Eric Druon’s (baronsat) version of the GI Joe TRANSPORTABLE TACTICAL BATTLE PLATFORM is what a playable, fun moc should be. Rather than slavishly recreating it in LEGO form, this creation focuses on play features, and is packed full of them. Note the fold-up ramp, the battle command center, the working crane, the gun turret and the missile launchers. In the ’80s, every kid wanted a toy like this. Look out Cobra, I could spend hours playing with this set! I would love to see the GI Joe Headquarters.
One last bit of news from San Diego Comic-Con. LEGO announced a new property in association with Cartoon Network. The IP seems to be about some Pokemon like creatures, one is electric, one is fire and one is earth. There is no further information as of yet regarding this new IP.
However, the most notable aspect of this announcement is the introduction of new elements, in particular, a new system of micro cup and ball joints. The balls seem to be the same scale as previous “tow ball” elements. This new joint system will allow for small scale articulation and give fans the ability to build creatures and characters with a new range of play action. Instead of joints with one direction of bend, these will add twist and rotation into the mix. There is also great potential for creating curves and compound shapes.
UPDATE: Mixels is a jointly produced property between Cartoon Network and The LEGO Group. This property will include animated shorts, a digital gaming experience and a collectible toy line.
Mixels are colorful creatures “that can mix and combine with one another in creative and unpredictable storylines.” Low priced mini sets will launch in three waves in 2014.
Here’s a quick recap of things seen around the LEGO booth on Preview Night at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 yesterday.
Team Back to the Future member and project contributor of the newly released Back to the Future CUUSOO set, Masashi Togami, was hanging out at the booth with Tim Courtney, LEGO CUUSOO Community Manager.
This lovely, giant-size, brick-built display of the upcoming LEGO Minecraft sets was very popular among the fans.
At 7 PM, they did an unveil of the Minecraft sets at the booth. Executives from Mojang did the honors.
In one corner, you can try out a demo of the upcoming LEGO Marvel Super Hero Game. It’s blast to fly around as Iron Man with repulsor jets or Hulk-out and smash everything in sight. Just for trying out the game, you got a LOKI key chain and a LEGO Marvel Game Poster. Free swag is cool.
And a final note, they are launching the steampunk-themed Master Builder Academy Invention Designer (Level 4) set
[We’ll have more on this closer to release -AB]. The first 100 sold at the booth will receive a signed and numbered artist’s print of the snazzy illustration of LEGO steampunk featured in the ads.
Surprisingly, many LEGO fans have never heard of the Ooni or of Galidor, LEGO’s failed action figure line and TV series from 2002. In my ongoing attempt to make Galidor cool, I give you the Ooni Brute. I envision him as a foot soldier of an invading alien army. His helmet assembly isn’t for breathing air, but for regulating internal body temperature because the Ooni are cold blooded.
The thing I love about rongYIREN‘s creations is his ability to pack in so much great design while maintaining playability. The Thumper is something the 10 year old me wishes LEGO had produced as a set so I could swoosh the removable, remote drone around while exploring an alien planet in a bouncy space rover. That rongYIREN is able to do all this with a sparse part count is impressive, and is in keeping with the best of LEGO’s own product design. Most adult fans of LEGO tend to build without thought to part limitations. We create mocs that could never see production because it would be cost prohibitive to do so. rongYIREN is that rare exception that is able to make great models without over building. Why he isn’t already a designer for LEGO is beyond me. Hello Billund?
Brian Kescenovitz‘s (mondayn00dle) Tachikoma style tank was inspired by Deviantart user flyingdebris’ concept art. It is beautifully done and elegant in its execution. It almost appears to be a Mondrian inspired work of art. Notable design elements are the deft use of sticker remnants, the smooth clean lines, and the use of the chainsaw elements to create a one plate stud reversal in the turret. The offset mounting of the white half-domes of the legs/ wheels is also an impressive bit of design work. This “tank” is so esthetically pleasing and friendly looking, I think it would actually make any town it invaded that much more pleasant for it.
This is the biggest set in the line of licensed sets from Man of Steel, the new Superman movie due out in June.
The 418-piece set features a military jeep with missile launchers and the “Black Zero” drop ship, a Kryptonian fighter ship. There a 5 minifigs included: Superman, Colonel Hardy, General Zod, Faora and Tor-An. At that price point, the set is fairly reasonable, given the part count.
The set comes with 5 polybags of parts, 2 instruction books, stickers and a comic. The first part of the build is the military jeep. It’s simple but nicely designed, employing clever SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques. The jeep comes equipped with a pair of flick-fire missiles for its play action. Flick fires are never that interesting in my opinion. The first set of figures are Superman, sporting torso and leg prints based on the movie, and Colonel Hardy, who sports a military-style torso print that might be of interest to military enthusiasts.
The second part of the build is the Black Zero Drop Ship, not to be confused with the Black Zero, which is a gigantic ship in the movie. The minfigures here are particularly noteworthy as they contain a number of new molds. Zod and Faora each have their own styles of body armor, as well as new helmet pieces. Faora appears to have a new hair mold as well. And finally, there is a new blaster weapon.
One particularly noteworthy element is the dark grey bubble canopy. While it is not a new element, the color is new, and should lend itself to some creative uses. Building the dropship is straightforward enough; it only took about 15 minutes to do it. The finished ship is definitely swooshable, and it comes with two spring-loaded missile launchers for its play action. While I’m sure the set was designed to reflect the movie’s look, the end result is largely colorless — it’s mostly dark grey with a few tiny green accents. I somehow get the sense that the designer’s hands are tied on this one, given the source material.
The set is a fair value. If you are a fan of the movie, or a fan of Superman, then you would probably appreciate the set. The set is not a standout in terms of the color design. The predominantly grey palette is a little dull. But my kids, as I suspect with most kids, don’t care about design details. They’ve been playing with the set non-stop ever since we finished building it.
I’ve been waiting a long time to blog this. Moko has been teasing us with work-in-progress images of his Neon Genesis Evangelion mecha for the last three years, and the finished model is finally revealed. The model stands 120 cm (nearly 4 feet) tall, and weighs 9.4 kg (20.7 pounds). I feel words will fail me in trying to encapsulate its awesomeness, but here goes.
First off, the color is spectacular. All that purple must have cost a pretty penny. Second, the engineering is brilliant. We’ve seen large-scale, articulated mechas before, most of them based on Brian Cooper’s Teknomeka design. One of the limitations of that design was the bulk that resulted from all the gearing in the joints to support the weight of large scale mechas. Moko was able to pull off a build that is similar in scale, but so much more elegant and slim, as befitting the source material, the Evangelion Unit-01.
Thirdly, Moko’s deft sense of style added to the equation results in probably one of the best LEGO mechas I’ve ever seen. Plus, he did not paint or modify any bricks, and it’s articulated! Check out the second image for a sense of the scale of this marvel.
If you’re in Japan, you can see Moko’s Evangelion unit in person at the Osaka University LEGO Club’s upcoming display on May 2nd and 3rd, during Golden Week.
Flickr user legorobo:waka has posted his wa F8 Lanius, a truly sweet mecha that hits all the right notes. It has classic anime styling, great details, articulation and best of all, houses a minfig pilot. In particular, the details I like best are the feet/ landing gear, the hands and guns, and the classic Japanese style mecha head with the Uruk-Hai sword on the back. The way he was able to tuck the pilot into the chest cavity without it looking too bulky, or sacrificing the styling detail is pretty sweet too.
I first saw Paul Meissner’s (legosamurai) creation in person at our most recent LUGOLA meeting. While I am flattered that he credits my Daedalus Drop Suit as an inspiration, his Emilia Starboarder is so much more elegant and downright sexy in comparison. He cleverly incorporates a Belville doll head and uses Prince of Persia claw weapons to great effect as hands. I’m thinking we need to start a group dedicated to using LEGO doll heads.