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Nick Martin | March 4th, 2015 | LEGO Star Wars, Reviews

Review: 75078 Imperial Troop Transport

75078 - Full Set

My admiration for Battle Packs is pretty well documented, given that I’ve reviewed them for the past few years. I missed a couple in there (that or they are really hiding from me on the search page), but I own all of the battle packs back to the original Clones and Droids, typically multiples of each, even the ones I don’t like.

When the leaks showed up with just names, Imperial Troop Transport was a bit scary. They’ve tried to attack this particular angle before, and the results have been mixed at best. The Imperial Dropship battle pack was one of the best (and for me, most expensive) releases, but the Imperial Landing Craft is one of the worst sets that LEGO has made in the Star Wars line. Once pictures showed up, however, it became clear that we were dealing with a new battle pack that focused on Storm Troopers. At last, my dream of building the Emperor’s Arrival on the Death Star II was alive and well (that is doing it without spending a bajillion dollars)… even if said scene is some of the most mind-bending use of a matte painting ever.

We haven’t had a Storm Trooper-themed Battle Pack since 2008, and the last time we got a Stormtrooper in a battle pack was the Endor Trooper Battle pack. Storm Troopers show up as the extra figure in a lot of sets, but typically aren’t cost effecti1ve to purchase in bulk. This particular set does have a downside, in that it’s the new “Rebels” version of the stormies, which means a lot more details and different designs. Yet at $13 and carrying four basic troopers, it’s going to be hard to say no to this guy…

Full article »

Ace Kim | March 2nd, 2015 | Events, LEGO Star Wars, News

Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND CA – The Update


I can’t believe we’re already coming up on Star Wars Weekend. Where does the time go…. oh yeah, my three kids. There are a couple of things that I need to go over before the weekend.

In case you haven’t noticed, registration is closed for the weekend and assuming everyone who signed up shows up, this might be our biggest year ever! The spreadsheet is locked, but there are a number of you who have put question marks or “TBD” for your MOC title. We will be printing out tent cards to display next to your MOC. We will also be asking people to use the names on the tent cards for voting purposes. So, if you’re one of those people who haven’t put a title in, please email me with your name and title so I can update the spreadsheet. You have until Tuesday at midnight to get this done.

I just sent out an email to everyone who registered successfully for this weekend. Everyone should have gotten an email from me, and if you didn’t get the email marked “The Email” or “The Parking Pass”, then message me and we’ll figure out what happened. I’ve also contacted a few people separately who volunteered but were waitlisted. Unfortunately, there are no more available slots and it’s doubtful that anyone will be backing out at this point. So, everyone, please check your email.

The picture above is the t-shirt that the volunteer crew will be getting. There is only one thing left to reveal and LEGOLAND is being pretty tight-lipped about it but it’s something that everyone should be getting in their goody bag.

And lastly, The LEGO Group has generously donated a copy of 75060 Slave I as a prize. That will go to the winner of Best In Show – Fan’s Choice, a new category made up just for this prize.

I think that’s it for now but I am most likely forgetting something. Can’t wait to see you all there this weekend.

Nick Martin | March 2nd, 2015 | DC Universe, LEGO Super Heroes, Reviews

Review: 76025 Green Lantern vs. Sinestro

76025 - Full Set

When this particular set was first announced, my reaction, and the reaction of a lot of other people, was “It’s about time!” Usually, when a major character is ignored like this, we have to wait for them to show up in a huge or exclusive set (or, sometimes, both). It’s worse if the character is a woman or minority, so luckily we weren’t waiting for Simon Baz (which is a shame) or Jade (not as much of a shame). That can give us some hope of a Green Lantern Corps set eventually, I guess.

Green Lantern was actually one of the very first figures released for DC Super Heroes, but as a SDCC exclusive that ran several hundred dollars (the shenanigans of the SDCC exclusives has been well documented by Ace). The vast majority of us were never going to own that figure, and even if we had the money to buy it, that money was better spent on sets, not a single minifig.

It’s not like we’re talking about some niche figure here… a Green Lantern of some sort has been a core member of DC comics since the 40s, and some of the biggest stories revolved around them. Of course, given that every major series that involves the Lanterns ends up requiring a reboot of the DC universe, it could be that LEGO was just scared of having to recreate their whole product line if they had him come out. My new product line idea is Batman in everything. Batman the lunchbox! Batman the flamethrower (kids love it)! It’s all Batman!

There was hope when the LEGO movie hit, because some of the funniest parts involved Green Lantern, cast in perhaps the most unique light that I think only LEGO could get away with. Seriously, you give me a Master Builders set with Superman and Green Lantern stuck in gum and it would be a shut-up-and-take-my-money purchase. Instead, we get him, finally, in a Super Heroes release. After DC had a very weak 2014, DC brought their A-game for sets and lead-off with our Green-inclined friend.

This $20 set weighs in at 174 pieces, both of which seem so… uncharacteristic for such an ignored character. I suppose it’s only fair, given that for the majority of their existence, the Lanterns could be easily taken out by a #2 pencil, or the non-Golden Age versions being especially vulnerable to ripe bananas and Wiffle Ball bats. Yes, I know that said weaknesses have been retconned, but my jokes are like my hair: unchanged since the mid-90s. While it seems like a given that it doesn’t matter what the actual set is like, since anyone who collects DC (or really Super Heroes in general) is going to buy this set for one guy, but let’s give it a go anyway…

Full article »

Ace Kim | March 1st, 2015 | LEGO Super Heroes, Marvel Comics, Sales News

[UK] Free Winter Soldier With Helicarrier Purchase at LEGO Shop@Home

Winter Soldier

Over in the UK, the Winter Solider minifig polybag is now available as a free promotional item with your purchase of 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier. This makes sense, of course, since the Helicarrier just came out and it being Marvel and Avengers and Captain America related and all. For us in the US, popular rumor has the minifig promotion pegged for June to coincide with… pretty much nothing relevant.

Ace Kim | March 1st, 2015 | LEGO Super Heroes, Marvel Comics, Sales News

Helicarrier, Age of Ultron Sets Now Available


So this went on sale today. Exclusively to LEGO Shop@Home, 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier will set you back $349.99. And since I missed the boat in posting this earlier, I see now that the set is backordered for 30 days. Woe is me.

But while you’re waiting, perhaps you can keep yourself busy with all of the other Avengers sets that just got released as well. All of the Age of Ultron sets are now available and ship immediately. It includes the retail-exclusive 76041 The Hydra Fortress Smash set which was not previewed at Toy Fair.

Or you can get the whole shebang minus the Helicarrier by getting 5004552 Super Heroes Avengers Collection. This collection has the all of the March Marvel Super Heroes sets based on the upcoming Age of Ultron movie. The collection will run you $252.94 which is pretty much all of the sets added up together. There’s no discount or advantage in getting collection other than saving you a couple of clicks. One and done as they say.

Ace Kim | February 27th, 2015 | LEGO Star Wars, News

Disney Acquires LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales


Disney has acquired LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales from The LEGO Group and will be airing it on Disney XD. This might mark the beginning of the end of LEGO’s relationship with Cartoon Network to air anything LEGO Star Wars related. LSW: DT is a retelling of the Star Wars Saga from Episode I: The Phantom Menace all the way through to Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in five short 22-minute episodes from the viewpoint of C-3PO and R2-D2. Yeah, I don’t get the math either unless they’re totally going to skip everything that happened in Episode I other than Anakin was found. But while you’re trying to wrap your around that, this was revealed later on in the press release:

…the tales of their adventures that led to the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Say what? Threepio wasn’t even activated until the middle of Episode I, and R2 was in service on another planet entirely. They shared no adventures previous to The Phantom Menace. Either this is the most half-baked, poorly written, idea to ever get out in a press release, or they plan on doing some serious retconning.

Whatever. Do what you want. We’ll see how much of a disaster this is.

Photo credit goes to Angus MacLane. I had another picture entirely in mind that I wanted to do. Something that involved a LEGO Astromech and tentacles but alas, I am at work and away from my LEGO.

View the full press release

Nick Martin | February 27th, 2015 | Reviews, The LEGO Movie

Review: 70816 Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!

70816 - Full Set

There are a whole bunch of stories from AFOLs that had their lasting LEGO memories thanks to Classic Space sets. Those little spacemen rocketing around in blocky ships, elements like transparent wings and windscreens, and all sorts of crazy rovers and shuttles. That’s probably why Benny was such a wonderful character in the LEGO movie, since he hit that little fusion between kid’s love him (“SPACESHIP!”) and a call-out to AFOLs with that broken helmet piece.

I wasn’t one of those classic space kids, as I’ve covered in other reviews. Don’t get me wrong, I loved space stuff, but my Sci-Fi love was pretty limited to Star Wars and Star Trek… otherwise most of the stuff I built was actual rockets or space shuttle stuff. I mean, I admit to owning GoBots just because they had Spay-C and she turned into a Space Shuttle. So something like Benny’s Spaceship was an interesting build, but not one based on nostalgia or reliving my childhood collection (that’s what modular buildings and castle are for).

This is obviously a bit on the late side for this model, since it’s been out for about a year at this point, but hitting plenty of sales and clearances. Benny’s Spaceship isn’t a cheap set, per se, listing at $99 (but frequently hitting sales and clearance in the 70-80 range), but has a great little selection of parts, and before this year’s release of the Double-Decker couch or last year’s MetalBeard’s Sea Cow, was the set that most of us would be able to get our little blue friend with. Classic Space Unikitty and Wyldstyle were nice bonuses, as well as a foil-wrapped Emmet. In short, this had a set that had all kinds of wow right out of the gate. Given that time is running out for this set (until the updated version comes with the sequel), the question is, should you drop some money on this 940-part set (or on a second one, or third, or forth)?

Full article »

Ace Kim | February 26th, 2015 | LEGO Super Heroes, Marvel Comics, Sales News

Amazon Discounts 76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue

76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue

Update: Amazon‘s price has jumped up to $66.99, matching Target’s current price. If you order from Target, be sure to use your REDCard for an additional 5% off and free shipping. You can also purchase online and pickup in store for added convenience if, say, you were headed to Target sometime this weekend anyway.

Amazon’s done something to their listings. They no longer display the old price of something nor the percentage off of what the regular price is. So now we just have to guess. But there’s no guessing with this one: Amazon is discounting the Guardians of the Galaxy flagship set, 76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue, down to just $60.79 as of this writing. I’m pretty sure that the MSRP price is $74.99 so that’s like… a bajillion percent off! It’s a great little set and awarded 4 out of 5 stars in our review by Nick. Who knows how long this price will last. This item ships for free since it’s above the $35 threshold, and there is a quantity limit of 2 per order.

Ace Kim | February 26th, 2015 | Sales News, The LEGO Movie

Amazon Discounts 70808 Super Cycle Chase By 20%

70808 Super Cycle Chase

Amazon is applying a decent discount on one of my favorite sets based on The LEGO Movie, 70808 Super Cycle Chase. It is discounted by 20% bringing the price down to $39.99 from $49.99 MSRP. Like I said, this is one of my favorite sets and gave it a 5 out of 5 stars in my review. It’s a great versus-type set that doesn’t sacrifice one vehicle for the other. Highly recommended!

Ace Kim | February 24th, 2015 | Giveaways, LEGO Ideas

February’s Giveaway Winner Is…

Research institute giveaway

And the Research Institute goes to…

Jennifer Hayden of Ionia, MI

Congratulations, Jennifer! You’re the big winner.

Thanks everyone for being patient. I’m sorry it took so long to announce the winner. There were a ton of entries I had to disqualify before I could randomly pick. Stay tuned for March’s giveaway, happening real soon!