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Ace Kim | December 8th, 2011 | LEGO Star Wars, News

Update on Toys for Tots

Brickset's Donation

We’ve hit a bit of a snafu regarding our Toys for Tots efforts. Apparently, LEGO being “aware of our activities” isn’t exactly the same as being okay with it. After discovering yesterday that they implemented a three email restriction on the number of emails that can be sent from one email address to another, I discovered that simply editing the from email address, you could still use the send/back/send method. The number of greetings started to skyrocket once again. And then this morning at approximately 9:19am, I’ve had my IP address blocked from the site as well as a few other members of the rebel alliance. I can’t even check the number of toys donated let alone send a greeting or read any greetings I may receive.

Kind of a low blow if you ask me. If the Empire LEGO was serious about donating a million toys, they would lift the blockades they put in place. Heck, if they were really serious, they’d just donate the toys anyway and we can call it a day. I understand that a webmaster has to do what he/she can to keep the site up and running and not to overload the servers, but what they are actually doing is making it harder to donate toys. I’ve had a few alliance members send some test greetings using unique email addresses that have never been used before, and those greetings were never received. The other thing I hope they realize is that once we hit a million toys, everything will go back to normal and the site traffic to will go back down to the near zero levels it was before.

Despite their efforts, however, we are burning through the rest of the unread emails that landed in our inbox. We are patiently waiting the confirmation of any greetings that are successfully received. A few greetings have trickled into the inbox, but nothing substantial that’s worth mentioning. Those were probably previously undeliverable messages that finally got delivered. I have my suspicion that they stopped outgoing emails and are devising another fail safe measure to screen out greetings in some way but no pattern has emerged quite yet.

In the meantime, I’d like to mention a few things. In addition to the great giveaways we have planned, Huw Millington of Brickset has graciously donated a set of polybags that were either very difficult to obtain in the US or was never made available (see first pic above) as a prize. Ken “buriedbybricks” is donating an copy of 7958 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar to the one who sends the most greetings. All names will be drawn when we hit 1 million toys or on December 24th, whichever happens sooner.


As of this writing, we’re currently at 321,919 toys donated. I’m determined to do what I can to make that number go higher. When we started this campaign, the number was only at 590. The good news is that one of my contacts did say that they will honor that number, or whatever number it happens to be at December 24th (when the site is shut down). Let’s hope that they stick to their word.


Ace Kim | December 5th, 2011 | LEGO Star Wars, News

How To Give Toys to Toys for Tots

As you may or may not be aware, LEGO’s Star Wars-themed holiday microsite, launched a few weeks ago. From the site, you can vote in a poll, view a gift guide chock full of LEGO Star Wars goodness, and even enter in a weekly contest. There is one other major aspect and its their e-greeting cards. You can send a virtual greeting card to a friend or enemy, and for every greeting sent, LEGO will donate a toy to Toys for Tots, up to 1 million toys. The catch is that the recipient of the email has to click on the link provided in order for the email to count, and for the “toys given” counter to increment. As of three days ago, the total amount of toys donated was an embarrassingly low number, somewhere in the 1800’s. That’s when we decided to step in and do something about it.

We offered up a prize, a copy of 8095 General Grievous’ Starfighter, given to a winner selected at random. All you had to do was send an e-greeting to [email protected] with a message of “For the Tots!” and you were entered. And you could enter as many times as you wish. My cohort Ken “buriedbybricks” Robichaud also offered a prize for the most e-greetings sent. The response has been tremendous to say the least. We are now at 65,299 toys donated. But that’s not enough. I want to hit that 1 million toy mark. It is possibly the easiest way to donate a toy to Toys for Tots. And here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to
  2. Select a greeting card.
  3. Fill in the form with your name and email address. Enter FBTB for recipient and [email protected] as the address. Enter a message of “For the Tots!”
  4. Hit send.
  5. Hit the back button on your browser.
  6. The information you entered should still be there. Hit send again!
  7. Go to step 5

I guarantee that every email received will be read and clicked through to get the toy counter to rise.

Now here’s where things get interesting. In an attempt to unite the AFOL community behind the cause, I’ve contacted a few other AFOL sites to help spread the word on our effort. Brickset is getting in on the action and will be donating a prize to be awarded to another random lucky winner. Toys’N’Bricks is having a contest of their own. And in addition to the General Grievous set, FBTB is upping the ante. One lucky winner will receive the following prize package (MacBook Pro not included):

Prize for Donations

You’ll get every single LEGO Star Wars promo minifigure ever made: Chrome C-3PO, Chrome Darth Vader, Chrome Stormtrooper, White Boba Fett, and Shadow ARF Trooper. I’ve been saving them for a worthy cause and I can’t think of anything better than trying to raise 1 million toys for Toys for Tots. With the holidays upon us and all the sales news flying around, it’s easy to forget about those less fortunate. It doesn’t take a lot of time, energy or effort. And it costs nothing. I didn’t do a charity drive this year for various reasons, but I’ve adopted this little endeavor as our 2011 charitable effort.

If there is one cause that Adult Fans of LEGO can and should unite behind, this is it. We can all remember what it was like to opening up a LEGO set on Christmas, and this donation drive gives needy children the opportunity to experience that same joy. You have a chance to make a LEGO fan for life, so why not? Send an email, a toy gets donated. It couldn’t be any easier. So what are you waiting for? Get clicking!

Ken Robichaud | December 1st, 2011 | Giveaways, LEGO Star Wars

Giveaway For The Tots!

LEGO Santa Yoda

You may have seen the post I made in the forums last week about pledging to donate up to 1 million gifts to the US Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots program. The catch is they only donate one gift for each e-greeting sent from the website and so far the total is limping along at just over a hundred donations a day.

Let’s see if we can’t kick that number up a notch. Ace has generously offered a MISB 8095 General Grievous Starfighter set to one lucky winner chosen at random who sends an e-greeting from to [email protected] Make sure the message reads FOR THE TOTS! and feel free to send as many as you like. The more you send, the more chances you have and the more donations get made to a great charity. The giveaway ends when they shut their program down, so be quick and get those greetings in!

As an added bonus, I’ll send a little extra something to the person who sends the most greetings so let’s get to work spreading the holiday cheer!

Ace Kim | November 22nd, 2011 | LEGO Star Wars, News

Time Lapse Build of 12-foot Santa Yoda

The powers that be saw fit to shoot a time lapse video of the 12-foot LEGO Santa Yoda this past weekend in San Francisco that kicked off Good to see a new model used for a build event..

Ace Kim | November 21st, 2011 | LEGO Star Wars, News Now Live

LEGO Santa Yoda

LEGO’s Star Wars-themed holiday microsite is now live at You can choose one of three holiday greeting e-cards to send to a loved one. And for each greeting you send, LEGO will donate one toy to Toys For Tots, up to 1 million toys. Spreading holiday cheer has never been so easy!

There is also a weekly contest. Simply create a LEGO Star Wars holiday scene, shoot a picture or video, and upload it to the site. You MUST have a flickr and/or youtube account to enter. Entries are due each Friday at 11:59pm EST from now until December 23. More details are on the site. The prize packages are pretty nice:

Grand Prize consists of: a one-of-a-kind, custom 2-foot tall LEGO® Santa Yoda minifigure model, made completely out of LEGO bricks by a LEGO Master Builder (ARV: $5,000).

One (1) weekly First Prize winner will receive: LEGO® Star Wars™ Super Star Destroyer, LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon™, 2011 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar and LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace on Blu-Ray/DVD (ARV: $600).

Two (2) weekly Second Prize winners will receive: LEGO® Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon™, 2011 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar and LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace on Blu-Ray/DVD (ARV: $210).

Five (5) weekly Third Prize winners will receive: 2011 LEGO® Star Wars™ Advent Calendar and LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace on Blu-Ray/DVD (ARV: $60).

So put on those creative thinking caps and start shooting. I also invite you to submit your photos and links to video in our MOC Showcase forum.

There’s also a weekly poll on the site, the current question being which Star Wars character would you like to hit with a snowball. Is it any surprise the front runner is ol’ Mr. Binks?

Ace Kim | November 15th, 2011 | Events, LEGO Star Wars

More Details Regarding The Santa Yoda Build in SF

Santa Yoda

I just received additional details regarding the Santa Yoda build at Union Square in San Francisco, CA today. In addition to the weekend-long event, LEGO will be launching There’s a holiday toy drive benefitting Toys for Tots attached to the site, but there’s only a placeholder image there right now. I’ll try and post details about the site and the toy drive as soon I am able to.

* Who: San Francisco Bay Area Families are invited to Help LEGO® Master Builders Construct a 12-foot tall by 10-foot wide LEGO® Star Wars™ Santa Yoda out of LEGO bricks

* What: Three-day community build where families will help LEGO® Master Builders to create a 12-foot tall by 10-foot wide LEGO® Star Wars™ Santa Yoda made entirely of LEGO® bricks to kick-off a countdown to the holidays found at Children and parents will be invited to build a portion of Santa Yoda which LEGO® Master Builders will then add to the larger than life model.

* When: Friday, November 18th to Sunday, November 20th, 10am-6pm daily (or until completed

* Where: Union Square (next to the seasonal ice skating rink), San Francisco