Posts Tagged ‘Space’

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
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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˜‰

Galaxy Squad Sets appearing on shelves

November 20, 2012

Galaxy Squad may be part of the 2013 LEGO line, but its already appearing on some Toys R Us shelves just in time for the Christmas Holidays. These were found in Canada, but I have a feeling that they will be popping up in the US soon.

Galaxy Squad reminds me a lot of Insectoids that came out in ’98-99 except with dark red. πŸ™‚

I have a feeling several 2013 sets will be finding their way to the shelves this December, usually about 20 or so sets come out. So keep your eyes peeled. 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™‚

BrickStix Decals

April 11, 2011

Have you ever heard of BrickStix? Well neither had I until a friend of mine on Facebook shared a link with me about the 11 year old boy who invented them.

Here’s Greyson MacLean’s story:

Greyson loves to build! When he was nine years old, he was frustrated with the stickers that came with brick sets. If he put them on, he couldn’t get them off. Plus, they were limited. He wanted to customize his brick creations into different stories, but he was at a loss. He needed stickers that could be detached and reused just like his bricks. Some days he wanted a brick to be a newspaper, another day a clock, a control panel, a window… He told his mom about the problem. He told her he wanted to be able to add details to his builds, and have the ability to change his mind and make something else. She thought it was a great idea. So Greyson’s Mom, Dad, Aunt and Uncle started working. They had meetings at their kitchen table. They talked to Greyson’s sisters and other kids when they designed the first set of Stix, and BrickStix were born. Now kids can customize their build into a masterpiece.

Via: BrickStix.com

Much like Colorforms — I have to admit, I had to look that one up, even if I did have a set when I was a kid πŸ˜€ — BrickStix are vinyl decals that can be placed, taken off and then replaced over and over again. I honestly can’t believe this has never been done before for LEGO. It makes a lot more sense than constantly sticking stickers on a brick or tile and then never being able to use that same element as anything other than what the sticker is for. I personally hate putting stickers on for that very reason, much like Greyson I want the option to change my mind. πŸ˜‰

They have a really cute video showcasing their products

BrickStix currently comes in three different sets — Metro, Transport, and Space. Each set comes with 84 decals (two of each type) and a handy board to put them on when not in use. The price is very reasonable at $5.99 a set and you can order them online or purchase them at one of the retail stores that currently carry them.


BrickStix was gracious enough to send me samples of their products and I tried them out for a test run. So, what’s my assessment? Well as some of them are pretty small they don’t always stay on unless they are pressed firmly. But the mere fact that you can take them off and on is a plus in my book. The low price point is another plus and the background of the decal is clear, so that you can place them on any color brick and the image is clearly seen.

My only complaint is that the 1×2 on work only the side of bricks, not on the top of tiles (they are just a tad too wide). My only other complaint was that some of the images were a little bit cartoony. But again, as it is made for kids that’s okay. πŸ˜‰

I highly recommend this product, and the fact that it was invented by a kid makes it even that more awesome in my book! According to the BrickWorld website they will be there as a vendor. But if you can’t make it there, you can always order them online. So check out BrickStix for yourself!

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.

The Subacorr

September 2, 2010

The Subacorr

Jeff Cross shows us that even failed LEGO lines like Galidor can have some useful pieces in them. This smooth and sleek spacecraft looks both aquatic and space worthy at the same time.

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We can even see the pilot Jezza Thark with his captured brain slug bounty.
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Although he’s been on Flickr for a while Jeff is new to me. But after looking at some of his work I’ll definitely be checking him out more in the future. Great job Jeff!

LEGO World Shows of the 80s

April 19, 2010

Brickset.com has a new section on their website showcasing the LEGO World Shows that took place in the 80s. Long before LEGOLAND was anywhere other than in Denmark these touring shows inspired a generation of LEGO fans on just what could be done with the brick.

Although not as fantastic as modern LEGO models these earlier sculptures were the precursor to them. Children like me saw these models and have turned into the Master Model Builders, Architects and Artists of today. Who knows what future generations will come up with. πŸ˜‰

San Diego Comic Con — Recap Part 2

July 29, 2009

Here’s the last of my Comic Con coverage, at least for this year. πŸ™‚
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The minifig scale Star Trek Enterprise bridge was a highlight in the displayed MOCs on TwoMorrow’s Publishing booth. (Other than my mosaics of course πŸ˜‰ ) I love the custom Spock the best.

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And here are two of the LEGO board games that are already available in Europe. I got to see the dice in person. Very cool! I can’t wait for the games to come to the States!

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Joe Meno, editor and creator of BrickJournal, with his Stitch ship. He actually got it signed by the director of Lilo and Stitch. That’s what makes Comic Con so cool, you get to meet people you’d never meet anywhere else. πŸ˜€

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This last shot is from the BrickJournal panel. They showed several archive photos of sets that never made it beyond the development stage. This one is of the Napoleonic Era. If you look closely in the background you can see the lord and lady in their wigs and gowns. They also showed early Divers, Western, and Space that never made it into sets.

I had a great time at Comic Con, especially because I could spend it with my friends and family. I really happy that LEGO has gotten such a presence at Comic Con and now even AFOL’s (Adult Fans of LEGO) are starting to have a presence too.

As for non-LEGO related Comic Con fun I got to see the Doctor Who panel with David Tennant (he is just as cute in real life), I met several celebrities including Michael Dorn and the entire cast of The Mighy Boosh, I went to the Masquerade, and I got to see the World Premiere of District 9 with Peter Jackson introducing it (the movie is a bit gory and too much language for my tastes, but it was still a fun experience).

I can’t wait for next year! πŸ˜€

First LEGO Battles Trailer

May 22, 2009

Want to get a first look at LEGO Battles? Well, here you go:

The trailer looks pretty cool, but we’ll have to wait and see about the gameplay. It looks very different to the other LEGO games, something that may or may not be good depending on your opinion. πŸ˜›

My first Eurobricks Review: 5969 Squidman Escape

May 19, 2009

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I’ve never done a set review on Eurobricks before, mainly because someone else got to the set before I did. πŸ˜€ I recently found several of the Space Police III sets at Toys ‘R’ Us (along with the new Agents, Town, and Power Miners) and decided to get the Squidman Escape. When I checked Eurobricks I noticed that no one had reviewed it yet, so I decided to give it a go.

As soon as I saw the head, I thought that it would look better like this:
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It’s not a bad set, but not that great either. Mainly I got it for the Squidman, you can read the full review here.πŸ˜‰