Monday, April 28, 2014

More LEGO Movie Minifigure Packs!

Amazingly, my local Wal*Mart still had some Collectible LEGO Movie Minifigure packs from the same box that I got the last bunch from.  The box had been picked over a bit - but since I still need 12 of the 16 figures, I figured it wasn't a big deal.  Let's hope I am correct since I grabbed another three packs to open today!

Unfortunately, my good luck of avoiding duplicates ended with the very first pack.  I ended up with my second Abe Lincoln figure.  Since I just featured him in my previous pack rip post, I won't bother showing him again.

Moving on to the second pack where I get my first new figure!

This is the Taco Tuesday Guy - a figure that I really liked when I first saw it (especially for the printed bowl piece - very cool)!  You'll get a better look at that when I add Taco Tuesday Guy to my Minifigure Museum Collection on the blog.

Finally, the final figure from this purchase (which happily was another one that I needed):  Where's my Pants guy.

He's a goofy figure (and really, the perfect figure to summarize the LEGO Movie)!  It's amusing that LEGO used yellow to signify the poor guy has no pants on...but it works well so kudos to LEGO on that.  I believe this is the first floral printed torso that I've received too, so that's something.

Overall, I think my three minifigures last time were a better selection (and more fun) than this batch (though I do like the Taco Tuesday a lot).  Getting duplicates is always a bummer - but it does open up the door for potential trades!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Trio of LEGO Movie Minifigure Packs

I was in Wal*Mart the other day and (of course) I had to check out the LEGO section.  You can probably imagine my surprise to find a brand new, completely untouched box of 60 LEGO Movie Collectible Minifigure packs.  I don't think I've ever stumbled upon such a thing - usually if I happen to find minifigure packs they have all been thoroughly searched prior to me finding them!

Anyhow, I reached into the box and grabbed three packs - and since I currently have only one figure from this series, I'm hoping that I didn't grab a pack holding President Business!

Pack 1:

First up, a figure that featured fairly heavily in the promotional ads for the movie:  Mr. Abe Lincoln.  The Lincoln figure comes with a beard/top hot piece (the beard is attached to the hat - and the entire contraption is made of soft, squishy plastic) and a printed tile which begins "Four score and seven years ago..."  Pretty cool stuff!

Pack 2:

The second pack featured the "guy dressed up in some crazy outfit" that LEGO has in most recent minifigure series (other examples include the lizard guy, bumblebee girl, and gorilla guy).  The panda guy comes with his own little panda, which is either incredibly cute or incredibly creepy...  As for his tie to the movie, honestly, I don't remember the Panda guy at all.  I only saw the LEGO Movie once though - and there was a lot going on during almost every frame of the movie so I could have easily missed him.  That said, I think it's safe to say that the Panda guy didn't have a big role (in fact, most of the figures in the collectible series had small roles in the movie).

Pack 3:

The final pack also contained a new-to-me figure:  Wild West WyldStyle.  Of the three figures, this is the least interesting to me...and yet, probably one of the more useful figures should I ever decide to build some type of wild west themed display!  Unlike the previous two figures, WyldStyle had a large role in the movie...but her time in her Wild West get-up was short lived.  This figure would go well with LEGO Movie 70800 Getaway Glider but unfortunately I don't have that set (at least not yet)!

All things considered, I'm plenty happy with the three packs.  All three were different - and all three were needed for my collection.  Should you have any of the LEGO Movie figures available for trade (or figures from any of the other series that I'm still working on) shoot me an email!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The LEGO Movie: Summer 2014 Sets (A Preview)

Awhile back, LEGO released some information about their summer wave of the 2014 LEGO Movie themed sets.  I haven't had a chance to pick up any of the current LEGO Movie sets - but I know there is at least one set in the summer wave that is a "must have" for me.  

Which one is it?  Read on to find out - and in the process I'll provide my initial reaction and review to each of the three upcoming sets.

First up, set #70814:  Emmet's Construct-O-Mech

LEGO's description of the set:
Get ready and Prepare for the ultimate battle with evil Lord Business. Join creative forces with Master Builder Emmet to make this massive Mech. Open up the cockpit and place Emmet in the driver’s seat. Knock over anything that gets in your way with the swinging wrecking balls. Grab a Skeletron in the Mech’s excavator bucket or rotate the roller to iron out the opposition. But hurry before Lord Business glues the whole world together. Includes 3 mini figures with accessories: Emmet and 2 Skeletrons, plus an Angry Kitty figure.
What I think of it:

I like the fact that you get Angry Kitty and Emmet.  I don't know that you need two skeletons - I think maybe (yet another) robot baddie would have been better just for variety's sake.  As for the set itself, I know that robots and mechs have a strong fan base among LEGO collectors...but I'm not one of them.  For me, it's a nice enough model but unless it is on sale for super cheap, I have no plans on picking this one up.  

Next, #70815 Super Secret Police Dropship

LEGO's description of the set:
Oh No! Lord Business’ Robo Police have invaded Cloud Cuckoo Land in their high-tech Dropship and are in hot pursuit of Emmet, Batman, Green Ninja and Johnny Thunder! With a pair of Robo SWATs at the controls in the dual cockpit, fire up the rocket boosters for lift-off. Once airborne, turn the rear control to rotate the boosters and surge forward in fly mode. Fire the stud blasters and target the heroes with the rotating front cannons and rooftop rifle. Open the sliding side panels to access the weapon rack and extend the zip line to lower the Robo SWATs to the ground. Make a smooth landing and then try to capture Emmet and co in the Dropship’s removable prison. Includes 8 minifigures with weapons and accessories: Emmet, Batman, Green Ninja, Johnny Thunder and 4 Robo SWATs.
What I think of it:
I love the fact that you get Batman in this set - and if you've seen the movie you know that Batman is an excellent secondary character!  I don't have the same love for either the Green Ninja or Johnny Thunder (in fact, I don't think I even knew who Johnny Thunder was when I first read the name).  I also like that this set clocks in with over 850 pieces - large sets are fun!  In general, I expect this set to perhaps outperform the other two summer sets - mostly on the strength of eight minifigures (especially thanks to Batman).

The third and final set is the one that is a must have for me:  70816 Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!

LEGO's description of the set:
Go intergalactic with The LEGO® Movie Benny’s Spaceship, spaceship, SPACESHIP! with detachable wing flyers plus Robo Police interceptor.
Benny may have spent too much time in space with a lack of oxygen, but this wacky character is also a Master Builder. Help him construct the Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! of his dreams then help the heroes to evade the Robo Police interceptor. Open the Count down for lift-off in Benny’s dream Spaceship!
What I think of it:
In a word, LOVE.  Benny's Spaceship (x3) is the second largest LEGO Movie set to date (the only larger set being Metalbeard's Sea Cow which has 2,741 pieces).  I loved all things classic Space as a kid - so this set truly is a must have for me.  I love the old school space logo making a return - and the Benny character is my favorite from the movie (and I know I'm not alone on that thought either)!  I do wish you get a non-disguised version of Emmet but otherwise this set is pretty much perfect!  

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Overall, I think the LEGO Movie summer release line-up is strong, though extremely limited.  I find it a bit odd that LEGO didn't include any micromanagers in any of the summer sets after (I believe) having a micromanager in every single LEGO Movie set up until now.  I also think it's a bit odd that there aren't any smaller (i.e. cheaper) sets to be released in the summer - you would think LEGO would want to time the next wave with the release of the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray (I hope to get the movie on Blu-Ray on release day)!  No matter, any wave of sets that features a spaceship as nice as Benny's (with all the old-school logo love) is a winner in my book!  

What do you think of the summer LEGO Movie sets?  Will you be picking any of them up or is this wave a "miss" for you?  Let me know!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Surprise LEGO Minifigure in my Mailbox (Courtesy of Futuron of my Youth)!

A few days ago, a blog reader by the name of Phil (who goes by Cure-all Pill and writes the blog Futuron of my Youth) contacted me saying that I had the wrong minifigure for one of my old Space Police sets.  While I certainly appreciate it anytime someone corrects something that I have wrong, Phil one upped the usual person by actually sending me the correct figure!

This isn't any old figure though - it's Captain Magenta (who wears an awful lot of green which is amusing)!

According to brickipedia, Captain Magenta was introduced back in 1992 and was supposed to be the leader of the entire LEGO Space Police force.  As a kid, I loved the Space Police line (and pretty much all the other space factions as well) - but I never had the actual Captain of the squad.

Now I can happily report that I do indeed have the leader!  As for others who might want to acquire Captain Magenta, he is only available in two different sets:  6813 Galactic Chief (which I reviewed here) and 6984 Galactic Mediator which I never owned when it was released nor do I own it now (though maybe that will change someday)!

Many thanks to Phil who so graciously sent me my own copy of Captain Magenta - and when you are done reading here make sure you check out Phil's blog too!

Friday, April 11, 2014

LEGO 10232: Palace Cinema - REVIEW

The LEGO Palace Cinema (set #10232) is the third set in the Creator Modular Building line that I've had the opportunity to build.  I've previous built (and reviewed) the Pet Shop and the Fire Brigade.  How does the Palace Cinema stack up to the two previous sets (both of which I loved)?  Read on to find out!

The Palace Cinema contains 2194 pieces which means it slots in right between the Pet Shop (2032 pieces) and the Fire Brigade (2231 pieces).  As you'll see from the full review, the Palace Cinema's piece count is inflated a bit because of all the small pieces included.  In fact, I found the build processes of the Pet Shop and the Fire Brigade to both be more satisfying for the most part (though some of my favorite individual builds occurred in this set).

I think I need a bigger surface to use for spreading out pieces when building a set of this size!

The set's directions begin with instructions for building the included limousine car.

Presumably, this car is for the young child actor who is arriving at the theater for her movie premier.  The car also comes with a driver which is a nice touch!  I found the build of this car to be interesting - and it's much nicer than the fire truck that was included in the Fire Brigade set.

After building the car (which is a fairly simple build), it's time to begin the actual Palace Cinema.  The first step?  Lots and lots of tiling.

The "Hollywood Star" pieces are printed tiles which is nice (though this set does use a fair number of stickers as you'll see a bit later).  The rest of the tiling serves to build the sidewalk along with the requisite drainage system that all LEGO Modular Building sidewalks have.  Unlike the previous two models that I built, this one took a lot longer to complete the sidewalk because this is a corner building for the street.

After laying out all the tiles for the sidewalk, the set ramps up in interesting builds quite quickly.  First up, the main lobby of the theater.

The main floor contains two major components.  There is a snack stand (complete with drinks, popcorn, and snacks) and a ticket booth with two windows facing the sidewalk.  As you can see from the above photo, there is also a small plant which adds a bit more "class" to the theater!

Once the first floor is complete, the building instantly looks exactly like a large theater.  The front doors are a particularly nice touch - both are solid and "feel" right when you open them.  From the above photo, you can also see a few black spotlights that are on the outside of the building.  The designers at LEGO are famous for using "weird" pieces in the modular building in unexpected ways - can you tell what the lights are made out of?

Did you guess underwater spear guns?

Yep!  A few extra pieces (including a Technic pin) will turn your average underwater spear gun into a great looking spotlight for a building.  Very cool!  The LEGO modular buildings are great for learning new techniques and for learning new, unexpected ways to create various items!

After building the light pole for the sidewalk (something that is included for all LEGO Modular buildings), you can see that the ground floor of the Palace Cinema is basically perfect!  The brick accents, the lights, the sidewalk accents...the entire thing works for me.  From the above photo, you can also now clearly see the two ticket windows (complete with slots for sliding cash in and ticket stubs out)!  Once again, LEGO has mastered all the little touches.

After buying your ticket, it's time to head inside the double doors and get some snacks.  Unfortunately, it wasn't easy to get great photographs of the inside - so I did the next best thing.  Here are a shot looking through the Cinema's windows - think of them as LEGO-eyed view of the set!

From this view, you can see the drink and popcorn machine along the far back wall. You might also be able to make out the cotton candy on the left side of the snack stand.  The stairs (visible to the right) lead up to the second floor which is where the actual movies are shown.

Before moving on to the second level, here's one last look at the ground floor - here we see the various window advertisements for fake LEGO movies.  Each of the ads are actually stickers - and you get two copies of each sticker since you have to stick them on both sides of the window.  In my case, I have the middle window empty because when I took this photo I hadn't yet applied the special "LEGO Movie" sticker which I was lucky enough to acquire!

As I mentioned above, the second floor is where the movie screen resides.  The build begins with a basic assembly of the floor and then two rows of chairs.  As you can see, the theater will hold six guests each of whom gets their own reclining chair.

The theater also contains a movie projector - and the video on the "screen" is actually a very large sticker.  I like the curtains around the screen though, it makes for an old-timey theater look.
The above photo shows the same theater room from the opposite angle.  Notice the seat for the movie attendant - and the awesome projector mini build!

The final bit for the second floor is to add a stairway up to the roof.  In a real theater, I'm not sure the stairs would be quite so easy to access but otherwise I like the second floor enough.  Unfortunately, as with the Pet Shop, the second floor definitely pales in comparison to the first floor.

Once you finish the first two floors, you have basically completed the interior of the building.  However, unlike the other two modular buildings that I own, the real attraction of the Palace Cinema is the outside.  The third and final step is to build the roof - and the large marquee and Palace sign (two of my favorite builds in any LEGO set that I've ever completed)!

Before we get to the fun builds, we have to do some boring and extremely tedious builds.  The roof of the theater may look really nice when it is done - but having to piece together that many 1x1 round bricks was annoying - and it was even more annoying since they weren't all the same color.

Despite my complaints about the process of building the pair of roof pieces, the final result looks amazing (and it's worth building in order to come up with that particular look for the roof).  This is an example of "padding the piece count" that I talked about earlier - but at the same time the final appearance is quite nice.  I also like the "Asian" type decorations - you can tell this particular theater was modeled after the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

At this point, the building is complete - all that's left to do is build the large Palace sign and the theater marquee.  These two mini builds ended up being my favorites in the entire set - what a fun thing to have saved the best for last by LEGO designers!

The marquee looks absolutely perfect.  So perfect, in fact, that I'll overlook the fact that all those letters are actually stickers (one on each side and two sticker on the front).  Notice the gold cheese slopes all along the top of the marque - it's perfect for a fancy theater!

Moving to the final major build of the set - the Palace Theater sign.  The sign is completely brick built (which continues the tradition of having something spelled out in bricks on each modular building - the Pet Shop had "Pets" spelled out while the Fire Brigade set had it's year of construction spelled out "1932").  The Palace sign looks the same on both the front and back - which meant there was some symmetric building to be done to get the colors just right.  I also like the long string of yellow lights down the front (more piece padding to be sure - but it also looks great in the finished product)!

Speaking of the finished product - how about that:  The Palace Cinema complete!

Woah!  The sign and marquee simply snap into place once you have them built which transforms the final structure into something truly magnificent.  Here are a couple more "action shots" just for fun - and to give you the full flavor of the set.
Ordering a ticket for the movie premier!
The movie's young heroine arrives (with paparazzi of course)!

As you can probably tell from my review, I'm mostly satisfied with the Palace Cinema.  In fact, I would say that I'm much more than simply satisfied...I love this set!

My modular town now consists of three different sets - and together they look amazing.  Since the obvious question is how does the Palace Cinema compare to the other two, I'll attempt to explain.  I would say the single best building is the Pet Shop - but only the first floor of the actual pet shop.  The rest of that set looks nice but is almost totally lacking in the interior (the upper two floors of the pet shop are almost totally empty) which is disappointing.  Furthermore, the additional apartment building is nice (in the sense that you don't get a lot of LEGO homes but ultimately it's not nearly as interesting as the other two builds).

The Fire Brigade has the most play value for kids - but that doesn't really affect my view on things.  It also has the most fun mini-builds - including a fully stocked upper floor complete with kitchen area, a sofa, and a ping-pong table.

The Palace Cinema has a nice first floor, a perfectly suitable second floor, and an amazing outside design.  Thus, looking at each set from top to bottom, inside and out, I would say the Palace Cinema is the most complete package.  It might not have the play value of the Fire Brigade, it might not have the "every nook and cranny full of detail" of the first floor of the Pet Shop, but it is consistently solid (and occasionally excellent) from top to bottom both inside and out.

Therefore, I have to give the nod to the Palace Cinema for my favorite of the three sets (though honestly you can't go wrong with any of the three - they are all excellent)!

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

The Palace Cinema may not boast quite the same play value as some of the other modular sets - but it does boast one of the most impressive anterior designs of any LEGO building ever built!  When you first see the model, there's no mistaking what it is - and it never fails to draw an "ooh" the first time someone lays eyes on it (even if they generally don't care for LEGO or other toys).  This is a must have in my book and comes highly recommended!