Tuesday, May 31, 2016
In Star Wars: Rebels, I thought bringing the core series cast to the location of a specific audience-known Clone Wars-era soldier was a heck of a stretch of forced galactic interconnectivity. Of course, Star Wars is all about that sort of over-the-top "small world" syndrome, and always has been. Plus, I actually welcomed seeing canonical confirmation of the accelerated aging of clones, and the characters, themselves, were enjoyable. The mechanical steed they rode, though, was rather odd. Here it is now, in LEGO form, the lil' clunker that brought down a whole squad of AT-ATs.
Monday, May 30, 2016
This is another awkwardly misnamed set from Mega Bloks, but the model itself is very good and it's obvious what it's really supposed to be, an American Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Here's another much talked-about, controversially-priced heavy-hitter set in the summer LEGO Star Wars lineup. It's difficult to find much fault with the builds, but what about the value?
This lil' truck has a lot of goodness packed into it. It looks fun to my eyes from the outside, and the basic play features are pretty perfect. About the only other thing I could ask for is a scoop to convert the boom arm on the back into a light-duty backhoe.
Summer 2016 is another fairly small wave for Bionicle, with just four villains and one hero. This set here caps off the release, so now I'm just waiting for the combination model instructions to show up online.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
New Poe Dameron X-Wing set. Not a typo!
Little Ekimu! Wh... what... what happened? Ya done grown all up!
It's nice to get another setting-centric Star Wars set, and though this one is significantly smaller than Battle on Takodana, the small Jakku marketplace abstract feels sufficiently self-contained. Plus, I love the Luggabeast.
Alright! I'm very relieved to see that there's been practically no outcry over my migration of the Bionicle videos to my standard review format. You all have no idea how good this feels, as it's so much more comfortable and enjoyable for me to do them this way! Thank you all for your support!
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Alright, now we're getting somewhere. Lord of Skull Spiders was pitiful. Umarak the Hunter was respectable. Umarak II, now, is almost a proper big bad guy. A bit odd between the shoulders & upper jaw, though.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Effectively immediately, my LEGO large action figure videos will follow the same format as all of my other reviews, with no extra parts & building segments in the beginning. Below I've attempted to anticipate and answer the questions this will surely prompt.
- Why the change?
- Time. Just time. The previous style required a significantly increased amount of work to produce.
- Why are you no longer willing to spend the extra time for a more entertaining video?
- I need more time to work on custom builds for my city layout, which more viewers actively ask for than anything else.
- Bionicle as a theme has not made a significant comeback with the reboot; its popularity is very low, and shrinking. It is not sensible for me to put more time into this theme than others when it's such a small niche.
- I realized and accepted that I was dreading making new Bionicle reviews, because of the excessive time required, not to mention many inconveniences of building in the studio.
- I will not. I've observed the Bionicle fan community and general viewer responses to new products since the reboot began, and I am 100% confident in my decision. It is not up for debate or subject to reversal under any circumstances whatsoever (read: don't bother trying).
- I may do some more eventually, but again, brick-based stuff for my city must maintain the highest priority possible.
- I have not :) However, my progression back to the core brick-based building world has been very natural and deliberate, taking over three years. It feels right to me. This is what I want and need to do.
To the small, but very engaged Bionicle fanbase that enjoyed the extra elements that made my reviews stand out, I do sincerely apologize. This is a compromise, and it is a loss in a way, but overall it is for the better for me and my channel on the whole.
LEGO's City Starter Sets are the modern-day, realistic-world equivalents of the ever popular Star Wars battle packs. They provide an easy and inexpensive way to get more people, plus some stuff for those people to use. In this specific instance, I actually end up liking the largest feature the least.
I feel like LEGO's Juniors line has really matured, irony unintended. They seem to have found a good balance between simplicity for very young fans and desirable detail for other age groups, and that's no easy feat.
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Here's my first Summer 2016 LEGO Star Wars set review, with more to come over the next few days.
Helicopters, helicopters, everywhere! I thought City had a lot of 'em in the past, but lately they're really taking over. I guess kids must really, really, really love 'em.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Just released for purchase yesterday, here's one of LEGO's really big Minecraft sets for the season. My biggest qualm with this one is the strange inclusion of only two actual villagers! I want more! I need more!
This year LEGO swapped the elemental basis of their exploration & resource-gathering subtheme from ice to magma, introducing many sets similar to the Arctic ones of recent memory, this time under the Volcano umbrella.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
When I did my most recent haul, viewers asked me to get to this set quickly, and I'm most happy to oblige. All three official builds are covered in the one video.
Planes are back for a visit to the LEGO City theme this year, and I believe this is the second largest set in the subtheme. To be honest, I wasn't very interested in this one from the pictures, but I rather enjoyed all three plane builds. The price is a stretch, though.
So, MB Halo fans, you know how the Warthogs have been fairly similar over the years with just slight evolutionary changes from one to the next? Well, this one gives the process a little extra push with a new chassis design and way more details for collectors to appreciate. The more I look at it, the more I feel the color scheme on this one is just a little "bright" in a figurative sense, but I definitely like the new physical design of the platform and look forward to some more subdued liveries & camo jobs in future models.
I know a lot of people have been looking forward to the release of this one! The stars of the show are the new mini-baby-fig and purpose-built wheelchair mold, but there are also a lot of great torsos and hair/headgear pieces that I look forward to integrating into my city.
I've been working my way through the latest Mega Bloks licensed releases, but now the latest goodies from LEGO have begun showing up at stores across the country as well! I've gotten my first group of sets already, but there will be a lot more to come!
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
It's the end of an era, of sorts! The box of the LEGO Dimensions starter pack showed final photographs of all of the minifigs that would be released in five waves of sets. This fun pack here is my last from wave 5, wrapping up the entire extended launch & establishment experience of the product line.
Now the wait is on to find out what they're going to do for the 2016 holiday season. It was promised that our Starter Pack toy pads would remain relevant for three years, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some new packaging and bundles, and of course there will be a bunch of brand new content.
The partnership between Mega Bloks & 343 has once again yielded completed, purchasable models of previously un-announced content for an upcoming game. My level of anticipation for the sequel to Halo Wars is very high, but for now I get to enjoy the build & display of this new self-propelled gun unit.
Bane is a lot more fun and exciting in-game than he is as a physical product in this Dimensions Fun Pack. Conversely, his Drill Tank seems like a cooler build in person than it is a digital vehicle to drive!
The final wave of year 1 Dimensions packs have been released in multiple countries a little sooner than expected, and here's one now. This one surprised me a bit with the different coloration of Slimer versus the Firehouse version.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Hard to believe we're already up to the fourth series of these. Initially I was really turned off by the cheapness of the pod containers themselves, and part of that was bias based upon how nice the old, more expensive, proper drop pod sets were. This series has more armor varient variety than in the past and the colors are good, so I'm definitely warming up to the concept on the whole.
Sunday, May 8, 2016
This little boxed set was limited to 3,500 units produced and given away with big purchases at invitation-only LEGO store events at the beginning of 2016's May the Fourth celebration weekend. It depicts a micro-scale Millennium Falcon escaping the mouth of the "Exogorth" creature it accidentally took refuge in while fleeing Vader's fleet in Empire Strikes Back. Not the prettiest thing to display in my opinion, but it's... interesting.
Mega Bloks release season continues across a number of themes, with the Call of Duty line still leading the way for realism and usefulness for repurposing in historically-themed displays.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Here's the second set I've seen released in Mega Bloks' new official Star Trek licensed series. Once again here they've targeted an older crowd with classic, original TV series subject matter and a setup designed primarily for display.
While I think this is by far the best and most desireable Brute Chopper Mega Bloks has made to date, the highlight of this set is probably the first ever official MB figure of Spartan Catherine-B320, a.k.a. Kat.
As viewers requested, I've posed up UCS Assault on Hoth 75098 and Hoth Echo Base 7879 together, and I also threw in Hoth Attack 75138 since it's relevant and current. Looks pretty good on the interior side especially, but man, $365 USD worth at retail for this display...
I'm a bit late adding this to the blog, but I'll make up for it with my next post. In a little over a day online, this video generated well over 900 comments, more than even my review of the set! Better still, a lot of the comments are thoughtful & insightful, with thoughts from viewpoints I had not considered or discussed. I feel like there's a huge opportunity for LEGO to learn a lot from peoples' feedback.
Monday, May 2, 2016
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Here it is, this year's big Ultimate Collectors Series LEGO Star Wars set. Much of the Internet has deemed this a travesty, a shameful excuse for a set, a money-grab, positively devoid of any value to anyone. While I can't say I agree with the severity of these sentiments, I do understand some of their roots. In my review, though, I simply show and evaluate the product for what it is, a large playset with 17 figures (counting droids & bigfigs) with a reasonably average price/part ratio.
I'll address the out-of-control community hatred in a separate commentary.
Here's this year's Star Wars Day special promotional minifig, free with qualifying purchases from LEGO shops Apr. 30-May 4.