LEGO Set Review - Bricktober Hotel 40141

It's that time of year again! Y'know when TRU runs their overpriced promo requiring you to buy a plethora of overpriced items and you figure out the best way to leave the store with a discount anyway. With this year's requirement of $80 $75 to get a $20 item, it's already a somewhat decent deal. You get $100 $95 worth of toys for $80 $75 so an easy 21% off. Depending on your math (or massage) skills, it can look like more. *(edit: apparently I overspent. I'll try to do better next time)

A brief analysis before I get into review. First, I had intended to walk into the store on Sunday, purchase last week's set, and walk out. But of course I was curious to see what else there might be. I waltzed over to the LEGO corral and browsed the shelves. Five Halloween Bat 40090 sets, 156 pieces for $3.99 each? Deal! Plus the Bricktober set I was buying, I was halfway to getting this week's promo. Browse for "clearance" deals, check the phone for part out value. Finally settled on a Star Wars Advent Calendar for $43.

With 156 pieces, the bat sets should be selling for $15 but the internet says they were $10 last year. The Advent Calendar usually sells for $40 but, well, TRU. Add in two Bricktobers (purchase and promo) and I had a value of $110. Sales price $83. That's almost 25% off. Probably won't be able to pull that one off again.

I was ecstatic to see the Bricktober sets make a comeback this year. I've still got last year's lineup sitting on my credenza; it will be fun to increase my street scene. I assembled the Hotel with my children. Each of us built a couple of pages until one of them raised a stink. Then the rest of us finished the set while she got personal alone time.

The detailing in the front gardens is gorgeous and it makes me wish for Mini Modulars II to come out. All the tiny little pieces and implied detail make me giddy. A small surprise this year was the single sticker on a paneled piece. I'm usually pittakionophobic but was all too happy to dress up the single panel with a name.

The most fabulous part of this build is not the detail, though that is incredible. The gardens are varied shades of green and floral colors including medium azure and dark magenta. There's even some sand green unicorn horns to act as shrubbery. There's a trellis out the side that is beautiful. The fountain and reflecting pond are incredible touches.

The most fabulous part is the design of this model as a corner module! At first I thought I'd have to put Bricktober 2014 on one side of the street and BT 2015 on the other. Now I can create an intersection for even more rousing dioramic excitement. I have some issues with what I think I see in the other sets but I'll camp on this for now.

This promo doesn't appear to be good online. You've got to actually take a breath and darken their door. I hope you find some bats.


Bricklink Seller Review - Constructibles LLC

Have you ever heard of a Honda Insight? I'll give you a hint, it's not a motorcycle or lawnmower. It's a long standing competition to the Prius. So why haven't you heard if it? Probably marketing. Is it worse than a Prius? Not at all! Was it late to the market? No, in fact the Prius FOLLOWED the Insight into the market. The issue came mostly from reviews that were likely worse than they should have been. But apparently if you're 90% of the benchmark, you're nothing.

Seller: Constructibles LLC, formerly Dad's AFOL
Feedback (at time of writing): 20076
Feedback Ratio: 99.9% positive
Location: USA, California
Prices: Above average

My Order
Order Size: 1348 items, 5 lots
Condition: 100% New
Shipping Charge: Seems to be exact. Bonus points for their own shipping estimator and checkout!
Extra Fees: 99c for orders under $5, 49c for orders under $10.
Other: none
Final Cost per Part: $0.12

Order Date: Sep 24
Invoice Date: Sep 25
Payment Date: Sep 25
Shipping Date: Sep 26
Delivery Date: Sep 28

Order Details
Why this store: Mentioned a 20% off sale in the forum AND had two lots that I desperately needed.
Packaging: All lots in their own baggies, loose in a bubble mailer.
Part condition: Perfect
Communication: Great!
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: none
Issues: One lot shorted

For the longest time I avoided shopping at Dad's AFOL. I'd browse the store occasionally but never commit to buying. One of the biggest issues was the multiple lots of the same item. It seems like Jason has finally figured a way to consolidate his lots and still keep his accounting correct. Another issue has been the partial attention paid to part variants. Since his policy and mine don't agree, I'm not willing to take a chance and buy parts when I'm not guaranteed a variant that I need. Third has been the price. It seems like store prices have increased since I've kept an eye on the store. Even at 20% off, several lots were still priced above average. Yet he must be doing something right to have gotten to 20,000 feedback, have employees, and pay for his own backend programming. Maybe it's the backend programmer that paved the way for the other benchmarks.

I could take or leave this store. The prices are high ("But we offer outstanding customer service!"). The customer service and packaging were fabulous but no better than dozens of other stores I've shopped at. In fact, I've even gotten little bits of candy, stickers, and surprise parts from other sellers. I thought it humorous too that my first order was missing pieces. Not that that should have any overall bearing but it certainly didn't ice whatever cake there was. If you like them you like them. But do your own diligence on whether or not this should be your go to shop.

LEGO Finds - 2015 Week 40

Mrs. Dagsbricks found a nice little cache of DUPLO this week including some printed 2x2 bricks. Looks like part of set 10532.