Monthly Archives: August 2012

Collectible Minifigs Series 8 Is Hitting Stores Now [Review]

Evil RobotIn the USA, at least, Series 8 of the insanely popular Collectible Minifigs is trickling out. A few days ago, I picked up a full set (minus one, due to an improper baggy identification on my part) and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I wasn’t nearly as excited for this line as I had been for previous ones; I think in part because the novelty is just wearing off at this point, 8 series in. But once I got my hands on them and took a good close look at them, my trepidations fell away, and I went back to feeling that the Collectible Minifigs are as awesome as ever.

The evil robot was an awesome surprise. I hadn’t seen images of it without the helmet on before I bought it, so the head was totally new to me. It’s a fantastic print, and almost has a mechanical skull vibe. ConquistadorOther favorites of mine are the Diver, Thespian, and Conquistador. I’m probably just a sucker for period costumes, though. The Thespian, or Shakespeare, as I think he looks, is probably my favorite of the lot. Renaissance figures haven’t been common in LEGO, with most Castle figs being much earlier in style, and predominantly militaristic. On that note, though, the Conquistador is a great military figure from this same general time period, and really makes me want to revisit the old Armada theme of the 90’s. The Faerie was also a surprise to me, as I expected the wings to be flimsy plastic, like the wings on the angel keychain. Instead they’re a hard ABS molded neck-piece, which is far superior.

DiverOddly, the Diver is the only one of the lot with printing on the back. He’s super fun, though, with the chunky lead shoes (just 1×1’s) and a huge faceplate, which is actually a magnifying glass piece.

Many of the other figs, to me, are much less interesting, however, like the Skier and Cheerleader, which are basically differently colored re-issues of previous figures.

Perijove’s LEGO MSL Curiosity Rover hits 10K on CUUSOO [News]

UPDATE (June 14, 2013): LEGO MSL Curiosity Rover is go for launch!

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Back on August 5th when I first highlighted the excellent Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover project by Stephen Pakbaz (Perijove) on LEGO CUUSOO, the project had been online for about eight months and had accumulated about 1,300 votes.

In a sign that timing is everything (with a little help from a few friends on the web), Stephen’s Curiosity project hit 10,000 supporters this weekend. In fact, the project gained its final 5,000 supporters in less than 24 hours.

LEGO Curiosity Rover with skycrane

(I wanted to use a picture of the model we haven’t already used several times here on the blog. Stephen’s proposed model for the project doesn’t include the skycrane, but how awesome would that be?!)

I used Stephen’s instructions to build the rover myself yesterday, and it’s a really excellent model. The build itself was very enjoyable, and I even learned a few SNOT techniques I hadn’t seen before. The final model includes so much detail and functionality it’s really fun to play with, in addition to being just shy of fully functional (with working “rocker bogie” suspension, stowable mast & arm, and little details like forward and rear haz-cams).

LEGO MSL Rover instructions

However, Stephen’s rover does include a handful of unusual parts, and parts in quantities or colors that I don’t have (especially the Technic parts for a mainly SYSTEM builder like me). Even with my substantial, relatively well-sorted collection, it took me the better part of an afternoon to dig around and gather all the parts, and I still had to place a couple small Bricklink orders to replace parts I don’t have at all in the right colors.

All of this is to say that an official set will be a great way to easily get all of the necessary building materials for a reasonable price — as I’m sure LEGO won’t be charging $2 for the white bracket (of which the model requires two), for example.

Congratulations to Stephen, and I can’t wait to see how LEGO handles this particular project. Specifically, I’d love to see LEGO accelerate the approval of this project, given LEGO’s existing partnership with NASA, the clear educational value of the model, and the current “space fever” gripping the world.

Finally, in case you missed it last week, be sure to check out our interview with Stephen Pakbaz (who worked at JPL as an engineer on the Curiosity project) right here on TBB.

R-6 Froghopper Reconnaissance Walker

We all know Jon Hall (JonHall18) can make amazing Sky-Fi planes…they have been featured several times on TBB. Well the other day he excited many of us when he posted a design sketch of a couple mecha. The result is rather amazing, Jon absolutely excels at getting very non-LEGO shapes out the brick!

R-6 Froghopper

Be sure to check out the full photo set for all the views!

Is that Ma.K I smell?!?

Those that know me, know that I love Maschinen Krieger (Ma.K). However, it had been a while since I built anything in the style (about 8 or 9 months actually). Well my tweaking began shortly after I posted Logan’s updated Fireball. Then when he posted his minifig scale SAFS Raccoon…well I completely fell off the wagon at that point.

Ma.k Racoon

His brilliant design really got me itchin’ to build a suit that was more of a proper scale compared to minifigs than what my previous designs achieved. And as a small ode to Tim Gould’s original, I thought I would try and replicate his look (because his really is responsible for introducing me to the genre years ago). After some quick LEGO playing before bedtime with my son tonight we came up with a pretty fun little design that should be relatively easy to replicate in different variations…I have to say that I am quite pleased with the result actually :)

SAFS

For those interested, I also did a fun little stop motion instructional video :P
SAFS - Instructional Video

EDIT: Pascal (pasukaru76) has now created instructions in LDraw.

So needless to say, I think it is a safe bet that I will be producing more Ma.K deliciousness in the near future…stay tuned!

LEGO Lord of the Rings video game trailer & gameplay footage

In case you’d missed it, TT Games will be releasing its latest LEGO video game, LEGO Lord of the Rings, in October 2012.

Here’s the latest trailer.

And here’s the original teaser trailer.

Finally, here’s a lengthy interview over actual gameplay footage.

To be 100% honest, as much as I love what our friends over at TT Games do, the last few LEGO video games I’ve played have all seemed a bit alike. There’s a limit to the amount of entertainment I can get from appreciating the wonderful in-game models created by Carl Greatrix and the other talented model builders before the familiar gameplay itself takes center stage.

But the combination of LEGO, The Lord of the Rings, actual voice acting, and (possibly) some different gameplay mechanics all has me pretty excited.

(Via FBTB.)

The Awesome Mechs of Nathan DeCastro

Nathan DeCastro has been posting some killer mechs lately. The LR-S-65 Chenza (pictured below) is my favorite so far. The trans-blue windscreens give it an dashing look, and Nathan’s incorporated some infrequently used pieces in brilliant ways. Be sure to check out his flickr stream for some other sweet mechs, too.

Landscape Contest

Running from August 10th to September 10th, Flickr member Bruno is hosting a contest focused on building landscapes as opposed to vehicles and/or buildings.

LEGO Landscape Contest

DETAILS
Presented to you by Bruno and coupons provided by Brick Takeover
Imagine a peacefull landscape, green trees, flower fields, bunnies hopping around… AND OH MY GOD IS THAT A MANIAC WITH A FLAMETHROWER BURNING EVERYTHING TO SHREDS?!
So far this introduction, I’ll now tell you what the actual meaning of this contest is. You’ve all seen countless builds of apocalyptic wastefields, magnificent castle landscapes and so on. This contest focuses not on the minifigures dwelling in the landscapes, but on the landscapes itself. The goal is to create whatever landscape you like, be it a swamp, a volcanic island, a nuclear fallout landscape and so on.

RULES AND REQUIREMENTS.
-The build can be microscale, a vignette, a diorama or a scene, choose whatever floats your boat.
-You cannot enter previous builds THAT WERE POSTED ONLINE.
-The minimum size for it should be 20×20
-Maximum 2 entries per person
-No height restrictions
-YOU MUST HAVE A BRICKLINK ACCOUNT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE YOUR PRICE
-Minifigures are allowed, but should be kept under 3.
-Third Party accesoires such as Brickforge, Brickarms are allowed.
-Painting isn’t allowed, cutting stickers, flextube or whatever is.
-Don’t have any ideas? here are some themes: Apocalyptic, Castle, Prehistoric, Medieval (not necessarily Castle), Roman/Greek, futuristic/Sci-fi, Steam Punk, Sea-life, Natural.
-Judging is done by me, Eturior and Andreas.

PRIZES.
The prizes are split up into coupons for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The coupons are funded by me and provided by Brick Takeover’s excellent shop. 1st place will receive a coupon of 30 euros, the 2nd place for 20 euros and the 3rd place for 10 euros. Again, the prizes are funded by myself with my hard-earned money so keep in mind that I can’t really afford any fancy price.

LINKS
Discussion Thread
Entry Thread

Up to 30% off LEGO Star Wars sets from Amazon.com

LEGO Star Wars sets are usually excluded from sales at brick-and-mortar stores, so sales at Amazon.com and other online retailers are always a pleasant surprise.

All of the following sets are 30% off:

7962 Anakin’s & Sebulba’s Podracers is also discounted by 22%, saving you $20 on a $90 set

These deals tend to be pretty dynamic, so if you’ve been waiting for these sets to go on sale, now’s the time to act.

As always, The Brothers Brick receives a percentage of the sales when you click through from here, and we use that money to pay for server costs (not insubstantial with a global audience), buy prizes to give away during BrickCon and other events, and generally give back to the community.

Signs of life

Chris (Ironsniper) has built a lovely, contemplative mecha that incorporates old-style hinges — since replaced by “click hinges” — and printed tiles for some lovely spot color. What grabbed my attention though, is the story that the model tells.

Life form

Chris’ minifig-scale “BFG Suit” gets an upgrade as well, with an impressive gun that incorporates studs wonderfully into the design.

BFG Suit