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Thursday, August 31, 2017

LEGO Star Wars The Last Jedi full wave mini-review

With the legal threat expired and LEGO having apologized, I'm able to get back to normal content, including stuff related to The Last Jedi.  For Force Friday II I've tried something new, with a single video not only bringing all of the sets together on-screen at once, but re-reviewing them rapid-fire style.  For folks who haven't seen my long-form reviews and who don't want to spend the time, this allows me to still provide a decent in-person overview of features along with my thoughts.

Want to buy any of these and also help support the channel? You can use my Amazon affiliate link to the most recent LEGO Star Wars sets (or browse/search for anything after clicking). Everything will be the standard price for you (when in stock), but I may get a very small commission.  Completely optional though and please don't buy anything you don't want :)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Why I took down my Star Wars The Last Jedi reviews (for a bit)

Update: On Aug. 31 LEGO posted an apology as comment on YouTube and explained that the takedown notice was a mistake.

Earlier this past day I abruptly took all of my LEGO SW:TLJ reviews offline in response to an email from "The LEGO Group Brand Protection" demanding the same.  This email carefully listed each relevant post on this blog and each YouTube video individually and closed with a very clear threat:
"Further legal action may be pursued if this situation cannot be resolved."
After meticulously evaluating every word of the nearly screen-sized message and investigating its source, I chose to comply first, question later, and question later I did with a reply (to which no follow-up response has been received as of this writing, though in fairness it hasn't been very long).  Within less than one minute of taking my videos down, though, there were fan questions as well as theories about the disappearances being posted on multiple videos.  Obviously I needed to make an explanation to viewers, and fast, so I put together a brief, but very carefully crafted, text-only message on my channel:
As noted there, I do not believe LEGO is the original source of this threat, though they delivered it fully under their banner (via an agency they employ).  As noted there, I am confident this threat is erroneous and unfounded and that I have committed absolutely no wrongdoing in the matter.

I will not lose any sleep over this.  I will not be calling for a boycott of LEGO or Disney over this.  I will not make a video of me smashing LEGO Star Wars sets with a sledgehammer over this.  I will not stop reviewing LEGO sets or building my LEGO city over this.  Heck, I have not lost any of my passion and love for LEGO products over this.  

Believe it or not, I have not even lost any of my feeling that LEGO is one of the most very most ethical of the money-minting big corporations in the world.  One mistake, how ever aggravating, does not change everything for me just because I was wronged personally.  There's a much bigger picture in life in general, and over-reaction based upon personal emotion is nearly always 100% detrimental and non-constructive.

Star Wars The Last Jedi products from LEGO and other companies have been appearing on shelves with no checkout restriction at ever more major chain stores across the United States over the past couple of weeks, coast to coast, and are now in the UK & Australia* as well (and even official LEGOLAND stores!!!?!!).  In just two short days, these things will be released at even more locations, at which point this whole ordeal will become fully moot and I will bring my videos back from the dead.

* As of Aug. 30 evening, user "Black-Key Productions" on YouTube reports that Myers in Australia has pulled TLJ sets from shelves and Melbourne's LEGOLAND Discovery Center has none out.  It's good to hear that some attention is being pointed in the correct direction, towards the actual problem.  I hope the significant social media buzz about the issue following by my decision to comply with the demands rather than quietly defy them will help reduce the mess of the next big release.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

LEGO Star Wars The Last Jedi Resistance Transport Pod review 75176

Here's one of the littler sets of the first wave of TLJ releases, and I think it may be one of the better.

LEGO Star Wars The Last Jedi First Order Heavy Scout Walker review! 75177

Funky!  What a bizarre design to bring to the Empire.  Er, I mean First Order.  I would expect this Jansen walker-inspired form of locomotion to be associated with a non-human fighting force.  It just looks all sorts of weird to me.

LEGO Star Wars BB-8 large scale model review! 75187

This isn't overtly branded "Ultimate Collector Series," but it's essentially a UCS BB-8, scaled similar to the previous large R2-D2 build.  It's not particularly large in person, but the features are pretty sweet.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

LEGO Star Wars The Last Jedi First Order Heavy Assault Walker review 75189

Hot on the heels of the official revelation of the AT-M6 walker, here's my first Episode VIII set review.

Mega Construx Destiny 2 Cabal Harvester Dropship review

The latest big set of the older-builder lines from Mega released this week and I spent a solid day and night sorting, building, and filming it.  The Destiny 2 hype could not be more real for me!  It'll be sad abandoning my three lvl. 400 characters with their 700+ hours of investment and especially my 2014 beta & legacy emblems, but the D2 beta showed great promise for the styles & pace of gaming I enjoy.

Anyway, let's have a good look at this 2,300+ piece Mega Construx set.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The biggest ever expansion to New Jang City revealed

After countless hours spent measuring potential changes in this room and simultaneously developing several dramatic redesigns of my layout in BlueBrick, a final plan was locked in and hundreds of pounds of LEGO and furniture have been moved.  This is only the first step, though.

Ninjago City 70620 vs. LEGO Creator modular buildings

This was a contextual comparison just begging to be made, so I took a few minutes to quickly make it happen.  It looks a lot better than I thought it would, actually, and almost seems like it could make sense in the fanciful world of LEGO.

Friday, August 18, 2017

LEGO Ninjago City build & review videos 70620

My latest two-day building & reviewing excursion has been dedicated to what I believe is the single largest & most detailed made-for-minifigs set yet.  It was time well spent and I look forward to harvesting many of these juicy delicious new parts for reuse!


LEGO Caveman & Cavewoman promotional minifig pack review 5004936

New freebie for August here featuring exclusive new variations of some older CMF figures.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More major city progress already

For the first time in what feels like forever, I was able to dedicate time to work on the city without having to film a highly-anticipated build or review.  It was nice while it lasted.  Back to total dedication to building & reviewing for another day or two, before getting back to what I really want to work on for a handful of days before the September 1 Star Wars deluge.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Big changes to the LEGO city begin!

I told you all I'd start tangible work on this big quickly, and here we go!  I'm pretty confident things are going to end up looking much different than this first video suggests.  I never expected to make as substantive of a change to this layout as has just begun to unfold, but it's going to make so many things, so much better, in so many ways.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

LEGO Ninjago Movie Master Falls review 70608

I've become so accustomed to LEGO's inclusion of transformative play features in nearly ever set that when there are none, I almost don't know how to react.  Is this real life?

LEGO Disney Cinderella's Enchanted Evening review 41146

It's hard to believe it has been almost 4 years since I reviewed the last version of this set, back when I was still a total newbie with a poor handle on audio EQ and hadn't yet figured out how to film white sets against a white background :)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

LEGO Juniors Ninjago Movie Shark Attack review 10739

I would expect a Juniors set for a LEGO movie to mostly recycle existing elements & themes with really simple builds, but this one introduces some pretty nice prints and has a decent amount of play value.

LEGO Ninjago Movie Spinjitzu Training review 70606

The LNM theme needs more truly small, impulse buy style sets like this!  Well let's be honest, every theme does :)

LEGO Technic Air Race Jet 42066 review

This build too much longer to complete than the parts count would suggest.  Each moving part inside seemed to be connected to at least 3 other moving parts in convoluted chains of beams & adapters.  Most of the mechanisms actually remained incompletely & only partly testable until very late in the assembly when vanity panels were being introduced.  Definitely not for novices.

LEGO Technic 2-in-1 Container Yard review 42062

This 2-in-1 set actually gives you the option of two pairs of builds, each being functionally similar, though quite different in overall design.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

LEGO Ninjago Movie Manta Ray Bomber review 70609

This set left me with the most unusual feeling that LEGO included too much and would have been better trimmed back with less details & features.

LEGO Ninjago Movie Lightning Jet review 70614

This is nice!  A different look, a different build, very high swooshability, a feature-rich compact bad guy vehicle, and a good selection of figures.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

LEGO Ninjago Movie mini Ice Tank polybag review! 30427

This thing is like high art for the incredibly restrictive constraints placed upon polybag set design, with a low part count and extreme ease of assembly required.  I definitely could not have done better, myself.

LEGO Ninjago Movie Garma Mecha Man build & review 70613

They should have released a puppymonkeybaby set instead.

See the video.

It'll all make sense.



LEGO Ninjago Movie Destiny's Bounty build & review 70618

Bravo, LEGO, bravo.  With the notable exception of one missing type of detail, this is close to perfection for a set that has to be buildable by the mass market.


Friday, August 4, 2017

LEGO Justice League Battle of Atlantis 76085 review

More sand green, a few new part colors, one more over-achieving Parademon.  How I mention to spend 8 minutes looking at this very small set, I may never understand.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

LEGO Ninjago Movie Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon review 70617

Here's another of the larger sets from the first wave of the Ninjago Movie theme.  Its aspect ratio is completely different from what I was expecting based on the box art!  One dimension is much greater than anticipated, but another is disappointingly average at best.

DK Books LEGO NEXO Knights Build Your Own Adventure set

I've not tried out any of these Build Your Own Adventure books prior to this week, but they're really, really good.  I bought mine for the included figure and build, but was impressed by the main content.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017