facebook posts that are clearly misinformed or just plain wrong, I can’t help but feel that certain groups have taken an innocent toy and superimposed their political views on top of it. LEGO has even gone as far as issuing a press release about it.

One of the biggest misunderstandings with the new LEGO Friends figs is that they aren’t compatible with regular minifigs. Its as if these unimaginative people can’t see the building potential. They don’t see Friends as an addition to all of the other products that LEGO produces but more of a “this or that” toy. Like the children can only like LEGO Friends or like “normal” LEGO. But what is “normal” LEGO?

Friends is just a new form. Before 1978 there were no minifigs, before 2000 there were no Bionicle, before last year there were no LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean — do you get my point? LEGO is constantly evolving, changing and growing. Friends is just a new type of LEGO figure.

While the figures themselves can’t easily interchange with Minifigs, all the Friends hair can be worn by minifigs and vice-versa. And that goes for the accessories too.

This great video by LDM showcases the headgear.

And the customizing of LEGO Friends has already begun. Check out these custom Friends figs:
G.I.Julie

Haircut

Punkrock Girl

And “Wrist articulation: achieved”
Wrist articulation: achieved

I even decided to change my Facebook picture in support of LEGO Friends
Friend Sig Fig

And yes, as a LEGO Artist, I really use power drills, wrenches and all manner of tools daily. I have to use math — fractions and geometry especially — to create my models. Because of LEGO not only was it a wonderful, ever changing toy that was only limited by my imagination as a child but it has allowed me to achieve two of my dream jobs — LEGO Master Model Builder and Writer. It has given me not one, but two careers and endless hours of enjoyment.

Like I mentioned in my previous post I was skeptical of LEGO Friends at first. But the more I see of the sets and the things that are already being done with the new figures I like them more and more!

Bricks by the Bay 2011 Recap

April 1, 2011

As I mentioned in an earlier post I was preparing for Bricks by the Bay so my posts would be spotty. I really am sorry I’ve been so bad at posting lately, I was pretty tired after I got back from this last LEGO convention and I’ve been fighting a cold for about two weeks, not fun! So I should be much more on the ball with posting from now on.

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So Bricks by the Bay. This year was an excellent improvement on top of an already great convention from last year. Most notable was the venue change. Having the convention in a larger hotel and convention space allowed for a much roomier feeling convention, as well as lending to growth in the future.

There were a lot of awesome creations this year, including several new-to-me builders. My brother Mike (somewhat of a closet AFOL) even came along to his first LEGO Con ever. Not only did he come and help me out with my vendor table, but he also brought along a couple MOCs of his own.

Here you can see the set of Chameleons that he crafted for the Art section. He actually ended up winning “Best Little Thing” in the Art category. πŸ™‚
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He also brought along his Incredible Hulk
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And he even participated in the Catapult Launch
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I brought along a new mosaic that I decided to make the week before the convention, my Pac Man Mosaic
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Fun Fact: The Pac Man Mosaic took 20 hours to build and the score is the day and year that Pac Man was introduced in Japan. πŸ˜‰

One of the largest and most impressive displays was created by Roninlug and friends that had all kinds of lights and sound effects
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The really interesting thing was that there was a Steampunk convention going on at the same time. So, naturally some of our resident LEGO steampunkers Guy Himber and Iain Heath just had to join in πŸ™‚
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There are many more pictures on my Flickr photostream.

LEGO Sleigh Ride

December 16, 2010

Sleigh

Jordan Schwartz constantly comes up with unconventional ways to make a model. Who else would combine Duplo and Bionicle in the same model and manage to make it look like neither of them? πŸ˜€

This is just a little rustic 19th century sleigh; I built the runners first, using lots of little bits of hose, the PoP/Ringmaster whips and some bars. From there, I built the body… or, more appropriately, stuck the body on [using minifigure hooks.] I’ve struggled with this shape for a long time, and in this case, I found this particular Bionicle mask to be effective. And for a finishing touch, I added what is quite possibly my favorite element, the DUPLO bearskin. I think it adds a nice, warm texture to compliment the minifigure’s fur-wrapped torso and hat.

Sleigh Construction

Here’s hoping his unique building skills will show up in LEGO sets once he starts working as a set designer in Denmark. πŸ˜‰

Vayland Dragon

September 18, 2010

Vayland Dragon000

This model just oozes coolness! Patrick Biggs created this model originally 2 years ago, but was never satisfied with the original, so he revamped it and this is the result.

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Danish Day at Balboa Park Recap

June 7, 2010

We had a great response at the Danish Day in Balboa park. Lots of people don’t actually know that LEGO is a Danish company. Quite a few members of SANDlug were on hand to help out and many different styles of building were represented. Here’s what it looked like: πŸ™‚

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We all had a great time and the House of Denmark invited us to return next year. πŸ˜€

LEGO Hero Factory Trailer

January 22, 2010

Now I’ve never been much of a Bionicle fan and I apologize to all of you who are. It probably has to do with the fact that I’m not their target market of a 10 year-old boy. They have their place in LEGO, I have seen amazing creations made with them, and I do like certain parts that were developed because of them but its just not my thing. πŸ˜‰

When I heard that the Bionicle line was ending it just didn’t make sense to me. Why would LEGO get rid of one of their most popular lines ever? Especially when it is being replaced with what basically is Bionicle without all the cool names.

Although I’ve never been interested in Bionicle the toy, the purely epic World of Bionicle is what astounds me. LEGO has tried in the past with Robo Riders, Throw Bots (known as Slizer outside of the US), etc. to develop a sustaining line of robot warriors but up until Bionicle nothing lasted for more than the initial release.

What made Bionicle become the phenomenon it is today is the storylines — the comics, books and movies — many of which were written by Greg Farshtey who just happens to be a friend of mine. When I called him the father of Bionicle, he said “well I’m more like the uncle,” since he didn’t come up with the original concept. But I really do believe because of Greg’s great storytelling it drew many a little boy to want to be like their favorite Toa.

This new line Hero Factory may or may not be a success. Only time will tell. It just makes me sad to see that Bionicle will no longer be on the shelves. It truly was revolutionary in multiple ways and who ever decided that LEGO did not need Bionicle anymore may not realize just what they have given up until its gone.

A Galaxie of Holiday Cheer!

January 4, 2010

A Galaxie of Holiday Cheer!

Somehow I forgot to post this last month and even though it’s a tad late I couldn’t pass up on Lino Martins’ Christmas Galaxie

You may remember a bike featuring Santa Claus and Natasha, his sexy Russian mail order bride, from last Christmas. Well this year they’ve acquired a new custom ride; a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. Close the hood and red lights will illuminate the engine compartment and can be seen through the unique hood window. A spacious trunk and back seat can be loaded with holiday gifts (or mischievous elves) and gold grille and rims, plus a dark red and dark green color configuration makes this Galaxie Christmasy, yet more sophisticated than your usual bright holiday colors. A classic white interior ties the whole Christmas theme together. The top can be used when transporting holiday cheer in the dead of winter…or it can come off when bringing toys to all the good boys and girls living in warmer climates. Either way, this is one classy cool custom ride! This was built for the Galaxie of Possibilities challenge over at LUGNuts.

A Galaxie of Holiday Cheer!

Both the car and the Galaxie of Possibilities challenge were really clever. The car for its simply elegant color scheme and pure awesomeness, the challenge because LUGNuters were restricted to only one type of car — a ’66 Ford Galaxie.

My favorite other entry was Peter Blackert’s Ford Galaxie 1966 Convertible (Modified)

I love the use of the Bionicle blue flame element.

And, if you are interested in it, the 27th Build Challenge…Blockbuster Mission! is currently going on at LUGNuts on Flickr right now. Trust me, its worth a read even if you don’t build cars. πŸ˜‰

LEGO Creator and Ben 10 Sets in 2010

October 10, 2009

I have always been a fan of the Creator line. Mainly because of the great part to price ratio and the fact that the sets are designed to make more than on model. Next year’s 2010 line is no exception. The set that I am most excited about is the new Creator House.

The most exciting feature is the fact that the roof is not the traditional red or black and instead is a very fetching dark blue. At $45 it is a tad expensive, but it seems that all LEGO is slowly rising in price (unfortunately). πŸ˜•

And, surprise, surprise, yet another red car. I don’t know what LEGO would do if they couldn’t create this theme staple. πŸ™‚

Another new line that we are starting to see sets for are Ben 10. From the initial images (and forum responses) this looks a lot like the doomed-from-the-start Galidor line. I may be wrong, at least with Ben 10 it does already have a huge fan base. And even I have to admit that some of the elements might have their uses down the line. To me it looks like a cross between Galidor and Bionicle. However at $18 a pop, I won’t be buying them any time soon.


If you are interested in seeing more of Ben 10 you can check it out on Eurobricks.