LEGO Techniques - Spin Doctor

A few weeks ago you may remember I picked up both a generation I AND generation II Ninjago spinner in my LEGO Finds. The seemingly divine intervention was a good chance to crack open some ratty spinners and see what made them tick.

The generation I spinner is an easy start. There are three tiny screws on the bottom. This allows the top piece to come off as well as reveals a chunky drop-forged metal piece. It even has a part number on it. I'm not a scrapper and only a fair tinkerer so I'm not sure what kind of metal it is. It isn't magnetic but it's much heavier than I would expect for aluminum. The surface is somewhat dull, but then again it's for weight, not show. The interwebs suggest it could be zinc. At under $1/lb, this 1oz weight would be worth about 6c. No point buying out the entire world stock of Ninjago Spinners for scrapping. It doesn't really taste like a zinc tablet though. Stainless?

The central fig stand was a little harder to figure out. It has a compression clip that goes through a hole in the bottom portion. I chewed the tabs up a little bit before I tried pulling from the top side. A good solid pliers grip on the upright portion, a little twist, and *BAM* my elbow hits the wall. The stand has no part number on it but the ring does.

Piece of cake, let's tackle the second spinner. The design of this one is different. Where the gen. I has a tapered bottom, this is flat with a protrusion only at the pivot point. The attachment method is also different. Instead of mechanical fastening, it's designed to rely on snaps. Ugh, how to pry that apart?

The fig stand can come out first thing. That gives a little more of a sturdy central portion to leverage against. Oh look, this one has a part number on it! Same design and everything. I'll assume it's the same part as the first one.

At first I tried pushing through the bottom holes to release the pressure on the snaps. This didn't work very well. After that I gently pried a flathead jeweler's screwdriver between the two shells and s-l-o-w-l-y used some leverage. There was some plastic cracking but the snap released soon enough. The other two were no easier.

Once these are apart, you can get the metal weight out. This one is a different design but has no part number in it, just a mold position stamp. The ring is a slightly different design from gen. I but still noticeable. The little nubs on the ends are too small to fit in a minifig arm, but too big to be used in any of the expected mini-pin places.

Since Bricklink has not been interested in these types of pieces for their catalog, look for these in the BrickOwl catalog soon!

Set Review - Swamp Police Helicopter 30311

First, I am intrigued by the variety of Police subthemes that we have had versus the Fire themes. We've had Police, Wave Police, Forest Police, (Space Police; I, II, and III), and now Swamp Police. Meanwhile, we've had Fire, Forest Fire, and um... hm. No Swamp Fire? And no Space Fire? There's a missed opportunity.

Swamp Police is a Louisiana bayou based theme aimed at catching moonshiners in their swampy like hideouts. Lots of pontoon craft and offroaders (even a half-track?) and a hovercraft. TLG needs to make more of those, period. I don't see a whole lot of bonus in the Swamp Police vs. the Forest Police. More mud maybe? What I do see is a chance to show off a new piece.

The 2x2x2/3 round brick with side holes was introduced to us last year as part of C1-10P in the Star Wars Phantom set. It was decorated, but now we get it plain in both light bley and yellow. It works well as part of a pontoon. It sort of reminds me of the older octagonal bricks that were used as pontoons for the Hydronauts. Then again, I'm using about 22 of them in tan for a commission so of course they're fresh in my mind.

Behind as I am with the promos alone, this is no longer available for purchase. Target just recently cleared the rest out for like $1.48 each. They're now selling some Easter promos which I'm sure I'll get to in about April...

But you might like to buy some more Swamp Police? (click through for Shop@Home)

Bricklink Seller Review - abrew's e-bricks

Brain chemicals are a lot of fun to play with. I'm talking naturally, of course. You can accidentally or even purposely increase your levels of serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine. While you can obviously use other chemicals to do this (such as ethanol, cannibas, or caffeine), you can change your circumstances, or have them changed to accomplish similar results. Push down harder on the accelerator and watch your adrenaline rise.  Beat your previous high score in Galaga and watch your serotonin rise. Dopamine, well, I don't know how it works. Anyway, the point is that I was so excited to build that I forgot to take a picture of my order.

[I'm so embarrassed. I was in such a thrill]
[to get building that I never took a snapshot]
[of the envelope and packing. Sorry abrew!]

Seller: abrew's e-bricks
Feedback (at time of writing): 13111
Feedback Ratio: 99.92% positive (a few old neutrals)
Location: USA, Colorado
Prices: Around average

My Order
Order Size: 236 items, 19 lots
Condition: 100% New
Shipping Charge: States exact postage. I was charged $3.22 (exact counter rate) for 8oz of commercial base rate postage ($2.59). Deceptive.
Extra Fees: None except for the postage racket
Other: $3 min buy
Final Cost per Part: $0.11

Order Date: Feb 9
Invoice Date: Feb 9
Payment Date: Feb 9
Shipping Date: Feb 11
Delivery Date: Feb 13

Order Details
Why this store: Something about arches and bricks and a few loose ends.
Packaging: All packed well in baggies, then in a bubble mailer.
Part condition: As stated
Communication: Professional
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: none
Issues: none

Even though the order was packed well and all parts were present and nice, the postage thing really gets me. To say that exact postage is charged but then mean two different things by it is not appropriate. Did I agree to the postage? Yes. Should I be done with it and move on? Yes. I just like to be a little more holistic and not encourage sleight of hand. While I won't avoid this store in the future, I won't purposely seek it out either.