Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

Purple Mixels Sets Review

September 11, 2014

Wow, sorry for the long absence. I kind of got out of habbit entirely of posting here. I post a lot more on my Facebook page, but I don’t want to completely forget this. I even missed my 5 year anniversary of this blog which was in August.

Anyhow, I just recently got the new Purple Mixels sets and I really like them

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If you like purple as much as I do, and I like it a lot, then these are definitely a must buy! I will most likely be buying multiples of these. Now don’t get me wrong I love lots of other colors too, but the fact that purple is one of the more rarer colors — a lot less rare than it used to be — I’m super happy that its part of the Mixels sets. And fun fact there was a more reddish purple but that was replaced with dark purple when they made the first Knight Bus for Harry Potter.

I’ve broken down each of the three in pictures on my Flickr Page

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The part selection of the flying one is really nice — sorry I don’t know the names.

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I missed the wings in this pic, they were still in the bag. I’m liking all the 1×2 purple plates, the 1×2 curved slopes and the fun eyes and teeth.

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He’s got kind of a evil flying wizard vibe going on, somebody told me they are supposed to be the wizards, which may or may not be true. I’m not watching the show, I tried one episode and it was just too stupid for me, but the sets are awesome parts packs so I can forgive a stupid show. πŸ˜‰

The second guy is kind of the happy wizard, at least that’s what he looks like to me.

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Another nice parts pack, and he even comes with one of those little black creatures — don’t know what they are called either.

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Oh and the extra parts with the completed models are the extra parts in the sets.

The third and final of the purple guys is kind of a spider / dog monster just not quite as “scary” as the recent spider dog prank. **Link might be a little scary for younger kids**

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Of the three it has the least interesting — at least to me — parts

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He is pretty cute when built though πŸ˜‰

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I also picked up one of the green slime guys. I thought about getting all 3 of each color, but I just didn’t want to spend that much that day.

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I guess I missed on taking a parts pic for this guy, but here he is built.

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I totally got this guy for the trans-neon green starfish, and I’ll probably be buying a few more for that very reason.

All in all a good part to price ratio. At $5 a pop you can’t really go wrong with all the good parts and colors in each line.

Now that my convention tour is coming to a close, I’ve only got BrickCon in Seattle at the start of October, at least that’s all I’m planning on doing convention wise for the rest of this year. So I can settle back into posting on here more regularly. The whole 3 conventions in 3 weeks — Comic Con, BrickFair and Bricks by the Bay — really took a lot out of me and I didn’t want to do anything at all for a while. 3 conventions sounds fun, but by the second one the lack of sleep and traveling cross country twice was really starting to catch up to me then after flying back from Virginia and 2 days later driving up to Northern California for the last convention I was just wiped out. Luckily that won’t be happening next year. There’s still 2 Cons back to back — Comic Con and Bricks by the Bay, but then I get a week break before BrickFair.

I do have lots of pics that I took at all three cons, I have to go through and check if I have made them all publicly available. And I still have to group them into sets so that you don’t have to stream my entire Flickr feed to look at them.

I should really do a recap of all three, there was a lot going on and Comic Con did have a lot of great info and set releases.

Okay that’s all for now, I promise I won’t wait 2 months to post my next post. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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*

Quidditch Book

March 27, 2013

Quidditch Book

This magical microscale Quidditch field on the “cover” of the definitive guide on all things Quidditch is simply awesome!!

Created by Legopard this is aparently his first Harry Potter model.

There are a couple additional images on MOCpages (which I must admit I don’t check nearly enough)

Considering the size of the model, it truly is brilliant. Using the “one ring” as the Quidditch Hoops is perfect and the tips of antennas as the figures is inspired.

Some of the parts are just held by gravity, but who cares, its still cool.

And then I was looking at his Flickr stream and I saw a technique I’d never seen before (which is saying something πŸ˜‰ ) —

Leaving Lothlorien

There’s a lot going on in this model, but what caught my eye was that this baseplate was used upside-down!

I have a few of these raised baseplates, which have literally sat under a desk for years and years gathering dust. I find them very limiting as the shaped hills and valleys of the baseplate keep it from being very useful. When I was younger I used them a lot as I didn’t have the means to build my own hills and valleys out of brick. I admit, I rarely build landscapes, but I could if I wanted to.

So finding a use for these kind of “useless” baseplates — note: of course no LEGO part is ever useless and can always be used in a clever manner — is awesome. Not only is it upside-down, but it is also filled with water. Very, very cool! πŸ˜€

Comic Con 2011 Recap

July 29, 2011

I do apologize for the lack of posts, I’ve been in a post-Comic Con coma the last few days and I haven’t really had the motivation to do much of anything including writing my blog. It seems that going from working 2 months flat out and getting no sleep on a commission piece — and yes, I will be posting about it soon — and then going to Comic Con for 5 days and getting no sleep tends to totally exhaust me for some reason, who knew? πŸ˜€

So, back to the matter at hand, Comic Con 2011. This year was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. I don’t know why, maybe it was the panels I got to see, or the movies I got to watch. I’ve been going for at least 19 years, so Comic Con is not the overwhelming monster it seems to be to first or even second time attendees.

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For me, as it has been for quite a number of years, Comic Con is very LEGO-centric. Mainly because I help out with the LEGO booth. Oh I go to the panels and watch the movies too, but Comic Con is part fun and part work for me, much like the LEGO Conventions. πŸ˜‰

This year, as I’m sure all of you know introduced the new LEGO DC and Marvel licenses that will be out next year.
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I have to admit, I’m not to big a fan of the big Hero Factory like figures, but then I don’t really care that much for Bionicle or Hero Factory either. Now don’t get me wrong, I see uses for the pieces, and I know why little (and big) boys like the figs, its just not my thing.
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I also enjoyed finally seeing the Captain Jack Sparrow model in person. After seeing it online earlier this year it was nice to see the real thing.
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I was especially happy that they had fixed the hand holding the compass, as that was the only part of the model that bothered me when I saw the initial pictures.
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The play area this year consisted of a mountain of 2×4 yellow bricks. It was a fun and interesting thing to watch. Because there was only one type of brick, it was more of a challenge to create models, but it also kept little ones from fighting over the bricks. πŸ˜‰
P1280300 And no, I didn’t make the Star Wars sign.

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I even had a bit of fun with the bricks. πŸ˜‰

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You can see LEGO Events Coordinator Mark Fontanella literally shoveled up all the bricks at the end.

Now, I did not buy the LEGO exclusive this year, you can go check out FBTB’s review on that.
SDCC Exclusive 7958 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar - Packaging
I couldn’t justify the extra cost (it was $50), just for special packaging and a poster when the set is coming out in October. Especially when I knew I’ll be opening my Advent Calendar to do my Annual Advent Callendar Review.

I did however manage to get my hands on the exclusive LEGO Batman and Greenlantern figs. And no, just because I was working the booth didn’t automatically mean that I got one. I had to stand in line like everyone else.
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In fact, I managed to get quite a lot of LEGO swag this year.
Comic Con LEGO Swag

Some of it, like the exclusive minifigs wasn’t all that easy to get. Warner Brothers had a special lanyard you had to get stamped at 3 different booths and then take it to their booth to get the swag bag. But it was worth it, the bag consisted of a LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 Video Game shirt (the white one in the picture), a Voldemort Minifig, a Batman Arkham City Water Bottle (not LEGO), a magnet and a bandanna (also not LEGO).

The big LEGO Harry Potter bag I got when I picked up my attendee badge. The LEGO booth was giving away LEGO Star Wars minifig posters, Heroica comic books, and Ninjago bracelets. Hallmark booth was giving away a LEGO Darth Vader poster. DK was giving away a LEGO Star Wars pin, LEGO Harry Potter lanyards, and a LEGO Star Wars poster. And Cartoon Network came by the LEGO booth on Saturday and handed out Ninjago pins.

I also managed (it helps to have many friends at LEGO πŸ˜‰ ) to get into the special sneak preview of LEGO Star Wars: Padawan Menace that was shown in the Reading Theater of the Gaslamp District of San Diego. It was shown the day before it aired on Cartoon Network. All of us who attended got a LEGO Star Wars Padawan Menace poster, a small minifig (it’s the one that comes with the DVD when it comes out in September), and a LEGOLAND California luggage tag.

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I even got to meet the director David Scott, seen here with Minifig Darth Vader.

Outside of the convention they had a Conan O’Brien fan art museum. One of the pieces was a “Flaming C” created by Nathan Sawaya.

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I also went to the LEGO Star Wars panel on Friday. The biggest news that came out of that was that they are finally making a Queen Amidala minifigure in her red dress!
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They are also re-releasing the Tie Fighter with a new design and new minifigures. My favorite is the new R4 droid. I can see that head part coming in very handy if they decide to make it in other colors down the line.
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The tie fighter will be out in January 2012 and the Queen Amidala fig (no news on what set she’ll be in) in the summer 2012 line.

As for the cool non-LEGO Comic Con stuff I did. I got to see a preview of Captain America with actor Chris Evans introducing the movie.
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I watched the Torchwood Miracle Day episode 3 with the entire cast merely feet from me and I met and talked with Timothy Zahn, author of many books that I enjoy reading. πŸ™‚

And I think that is about it. πŸ˜‰

Check out my Flickr photostream for all my pictures.

Building Display Sets

March 1, 2011

I mentioned earlier about the Brand Ribbon Models for the LEGO Store that my LUG (LEGO User Group) was asked to build for the new Costa Mesa LEGO Store. Well imagine my surprise when I got three huge boxes last week that was filled with LEGO sets!

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Man, when I got all these models it was like Christmas! 66 sets were sent to my house and at first I didn’t know why they had sent them to me, but then a quick conversation with the new LEGO store manager I found out that they were all the sets on display. And it wasn’t just small sets — Ultimate Collector Imperial Shuttle, Harry Potter Diagon Alley, and the Tower Bridge were also included.

So there was nothing to do but gather some of my fellow LUG members and have another building party! πŸ˜€

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Some models took only minutes to build (Hero Factory) while others took hours. We all had a fun time and the chance to build a whole bunch of LEGO sets was just plain cool. πŸ™‚

We’ll be setting all of these models up at the store this Sunday and then next weekend is the Grand Opening!

LEGO Store Grand Opening Event:
South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA
March 11 – 13
Help a real LEGO Master Builder construct an 8-foot tall LEGO Yoda during our 3-day Grand Opening Celebration weekend! You’ll get a free LEGO Star Wars Certificate of Achievement for helping, while supplies last! Plus, visit the LEGO Store during the event to enter for a chance to win a $50 LEGO Store Gift Card! No purhcase necessary to enter.

I’ll be there all weekend and I plan on covering the weekend here for all of you who can’t make it. But for those of you who can, I look forward to seeing you there! πŸ˜‰

The Picture is the thing

January 21, 2011

Sometimes even if you don’t build anything taking a clever picture is just as worthwhile. Stephen O’ Mahony has an excellent set of minifigure pictures that do just that.

Fisherman

Phobias [Behind You #3]

Please Help

If you would like to see the full set you can see it on Stephen’s photostream. πŸ˜€

LEGO Jambalaya

October 22, 2010

Have you ever heard of LEGO Jambalaya? LEGO Jambalaya has nothing to do with the edible version. In fact its more of a Round Robin, but LEGO Jambalaya sounds more interesting. πŸ˜‰

So, what is LEGO Jambalaya? Basically it is when someone makes up a bag or box of LEGO elements that they are willing to trade. The bag or box can be whatever shape, but a good size is a gallon-sized bag or a medium US priority mail box. So, the first person, who also acts as a moderator, gathers a small group of friends, no more than 10 (or it will take too long), and they all agree to join the Jambalaya. Person number 1 then hands off or mails, depending on distance, the box to person number 2.

Upon receiving said box, the second person can then take out whatever parts they want from the box. Once they have made their selection that person then puts in an equal or if they choose greater amount into the box and sends it off to the third person and so on.

I am currently participating in one so I will show you both what I took:
What I took

And what I put in:
What I put in

Once it has gone through all the people on the list the first person gets the box back from the last person (#10) and he has a whole new box of parts to play with.

Now of course doing something like this requires a lot of trust. Usually you have to know at least some if not all the people you are trading with so that you can trust them with that much LEGO. It also helps if the group is on some sort of online forum or group (local or otherwise) so that they can know that it will get around to all the people participating.

But, if you are willing to try it, it can be a fun way of getting a whole bunch of fun new parts and also giving away some parts you are willing to trade. πŸ™‚

Building the Space Shuttle

October 17, 2010

I talked earlier about the Shuttle Adventure set #10213 when it was coming out, but it wasn’t until last night that I actually got to build the set. At the recent BrickCon I was able to pick up the set during the Scratch and Dent sale for 50%. When I bought it, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get it home. Thankfully a friend of mine who had driven up to Seattle was willing to bring all my rather large LEGO sets (I got the Space Police Central also at 50%, The Burrow, and the Winter Village Bakery) back home with him.

Now I have to admit, I bought the set, like I buy pretty much all my sets for the pieces. I’ll usually build the model once, but I rarely leave it up for very long before I take it apart and sort all the elements out. And, since I build much more complicated models, I sometimes get bored with how a normal set is built, its just to simple for me.

Even so, this set was a delightful build for me. It was a short build, taking only about 4-5 hours, I’m not sure as I wasn’t watching the clock (my projects can take weeks). I may be dating myself a little, but I have the 1990 Space Shuttle which is a much smaller set and much less impressive. I remember at the time really enjoying that set. I also remember thinking about but not buying the 2003 Space Shuttle Discovery set. It wasn’t nearly as smooth as this newest incarnation, although if you look at the picture, it has a lot of similarities in the build of the shuttle itself.

This set has all the bells and whistles when it comes to a truly nice set. There are two astronauts, a launch pad, removable booster rockets, a satellite in the cargo hold, and even a camera man to film the blast off.

As I said, I bought the set for the pieces, but now that its finished I’ve decided to have it on display, at least for a little while. πŸ˜‰

San Diego Comic Con — Preview Night 2010

July 21, 2010

Well guys and gals I don’t know how much I’ll be writing the next few days as it is Comic Con. I have a tendency to start running out of steam by day 3 or 4, but I will do my best to get what I can out there to you.

Although today was the preview night I actually headed down last night to help out a little with the booth, some of the glued display set models were damaged in transport and I needed to put them back together again. So I got a really good look at the new Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter that they were premiering at this Convention. It is a pretty sweet model. I also got to help build the display of the new Imperial Shuttle that will be available this September. I have to say that is a really wonderful parts pack, even if I wasn’t into Star Wars (which I am πŸ˜‰ ). Not only were the new Star Wars sets there, but the new LEGO Harry Potter sets were on display too.

As I was down there early I got to see something the public rarely does. LEGO in set up mode.

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What was a surprise to me today was that two of the display models that LEGOLAND California brought were actually promotional models I made several years ago.

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Recognize my signature dragon? He was originally made to promote the then new ride Knight’s Tournament. Also the figure in the yellow shirt is Miniland Stan, LEGOLAND’s former mascot. Little known fact — since I made all the Miniland Stan models for the video and print ads, I’m his “mom.” I’m even on the souvenir video with Stan referencing me as his creator. πŸ˜€

The booth is pretty cool this year with awesome graphics and a nice open floor plan.
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Even the back of the booth has really fun comic pictures
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I couldn’t fit it all in one shot so I had to take two pictures.
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The one thing I forgot to take pictures of was the special raffle drawing that they are doing for a Boba Fett commemorative display with three different Bobas — White Boba, 1 of 2 Gold Bobas and 1 of 2 Silver Bobas. At least I think those are the colors, I’ll take a picture tomorrow and let you know.

There is also a chance to play and sign up for LEGO Universe. I played it a little bit today. Its pretty fun and there are so many things that make it cool. If you do order it at Comic Con you get a special LEGO Universe shirt.

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That’s all you get for now. I’ll be posting more soon as the days go on.