4/30/10

LEGO Minifig Crafts on Etsy

Etsy LEGO Star Wars Chrome Stormtrooper CufflinksIf you've not experienced Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade goods, then you might be missing out on some cool LEGO swag. A search on the term LEGO alone calls up over 2,200 results.

These range from jewelry to decals to artwork. Minifigures feature prominently in many of the creations, like these cuff links made out of chrome Stormtroopers.

I was hoping there might be a little more LEGO crochet on the site. Something in the vein of this giant LEGO man or these adorable Star Wars figures.

(Picture from Etsy.com)

Series 1 Is Dead, Long Live Series 2


With the first series of LEGO Collectible Minifigures set to launch in the next few days, I'm beginning to set my sights on Series 2. So far, we've only seen a few shots from the global toy fairs and this poster above, but there's a lot to look forward to.

I'm hoping to start the next phase of the guide in July and share any news on Series 3 and 4 as it becomes available. I'll continue to report on how well each of the figures is selling in the secondary market, as well as any interesting bits of tid that may come up.

Any suggestions on how to improve the guides are welcome. Sound off in the comments or drop me a line.

LEGO Star Wars Minifigures: General Grievous

Now Showing
This version of General Grievous is exclusive to set 8095, General Grievous' Starfighter. The General has appeared in minifigure form previously, but never looking quite this good!

Minifigure Parts and Accessories
Grievous is a complex fellow made up of eight separate parts: the head, two sets of arms, a torso, and two legs.

The detailing and print on the head are priceless. Capturing The General's visage, a la The Clone Wars series, perfectly. It is very likely that this was produced in China, where it appears LEGO can design rather complex parts and beautiful prints.

The main arms are attached at the torso with protrusions on the shoulders. Although similar to part 59230, with the 90 twist of the opposing clips, there is bend in the arm, print on the outside, the protrusions on the shoulders, and an upper arm design that allow for the second set of droid arms to attach...so its actually nothing like part 59230. The secondary arms are more similar to the aforementioned part, but again sport a bend in the arm.

I love a great pair of legs and the General's are no exception. Previous iterations of Grievous sported part 30376. These are nothing like it! A unique design, each leg has articulation at the hips and can move independently. The feet are more claw-like and better represent his celluloid counterpart.

The General also sports four lightsabers in green and blue as accessories. There's also this brick built maintenance chair and lightsaber holder.

Army Building Potential
Although I think it will break the bank for most people, I think the ABP for this figure is moderate. It's not likely that the entire minifigure assembly will be sought after in multiples, but arm and legs will likely be a hot item. Imagine upgrading your existing droids with these unique appendages!

Big Draw
The whole darn thing. If I had to put in relative order of importance from most sought after to least I would go: legs, primary arms, secondary arms, head, torso, with the lightsabers in a distant sixth place (there's nothing unique about the lightsaber design that I see).

Overall, an epic win for LEGO. This minifigure makes the set for me, and considering the starfighter itself is a big draw, the $49.99 USD price point seems "reasonable".

As with the medical droid, the separate bags suggests that this fig was made in China. I think LEGO is on a mission this year to prove that "China" can mean quality, detailed, figures at a low price point. Although I've not handled the figure myself, I would say the opening salvo in the war on proving Chinese quality has begun.

(Pictures from BrickHorizon.com)

The Suspense Is Killing Me!

(Picture from LEGO.com)

UPDATE: The rumor around the interwebs is that this offer is simply a free "sticker sheet" if you purchase a LEGO Star Wars set. Really?! Why in blue blazes do you need to have a "coming soon" web page and e-mail reminders for a sticker sheet?! Ooooh, if I stay up until midnight on Sunday and find a bloody bunch of stickers waiting for me, I'm going to be cross! Now if by "sticker sheet" you mean "LEGO Summer sets are here", then I'm in...

UPDATE (AGAIN): A member on the BrickLink forums claims to know what the promo item is, and it ain't stickers. 'Brickmarketplac' states that the information must remain confidential until 8 pm EST on May 2nd. At least, someone has the decency not to force people to say up until midnight to find out what might be going on! Stay tuned...

FINAL UPDATE: I could give you all the details about this interesting promo starting at midnight 5/3, but instead I'll direct you to a rather good post on FBTB.net...I would recommend getting the Toy Story Pizza Planet Truck set if its still available.

FINAL, FINAL UPDATE: Despite staying up until 12:30 am on 5/3, the announcement never appeared for me; however, reports this morning verify the news posted on FBTB.net over the weekend. One correction, however...you must purchase LEGO Star Wars merchandise. So although my recommendation for the Toy Story Pizza Planet Truck still stands, it will not score you a sticker set or entry into the bronze Boba Fett lottery. This is the last update...I promise.

ForrestFire Films: Nightwing's Return

This next brickfilm came across my desk earlier this week. It's LEGO. It's Batman. It's good!

Clocking in around 10 minutes the LEGO Batman clip revolves around Nightwing's desire to resume his old role as Robin. The only problem is he's better than Batman. This is obviously a farce because NOBODY is better than Batman...but I digress.

ForrestFire appears to be fairly prolific and widely viewed, with many clips hitting the million view mark.

Have a look and enjoy!

LEGO Star Wars Minifigure Guide

New Boba Fett Minifigure HelmetI'm kicking off this guide dedicated to the minifigures of LEGO Star Wars line starting with the Summer 2010 season. We will not have coverage of minifigures that appeared before this release date. We will also not cover minifigures that are re-released without significant changes. As new lines are released over time we will update the guides.

Each of the following links are tied to the original articles. These may be modified over time based on new news, so please check back often.

LEGO Star Wars Summer 2010

LEGO Star Wars Winter 2011

LEGO Star Wars Summer 2011

Promotional Items

4/29/10

LEGO Star Wars Minifigures: 2-1B Medical Droid

LEGO Star Wars Minifigure 2-1B Medical DroidNow Showing
The 2-1B medical droid is exclusive to set 8096, Emperor Palpatine's Shuttle. This will be the first time this droid has been seen in the LEGO universe.

Minifigure Parts and Accessories
The medical droid is composed of four parts: torso/head, two arms, and a mechanical leg assembly.

The torso/head part is the real gem here. Very detailed and faithful to the character from the film. There's also a fair amount of potential with custom builds thanks to the connections.

There are two arm types with this figure. The first is part 59230, the straight mechanical arm with clips at 90 degrees. These arms are often seen on skeletons, assassin droids, and battle droids. The second arm is part 53989, an Exo-Force/Bionicle mechanical arm.

Finally, the leg assembly is another droid favorite part 30376.

There are no accessories that come with this figure.

Army Building Potential
Although there weren't armies of medical droids running around in the films, the ABP for this figure could be moderate. Again, the torso/head part could be sought after in multiples.

LEGO Star Wars 2-1B Medical Droid in bagBig Draw
Say it together now...the torso/head assembly. The set review on Eurobricks showed this part coming in a separate bag. This likely means that the part was manufactured in China. A lot of fans still cry foul when "LEGO" and "China" are used in the same sentence; however, the more recent product rumored to be coming out of the Middle Kingdom has been impressive. It looks like LEGO is able to produce more detailed parts and minifig prints in China at a lower cost. If quality is upheld, I say keep it coming.

(Pictures from Eurobricks)

State of the Fancy Pants

Brickfilm auteur Fancy Pants checks in on his YouTube channel.

After thanking everyone for the success of The Force Unleashed, Fancy Pants vows to come back with a project even bigger and better. The down side? Something about bigger and better equaling more time.

Time-shmime! I say we lock Jordan in a room and not let him out until his mystery project is compl...What's that? Human slavery is illegal? I thought it was more frowned upo...No? Definitely illegal?...OK. Moving on.

It also sounds like The Ruthless Plan Part 5 ain't gonna happen. He's moved on people. Get over it! (UPDATE: It does appear that Jordan has posted the incomplete footage of RP5 on his YouTube Channel)

There may be an occasional tutorial or short in between, but generally the man is going underground.

Get the full scoop below (NOTE: This is audio only, no pictures or video).

What's an Album?!

LEGO Album CoversIt is inevitable. The universe is hurtling at light speed toward a day where some person of a younger persuasion will ask me, "What exactly is an 'album'?"

Until that day, we elders of the clan can enjoy these lovely album covers from the LEGO Album Covers pool on Flickr. The album to the right is a faithful recreation of an Elvis collection, but it's the title that really sold me.

A range of albums from Jethro Tull to Kiss are all featured in this group.

Take a look and see if your favorite album cover has received the LEGO treatment.

(Picture from LEGO Album Covers Flickr stream)

May The Force Be With You: LEGO Stores May 2010

I was taking a second look at the US LEGO Store May calendar, and there's a lot of good stuff happening:
  • Shop online for a exclusive mystery item with any LEGO Star Wars purchase
  • On May 11th and 12th there's a BOGO half-off on LEGO Star Wars magnet sets in stores
  • May 24th thru 27th you get 50 bonus VIP points if you buy set 10198, Tantive IV
  • If you purchase $50 or more in LEGO Star Wars swag and have the coupon, you can get a Count Dooku key chain for free
  • Even the LEGO Club meetings this month are focused against Star Wars. $25 dollars will get you into a meeting on either the 8th, 15th or 22nd, a t-shirt, and a bag of bricks. The monthly build is a 'droid'
So how might you work this all to your advantage? Well if you want to take a risk and wait until Monday to try and order new items like Toy Story 3 and Collectible Minifigures (assuming Shop@Home will be offering them), any purchase of a Star Wars item will get you the exclusive. There may even be an small, outside chance that the sets now on sale via Amazon.fr will also become available!

Although the coupon doesn't state the offer is good for in store only, you might also score the Count Dooku key chain if your Star Wars purchase online is above $50. Keep the coupon handy just in case. I don't see an online coupon code, though.

If you do order online via Shop@Home go over to Toys N Bricks and grab the Brickmaster code for $5 off online orders. This may or may not cover shipping, but at least it takes away a little of the bite.

The long awaited and error-ridden Admiral Ackbar magnet set might be available by May 11th. There's no mention of limits on the BOGO offer, so you could score this new magnet set with 25% off to boot! If you spend more than $50, have that Dooku coupon handy assuming they haven't sold out.

I leave it up to you to decide if the Tantive IV offer or the LEGO Club meeting swag is worth it. 50 VIP points in the US equates to around $2.50 if my calculations are correct. You might be better off waiting until the holidays for better deals.

As always 'buyer beware'. If you wait until the 3rd to order things like Toy Story 3 and Collectible Minifigures, and they don't offer them online (I don't have any hard evidence that says they will, only a hunch), then you might miss out via other retailers if they sell out. The exclusive might be a little 'meh' too.

Good luck and 'play well'!

Tigers and Dragons and Trolls. Oh my!

Tigerggyy and BrickTW Crystal TigerTigerggyy has posted some new images focusing on some of what appears to be the new translucent armor from BrickTW's Eastern War series.

The first image shows a soldier in Fire Wizard armor while a crystal tiger prowls behind.

The second image shows a trio of scenes where Trolls are attempting to run off with a crystal dragon. A small contingent of warriors in Wind Wizard armor have other ideas.

Tigerggyy and BrickTW Crystal DragonI really enjoy how Tigerggyy and BrickTW bring product and story together to really showcase a fine product.

A quick fun fact before I go...Many of Tiger's posts have the title "Deer Hunting in the Central Plain". Did you know that this phrase is often used to describe a struggle for power? Entertaining and educational!

You can create your own minifigure Middle Kingdom by visiting BrickTW's store today!

(Pictures from Tigerggyy's Flickr stream)

4/28/10

Karf Oohlu's Got Character(s)

Keith Goldman has been conducting a series of interviews with prominent AFOL builders over on The Brothers Brick. On Monday he talked with Fedde (aka Karf Oohlu) about his process and his creations.

This prompted me to checkout Fedde's Flickr stream where I found these albums dedicated to custom 'characters'. While not all of them would qualify as minifigures, the fig is featured in many ways. My favorite was this custom mer-man warrior combining elements of Harry Potter, Castle, and Atlantis. A cool little stand to boot. Based on what I've seen, don't be surprised if Karf Oohlu makes the occasional appearance here.

Karf Oolhu's Mer-man Warrior
(Picture from Karf Oohlu's Flickr stream)

Early Release of LEGO Star Wars Summer 2010 Sets?

We'll if you've been hiding in your underground bunker with no access to the interwebs for the past few days, then you are likely to NOT have heard that Amazon France appears to be releasing six of the Summer 2010 Star Wars sets into the wild.

Admittedly I thought this would be revealed to have been an error on the part of Amazon France, but as a few more days go by with no reports of LEGO corporate descending on zip lines to halt this madness, it makes me think its legit. There have even been reports on Eurobricks of members who placed orders receiving shipment confirmation e-mails.

What other evidence is there of this being a legitimate launch? Well 30 years ago The Empire Strikes Back was released in theaters on May 21st, 1980. LEGO may have moved the launch date up to coincide with the anniversary.

We had reports of French retailer catalogs surfacing with "June" printed at the top and pictures of the new sets on the page.

LEGO Ambassador CopMike was provided with an early copy of the new Slave I set a few weeks ago. Given that LEGO is likely not running its production lines for a handful of sets, they may be ready to go. Why let them sit in a warehouse for three months?

The really strange thing is how this appears to have been a surprise to most of the online AFOL community. I have yet to see anyone come forward stating that LEGO had this in the works for quite some time and 'secretly' announced it at one of the European toy fairs.

Also, why France and why Amazon? If I understand correctly, you can live in the EU and have items shipped from Amazon France without huge shipping fees. The US, however, is another story. Might this anger other European retailers if Amazon gets a three month jump on them?

Without combing through last year's LEGO annual report, I would have to guess that the US is the largest market for LEGO. Now it hasn't been stated that these sets won't be available in the US until August, but it just seems odd not to launch in your biggest market first unless there are logistics issues that make it difficult.

I think the next few days may be telling. If LEGO doesn't clamp down on this early release, and those who ordered via Amazon France receive their sets, then what's done is done.

May 1st we expect to see the both the Toy Story 3 sets and the Collectible Minifigures released in the US through select outlets. Could these new Star Wars sets become available here too? Only time will tell...

Carry on Balakov, Carry On

Balakov's Stay Calm and Carry OnOccasionally, I stumble on something really good when traveling across the minifig nation. This latest find is no exception. Mike Stimpson (aka Balakov) has many whimsical and humorous pictures of minifigures on Flickr.

Many of the scenes focus on Star Wars figures and situations. As you can see from the pictures above, he's a Brit, detailing how an iconic British poster might work in the Star Wars universe. Mike also has a penchant for female members of the Imperial army, which I can appreciate.

Tons of brilliant stuff on his Flickr stream. I hope to highlight much of Balakov's work in the future.

(Picture from Balakov's Flickr stream)

Fine Clonier Ready for Inspection

Fine Clonier's Clone ArmyFine Clonier has updated their Flickr stream with this image, asking for you to supply the caption. Although not expressed as a contest (people still do things just for fun, don't ya know), you can't help but come up with a few witticisms...

"The Emperor managed to find a way around the Imperial army's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy"

"Here we have Cindy modeling this Spring's clone army line..."

"When Commander Cindy entered the room, the soldiers weren't the only ones standing at attention"

You know, real mature stuff like that.

The clone army you see here is getting ready for BrickMagic in Raleigh, North Carolina. They will be for sale and feature Arealight and MMCB products.

Bonus points for someone who can tell me where the female stormtrooper has appeared before. I feel like I've seen her, maybe as someone's sig fig, but I just can remember. Help!

(Picture from Fine Clonier's Flickr stream)

The Brick Show Reviews Trash Compactor Escape

The Brick Show is back with a video review of LEGO Toy Story 3 set 7596, Trash Compactor Escape.

Jason confirms that all of the minifigures are "dirty" variants. What's also a nice detail is that the two alien figs have different face prints relating to the dirt and smudges. The dirt is also printed on the figs and are not stickers.

Now Jason claims that this will increase the collectability of the set. I'm not so certain. Die hard collectors may want it, but the jury is still out on if these variants will translate into high demand in the secondary market.

Still awaiting a couple more set reviews, which may be forthcoming. It's also very likely that these sets will be 'officially' available this weekend.

4/27/10

Brick House Nudity

If you tuned into Brick House on Monday, you'll have seen the "evil head" manged to get a new body thanks to the tribe of rock people. You'll have also seen that those same rock people didn't think to give him pants! But that's not the interesting part...

Christopher shares this little factoid:

While at the TwinLUG meeting a couple of weekends ago, I heard that LEGO no longer produces the mini-fig hip part in yellow, considering it “nudity.” Not sure if that’s true or not, it seems like it’d be fairly harmless in any of the licensed lines where they’re using flesh-toned minis.

If this is true, as one reader pointed out, then it puts the yellow, classic spaceman in a whole new light. No pants, a tattoo on his chest, and a helmet. It would seem that LEGO has some interesting ideas about what goes on in space...

(Picture from Reasonably Clever)

Prince of Persia Brickfilm...Blah, Blah, Blah

Given that this will likely be an internet phenomenon and we often cover happenings in the brickfilm community, I feel that I must post this clip from MTV.com.

I also feel I have to say, "It's not all that good". Don't get me wrong. This is far superior to anything I could ever muster, but it really has the feel of something cobbled together at the last minute. I especially hope that TLG didn't have a hand in this.

Nevertheless, it's LEGO, it's brickfilm, and it's Prince of Persia. Let's just leave it at that...

LEGO Mini-site for Minifigs Now Up

LEGO Collectible Minifigure Series 1LEGO.com now has an official mini-site up for the Collectible Minifigures! Bios, downloads, and games are all available. They've also revealed the official names of each of the figures. The names that differ from what we have in the guide are as follows:
  • The Diver = Deep Sea Diver
  • The Archer/Robin Hood = Forestman
  • The Wrestler = Super Wrestler
  • The Native American = Tribal Hunter
  • The Crash Test Dummy = Demolition Dummy
  • The Clown = Circus Clown
I've linked to the US site, but Brickset is also stating that mini-sites are up in the UK and Germany.

With May 1st right around the corner, I'm guessing that we'll be seeing these minifigures very soon. It wouldn't surprise me if Shop@Home doesn't start selling them next Monday.

I'll be updating the guide over the next few days with all the new items. Enjoy!

The Brick Show Covers BrickForge

The Brick Show has put out a mini-episode featuring the various cool custom items from BrickForge.com.



Although Jason didn't go into much detail on each item, we'll try and help fill in the blanks...

Starting at the bottom-left of the screen and moving clockwise you have...
  • A yellow hero mask
  • A javelin
  • Glow-in-the-dark power blade
  • A gray saw
  • Minifigure scale sheep and pig
  • A trans-yellow/green hook sword
  • A trans-yellow/green war hammer
  • A minifigure decked out in the new clear riot shield and clear helmet
  • A minifigure wearing yellow hero hair and utility belt
  • A minifigure in space marine armor and helmet with a blue power blade
  • A minifigure in a blue beret
  • A fig in black space marine armor and helmet holding a white trident
  • A trans green military sword (?)
  • A purple savage mask
  • Minifig with centurion helmet, red kopesh, vambraces, pauldrons, yellow waist armor with gladius
  • A legionary helmet
  • More yellow hero hair
  • Green military helmet
  • Pink beret
  • A hoplite helmet with plume
  • Green turban
  • Green hero hair
  • Red scooter
  • An a blue plasma blaster back near the middle
Phew! I may have misidentified an item or two, but hopefully this will give you a better sense of what was featured. All items can be found on BrickForge.com...

4/26/10

Eurobricks Wack-a-Fig II Winner Announced

Winner of Wack-a-Fig II Oky Wan KenobiLast week we announced that voting had commenced on the second Wack-a-Fig contest over at Eurobricks. Flashforward to one week later and the winner has been announced...(drum roll)...Oky Wan Kenobi!

Congratualtions Oky! Enjoy your minifigure-shaped ice cubes over the long, hot summer.

You can see Oky accepting his award and the final tallies over on Eurobricks.

(Picture from Eurobricks forums)

Eurobricks Reviews Kingdoms Prison Carriage Rescue

KimT has got the goods over on Eurobricks. Another pre-release review, this time of Kingdoms set 7949, Prison Carriage Rescue. Army building potential abounds as the set comes with three figures, plenty of weapons, a horse and a carapace thingy that makes it look like a unicorn...really? REALLY?!

Cool prints, new shield designs, and the new great helm are all great features from this small set.

I really like how one of the figs has an intricate series of tattoos on his chest of the castle pris...none of the figs have tattoos?....It's not that kind of prison rescue?...Oh, my mistake!

Click on over to Eurobricks to check out the full review and set details.

Kingdoms set 7949, Prison Carriage Rescue(Picture from Eurobricks forums)

21 Pounds of Minifigures on Ebay


Because 20 lbs of minifigures just wasn't enough...

Considering the bids were up to $300 USD when I looked, I don't think I'm going to bite this hook.

4 days left. You know you want it...

Top 10 LEGO Movie Tributes

Mashable.com is up to their old tricks, now touting they've found the top 10 LEGO movie tributes. I question how they found these clips and how much effort they've really put into this. Nevertheless, we have 10 clips running the gamut of different films and genres.

You may remember number eight from a few weeks back when we first posted this brilliant, yet brief clip from Blade Runner.

Of the remaining clips, I would have to say this faithful recreation from Monty Python and the Holy Grail is worth a look. Enjoy!

4/25/10

CopMike Gives the Lowdown on 'Showdown'

LEGO Ambassador and Eurobricks regular CopMike has scored another set in advance of the public, Kingdom's set 7950 (Knight's Showdown).

I will have to admit I'm not a big Castle/Kingdoms fan. Most elements that have caught my eye in the past have trended more toward 'fantasy' themes.

In perusing the forums it looks like this set brings us a new helmet design for the Dragon Knight. There's also been some discussion about new torso and leg printing on said figure. I guess 'plumes' may have been absent from this theme from some time too.

Instead of trying to pretend I know what I'm talking about regarding Castle/Kingdoms, I suggest you pop on over to Eurobricks and see the visual review for yourself.

If you care to school me in the finer points of Kingdoms, feel free to sound off in the comments...

(Picture from Eurobricks forums)

It's Slime Time!

Slime Face HardsuitBlackleafwei can't let Break Jaw have all the fun! Slime Face is busy burying the competition in this latest vignette.

There's another hardsuit of Gold Tooth on blackleafwei's Flickr stream as well.

Each one is basic in its overall design, but its the custom touches reflecting the character of each fig that really sets these apart.

Although I'd love to continue to see more Agents villains, when will Agent Chase suit up and go on the offensive?! Nick Fury wouldn't put up with this $#!@...

(Picture from blackleafwei's Flickr stream)

Wookies, Wookies Everywhere

Take a gander at this lovely family picture of custom Wookies by Bobskink over at Eurobricks.

It's sad to think that Chewbacca and this lonely Wookie warrior are the only residents of Kashyyyk to have ever graced an official LEGO Star Wars set. Demand your Wookie battle packs for 2011 citizens!

(Picture from Eurobricks Forums)

4/24/10

Power of the Triforce

ChocoBricks Customs Link Legend of ZeldaThe Legend of Zelda continues thanks to ChocoBricks Customs!

The sword is the wizards sword from BrickForge with a custom paint job. The shield? A custom decal, and a sweet one to boot.

I'd love to know how the ears and hat were done. It would also appear that a BrickForge bandolier is in play.

ChocoBricks has several minifig versions of 8-bit stars on his Flickr stream. Take a look!

(Picture from ChocoBricks Customs Flickr stream)

Our Man in the Field Finds Ways to Pimp Your Figs

I have a friend, lets call him Nick, who has passed along a couple of bits about two minifigure customs shops on BrickLink. After looking through their stores, I think there's some real potential to 'plus' some of the collectible minifigures debuting in June...

Slick Bricks Custom Zombie HeadsThe first store up to bat is Slick Bricks and their custom zombie heads. Now in our preview of The Zombie collectible figure we hypothesize that the ABP or "Army Building Potential" of this figure will be quite high. Pop the head off and attach it to any LEGO minfigure and you have an "insta-zombie" variant. After a while though your army will be lacking a little a variety, and variety is the spice of life...or is it unlife in this case? Enter Slick Bricks. As you can see from the photo their zombie heads have just enough variance to keep it interesting.

Minifig.Cat's Ninja AccessoriesOur second custom retailer is 'Minifig.Cat' operating out of Taiwan. Minifig.Cat has two specialty lines focused on SWAT and feudal Japan. It's the Japanese line that really stands out for me. Minifigure accessories for ninja and samurai abound. Sadly the collectible minifigure Ninja appears to be lacking the love from the AFOL community. However, he had some of Cat's custom weapons and scrolls on hand, well that might be 'sumthin to shake a kunai at! These accessories would work well with our Fantasy LEGO League Naruto theme, or how about some Wolverine claws that don't come from Megabloks?

These two stores have a lot of potential. I will admit that I have not personally purchased products from either one so, as always, buyer beware.

If there are any citizens in minifig nation who have had experience with these fine folks, please let us know in the comments.

(Pictures from Slick Bricks website and Minfig.Cat's Flickr stream )

Christopher Doyle on Webcomic Beacon

Christopher Doyle, creator of The Brick House comic, will be taking part in The Webcomic Beacon podcast on Sunday, May 16th at 12:00 pm EST.

If you are a fan of The Brick House, or just want to find out more about Mr. Doyle's process, then the podcast shouldn't disappoint.

(Picture from Reasonably Blogged)

4/23/10

What Did You Say?!

I love that Keshen is so prolific! Although every short he produces doesn't always have the flash of other brickfilm creators, they all exemplify the concept of "a good story, well told".

Today's short features an "out-take" from the film Shutter Island. Enjoy!

More Collectible Minifigures Seen In The Wild

A couple of updated pics for The Nurse and Robot from the June 2010 Collectible Minifigure collection.

All the images for these two figures I've seen to date have been either taken from some distance or were the 'rendered' versions. I don't even think CopMike at Eurobricks has these...

You get to see a little more of The Nurse (or is it The Doctor? Doctor who?!) and her accessories. It would appear that you may get two syringes with this fig. Otherwise no surprises.

The Robot on the other hand...look at that face! I've not seen under the helmet previously, but it doesn't disappoint. This fig has jumped a couple of slots in the 'must have' column.

All pics you see here come from Ibaixinho's Flickr stream, found by clicking through from another site.

Hazel's Ball Joint Minifigs Are Inspired

I'm sorry. I just can't get over these ball joint USMF minifigs from Hazel!

I really hope LEGO takes notice of this. This seems to me a significant leap forward in the design of minifigures. The "play" potential is limitless. The barriers? Cost and quality, would be my best guess. If the same LEGO quality could be had with minimal cost, then it seems like a done deal. I personally would pay a premium for this type of figure. Collectible minifigure collection anyone?

On a separate, but related note...are you wondering what the USMF is? If I'm right it stands for the United States Military Force, US ground forces from 2065 and home of the Deep Eyes Unit. All of this is from the 2001 movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

(Picture from Hazel's Flickr stream)

Elemental Wizards Unite!

Tigerggyy BrickTW Fire WizardTigerggyy BrickTW Earth WizardTigerggyy BrickTW Sea WizardTigerggyy BrickTW Air WizardTigerggyy and BrickTW unite once more to bring you the elemental wizards in translucent armor and weapons.

Each set comes with a snazzy little card suggesting that there may be more here than meets the eye. If anyone knows, please drop us a line...

(Pictures from BrickTW Flickr stream)

The Brick Show Reviews The Western Train Chase

The Brick Show is back and reviewing Toy Story 3 set 7597, The Western Train Chase. Once again we get an early look at all of the minfigures involved!

There's really only one new bit of information to report. Hamm comes with a rubber stopper on his undercarriage, similar to what a real piggy bank would have. This confirms what we suspected based on hi-res package shots of set 7596, Trash Compactor Escape, that Hamm can accommodate LEGO coins.

Mariann's comments on Rex, based on her experiences at Bricks by the Bay, were much more informative than what was shown here.

If you would like to see more on the minifgures, or if you'd like more info on the rest of this set (isn't it nice that LEGO gives you all those bricks for free with your minifigures), take a gander at the video...

4/22/10

Keshen's Carboard Gear Solid

Brickfilm legend Keshen dares to ask the question, "A cardboard box, Snake? Really? REALLY?!".

If you find that you don't get the reference, then I really am to old for this $#!@...

Keshen won a couple of Bricks in Motion awards this year, including best screenplay and best vocal performance. Days of Our Pizza was also a nom for Film of the Year.

Plan on seeing more Keshen here in the future. Random humor always gets you blogged...

You Can't Star A War Without A Spark...

These custom minifigures from Dr. Schultz caught my eye over the weekend. The minifigures look great, but its the combination of the figs, the Vans shoebox background, and this description that sealed the deal...

Dr. Schultz's Gentlemen of the Trade
"Sure, some people may say that a bright yellow jumpsuit and a gold-painted shotgun is not the most stealthy way to go into combat, however you can't star a war without a spark and we are the perfect spark ..."

I'm certain the word 'star' was meant to be 'start', but I quite like this version better!

(Picture from Dr. Schultz's Flickr stream)

Tigerggyy's Zhuang People

Tigerggyy's Zhuang PeopleTigerggyy has posted a couple of new creations based on the Zhuang people of China.

In the first we see several dramatic poses among translucent armor and weapons, including a picture with one of the new Prince of Persia ostriches!

The second collection titled 'Green Jade' features a Zhuang minifigure among a richer, deeper green arsenal.

Tigerggyy BrickTW Green JadeThe minifigures appear in the traditional garb of the Zhuang people. I have to admit that I'm not aware of their history, aside from what I've found via the all knowing oracle (aka Wikipedia).

I believe the armor and weapons come courtesy of BrickTW. Considering their dedication to Oriental history I'm certain there is a deep and rich story just ready to unfold.

(Picture from tigerggyy's Flickr stream)

The Brick Show Reviews Lotso's Dump Truck

The Brick Show website has a video detailing set 7789, Lotso's Dump Truck. The best part of the review, is we are able to get some of our questions answered regarding the minifigs included in the set. I will update the guide later today, but for now here are a few highlights:
  • Lotso and Chunk do appear to have articulation in the shoulders and are not all one molded piece
  • Chunk's face does rotate on an axle to show "happy" and "angry" expressions
  • Stretch's base is made from a rubberized material
  • "Little Man" is not quite a minifig. His head is a minifig standard, and by default so is the construction hat. However, he sits on a dark green (?) version of part 30151
Lots more to see in the video. I'm always amazed how the pack shots can make these sets seem large, but then when put in context are quite small...

LEGO Marvel Almost A Reality

(Picture from Comics Alliance)

The interwebs are all a bristle this morning regarding news that Traveler's Tales almost had agreement to develop a LEGO based Marvel game. The following comes from the blog The Lost Gamer:

Traveller’s Tales were “THIS close” to sealing a deal that would have allowed them to produce one of their LEGO titles based upon the world of Marvel Comics, Jon Burton, Director of TT Games and Head Designer of the LEGO series, has revealed today.

Such plans were however thwarted by an exclusive deal that Marvel had signed with Megabloks for the rights to Spider-man, meaning that the developer could not start work on converting some of the iconic Comic Book super heroes into LEGO form.

Burton commented earlier today, “We were THIS close to a Marvel LEGO a few years ago but Megabloks did an exclusive deal for Spider-man so that was that…”


Although there was no mention of sets corresponding with the game, we would have been able to see much of the Marvel universe in LEGO minifigure form.

I think its also safe to say that LEGO Marvel will only dwell in the halls of the Fantasy LEGO League until the Megabloks license expires.

When Buzz Met The Locusts

JasBrick's Locust warrior with custom Buzz Lightyear headConsidering the shear volume of Gears of War custom minifigures that JasBrick has been posting, I'm really interested to see this mystery project he's been touting on the interwebs recently.

Here we have a Gears of War Locust soldier via the way of a custom Buzz Lightyear head. Although Jas has developed a couple of Locust warriors in the past, this seems the most true to form so far.

There are several other custom figs on his Flickr stream, so check them out if you get a chance.

(Picture from JasBrick's Flickr stream)

4/21/10

BiM 2009 Winner for Best Visual Effects: Picturesque

As we mentioned on Tuesday, the winners of the 2009 Bricks in Motion Awards were announced over the weekend in live chat and on Brickspace.org. Although not up for best picture, Nick Durron's "Picturesque" did win for best visual effects.

"Picturesque" is a multi-part story taking part in a world were technology has allowed any picture to be transformed into a portal to that location, real or otherwise.

I've supplied part one here, but the other installments can be found on YouTube.

I have only one question for Nick...why is it always so dark in the future?!

Fantasy LEGO League: Sword and Sorcery Fantasy

LEGO Lord of The Rings PosterToday's entry into the Fantasy LEGO League is a bit of departure from our previous posts. In the past we've focused on a very specific line or theme that would have amazing minifigure potential. This time were not only looking at a broader overall theme, but we're actually making a case to expand an area where the LEGO Castle sets have already gone!

Sword and Sorcery Fantasy could either exist within LEGO's Castle/Kingdoms line or go the licensed route with Lord of The Rings or Dungeons & Dragons. We'll discuss the pros and cons of both alternatives along the way.

You can see the "rules" of these posts here.

Must-Have Minifigures: We've seen trolls and dwarves via LEGO Castle, but what about elves, ents, and centaurs?! Most professions in LEGO Castle and Kingdoms have been fairly standard over the years, but with fantasy elements you can have rouges, clerics, rangers, and barbarians. A license on the Lord of The Rings movies would bring forth minifig versions of Hobbits, Gandalf, Strider, Ringwraiths, and Smegol.

Propensity for Vehicles (C): No worse than the current Castle/Kindoms line. Depending on how you view it, however, there is one form of transportation that could really take off...Dragons!

Dragons are not unfamiliar territory for LEGO. Movies like "How to Train Your Dragon" have only fanned the proverbial fire.

Aside from the faithful steed, your kind of stuck with carts and war-wagons otherwise.

Preexisting Fan-Base (A): Sword and Sorcery Fantasy has been around in various forms for years. If LEGO took the licensed route with Lord of The Rings they would likely have the biggest fan base to tap into. Other licenses like Dungeons & Dragons may have a slightly narrower band of fans, but still strong.

Depth of Theme (A): Whether treated as a broad unlicensed theme or diving into the worlds of Middle Earth or D&D there's plenty of areas to mine for ideas.

Kid Friendliness: With the Hobbit more directed towards children (Tolkien's original book was anyway) and a movie supposedly in the works, this could easily have kid appeal. The trilogy, however, was perhaps targeted towards an older teen/young adult audience. Rating (B)

D&D on the other hand has been more heavily targeted toward teens and young adults with rumored (and false) ties to Satanism. Maybe its time to revive the old Dungeon's & Dragons cartoon series? Rating (C)

Expanding on the efforts already put forth by the LEGO Castle/Kingdoms line, these should appeal to children equally as well. Rating (A)

Likelihood of License:LEGO and Warner Brothers have partnered in the past with LEGO Batman, Harry Potter, and Ben 10. New Line is a subsidiary of Warner and has the film rights for Tolkien's books, in fact The Hobbit is currently in the planing stages.

Warner owns UK based Traveler's Tales (TT) Games, the folks who currently make the various LEGO licensed games we all love. In fact representatives of TT Games expressed only a few months ago that a LEGO Lord of The Rings license would be a fantastic idea. It was also announced this morning that Warner bought game maker Turbine, developers of Lord of The Rings and Dungeons & Dragons Online, further deepening Warner's ownership of the license in various forms.

Various aspects of Tolkien's legacy have been tied up in litigation in the past. It may be that a LEGO theme would experience similar problems. Perhaps if the sets focused only on the film versions? Rating (C)

Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, produces the various Dungeons & Dragons products. There's no track record of licensed themes based off of a series of games. Also, now that LEGO has their own game division, Hasbro might be reluctant to help a competitor make more money. Rating (C-)

Overall (B-): The main question for LEGO is would it be more profitable using or not using a licensed theme? The Star Wars juggernaut continues to roll on, but is LEGO putting too many of their eggs in a single basket? What would happen if Lucas decided to pull the license? It seems like it would be in TLG's best interest to have some other licensing partners with at least as much pull as the Star Wars franchise. Lord of the Rings via Warner seems like the best candidate. Star Wars has practically become the perennial Space theme, while Lord of the Rings would work nicely with Castle/Kingdoms.

The non-licensed route would be simple enough. There are plenty of fantasy creatures and characters not yet explored via Castle/Kingdoms, and to the best of my knowledge no one really 'owns' these concepts. Its likely that LEGO keeps more of the profits associated with non-licensed themes, but licenses can bring in more dollars overall.

And let's not forget future Collectible Minifigure series. Sword and Sorcery Fantasy figs could easily be added into an upcoming series.

Custom Options: Custom options abound. BrickForge and BrickArms each have medieval and fantasy weapons and armor. Fine Clonier has a series of custom decals based on Lord of The Rings already. In fact there are building instructions on the web on how to create your own custom centaur.

(Pictures from Go Gaming Giant and BrickForge.)

Collectible Minifigure Bar Codes for Central and Eastern Europe

Oliver, a reader and unofficial correspondent, directed my attention to 'bricks.inof.de' which appears to have two pdf's showing the bar codes for the Collectible Minifigures. In an excerpt from the site...

"These are the barcodes of the new collectible minifigures, available since May 2010. When you look at the back side of the bag, the important barcode is the smaller one (without digits beneath). Unfortunately there are at least two kinds of such minifigure bags which differ in layout and barcodes:

- Item: 4559116 (barcodes on the left)
- Item: 4568039 (barcodes on the right)

The barcodes presented here are valid only for the bags mentioned first. These seem to be sold in Eastern and Central Europe. The others where found in USA and UK; unfortunately those have different barcodes."

I can really see how it would be difficult to visually ID the figures without such a guide! I'm guessing the bar codes for US, UK, and the rest of the world aren't far behind...

Thanks Oliver!

Break Jaw Hardsuit Vingette

Break Jaw's Hardsuit AttacksBlackleafwei has been busy designing hardsuits and vignettes using LEGO Agents minifigures. In this scene Break Jaw is bearing down on a group of fleeing agents. The stack of dynamite at his feet suggests that Break Jaw might go "boom".

Its not surprising that Break Jaw was able to score such a sweet ride. His boss, Dr. Inferno, has a 'killer' whip himself. Robo Attack (set 8970) was one of the first sets I bought after coming out of my dark ages!

(Picture from blackleafwei's Flickr stream)

4/20/10

JasBrick's Dark Ranger Sig Fig

JasBrick's Dark Ranger Sig FigJasBrick scores a win with this new custom minfig of a Dark Ranger, opposites of the heroic Star Command.

A little paint applied to the ARC-170 clone pilot's helmet and Buzz Lightyear's jet pack really make a difference. Stick a custom gun in this sig fig's hand and he's ready to terrorize gamma quadrant.

(Picture from JasBrick's Flickr stream)

BiM 2009 Award Winners Announced

Brickspace.org has posted the winners of the 2009 Bricks in Motion awards. The announcements were held Saturday via live chat.

A few weeks ago we shared each of the nominees for the best film category. They are once again...
An the BiM 2009 Best Film Award goes to...(drum roll)...Alles ist die Noppe!

Brickspace has the full list of winners from the various categories. Click on over to check it out!

Toy Story 3 Sets Availble at Toys R Us Online (US)

I just found out that Toys R Us is currently selling the Toy Story 3 sets online!

It states that the items are in stock and ship in 1 to 2 business days from the warehouse; however, after talking to some associates at a local store they have been instructed not to put these sets on shelf until May 1st. Not having completed the transaction online, it may say the same for shipping the online orders too.

Toys R Us does have free shipping on orders over $100, but if you're just looking to pick up a couple of the small to medium sets, then shipping costs can add up.

If Prince of Persia was any indication, then LEGO Shop@Home may pull the trigger soon too!

UPDATE: It looks like there's a crack down on early release. LEGO Stores and TRU's that have been caught putting product out before May 1st, are being told not to do so. So, if you see a set on shelf , pick it up now. Otherwise you'll have to wait a few more days.

Also note that the TRU website has removed the Toy Story 3 sets.

LEGO Toy Story 3 Minifigures: "Dirty" Variants

The "dirty" variants aren't a single figure from the upcoming LEGO Toy Story 3 line but a unique type of variant. Many of the figures that have previously been introduced or will be introduced will have one of these variants. To the best of our knowledge, the following figures will be offered this way:
  • Woody
  • Buzz
  • Jessie
  • Hamm
  • Little Green Men
  • Lotso
Now Showing
Set 7596 (Trash Compactor Escape) will have dirty variants of Woody, Hamm, The Little Green Men, and Lotso. Set 7599 (Garbage Truck Getaway) will have these variants for Jessie, Buzz, and Lotso.

LEGO Toy Story 3 Hamm Minifigure - Dirty VariantMinifigure Parts
Most of the minifigure's parts remain the same as the "clean" variant figures. The main differences are printed smudges and stains that have been added. The Jessie figure does appear to have a different facial expression on the head. Other figures may also have different facial expressions from the original, but its difficult to tell from the current set of photos.

LEGO Toy Story 3 Lotso Minifigure - Dirty VariantArmy Building Potential
I imagine the ABP for these figures is low. A novel way to add variety to these sets, but I don't see aspects of the figures that would be desired in multiples.

Big Draw
I think if a collector is seeking to fill out a LEGO Toy Story collection, then these figures have appeal. Beyond that, it seems kind of silly. Once the sets are released we will have to see how collectors have voted with their dollars in the secondary market.

(Pictures from Amazon.com)


Hazel Does It Again!

Hazel's Ball Joint Enhanced MinifigureIt took me a minute to realize what was going on here with this minifig, even with the title of the original post to aid me. I think I'm so used to seeing more articulated and rendered versions of minifigures that this didn't smack me in the gob like it should have...

Look at the articulation in the waist and shoulders! Hazel seems to have found a way to add small ball joints to minifigures without totally wrecking the fig itself (or at least it doesn't seem the fig is damaged in any significant way). Think about it, man!

The custom accessories and tactical minifigure stand only adds to the appeal.

Hazel has added the Amazing Armory logo to this pic suggesting these figs, or at least some custom kit, will be available for sale at some point.

Hazel proves once again he is truly a rock star of the custom minifig underground!

(Picture from Hazel's Flickr stream)

4/19/10

Vote In The Sig Fig Smackdown at Eurobricks

Eurobricks Wack-a-Fig Contest - Walrus, Wiener, WedgieEurobricks is now voting on their Wack-a-Fig II contest, where members create vignettes depicting 'signature figures', a minifigure avatar, opening a can on other sig figs.

To give you a taste of the high-brow humor involved, I've included a vignette from the inaugural contest titled 'Walrus, Wiener, Wedgie'.

The entries are in and the voting has begun. Head on over and cast your vote today!

(Picture from Eurobricks)

Top 10 LEGO Music Videos

Social media gurus Mashable.com have scoured the interwebs to find the top 10 music videos rendered in LEGO. Each brickfilm has its own charms, but for my money ABBA's "Take A Chance On Me" by Legostyle has to be the best.

LEGO Toy Story 3 Minifigures: "Little Man"

LEGO Toy Story 3 Minifigure Little PeopleNow Showing
"Little Man", as I've named him, is currently exclusive to set 7789 Lotso's Dump Truck.

Minifigure Parts and Accessories
This figure is a bit of mystery. He hasn't official been listed as a minifigure that comes with the set, he just sits passively in the driver's seat of the dump truck. I feel he resembles the old-school, Fisher-Price Little People.

"Little Man" is composed of a yellow construction hat, minifigure head with eyes and nose, and a dark blue torso comprised of part 30151. The dark blue is a new color for this part.

Army Building Potential
I imagine the ABP for this figure is low. I don't see this figure being sought in multiples unless there's high demand for part 30151 in dark blue.

Big Draw
Its hard to tell at this point. We may have a new color for the domed part and the minifigure print on the face is new. The had appears to be a standard yellow version of part 3833. Are these big draws? Only time will tell...

(Picture from Amazon.com)