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Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts

Used Tuesdays - Second Lot

My second used lot came as sort of an accident. My sister-in-law has a friend who was going to put their 23# LEGO collection in a garage sale. My sister-in-law sent me many pictures to ask how it should be priced. I studied through and saw several key pieces that intrigued me. After looking up the potential sets on Bricklink I went ahead and made a generous offer of $10 per pound. In retrospect I realize that I was setting a precedent. I'll have to be more clear in the future that that price was for clean pieces with no junk.

And there was very little junk! Only a handful of Knex. I started with some key parts to figure out what could be in there. I then sorted by piece type and started reassembling. Imagine how pleased I was that most of a UCS TIE Interceptor was in there! No stickered plaque or instruction book, which is fine for myself. If I ever want to sell it I'll need the plaque at a minimum. It was also missing the dark grey cockpit, a hefty piece. Where the 6 month average on Bricklink hovers around $30, I was able to score one for $22 in beautiful shape.

There were several Harry Potter sets too. Some had a low value per pound, others were higher. I decided to piece together Dumbledore's Office and the Knight Bus. The latter one was a mistake. I saw that it was missing about 40 pieces out of 236. I didn't think too much of it and built a wanted list. Only after I got halfway through completing that list did I realize how expensive many of the missing pieces were. Nothing over a buck each but when you're piecing together a $45 set to sell and you need to spend $25 to complete it, that shows a poor return. I would have been better off selling the parts I had on hand.

The other big problem with this lot was the lack of minifigs. I found most of them were missing and when the lot is primarily Star Wars and Harry Potter, the licensing upcharge can be a bear. I inquired about any other minifigs and got a bag of about half a dozen a week later.

Lessons learned:

  • Parting out the remains of a set can be more profitable than piecing one together
  • Licensed minifigs are expensive. Check for them before making a generous offer
  • Some people have really clean collections!

LEGO Techniques - Bricklinking a Super Star Destroyer 10221

It's been a while and I've got a backlog of requested sets to analyze for Bricklinking. This analyzing stuff is fun. I also do it for the readers of my ebook, Insider Secrets to Funding your LEGO Hobby. I review sets for part out value. Get the book and get on the list!

For those of you not familiar with BrickStock, find a tutorial at the beginning of this popular post and then come take the walkthrough of this set. I'll be doing it in real time meaning that even as I'm typing this I don't know how much we can shave off of the bill.

A brand new one can still be had for $900. Not near the prices of the Millennium Falcon so my first gut instinct is that you might as well buy new. Fire up the gerbils and Ctrl-A, Ctrl-G to get the average prices of all of the parts. Once you've done this toggle the status to get all the variants at the bottom. Go through each one and strike the most expensive version. There aren't a whole lot of doozies except for the 3x6 cylinder piece and even that's not terrible. My computer shows me ~$650 of parts value.

As usual, I'm going to strike the minifigures from BrickStock. That takes off $100. The sticker is another $32. Now toggle the price to get the most expensive pieces at the top. The yellow right angle technic brick poses a problem. Almost $12 each? Change it to black for $1.25 each. Total value for 6 of this part goes from about $70 to $7.50. Part prices quickly fall to reasonable from there. Toggle the Total Price column now.

We want to be careful about changing out too many colors since this build is very drab and needs to stay that way, What we're looking for are variants that might be a little more obscure or were updated after this set was retired. But there are seriously no variants to be found here!

The only things I can find that would make a lick of difference are things like the tan 1x8 plate. Forty-one of a piece you don't see at 20c each can be swapped for any other color, even medium lavender. Whee, we just saved $4. The blue hinge plate could be swapped for green to save another $3. But these kinds of minimal savings can easily be gained or lost depending on the buyer you choose.

At this point I'm going to anti-climatically shut down the rest of this study. I'm down to $450 for new parts. Add another 12% for shipping and you're at about $500. Not even half off. What if we change the condition to used? Now at $350 for pieces and $420 delivered. Considering all the orders you'd make, the time spent checking them, as well as organizing all the pieces and you may decide to skip it and buy new.

Coming soon, the Grand Carousel!

Set Review - 75097 Star Wars Advent Part 3

Final day! With our time travel back to the OT it's been fun reminiscing over these vehicles and seeing what have been wortwhile changes (few) and repeats (too many). As of late I've been having a hankering for little droid bots as well. The mouse droid from the Death Star has been sitting on my desk for a while now. I think he needs some company.

Aren't I in luck! Day 3 is a squeeful little LIN Demolitionmech. I don't know what that is but look at its little antenna-wenna! I just want to eat it all uh... sorry. Well if I were to picky I'd say the treads were too big. But it's cute. Maybe it can make little origami cranes with that arm. Or lay mines? Yeah sure, that would be fine too. Adorable little miney-wineys. Shaped like cranes.

Day 20 (hey that's today!) brings us this little Imperial Probe Droid. Given the glut of 'probe' in modern alien pulp culture, I'm not so fond of that name. More importantly, this is a Viper probe droid, with the hanging down arm leg thingies. If I were to be critical there should be more than four appendages, a bettershaped "head", and an antenna on top. Luckily there's an extra antenna included; wish granted! The body would look better as a black travis brick instead of dark bley too. I like the looks of fig sw171 better but this is smaller.

This was a little bit of an eye-opening experience for me. Apparently, I love droid bots. Due to this year's advent calendar I searched back in the archives and started building a bunch of the smaller non-humanoid type droidbots. Let the squeefest begin!

Set Review - 75097 Star Wars Advent Part 2

Funniest quote I've seen so far this season: "Jango bells, Jango bells, Jango all the way". Sadly, there is no Jango this year. Nor is there much of anything new. The LEGO Star Wars Advent calendar seems to have timewarped back to the OT with comfortable characters and settings. But is it... too comfortable?

Set Review - 75097 Star Wars Advent Part 1

Ho ho ho and welcome to this year's scrutiny extravaganza of the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar! *yeah*. I've tried to break the relevant micro ships into several categories but the pickings this year are a little slim. This week will focus on new micro-ship designs, next week will focus on repeats upgrades and the final week I'll look at the little droids. Without further ado let the squeefest begin!

LEGO Finds - 2015 Week 32

Some cooler than usual pieces this week. More DUPLO to compliment last week's sets. Some instructions for an older Star Wars set. Bonus! A perfect green army man, older style white horse and a 2012 version pteranodon minus wings.

Set Review - TIE Advanced Prototype 30275

Once again the fates protected me from Toys'ARE'Us. On promo week I went to buy my $30 worth of LEGO and get the free poly. Upon checking out I was told I needed to buy $30 worth of construction sets. I said 'yes, here they are'. Apparently a Creator polybag (despite the fact that it has multiple pieces, no minifigs, and instructions) is not a "construction set". I left my would be purchase on the counter and walked out. I tried again at another store to no avail. Fine. Thy name is now TFU.

Back end plus useful use of extra piece
But I learned something. I learned that if you wait a week, TFU (er, TRU) will still have so many polybags left over that they will NOW sell them for their MSRP. So I still got my TIE poly (and Creator poly), but T'WTF'U lost out on at least $30. Corporate karma.

I would like to award this set a prize. That prize is the most repetition for the least amount of parts. When I dumped out the parts it seemed like a pretty legit set. I opened up the instructions and built steps 1-6. Imagine my surprise when I turned the instructions over and saw the EXACT same pieces and Step 1 all over again. I flipped back and forth a few times before I saw the difference. It was just a shocker that steps started over at '1'. No '7' and beyond?

"Yes Lord Vader, we'll get it clicked together in 3 parsecs!"

Once both halves of the hull were built I then sandwiched them together with the suggested Technic axle (out of color scheme, of course). Then repetition and I stared each other in the face again as I built not one, not two, not three, but fi- I mean, four copies of another sub assembly. These would be the wing tips of course. The whole thing immediately came together after that.

All bedded down for the night.
After building the craft I checked Wookieepedia for reference. Holy womprats this model is chunky! The wings don't exactly have a continuous look to them and the craft itself looks more like Jabba the Hut than your average Kaminoan. Plus, there's this funny loopy scripty font on the package that says... Disnep?

At 47+1 pieces in 14 lots, this set has a larger piece to lot ratio of 3.4. This number usually hovers around 2. But at $3.99 it's a heck of deal for bulking up on small wedge plates, curved slopes and 1x2 plates with top clips. Because you can never have enough of those.

Set Review - Microfighters Homing Spider Droid 75077

Whereas we now end our review of the Microfighters' 2015 season. Stay tuned next year for round 3 of Chibi goodness from a galaxy far, far away. Or, if we're lucky, maybe this August.

Much like the advent calendars, there's so much more ground to explored with these cute widdle crafts. Hopefully they don't kill them after round 3.5 like they did the planet sets. You know what would be really cool? An oversized chibified R2-D2 being ridden by Kenny Baker. Now that would rock my socks.

But for now, the Homely Spider Droid.

In a world of advanced technological warfare, we get a droid riding a spindly droid. I believe it was one of the Brothers Brick who called this out as madness. Sure, you get a great vantage point but you're also a sitting duck. Perhaps the droid isn't so much controlling the droid as he is hitching a ride to add firepower. To that I say, "Why not just add more firepower to the spider? Or a web?" It's a bummer to end this streak of reviews on a downer, but it really is.

Then there's the question of mobility. This set might almost be labeled as Technic since it's chock full of those fiddly parts. And despite the technical nature the legs, technically, suck. They don't move up and down. They just rock back and forth. It's almost like it's relying on the power of a cephalopod instead of an arachnid.

But the shaping of the hull is nice. You get eight 45° 2x2 3-facted corner slopes to help build the spherical shape. The design is a little gappy but well affected. Another interesting bonus is the single flick-fire missile where the pod's cannon would be anyway. Not only is it a single flick-fire but it is more well-built out than just a cone on a stick. It's a cone on a dish on a dot on a cone on a stick! Oh and a dark orange droid without any dots. Does dark orange mean he's rusted?

Set Review - Microfighters Republic Gunship 75076

IIRC, one of my favorite scenes in the second trilogy (was it EpII?) was when Amidala, Anakin, and Jar-Jar were set in the deathdrome with 3 very large and scary creatures. It was hoped that the prisoners would be made mincemeat in very short order. Instead, they bested the three creatures only to be faced with death by bunga-bunga. At the last second, tons of LAAT ships dropped down and there was an epic lightsaber battle. Then they all went out for ice cream.

I've mentioned before how the OT is what I grew up with and Eps I-III were interesting but less memorable. This ship made it past that barrier and is one of the more memorable ones, up there with X-wings and Death Stars. Maybe it's the unique shape and red and lime livery. Or the dual front cockpits. Or the festive banners (Eat At Dex's) that they often flew.

This craft has 105+10 pieces making it a great deal for pieces, if you like brackets (which make up almost 9% of the part count). It also comes with a new hat Clone Trooper. This one's got orange. I like orange. And orange juice.

Notable features include the dual front pod guns, the immense thrusters, and open side bay doors. There's even gunner's pods in all the right places including the side of the ship and the tips of the wings. The only drawback is that there is a single pilot's windshield. I really wanted the dual cockpit. Despite that I find the overall detailing very good and the ship is immediately swooshable. The one big shocker was the lack of a random clip hanging out there. Now I'm confused. But like, whatevars, right?

Set Review - Microfighters AT-AT 75075

Talk about squee. Chibi factor nothing. Add in some articulation and you've got lots to love. I've never owned a full size proper AT-AT so can't compare (or take adorable AT-AT/at-at pictures) but I can at least have a little fun with this one.

First off, let me just say that this set's a keeper with only two major flaws. (Three if you count a partially sand blue trooper). We'll get those out of the way before launching all the cute photos.

The back end. What? This is how LEGO left it. A little... unfinished. For such a stellar model there needs to be one more piece back here. Thankfully the set comes with a few extras for greebling.

Second is the head. The hinge connection used only allows up and down motion, nothing side to side. What a great opportunity this would have been to use the newer ball and cup joints! Especially since I still have none, dagnabbit.

I largely let my 3.8yo FAFOL build this. I gave him the parts and showed him the pictures. He did stellar. Once it was done he had loads of fun playing with it, especially once I showed him how versatile it was.

Of course sometimes little at-at has to do things like purge his extra oil.

Then there's playtime...

Nap time...

 And of course he can change into wheeled turbo mode, largely when it's not expected. Whee!

Little at-at sure does have some adventures eh? If I were that guy I would buy like a dozen of these and have all sorts of fun staging dioramas and making them play with each other and putting them into puppy piles. I may not be a big dog fan but I'd own an at-at-ling any day!

Set Review - Microfighters Snowspeeder 75074

I've always wondered about the intelligence of bright orange splashes on a white speeder, especially one that's supposed to hide in the snow from the enemy. Sure, if you go down, it would be easier to find you. But isn't that what radar is for? Or beacons? Or just follow the smoking fireball, right? If you have to eject, the orange jumpsuit would make you easy pickings for the enemy. Or a wampa.

The snowspeeder is a nice return to familiar territory. Star Wars. OT. Good times. (For a couple weeks here at least). I was pleasantly surprised by this build. Sure it's small. Sure maybe I don't have much exposure to the bigger sets. Sure maybe I don't have ROOM to build bigger sets. But I get some good exposure anyway.

What I liked:

The nose uses some wedges in a somewhat unique way to get that prong shape. I'm not used to voids in official builds. Unfortunately that has colored how I build MOCs as well. I try to fill every cubic LDU with ABS but usually end up with an ultra heavy display model. If it's for display I shouldn't be wasting all my bricks if it isn't even swooshable.

The blaster design is nice and solid with good greebling for such a tiny piece. The use of textured round bricks and technic pins makes it pop a bit.

The printed nose piece is the same one from the planet set snowspeeder. The price has come down a bit to a solid $1.50 now that the market has been saturated.

Technic gear racks for the rear grill.

What I didn't like:

Several minor points. First, the rear windshield seems like it should be a plate higher. It's even with the front which is correct, but it sits lower than the sides next to it and is way low on the pilot's back.

More clip plates on the back of this ship. What? Why?

Flick-fire missiles. *sigh*

The use of a dark tan 3L axle with stud in the back detracts a little from the overall look of the ship. Two better options come to mind. Either give me a couple of trans-orange 1x1 plates to cover it with (for booster flare) or use a newer 2L pin with axle. The 3L axle is used to go through two pin connections and then secures into an axle hole in the round 2x2 brick. This 2L pin-axle connection (or even the pin-2L axle) could have been done with a dark bley piece that would have blended better. The build sequence would have been a little different but not a problem.

Using a lever for the rear gun. It doesn't even go *pew-pew*. I used the extra lever to balance the greebs on each blaster and then took the pilot's handgun to use for the rear gun. Better.

I struck on a cool deal at Wally World. I bought 4 ships. Two were selling for $9.97, two were selling for $7.99. (another was selling for $7.77 but I had already bought it elsewhere). I got all four for $9 each. But wait, there's more! I used Ebates to earn 2% cash back on the purchase PLUS my Paypal credit card to earn another 1.5% cash back PLUS I used in-store pick up to avoid shipping fees on the $36 order. In total I got all four ships for $8.67 each which is like 13% off. If you're interested in swinging these kinds of deals for yourself, stay tuned for the release of my upcoming Seller's Guide ebook. You can even guide the writing by giving your input!

Set Review - Microfighters Vulture Droid 75073

I finally used the Toys'R'Us in-store price match feature. It was easier than easy. Even though I still own a flip phone (total Neandertal, I know) I was able to get to LEGO S@H and show that the actual price for the Microfighters is $9.99, not $10.99. No prob, and I'll take this here hot dog guy for $3.99 as well. Two days later, I was in a Bi-mart and they had a couple o' the Vulture droids for $7.99. Wrong price match I guess.

And at only 77+4 pieces, $10 is still a bit high. At least the set doesn't feel like it has any extra pieces. Except for the droid pilot. Really? Why would a droid need to pilot a droid? Maybe, just maybe, the droid is merely getting a ride on the droid. That doesn't explain the blue vestment on the droid though. The funny thing is, the droid doesn't actually stand on the aircraft anywhere. It's more like he hangs on with his one arm for dear life while shooting a blaster at nothing in particular. Since there is an extra of each arm type, You can customize him to be a sw300 or sw360. Or make your own unique droid with TWO straight arms!

So even though I'm paying like 12.5c per part and there's an unnecessary droid, this is still one of the cooler Microfighters. It actually has functions! If my 7111 were anywhere near accessible, I'd pull it out and compare the two. On second hand, that parts list tells me everything I need to know. On the original set, it was the "head" that swiveled back and forth to change from walking to flight mode.

On this set, both sets of wings are on their own independent rotational system. They can each flip down for walking mode or forward for flight mode. Since this is a chibified version, the height is about the same either way. This is the newer clone wars version (dark blue, not brown) and has a rather unique color scheme. Rather than being largely blues, it's mottled grey with 6 dark blue 1x2 tiles for trim. All the left wedges are dark bley and the right wedges are light bley. This is going to cause a disturbance on the force, at least in the secondary market parts distribution and availability.

Go to Bi-mart and pick one up. Don't live in the Pacific northwest? Well then go to TRU and have them price match. No TRU? Well fine, don't get one. And I'll keep my flip phone.

Set Review - Microfighters ARC-170 75072

Thank Great Ole that the Friends stuff is over. I don't think I can handle another round of preschool animals anymore. On to Star Wars, those crazy Star Wars!

Star Wars Microfighters is now in its second iteration and I have to say... I'm a little less than impressed. Bunch o' clone wars. I get it, younger audience and all. But I'll be chibied, this is fun stuff. Let's go in numerical order his time around and start with the ARC-170 Starfighter, whatever that is. Oh wait, I did this one as a mini a while back. To read my thoughts on the ship, press here. To read my thoughts on this set, scroll on.

I built the ship while watching the pilot for Daredevil on Netflix. Those items are completely unrelated except that I know for a fact, every time I see this little build, I will think of Daredevil. Something about multi-tasking and connecting neural pathways.

This chibi is actually slightly less impressive than the micro build. The engine intakes on the micro or dark red. On here they are white. There is a printed round 2x2 tile for the intake, but it's printed on white instead of dark red. Sure, there's a hairline of dark red print on the edge but a full color tile would have looked nicer followed by 2 white (not dark bley) round plates.

The main wing ends of the chibi build have grill tiles on them. Maybe it's an attempt at greebling but I don't see it on any official pictures elsewhere. The wing guns are very simple and I'd like to see another part or two used to add the secondary smaller gun. The rear of the build incorporates a 1x1 plate with clip. I have no idea why other than to imagine that maybe it's a spot to stow the blaster.

There are some cool new parts in the build! First, some of the 1x2 plates with technic hole down. As I mentioned earlier, the printed tile. The vent is generic enough to be used in train, city, and space builds. The helmet style has been around for about 5 years but the red and yellow stripe pattern on this are pretty cool. You could almost use it for a race car driver or any other more generic futuristic helmet use.

At 95+6 parts for $9.99 this set falls right in the expected dime per part range. I guess I couldn't ask for much more as it satisfies my Star Wars and/or micro cravings. That and it's flush with dark red which always makes my pupils dilate.

Set Review - AT-DP 30274

Catching up with January's promos and- wait what? There's February promos coming? Good Ole, will it ever end? Alright then, let's keep building up that queue.

As with many many sets before, this is one from an earlier Star Wars epoch that seems to be a prequel to a vehicle that we all know and love from the 1970's. In this case, it's a very forward heavy chicken walker, AKA, AT-ST. It seems that over time it was realized that the defensive capability of this device was laughable, hence the change from a Defense Pod to a Scout Transport. I didn't bother looking up the history on that one, you just know it's gotta be true. Kind of like how Listerine was originally marketed for dandruff control. It CAN, but it kills mouth germs a lot better.

The AT-DP was a freebie from January when you bought something like any Star Wars set. Or keychain. I think I bought a bunch of battle packs.

Compared to the source material, I only have a few complaints. Primarily, the round 2x2 tiles on the sides are supposed to have a slit where gunners can fire weaponry from.  The round bit on the outer edge of the hips should be flat. Perhaps the dish and the tile were inverted post-production? The only other major difference is the length of the legs. This mini model is a bit too short. Oh, and shouldn't the blaster be lower on the chin? But it is on one of the newer small ball and cup joints, so the posability is great. But whatever, it's only Rebels, not OT, right?

Not sure what happened on the back. A little unfinished?

The secondary market is decently hot but there might be a glut of these soon. I'm looking forward to reviewing the new series of Microfighters icon.

Set Review - ARC 170 Starfighter 30247

I've had some other projects going and this is getting typed up last minute. To save you from any endless drivel that could result, I'll keep this short.

I picked up the ARC-170... a while ago at... a retailer.  Or something.  Maybe it was a big haul of polys at TRU online.  Or maybe it was Target.

Rear view.  Never enough of these in blogoland.

 I was smitten by the white and dark red contrast.  Wait, I've said that before somewhere.  Well apparently it's working on me.  Especially the dark red plain minifig heads.  Nom, nom.  This looks like it lands somewhere between a Headhunter and an X-Wing.  Wookieepedia agrees with me.

Apparently I'm out of touch with legal connections for TLG designers.  The heads stuck studs first into a technic pin hole.  Is this okay now?   I thought the clutch was too tight and would deform some of the pieces.  Perhaps it's different with hollow studs.  I'm a little disappointed that the bulk of the engine isn't carried through the wings nor does the front intake (?) line up with the rear exhaust (??).

The stand for the bottom is a little annoying.  It's too short to allow the lower stabilizing wings to be extended to any appreciable angle.  Either two more plates or a trans brick under the front of the nose would be stellar.

Today being Cyber Monday and all, you could probably get a pretty good deal on some LEGO sets:

Set Review - The Ghost TRU promo

Toys'Arrr'Us sure has been playing a prominent role in my acquisition program lately. This time it was simple. A LUG buddy picked up a copy of the micro Ghost promo for me. I had seen the ship on the blogosphere the week before and even though I don't care a Bantha's hair about Rebels, I am a bit of a microscale fan. So it was very cool of my friend and very exciting to receive a copy of the build.

Almost a copy.

I have to wonder if this was a well planned promo. I mean, think about it. It's October. It's BRICKtober. It's a ghost. Let it sink in a moment.

The build was nothing fancy, lots of straight stacking with one step asking you to put a plate's underside pegs into the hollow studs of another piece. But despite the simple build, the design is really accurate in aesthetic. I was... impressed. Kudos to the designer. The best part of the build is on the back where you stick a 1x2 plate with a single finger click hinge. You just KNOW there's going to be a micro build of the Phantom to dock up to. The question is, when?

Back that thing up!
So all hail to TLG for this great little design but sucks to your assmar to TRU. I couldn't actually build my ship all the way because they had forgotten a few pieces. All four white 1x1 plates were missing as was the crucial docking apparatus. Apparently TRU is the Empire and they are trying to undermine the Rebels' mission.  More sadly, I didn't have a black one to steal from anywhere.  A click hinge, a click hinge, my cause for a click hinge!

Missed the event or don't have as good of friends as me? Instructions below.

Set Review - Star Wars Advent 75056

Back at it then with part 3 of my Star Wars Advent Calendar Micro Ships Review (SWACMS#3).  Acquiring a Bricktober Pizza Parlor in time for this review was a bust, maybe next week.  The last two weeks, I have been sorely underimpressed by the offering of micro ships for this year.  This week is the possibility of a new hope.

2014 leading the way for 2011.  2003 not shown
First up, Snowspeeder, snowspeeder, wherefore art thou snowspeeder?  2011, that's where.  Oh, and 2003.  This is not a unique ship.  Nor is the design all that unique.  It's been advented before and this is just a rehash of the design.  I think I prefer the mini version from long ago with it's downturned wings.  In fact, the trend seems to be worsening.  Last advent had a nice cockpit.  This year, the cockpit has been snubbed and an enormous gun has been set at the rear.  So enormous in fact that the rear gunner has no chance of getting a visual of what he's shooting at unless it's an AT-AT from 20 feet at ground level.  By then, sadly, it's too late.  Rest in peace, tail gunner.

Next is an AAT.  But wait, why is it all bluey and stuff?  I saw the movie, it was tan!  Oh wait, this is a clone wars thing, isn't it?  Apparently so.  I love that we get a (NEW SHIP ALERT) new ship!  I don't recall seeing an AAT in prior years.  I do wish it was the movie version, not the cartoon version, but I'll still give it a good solid 4 stars.  And here's to guaranteeing that we'll get an almost identical tan version in 1-5 years.

Finally is something completely different!  TLG seems to be on track with including some sort of unique present delivery vehicle each year.  Last year was the rocket sled which looked nothing like anything that Star Wars ever hosted.  This year it's a (NEW SHIP ALERT) real vehicle from the movies!  I was so excited I could hardly contain my build in a bag skills.  A speeder bike!  Long have I awaited thee (or anything new).  The bike seems a little big for a microbuild and there's a big flat 2x2 spot on top of it.  I suppose this is where Santa Vader sits to make his grand entrance.  I don't quite understand the blaster stuck on the back, but I'm guessing it has to do with Santa Vader's naughty list.

All in all I would say I'm fairly disappointed in this year's offerings.  There were too many repeats and rehashes to get anything excitingly new.  Last year was pretty epic with all the new ship offerings.  I guess TLG had better things to do this year.  In case they are reading, here's a non-inclusive list to consider for next year:
  • ARC-170
  • AT-AP, maybe?
  • B-Wing (how has this not happened yet?)
  • Clone Turbo Tank (roller skates would be great with this)
  • Corporate Alliance Tank Droid
  • Droid Control Ship
  • Hailfire Droid (oh, yes please!)
  • MTT, better than the last one, dark blue if you must
  • Pod Racers.  Many designs available
  • Jabba's Sail Barge
  • Skiffs, too.
  • SandCrawler.  Yeah, that would have been a nice tie-in to this year
  • T-16 Skyhopper.  Sure, why not?
  • Swamp Speeder.  Meh, why not too?
  • V-wing
  • V-19 Torrent
  • General Grevious' Wheel Bike
  • Wookiee Catamaran
  • XJ-6 Airpseeder to chase Zam Wessel

This should give at least a couple years worth of ships.  Anything else NOT from the obscurity of the clone wars cartoons?

Set Review - Star Wars Advent 75056

Welcome back to part two of the Star Wars Advent Calendar Micro Ships Review (SWACMS#2)

Last week I railed on TLG for their lack of creativity.  This week we'll enjoy the fact that they did not outright repeat themselves on three more ships.  Instead, we'll call it plagiarization.  These three ships are technically unique, but likely only in their colors.  Perhaps there is a reasonable design difference from a past micro ship.  Remember, we don't just have previous advent calendars to refer to but also the mini ships from the early 2000's as well as some TRU and other store promos.  Let the scalpeling begin!

First off is the Vulture Droid.  We got this one in 2010.  The basic technique is the same but this time we get dark blue livery instead of reddish brown.  The cockpit design is a little different too due to the introduction of the baby bow 11477.  It's a little sleeker looking but the regular blue jumper plate doesn't quite fit nor does the dark bley tile on the nose.  One or both needs to be dark blue.  But I do love the technique of attaching the wings to the body!

Next is Anakin's Delta-7B Jedi Starfighter (not to be confused with his Eta-2).  Again, same design but different colors as the 2013 Jedi Starfighter.  Though unnamed, I'm guessing that one would have been Obi Wan's.  There are two very minor design changes.  One is that one of the jumper plates was changed to a grill tile to effect a sort of stripes pattern.  The problem is, I don't think Anakin had black stripes on his Starfighter.  Since there's now a missing stud, the geometry of plates and tiles directly above is slightly changed so that there is now a stud showing.  In my opinion, last year's design is better.  Overall the design is a single stud shorter adaptation of the 2003 Mini Jedi Starfighter.  Of course, TLG knows that we will forget about these sets after about 5 years and swoon all over rereleases of the same thing.  Obviously, they're trying too soon.

I suppose next year we should look forward to Plo Koon's blue or Saesee Tiin's green or Mace Windu's white or perhaps Aayla Secura's purple ship...

Finally, a TIE Fighter.  Bigger and better than the 2011 advent calendar version, but with the same cockpit.  Same attachment to the wings as the 2003 polybag.  Same wing design as the Toys'R'Us promo.  This is essentially a hybrid.

Next week: Can we find anything original?