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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mega Bloks Hierarch's Shadow minor update

Immediately after wrapping up my Hierarch's Shadow Convoy review, I found myself unable to escape a burning desire to see the vehicle with an open cockpit and more substantial turret.  I still planned to quickly disassemble the thing (as usual), though, so I invested only a brief bit of time a desk with a spare parts bin to make just a few small changes to put my curiosity to rest.

Friday, August 29, 2014

JANGBRiCKS City Minecraft corner update Aug. 29, 2014!

New happenings in my LEGO minifig-scale Minecraft corner!  All of the new stuff was done just last night, and as always, when there's an update, I post an update!

The next update will be posted, as always, the next time there's an update! :)

Mega Bloks Halo 97521 Hierarch's Shadow Convoy review

Out of all sets Mega Bloks announced for this year, this one here has generated the very most requests for a review.  Now that I have the thing in hand, my feelings about it are decidedly mixed and sure to ruffle some feathers!

LEGO Classic Town 6627 Cabriolet / Convertible from 1980!

Very old, very small set here, about as basic as you can get for a vehicle offering -- the car doesn't even have a roof!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mega Bloks Alpha Series transparent Active Camo minifigs

I finally made time to film the three candy-styled transparent figures from Mega Bloks' Alpha Series mystery packs.  These are the undocumented "chase" figures that are rarer than the "ultra rare" partial-AC Brute stalker from this series.

Here's a bonus pic of a couple normal figures with some of the new transparent bits swapped on.  Do we call these partial active camo as well?  Or is it energized armor? Something else?

FAQ: Why I say both positive & negative things in reviews

Q: "Why do you do say both positive and negative things in your product reviews?"
  • Because that's what a product review is -- an evaluation of the product in the context of its intent and a report on its good and bad aspects. If I only looked for good things to talk about, that would be an advertisement.  I'd also see it as a disservice to viewers, who deserve balanced & thorough narrative. I, personally, never trust any source of information that is 100% positive (or negative) about things, because I know they're consciously looking for one side of things and intentionally ignoring the other. Now, most of my "JANGBRiCKS" video reviews are mostly positive, because most of the products I review are very good and enjoyable.  When I encounter something that doesn't stand up to the level of quality or value I expect, though, I say so.  If I think something is a really bad deal or poorly made, I say so.  Thus, both positives and negatives are covered in my reviews, as seems appropriate to me. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

LEGO Friends 41034 Summer Caravan review!

Here's another LEGO Friends set that's new for Summer/Fall 2014, but unlike most from this season, this one is not from the jungle sub-theme.

Mega Bloks Halo Metallic Series Cobalt ODST drop pod review!

Yet another single-figure set here, a rolling update that actually involves a completely new product with the 2014+ super-articulated figure system.

Mega Bloks Halo Sector 12 NMPD Police Cyclops & Offword Cyclops reviews!

Two new Cyclops videos here for the Mega Bloks Halo fans, one being a completely new variant, just released for the first time, the other being a "rolling update" to an earlier release, now including one of the better-articulated 2014+ figures.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

LEGO Hero Factory Invasion From Below MOC: Shadow Beast

It has been quite a long time since I last found inspiration or motivation to make a custom Hero Factory MOC, but here's one now!  As usual, it's one of those things where I looked at one part, then thought about other parts, then started assembling, eventually leading to... a thing!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

JANGBRiCKS & the Ice Bucket Challenge

"Ice Bucket Challenge."  It's "in" and "viral" right now, and I've gotten multiple "nominations."  I will not indulge any of them.  I support charities with my checkbook and have donated substantially to ones that I have personally sought out and taken the time to actually understand and invest in.  When I want to help someone or something, I do so, tangibly and directly, not because it's "in," and especially not because of peer pressure.

Folks who care about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease (or who are crazy about the "ice bucket challenge" but really don't really know anything about its intended purpose) should visit the ALS Association website for basic learning and to discover some of the options for aiding real care, research, and awareness efforts.

LEGO Ultimate Collectors' Series Batman Tumbler set review!

Here's my video review of the huge new 1,869-piece "The Tumbler" set from LEGO, which includes two new minifigures, one of which it seems will remain permanently exclusive to this set!

Mega Bloks Halo Metallic Series Elite & Copper ODST Drop Pods reviewed

Two new videos three covering late-Summer 2014 Mega Bloks Halo minifigure releases for ya here!


Friday, August 15, 2014

LEGO System 6437 Beach Buggy review

Here's a very small set from what some would call LEGO's own "dark ages," when weird was in, but not cool, and new themes seemed to be launched every few weeks.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

LEGO Mixels Series 3 Wiztastics reviews!

I've now reviewed all of the official builds for LEGO's Mixels Series 3 sets, including the green Glorp Corp, tan Spikels, and here, the purple (!) Wiztastics 41524 Mesmo, 41525 Magnifo, and 41526 Wiswuz.

LEGO & Mega Bloks SpongeBob SquarePants minifigs compared!

With total disregard for the wrath of super-fans, I have dared to put a LEGO minifig head-to-head in a fair fight against a directly comparable follow-on from Mega Bloks!  Which do you think wins this round?

LEGO Mixels Series 3 Spikels reviews!

Three more Series 3 Mixels, this time the tan Spikels 41521 Footi, 41522 Scorpi, and 41523 Hoogi.

JANGBRiCKS LEGO City update & walkthrough Aug. 13, 2014

Folks have been getting increasingly antsy about my lack of MOC & city update videos lately, but fortunately I was able to get a little work done just in the past few days!  The reason for so little activity in this realm?  A little thing called "everything else in life," including of course the over 90 other videos I've published since my last July city update alone!  I can't do everything at the same time, all of the time, but I sure do try!

LEGO Mixels Series 3 Glorp Corp Reviews!

LEGO Mixels series 3 is upon us, and I've got 'em!  Here's the first tribe, the green Glorp Gorp swamp dwellers.  This includes 41518 Glomp, 41519 Glurt, & 41520 Torts all in one video!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LEGO Hero Factory 40117 promotional beast polybag reviewed!

I knew it!  I knew there would be another Hero Factory Invasion From Below set!  This one was just pointed out on Brickset yesterday and I immediately built it, but didn't get a chance to get it on video until this evening.

Mega Bloks Halo Spartan Tribute Pack Review! set 97520

Wow, for once I got lucky; something new was spotted in stores by other folks, and I was able to find it at my store as well!  Usually my area is way behind and I have to constantly dig around for brief online availability.  Pictured above is one single TRU exclusive (in the US at least) set that includes different 20 colors of Spartan IIs including two in active camo and one glow-in-the-dark "zombie" variant.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mega Bloks Spongebob Squarepants Invisible Boatmobile review!

When I saw the mass of transparent parts included in this set, I could not resist; I had to have it.  The Spongebob license only recently transferred from LEGO to Mega Bloks, so this was also an opportunity for me to check out how things would change with the new design & manufacturing teams.

LEGO Technic 42023 Construction Crew set Review!

Another mid-year 2014 Technic set here, and this is an unusual type of 3-in-1 set:  You build all 3 models at once!  Included are an excavator, articulated front loader, and dump truck, each with two gear-driven actions each, plus one other moving part or assembly.

Friday, August 8, 2014

LEGO Classic Space Blacktron 6832 Super Nova II set review

More vintage LEGO Space, from Blacktron 2 this time!  I picked this up as part of a big overseas set order from Bricklink over a month ago and finally snuck in an opportunity to get it on video.

LEGO Classic Town 6655 Auto & Tire Repair from 1984!

Well, then!  I could give the cliche, "Doesn't get much simpler than this!" line, but we all know that'd be wildly inaccurate :)  Nonetheless, this is another of those exceedingly basic LEGOLAND 4-wide vehicle sets from the mid-80s, with just a couple of small additions on the side.

LEGO Hero Factory 44023 Rocka Crawler Invasion From Below build & review!

Here it is, the very last of the Hero Factory Invasion From Below Wave 2 sets!


LEGO Friends 41038 Jungle Rescue Base review!

Out of the mid-year 2014 LEGO Friends wave so far, this is the largest, and in my opinion, the best!  Really fine work creating an attractive set with good play value.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mega Bloks Halo 96970 Anniversary Edition UNSC Troop Pack review!

Here's another "classic," celebratory, special edition set from the Mega Bloks archives.  This was a Toys R Us exclusive in North America.

Mega Bloks Halo 97010 Orbital Banshee Blitz review

Not a new set, but a good one.  Still quite a few sets remain from the fairly brief history of the Mega Bloks Halo line.

Mega Bloks Halo 97339 UNSC All-Terrain Mongoose review

Finally I got my hands on this small set!  I first read of it hitting the streets probably a month ago, but it has been exceedingly difficult for me to track it down!

K'Nex Titanfall Ultimate Angel City Campaign set Review! 69500

You may have seen this by now, as I started the upload & auto-publish last night and simply walked away from the computer.  I bought this solely in response to viewer requests, going straight for the biggest set in the line!  The sheer volume of licensed Titanfall merchandise that comes out of this one box is rather astonishing, but I'm afraid not all is well in Angel City.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

LEGO Technic Volvo L350F Wheel Loader 42030 video review!

With my history in remote-controlled models, my lifelong interest in earthmovers, my experience operating heavy equipment, and my fledgling interest in Technic, I had to pick up this set.  The build was no small project, but the finished product is every bit as impressive to behold as it looks on the box, if not more.

LEGO Classic Town 6658 "Bulldozer" front loader from 1986!

Here's another classic LEGOLAND construction-themed set from the 80s.  I figured this would be fun timing to put up in conjunction with the new mega-Technic set :)

LEGO Hero Factory Tunneler Beast vs Surge build & review videos!

One more Invasion From Below Wave 2 set down, one more to go!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mega Bloks Halo Revenant Raid review! set 97517

Man, there's just no end to the new releases!  Every time I think I've added the last brand new set to my list, something else gets added!  This one showed up pretty suddenly, so I was quick to jump on it and get it all reviewed up, so I can move on to the next!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

LEGO City 60009 Helicopter Arrest set Review!

Here's an "Elite Police" set that was officially released for 2013 (technically hit stores in December 2012) and is still available today.

LEGO Duplo Big Royal Castle reviewed! set 10577

I don't remember exactly when it was that I first floated the possibility of reviewing LEGO Duplo sets, but it definitely wasn't recent.  I've put off taking the plunge release after release, but the August 2014 batch finally made it happen.

LEGO Classic Town 6361 Mobile Crane reviewed

Here's a piece of classic LEGO construction equipment from the mid-1980s.  It's a fairly large build for a 4-stud-wide vehicle, and I think it looks good and works quite well for what it is.

Mega Bloks Call of Duty 2014 gold astronaut figure

This year a mass-produced Call of Duty promotional/giveaway "exclusive" figure was also added to the fray.

I suppose an Assassin's Creed exclusive is in the works as well?

Mega Bloks Halo 2014 cyan Spartan figure

Here's a quick look at the 2014 cyan Spartan in Mk. VI armor with new articulation.  This was given out at San Diego Comic Con and on the Mega Bloks Collectors Facebook page.  Like last year's "exclusive" figure, there are a bajillion of these out there and they're not at all hard to get ahold of.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

LEGO Ideas Exo Suit 21109 set review!

A new LEGO Ideas release is in the books, and I've got my review here of Peter Reid's neo-classic space Exo-Suit mech set, complete with "turtle" mini-build and two green astronauts!  Enjoy, and spread the word!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Chugging along!

Hi!  How are you?  I'm doing pretty well, myself, just a wee bit tired.  I've been working through reviews pretty continuously again and haven't had breaks to do much of anything else.  No MOCs, no how-to's, no general updates, no FAQs.  Over the past 7 days, 26 videos have been published, all reviews & builds done for reviews!  At least for a few days last week I did check out the brief Destiny beta, so that was fun, but I simply compensated & evened things out by sleeping less.  D'oh.

There is definite light at the end of the Mega Bloks release tunnel, but another small LEGO release just hit overnight.  I now have over 40 sets in my "to review" queue, in my possession, not counting things that are on pre-order and/or awaiting release.  Definitely swimming against the current here, and in July, the current won heartily.

In more cheery news, the video of my LEGO shopping mall passed some pretty surprising milestones in just over 3 weeks of existence.  Already over 8,000 likes & 2,000 comments, it also became my 4th video to pass the 1 million view mark.  The last to accomplish the latter, my February custom city walkthrough, took 4 months.  This reminds me, MOCs -- man, it'll be nice to have time to work on them again.  Some day!

Gotta keep chugging along!

LEGO Hero Factory Breez Flea Machine set 44027 build & review!

Here's another Invasion From Below wave 2 set, leaving me with just 2 more to go.  I remember being not much of a fan of this when I tried to make a custom version months ago.  Now that I've gotten the real deal, the mechanism on the back makes significantly more sense.  Unfortunately, it just doesn't work so well.


Mega Bloks Halo Spartan Assault Battle Pack review! Set 97336

Two named Spartan characters, an active camo unit, plus one additional figure in this new set.

Mega Bloks Halo Spartan IV Battle Pack II re-review! set 97208

This figure pack includes a highly desirable armor variant in clear active camo with the all-new articulation system.  Hard to complain about that, yet I manage to anyway ;)  Another interesting thing about this product is that it's a revamp -- I reviewed the original, with the same set number, in January.  They've completely replaced the two Spartans and kept the Covies.  All opinions aside, it's a big step up in features & value.