Blizzard Exclusive Set: Omnic Bastion 75987

IMG_2931For the last few months, we have been teased with announcements of a forthcoming range of  LEGO® sets based on the video game Overwatch.  Last week, out of the blue, Blizzard, the publisher behind the game, announced immediate availability of the BlizzCon Exclusive ‘Omnic Skin Bastion75987’ set from their Gear Store.

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It’s a lovely model, but is that “Blizzard Exclusive” sticker worth the price? 

This was a bit unexpected, but offered some interesting opportunities as a retail experience.  The set is available more places than shop.lego.com can supply, and shipping is (by Australian standards) pretty reasonable.

Now, I don’t play Overwatch, but my son, a couple of weeks out from his final school exams has been quite a keen player, and was excited to see this new set. I ordered one shortly after it became available and then proceeded to wait. I did not have to wait long, however.

The set cost $USD25 plus approximately $USD10 for shipping to Melbourne (although adding extra sets only increased the shipping by 1-2 dollars per set – you may wish to purchase in conjunction with a friend or two and split the shipping). Having placed my order on October 12th, the parcel arrived via Federal Express on October 16th.  I don’t think I have ever received LEGO  from overseas quite so quickly. Continue reading

Things are Pretty Cool in LEGO® City

IMG_2816In recent years, the LEGO® City sets released in June have featured an adventuring/exploration theme. The folks from the City have been Exploring the Deep Sea (2015); Volcanos (2016) and the Jungle (2017).  After a stand-alone Arctic theme in 2000, and a successful excursion from the City in 2014, we return, once again, to the polar regions.

I have found myself picking up a couple of sets in this theme, but would like to focus on one particular set: 60194 – the Polar Exploration Truck. As the other minifigures and vehicles might creep into photographs today, I’ll disclose the presence of the 60190 Arctic Ice Glider(RRP $AUD9.99) and 60191 Arctic Exploration Team (RRP $AUD15.99) floating around in the build space as I took some pictures.

There are a few things that I find myself immediately warming to with this year’s Arctic sets: Continue reading

Bringing Down Brother Eye with Batman and Batwoman [Review 76111]

In which I am astounded to find a LEGO Batman set to related to a relatively recent storyline from the comics.  In putting the set together, I reach new highs, new lows and breathe a sigh of relief as I get my hands on a colour I hadn’t seen for a while…

Batman, Batwoman and OMAC. (Oh My!)

IMG_2768The 76111 Brother Eye Takedown set is part of the DC Superheroes line, and was released in the second half of 2018.  I was intrigued by the existence of this set: while an ongoing part of the DC (comics) Universe continuity, Brother Eye and OMAC are not necessarily widely recognised by the non comics reading public. In it’s current guise, Brother Eye comes across as a DC satellite equivalent of Marvel’s Ultron: an artificial intelligence with the ability to take down Earth’s Greatest Heroes.  I was even more intrigued by it’s presence here as I was reading the ‘Lonely Place of Living’ as well as the ‘Batmen: Eternal’ storylines in Detective Comics when I saw the set announced.  Brother Eye, the OMACs and Batwoman play an important part of these storylines. Beyond this I shall not elaborate, as I don’t want to hit you with too many spoilers, and I don’t want to give away the fact that I have misplaced a couple of issues, making a complete rereading of the storyline impossible for me at present.

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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:

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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

Going to Great Heights to Build: Cute Pug 30542

In which I find a local source of LEGO poly bag sets, select one and construct it mid flight, before returning my tray table to the upright position.

I’m on a journey. I am currently travelling to Japan to attend Kobe BrickFest.

I left home early this morning and have a couple of connecting flights, with the main leg between Brisbane and Tokyo taking around eight hours. And around that there are a couple of connecting flights.

One of the neat things about travelling to Japan compared to Europe is that the time difference is only one hour in the past. However, as such I should probably aim to keep my body clock on track. So inbetween the LEGO Ninjago Movie and other inflight entertainment, I thought I’d put together a little LEGO set. Continue reading

So You Want to Build a Roller Coaster? Roller Coaster 10261 (Review)

In which I assemble the new 10261 LEGO Roller Coaster, build a couple of white pillars, troubleshoot a skipping chain and consider what I’ve learned. It’s a big set. I wrote a lot.  Why don’t you prepare yourself a drink, sit back and work out whether this is a set that you would like to put together.

IMG_0307-2The appeal of a roller coaster is hard to deny: action, excitement, lights noise, adrenaline, nausea, terror and relief, in various orders. When we first saw the new LEGO® Roller Coaster Track appearing in the Joker Mansion last year, it wasn’t long before people began to speculate about how long it might be before we saw one appear in the Creator Expert Theme Park series.  About eight months it turns out. I’m glad we got that cleared up. When the Roller Coaster (10261) was announced early in May, many people, myself included, were impressed by the build: a moving model almost always has more appeal than a static display. But it raised a number of questions: How easy would it be to power? How stable would it be? How easy might it be to draw inspiration for other Roller Coaster themed MOCs? And just how challenging would it be to build all those white pillars?

Some of of these questions were easily answered. Others might take a little more thought.  [Do you just want to skip forward to my a video of the run? Click here, or scroll through to the end]

I was invited to review the Roller Coaster by the AFOL Engagement team at The LEGO Group, and I hope I might be able to answer a few of the questions posed. Read on and see where this review takes us.

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