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Archive for the ‘STUDS Comic’ Category

Ace Kim | February 16th, 2012 | Bricklandia, STUDS Comic

Bricklandia Comic #0

Yep, that’s the name. Bricklandia. Sort of inspired by Fred Armisen’s Portlandia comedy show. We chose this name for a variety of reasons, but mostly because we hated it the least. I don’t know what it is about being in this hobby, but there seems to be some sort of unwritten rule or disease that forces one to name a new LEGO-related endeavor with the word “brick” in it. What’s up with that? Are we that uncreative that we can’t come up with a cool new name that doesn’t involve the word “brick”? I think that’s why I wanted to use Studs, since it avoids “brick” altogether but still implies an association with LEGO on some level. So Bricklandia was suggested and other than us hating it the least, we also liked the fact that it gave the characters a place to live and establishes the LUG and location for the LEGOLand theme park. So this week, we went with a poster type of image outlining some of the characters we had in mind for upcoming strips. Hopefully over time, this cast of characters will expand. It’ll be interesting to see how different or similar this poster will be in a year or two.

And for the record, it was not my idea to put a character named Onions modeled after the Series 4 skater who is a LEGO Ambassador into the strip. Paul thinks he’s being funny.

Ace Kim | February 8th, 2012 | STUDS Comic

Studs Comic #6

Attending my first LUG meeting, I went solo. I’m not exactly the most outgoing type of person but thankfully all the LUGOLA members at the time were extremely friendly and welcomed me with open arms. But as I get older and work from home more and more, I find myself becoming increasingly socially awkward. I can’t imagine how I’d survive a first time meeting in my current state, or even find the will to even go. I’d probably want to drag along my wife so I’d have someone to talk to.

I really don’t have much else to say about the strip. I could go on and on about how LUG lurkers shouldn’t be shy, they should attend a meeting, we’ll all welcome you with open arms, blah blah blah, but all I’d be doing at that point is preaching, and that’s the last thing I want to do. If you want to attend a meeting, great! If not, we’ll be around next month.

About the comic name: yes, it’s still called Studs for another week. We decided on a name but we’re having some issues that haven’t been resolved yet. We’ll keep you posted.

Ace Kim | February 1st, 2012 | STUDS Comic

Studs Comic #5

When the Cuusoo program launched it’s first crowdsourcing-approved project in Japan, 21100 Shinkai 6500 Submarine, I wondered if the program would ever make it to the states and if it did, what our first product would be. I never thought that the first product would be LEGO Minecraft. Not that I have anything against Minecraft or anything. It just seems like the simplistic nature of the graphics already lends itself to LEGO and making an actual set may result in just a box full of basic bricks. I guess an analogy would be taking paint to paint a picture of paint. Penny Arcade did a strip that pretty much sums up what I’m trying to say. Our strip has a slightly different take on it. Out of all the proposals that could have been approved, Minecraft got the most votes? I could walk into a store, buy a bucket of bricks, slap a Minecraft label on it and call it a day.

Regarding our strip name, we’ve gotten a ton of responses. Thanks to everyone who took the time to come up with a suggestion. We think we’ve settled on one, but are making sure all appropriate channels are cleared. We were intending to reveal the name in the next strip but that may be delayed another week or two. Stay tuned.

Ace Kim | January 25th, 2012 | STUDS Comic

Studs Comic #4

Some people can be so adamant about calling LEGO Legos or LEGOS or legos or whatever. Me, personally, I try to use the correct terminology whenever possible, but that’s only because I know better. Some people don’t and I’m okay with that. I don’t try and correct people on the proper usage because I don’t care what other people say when it comes to LEGO or legos. I know some people do to the point of correcting others. It’s kind of rude if you ask me. I mean seriously, why be an a-hole about it?

On a side note, we’re looking for a new name for the comic. I unabashedly stole the name from Brandon Griffith. He’s got plans for the name so we’re looking for a replacement to use for the strip. Got an idea? Drop a suggestion in the forum thread or use the contact form. This is not a shallow promise, I promise, but if we like your idea we may just pay you for it. So let us know.

Ace Kim | January 20th, 2012 | STUDS Comic

Studs Comic #3

We’re two days late, but here you go. We’ll resume our regular storyline Wednesday.

LEGO Universe was a funny product. I don’t mean ha-ha funny, more like what-the-heck-was-it-trying-to-be kind of funny. It was a game where children (presumably their target market) could go online, explore a virtual world, complete quests and vanquish enemies. Sounds like any other MMO game until you get to the part where you can take virtual bricks you collect throughout the game and build something. It sounds like a good idea, but the reality is that LEGO created a game that was basically competing against LEGO itself. The amount of time that an MMO requires by its very nature is time taken away from kids playing with their real life LEGO collection. Add a monthly subscription fee that could have been spent on LEGO sets and you create situation where children would have to choose between playing a game or building with LEGO and where parents would have to choose between paying a fee every month or purchase a set once that can last for years. Also, there wasn’t exactly a hole in the market for MMO’s targeted to children. And even if there was, the demand couldn’t have been too high. Of course, this is all just MY opinion. But I honestly couldn’t see the game succeeding. And $50 million dollars later, sadly, I was right.

The silver lining in all this? Galidor is STILL LEGO’s most embarrassing mistake.

Anyways, enough of my long-windedness. The game closes on January 30th, 2012.

Ace Kim | January 11th, 2012 | STUDS Comic

Studs Comic #2

I’m sure if you’re reading these words, this scenario has played out at some point in your life. Depending on how long you’ve been surfing the web while being an AFOL, you may or may not remember a little site called LUGNET. It was THE place to be to connect to others who were as passionate about LEGO. I can’t remember exactly when I got hooked. I do remember, though, that I found a few links here and there in rec.toys.lego that pointed to the site. It probably wasn’t until my 10th or so visit that I finally bookmarked it and made it a daily habit to check the various discussion groups. LUGNET was a great way to meet people both virtually and physically. It was there that I discovered what a LUG was and decided to go to my first LUGOLA meeting around 1999. It eventually collapsed for one reason or another. I stopped visiting the site regularly when I became more involved with FBTB and the rest is history.

Lurking is a pretty common practice. Way more people are lurking on sites reading than actually participating. I don’t know what the catalyst is for a person to take the next step and out themselves online. But I hope more people can take that leap of faith and make the same discovery we all did and sign up to become a member of a fansite and maybe even attend a meeting. It makes the hobby of LEGO so much more enjoyable when you can get your nerd on face to face with real people.

Ace Kim | January 4th, 2012 | STUDS Comic

Studs Comic #1

Assuming you haven’t been living under a rock, there’s a new LEGO theme for 2012 called LEGO Friends. It doesn’t take rocket surgery to see that it’s squarely aimed at girls. BusinessWeek did a rather lengthy article introducing the line a few weeks ago. LEGO says they’re targeting “the other 50%”, which is another way to say that their marketing efforts were targeting boys all along. So what do they do? The introduce new colors, design a new minifig to look more like miniature dolls and put it all together into a new theme. And this seems to be the point of contention that’s got a Brooklyn woman in a huff enough to start a petition. The anti-Friends position claims that the new figures in the Friends line are “sexualizing” the minifigs by making the figures curvier and giving them breasts.

Really? Do the figures look like they have breasts:

Friends - 3061_009_CAFE_BACK_Serving_Cake

OKay, so they do. But I don’t understand what the big deal is. Girls have breasts. Is this some sort of secret that we’re trying to keep from them?

Other than the whole breast issue, there’s whole slew of arguments against the Friends line, like how the sets are promoting gender stereotypes. Sets like 3315 Olivia’s House certainly isn’t helping LEGO with that image. Despite that, the Friends sets are actually quite tame compared to other toy lines marketed towards girls like Bratz and Barbie dolls. I just don’t think the onus should entirely be on LEGO to break those stereotypes. They’re just a toy company making a toy for girls. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Or buy it anyway and encourage your child to think outside the box and build something else with the pieces.

What does any of this have to do with FBTB or licensed themes? Nothing. It’s not exactly how we planned on launching our new comic strip called STUDS but all the controversy made it easy to come up with a joke. We’ll start our regular storyline next Wednesday.