Joe of CitizenBrick.com recently sent me some custom printed LEGO elements to take a gander. A quick glance at his store revealed some interesting and potentially useful parts such as cobblestone tiles and a tattooed minifig. As far as I know, Citizen Brick is one of the few vendors who offer a variety of custom printed parts (the others being BrickArms who focuses on military minifigs and Tommy Armstrong who only takes commissions). Here are my impressions of their products:
Quality: The text from the store claims that their products are impeccable and of the finest quality. Truth be told, they are 100% correct in saying so. The printing is no less than what you would expect from the LEGO company itself. They are centered with precision and resist rubbing and scratching by other bricks. The printed bricks themselves are new and clean, and the minifigs have stiff joints.
Compatibility: It’s important that the ink matches the palette of LEGO colors. You can judge this by looking at the picture on the right that compares the printed tiles with bley and silver LEGO parts. Both light and dark bley matches perfectly and so does the metallic silver. The patterns on the “wooden” tiles and bricks are a close but not exact match to dark tan (not shown). The patterns can be tessellated.
Price: If I had to find something not to like about these parts, it would be their prices. At roughly $1 per tile or brick, it would cost a fortune to pave a wall or road. The $20 minifigs are nothing to scoff at either. However, given the fine quality of these bricks, I don’t find their prices to be unjustified. Comparably, BrickArms, who operates at a much larger scale, charges similar prices for their printed minifigs.
Bottom Line: Citizen Brick offers a unique and quality-oriented line of custom printed parts and minifigs to enhance your creations. While you might put a dent in your wallet buying their products, you’ll be happy once you see their quality firsthand. If you’re looking for something to spice up a vignette or small creation, you should visit Citizen Brick before you get to building.