Sunday, December 31, 2017

Star Wars The Last Jedi set collection summaries

With the second wave of TLJ sets in the books, I've gone back to take a look at the entire lot together, first checking out the (brick-based) builds, then the series of minifigs that so far number far less than we got for TFA.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Epic set review season continues

Over the past two short weeks I've purchased more than $2,700 USD worth of new sets (above is pictured barely over 1/3rd of that) and published 42 videos of them.  That adds to the over 45 reviews made during the 5 weeks prior, with a sprinkling of hauls & throwbacks interspersed.  I haven't gone back to check previous years, but this feels like my most productive Winter season to date, though it's not yet over!  Still at least two dozen late-2017 & early 2018 items remain in the queue to cover before I can take a deep breath & relax for a moment or two. 

With this volume of production obviously I've not been able to keep the blog updated, and I must apologize for that; it's not a situation I'm happy with, but I'm running right around maximum capacity, requiring some things to fall by the wayside in favor of the top priority.  As always, if you want to stay on top of what I'm publishing on YouTube, the best thing to do is check the channel itself on a regular basis.  Keep in mind that even if you subscribe, and even if you click "the bell," YouTube will still often decide not to notify you of new content from me, instead prioritizing things "the algorithm" believes will lead to higher ad revenue for the company.  'Tis just how 'tis.

Well, back to work I go!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Another big win for the channel

A couple of months ago I wrote about a milestone I had achieved in a process with YouTube that got a little flag of what I simply called "trust" applied to my account.  That flag allowed me to proceed down a path that's very rarely opened to content creators as small and independent as me, and I'm happy to report that this week I have successfully reached the destination.

I have been granted use of the Content ID system, YouTube's semi-automated copyright protection framework.  The system is unfortunately much maligned due to a history of hyperactivity and abuse by improperly-trained and overly claim-happy administrators, but in the past year or so it received an important rework that has made it much more fair for everyone.  Besides, I have no intention to use this thing for evil.  I couldn't get away with it if I tried.  Remember, I'm the guy who got a what amounted to a cease & desist order from a LEGO IP agent for reviewing toys that were being sold... at LEGOLAND. 

What Content ID will do for the JANGBRiCKS channel is provide better protection from the vast re-upload industry; people around the world who blatantly copy entire channels worth of videos to try to skim off traffic and revenue from unsuspecting viewers.  Rather than relying on vigilant viewers reporting illegal copies of my work, and then having to use the slow and agonizingly repetitive manual copyright claim process, I will begin to see potential claims brought to me directly in the system, and I can act upon them with a few clicks.

Interestingly, Content ID is not fully automatic like I used to think.  Though I'm fully set up, I still have to manually activate it on a video by video basis, which means it'll be awhile before all of my existing content is protected.  I'm also going to take care to follow the terms of service and code of conduct in the most strict manner, which includes manually self-reporting any segments of videos that feature content that I did not fully create.  Mega Construx videos with little bits of video game footage, for example, need special treatment.  Older reviews with longer intros before narration begins require exclusions where I used licensed music versus tracks I produced myself.  I don't want anything to go sideways with this.

Though I have a lot of grunt work ahead of me, the most harrowing and uncertain part of the process, getting in the door, is behind.

LEGO Technic Racing Yacht 42074 review

I hoped this set would be good.  The main build is.  The second build makes it even better!

Full set of Mega Construx Destiny Series 1 individual figures reviewed

Mega's Destiny line has demonstrated, in my view, the pinnacle of their design and production capabilities since its inception.  That has certainly not changed with this latest lowest-cost product offering.