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Nick Martin | March 24th, 2015 | DC Universe, LEGO Super Heroes, Reviews

Review: 76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

76027 - Full Set

Sometimes, I feel sorry for Aquaman. He’s one of the deepest and most well-developed DC characters, with a big history, unique powers, and a established legacy. He owns a weapon that can hurt Superman (the Trident of Neptune is magic, and the Man of Steel is a sucker for card tricks), and is actually pretty toe-to-toe with our S-wearing friend in a lot of ways. He has armies at his command, and let’s be honest, when you can go anywhere in the oceans on a whim, you can probably set up some memorable first dates.

On the other hand, the guy speaks goldfish. Okay, he “communicates telepathically” with marine animals, but unless his enemies are nice enough to fight him in a situation that is clearly to his benefit (instead of, you know, on land), his “greatest” power is also the one that’s most frequently worthless. The majority of stuff in the DC universe happens in places that are not known for their water.

This set was a curious addition to this year’s sets, since the rest seem to be going with a general “city battle” theme. Not many undersea ancient ruins around Metropolis, at least not in the New 52. At least I don’t think there are, I’m honestly not that up on my N52 Aquaman lore.

This $40 set is bundled with the obligatory Batman, but has the nice addition of some undersea Robin, Aquaman (because making an underwater set and not putting in Aquaman is mean even by my standards), and a nice villain in Black Manta, the nemesis for Aquaman. At 387 parts, it hovers right around the expected range for the price point, and the only non-unique figure in the lineup is Aquaman (though Batman is only like 5% new, or however much a head adds up to). Oh, and a laser shark. Let me go on the record and say that all sets should have a laser shark.

Full article »

Ace Kim | March 17th, 2015 | Events, LEGO, News

Announcing Bricks LA – AFOL Convention in Southern California

Bricks LA

Hello all. I’ve been very busy lately and the reason for which I am finally able to take the wraps off of. I’m very excited to announce Bricks LA. It will be the first AFOL convention held in the Los Angeles area and it’s happening this May 16th and 17th. The details are in the press release below. Hit up the Bricks LA website for complete registration information. Registration for attendees is now open and we are also accepting applications for vendors. Yes, this is real, and this is really happening. I myself can hardly believe it, but it is! Whether you come as a guest during public hours, or register as an attendee, we hope to see you there!

Got questions? Post in the forum thread, email me directly, email Bricks LA, or use the contact us page.

Bricks LA Lego Fan Convention Coming To Pasadena, CA

Join brick fans and builders this May for the first annual Bricks LA Lego fan convention!

LOS ANGELES, CA, March 17, 2015 – Bricks LA is excited to announce the first annual Lego fan convention at the Pasadena Convention Center (300 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101) May 16th & 17th, 2015! Brick fans of all ages are welcome to join the festivities with over 6,000 square feet of custom made models, vendors selling sets and accessories, and a free build area for the kids!

With fan built LEGO models inspired by comics, movies, pop culture, and classic themes such as space and town, there is something for the whole family to enjoy! Admission is only $5 and kids 12 and under are free! Public exhibit hours are Saturday May 16th from 10am to 6pm and Sunday May 17th from 10am to 5pm.

Attendee registration is open for AFOLs (Adult Fans Of LEGO) who would like to participate in the private portion of the event and display their LEGO creations for the public. Registering as an attendee allows exclusive access to participate in the private events, games, and giveaways throughout the weekend! Plus, you can meet, hang out with, and become friends with fellow LEGO enthusiasts from all over the Southern California region and beyond!

Please visit for more information and follow Bricks LA on Twitter @BricksLA and for updates!

Bricks LA is owned and operated by LEGO fanatics Ace Kim and Ayleen Gaspar. Ace, a self-confessed non-builder, lives vicariously through the works of others managing content on From Bricks To Bothans and curating the Fan Gallery at the annual Star Wars Days event at LEGOLAND California. Ayleen, a lifelong toy aficionado, has turned her passion for playthings into her career as co-owner of October Toys, producer/host of Toy Break, and coordinator of the annual toy/art convention Designer Con.

Bricks LA is a privately run event and is not associated with the LEGO group of companies.

Ace Kim | March 16th, 2015 | LEGO Jurassic World

LEGO Jurassic World Gameplay Trailer

TT Games and Warner Interactive have released the first trailer for the upcoming LEGO Jurassic World video game. One of the gameplay features is that you go around collecting amber which contains dinosaur DNA for you to create and customize your own dinos. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll be able to play as a LEGO dinosaur. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll be able to play through all four movies.

No pre-order bonuses have been announced yet, but we’ll be sure to report it once the info becomes available. The game is scheduled to release this summer on June 30, 2015. The film, Jurassic World, will be released on June 12, 2015.

via Comic Book Resources

Nick Martin | March 14th, 2015 | News

I Feel a Disturbance in the Force…

Force Awakens Lead-Up Comics

… as if thousands of marketing execs saw the upcoming release schedule for Star Wars-related stuff and squealed until their heads went all Scanners. Seriously, we wanted to post all of these news bits as they were coming up over the week, but they were coming across like a swarm of TIE fighters.

  • We now have a release date for Episode VIII: All the Moneys in May of 2017, even though Episode VII hasn’t hit theaters yet. This strikes me as a much safer bet than releasing the date for when Fantastic Four 2 is going to hit, since nothing I’ve seen from the new F4 movie makes me think it’ll manage to be better than Elektra. That being said, glad that they’re getting back to a May release schedule
  • The first official stand-alone movie, Rogue One, has been announced, along with its star, Felicity Jones (fresh off her Oscar-nominated performance in Theory of Everything). Gareth Edwards, the guy who brought us a Godzilla movie that wasn’t about Godzilla, is set to direct, while Chris Weitz, who inflicted the Nutty Professor II upon the world.
    headshots for Rogue One
    I look forward to a story about the most elite Rebel Squadron in a movie that won’t feature X-Wings but does have pilots in fat suits. Seriously, I have a bad feeling about this one, even with Felicity Jones involved
  • In case you weren’t overloaded just yet, Disney also announced that there are a staggering 20 books coming up to lead up to The Force Awakens. The title list makes it fairly clear that not all of these are novels, some look to be kids/YA books or technical manuals (which were awesome back in the day)
  • Not enough yet? Okay, well, Marvel is also putting out a new “canonical” comic series (they keep using that word, but I do not think it means what they think it means) that will bridge between Episode VI and Episode VII, maybe explaining how there is still an empire and all the stuff they fought against still out there. This one I find quite a bit more exciting than the books, as the newer comics (Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia) have all been fairly decent. Ace and I don’t agree on the Star Wars series, but what other comic would give us Vader in a runway pose? The full poster is at the end of the post
  • For those of you with an iOS device (you unwashed masses with the Android nonsense can go wanting*), you can go check out Disney and Topp’s (how are they still around?) app that mixes the classic trading cards of my childhood with these new and unknown characters from Episode VII (as well as the PT, Rebels, etc). It’d say it’s a nice walk down memory lane, but since it seems like they want to charge me to open cards that don’t exist, it’s something I’m going to take a big fat pass on*Just kidding… mostly

Episode 6.5


Nick Martin | March 12th, 2015 | LEGO Star Wars, Reviews

Review: 75079 Shadow Troopers

75079 - Full Set

We got four battle packs this year, making for a shocking eight million (give or take a few million) different packs being available. In the never-ending war that LEGO wages against our wallets and purses, the biggest battles are not over monsters like The Helicarrier or UCS sets like Slave I… it’s in the small things like battle packs with Stormtroopers where the most damage is done.

This is a pretty unique pack, in that the stuff in it is based on The Force Unleashed, a seven-year-old game that was kind of popular at the time, even though it got middling-reviews at best (I never cared for it all that much, myself… controls were frustrating). At the time, it spawned a single set, The Rogue Shadow, which is probably one of the absolute worst sets ever made (that did have some awesome minifigs), so it’s really weird to see it now.

Was this a leftover idea that just sort of squeaked through? There are too many new parts in the thing to not see it as a new design, so I’m sort of at a loss to say where this came from. It’s even more curious, since The Force Unleashed isn’t even canon at this point (and was pretty dubious to be considered that anyway), so what is this doing in the lineup? At $13, like all battlepacks, and coming out against three other packs, this might end up being the odd-one-out.

Full article »

Nick Martin | March 12th, 2015 | LEGO The Simpsons, News

Thank You, Come Again! Kwik-E-Mart Revealed


Update: LEGO finally sent us the rest of the images. They are added below with the press release after the jump.

Apparently today is Simpsons’s day, and news of the next “big” set is here. The Kwik-E-Mart is probably the most iconic Simpson’s building that’s not a nuclear power plant, so this one is pretty exciting. Well, until you see that it’s going to be $199 and include mostly repeat characters (adding only Snake, though the printing for Apu looks different).

I keep meaning to buy the house, but it’s hard to drop that kind of cash when there are things like Slave I, modulars, and a kajillion other sets around. This one at least looks better than the house, and features a lot of the modular playset designs, like removable walls and sections. I’d love to get a better look at the interior and see how it shapes out, but I also wish it would have included some different characters like Jimbo, Kearney, or Dolph.

I do have to admit, I kind of want to get this just so I can put some gas pumps out front, and then blow them up in fantastic fashion, as in Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song from season 5. Which was on the air 21 years ago. And I watched it live.

These sets make me feel so old…

Anyway, 71016 Kwik-E-Mart will be available May 1st, run you $199.99 USD, and comes with 2179 parts.

71016_1to1 (March 12 Release) 71016_Prod-(March-12-Release) 71016_FrontB-(March-12-Release) 71016_FrontA_House-(March-12-Release) 71016_BackN-(March-12-Release) 71016_BackA-(March-12-Release) 71016_TopG_fig (March 12 Release) 71016_TopG_cookies (March 12 Release) 71016_TopD_squishee (March 12 Release) 71016_TopD_fig (March 12 Release) 71016_TopC_fig (March 12 Release) 71016_TopB_Fruit stand (March 12 Release) 71016_TopB_fig (March 12 Release) 71016_TopA_fig (March 12 Release) 71016_FrontC (March 12 Release) 71016_FrontA_Characters (March 12 Release) 71016_box1_na (March 12 Release) 71016_BackM (March 12 Release) 71016_BackL (March 12 Release) 71016_BackK (March 12 Release) 71016_BackJ (March 12 Release) 71016_BackE (March 12 Release) 71016_BackD (March 12 Release) 71009_Prod

Read the press release.

Nick Martin | March 12th, 2015 | LEGO The Simpsons

Simpsons Series 2 Officially Announced

Simpsons S2

Word has been popping up all over the place (like CNET) that the next line of Simpsons Collectible Minifigures is finally coming out. Ace’s opinions were a bit… tempered… for the first series, but I genuinely enjoyed the figures, and outside the heads, had some really good parts. They also introduced things like printed multi-colored arms and short legs, and that’s nice.

There feel like a lot more highlights in here. We do get members of the Simpsons Clan, all in some alternate looks (Homer’s suit looks fantastic in this art), but Willie, Professor Frink, Smithers, Patty & Selma, and Martin are all just going to be great. I also like seeing Doctor Hibbert in there, and after the rumors that Comic Book Guy would be an SDCC exclusive, it’s great to see him end up here normally. Obviously still gaps, like Principle Skinner and Moe, but hopefully these sell well enough to get us even more!

Cue up your “Worst… Minifig… Ever…” jokes now, people.

Ace Kim | March 9th, 2015 | LEGO Star Wars, Sales News

Amazon Discounts Several LEGO Star Wars Sets up to 20%


Amazon is applying 20% discount to a couple of LEGO Star Wars sets, putting them under the “worth getting at that price” threshold:

That B-wing’s sale price of $39.99 should have been its regular price.

UPDATE! Thanks to several people that have sent along the tip that there are several sets that are between 10-20% off, including this year’s AT-DP.

Nick Martin | March 9th, 2015 | DC Universe, LEGO Super Heroes, Reviews

Review: 76026 Gorilla Grodd Goes Bananas

76026 - Full Set

One of my absolute favorite aspects of the New 52 (and given how badly DC treats it most of the time, it can be hard to find favorites), is how they’ve started to spin Wonder Woman into a new and more modern character. She’s actually a pretty complicated character with an even more complicated history… probably one of the most interesting in the entire DC Universe. So when I saw a set with her new look, complete with pants and an invisible jet, this set became the number one for me in the 2015 release cycle.

That it included The Flash, who last appeared in that awful Riddler Chase review set last year, was a bonus. Given that the Flash show is a hit in the vein of the fantastic show Arrow, this was a pretty strong selling point. Plus, who doesn’t want an insane telepathic gorilla bigfig? If you don’t want him, I’d question if you also hate sunshine, puppies, and happiness.

Of course, this is a DC set, so it’s all about Batman. Never mind that Gorilla Grodd is a Flash villain and Wonder Woman and the Flash are more than strong enough to carry a set (and shows) by themselves. But, you know, something something Batman, so we get a Bat-Mech to fight off the Gorilla. At 347 parts and a $49.99 price tag, there is a bit of sticker shock here, so the question is can the features of the set make up for the relatively low piece count?

Full article »

Nick Martin | March 5th, 2015 | News

You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought


To paraphrase Tohst in our chat… Harrison Ford is willing to do just about anything to get out of playing Han Solo, including inflicting another needless Indiana Jones movie on us (unless it gets rebooted with Chris Pratt, in which case… gleeeeeeeee). This time up in that quest to stop being Han Solo is crashing his plane into a golf course.


He apparently walked away from the crash, and was later hospitalized and treated for “serious” injuries that include some cuts on his head. Who knows, given that the source is TMZ… it could be that he is walking around as a force ghost or it may be that he actually just went out for drinks at a place called “The Hospital.” Given that principle photography for Star Wars is wrapped up it won’t affect the release at all.

But perhaps he will recognize it as what it is, a message from some god or gods that we absolutely do not need a Blade Runner sequel!