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.

Lego Star Wars Coruscant Police Gunship 75046 [Review]

Lego Star Wars Coruscant Police Gunship is one of the new Star Wars sets released in March 2014. This set retails for $49.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.


Pros:

  • High-value minifigs
  • Interesting model, different than the typical starfighter with wings.


Cons:

  • No real outstanding features (more of a neutral comment)

This is a well-balanced Star Wars set that’s got a bit of everything including an acceptable price-per-part ratio, interesting parts and colors, unique design, spring-loaded shooters, and high-value minifigs. Because many Star Wars sets these days have repetitive designs, low parts count and basic colors, the lack of criticism I have for the Coruscant Police Gunship makes it an above-average Star Wars set. There are no real drawbacks either. It’s one of the few Star Wars sets I recommend buying at retail price.

Lego Parisian Restaurant 10243 [Review]

Lego Parisian Restaurant is latest modular building released this January. It contains 2,448 pieces and retails for $159.99. Below is a video review of why you should buy this set and possibly hold on to an extra copy of it in the years to come.


Pros:

  • High number and variety of parts for the price
  • Several useful building techniques
  • Excellent for display
  • Has the most reliable investment value for collecting


Cons:

  • No discounts will be available for this set because it is a Lego Exclusive with a set number containing 10xxx.

The modular building series is one of the best lines for adult fans. It appeals to the builder, the collector, and those looking for a gorgeous filler on a shelf. There are already many review of this popular set within a click on Google that shows the technical and aesthetic aspects of the build. Instead I’ll take a moment to point out that the modular buildings are the best sets to invest as a collector or someone who would like some extra cash down the road to buy more Lego with.

Right now, if you want to buy a brand new copy of the first set of the modular building series, Cafe Corner, you won’t find it anywhere for less than $1,000. The second in the series, Green Grocer, is currently selling for prices close to $800. While most Lego exclusives containing 10xxx in their set number are good sets to invest due to their appeal to adult fans, the modular buildings are the most reliable because they are part of an ongoing series. As long as Lego continues to produce modular buildings, there will be increasing demand for earlier releases to expand the city. Even if more people catch on and hold on to these sets for resale later, it’s still a good idea as long as LEGO remains a growing hobby among adults.

The next set to retire among the modulars is Grand Emporium. While there is no fixed discontinuation date on sets, judging by the time that Fire Brigade went out of stock during the holidays last year, it’s a good estimate to say the same may happen for Grand Emporium this year. Within 6 months of Fire Brigade’s retirement, it’s price on Bricklink has already gone up by $100 over MSRP. I will be waiting until the fall of this year to buy Grand Emporium during promotions such as double VIP points.

I hope you found this tip on collecting to be useful or interesting, and once you get the ball rolling, you’ll have a hobby that completely funds itself.

Lego Ninjago Thunder Raider 70723 [Review]

The Thunder Raider is one of the 2014 Ninjago sets released in January. It contains 334 pieces and retails for $29.99. You can purchase the set on Amazon. You can also see a previous review of this set by Chris.


Pros:

  • The mech is a great complement to Kai’s Fire Mech and is well designed
  • Better than average price-per-part ratio and interesting new elements


Cons:

  • The blue vehicle, while designed for function, doesn’t look very appealing

This is a solid set both for parts and playability. The mech is the best feature of this set, having a simple and elegant design. The vehicle on the other hand looks a bit messy with the haphazard array of blue plates, but it plays well and features a transforming attack mode and the ability to carry the mech. Parts-wise, there’s a wide selection of elements including new ones like the black vehicle spoiler and A-frame wedges. Even though I recommend buying individual parts on Bricklink, sometimes it’s good to buy sets when you there’s not a specific piece you’re looking for and just want to expand the variety of your collection. This is a great set for that purpose.

Lego Star Wars Z-95 Headhunter 75004 [Review]

Lego Star Wars Z-95 Headhunter was released in August 2013 and contains 373 pieces. It retails for $49.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a video review and my remarks regarding the set.


Pros:

  • Includes the 4-armed Pong Krell minifig
  • Features a concealed spring-loaded cannon


Cons:

  • Very high price tag for a set with low part count
  • Unremarkable selection of parts

This is a typical Star Wars set that exemplifies the continued price-spike on Lego products from this licensed franchise. Like most other Star Wars sets today, this set is priced high, short on new elements, and relies on exclusive Star Wars minifigs to enhance its appeal. It’s long since 2005-2006 when Star Wars sets hovered around the $0.1 price-per-part ratio. The reason I purchased this set was because it was on sale during the holidays for half off, and even then I wasn’t excited about parting out the set because of its bland pieces. I can’t justify spending $50 on this set unless there’s a compelling need to have Lego’s version of the Headhunter.

Lego Star Wars Jabba’s Sail Barge 75020 [Review]

Lego Star Wars Jabba’s Sail Barge was released in August 2013 and contains 850 pieces. It retails for $119.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a video review and my remarks regarding the set.


Pros:

  • Overall sleek design of the sail barge makes it a great display model
  • Includes iconic and unique minifigs such as Max Reebo and Ree-Yees


Cons:

  • Model is very small for the price
  • The jagged slopes on the front of the barge looks weird, may be better if plates were used instead.

LEGO’s second version of Jabba’s Sail Barge is a neat little model that carries a big price tag. It’s an iconic Star Wars vehicle well deserving of some shelf space. I wouldn’t pay the full price on this model, and luckily Amazon currently has it on sale, and 26% off is a good enough deal. The model’s interior can be fully exposed to allow easy access, but there’s not much room after accounting for Jabba’s presence. The barge rolls on inconspicuous wheels underneath and also features a concealed cannon in the front that’s a hassle to fire. Overall, I recommend this model at a price tag less than $100.

Winter is Coming – Citizen Brick launches “Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigs

One of the things I’ve loved about Citizen Brick from the first time I encountered their custom minifigs is their sense of humor. Joe and his crew at Citizen Brick make things you’ll never be able to buy in a LEGO set. Yes, you can buy usefully realistic military accessories, too, but they won me over back in 2011 with minifigs like “Botany Enthusiast.” Their latest batch of custom minifigs is titled “Dragon Sword Fighter Force,” which itself is hilarious, much like the over-the-top book series and premium cable TV show that clearly inspired these minifigs (obviously Game of Thrones).

Custom Citizen Brick Dragon Sword Fighter Force minifigs

I don’t generally quote ad copy, but the product blurb on the back of the three-minifig blister packs proves my point:

Dragons! Knights! Totally inappropriate family relations! Join the adventure as these brave fighters cross swords with some of the most fearsome foes in the realm. Whether defending their kingdom or clamoring for the crown, these minifigs are ready for a battle royale to the death. Horde the complete series of stunning figs before every character you like is killed off. Your honor is at stake!

It’s not just their sense of humor that attracts me to Citizen Brick, it’s the subversiveness of choosing to depict fairly adult subject matter in repurposed LEGO minifigures — “totally inappropriate” pretty much captures most of the Citizen Brick catalog, and “totally inappropriate” has a special place in my heart. (There’s also a strong disclaimer on each Citizen Brick product indicating zero affiliation with, endorsement by, or approval from LEGO.)

Citizen Brick sent me a batch of the “Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigs recently, and I wasn’t disappointed. They arrived in three-minifig blister packs with the aforementioned description on the back, plus a 13th bonus minifig of some guy who looks like a fishing boat captain titled “Sir Typesalot” (which you get when you buy all 12 custom minifigs at once).

As amused as I am by Citizen Brick’s subject matter, what keeps me coming back is the quality of their design work. Each custom minifig includes unique printing on nearly every available surface — face/head, torso (both front and back), arms, and legs. Many of the “Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigs also come with custom cloth accessories and weapons. The printing is indistinguishable from the printing on official LEGO minifigs, and the designs themselves don’t feel out of place from the world of LEGO (thus the big disclaimer, I suppose).

At $55 for a three-minifig pack or $220 for the full set of 12 (which also includes the George R.R. Martin-esque author minifig), these aren’t inexpensive, and I suspect they’re not the sort of minifigs you’d just fold into your Castle/medieval collection for use in a crowded display at a convention. No, these are serious collectibles for the dedicated A Song of Ice and Fire fan. That said, they are certainly wonderful Castle/medieval minifigs, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing some of the cool parts from these figs on “hero” minifigs quite a lot (I just wouldn’t bury them in an army). Citizen Brick minifigs range from $15 to $25 (these are $16-18 depending on whether you get the three-packs separately or buy the whole set at once), so prices are well within the range of what other vendors are charging for custom minifigs.

Now that so many vendors are producing custom-printed minifig elements at reasonably high quality, the distinguishing factors boil down to subject matter, design, and price rather than just availability and quality. Since price and quality are now somewhat less of a comparative factor, what continues to distinguish Citizen Brick minifigs is their often-humurous subject matter and consistently great design.

Although a bit on the pricey side as a complete set, I can definitely recommend Citizen Brick’s “Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigs to every Game of Thrones fan out there, because we certainly won’t be seeing an official LEGO Game of Thrones Collectible Minifigures series anytime soon.

“Dragon Sword Fighter Force” minifigures are available on CitizenBrick.com.

Lego Chima The Croc Swamp Hideout 70014 [Review]

The Croc Swamp Hideout 70014 is one of the Lego Chima sets released in August 2013, it contains 647 pieces and retails for $69.99. The set is currently available on Amazon. Below is my review of the set.


Pros:

  • An above average selection of olive green and earth-toned parts
  • Decent number of play features


Cons:

  • No unique parts or minifigs (unique means exclusive to the set)
  • Not a good-looking model to display

This set is clearly meant to be a playset and has little value outside of this. It has a variety of play features as I’ve shown in the video, but most of them are standard except the rapid-fire shooter, which I think is the most well-designed functional feature of this set. The other aspects of the set are not so appealing, especially the lack of unique minifigs for one of the largest Chima sets. As for builders, there aren’t any unique pieces to the set. Taken together with the minifigs, this set seems like a remix of existing Lego parts and figures, which doesn’t add much to the its novelty. I would not recommend buying this set at retail price unless someone really wants a croc base to play with.

Lego Star Wars AT-TE 75019 [Review]

The Lego Star Wars AT-TE was released in August 2013 and contains 794 pieces. It retails for $89.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.


Pros:

  • Has a handle to pick up the model, fits with the dropship if you have one from years ago.
  • Includes 4 unique minifigures


Cons:

  • No extraordinary play features besides standard adjustable legs and cannons
  • Not significantly different from the 2008 version of the AT-TE

This is a set of a popular model from the Clone Wars, so it’s no surprise that it’s also the 3rd time LEGO produced the set. Unfortunately it does not have significant play features or include many minifigures. However, fans of the series will probably still be interested in obtaining a copy as it make for a decent display model. If you’re a builder, then this set does not have much to offer in terms of part variety besides the standard grey parts. Overall, I don’t recommend getting this set at MSRP, but Amazon currently has it for 25% off, which I think is an acceptable price to buy it at.

Lego Lord of the Rings Pirate Ship Ambush 79008 [Review]

The Lord of the Rings Pirate Ship Ambush set came out last August. It retails for $99.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.


Pros:

  • A good lineup of minifigs including 4 that are exclusive to the set
  • Include unique elements such as the cloth sails, dark bley wings, and 14 printed shields


Cons:

  • High price-per-piece ratio
  • A pretty straightforward model, no real surprises in buildings techniques or play features

This set has a decent balance of minifigures, parts, play and display value that will suit fans with different plans for what to do with it. Surprisingly there are no spring-loaded cannons in this set, and the flick-fire missiles are not a good substitute. The major drawback is the heavy price tag. Around the holidays last year many people were able to buy this set for 40-50% off from retailers like Amazon and Target. If you don’t have this set and want it, it’s probably better to wait for a while for another round of discounts.

Lego Star Wars Corporate Alliance Tank Droid 75015 [Review]

The Lego Star Wars Corporate Alliance Tank Droid was released in August 2013 and contains 295 pieces. It retails for $19.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.

The tank droid is a decent Star Wars set. It contains 60 tread pieces, which is the best way to get them other than Bricklink. Jango Fett is the only unique minifig in this set. Unlike the previous version of LEGO’s tank droid that retails for $25, the new version costs less and includes more parts. The only drawback is the lack of printed dish part, but an unprinted piece will provide more options for building. This is a good pickup especially when it is on sale.