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Showing posts with label polybag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label polybag. Show all posts

Set Review - Tractor 30284

I got friends with tractors, y'know. But I ain't never seen one like this. If you're a tractor fan you may have a hard time placing this make and model. Closest I could find was a Case International 955... with a paint job, modded exhaust and open cab design. Not sure what that's about. This was a TLG S@H promo way back in fall. Maybe it was released to celebrate fall tillage? I'm still unclear on the whole thing.

From the pictures that were leaked at the beginning of 2015 I got all excited about more mini tractors. Building was sort of a joy but 51 pieces really goes fast. Not only do you get a tractor but like the picture promises, a tiller. Most of the time I would expect a tiller (or any attachment) to have a 3-point hookup so that it could follow the tractor when it turns. This (like so many other failed connections) is built with simple droid arms allowing up and down. Sure, these attachments will go up and down but that's not all. Is it? Have I been disillusioned this whole time?

As usual my build includes the extra pieces in a few places to enhance it from the original. It's too late to get the promo from TLG but you could get one on Bricklink. They're barely above $3 and available for almost down to $2. You might even be able to build it with pieces from your collection. Nothing fancy here.

Hey, there's a contest going on! One of those classic "guess the pieces" but you don't get the pieces. I'll give you something else cool though if you win.

Set Review - Pop Star Red Carpet 30205

Often, if you want retina piercing colors, you'll get a Friends set (or Cloud Cuckoo Palace). For the month of August, you can change that up a bit. Through August 31, TLG is offering the above mentioned polybag with $35 worth of mini-doll sets. That's Friends, Elves, and Disney Princess (presumably not DUPLO but who knows).

Why is this set different? For one, the LACK of colors. Usually these smaller Friends sets are a nauseating palate of limes, azures and several shades of pinkish purplish.  I estimate about 100 studs worth of neutral colors and only 43 of Pantone technicolor. That's WAY different indeed!

The set has a few fun touches like the enhanced video camera and the um.. uh.. enhanced video camera. Other than that it's very routine stacking and, quite frankly, makes up for the lack of color with its overwhelming ennui. A mini-doll, a stack of plates, and an enhanced camera. This is so- hey look, Galidor!

So droll in fact that I had to try for an alternate build. My alternate builds use all the pieces, even the extras. Inspired by FriendTRON (a mashup by a fellow lugger) I decided to create some sort of hovery spacey craft for the little stage walker. On a related note, this is probably only the second set that I will be dismantling and distributing into my builder's stash, never to see the light of day as an actual set again.

Set Review - Space Utility Vehicle 30315

SPAAACE!!! I know how all you space heads get. All that sci-fi stuff really rocks your boat but it's a completely different breed that gets in to the true current space stuff. Y'know, boring things like NASA and Hayabusa. TLG understands this crowd too and has brought back the City Space (Not to be confused with Space City) for another round.

The last go around was pretty cool. We had a more advanced Shuttle Adventure/Expedition to augment the series. This time they've given us four small sets to kick it off (5 with the promo poly). I'm hoping we get an ISS to spice (space?) things up a bit.

I'm a little late with my SUV review, the promo period being over and all. I ordered late in July and then missed last week's deadline. At first I was excited about the set then some real life work opportunities set in and I got distracted. That'll happen.

But now that I built the thing, I'm a little disappointed. Yes, overall it's a cute little vehicle but there are some inherent issues. First, if this is to be any sort of off-roader for lunar environments, the ground clearance sucks. The new wheelbase 18892 is poorly chosen unless this is tricked out to be a lowrider. One moon pebble and this poor guy will be high-centered.


Second, there are two cool pieces of equipment that adorn the vehicle. One is a radar dish which I'm guessing is used to pick up the scurrying noises of subterranean lunar life forms. The second is some sort of scanner which grabs their heat signature so our intrepid spaceman knows which setting to apply his fry-gun on. But unless our spaceman loses some height (or girth) there's the constant threat of being whacked in the head. I can mitigate the radar dish by not letting the bar be completely submerged on either end.

The last disappointment is the instructions. Here was the perfect opportunity to advertise the rest of the Space Port theme and yet it's adorned with... Swamp Police. Really?

Blast off with some new sets (click to see on Shop@Home):

Set Review - Cute Kitten 30188

Yeah, this was last year's set. But I found a few at TRU and have a soft spot for the polybags so I grabbed it anyway. I didn't do much research into it beforehand but was thinking maybe I'd finally get some of the newer ball and cup connectors.

Disappointed I was.

Unlike a real cat's head, this one can only rotate side to side. As you know, a real cat can turn their head in at least 5 dimensions including inside out.

If you like cats, you'll love this little set. If you don't then just imagine that it's a manifestation of Groucho Marx in felinoid form. The two levers used for whiskers don't quite translate and look more like a mustache. Them big eyes are a dead ringer for a set of coke bottles.

Overall the sculpting is reasonable but what can you do with 54 pieces? I guess my biggest complaint (other than the lacking ball and cup joints) would be the unfinished look at the tops of the legs. An extra little cheese slope on top of them all would go a long way towards completing the look.

I dunno, I think there could be an overall improvement on this set. But what they hey it's a good value for pieces.

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 - Go-Kart Racer 30314

Some things are just so obvious, eh? But first, some history. When I was younger, I built a bunch of little midget race cars. The basis was always the same; 2x8 plate with a 1x4 bumper front and aft, a 45° slope front and aft and a 1x4 plate for the spoiler. Sometimes I'd change it up a little but mostly they were formulaic.

Imagine my delight when I saw this little set. The pieces are quite updated and the build is slightly different but the formula is there. Squee! The bag art didn't fully show the engine on the back but I'm impressed at what it is. One of those little Chima fists stuck on a travis brick looks kind of like a manifold. And a new space gun on the other side kind of looks like an exhaust. But the manifold only has three ports. These must be little tiny quarter midgets or something.

Cool idea and I can see some variation on the theme. Maybe a fist on either side for an implied 6 cylinder and the exhaust in the back. A 1x1 round plate or tile on top for the air filter and now we're talking!

But what really struck me was that despite the Octan livery, this thing looks like such a knock-off from a popular video game that it almost seems obvious. This, my friends, is how you rip-off a license. Create something under your own sub-brand that reminds the end-user so much of another property that lines are blurred. And yet there's no basis for a suit of any kind. I wonder how the K'nex execs or looking at this. Brand-washing? Or maybe they're hoping the confusion will help their properties.

I'm sure TLG would deny any intention but someone in a back room has got to be sniggering over this. Let that set your bias for buying this. Available at Target in the US, other European locations at

Set Review - Garbage Truck 30313

Tomayto, tomahto? When I first read about a Garbage Truck polybag I thought it would be kind of cool. I envisioned a Creator style mini truck. Then I saw the pictures and realized it was a little glorified golf cart for the Parks and Rec department. Oh joy, another stripped down vehicle.

But really, it's not that bad. Oh sure, the parts count is low and some features are mere tokens. For instance, the only thing protecting the driver's knees (or feet, I guess) in a head on collision is the steering column. But since he will probably only be driving on foot paths and across vast expanses of grass, it's likely the worst of his worries will be bicycles and baby strollers. Maybe an occasional tree.

The coolness comes in with the garbage can mechanism. It's just a couple of droid arms hooked to a bar, but the whole setup allows for a (what can be imagined as pneumatic) system to keep our trusty city employee from filing an OSHA complaint. The arms can lift and lower the cans from the ground and even tip the full cans into the back end of the cart. Would that it was a dumper! I suppose there will be some manual shoveling out of debris otherwise.

And speaking of debris, that's included as well. Not only do you get two lime green dots (hmm...) and two brown dots (total eww) but you get one extra of each! Woo-hoo baby, overtime! Plus an extra trans-yellow tile dot (where's ma hose?). Droid arms have become standard fare as extras, so it makes for a spare or central liftarm, or an extra grabby claw for picking up random garbage that the broom won't grab.

As a test, I gave my 3y8mo old boy the set and told him to build the whole thing. He was really excited about the wheels but only got to putting the bed on when it got too hard without oversight. He put the man together and was happy enough rolling the chassis around in a child's fantasy world that I vaguely remember.

These can currently be found in store at Target as an Easter promo. Only $3.49 (plus tax) makes for a great price point. With 48 pieces I would have expected $5. The wise BrickOwl tells me that these parts are worth at least $8-9. They've also got the previous TLG promo, Friends Mini-Golf with half the parts for $3.99. Go figure that economy.

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)

Set Review - Demolition Driller 30312

I finally played good Dad and let one of the kids build a set with me. Mrs. Dagsbricks and the girls were off to an event so the boy and I had some bonding time. I pulled out the Driller promo polybag and his eyes lit up brighter than a Vegas sign. I poured out all the pieces and then dictated to him while he built the whole thing himself. He's 3-1/2, mind you. Duplo Schmuplo.

The build is fairly basic but very sturdy. Given the color and function I was reminded of the less than stellar Mining Dozer though it's more similar to the Mining Quad. The overall construction reminds me of the Repair Lift. This one has the distinction of using the new black ice cream cone.

The premise of the vehicle is simple: break stuff. The driver operates a short boom arm that has a small engine on the end. The package art shows the black ice cream cone being used as a sort of hammer drill. What they don't show you is that the set also contains both a chainsaw blade and a mechanical arm. The coolest part is that you can swap out the drill for the claw or the sawblade. Now you can break up concrete AND take down a monster zombie horde!

I appreciate the new Demolition subtheme that's coming out but it doesn't quite grab me like the Mining subtheme did. These two sets would make a good blend though. I plan to add the driller to my mining layout for added rock breaking value.

These are still available through Shop@Home when you purchase $35 or more.

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 - Mini Golf 30203

In retrospect, I suppose I should have reviewed Shop at Home's January promos in January.  Not that you could have gotten them in week 2.  Apparently the Slave I drove so many sales that the promos were wiped out after about 8 days.  Thankfully I was able to get a few to review.

The Friends subtheme takes a pleasant departure from roadside vending to have a little fun!  I love me some mini-golf (or putt-putt as some might say).  I was thrilled to see this little vignette of a past pastime.  My one grief is how small it is though.  I figured that I could make my own portable course out of pieces of 4'x8' plywood.  A decent small hole would need to use 3 pieces.  If we assume a relative scale with this set, it's a single piece of plywood, that is, less than an 8' putt.  That's like nothing.  And the windmill obstacle is cute but the blades don't come near enough to stopping the ball.  It's like an "everybody wins" course.  I'll bet the green slopes all the way to the cup as well.

So I had to embiggen it.  Per my previous standard it needs to be at least 3 4x8 pieces for the green, and maybe a little more of a challenge.  I grabbed an 8x8 plate, and added a curve to it.  Now THAT is much better.  Pity our poor little girlfriend can't grip the club properly.  About that club.  Don't you think a hatchet or a hammer or even a hockey stick would have worked better?

Let's see your mini-golf expansions!  Post a pic on Flickr and link to it here or tag me in it.

Set Review - Brown Bear's River 41046

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?  I see a blogger looking at me.  Today's last post of the year also wraps up the Series 5 Friends Animals.  These are neat little vignettes that highlight a particular animal and are an entry level set into the Friends subtheme.  They start at US$3.99, sometimes you'll find them for US$4.99.  The sets average around 40 pieces plus a few extras here and there.

Brown Bear's River was one of my favorite vignettes.  The bear cub is a nice unique mold which also shows up in Sand Blue in the Jungle Bridge Rescue set.  I was drawn to the simple yet effective design, the square base, and the animation!

The fish is connected to a bar via a droid arm.  You can make him jump the falls with a flick of a finger.  Nature purists may note that he is rather high above the water, almost as if he is flying.  Hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

The base of the build is created by stitching three different colored and size plates together.  A 4x6 medium azure plate for the water, a green 2x6 plate behind for grass, and a lime 1x6 plate to the side.  Since the front is the view side, I think the lime plate would have been better replaced with another medium azure one.  The build up for the roiling falls is nicely done with some curved bricks and trans blue and white pieces to give the impression of froth.

The tree is a nice touch but simple.  While a few more leaves would have been nice, if anything, I've learned that TLG just includes a token set up and lets your imagination fill in the rest.  Perhaps that's the problem with us critical AFOLs; we've lost our imagination and expect real life perfection.  New year's resolution perhaps?

The only critique I might have is a small gap that appears behind the falls.  Thankfully with the extra pieces you can fill out the falls a little more.  And the extra droid arm?  Maybe a bone outside of the bear's cave.

Click the pics for products on LEGO Shop@Home: