9/29/10

Product Review: BrickForge Musical Instruments

BrickForge Musical Instrument Series
As part of their 2010 line-up of new products, BrickForge has recently released their line of minifigure musical instruments. This review takes a look at the electric and acoustic guitars, as well as their violin and drumsticks.

Electric Guitars
The electric guitars are molded in ABS plastic with print on the body and neck of the instrument. The styling resembles that of a Fender Stratocaster. The detailing shows off machine heads on the headstock, frets along the neck, strings and pick-ups on the body, along with a couple of control knobs. The piece is about 4 cm long, 1.4 cm at the widest point, and 4mm thick.

There are three print variants. One where there's white print is on the body (seen here), representing the pickguard. This design comes in black, blue, red, reddish brown, and tan. There's also a white variant with a black pickguard design. Finally, there are a couple of designs where there's tan print on the neck of the guitar only in black and white.

Acoustic Guitar
The acoustic guitars are also molded in ABS, but the current design has no print on the product. The style of the guitar most closely resembles a folk or classical acoustic. The detailing on the guitar includes the tuning keys and machine heads on the headstock, frets along the neck, strings and bridge on the body along with the sound hole. The dimensions of the product are 3.8 cm in length, 1.4 cm at the widest point, and 4 mm thick. Currently, the acoustic guitar only comes in tan and dark tan. The dark tan variant is shown here.



Violin
The final member in this string instrument trio is the violin. The BrickForge violin details the scroll and peg board at the top, raised strings that descend down the neck to a bridge and tail piece, and F-holes on the body. The violin is roughly 3 cm long, 1.1 cm at the widest point, and nearly 5 mm thick. Similar to the acoustic guitar, this piece only comes in tan and dark tan. The dark tan variant is shown here. This piece does not come with a bow, but a standard LEGO bar of 4L or 3L length should suffice. As with all of the BrickForge products, this is made with ABS plastic.

Connections on Back of Instruments
All of the stringed instruments also have connections on the back of the piece. Both the electric and acoustic guitars have single holes which can be used in a variety of ways. The holes can accommodate any part the size of a single LEGO stud, this includes bars, posts, technic pins, or minifigure hands. This means if you wanted to 'hang' one of these guitars on the wall of one of your MOCs, it can be done. You could also sling the guitar on a minifigure's back if you had an accessory part with a stud on the back, like part 42446

The violin has all of these features but includes an additional post connection on the underside of the piece. This is where the minifig can grip the part to achieve a pose where the body of the violin rests near the shoulder. Without this connection, the minifig would not be able to achieve this stance given current articulation in the arms.

Another feature all three of the stringed instruments have in common are how the minifigs can grab the neck of the instrument. The necks are rounded along the back in a type of semicircle design. I found that if the neck of the instrument is inserted into the hand sideways/flat and then twisted, it achieves a snug connection. This means you cannot have the minifig hold the neck 'sideways' as it would fall out of the hand. Armothe from BrickForge stated this was a design decision to have the pieces better resemble their large-scale counterparts.

Drumsticks
The last 'instrument' from this series comes from the percussion family. The BrickForge drumsticks are a 'fun' little item that can be used to help fill out your LEGO rock band. A simple design, they are roughly 1.6 cm long or comparable to a 2L bar. The main shaft fits firmly in a minfig hand and then tapers down to a tip. These come is six different colors including black, blue, red, reddish brown, tan and white. The tan variant is pictured here. There currently are no drums, drum sets, or cow bells for your minifigure to play aside from those you build yourself. The drumsticks could potentially be re-purposed in various builds. I've also heard that they can make nifty wands for certain students of Hogwarts.

This concludes our review of the BrickForge minifig instrument series. I hope you found this review helpful in deciding if these may be the right product for you. You can check out these products and many others at the BrickForge website (link below).

Additional Stats - Electric Guitars
Custom House:BrickForge
Location:United States
International Shipping: Yes (details)
Colors Available: With White Pickguard - Black, Blue, Red, Reddish Brown, and Tan. With Black Pickguard - White. With Tan Neck Print - Black and White
Retail Price: $1.00 USD

Additional Stats - Acoustic Guitars and Violins
Colors Available: Tan and Dark Tan
Retail Price: $1.00 USD

Additional Stats - Drumsticks
Colors Available: Black, Blue, Red, Reddish Brown, Tan and White
Retail Price: $1.00 USD

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