Voltron 21311: An Idea Whose Time Has Now Come [Review]

From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the Universe comes a Legend: The Legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe! A mighty robot, loved by Good, feared by Evil. As Voltron’s legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy…. 

During this review, we will build the lions, form Voltron, consider the lessons learned and finally , compare it with a prebuilt Voltron toy… 

IMG_2751I was excited to be offered the opportunity to review LEGO Ideas 21311 – Voltron .  As I previously confessed, Voltron was not a major part of my upbringing. However, I have been catching up in recent days with the 1980’s cartoon series ( which in turn was based on the Japanese Anime ‘Beast King GoLion’). Others may prefer to take in the current Dream Works Series, Voltron: Legendary Defender, for a more contemporary tale, with a reduced serving of cheese.

After a quick revision of a parallel childhood, I felt qualified to look at the box.

It is a good sized box: similar in size to that which contained the Saturn V Ideas set, released just over twelve months ago. This box, however, contains 2321 elements, waiting to give a hefty dose of nostalgia to any child of the 80’s. In fact, you don’t have to wait to open the box for that feeling: the box art cries out 1984, with the background artwork shading from red to purple to the blue of a startled, with an underlying grid drawn in for good measure. Voltron, the giant, compound super robot almost fills the cover.  In fact, it is printed slightly smaller than actual size. The back of the box shows how Voltron is made up of the individual Lion elements, as well as highlight the sword and shield. The process of the LEGO Ideas program is also outlined.IMG_2757.jpg

On opening this set, I had a pleasant surprise. Many sets that I have opened this year seemed to have had their ‘contents settle during transport,’ with many boxes being barely half full of LEGO Bricks. This box appeared to be almost 80% full.  Excitedly, I emptied the box over the floor revealing the bags inside: all 16 of them!  These came with six manuals: One detailing the construction of each lion, and the final one showing how to build the shield and sword,  transform the five robot lions into Voltron, and provides some background information on the television series as well as some notes from the design team and the fan designer. The manuals came in a sealed plastic bag with a sticker sheet.  This sheet however, only had five stickers, for numbering the lions (as occurred occasionally in Voltron: Defender of the Universe, but not the original Japanese series). For the purposes of the review, I did not apply them. You could argue in favour of using printed elements here, but I suspect many will prefer the look without stickers.

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Nicely packed: the 6 manuals for Voltron, as well as the relatively minimalist sticker sheet.

In the cartoon, each of the lions is piloted by a human, and it is a little disappointing not seeing the pilots represented here. However given a variable crew roster, and uniforms not matching up to the colours of the lions, not to mention the relative scale of the lions to a human, a minifigure representation might not be entirely appropriate.  Indeed, there is not even space inside the heads of the lions to contain a microfigure. I’m sure someone out there will develop a creative solution.

Construction:

Continue reading

Building Contest: Ant-Man And The Wasp- it’s a matter of scale

In which I go to the movies, and open up for entries for a new building challenge.

76109_alt1.jpgI recently caught up with the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) offering, Ant-Man and The Wasp at the cinema.  I really enjoyed the way that this film was far more human and lighthearted than some of the recent MCU offerings. Not the least of the reasons being the setting ( contemporary earth, immediately prior/in parallel with the events of Infinity War) and the fact that the eponymous heroes of this story are normal human beings, with powers given to them through their suits. It was also an easy film to get into if you missed the previous Ant-Man film, and had a only passing knowledge of the MCU.

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Unfortunately, I have missed the last few sets featuring Ant-Man (Ant-Man Final Battle 76039 and Super Hero Airport Battle 76051, featuring both the Micro scale and Gi-Ant Man Figures.) and am unlikely to get my hands on the SDCC 2018 Exclusive 75997 Ant Man and the Wasp. Fortunately, where there is a new MCU film, a LEGO set is sure to follow, and this one is no exception.  Quantum Realm Explorers 76109 features figures for Ant-Man, The Wasp and Ghost.  The vehicle build looks fun, and I am looking forward to being able to build it at some stage in the next few weeks. (There has been something BIG providing a sizeable distraction, but you will hear about that soon enough.)

Time for a challenge:

In the mean time, one of the things that I enjoyed about the film was the way that our heroes were able to change their size, from normal size, to microscopic and indeed to be just a little bigger than you might consider to be healthy.

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Have a minifigure depict a tiny character, with a huge world around them…

So… here is that challenge: build a model that exploits one of the varied scales that an Ant-Man minifigure may be confronted with: it might be a giant coffee cup, or a microscale truck or… anything. Just build it to scale with a minifgure representing either a shrunken or enlarged Ant Man.

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Or build to depict a world where a standard minifigure represents a giant…

Builds must be able to fit on a 32 stud square baseplate, but they can be smaller, and some overhang is allowed.  Both Physical and digital entries are allowed, but you should include a minifigure to help give a sense of the scale involved.  Builds do NOT need to depict a scene from Ant-Man and the Wasp. You may use any minifigure: we don’t expect you to already own an Ant-Man minifigure.

To enter:

submit a single photo to ramblingbrick@gmail.co, post it by direct message on our Facebook page ( don’t forget to like and follow it while you are there)  or use the hashtag #ramblingantman on flickr or instagram.

There will be two prizes of a copy of 76109 up for grabs, courtesy of the LEGO AFOL Engagement Team.  One for a minifigure portraying a giant character, and one for a minifigure portraying a tiny figure.

Entries will be judged according to:

  • Adherence to the theme
  • Humor
  • Technical quality of the build.

Judging will be by previous winners of contests and raffles here at the Rambling Brick. They know who they are.  Entries will close on 15th August 2018 at midnight, Australian Eastern Standard Time. The standard rules and conditions apply.

Do you have any questions? Why not ask below. In the meantime, look out for our review of this set in a few weeks.

Until next time,

Play Well

Mech-Ception: What I learned about Mech Construction from 72004: Tech Wizard Showdown.

After feeling disappointed at my own ability to build a good looking mech for a LEGO Rebrick contest, I set out to examine 72004: Tech Wizard Showdown in search of ways in which I could improve my design. Along the way we discover the mech suit in a mech suit: Mech-ception!IMG_2744

IMG_2682In the closing hours of the LEGO Rebrick NEXO Knights Mech Building Challenge, I thought I would give it a go.  After all, how hard could it be? I’d recently returned from Japan BrickFest, where I had the chance to study Mechs and Giant Robots aplenty. I’d even attended a mech building workshop where some key concepts were presented and discussed. It seemed that everyone could do it. In retrospect,  this was an over simplification of the facts on my part.

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In retrospect, there are so many issues with this Mech.  In fact, I filled a paragraph with them.

I built a mech as a MOC. The final result was a bit meh. The Black and green colour scheme seems to work, BUT, I can identify a number of faults: the legs are disproportionately long, and it is quite wobbly; the shoulders look a bit weird.  The feet look like they belong belong on an AT-AT, there are way too many studs on display.  It looks like something thrown together by someone short of parts, trying to get a mech built in six hours.  Which coincidently it was.  However, it got me thinking about what would help to make it look like a reasonable Mech Model.

So I thought I would have a look at the final Mech in the NEXO Knights line: 72004 Tech Wizard Showdown. I wish I had looked at it a few weeks ago. As I built it, I learned a few important lessons in mech construction. Continue reading

Losing Our Sense of Proportion… 6590 Vacation Camper vs 60182 Pickup and Caravan [Reviews, comparison and speculation]/Covert Celebrations IV

Dreaming of a summer caravanning holiday, our comparison of LEGO TOWN and LEGO City continues. Has there been an ongoing covert celebration, with Town sets from twenty, thirty and forty years ago being reimagined in 2018?   Comparing 1988’s Car and Caravan with 2018’s Pickup and Caravan, we also ask “Why, after 30 years, does a family vehicle towing a caravan still seat only one minifigure?” We also discover where LEGO Children come from…and wonder where other characters have gone…

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This year, we have considered parallels between LEGO City 2018 and LEGO Town 1988, along with other sets from 20 and 40 years ago.

We have asked the question “Is this a covert celebration of the 40th anniversary of the minifigure, and LEGO town?” An official answer has not been forthcoming. But this won’t stop me from ongoing speculation, with no grounding in reality.

Today I would like to look at another set with a parallel set from thirty years ago: Pickup and Caravan 60182  – from the 2018 LEGO City Great Vehicles sub theme; and Vacation Camper 9590 from LEGO Town in 1988.  So what do these sets have in common? Two adults, a caravan and a vehicle to tow it behind. The vehicle in question has only one seat, in both instances. The differences are far greater…

Let’s take a closer look at both sets: Continue reading

Voltron: what a great idea…

21311_Front_01Back in 1984, a Tuesday if I recall correctly (lets be honest, some of these facts are lost to the mists of time), I was starting to get a little grown up. Or at least imagine that I was. Playing with LEGO® Bricks was not holding the appeal that it once did, and cartoons were starting to feel a little childish. I was on the edge of a slippery slope. As such, Voltron – Defender of the Universe passed me by. Well, not entirely: I knew it was there, but I didn’t feel compelled to dash home after school to watch it.

Fast forward to 2016, and my son sits me down in front of Netflix, and introduces me to Voltron- Legendary Defender. No longer compelled to be a cool 16 year old, I find it quite engaging, with occasional random cows.

A a couple of months before the new series debuted, Leandro Teyag (len_d69) submitted his version of the classic Voltron LEGO Ideas.   Continue reading

Architecture Faves: The final rebrick contest

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Do you have a favorite building, structure, or landmark? Even if it’s no longer standing or you’ve moved away, architecture marvels can still be meaningful to us. In this last LEGO Rebrick contest, we invite you to build your most beloved place, city, or building using LEGO bricks!

One grand prize winner, will win:

•       21019 The Eiffel Tower, 21028 New York City, 21029 Buckingham Palace, 21030 United States Capitol Building, 21032 Sydney, 21033 Chicago, 21034 London, 21035 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum®, 21036 Arc de Triomphe, 21037 LEGO® House, 21039 Shanghai, 21041 Great Wall of China, 21042 Statue of Liberty, and an upcoming 2018 LEGO Architecture product not yet revealed

•       $200 shopping spree on Shop.LEGO.com

•       Winner’s certificate

We will also have two runner ups, who will win 21032 Sydney, 21033 Chicago, 21034 London, 21035 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum®, 21036 Arc de Triomphe, 21039 Shanghai, 21041 Great Wall of China, 21042 Statue of Liberty, an upcoming 2018 LEGO Architecture product not yet revealed, and a Winner’s certificate.

The contest ends August 2nd, learn more and enter at:

http://rebrick.it/architecturefaves

 

This might be the final Rebrick Contest, but don’t worry: these contests will be moving over onto the LEGO Ideas Contest platform, from the start of September.  All content on Rebrick will no longer be accessible at that time.  This will move all of crowdsourced content onto the one platform.  The Ideas platform has also just undergone a general revamp as well.  Don’t forget to check over there for new competitions from LEGO, come September 1st. Until then…

Play Well.

 

LEGO® Masters Australia

Are you Crazy About LEGO Bricks and is your imagination limitless?

Do you think you have what it takes to build for glory in the biggest battle of the Bricks that Australia has ever seen?

EndemolShine Australia are looking for passionate builders to take part in a new Television How: “LEGO Masters”

Interested? Go to www.LEGOCasting.com.au for further details. They are looking for teams of two, both adult and minors to take part.

Are you up for the challenge? Why not leave your comments below.

Play well.