Tag Archives: Review

Not sure which LEGO sets to pick up for yourself? Need ideas for that LEGO fan who already has more LEGO than he or she can possibly build with in a lifetime? Nervous about the quality of the custom accessories that tempted you at your last LEGO convention? Read our reviews of LEGO sets, books, accessories, and more right here on The Brothers Brick.

70814 Emmet’s Construct-o-Mech [Review]

I had an opportunity to review LEGO Movie 70814 Emmet’s Construct-o-Mech Building Set, provided for us by LEGO. The set runs $59.99 USD, with 708 pieces.

Overall? I like the set. I think it’s got an excellent selection of parts overall. I enjoyed the build thoroughly. There are some excellent details to the model overall that make it appear particularly impressive. It looks really nifty. Also? Angry!Unikitty.

After having built it, though? I can’t say I’d pay full price for it.

Let’s explore more, shall we?

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Top 10 LEGO reviews of 2014 from The Brothers Brick

At the Brothers Brick, we regularly review the latest and most interesting LEGO sets and, this year, a movie too! With the new year already having started in some parts of the world, it is time for me to present the Top Ten LEGO reviews of 2014.

  1. Lego 21116 Minecraft Crafting Box 8-in-1 [Review]
    LEGO Minecraft 21116 Crafting Box
    Our very own Chris was involved in the design of the first Minecraft set, which made him the obvious choice for reviewing the first new minifig scale Minecraft set. He wasn’t overly impressed, but that has not stopped the review from being our most popular of the year. The world loves Minecraft.
  2. Lego Ideas Exo Suit out today [Review & Giveaway]
    LEGO Ideas sets are featured pretty heavily in our Top Ten and the Exo Suit is one of the more original ideas to come out of it and one very much anticipated by adult fans of LEGO (as opposed to mere fans of pop culture). Peter Reid’s design looked a bit too flimsy to work as a set, but somehow the set designers pulled it off, whilst maintaining the overall greebly look. As an added bonus, we had a copy of the set to give away to one of our readers.
  3. The Tumbler LEGO Set Review (76023)
    What can I say? Batman gets the coolest gadgets!
  4. LEGO Ideas Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Review
    The pleasure of reviewing this was all mine. It’s another Ideas set, based on one of the funniest movies from the eighties. The end result is a cool car with some very useful parts.
  5. Lego Simpsons House 71006 [Review]
    Opinions on this set are divided among fans (does LEGO really want to be associated with this dysfunctional family?), but Nannan liked it; lots of neat details, parts and play features at a decent price per part.
  6. 70816 Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! [Review]
    Most of us at the Brothers Brick are old enough to have fond memories of Classic Space sets. Benny’s spaceship, from the LEGO Movie, ticked all the right boxes for Dan.
    The LEGO Movie: Blue Spaceman
  7. Full of sly humor, the LEGO movie is a must-watch for all Lego fans -especially adults [Review]
    I know that many of us were apprehensive about a movie about LEGO, expecting it to be a bit rubbish. However, Andrew liked it and I have yet to meet a LEGO fan who didn’t.
  8. Lego Star Wars 75060 Slave-I [Review]
    Depending on your view, the Slave I is either one of the coolest or one of the weirdest spaceships from the Star Wars franchise. Previous LEGO sets of this ship were relatively small, but even though the new version is also intended for minifigs, it is much bigger and far more detailed.
  9. Lego Ideas 21110 research institute [Review]
    LEGO sets have been criticised for enforcing gender stereotypes. I’m not sure whether the Research Institute is a successful LEGO Ideas set because of this, but Caylin certainly enjoyed seeing female minifigs in “real” life jobs that are fascinating, engaging, and fun.
  10. 10242: Mini Cooper [Review]
    Last, but certainly not least in my book, is the Mini Cooper. In the last few years, car fans have been spoiled with excellent sets of classic cars and the Mini Cooper is no exception. It’s also full of very useful (dark green) parts

All in all, I think these are pretty neat sets. Of course, we do tend to pick those that we think you’ll like. In fact, we are already poring over lists and images of sets that will be released next year, so that we can keep the reviews coming. Happy New Year, everyone.

LEGO Star Wars 75060 Slave I [Review]

The good folks over at LEGO sent us an advance copy of the new flagship set for the ever-popular LEGO Star Wars line, 75060 Slave I. Ever since I first saw Star Wars Episode V, I’ve thought the Slave I was one of the coolest ships in the Star Wars fleet. A truly unique design for a spaceship (in 1980 when Empire released), the Slave I lies on its back for landing, but stands upright for flight, the cockpit and wings rotating to retain orientation. LEGO has released 4 previous minifig-scale versions of this ship, two for each color scheme from the new and old Star Wars trilogies, plus another five versions in smaller scales. So this new Slave I fittingly is the tenth version of the ship from LEGO, and is unquestionably the best.

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Make no mistake, this is a big set — a very big set for being minifig scale. The Slave I is a deceptively large ship, and LEGO’s previous minifig-scale versions have not done it justice. The very first Slave I (7144) released in 2000 was almost laughably small at 166 pieces, but I still harbor fond memories of it. The new 75060 Slave I clocks in with 1996 pieces and is almost 2 feet long from tip to tip.

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LEGO Book Roundup: LEGO Ideas, LEGO Play plus Ninjago and Batman Visual Dictionaries [Review]

This time we have reviews for the last four books from Dorling-Kindersley (DK) that LEGO sent us for Christmas. We’ll be talking about the LEGO Ideas Book, the LEGO Play Book, the Ninjago Visual Dictionary and the Batman Visual Dictionary.

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Lego Hobbit The Lonely Mountain 79018 [Review]

The Lonely Mountain is currently the largest set in the Lego Hobbit line. This set was released this fall and retails for $129.99 on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.


Pros:

  • All 5 minifigs are unique to the set
  • Smaug is a well-designed dragon with Lego’s first collapsible wings
  • Good source of sand green bricks


Cons:

  • Very high price tag

Overall this is a great set for parts, minifigs, and Smaug is an attractive beast to most fans. A decent number of play features mark this as a good playset, and the sand green bricks make it stand out among other less brightly colored sets from the same line. My only complaint is the huge price tag, which is largely a result of including Smaug, whose new parts drive up the production cost. Ultimately I’d like to see this set discounted to $80-$100, which would be a reasonable purchase. I recommend holding off on buying the set unless you absolutely love the new Smaug.

LEGO Star Wars Book Roundup [Review]

LEGO recently sent us four Star Wars books, published by Dorling-Kindersley. They are LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia,LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary: Updated and Expanded,LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side,and LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles.If you own any of these books, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, whether you agree with us or not!

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LEGO Minifigure Year by Year Book and The LEGO Movie Essential Guide [Review]

LEGO recently sent us some books to review, so you will see more book reviews than normal pop up on here over the next month. If you own any of the books, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments!

The first two we will be reviewing are LEGO Minifigure Year by Year: A Visual History and The LEGO Movie: The Essential Guide.

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Steampunk LEGO by Guy Himber [Review]

As holiday season approachs, No Starch Press is kicking into high gear with a slew of new titles for LEGO fans. Their latest offering is Steampunk LEGO by well-known LEGO builder, innovator and steampunk enthusiast Guy Himber. This 200 page compilation features the work of over 90 individual builders, and includes just about every notable LEGO steampunk creation of the past five years.

Physically, the book has a definite steampunk feel about it. Its blue and gold hard cover sports a full-color dust jacket (shown here) and all the pages have a high quality satin finish that enhances the sumptuous graphic design. The material is presented in the form an ornate Victorian scrapbook, complete with notelets and other trinkets mounted atop a variety of textured vintage backgrounds.

A cornucopia of building styles are covered here. And while the majority are mini-fig oriented, microscale and life-size builds are reasonably well represented. Entries are 1 or 2 to a page, and organized into logical chapters focusing on different categories such as trains, vehicles, automatons, weapons, sea vessels, airships and even floating rocks. There is also a pleasant ‘interlude’ in the center, showcasing Guy’s memorable Cabinet of Curiosities collaborative project.

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LEGO 21116 Minecraft Crafting Box 8-in-1 [Review]

LEGO has sent The Brothers Brick a copy of the Crafting Box, one of the larger sets from the new minifig-scale Minecraft line. The set includes 518 pieces, and will be $49.99 USD. LEGO hasn’t given us an exact release date, but it should be available in stores around the beginning of November.

LEGO Minecraft 21116 Crafting Box

Now, I know many LEGO fans roll their eyes at the fact that LEGO picked up the Minecraft license at all, but I love it. I’m a huge Minecraft fan, and I have a bit of history with combining LEGO and Minecraft. I created the first minifig-scale Minecraft creation back in 2011, and was one of three fans involved in the development of the first official LEGO Minecraft set, 21102 Minecraft Microworld. During the development phase of that set, we started off trying to create a minifig-scale set. We quickly realized, however, that it would be very hard to do justice to Minecraft at that scale within the price range that the LEGO Ideas (née Cuusoo) program was targeting, namely $30-$40 USD. The current lineup of six minifig-scale sets is a valiant — but flawed — attempt at doing what the original set could not.

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Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark by Mike Doyle [Review]

It’s been barely a year since No Starch Press released Beautiful LEGO, a coffee table book packed with carefully curated images of LEGO creations, conceived and organized by New Jersey graphic designer and LEGO builder Mike Doyle.

Unlike many of their other LEGO themed titles, which are targeted squarely at the AFOL community, the book had the potential to appeal to almost anyone with a passing interest in LEGO (ie. almost anyone on the planet). It soon started showing up on the shelves of regular book stores, and has since become one of their best sellers. So the rumors of a sequel came as no surprise…

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark replays that winning formula, with some interesting twists. The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s weightier: this version is about 50 pages longer and sports a proper hard cover. Some folks will be pleased to hear about that change, although as a coffee table book, I kinda find this one harder to handle.

Mike has also cut back heavily on builder interviews (just 4 this time round, compared to 9 in the first book). I’m sure some AFOLs will see that as a loss, but I think it makes sense for a work like this to focus on the images first and foremost. For those curious to learn more about specific builders, every image is labeled, and the Contributor index contains all the necessary URLs.

Then there’s the subtitle, “Dark”. With this book, Mike applied what he calls a “thematic filter” to the curation process, targeting specific classes of build. It’s a bold move, but gives this sequel a much stronger identity than merely “hello, here are some more great builds”. Admittedly “dark” is a rather broad theme with many possible interpretations, but I think it still pays off. The builds range from the serious, the creepy, the political, the darkly humorous, and even just darkly colored.

As for the individual builds and images, Mike delivers again with another 300 pages of gorgiously photographed creations, from over a hundred different builders, that will be appreciated by both AFOL and non-AFOL alike. Everything is organized into chapters such as “Creepy Crawlers”, “Skin and Bones” or “Future Shock”. And a wide variety of building styles and categories are covered.

To achieve a harmonious effect, some of the models were specially reworked or reshot by their creators, and Mike also re-tuned some of the images too (for example, applying neutral backgrounds). The overall effect is definitely moodier than the first book – and that means it’s literally darker. The builds in this tome also skew to the more complex/detailed end of the scale than in the first one. So you’re gonna want to read this one under a decent light!

For the sequel, Mike also chose to include a small selection of digital creations. This is definitely a controversial decision, which Mike acknowledges and explains in his Preface. But the digital creations are clearly annotated as such, wherever they appear.

Like its predecessor, Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark is a beautiful object, that shines a flattering (low wattage) spotlight on the LEGO building community, and in a way that makes that world accessible to the general public. I’d recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who enjoyed the first book. And I really hope this becomes a series of books. If it does, I cannot wait to see what theme Mike decides to cover next!

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark goes on sale everywhere November 20th, and will retail for USD $39.95.