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Thursday, July 26, 2018

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle advanced microscale model reveal

Earlier today (for me) LEGO revealed the 6,020-piece nanofig-compatible Hogwarts Castle display model to great applause.  I took this as an opportunity to try, for the first time, a pre-release, photo-based narrated walkthrough style of video on the new "Quick" channel:

I'm happy with how it turned out for an initial effort, and hope to refine & better personalize the idea in the future while also dramatically improving my efficiency so I can put these out somewhat frequently without noticeably impeding content on the main channel.

Oh, and the Hogwarts Castle itself.  Yeah.  It's pretty proper.  Check out the vid.

LEGO Minecraft The Skeleton Attack review! 21146

I don't know why, but when I started building this set I felt like I had really been missing LEGO Minecraft stuff.  The set itself isn't at all ground-breaking, but I think it successfully captures a piece of the gaming world with useful physical play considerations.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

LEGO Ideas Voltron full video review

Voltron is yet another subject matter I was enamored with for a period of my childhood!  I watched as many episodes of the show as I could back then, but for merch I only got a coloring book, but I stared at the big combination 'bot toys at stores with wanting eyes.  As a young adult I sought out a used form of one of the better vintage toy sets and I have that on display to this day.  With the recent (and dramatically better) reboot of the animated universe on Netflix, I've found myself wanting a second display model to bolster my collection.  Well, thank you, LEGO, for making the shopping process rather easy.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Introducing my new, quicker LEGO review channel

Over the past few years I've really relaxed into a natural groove with my brick-based construction set review videos, speaking at a comfortable pace in what for me is a normal tone.  This has led to my videos getting longer on average, and a pretty continuous stream of viewers have explicitly expressed appreciation for this trend.  However, more than ever, we live in an on-demand, TL;DR world and a lot of people have no time or patience for long-form content.

Thus is born a new channel.  I've put a lot of thought, research, and planning into this, and I am very committed to the undertaking, or at least the attempt.  I've uploaded a handful of new short-form videos to kick things off, and you can expect to see me backfill the channel with dramatically shortened forms of some of my older content in addition to covering many new products in parallel.

This content absolutely needs to be separate from the main JANGBRiCKS hub as it will serve an audience that does not fully overlap my core.  I will not create a "quick" version of every review I cover on the original channel, though, and I will not stop producing the latter either.  My style will evolve and the new channel's name may change, but I'm giving this thing a serious go for at least a couple of seasons.  You'll also likely see me try some slightly different (but still rapid types) of content.  If it goes nowhere, I reserve the right to stop making the quick vids and just leave existing ones online as an archive.  If things go decently well, I'll continue to hone the formula(e).  Let's go!


LEGO Ninjago City Docks reviews 70657

At long last I got my hands on one of these at a reasonable price from overseas, weeks after its initial release, yet still some time before it graces retail shelves in the Western Hemisphere.  It does not stand up to the huge presence of the main Ninjago City before it, but I believe it packs an even greater density of detail, making it a very worthy standalone product.


LEGO Creator James Bond Aston Martin DB5 review

This deceptively complex vehicle was revealed & released rather suddenly (after some fairly empty teasers) this week and I was quick to buy it and get lost in the clever packaging of its spy gadgets.  Though nowhere near as bad as the Technic Porsche 911 GT3, this is definitely a model that requires building it hands-on to appreciate what it's made of.  As a static display model, it does not deliver good value.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

LEGO Hogwarts Express (2018 edition) motorized with Power Functions

In my review a couple weeks ago I expressed my desire to attempt a motorization of the latest (and best) Hogwarts Express, but shortly thereafter I began to lose faith that I'd find the time.  Thankfully a very productive week left me with the better part of a day to work on this (and motivation to boot!).

In the video I discuss some of the viable options for attempting your own conversion, along with pros & cons, and I partly dissect my attempt to fully show off the arrangement of components & methods of connection.  I believe my choice of M motor + PF 1.0 IR receiver in the locomotive & battery in the tender is one of the more difficult setups to pull off, but it allows remote speed control, provides good driving traction, and leaves the passenger car completely untouched for a fairly clean look in motion.

Beyond the Brick week

Brothers John & Joshua Hanlon of the highly-recommended Beyond the Brick on YouTube savagely invaded my home and alas, I was unable to scare them off with the combined counter-attack of an alien monster and a vicious attack dog.  Thus I cannot stop them from releasing I believe four videos this week on their channel, two of which are already up:
Since you're surely going to go watch at least one of those, you might as well subscribe while you're there to see some much more interesting content once the annoying stuff with me in it finally passes.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

LEGO Harry Potter 2018 set reviews

I recently ranted about the release of many sets in Europe in late May that won't come to the Americas until August, but pendulum of pain has already swung back across the Atlantic in record time.  These five Harry Potter sets were officially released on July 1 only in the U.S., not even neighboring Canada, and won't be made available in the birth-country and fictitious setting of of the series until a month later.

Again, as always, I must encourage LEGO fans to refrain from blaming other entire countries for being unfair and "always" getting "everything" first.  It's truly a pendulum, and LEGO spreads the envy & angst around the globe throughout the year.  Blame the manufacturer for these miserably staggered releases, not fellow fans who happen to have earlier access to new products one season (but will be on the other side of the equation the next).  There are enough things in the world about which people are aggressively tearing each other apart these days; little plastic toy bricks needn't be another.