Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

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.


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!


One thing I love about these pictures is that it answers that often asked question — are LEGO Models hollow?

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.
2015-02-09 21.16.18

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.


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!



They are just so darned cute!

I think one of my favorite features is the command deck

The details are all kinds of awesome




Even the planes are cool



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 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






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

LEGO Birds Set Review

January 20, 2015


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. :)


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.

On to building!


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

First build is the base and flower. I like how the flower is built, simple but nice.

What I really like is the nonconventional building, most of the hummingbird body is upside down

Now sure, I build like this all the time, but for the burgeoning junior Master Builder, its a great teaching set.



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.

Max had a lot of fun building these.

Here you can see the central core of the Robin, this allows for having studs in all directions


I love how the finished Robin looks

Not the greatest pic, but you can see how nice the back looks even if the photo is blurry

Blue Jay


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.



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


Final Thoughts


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. :)

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

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.

He also created this cool insect scene

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 Marvel Super Heroes Video Game Review

November 4, 2013

So I’ve been a little under the weather (okay more than a little), which is part of the reason there’s been a lack of posts. So since I haven’t been feeling all that great, and since the new LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game just came out I’ve been playing the game.

I’m not much of a gamer anymore, but LEGO video games are always the exception. And unlike my LEGO Chima video game experience, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this game from the get go. :)

*** Warning Spoiler Alert! ***

Okay now that the warning is in place, I can freely mention all the fun goodness that is the game. From all the previews of this game and the demo I saw at the San Diego Comic Con, I was sure I would love this game. I mean what’s not to love? Its got practically every Marvel character — ever! There’s over 100 characters in the game. Of course you have to play and replay levels to get all the goodies and find all the characters.

But even from the start this probably my new favorite LEGO video game. I really, really liked LEGO Batman 2 but the main failing with that game was that it was all about Batman. Sure Superman and several other Justice League-ers show up, but its still mainly a Batman game.

That’s where this one differs. At each level you have a different mix of characters — from Spiderman with the Hulk, to Mr. Fantasic with Ironman. You don’t get to play with every character during Story mode, but you get a nice mixture.

The voice talent is top notch! Including the actual voice of Agent Colson (yes he is alive in the LEGO world too)– Clark Gregg. So much better than the watery sound bites they used for LEGO Lord of the Rings and much more in line with Batman 2. The story line is pretty darn cool too and you have all of New York City as your background. There’s tons of hidden areas and you can even ride the train!

If I have one complaint, the levels seem a tad easy this time. Maybe its because I’ve played basically all the TT LEGO Video Games since they started in 2005 with LEGO Star Wars. Maybe, but even so, there wasn’t anything new about the basic gameplay. Each level took about an hour. They would have probably taken less time, but I was going for “True Believer” status on each level — in other words, getting all the gold and silver studs I could — and smashing everything takes time.

Another good / bad thing about the game is that when you beat all the levels you only have 25% of the game completed. There’s a lot to do.

****super spoiler alert****
There isn’t just one extra level. There’s a whole bunch of extra levels! The more gold bricks you collect, the more levels you unlock. And just like the story levels, there’s a story level and a free play level. You need to play both to unlock everything.

On top of the gold bricks, Deadpool bricks (red bricks), minikits, characters and vehicles there’s one additional thing you have to find throughout the game — Stan Lee in Peril. There are no less than 50 of them! And of course Stan Lee voices himself. ;)

Even after 2 weeks of playing I still have less than 40% of the game complete. I’ve gotten half of the characters, extra levels and Deadpool bricks. But I’ve only saved 10 Stan Lees. So I still have a lot to go.

This is definitely a game I highly recommend!!!!

And if the LEGO Movie Video Game is anything like this one (which I’m sure it will be) I will be picking that one up as soon as it comes out next year. ;)

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

There was a set unveiling — the Sydney Opera House

It looks really good in person and all that dark tan! Also there’s a 48×48 stud baseplate in blue!

And they also showed what the next Cusoo set will be

There were awesome models, here’s some of my favorites:










I think this was my favorite micro scale model

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. ;)

And this was rather random but cool — tiles and flowers making a “glove”

What it looked like during Public hours

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. ;)

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.

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.


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