Friday, March 29, 2013

LEGO 30152: Mining Quad - REVIEW

The LEGO Mining Quad (set number 30152) was released in 2012.  The set has 40 pieces and includes a single mining minifigure.  The Mining Quad set is decided to go with the other (much larger) mining sets.  According to Brickipedia, the Mining Quad set is the only mining set to not include at least one gold crystal.  Despite that omission, the set does have a few interesting elements.

My scanner didn't like trying to scan the polybag.

Let's rip open the polybag and see what all the set contains.

With only 40 pieces, I wasn't expecting a lot of cool stuff.  However, I was pleasantly surprised!  We begin with the instruction booklet which is amazingly small...I've placed the torso of the miner next to the booklet for comparison.

Speaking of the miner, he's awesome!

The torso has some nice printing and the helmet (with light) is a nice touch.  My favorite part though is the beads of sweat running down the poor guy's face.  It adds a nice element of realism if you ask me!

As for the actual build, with only 40 pieces it is basically over before it started...

For me, there are a few neat (and unique) pieces in the set including the yellow front (that molded bit is a single piece).  I also never saw the 2x1 brick containing a single stud and a hook before (you can see that is what is holding the orange light and handlebars).

I like the fact that the driver can actually hold the handlebars of the quad. I also think the handlebars work better than a steering wheel since this supposed to be a 4x4 vehicle rather than a true car.

The back of the card has two hooks - one of which holds the miner's jackhammer and the other hook holds the dynamite (another new piece for my collection).  There are also a pair of traffic cones, though I question whether a quad is the right vehicle to be using when needing to divert traffic.

All told, the set is quite nice for such a small package.  My polybag also included a couple of extra lights - something that is appreciated since small pieces can be lost easily with play.  Had I had this set when I was a kid, I would have loved it to be sure!

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  9
Play Value:  9
Kid Value:  9
Adult Value:  4
Overall:  8

This set scores high marks for play value and for kids.  I remember back when I was a kid I loved getting vehicles that also included signs for my roadways.  The traffic cones are perfect (and can serve plenty of uses in play).  The dynamite offers a lot of fun choices as well - and the jackhammer looks good with any construction scene.

For adults, I don't think the value is quite the same.  I suppose getting a few more bright yellow pieces is good for MOCs (and the minifigure is superb) but otherwise there isn't a lot to offer with the polybag.

That said, this is a polybag that you can pick up for under $10.00 (even still despite it being over a year old).  I think for that price this is a solid purchase!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

LEGO 6852: Sonar Security - REVIEW

Originally produced in 1993, the Sonar Security set is part of the Space Police II line of sets.  It's a middle-sized set in the theme topping out at 61 pieces.  The three large Space Police II sets have 140, 249, and 395 pieces each so it's a big jump from the middle sets to the large sets!

This is the third Space Police II set that I've reviewed (you can find the other two reviews by looking here and here).  Out of the three sets, this is by far the best set - not to mention the set with the best play features.

Essentially, the model is made up of three parts.  A main vehicle, a trailer, and a rocket.  The set comes with a single Space Police officer.

Beginning with the main vehicle, you can see that there are six wheels which gives the car a much more rugged look.  The front of the vehicle has a nice Space Police logo 2x2 flat brick (a piece that is always nice to have for your own creations as well).  The green windshield lifts up just enough to fit the driver in the vehicle (and the driver barely fits with his air tanks on his back).  There is a steering wheel which is nice.

While I happen to like the main vehicle quite a bit, the trailer is disappointing.

It looks ok when it is attached to the main car but when it's unattached it is essentially worthless because it only has one set of wheels.  I "cheated" in the photo and propped the trailer up on the satellite.

On the trailer is a rocket of sorts, probably a satellite actually since the set is called "Sonar Security."  Since the vast majority of the Space Police sets lack any sort of real weapons, I'm guessing most children would use the satellite as a rocket to bomb rebel bases.

All told, I give the Sonar Security set the following ratings:

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  4
Play Value:  6
Kid Value:  7
Adult Value:  3
Overall:  5

It's certainly not the worst set, but compared to many of today's more modern offerings this set pales in comparison.  For kids, the play value is fairly high (though a "bad guy" minifigure would have been appreciated).  For adults, the set doesn't offer much except for the Space Police logo brick plus the eight wheels and dark green windshield.

Friday, March 15, 2013

LEGO Series 2 Minifigures: Pack Rip #4

Although my LEGO blog is relatively young, this week marks a first that is worth commemorating.

The first week (Monday - Friday) with a post each day.  I guess I should order more minifigure bags to open on the blog in the near future!  For now though, let's turn our attention to the fourth (and final) Series 2 Minifigure bag.  So far, I've landed the witch, weightlifter, and skier.

Who will I get in the final package?

The Karate Master.

I can't say I'm overly impressed with this figure.  Luckily for me, it was one that I needed so at least there's some solace to be found in that fact.

The Karate Master does come with a pair of trophies, other than that there's not much to say.

Here is a final photo of the four newest minifigures in my collection (all from Series 2).

At this point, I have at least one figure from each of the nine series except for Series 1.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

LEGO Series 2 Minifigures: Pack Rip #3

I got the witch in the first (of four packs) and the weightlifter yesterday.

Which figure will I get today?

The Skier!

Yes, that was one of the top four figures that I was hoping to land in my blind packs.

The skier is a nice blue color (and goes with the female skier from Series 8 (which I also own).   It should also be noted that the skier comes complete with an extra ski pole (perfect in case you lose one).  I wish the Series 8 figure had an extra pole as well - then I'd have enough poles to make my own skier!

All things considered, this is a nice looking figure.  I like his smirk and racing outfit.  I'm sure I'll have more to say about him when I feature the skier in my ongoing Minifigure Museum Collection series of posts.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

LEGO Series 2 Minifigures: Pack Rip #2

I'm back with limited time...but there's always enough time to rip open another Series 2 Minifigure.

What will I get this time?  Let's find out without wasting any more time!

The Weightlifter.

Uhm, bleh.

As a collector, I'm happy because I needed the weightlifter.  Of course, before I started opening the four packs I didn't have any Series 2 figures so I needed all 16.  That said, the weightlifter is definitely not one of the more interesting figures for me - it probably ranks better than only a few other figures (the fitness instructor comes to mind).

Maybe I just don't like the gym.

Here's my Series 2 collection so far - two more packs to open this week, stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LEGO Series 2 Minifigures: Pack Rip #1

Yesterday, I showed off the four packages of Series 2 minifigures that I won off of eBay.  However, while holding unopened packages is a bit of a thrill, the real fun is in opening the packages up!  What minifigure will I get today?

Here are all the possible characters based on the pamphlet that came in the package.

And now, the first Series 2 figure that I ended up with is:

*drum roll*

The Witch.

Although the witch wasn't one of my top four figures that I was hoping for, it's still a nice character to get.  The detailing on her dress is quite nice, as is the broom.  I also like the fact that she has a green head - very Wizard of Oz like if you ask me.

I'm sure I'll have more to say about the figure when I feature it in my Minifigure Museum but for now let's just say that's a fairly nice figure.  I still have three more packages to open - come back tomorrow for the next minifigure package!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A LEGO Mail Day!

I recently ordered a lot of four packages of Series 2 Collectible minifigures from eBay.  Today's a happy day because they are now in my possession...

The blue bags are nice looking (though I wonder why they used almost the same color with Series 5)?  Maybe blue packaging sells better than other colors?  After all, pretty much all of the LEGO City sets are in blue packaging.

I might be on to something!

No matter, the four mystery bags are mine - and seeing as how I don't have any of the minifigures from Series 2, all I'm really hoping for is four different characters.

Of course, if beggars can be choosers, I'd hope for the following:

  1. Spartan Warrior 
  2. Pharaoh 
  3. Explorer
  4. Skier

Something tells me I won't be getting all four of my "top choices"...we shall see though.

What will I get?  Stay tuned to my blog throughout the week.  I plan on posting on figure each day (Tuesday - Friday).  It'll be something fun for me to do in the evenings after work!

Friday, March 8, 2013

LEGO 60006: Police ATV - REVIEW

The LEGO Police ATV set was released in 2013 with 51 pieces (plus two minifigures).  As you can see from the link to the left, the set can be found for under $10.00 both online and in stores (though if you decide to order it I'd appreciate you clicking through the link to the left to help support my LEGO fix)!

As for the set itself, besides the two figures (one cop and one robber), you also get a wheelbarrow and a police ATV.  Enough chatter though, let's open up the box and build the set!

The set comes in a box rather than a polybag, probably because you get two minifigures so LEGO wanted it to "feel" more like a real set.
Opening up the box, we find two plastic bags plus a 17 page instruction manual.

I was surprised by the length of manual given the fact that there are only 51 pieces in the set.  Once the two plastic bags are opened, you can probably almost figure out the assembly without any help via the instructions!

Nevertheless, I'll follow the instructions.  First up, the minifigures.

The minifigures are both quite nice!  Both figures have nice printing on front and back - the police officer's back says "police" which I like.  The robber's reverse side has a couple of keys attached to the rope that you can also see on the front of the thief.  I like the robber's beanie hat as well.  Unfortunately, the police man has what appears to be a black ball cap, I would have preferred it be dark blue (to match his vehicle).

Moving on to the next page of the instruction manual - the wheelbarrow assembly.

You actually have to assemble the wheel - though you do get an extra tire in the set which is nice (I would have rather have gotten an extra "wheel" bit though because if anything might break it'd be the small plastic pins that hold the tire to the wheelbarrow.

I do like the fact that you get four gems.  It's the perfect amount to use for a good cops-n-robbers scene!  The wheelbarrow is designed perfectly so that the robber can have a hand on each handlebar - another small detail that I appreciate!

Finally, we get to the main part of the set - the police ATV.

Partway through the build...

I really like the dark blue pieces, certainly the perfect shade for a police vehicle.  I also like the 1x2 brick in the front with the double hooks.  I would have loved to have had pieces like that back when I was playing with LEGO sets all the time!

The completed vehicle:

Not too shabby!  I would have liked a piece that said "Police" for the front (where the white sloped piece is now), even if that had to be a cursed sticker.  Even so, it's still a nice little model (and the tires are soft robber - perfect for an ATV-type vehicle).

Besides the extra wheelbarrow tire which I mentioned previously, you also get a pair of extra lights (one flat blue light and one flat yellow light).  The best extra?  An extra pair of handcuffs - something that any City collector will appreciate!  You can even use the extra lights as addition "gems" for the robber to steal since the colors match the two gem colors.

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  7
Play Value:  9
Kid Value:  9
Adult Value:  5
Overall:  8

It's hard to go wrong with a cops and robbers set for kids.  The gems make for a fun addition, something for the crook to steal by using the included red crowbar.  The police ATV is small (which is fine for a small set) but it suffers slightly by not having a dedicated "Police" brick on it.  I lowered the adult score a bit because there isn't much to do with the set besides build a small ATV.  There is, however, a lot of useful pieces for other scenes including the wheelbarrow, gems, and two pairs of handcuffs (you get an extra pair in the box). The two minifigures are top notch which help the overall score quite a bit!  All things considered, the complaints are minor - and for such a small set, you get a fairly good deal - plus a lot of fun for kids in a small box!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Minifigure Museum: Rocker Girl (Series 7)

Rocker Girl:  LEGO Series 7 Minifigure

Although I absolutely love the LEGO Collectible Minifigure line, not every figure is a winner in my book.  Case in point:  The Rocker Girl.  Perhaps it's because the closest I ever got to be a rocker myself was Guitar Hero (as seen above), but I simply don't have much interest in chicks with pink hair and lightening tattoos on their face.  I guess I'm old school like that.
As a whole, Series 7 is a fairly good series.  In fact, it was the Bagpiper that convinced me to start the whole minifigure collection so for that reason alone I'll always like Series 7.  That said, I firmly believe the Rocker Girl is the weak link in the collection.

Looking at the figure close up, you can see a few things:

For one, she is colorful!  I like the continuity of the lightning bolt on her guitar, shirt, and her face.  It's a small touch but it's a nice one.

The figure has fairly interesting print on her front.  The guitar is also nice and the hair's pink - and big!  I'm not sure I'd have much of a use for the hair piece if I were to ever get into making my own sets/scenes but I'm sure someone could come up with a use for it.

Unfortunately, the back of the figure (and the back of the guitar) offer no other points of particular interest.  It's plain, plain, plain here.

As I said in the beginning, not every figure can be a winner in my book.  And, if we are being honest, there has to be a worst figure in each series (though which figure that is will depend upon the person).  I am beginning to collect the LEGO City line of products though so at least this particular figure would fit in with that collection (unlike the umpteen Space fighters that LEGO has included in the various Minifigure Collections).

Friday, March 1, 2013

LEGO 1969: Bot Assistant - REVIEW

LEGO has produced three different iterations of the Space Police set.  The Bot Assistant set is the fourth smallest such set (in terms of number of pieces) from the second iteration of the Space Police line.  The set contains a mere 31 pieces and includes a single figure.  According to the LEGO wiki, the Bot Assistant set (also known as 1969 Mini Robot and 1969 Mobile Security Robot) "is a Space Police II set released as part of a Bonus Pack in 1993. It includes a wheeled robot and a Space Police II Officer."

It's hard to imagine that the Bot Assistant set comes with eight more pieces than the Galactic Chief set, but it's true!

Beginning with a look at the figure, it's a basic Space Police officer.  The figure does have a more interesting face than most figures of the time (printed speaker piece for instance).  The figure comes complete with a walkie-talkie and an air pack.

The bot assistant is kind of cool in its own right.  The model doesn't have a lot of pieces but it does manage to evoke a certain "spacey" vibe that I like quite a bit.

The "arms" of the bot come equipped with the fork like pieces but you could modify the bot in such a way to have it hold a welder, a stun gun, or even some handcuffs (if you used new pieces like those from the Series 9 minifigures).

The back of the robot leaves a bit to be desired however.  I would have liked to have seen some lights on the robot or else a compartment to hold tools.  Even so, for such a small set there is a lot of fun ideas possible.  It's certainly a much more playable set than the Galactic Chief set from the same Space Police series.

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  8
Play Value:  8
Kid Value:  8
Adult Value:  1
Overall:  6

For the most part, I think this would be a great little set for kids to play with.  Robots are cool and offer plenty of possibilities!  Unfortunately, the set doesn't hold up as an adult collector's set.  There's not much unique (or even all that interesting) about the pieces or the way the robot is built.  That hurts the overall score a bit, but not too much.