Play on: NEXO Knights and Portmanteau words

Image (c) The Lego Group

Lets get Phygital!

So earlier in the year, Nexo Knights was unleashed on the world.  A castle sci-fi mash up theme with weird angular pieces, a garish color scheme and an associated cartoon. Then the sets hit the streets, to a generally positive reaction: certainly the sets have.  With their novel angles, distinctive colour scheme and an soon to be seen cartoon, marketing people were starting to use this strange new word.  Phygital. A portmanteau word: Physical play, linking in with with a digital experience: Or…some way to get the kids to play with the toy, because there is an associated video game and TV show. The NEXO Knights were set up to be a triple media experience: Lego sets, that interacted with the video game; A cartoon that inspires children to use of construction toy; A video game featuring characters from the cartoon, set up as a quest based battle game with powerups. Powerups you collect through obtaining lego sets, other merchandise, and watching the cartoon.

The Rambling Brick has already had a look at some of the new pieces and sets associated with NEXO knights…inspiring many of our early blog posts. You can see them here, here, here and here.

But… how about the other aspects of the phygital world? Specifically the less physical and more digital. The animated series is self explanatory: the characters are developed, and grow over the course of the first series- some more so than others.  These help to guide set based play, and provide stepping stones for a child’s own story telling.  It is far more a Kids’ Show rather than a Family Show, particularly with the brand of story telling involved. There is also no doubt, looking at the characters that this is a LEGO series, with the graphic style being very minifig oriented.  The game however warrants a look into in its own right. Continue reading

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The Rambling Brick: NEXO Knights Survey

IMG_9812International Public Survey Months

June and July, 2016 are International Public Survey Months: Australia will have a Federal Election, the UK will have the BrExit poll, and the US will enjoy their Democratic and Republican party conventions.

In the spirit of Public Surveys, I have put one together.

NEXO Knights: How do you feel?

Earlier this year, the LEGO Group released the NEXO Knights.  This Sci-fi Castle Mashup theme has surprised myself with how much fun it seems to be!

I will be discussing the phygital (physical/digital) strategy in my next blog post.  However, As I have been writing it, I realise I don’t really know how real people relate to the three arms of the theme: the LEGO sets, the Merlock 2.0 game and the animated series screening on Cartoon Network. I won’t know for sure at the end of the survey, but I will have a better idea…

The Survey

I would love people to fill in this survey: 10 questions, multiple choice and no personal information will be collected.  I intend to collate the results and publish them in this blog by the end of July 2016.

You can find the Survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YHVTJ69

Feel free to share it with your friends, relatives and LEGO user group

This survey is NOT supported by the LEGO Group, but is to allow me to write something vaguely related to public opinion, rather than my own skewed views. And because I’m using a free survey monkey account, I’m limited to only 100 respondants, so sign in now!

And it’s more fun than following the Australian Election…

Play well

 

Sticking Around: Adhesive Labels and Existential Angst- Speed Champions75871 Ford Mustang GT

 

To Stick, or Not to Stick: That is the Question…

Stickers.  To apply them or not? For AFOLs, this comes up as a regular topic of conversation. Its up there with instructions vs free build; Yellow vs realistic coloured skin tones; space vs castle; police vs firemen.  All of these questions plague AFOLs (and indeed other FOLs) for a variety of reasons.

There has, in recent years, been a tendency to increase the number of stickers in LEGO sets, allowing for an increase in detail shown in a product that could not be otherwise achieved by bricks alone.

There is no doubt that the use of stickers can greatly enhance the appearance of a set – but is it currently getting out of hand?

The Ford Mustang GT

I recently got hold of the new Speed Champions Ford Mustang GT 75871 (RRP $AUD22.95) with a 20% discount (reduced to around $19).  For me it is the most appealing of the current single vehicle sets – I suspect because it represents the car that came with our first Scalextric Set…just before lego started to get in the way. This set has 3 bags of pieces, along with another small bag containing hubcaps: the piece count comes in at 185.  The car comes in at 18 studs long, and 7 studs wide (The chassis is 6, but allowing for the wheel arches at approximately half a stud wide each…) and just shy of 6 studs (5 bricks) high.  There is a choice of hubcaps available, in line with the contemporary Mustang GT options

Continue reading

An Unexpected System Problem: What I learned from 71204: LEGO Dimensions: Doctor Who Level Pack

Public health advisory: This post contains extreme trivia regarding illegal connections for various LEGO pieces.  And Doctor Who. Whilst all care will be taken by the author, the rambling brick accepts no responsibility for the exacerbation of any obsessive symptoms that develop after reading this article.  You have been warned.  And yes, I’m feeling fine, thanks. But perhaps I should get out more!

I like Doctor Who.  My first exposure was on a black and white television in country Victoria, sometime in 1975.  Episode 3 of Planet of the Spiders. Pertwee’s swan song.  Four weeks later I had my first experience with Tom Baker: the end of episode 3 of Robot.  Hat. Scarf. Teeth.  Between this, and an early reading experience based on a seemingly infinite collection of Target novelisations I was hooked(before downloads, legal or otherwise, blu-ray or DVD, we had VHS and Betamax video tapes.  These did not yet exist.  The only economical way to re-experience Doctor Who was through reading books, frequently written by Terrance Dicks as well as other writers, that documented the Classic version of the Television Series. Books are what we used to read before audio books did the process automatically for us…)

Should I even tell the English readers of this blog that in the late 70’s through to the end of the Sylvester McCoy run, Australians had Doctor Who on television, around 6:30, Monday to Thursday? For most of the year.  We experienced repeats.  Mainly Pertwee, T Baker, Davison repeats, but repeats nonetheless.  You didn’t even need to read the novel to know what happened if you missed the first broadcast. No. I shouldn’t tell them.  That would be cruel and unusual. And then they’s mention our last Ashes defeat. Repeatedly.

IMG_8812Fast forward forty years, and the news breaks on LEGO Ideas: after years of an inferior brand having the Official Doctor Who Construction Toy License, there is now to be an official LEGO set.  Released in time for Christmas 2015, it featured the TARDIS, the Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi versions of the Doctor in minifigure form, along with Clara Oswald, a Weeping Angel and a Dalek.  This occurs almost in parallel with the release of a Doctor Who Level Pack for LEGO Dimensions, a ‘toys to life’ video game, that only appears to cost $AU125…but really costs much much more.  This pack features Doctor Capaldi, the TARDIS and K9.  Then there came a Fun Pack featuring a Cyberman and a Dalek.  Possibly the only time ‘Fun’ and ‘Cyberman’ can be legitimately combined in a sentence.  Daleks had previously appeared in the phrase: ‘Hours of fun with this new Remote Controlled Dalek.’

This is not a thorough review of that Level pack.  It’s not even an attempt at a review with a significant word count.  I will say that it is fun. If you like Doctor Who and have Dimensions, you should get it. If only for what happens when you use the Doctor in normal game play after playing through the Level.

But this is not that story.  This is a story about table scrap and and a serendipitous discovery. Continue reading