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Showing posts with label TIE Fighter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TIE Fighter. 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!

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 - TIE Fighter, Mini 8028

To my knowledge 2003 was the year that LEGO started releasing miniaturized versions of Star Wars sets.  Given my penchant for minis I had to snatch them all up.  At first they came in very cool shaped blister packs.  I guess that novelty wore off because the polybag wasn't very far behind.  It seems like they've been producing the mini Star Wars sets ever since, sometimes with more than one take (like the standard sized sets, of course).

The TIE Fighter 8028 has been out for quite a while but I still managed to purchase one new from Target about a month ago.  This was (if my research is correct) originally or eventually a UK Sun Newspaper giveaway.  That right there should have told me something but my love for Star Wars + mini won over.  Even from the picture you can tell that something isn't quite right but I had to put my hands on it anyway.

So I plunked my dough down and drove home like I was trying to get on to the TV show Cops.  I threw the milk in the fridge and the tore open the polybag (carefully pulling the seal across the top apart because of course I'm going to want to display the bag someday or something...).  The pieces were dumped out on the table and I started building.  A Technic axle, okay, interesting.  And... blue?  Wait a momo, since when have these been anything other than grey and black?  Alright, let's see where this goes.

Nowhere is where it went.  I finished building it, set it down and stared at it, including my one extra piece, a Technic half bush.  Okay, I know this was supposed to be a cheap promo piece, but what. is. this. crap?

For starters the wings are almost square instead of hexagonal.  Yes I know they have a little angle to them but not much.  I think the problem is that the 4x2 wedge plates are used which give a 76° angle.  You could use the 3x2 wedge plate instead but the change isn't much.  That gives a 72° angle.  We want 60° for smashing good looks.  The most appropriate option would be this:

The obtuse corners have a 63° angle which is almost perfect.  The problem is that the wings then become terribly out of scale and this piece can't be scaled up since none of the other wedge plates match it.  So enough about the wings, they're just not going to work and some designer did about the best they could.

The other disappointing part (besides the blue, get over it already) is the use of a dish on the front for a cockpit but round plates everywhere else.  While round has the right idea the plate only has it in two dimensions.  The dish better conveys the idea of a spherical cockpit.  It would have added two each to the part count for the top and back (1x1 round plate needed for attachment).  A little finagling of the wings attachment with bars instead of an axle could have given dishes on the sides as well.

Generally I like to display my sets for a while before they go into cold storage waiting for the day when I have an area large enough to display all of them in a climate controlled non-UV lighted space.  This set didn't wait 24 hours.  It got the box treatment that night.  Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night I can hear it sigh.  Sorry little buddy.  You had a great destiny but the force was not strong with you.