Affiliate disclosure: I sometimes use vendor & product links that can pay me a small monetary commission if you click them and/or make a purchase. Learn more about this. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LEGO City Police Helicopter 30222 mini-set mini-review!

This tiny lil' bugger is a limited-time free offering from LEGO Shop at Home with purchases over $35!

Updates! Updates!

I'm sorry I fell behind in updates to the blog, but I'm now caught up once again.  It has been a very busy month for me on numerous fronts!

One especially good thing through all of this time has been that LEGO System set builds have continued, and a massive stack of kits I had amassed has shrunk back down to a managable pile.  In fact, these reviews have been going by quickly enough that I will soon need to order more sets to keep me busy until the big Summer release.  Speaking of which, this will be the first time I've covered multiple LEGO product lines during a new release season, so this is going to be truly massive.  The Chima large action figures will be coming, along with Hero Factory Brain Attack wave 2. On the System side, there's a new Cargo line, a Coast Guard series, wave 2 of Galaxy Squad, and more!  Of course there are new sets coming in many other series as well, but I'm going to stay focused on the themes that I personally enjoy the most!

LEGO City Construction Site set 7633 review!

LEGO City Fire Boat 60005 build & review!

LEGO Maersk Train 10219 review!

LEGO City Tanker Truck 60016 review!

LEGO Space Center 3368 review!

LEGO City Public Works 5611 mini-set mini-review!

LEGO Police man mini-set 5612, mini-review!

LEGO City Passenger Train 7938 review!

LEGO Fire Helicopter 60010 build & review!

LEGO Metroliner / Amtrak train customizations update

More news on the Metroliner front with the addition of another Club Car and customizations to everything else!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More Hero Factory Brain Attack Wave 2 pics

The folks at ToyArk have organized & compiled together all of their Hero Factory Brain Attack photos here:

This gives more, larger views of the new characters Dragon Bolt, Jet Rocka, Stormer, Surge, Evo, Frost Beast, and Aquagon.

Custom it is, custom it will be!

Late this week I was thinking about my future LEGO city, specifically considering how my current and later train elements will fit in.  One of the stars of the show is my recently-built Horizon Express set, yet as I glanced at it for the nth time, I began to realize that I wasn't happy with it!

What?!  How?!  Impossibru! Nein! Nein! Nein!

Nah, seriously.  It's a great set.  Looks great.  It's a proper LEGO TGV.  It's just not right for me.  The problem is that anybody can buy it, and well, hundreds if not thousands of folks already have, with thousands more to come.  The big "aha" of the moment wasn't really about the H.E. set at all.  I just don't think I want any pre-made or instruction-built stuff in my city.  I'm all about custom stuff, and that's the primary reason I'm into LEGO at all.  The TGV, it seems, is doomed to be either taken apart, or substantively changed.  Even my top-of-the-want-list Metroliner setup needs customization to truly meet my desires, and so, last night I bought a second Club Car off eBay, and this evening, canibalizing my regular passenger car from the original set, I began modifications to my current assemblies. 

First up, my existing Club Car got a lower level conversion that's not worth highlighting in photos.  Instead of two staterooms with beds, it now has seats & tables, making it a full, normal, daytime passenger car, just double-decker.  More importantly, I did the first stage of modifications to the ends of the car, giving it control cab setup like Amtrak uses for its commuter trains.  This puts a more appropriate end cap on a train like this, rather than terminating at an open passageway that's waiting for another car to be hooked up.

Next, I modified my engine, to be an engine.  Just an engine.  Not an engine/diner combo.  The original LEGO design was a good use of parts and space and added a lot of play value, but the real GE Genesis engine has no passenger compartment, and now mine does not, either.  Again I was limited by parts on hand, but I made do and ended up much closer to where I want to be.  While I was rebuilding this whole thing (every piece rearward of the cabin was moved or altered in some way), I went ahead and modernized the power setup with a Power Functions remote controlled receiver, battery box, and motor.  It all fits neatly into the engine, with an externally accessible depressor to turn the whole system on & off.  The headlights are wired to work independent of the motor.  The receiver's channel switch is also accessible by removing an easy access panel at the back.

These things will be tweaked further, meanwhile my ravaged original small passenger car will be converted into a baggage car to go right behind the engine, followed by the new eBay Club Car, followed by my modified control cab car.

So be it, then! Just say "no" to the run-of-the-mill stuff.  Looks like my entire city is going to end up being just a giant MOC!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hero Factory MOC: Trackbot 34

Here's a little guy who could have been a major hero model, didn't quite make the cut, but ended up becoming quite popular & frequently-used regardless!

Hero Factory MOC: Lecius

Here's just one last, more detailed look at Lecius from the Zemai-4 story line (search it up on this blog or find it under the "The Order" topic)!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hero Factory Brain Attack wave 2 pics, my thoughts

Alright, a bunch of Hero Factory Brain Attack Wave 2 photos are out from the Nuremberg Toy Fair, and as usual, blogs and YouTubers have been taking these pics without permission (unethical as well as illegal) and reusing them to get a bunch of undeserved views.  I'm not going to do that.  What I will do, is link to one original source of photos, and give my initial thoughts on each set.

Jet Rocka
It's Rocka with a jet pack.  We've known this for quite awhile thanks to the CG teaser animation.  With a clear look at the final set, I can say that to me, this thing looks like a hot mess.  It may be a very functional set, fun to use with its folding actions, four flick missiles and two sphere launchers, but aesthetically, I don't get it.  Trans bright green, gold, dark silver, gunmetal, light bluish gray, black, white, various sticker patterns, red axles & blue pins, it's all over the place.  The highly visible Textures are highly mixed too, with the smooth armor pieces & Technic panels, distinctly stepped shapes of connected lift arms, open pin holes, ergh.  I am not impressed.  Again, probably fun for the younger kids to play with, but I expect it to get a lot of negative feedback for its appearance.

Click that link Read More link for my thoughts on all of the other Brain Attack Wave 2 sets.
Dragon Bolt
What happened to the gloriously large thing in the CG animation?  Its wings got clipped from ten segments each to five (in two designs), and the tail was shortened as well.  I can hardly believe the enemy of the incredibly bulky Jet Rocka is a pretty ragged-looking bagged set now.  The new exclusive head piece looks good and the body appears to have stayed true to the original, but this really seems like far less of a credible threat to Makuhero City.  There are hundreds of the other infested creatures, but just one Dragon Bolt, if I'm inferring correctly.  I feel let down.

Good to have Surge back, and he looks proper.  He's once again no longer one of the runts, and his color scheme and accessories look good.  Spinning electrical energy short staff on one side, drone launcher on the other, missiles and articulating wings on his back.  Again, proper.

Not bad at all.  Combines elements from a couple of his past forms to create a credible current hero. New shorter schoolbus yellow armor pieces, good. New 3L trans-blue armor piece, excellent, though only one of them? A little thin in the forearm department, and I wish the handle of his weapon had more bulk & texture to it, but the opening blades are a nice touch. Looks like prongs that would be used to grab his villain of choice.  Speaking of which...

To me, Aquagon suffers from more than a little bit of Scarox Syndrome. It's another short two-legged creature of nearly humanoid design, trying to convince us that it's an exotic underwater alien.  I'm not convinced.  The face piece is somewhat interesting to me, though it would surely look like a joke without the brain parasite behind it. I like the schoolbus yellow short bone pieces, the blue blades, the blue parasite, and most importantly, 3L trans-blue armor times two.  As a character, though, this one seems really uninspired. 

Hello!  Looked good in the teasier, looks better now that we can see the whole stance.  This may be the single best Stormer yet.  There isn't one thing that I can see of this figure that I don't like.  More trans-blue armor pieces are there, too, this time 4L. Interesting sholders, two weapons, one likely doubling as a shield, missiles (though small) on his back. Glorious. 

Frost Beast
This one looks pretty good, too.  One of Stormer's shoulder pieces used on the chest looks like a good choice, plus they added more up top fir a very icicly look.  More trans blue armor FTW!!!! Doubled-up spikes in white and red for a little extra contrast, big icy blade, trans-blue claws? Sign me UP!  Only things I don't like about this one are that the legs look too long & spindly for the character, and also too humanoid/heroic.  Looks like he has normal legs, plus shoes.  The feet especially do not fit the textural theme of the rest of the character.

I'm looking forward to this wave about as much as I was the last.  Namely, I'm excited about some of the sets, unsure about some, and unhappy about some.  Will I get all of them and review all of them and do what I always do to all of them? Of course; that shouldn't even be a question.  Will I give them all a fair chance whether or not I like them right now? Absolutely.  I've been surprised before, both for good and for bad, and I'm sure it will happen again.

Bricklink Haul Feb. 2 2013

Finally, the last in a long series of Bricklink hauls that all originated from a single brief, but very vigorous buying spree!

LEGO City Garbage Truck 4432 set build & review!

I wouldn't have expected a garbage truck to be such a clean & nice build, but this one really exceeded my expectations, by a lot!  It's an easy City build, but the end product is just fantastic.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

LEGO Horizon Express TGV train review 10233

Yes!  Another train!  I'm very much looking forward to messing around with more & more train-related stuff as the topic interests me greatly.  Though I will do at least one more full train set review, of course my primary goal is to make custom engines & cars.  For now, though, this wonderful TGV model is making me quite happy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Roundup for the week!

eBay Haul Jan. 31, 2013

 More components!  Technic & Power Functions stuff this time!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vintage 1981 LEGO Public Works Center 6383 build & review

I mean it when I say in this video that this will likely be the most special (to me) set review I will ever do.  There are many sets that I can recall drooling over as a kid, but very few I can specifically remember owning.  This here, was the earliest.  Released in 1981, I received it new at the time.  The one I've now reviewed is not literally the same set, but close enough.  I picked this one up from eBay in disassembled, but all-but-complete condition for a massive attack of nostalgic satisfaction.  What do you know, it's actually a pretty cool set, even today, more than three decades later!

LEGO City Fire Chief Car, Fire Motorcycle set reviews!

This one's a twofer!  The first two sets in the 6xxxx series are both small ones, and I got 'em!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Bricklink Haul that almost got away

This was recorded some time last week.  I lost track of what day it was filmed. At least it's a relatively short one!

LEGO City Excavator Transport 4203 REVIEW!

This is a set from the Mining sub-theme that I've been eyeing for the past few months.  Finally pulled the trigger on it!  I'm also trying a new format with the speed build & review separated out.  Let me know what you think.


LEGO City Flat Bed Truck 60017 review!

Nowadays when your car breaks down and you call for a "tow truck," you don't get a truck that tows at all; you get a car carrier instead.  That's what LEGO has recreated with this cool two-vehicle City set.