Yearly Archives: 2005

Peladofigphobia

Felix Greco posted the following on LUGNET:

  • Do you find the appearance of a minifig with no hat, hair, or helmet to be unsettling?
  • Do you find your minifigs to be incomplete without something covering that top stud?
  • When veiwing the creations of others, do you find the appearance of a minifig with an exposed stud on its head an indication of a poor builder?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you are a
peladofigphobiac. You may wonder, what is a peladofigphobiac? Observe…

peladophobia- fear of bald people

fig- contraction of the term minifigure for the AFOL, a yummy treat to the muggles

peladofigphobia- fear (or loathing) of minifigs with an exposed stud on thier head.

Hi, my name is Andrew and I’m a peladofigphobiac.

American Comics Lego Archive

You’ll never see modified minifigs on my other blog, but in the interest of objectivity, I absolutely must highlight Xueren’s American Comics Lego Archive blog. Nearly every day, Xueren posts a new custom minifig based on comic book characters. Recent posts have included several great renditions of Marvel villains and heroes:

Until now, these great custom figs were only available on Xueren’s blog. But it looks like Xueren created a new Brickshelf account, with the Rocketeer as the first upload.

A Japanese Word Game in LEGO

So there’s this Japanese word game called “shiritori” (しりとり). Basically, players say words in sequence, each player starting the next word with the last letter (or kana) of the previous word. (Read the WikiPedia article if you care about the detailed rules.)

“How the heck is this related to LEGO?” you ask. Back in April, Uda-san posted the first creation, along with the LEGO-specific rules of the game. Since, then, more than 50 creations have been posted as part of this ongoing game. mumu has meticulously updated the master list as each new creation is posted. Even if you can’t read Japanese, there are plenty of interesting creations to keep you occupied for quite a while!

There’s no equivalent word game in English that I can think of, but it would certainly be interesting to see some sort of ongoing sequence of creations among English-speaking LEGO fans. Then again, I suppose Joe Vig qualifies. Perhaps it’s time to introduce him to Japanese builders! :-)

Robonoid by comic/Ichigou

Brickshelf user comic has posted a robot walker based on Hayao Miyazaki’s first film, Conan, the Boy of the Future:

Of course, Robonoid also looks a lot like “Steve” the ride-pod from Dark Cloud 2 for the PS2. I’d love to make a version of this that looks more like Steve and put an improved version of my Maximilian minifig in it.

Incidentally, “comic” also runs a blog called LEGO INC where (as “Ichigou”) he regularly posts stop-motion LEGO Star Wars movies. Cool stuff — and a blog I’ll be highlighting over on Pan-Pacific Bricks soon. ;-)

MisaQa’s Advent Calendar

I recently begged MisaQa to add an adorable pug to the collection of lovely LEGO dogs on Stud-and-Tube.com. MisaQa responds:

Well, it’s not a pug, but…

From today, December 1st (Japan time), through December 24, I’ll be revealing a new bird-themed MOC every day as part of an “Advent Calendar” event:
Stud-and-Tube.com
Brickshelf Gallery

I would be very happy if you enjoyed them as well.

MisaQa’s first creation is a “Mute Swan:”

Fantastic work as always! I’m really looking forward to another 23 days of great MOCs.

Ozumo by Nelson Yrizarry

Nelson’s new vignette Ozumo seems the perfect transition from posts over at Pan-Pacific Bricks back here to my original blog. He’s Photoshopped a very nice magazine cover to showcase his yokozuna:

Chiyonofuji (千代の富士) was one of the greatest yokozunas of recent history. (A yokozuna is the top-ranked wrestler, followed by ozeki.) Chiyonofuji was active throughout the 70′s and 80′s, along with the Hawaiian wrestler Konishiki (小錦), who became an ozeki and paved the way for many of the current wrestlers from outside Japan — including Akebono (曙), the first foreign-born yokozuna.

Nelson’s action scenes are also great:

Finally, another shot of the yokozuna without the magazine text, showing how he created the kesho-mawashi, or ceremonial belt:

Incidentally, the building technique Nelson uses for his sumo wrestlers is called BrickFa, a building style recently developed by Mike “Count Blockula” Crowley. Between this technique and the technique developed by Moko, we’re really starting to see some interesting designs that add additional posability to the traditional minifig.

Exo-Force aka トクシュブタイ

LEGO recently announced a new theme to be released in January 2006. The official Exo-Force Web site on LEGO.com lists the products, and includes an online comic.

It is important to remember that this is not a licensed theme like Star Wars or Harry Potter. This theme was developed by LEGO on their own. However, the theme is clearly inspired in no small part by Japanese animation (“anime”), including the sort of shows that feature people riding around in big giant robots, or “mecha,” like Gundam and Evangelion. The hero’s names are all Japanese, and a variety of Japanese characters appears on the mecha. The place names identified in the comic are also clearly Japanese, such as “Tenchi Bridge” (“tenchi” most likely means “heavan and earth”).

The official Exo-Force logo features four Japanese kanji characters, 特殊部隊, behind the English “Exo-Force:”

Seven katakana characters, トクシュブタイ, also appear on the red bar beneath the logo. The terms 特殊部隊 and トクシュブタイ are just two ways of writing the same thing — both are pronounded “tokushyu butai.” But what does “tokushyu butai” mean? Instead of creating a unique name in Japanese that corresponds to “Exo-Force,” it appears that LEGO is using the generic term for “special forces” (Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Delta Force, and so on) as the name for this new theme. (Incidentally, 飛行部隊 also appears on the right side of the red bar at the bottom of the page. Pronounced “hikou butai,” this means “air corp” or “flying squadron” or something… Similarly, the characters that appear on the mecha are essentially meaningless out of context.)

Reaction among English-speaking LEGO fans has been mixed, as the lengthy discussions on both FBTB and Classic-Castle.com show. In Japan, several bloggers have featured Exo-Force and commented on this new theme.

mumu remains fairly objective, but people who commented on this post question whether this theme will be popular here in the United States. On LegoWheels, muu wonders whether English-speakers will know what “tokushyu butai” means and states flatly that he won’t be purchasing these sets. Azumu (also of Brickshelf fame) calls the theme “half-baked,” saying, “Why not just go all the way and make Transformer or Zoid LEGO? … But I’ll buy them anyway — for the hair, dangit!”

Finally, Edge compares this theme to Manga Spawn and writes:

On pages 74 through 77 in issue 94 of Figure King, there is a special color section. I was shocked to find an interview with LEGO Japan! Apparently, this theme was developed in Denmark with the participation of a Japanese development staff member. (Despite that, the quality of this line…) They seriously want this line to be popular among Japanese AFOLs. LOL!

Other bloggers share Azumu and Edge’s sentiment. One blogger even called the use of all the Japanese text “idiotic.” They think the line is a bit dumb, but they really, really want the hair. A few Japanese bloggers certainly don’t represent the opinions of an entire market, but it’s interesting to see how closely the online reaction of Japanese AFOLs mirrors that of English-speaking AFOLs.