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Archive for February, 2014

Ken Robichaud | February 28th, 2014 | LEGO The Hobbit, Sales News

Legolas Greenleaf Polybag / The Hobbit: TDOS Bundle Exclusive To Target

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Forum member bacon1986 (mmmmmmmmmm, bacon) has spotted the 30215 Legolas Greenleaf polybag available with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug DVD/BluRay combo pack is indeed exclusive to Target. The figure appears to be the one from the Mirkwood Spiders set, so if you just want it for the fig, it may not be for you. If you don’t have that set, love collecting polybags or expected to pay around $25 for the combo pack anyway, it’s not a bad deal.

Nick Martin | February 28th, 2014 | LEGO Star Wars, Reviews

Review: 75037 Battle on Saleucami

75037 - Full Set

When is a battle pack not a battle pack? The obvious joke answer is “whenever it’s one of the crazy minifigure assortments in all the other sets,” but that’s too easy. Maybe when a set is focused on a few figures of the same type that can be used to build an army, and more than that, battle? Nah, can’t be that obvious.

Battle on Saleucami is an odd set. It’s battle pack sized, but marketed as a regular set. At $15, it’s the first set at that price point since 2005’s Tri-Droid fighter (or 2006’s $16 A-Wing), and sort of sits in a strange place between LEGO’s $12 battle packs and $25 base sets. 183 pieces is certainly nothing to sneeze at in a small set like this, even if it’s heavy on battle droids over regular minifigs (you get one, a Clone ARC trooper).

At first, I figured this was kind of a throwaway set in the lineup because Lego didn’t want three different battle packs for Clone Troopers. After building it though, I’m thinking that this should be the benchmark for all Lego Battle packs. It combines some very interesting and unique play features with some good builds and decent army builder figures (assuming you’re building a droid army, that is).

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Nick Martin | February 27th, 2014 | News

ABC Marvel Special: Assembling a Universe on March 18th

Marvel-Studios-ABC-Special

As a fan of the Marvel films, I love reading and watching features that talk about the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the reasons why the movies have worked so well is that the Marvel has gone out of its way to keep the MCU meshed together and tie it from one film to the next. Avengers was amazing because Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America were done well and just moved right into it.

However, if you don’t want to see the awesome, you might want to know that there will be more previews to taunt us for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. Normally, I try to ignore spoilers and trailers for movies like this because I like being surprised, but yeah… between Rocket Raccoon and Falcon, I just can’t get enough. I guess I’m hooked on a feeling or something…

Ken Robichaud | February 27th, 2014 | LEGO CUUSOO, News

Team BTTF’s Jules Verne Train Reaches 10,000 On CUUSOO

bttf train

Team BTTF has done it again over on CUUSOO, with this fully achieved entry based on the time travelling hover train from the final moments of Back to the Future III. This model and its figures were designed by team member Sakuretsu and I have to admit I’ve liked it since it was originally posted. Certainly not as iconic as the DeLorean, I think it will be a harder sell based on its size and how much more obscure it is within the franchise. It’s always been a favourite of mine in the time travelling genre, but then again I’m a huge fan of The Time Tunnel and yet I don’t think that would be a good idea for a LEGO set. If this set does get produced (and I think it has a far better chance then the PF UCS version) I would certainly consider getting it, but it isn’t a sure thing for me like the DeLorean or Ecto-1 set and wouldn’t be considered for permanent display like those two (as soon as I find just the right display cases… and get the Ecto-1). I find the look on the Verne fig’s face is funny, considering what he’s become known for over the years.

Good luck to Team BTTF on the next review and with luck we should hear something about this in the fall.

Nick Martin | February 27th, 2014 | LEGO Star Wars, Reviews

Review: 75038 Jedi Interceptor

75038 - Full Set

Quick, what’s yellow, flies, and is a totally unneeded re-release? Okay, I’m sure there are more than a few smart… um, alecks… that probably yelled “Naboo Starfighter!” at their monitor (and at least one who had to be different and said something about a lemon catapult), but for the rest of us, it’s Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter, I mean, Interceptor. I suppose that’s technically correct (the best kind of correct), as these ships are based on the Eta-2 Interceptor, but it makes finding them difficult when searching because all of them except this one and the green one before it are called Jedi Starfighters.

That green one is really the big problem with this particular release, though, as you can still find them on a few shelves and it was just retired a couple of months ago. It was a Target Exclusive, which made it a little harder to find, but wasn’t exactly a knockout set by itself. To be fair, this version is nine years past when the original was made, and the Eta-2 fighters haven’t been the weeds that the Delta varieties have been, but still, it feels like they could do something else (like that Obi-Wan’s version, or maybe make the Hyperspace ring again).

At $25 and 223 parts, this is basically the new “budget” level set. It’s also a crowded price-point in the early releases, with Grievous’ Wheel Bike, the V-Wing Starfighter, and the Droid Fighter all in the lineup and running the same amount. I guess $25 is the new $20. The original included a Droid Fighter and Anakin’s fighter in just 202 parts, so obviously there have been some updates done. So the real question is how does this live up as a re-release of that set?

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Ken Robichaud | February 26th, 2014 | LEGO Star Wars, MOC Spotlight

Monsterbrick’s R2 Hologram Would Make A Great Nightlight

Hologram artoo unitR2-Poop-2

Do you wake up screaming through the darkness every night in a cold sweat, your brain still burning with twisted images ripped straight from the vivid landscapes of the PT as they scatter back to the dark recesses of your mind’s eye? There is one sure fire way to calm yourself and help you be sure George Lucas isn’t hiding under your bed, ready to fill your dreamscape with more of his eye catchingly evil machinations, as soon as your heart stops racing and you drift back to sleep.

An R2-D2 nightlight!

Monsterbrick is no stranger to holographic LEGO R2 units, or astromechs in general, but this really stood out for me. Sometimes a builder posts an MOC and I’m blown away. Other times I’m wildly entertained or even lament that I didn’t think of that first. This is a case where I immediately wanted to build my own and my son agreed.

Of course, with too many projects already in the works, I won’t. So, I’m hopeful Ace can distract Matt long enough to make off with it at LEGOLAND’s Star Wars weekend. At least before Don tries first.

I leave you with another of his R2 variations, in honour of Anti Bullying Day 2014, R2-QT.

R2-QT

*Grab this one too, Ace!*

Nick Martin | February 26th, 2014 | LEGO Star Wars, Reviews

Review: 75035 Kashyyyk Troopers

75035 - Full Set

 

Is it possible to get battle pack fatigue? Maybe that’s why Lego keeps playing with the $10 range with stuff like Planets (which were awesome) and the Microfighters (not as much). Or maybe it’s just that a lot of the recent battle packs have been somewhat underwhelming, with mixes for the type of figures in them or not enough generic troopers to help build up an army. 

That was my chief complaint with the Death Star Troopers pack, where the Royal Guard figures really detracted from the overall value of the set. The Utapau Troopers set did a better job of some more generic troop types, assuming you wanted to build up an army of troopers that would be able to blend in very well at a Texas Longhorns home game (which, as a ‘horns fan, I can totally get). They weren’t bad troopers, but we’ve had other Sherbet clones recently so it’s good to see a change.

Enter the Kashyyk Troopers battle pack, the third pack we’re getting this year. These are obviously not a very “generic” figure, being dressed up for a Duck Dynasty / Star Wars crossover convention (I’m not sure I want to know what that looks like, but I bet TLC will have it on the air within a year or two), but they all look pretty good. If you were going to build up an army of Clone Troopers, I’m willing to bet you’d rather have them capable of hiding in a jungle than at an AT&T store.

At 99 pieces, this one comes in slightly under the Death Star battle pack and well above the Utapau Troopers. The real question is does it justify your money any better than the other two battle packs (or the existing two you can still get)?

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Ken Robichaud | February 25th, 2014 | LEGO Super Heroes, Marvel Comics, Reviews

Review: Thor: The Dark World

Lego Thor Poster

It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review. Part of that reason is that I didn’t feel the movies I considered reviewing warranted wasting any more of my time beyond the two plus hours lost watching them. Sure Iron Man 3 had it’s moments and we all like the flashy suits, but my patience for Tony Stark’s growth as a character has worn thin. Man of Steel had a lot of potential, but just fell too short of the characters core for me to care. Then the god of thunder came crashing onto the big screen for the third time, mixing in the more mythologically “magical” side of Marvel’s canon and the response was generally positive if a bit mixed. Thor has long been a character that has straddled the concept in comics of magic in an ever increasing world of technology and so, the magical aspect has in many ways been peeled back to a reveal character more in line with science fiction then fantasy. This is exactly the type of peanut butter I like in my chocolate. Even though I’ve been reading Thor in comics for over 30+ years, I still prefer sci-fi over fantasy.

Now, a few critics were hard on the film and in some cases with good reason. Thor suffers from the same drawbacks of trying to put Superman on screen and give him a challenge worthy of a god, but I felt the story was entertaining and it was easily the best sequel in the MCU up until this point. The score on Rotten Tomatoes is a decent (if not uncommon) indicator of the divide between the critics at 65% and the general audience who scored it at an average of 82%. It solidified the character as a Marvel tentpole, locking in a third outing outside of the Avengers franchise and even spun off two episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the second bringing Sif back to Midgard for the first time since Thor. I’m not really going to review the movie here in full, as most who were interested have probably already seen it. I was going to do this when the film first came out, but I didn’t get to see it until it had been out for a couple weeks and then with the holiday season approaching, things got very busy, on site and off. It seemed to make sense to do it with the DVD release, which just happens to be today. I want to take the opportunity to address my one true disappointment with the film, which actually doesn’t really have to do with the film at all.
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Nick Martin | February 25th, 2014 | LEGO Star Wars, Reviews

Review: 75034 Death Star Troopers

75034 - Full Set

When the first leaks showed up with pictures of a proper Death Star Gunner, I think the general reaction for fans was “It’s about time!” I mean, we’ve had two Death Stars, including the huge Death Star Playset that included a big ‘ole gun like this set seems to be based on. There are also a couple of Royal Guards, which get a nice “New” label on the box thanks to different arms and capes. It’s notable that there isn’t an Emperor for them to guard, and there isn’t an Emperor coming out in any of the sets this year, so I guess they’re guarding the gun?

I’ve always maintained that Battle Packs are hard to rate, but this year, there are three varieties to go with the two from last year, Republic Troopers vs. Sith Troopers and Clone Troopers vs. Droidekas, giving us five battle packs currently. This one, however, is the only OT set we have to choose from, and the only OT set in the early-2014 wave that isn’t a Microfighter. The summer sets are packed with OT stuff, so the dark days are almost over, but will this set tide everyone over with these four figures, a couple of new blasters, and the 100 pieces?

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Nick Martin | February 24th, 2014 | LEGO Star Wars, Reviews

Review: 75036 Utapau Troopers

75036 - Full Set

Did you realize that battle packs have been around for seven years now?  I’m actually kind of scared to count how many of the things I’ve bought, because they’re just easy. Even when a pack isn’t all that great, sometimes it’s just fun to crack open a set and build something (like that Assassin Droid battle pack from a few years ago). Of course, one of the biggest problems is that it’s just been years since the promise of those original battle packs, with their regular rank-and-file Stormtroopers and Rebel Troopers, were the kind of thing you could buy a bunch of to build an army. 

This has been especially problematic with clone troopers and battle droids. Yes, there are some special colors and commanders, but in the movies, even in Episode III, it was all of the regular troops that were there to blast things and get shot. Sadly, we’re still waiting, as both of the Episode III battle packs this year only include special troopers, Utapau 212th Clone Legion and the Kashyyyk Troopers under Gree and Yoda. So, orange and green, but no plain white in anything other than the Microfighters Clone Turbo Tank.

I wouldn’t normally get (as) hung up on that fact if there wasn’t a brand new Clone Trooper Phase 2 helmet, and suddenly, my colored troopers look different from everything else. I’ve mixed/matched before, but it’d be nice to have a better source of regular clones. Instead, we get the guys that tried to off one of the few competent Jedis (Obi-Wan), and not even the commander. But hey, it’s a $13 set that gives us four troops and a droid, so it can’t be all bad… right?

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