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Archive for March, 2012

Pete "bigospedros" Croxson | March 12th, 2012 | Events, LEGO Star Wars

[UK] Star Wars Miniland Experience @ Legoland Windsor … Preview Day Report

SW Miniland Windsor 02

Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the preview event for the brand new Star Wars Miniland Experience at Legoland Windsor, although I was not alone as there were around 50 of us, including people from Brickset, Jedi News and various other online blogs, plus a few competition winners.

We met up in the brand new Legoland Hotel and then made the long walk, gently up hill, towards the main entrance of the park where the new exhibition is housed.  The first signs you see of the event are the Star Wars pictures on the building and the half a Millenium Falcon sticking out of the wall.

Unlike the similar exhibits in California and Germany, this is entirely indoors and it consists of 7 areas, covering each Episode and a Clone Wars scene.

SW Miniland Windsor 33

With the models built at miniland scale, they are of a significant size and allows for quite a lot of detail in the models.  Each one has at least one button to press which then triggers some animation in the scene together with lights and music to match.  This ranges from the fair simple in the Clone Wars scene (lights and recoil on the cannons) to the Tatooine scene which sees the Millenium Falcon rise a few feet in the air, replicating the scene at Docking Bay 94.  Speaking of the Tatooine scene, there is a neat feature for the kids here, where there’s a tunnel and a perspex bubble in the middle of the scene, so they can feel really part of the action.

SW Miniland Windsor 30

Mind you, whether said child can see anything is another matter … and that brings us onto the only real issue I could find with the exhibit … and that’s the lighting.  It’s pretty dark in there, apart from the Hoth Scene and whilst that does add to the atmosphere, you do feel as if you are missing out on the details by it being so very dark!  It also doesn’t lead to very good photos … which isn’t ideal, especially since this is what people are likely to want to do.  These models are too good just to look at.

Speaking of photos, the ones I managed to take can be found in the FBTB Flickr Stream.  There are also excellent galleries over at Brickset.

On exiting the event, you enter and entirely Star Wars themed store, which also features several life sized scale models of Darth Vader, C3P0, R2D2 and Chewbacca.  No bargains to be hand, at least not when we were there, but this building also houses the “Last Chance Market” (I think it was called) where they’ll feature sets and merchandise on sale.  No idea on deals in there as that bit was closed off when we were there.

Despite the issues, the models on display are very good … with excellent detail and the scenes are instantly recognisable.  If you have any interest in Star Wars or just miniland scale building at it’s best, then this is an absolute must see!

Ace Kim | March 12th, 2012 | LEGO Super Heroes, Sales News

Free Shipping at LEGO Shop@Home Starts Today, Preorder Marvel in the UK

Just a quick reminder that LEGO Shop@Home’s Free Shipping promotion starts today. And for the next three days it will stack with the Double VIP points promotion they have going as well. It’s the perfect time to pick up some of those high dollar items.

Also, if you’re living out in the UK you can preorder the Marvel sets from LEGO Shop@Home over there. Complete list with prices below:

And lastly, if you order £50 or more worth of LEGO Star Wars products from Shop@Home UK, you’ll get a free 8028 Mini TIE FIghter set automatically added to your order.

Don "Solo" Reitz | March 12th, 2012 | Contests, LEGO Star Wars

2012 Podracer Challenge Winners!

It’s been a great contest with loads of fantastic entries and the final votes are in. The winner of this year’s Podrace Challenge is Sparkart with his Lady Liberty based Ghostbusters Chibi Pod Racer:

Image

The idea behind this is just too clever if you ask me, and the build is right up there as well. A well deserved 1st place design.  The collectable minifigures turned out to be an excellent source of inspiration and made the voting especially hard for everyone. Click here to view the rest of the top five entries.
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Casey "cas" Scott | March 9th, 2012 | MOC Spotlight

Now This is a Gonzo Speeder

Mr. Voltron’s showing off his latest creation, a rendition of the most famous space hot rod this side of the Rishi Maze. What does that mean? It means Mr. Voltron captured the sleek, yet agressive stylings of Anakin’s stolen speeder beautifully, making this casual observer wish this was available as a UCS set so he could have one, too! For all the forgettable things in Episode II, this was not one of them.

Don "Solo" Reitz | March 6th, 2012 | Contests, LEGO Star Wars

2012 Podracer Challenge: Voting in Progress

2012 Podracer Challenge

The preliminary poll just closed and the finalists have been selected, now they’re going head to head to determine the winners. Click here to go place your vote! I apologize for not linking to the first poll here on the main page, I assumed anyone intent on voting would have caught it on the forum over the weekend. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind for future contests.

Casey "cas" Scott | March 3rd, 2012 | News

Ralph McQuarrie 1929 – 2012

The legendary illustrator who was instrumental in realizing the visual aspect of the Star Wars universe has died. Ralph McQuarrie’s amazing work shaped many of the classic characters, starships and alien landscapes we all know and love, and most importantly, remember. I fondly remember searching the internet for his artwork years ago when I first learned who he was. I sat and patiently perused image databases on my then dial-up connection looking at each piece, and always in awe. It was fascinating to see the origins of the iconic imagery we’re used to watching, whether it’s Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or the numerous other classic films he was a part of. I have yet to come across concept art for any film that has the energy and life conveyed by McQuarrie’s hand. He will be missed, but never forgotten as long as the universes he helped create live on in millions of homes around the world.

Ace Kim | March 2nd, 2012 | Events, LEGO Star Wars

Star Wars Days Update: Volunteer Shirt, Podracers

Volunteer Shirt

Just a quick update on Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND CA (March 31-April 1).

All time slots for volunteers have been filled. Thank you to everyone who replied and confirmed. The picture above is the shirt that the volunteers will be receiving. And before you ask, this shirt IS NOT/WILL NOT be for sale. They are given only to the volunteers to the various clubs participating that day. The back of the shirt will have the name of the clubs involved.

CALLING ALL PODRACERS: FBTB will be giving away cash to one lucky podracer that is displayed throughout the weekend. Fifty big ones (You’ll need paypal to receive the funds). It’s simple: wrap up your podracer extremely carefully, put it in a box and mail it to me. A jury panel consisting of Don, Ryan, and myself will judge which one we like best and notify the winner. After the weekend, I’ll mail all the podracers back to their respective owners and throw in an FBTB t-shirt as a way of saying “thanks”. Interested? Send us a message. All podracers must be received by March 24th to qualify. Interested in dropping off/displaying in person? Send us a message and we’ll work out the details.

Ace Kim | March 2nd, 2012 | LEGO CUUSOO, News

CUUSOO Japan Launches 21101 Hayabusa

21101 Hayabusa

LEGO CUUSOO Japan’s latest model, 21101 Hayabusa, went on sale in Japan I assume today since I got the press release today. Unlike their first model, however, 21100 Shinkai 6500 Submarine, this set will be available at LEGO Shop@Home in limited quantities later in the year. No release date has been given yet but we’ll keep you up to date on any developments. Official press release below.

BILLUND, Denmark – The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa, the second LEGO® CUUSOO release, has gone on sale in Japan, while a limited number of Hayabusa sets will also be available exclusively online via shop.LEGO.com later in the year. No release date has been set yet.

The original Hayabusa model on LEGO CUUSOO was built by Daisuke Okubo and achieved 1,000 supporters on the Japanese-only version of LEGO CUUSOO in the spring of 2011. LEGO model designer Melody Louise Caddick designed the final model, refining earlier concept models based on Daisuke’s original project.

The model is priced at ¥ 4,118 in Japan, USD49, EUR49

LEGO CUUSOO is a website where LEGO fans can submit their ideas for new LEGO products and collect votes to make their ideas become a reality. They can also vote for other users’ ideas. It can be found at http://lego.cuusoo.com

LEGO CUUSOO began in 2008 with a Japanese site that attracted hundreds of ideas and saw thousands of votes cast by a 35,000-strong community. It was launched globally in October.

The first Japanese product, the Shinkai 6500 submersible, went on sale in Japan in February 2011. A project backed by Minecraft developer Mojang became the first user-sponsored project to be approved on the global version of LEGO CUUSOO.

Ideas supported by 10,000 votes are examined by a LEGO jury to check the models meet LEGO standards of safety and playability and support the LEGO brand. Consumers who have their ideas chosen for production will earn 1% of the total net sales of the product.’

Hayabusa (“falcon” in English) is an unmanned spacecraft built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), designed to travel to a small near-Earth asteroid named Itokawa and return sample material to Earth. Hayabusa’s mission began in 2003 and ended successfully in 2010.

Rick "GIR3691" Theroux | March 1st, 2012 | LEGO, LEGO Star Wars, Sales News

[USA] March Promotions from LEGO Shop @ Home

Town Hall

March is bringing us some slick deals at LEGO S@H.

Firstly, you get double VIP points for all purchases in-store and online March 1st-15th.

You’ll also get free shipping on orders of $75 or more from March 12th through 31st, so if you bide your time, the VIP deal and free shipping promotions will overlap a few days starting on the 12th.

Also, the 10224 Town Hall modular was released today. You’ll rack up 399 VIP points with that purchase.

Finally, spend $35 on Star Wars LEGO and receive a free poster. It’s the same one as the pre-order deal back in January, so if you waited on the new 2012 sets, you didn’t miss out. Actually, you’re getting a better deal. Oh yeah, and if you spend $50 on Star Wars, enjoy 30% off the Imperial Royal Guard Magnet. That’s been around a few years, but if it’s still being manufactured, it’ll be glued together.

LEGO Star Wars Poster