Monday, May 29, 2017

LEGO City Jungle Halftrack Mission review 60159

Ya win some, ya lose some.  I thought I'd really gel with this set because of the semi-realistic halftrack, but it wasn't to be.

Mega Construx Destiny 2 Cabal Gladiator Battle review

The hype is real.  This particular set has some issues, but I can't wait for others in the line to be released.

Who am I kidding? I can't wait for the game beta!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

LEGO Star Wars Jakku Quadjumper review! 75178

I failed.  Failed to contain my personal opinion of this set early in the video, it was just too overwhelming to artificially hold back.

LEGO Batman Movie Bane Toxic Truck Attack review! 70914

Yessss!  Something, something, something else complete.  This does it for the LEGO Batman Movie theme for this season.

Also, quietly over the past few days I've completed my seasonal updates to my studio setup and post-production processes.  I make incremental changes throughout the year, but I usually try to do something more significant before a big review season hits (I was just a little late this time).  You should see noticeably better color reproduction going forward and a minor improvement to video sharpness.  I've also improved rendering speeds very slightly, but unfortunately not enough to make a noticeable difference in my overall rate of production.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

LEGO Star Wars First Order Transport Speeder Battle Pack review! 75166

The unofficial 'working' title of this set during its development was "TR-8R Twins Transport."  Seriously.  Look it up*.

* You won't find anything, because conspiracy... or bad jokes.

LEGO Batman Movie Two-Face Double Demolition review! 70915

Almost done with the new LEGO Batman Movie sets for now!  It's good to get more substantive sets that aren't dominated by a bat-thing.

LEGO City Sea Plane Rescue review! Coast Guard set 60164

It's hard to believe this has the exact same number of pieces as the last set I posted up, because this one is so much larger when complete.  This illustrates the folly of relying exclusively upon price/part ratios to determine whether a specific product gives you a good value.

LEGO Batman Movie Scarecrow Fearful Face-off review! 70913

Small, inexpensive set from the second LBM wave here, but with some nice parts and two named characters.

Friday, May 26, 2017

LEGO City 2017 Cargo Terminal review 60169

Now this is a wholesome, back-to-basics cargo-sorting set that can hang with the best of all time.  Great play value, easily adds to many other themes of the past & present, modern builds, generic, but good-looking minifigures, and a surprisingly reasonable price to part ratio, to boot.

LEGO NEXO Knights Stone Monster Accessory Pack 853677

I like NEXO Knights.  I like minifig booster packs.  I liked even the last NEXO Knights minifig booster pack from this season, when they brought the number of figures down to 3.  This one, though, doesn't seem worth the price at all.  Even if it was cheaper, it's still disappointing with the stripped-down selection of reused figure parts and basic accessories.

LEGO Star Wars: The Arrowhead set review! 75186

Yeah I don't care if you've never heard of The Freemaker Adventures, or if you have heard of it and/or seen it and dislike it.  This seems like an interesting ship build no matter what the source material.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

LEGO Batman Movie: The Batwing set review! 70916

This is a textbook example of the evolution of LEGO's design standards.  Just a decade ago, a flying craft of roughly this wingspan would have had 400-500 parts, a somewhat janky action/transformation feature and questionable structural stability.  Today we get 1,000+ pieces that interlock on multiple axes in a dense miniature juggernaut with generous greebling and many studless surfaces.  To me it's a clear cut case of a relentless dedication to maximizing quality while negotiating immovable economic realities.

Mega Construx Halo 3 CTF Arctic Warthog set review

Fantastic, this set combines great nostalgic stuff from the past with modern quality and features.  After numerous Mega has finally truly arrived on the Warthog scene.

LEGO City Jungle Exploration Site review 60161

I have not much to say in text about this set, because there's so much covered in the video.  Everything you see above comes in one box, so it's a pretty righteous playset.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

LEGO Star Wars Rathtar Escape review! 75180

What we're gonna do right here is go back.  Way back.  Back into... Wait, SW:TFA wasn't that long ago, I guess, eh?  It just feels like it, to me at least.

LEGO City Fun at the Beach minifig pack review 60153

Here's LEGO's newest 15-person minifig booster pack.  It probably won't garner quite as much positive feedback as Fun in the Park did, but it should.  I mean sure, last year's set came with a mini-baby.  But this one comes with a lobster.  Respect the lobster.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LEGO Minifigure Fidget Spinners MOCs

One of these days, I promise myself, I will stop being such a hard-headed contrarian when it comes to  things I consider to be fads.  Every single time some new concept goes effectively viral world-wide, I avoid it like the plague, for fear of somehow losing creativity and initiative.  That's dumb of me, and I know this, and I've known it for a long time, and yet I continually refuse to change.  Argh.

Thank you all, though, for always trying to motivate me to break down my unnecessary mental barriers and give some of these things a go.

LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader Transformation review! 75183

What's that you say?  Bad pun incoming?  NNNNOOOoooooooo.....

LEGO City 2017 Coast Guard Headquarters review 60167

Here's the top-of-the-line representative of this year's Coast Guard sub-theme of City.  Just ignore the name.  The HQ building is tiny, but there's a lot of other stuff to make up for it.

Mega Construx Halo Warzone Wasp Strike review

And now for something... completely different.  Building this set filled me with impetus to break free from my self-imposed confines of normalcy and do my first out-of-studio review in quite a few years.

LEGO Star Wars Bounty Hunter Battle Pack review - 75167

This is definitely a type of set I'd never have expected LEGO to make, with the vast majority of the price and value in the form of named, licensed characters.  Typically every company wants to split up named characters into as many different products as possible to entice people to spend more.  This is the opposite, and I am deeply grateful for it.

Technically this is a Freemaker Adventures (non-canon) set, but who cares?!  The figures are legit!

Monday, May 22, 2017

LEGO City Jungle Cargo Helicopter review - 60158

My first dose of the new Jungle Exploration theme is a good one.  This is one of the more modest sets, but it's wholesome, easy on the eyes, and good for play.  Hopefully there's more of that to come.

LEGO Star Wars Scout Trooper & Speeder Bike review - 75532

Well, this isn't as good of a set as I originally (from pictures) thought it would be, but that's not so bad because my initial impressions were of near perfection for the medium.  In reality, the finished product in-hand has just minor, arguable flaws.

LEGO City 2017 Bus Station build & review

Going into this review season, this bus set looked like one of the more anticipated offerings with its promise of some good "normal town stuff."  Some of the execution on the theme came up lacking, though, I feel.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Vintage LEGO Rocket Base 358 from 1973 reviewed

Happy Flashback Friday or belated Throwback Thursday :)  One insignificant piece in this set is a bit too new and a few are a bit too old (all direct & close substitutions), but overall it's a pretty faithfully preserved piece of history from before the dawn of the minifig era.

LEGO Star Wars 2017 Republic Fighter Tank build & review - 75182

It begins.  I don't live in the UK, so I wasn't able to get all of the first summer wave sets starting the week before last.  I also don't live on the southeast seaboard of the US, so I wasn't able to start loading up on them last weekend.  Where I live, things are often slow to appear on shelves, but I get what I can, when I can, to bring you timely new content as quickly as I can.  The big, big release hasn't hit yet for me, but the very tip of the iceberg is upon us.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Looking back at recent work

I believe it was February when I announced that I would significantly throttle back on reviews and divert attention towards New Jang City and custom MOCs.  Said diversion was a success, but now the next major LEGO release & set review season is about to begin, so let's take a look back at what I was able to accomplish during the break.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Little Engine That Could in LEGO

I had a reprint of the original version of The Little Engine That Could when I was probably 3 years old, but I completely forgot about it as an adult!  I've been on the lookout for a good opportunity to make a tank engine style steam loco, and somehow this thing happened out of the (medium) blue.  It runs very well, but my depletion of parts for the Blauhaus Building forced a bunch of aesthetic compromises.  Most importantly, the boiler should be a bit taller and it should have a more consistent cross-section.  Perhaps eventually, once I have more parts, I'll revisit this, but for now, I must consider it a very successful and happy little project!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Update to the underwater layout beneath New JANG City

Good times!  I couldn't bring myself to part with the Silent Mary, finding it oddly intoxicating to look at on display, almost beautiful in its wretched ugliness.  Thankfully I've found a great place to keep it long-term where it integrates sensibly into my existing LEGO world.

Finally, a red LEGO Rail Rider

Red had to happen, and I wanted purple to happen in some capacity as well, so I went ahead & killed two birds with one stone.  (Disclaimer:  No actual birds were harmed in the making of this video.)

LEGO Star Wars Imperial Speeder Bike from 2009! polybag 30005

This was my lone out-of-production set review of the week, and though the thing is quite tiny, it's not half bad.

May 2017 LEGO Dimensions releases reviewed

Fan interest in LEGO Dimensions continues to taper down towards nothingness, but some of the remaining minifigs & mini-builds are cool to check out regardless.  Many also make me think, "Who'da thunk?"


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trains, trains, more trains, always with the trains

After focusing on train-related items with my custom builds over only the past week six days, I've already started getting complaints from viewers that "all" I "ever" do anymore is train stuff and I "never" do anything else.  In spite of such dramatic over-reactions, I'm going to continue doing what I enjoy and taking advantage of every bit of building inspiration I can, whenever I can!  I may do more train-related builds for another agonizing six days, or I may suddenly switch back to watercraft, or another building, or even just random minifigs to increase the population of New Jang City.  Sometimes the imagination is like the proverbial box of chocolates, and I'm okay with that!

My LEGO Sticker Collection & organization system

In addition to working on more custom builds, in recent weeks I've also finally organized my spare official LEGO sticker sheets into the standard photo album binder setup that I've used in other hobbies in the past.  I figured I'd share a look at it in case it can give anyone any good ideas to do something similar or better.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

LEGO Wonder Woman Warrior Battle review! 76075

This DC Comics Super Heroes set was released all by itself last week, alongside nothing else from the line.  In the US it's a Toys R Us retail exclusive, though also available directly from LEGO Shop at Home.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Duh-duh duum, duum, duum... another one bites the dust!

The final box-stock holdout among my modern locomotives has at last been sent to the scrap heap and from its remains, new life has sprouted forth!  The build of this switcher did not go at all as I had planned; it actually went much better.  About a third of the way through I made a pretty significant change to the design concept that turned everything around (both literally and figuratively) and led me down the path to a very different aesthetic style than I expected to pull from these parts.  What started out as a string of experimental failures, then, morphed into something very unfamiliar, yet personally satisfying.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Build & full review of the 2017 LEGO Star Wars UCS Snowspeeder 75144

The latest big one is upon us!  It took one full day to get the build video up (long drive out to buy the thing, followed by the build, then editing & all), followed by another for the review, but my work with this impressive display piece is now complete.


Soooo... more MOCs then, while I still have the chance?

Another day, another LEGO train MOC

I wish this was about 5% less blocky looking, but it does me a great service by displacing an official LEGO loco from my layout.  Now I just need to deal with the engine from set 60052, and I'll be in great shape!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Stops Copies Me's

It's deja vu all over again as I duplicate (and ever so slightly improve) a locomotive I first introduced back in 2014. When it comes to train stuff, multiple is almost always better than one.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Custom LEGO "Blauhaus" Building complete

It has been built, given a name, and transferred to its intended home in New JANG City, and the entire process didn't even take long at all.  I'm going to keep the momentum going and start on my next structure soon.

Friday, April 28, 2017

More of the building of the building

The second floor is under way, and by the time of the publishing of this video, even more progress has been made.  In addition to an uncomfortable color scheme, I've pushed my left brain to try to accept an unconventional shape.  It has not, in fact, accepted it, but it has resigned to the understanding that I'm not listening to it right now.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New azure (?) colored LEGO building MOC begins

Today I began to tackle the first floor of a new building for the industrial zone in NJC.    The main reason for doing this at all is to use up some of my lighter blue & bluish colored parts, which overflowed their storage drawer weeks ago and haven't fit since.  Visually I think it'll be my loudest structure yet.  I'm nervous.

LEGO Pirates King Kahuka from 1994 - set 6236

Happy Throwback Thursday!  This is a very small set, but from a theme I've not often touched upon.

"Mega" aisle rework at a Toys R Us

This took me quite by surprise.  In the "Imaginarium" section of a TRU in my region I found the new Construx orange taking over the the aisle adjacent to the big 'L', complete with tons of branding, new product display nooks, and even a looping featured video with sound.  It gives me hope that Mattel dollars are really flowing into the brand and who knows, the distribution issues may even receive some attention.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

FAQ: Why don't you name specific Bricklink vendors?

Here's a question I've answered in varying levels of detail in the past, but only in 1:1 replies that have long since been buried under the shifting tectonic plates of YouTube comments.  Finally the idea developed inside my thick noggin to write this stuff up in a place where it can actually be found for more than a day.

Q: Why don't you name specific Bricklink vendors in your haul videos?

  • A1:  I don't keep track.
    • Most packages arrive without their seller account aliases on or inside them.  I make so many purchases for the Jangbricks channel, both online and at brick & mortar stores, that it would be an unnecessary headache to always match every single purchase to its precise original source.
  • A2:  I don't have any favorite sellers to recommend.
    • I have purchased from nearly 200 (two hundred) different Bricklink sellers, only 10% of which have I patronized more than twice. When I'm shopping for items that I want or need, I just search for them.  I don't browse a tiny list of "favorite" stores with my fingers crossed, hoping one of them will have 1/4th the stuff I'm looking for. No single seller has ever had anywhere near the breadth of stock to satisfy my needs from order to order, and that's actually perfectly fine.  The multi-seller marketplace system works, and it works really, really well.
  • A3:  You don't want to buy from the places I do anyhow.
    • You want the items you want presently, not the ones I wanted a week or two ago.  Even if you happen to want the exact things I bought, by the time my haul video is on YouTube the next 20 customers after me may have depleted that seller's stock, or another store may have listed the same items for lower prices. If you want to do like I do, then do like I do.  Look for the items you want, and buy them from sellers that have them in stock at reasonable prices and with good feedback.
  • A4:  Some people suck, and I don't need that drama.
    • Some packages do arrive with their seller account aliases on or inside them, and it would be no trouble at all for me to read off those names "on air."  However:
      • If I name some vendors on video because they include a card or printed receipt, but don't name others who don't (see A1, above), some of the latter will get all mad and make up a litany of slanderous fabrications about me, because, well, they* suck.  I don't need that drama.
      • If I name some vendors on video and proceed to have really bad experiences, some sellers will get all mad and make up a litany of slanderous fabrications about me because they messed up and I simply shared my experience honestly, and they can't handle that, because they suck.  I don't need that drama.
  • A5:  Some sellers are really anxious to exploit both me and you, and that annoys me.
    • I have, in the past, named some stores on camera when packages arrived with their seller account aliases on or inside them.  What followed almost every time were streams of private offers from other sellers whose eyes lit up green with dollar signs.  These were "offers" to use my channel as an advertising platform to get more money from you, my viewers.  "Buy from my store and plug me in your videos and I'll give you a permanent discount [sic]."  To be honest, there's nothing wrong with that, so long as there's no attempt to hide the deal, e.g., "Hey everyone it's YouTuber here and I just happened upon this great new seller out of the blue, all on my own."  However, I personally choose to keep advertisements and core content separate & distinct.  I like being able to tell you that if you see me plugging a product or service in my own voice, it's because I wanted to, not because somebody hired me to do so.  That's not to say anything against anyone who does honest product placements & paid, scripted ad content.  It's just not something I, myself, am particularly interested in, and I don't like being pestered to partake.

* By "they" of course I mean that small minority of exceptionally sucky people who tend to ruin everything for everyone else.  Most people are cool.  Most Bricklink sellers, in my experience, are awesome, fellow hobbyists.  I have to include disclaimers like this because of the aforementioned exceptionally sucky people, who are always on a mission to dissect and de-contextualize everything to fabricate something to get all mad about, because they suck.

Monday, April 24, 2017

LEGO Shell Gas Station & Repair Shop MOC updated walkthrough

Something, something, something, com-plete.  Again.  I did some rework to adapt this 4-year-old build to the newer city, where it now finally has a place of its own to live relatively long-term.  The arrangement of structures has changed significantly and one has been partly rebuilt, so I decided to do a fresh full tour.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

LEGO Rail Rider Blast - Classic Space inspired locomotive MOC

I love it when a plan comes together, but sometimes there's no particular plan and I end up happy anyhow.  I had earmarked the windshield of a spare set 1580 for a Rail Rider, but there were no further forethought.  An old gray base color seemed like a natural match, and after hours of throwing parts at a 9V train motor, what do you know, a bunch of them actually stuck.