11/30/10

LEGO Star Wars Minifig Wish Lists Announced

Somehow Ace at FBTB.net slipped this by me yesterday (and by 'slipped by' I mean showed it in plain sight for all to see), but they are reporting on the minifigs fans requested for future LEGO Star Wars sets. You can check out the top 25 selections here. A lot of good stuff across the original trilogy, pre-quals, Clone Wars, and expanded universe. My favorite? Grand Admiral Thrawn (he just barely made the top ten).

A few of these selections I think you are almost guaranteed to see it future sets, like Quinlan Vos (he was mysteriously dropped from the T6 Jedi Shuttle) and Oola (come on LEGO has to use that Twi'lek head piece for other sets). Padme/Amadala and the Max Rebo band were pretty popular as well.

I believe these were requested with the intention of sharing with TLG, but only time will tell who will make an future appearance.

Hey, LEGO! There's nothing that says a Star Wars series of Collectible Minifigures isn't a possibility too...

(Via FBTB.net)

New Items Available on LEGO Shop at Home (US)

LEGO Shop at Home

Some of the 2011 LEGO sets that have been trickling out to retailers like Toys R US have now arrived at LEGO Shop at Home. Thanks to Huw at Brickset we know the following sets have been added:
  • 7285 - Police Dog Unit
  • 7286 - Prisoner Transport
  • 7287 - Police Boat
  • 7288 - Mobile Police Unit
  • 7498 - Police Station
  • 7279 - Police Minifigure Collection
  • 7976 - Ocean Speeder
  • 5766 - Log Cabin
  • 5764 - Rescue Robot
  • 5765 - Transport Truck
  • 7977 - Seabed Strider
  • 7978 - Angler Attack
  • 5929 - LEGO® Castle Building Set
  • 5930 - LEGO® Road Construction Building Set
  • 5931 - My first LEGO® DUPLO® Set
  • 5932 - My First LEGO® Set
  • 5933 - LEGO® Airport Building Set
  • 8221 - Storming Enforcer
  • 8301 - Urban Enforcer
  • 8302 - Rod Rider
  • 8303 - Demon Destroyer
  • 8304 - Smokin. Slickster
  • 5761 - Mini Digger
  • 5762 - Mini Plane
  • 8227 - Dragon Dueler
  • 8228 - Sting Striker
  • 8231 - Vicious Viper
  • 7305 - Scarab Attack
  • 7306 - Golden Staff Guardians
  • 7307 - Flying Mummy Attack
  • 7325 - Cursed Cobra Statue
  • 7326 - Rise of the Sphinx
  • 7327 - Scorpion Pyramid
  • 6051 - LEGO® DUPLO® Play with Letters

No NinjaGo, Star Wars, or Collectible Minifgures (yet), but there's still plenty to choose from! Although the 'Brick Friday Weekend' offers are no longer valid, you can still get free shipping on orders $99 USD. Hurry, as LEGO can't guarantee shipment by Christmas unless you order by noon on December 14th. Click the logo above and visit the 'What's New' page for more details.

Avanaut's Arrival


The title is a bit a a misnomer as photographer Avanaut has been around for some time. The 'arrival' in question is this fantastic scene he has created.

I think the great thing about minifigures and photography is that you really can take these pint-sized ABS warriors and place them in fantastic new worlds. The lighting and presentation of this piece almost makes you believe you've been transported to the planet of Hoth as the Snowtroopers arrive.

In the grand tradition of Alex Eylar, Powerpig, and Shobrick, Avanaut relveals how this shot was achieved. Click through to his Flickr stream for more details.

You can also buy this picture as a print or (hint, hint) Holiday Card via his shop on RedBubble.

Series 2 Offer at Mastermind Toys



Mastermind Toys based in Canada has a 'buy three, get one free' offer on Series 2 Collectible Minifigures. Mastermind is asking $2.99 per pack and the assortment is both blind and random. They do ship to the US, but please review their shipping policies before buying.

You know who else has Series 2 Collectible Minifigures for $2.99 USD? Me, baby, me...Well, I at least have the Karate Master, Disco Dude, Ringmaster, and Traffic Cop. *grins*

I ship internationally through USPS and shipping is flat rate (see my store terms for details). Lots more to see including LEGO Pharaoh's Quest, Star Wars, Harry Potter, plus lots of odds and ends. I'm sure you'll find something you'll like.

Head on over to my BrickLink store to see my selection, and head on over to Mastermind Toys for their special offer.

Inside the Customizer's Studio: eclipseGRAFX, Part 2

Welcome back to the second day of interviews with Victor Fernandez (eclipseGRAFX). In our first session we discussed with Victor about how he became involved with minifig customization. Today we discuss his areas of inspiration and involvement with the Clone Army Builder's Guild.

A lot of your creations look to Star Wars for inspiration? What are other areas you look to for customization ideas?

"I have always been a Star Wars fan. I don't want to say big because I learned a lot more after getting into LEGO then I knew before. I read a lot of the books in the past and was always interested in the Jedi.

Other than Star Wars, other areas would have to be comics and video games though I don't play a lot of games you can easily do Google searches and find a lot of screen shots. Other areas I look at are what's currently going on with the custom community. I spend time looking at JasBrick's library (the guy has a lot of figs), Geoshift, Morgan 19 has a lot of ideas, Pedro and I also browse through the minifig pools on Flickr.

What I noticed from these guys was that some of their creations were just free form. I knew I could create just about any Star Wars character with the right reference material but to create something from scratch was alot harder and to make it look awesome, was much harder. I started seeing the Gears of War (GOW) armor and other stuff that made me start buying them to paint in different styles. If you visit my minifig set you will see that most of my figs are just random characters that I came up with as I built the figs.

I guess you can say that my main source of inspiration is the public and what they want."


Why focus on custom lightsaber hilts for your store? You've also created custom minifigs of the Star Wars character Jarael. Why this particular character?

"The focus on lightsaber hilts was due to no one else being able to do the same. There was a huge interest in them and we made them so well that I thought we could sell them. When I say we, I am referring to 'Clashy' on Flickr, and I. He was the person who taught me how to make the hilts. And he also mentored me and helped me grow my customizing skills.

Jarael came to life only because of her shock staff. Clashy had sent me some digital comics and for some reason when I turned to this character I knew I had to make her and the staff. I have also created the imperial knights but not many people went crazy for them as they did for Jarael.

I have to also note that I met Clashy on Flickr. I don't know what made him take me under his wing but he showed me his secret little after our first conversations."


You've said in the past that you've learned a lot about customizing from the Clone Army Builders Guild. Tell us a little about this group and how they've helped you with customization.


"If you did a Google search for how to apply decals or something of that nature you will most likely find a link to the Clone Army Builder's Guild (CABG - thecabg.net). I usually use the CABG as one of my sources for marketing feedback and ideas. Also the diversity allows for a wider spectrum of opinions.

I first met 'Clashy' on the CABG, I first heard of Hazel (Tam) on the CABG, BrickArms and BrickForge were first introduced to me there as well. I guess I would have learned about all this on Flickr but it was through the CABG that I learned about Flickr and started utilizing it for LEGO.

On the CABG you will find several aspiring decal artists and it is also endorsed by Clone Army Customs (CAC). Where I learned about how profitable customizing can be.

I think the main thing the CABG did for me was keep me searching the LEGO community long enough to catch the custom bug."


So tomorrow is a big day for Victor as many of his new creations will be going up on his BrickLink store. We'll discuss the new venture with Imagination Customs and the ups and downs of starting a customs business in our session tomorrow.

Series 3 Sightings at TRU and Meijer (US)


Toys N Bricks is reporting that Series 3 Collectible Minifigures are now making their way into Toys R Us and Meijer stores in the US. It would appear that the days of $1.99 collectible figs are over at TRU with the current packs being listed for $2.99. You may want to try and see if your TRU allows for the BOGO 50% off to be applied to these figs for a discount.

Don't forget to bring your handy Series 3 decoder sheets to the stores with you! The patterns on the sheet correspond with bumps along the bottom of the package.

I'm still surprised that Europe hasn't seen these yet. If anyone sees these in their local stores, please let us know. One of these days, I'll find a way for people to virtually 'stick a pin' on a map so we can track these roll outs better.

11/29/10

Last Day for LEGO 'Brick Friday Weekend' Offers

LEGO Shop at Home

Today is the last day for the LEGO 'Brick Friday Weekend' deals. Shop at Home customers will receive free shipping on orders of $49 or more. Not only that you are eligible for 10% off on orders of $149 or greater.

Lots of discounted items in the Sales and Deals section, including 50% off LEGO Universe. You will also get a free LEGO Universe Rocket set when you purchase the game online.

A big thanks to everyone who has made a purchase through the site this weekend. The commissions we make on these sales, help grow 'The Duck' for bigger and better content. Just click on the LEGO logo above or the banner at the top of the side bar and get shopping.

LEGO City NASA Moon Buggy


I'm still not sure what to call these new LEGO City/Space sets that have partnered with NASA (are they LEGO City, LEGO City Space, LEGO City NASA...I don't know!). Any who, pictures surfaced over the weekend of the impulse set of the line, Space Moon Buggy

Expected to cost around $6 USD, it comes with one of the white Atlantis headgear with gold visor (Emile fan's rejoice). You also get a fig and a chainsaw blade element. Not bad for a value set.

Even if the gold visor is the only element of interest, the low price of this set should ensure that BrickLink will be awash with them, keeping prices low.

You can check out more about this set at Brickset and Toys N Bricks.

Inside the Customizer's Studio: eclipseGRAFX


Today kicks off our fourth interview session in the 'Inside the Customizer's Studio' series. Today we'll be talking with Victor Fernandez (AKA eclipseGRAFX). Since becoming involved with the minifig customization community Victor has always caught my eye, both as a unique and skilled customizer and as someone in the community that was making a serious go at building his own custom brand. I knew when I started this series, that Victor was someone I wanted to have the privilege to interview.

The interview itself was conducted via correspondence, around the time Victor was ramping up for relaunching his store with Imagination Customs. We'll be talking about this most recent venture later in the week, but today we kick off the interview discussing how Victor emerged from his 'Dark Age' and became involved with the customization community.

Did you have a 'dark age'? If so, how long did it last and when did it end? What was the inspiration for you to get back into LEGO?

"I don't know if my 'dark ages' can be technically that. I believe that in order to have a dark age you need to have had been into LEGO at some point in your life. I grew up in a low income family of six total siblings and a single mom working her butt off to make ends meet. The only place I played with LEGO was in school and I only have a recollection of doing so in the 3rd grade. Other then that I never really played with LEGO until last year.

In September 2009 my wife and I renewed our vows and made our way to Disney World with our son. The last day there we went to Downtown Disney and found this awesome (and not so little) shop full of kids and excitement - The LEGO store. Well my son wanted me to buy some stuff for him and as I walked back and fourth determining what the best items would be for him. We bought a few sets (City) and I helped him build them in the hotel room. But since that day I started looking online for more LEGO at good prices.

My son and I had a couple of Star Wars sets that we bought before this trip, but it was during this trip that my eyes were really opened to LEGO. Wanting to make stop-motion videos made me buy parts versus sets and broke me out of the collectors mode quickly. I started building newbish sets and MOCs and at the CABG I was helped by 'troopa D' to get better at MOC-ing.

I think I came back into LEGO because I liked the ability to create. I am a creative person by nature, a graphic designer who loves colors and to problem solve. LEGO just seemed to be perfect for me since it has both colors and plenty of problem solving."
 

How did you get started with the minifig customization community?  

"I first discovered minifig customization on eBay. I remember seeing clones of different qualities and styles. I saw a lot of stuff I knew I could do better as a graphic designer, and other stuff that left me wondering "how do you do that". Having my 3 year old (at the time) on my lap as we browsed through the web he asked me, "can you do that?". As a father you never want to lose that super hero spot light, so I did what any computer savvy person would do - I Googled it. 

I then found myself on YouTube looking at not only custom clones but stop motion videos and then my son says, "WOOOOOW, daddy can we do that?" I thought it should be simple. I knew the basics of animation I just needed to learn more about how to do it with minifigs. As we kept doing our research I realized I knew very little about the Clone Wars and the characters. I started doing more research on that and found myself at the Clone Army Builder's Guild (thecabg.net). This forum was dedicated to Clone Wars and clone characters so I thought it would be the best place to learn about the different characters. Little did I know that this forum would open up my eyes to sooooo much. It is where I learned about Flickr, BrickLink and best of all water slide decals.

CABG member 'Chaotic Good01' posted a detailed 'How to apply water slide decal' tutorial on the forum that started my journey into customization. His attention to detail on decals matched my own which allowed me to quickly respect his talents even more. From there on out I just kept trying to see what the rest of the customization community was doing in order to learn from them."

Join us tomorrow when we continue the conversation and talk to Victor about his inspiration and involvement with the Clone Army Builder's Guild.

New LEGO Star Wars Alarm Clocks


You may recall a few weeks back, a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader minifig alarm clock debuting on the scene. It seems that FBTB forum member Tim Steff has found two new variants of these clocks featuring the large-and-in-charge likeness of Yoda and Anakin Skywalker.

It's only a matter of time until Karf Oohlu finds a way to corrupt these 'maxifigs' in a new and unusual way.

These gems were found in a WalMart in Kentucky (my neck of the woods...so to speak) retailing for $19.97 USD.

Check out the full entry on the FBTB forums.

11/27/10

Fantasy Custom Minifigs on Eurobricks


Minifig customizer The Penguin has joined forces with Commander Neyo to create these custom fantasy minifigures from Crusaders of the Kingdom of Erathia. I'm not familiar with the source material but the custom minifigs look great. Head on over to Eurobricks and check them out.

TSA in LEGO



SpastikChuwawa recounts the recent TSA debate in LEGO form. I'm certain many people have felt this way at some time. Don't worry, despite the screen grab above, the brick film is rated PG...

New Pirates of the Caribbean Set Descriptions

Although firmly in the 'rumor' category, set descriptions of seven of the eight expected LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean sets have found their way onto Eurobricks. A Modular Life reports the details. The decriptions suggest potential minifigures from the line. Rumored figs include the following:
  • Captain Jack Sparrow
  • Pirate Lord Hector Barbossa
  • Blackbeard
  • Will Turner
  • Elizabeth Swann
  • Admiral Norrington
  • Pirate Hadras
  • Joshamee Gibbs
  • Cannibals
  • Mermaid
  • and of course a variety of random...Pirates
You can find the full set descriptions on A Modular Life.

11/26/10

Family Bricks Blog Kicks Off Today


I don't know where this guy finds the time. First he started his own store to sell his own custom minifigs and accessories. Then he decided to kick-off a 365 project where he creates a custom minifigure everyday. In between these two projects, he's been creating items for this year's Creations for Charity drive like a madman. Now, he's started his own blog where he details the techniques behind his 365 project.

If you haven't clicked ahead, I'm talking about Family Bricks (I guess the answer is in the title too). Speaking from experience I know all of these endeavors can't be easy, but he seems to be pulling them all off with style. If you get a chance, check out one or more of his projects by clicking through the links above.

New BrickForge Products and Colors


Just when you think Armothe and company are done, they eek out one more release before the end of the year.

New items include arched pauldrons and a new design for the military (riot) shield. Halo armor and helmets are now available in dark blue, along with the turban and megagun. Finally, there's also a new printed version of the round pauldrons with the Coruscant insignia (pictured here).

You can check them all out at the BrickForge store.

(Via BrickForge Flickr stream)

Update: Glued Magnet Sets

One of our readers posted this in the comments section of the original post. Thanks to Daz Hoo for the additional information...

Patrick Bégin, a LEGO Ambassador representing QuéLUG, got official word from LEGO on this subject :

"All Extended Line minifigure magnet sets will as of Jan 1st 2011 be glued.

Based on new requirements, the magnet base and the minifigures will have to be permanently fixed together on LEGO Star Wars magnet sets.

To ensure a consistent consumer experience across all LEGO minifigure magnet sets we have chosen to permanently fix the minifigure to the magnet base on all magnet sets moving forward from Jan 1st 2011 (incl. Pharaoh’s Quest launching Dec 1st). This decision has been carefully considered and was not taken easily as we know that many consumers will obviously not like this change."

LEGO Collectible Minifigure Series 3: The Tennis Player


The Tennis Player is exclusive to set 8803, The Collectible Minifigure Series 3.

Minifigure Parts and Accessories
The Tennis Player is composed of four main parts: hair piece, head, torso, and legs.

The hair is a dark orange variant of part 87990. This is a new color for this part, which has only appeared with the Series 1 Nurse previously.

The head print is new, and very basic. Why is she so angry? Perhaps it's determination.

The torso is white with yellow arms and hands. The torso print resembles a three-button tennis shirt. As with many of the collectible minifigures, there's no print on the back of the torso.

The hips and legs are white with print on the front of the legs to represent a tennis skirt and bare legs.

The accessory that comes with this figure is a tennis racket. This is a new part for the LEGO universe (the DUPLO tennis racket doesn't count).

LEGO.com Bio
“I win again!”

The Tennis Player trains hard to be the very best at the game, and she’s got the athletic skills to show for it. Wherever the ball goes on the court, she’s already there, ready to send it flying right back where it came from with a lightning-quick, precisely-aimed swing of her gleaming tennis racket.

And what a racket it is! Forged by a master racket-smith from the metal of a rare meteorite alloy, it’s lightweight, perfectly balanced and almost indestructible. The Tennis Player never goes anywhere without it, and she’s sure that with her lucky racket in her hand, she’ll never lose a match!

Army Building Potential
The ABP for the figure is low. Sure a head and hair change sets you up for a tennis match, but multiples of this figure are not likely to be sought.

Feeling It Out
The tennis racket is the item to be on the look out for here.

Bar Codes
Unlike previous series of collectible minifigures, there will be no secondary bar codes to help determine what figure is inside. However, there are a series of 'bumps' on the bottom of the packages that can be used to identify the contents (LEGO Series 3 Collectible Minifigure Codes). These codes were provided courtesy of FBTB.net and Rick Theroux.

The Big Draw
Honestly, I think the hair piece will be the most desirable item, even over the tennis racket. The hair is a new color for a relatively rare part. The tennis racket is nice, but has limited application.

BrickTW has New Colors Available


BrickTW announced that they will have the hairpieces and claw weapon available in black and dark gray starting today. These are some great ways to add variety to your Asian themed creations...and that claw! Awesome.

You can check it all out on BrickTW's BrickLink store today.

11/25/10

Quick Hits: Turkey Day Edition

Some quick bits of news before many of you enter an all-day haze of tryptophan and football...


Arealight now has their sci-fi helmets and jet packs in the new colors of red, blue, and tan. They just put them up today, so check them out.


There's been a sighting of a new LEGO Pharaoh's Quest battle pack sighted by Brickhorizon. Three mummies, a khopesh, scarab shield, horus helm, wings, and a sarcophagus. What more can you ask for (well an Anubus Warrior for one...but I digress). Check out the full review on Brickhorizon.

Don't forget that the LEGO Brick Friday event starts tomorrow. If you plan on buying gifts through LEGO Shop at Home this season, please stop here first and click through to help support 'The Duck'.

That's all for now. Have a great Thanksgiving and if you don't know what I'm talking about...have a great Thursday...I guess.

Cygnet
Minister of Information
Ugly Duck Command Center
Minifig Nation

11/24/10

Our Readers are Awesome!


So just when I've updated all of the Series 3 pics in the guides, one of our readers, Aaron, had to hit me with these awesome pics of said Collectible Minifigures. 

Lots of clear detailed shots, clarifying many of my questions. So once you get that turkey in the oven, head on over to Aaron's Flickr stream and check it out.

Thanks again, Aaron!

LEGO Collectible Minifigure Series 3: The Baseball Player


The Baseball Player is exclusive to set 8803, The Collectible Minifigure Series 3.


Minifigure Parts and Accessories
The Baseball Player is composed of four main parts: hat, head, torso, and legs.

Again, based on these pictures, the ball cap is new mold in red. The print on the cap makes a white front with the letter 'C' for 'Clutchers', which also appears to be the name of the team this guy plays for.

The head print is new, and very basic. It almost appears to be the classic minifig face with white pupiled eyes.

The torso and arms are white, while the hands are yellow. The print on the front of the torso resembles a pinstriped jersey in red with a red undershirt. Again, the team name is 'Clutchers' which is a tip of the hat to  the clutching power of a LEGO brick. It also has dual meaning, as in 'pulling it out in a clutch' or 'clutch play'. There is no print on the back of the torso.

The hips and legs are white with a belt print on the hips, but no print on the legs.

The accessory that comes with this figure is a baseball bat. The bat is dark tan in color with white print on the handle.

LEGO.com Bio
“Let’s get out there and give ‘em a great game!”

To the Baseball Player, nothing is as important as good teamwork. He memorizes all of his team’s game strategies, pays close attention to the coach’s signals, and does his best to help win no matter what position he’s playing. It’s not about personal fame or the number of home runs he hits – it’s about everybody having a good time on the field, and giving the crowd in the stands a terrific game to watch.

The Baseball Player isn’t just a professional athlete; he’s a big fan of the sport, too. He has an ever-growing collection of baseball memorabilia, from Bob Battingsley’s original rookie card to the signed bat of the world-famous “Brick”  Ruth himself. But his top favorite is his mint-in-package collection of historic baseball stadium hot dogs. He’s almost got the complete set!

Army Building Potential
The ABP for the figure is moderate to high. You could field an entire team with some head changes...but you wouldn't have an opposing team...or baseball mitts.

Feeling It Out
The hat and the baseball bat are the items to look for here. Look for these items in combination, as the Rapper also has a similar hat.

Bar Codes
Unlike previous series of collectible minifigures, there will be no secondary bar codes to help determine what figure is inside. However, there are a series of 'bumps' on the bottom of the packages that can be used to identify the contents (LEGO Series 3 Collectible Minifigure Codes). These codes were provided courtesy of FBTB.net and Rick Theroux.

The Big Draw
The baseball bat and hat are the real draw here. New elements, not available in previous sets

Boonie Hats by BrickArmy and Woody


These painted Boonie Hats by BrickArmy.com caught my eye this morning. A unique military accessory you don't see from other custom suppliers. What was even more interesting, was that these originated at Woody's Minifig Customs, made using his 3D printing technique. So whether you want a fully painted accessory or want to go it alone and design it yourself, you have two ways to do so.

Boldly Go!


First the Brick Command Bat'leths, now this. Mark (AKA Legoagogo) is back with these great custom Star Trek figures on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

It's a shame that an official Star Trek theme won't see the light of day (at least not while LEGO Star Wars is still around), but with decals from Fine Clonier and phasers from BrickForge or BrickArms, who needs 'em!

(Via Legoagogo's Flickr stream)

Can You See What I See?


This awesome set (to call it a 'vignette' would be an understatement) by Shobrick is like a deadly game of Where's Waldo? Can you find the fig before he finds you?

(Via Shobrick's Flickr stream)

FireStar Toys Now Official Reseller of BrickForge


The folks at FireStar Toys contacted me yesterday to let me know that they are now an official reseller for BrickForge custom minifig items.

It may still be a couple of weeks before FireStar has inventory to sell, but this is great news for folks in the UK and Europe. This likely means less wait time for your orders arrive, and possibly better shipping terms. Once FireStar has BrickForge items ready to sell, we will definitely let you know.

In the meantime, check out all of the great minifig items and accessories available at FireStar Toys today! Also, remember that if you use voucher/coupon code 'KV882256' at checkout, you can receive 10% off your order through January 2011.

11/23/10

We are Klingons!


...or at least our minifigures can be. A store called BrickCommand.net has entered the scene selling minifig scale Klingon Bat'leths. A few of these have been popping up on Flickr with positive reviews. 

Brick Command is also selling ninja stars which are held in the figure's hand by 'ball handles'. Although their selection isn't deep, these appear to be solid items. There are also a few brick kits for sale as well.

As always 'buyer beware', but you can check them out at BrickCommand.net.

Thanks to Entropy for making me aware of this.

LEGO Shop at Home Black Friday Weekend Deals

LEGO Shop at Home

LEGO just sent out to it's affiliates details on the various deals it hopes to offer via LEGO Shop at Home to US customers starting 'Brick Friday'.

Starting November 26th and ending November 29th, Shop at Home customers will receive free shipping on orders of $49 or more. Not only that you are eligible for 10% off on orders of $149 or greater.

If free shipping, a possible 10% off, and the promise of hassle-free, online shopping aren't enough, the Shop at Home 'Sales & Deals' section will post five new, exculsive deals each day. I've been sworn to secrecy, as to what each daily deal happens to be, but I can tell you there's a little bit of something for everyone with deals across a variety of themes. These sales will be limited time only or while supplies last.

Sound interesting? Come shopping time I only ask that you click on the LEGO logo (above) or other banners here (see top of side bar) before shopping. Orders that originate through this site are eligible for a small commission. Those commissions will be used to 'feed the duck' and keep this venture going. So if you enjoy the content here on The Ugly Duckling, please show your support by clicking here first on your way to LEGO Shop at Home.

By the way, if you are fortunate to have a LEGO brand retail store near you, and you want to 'fight the crazies'...I mean share in the yuletide spirit of Black Friday, shoppers will receive a scratch-off card that could earn them a discount from 10% up to 50% off their purchase this November 26th.

Happy Holidays and happy (bargain) hunting...

LEGO Collectible Minifigure Series 3: The Race Car Driver


The Race Car Driver is exclusive to set 8803, The Collectible Minifigure Series 3.

Minifigure Parts and Accessories
The Race Car Driver is composed of five main parts: helmet, hair piece, head, torso, and legs.

The helmet is a red variant of part 2446 with the Octan logo and checkerboard stripe. The visor is trans-clear.

A hair piece also comes with this figure. It is part 62810 and this is a new color for this piece.

The head print is new with a lopsided, toothy grin.

The torso and arms are red with white hands. The torso print is a racing uniform with the Octan logo and two smaller 'brand' patches on the chest, one is a flaming wrench and the other said 'Stafford Engines'. The name  'N. Groves' is also stitched along the bottom of the jacket. There is no print on the back of the torso.

The hips white and the legs are red with no visible print.

The helmet acts as the accessory for this figure.

LEGO.com Bio
“Must...go...faster!”

Years ago, the Race Car Driver met a mysterious man with a robot monkey who told him that he would be compelled to go faster and faster all his life. And it was true: from tricycle races to soapbox derbies, he has always been happiest when moving as fast as safety and the laws of physics will allow.


As soon as he was old enough to enter competitions, he was off and racing, constantly tweaking, modifying and tuning up his cars for more and more speed and power. Now that he’s become a professional driver, he can finally do what he’s always dreamed of doing: tour the world’s racetracks in one of the fastest things on wheels! 

Army Building Potential
The ABP for the figure is low. Racers are nice...I guess.

Feeling It Out
This will be difficult as there aren't many distinctive parts to feel through the polybag. The helmet could work, but could also be confused for items of other collectible figs from this series.

Bar Codes
Unlike previous series of collectible minifigures, there will be no secondary bar codes to help determine what figure is inside. However, there are a series of 'bumps' on the bottom of the packages that can be used to identify the contents (LEGO Series 3 Collectible Minifigure Codes). These codes were provided courtesy of FBTB.net and Rick Theroux.

The Big Draw
The best I can figure is the hair piece due to the new color. Other than that, I see these sitting on the shelves.

11/22/10

New Customs Team on the Scene


Why do I feel like a 1960's radio deejay after saying that? Anywho...it seems that eclipseGrafx and Imagination Customs are joining forces to bring some new, custom Star Wars themed minifigures. Not only that, these are lovely ladies of the Rebel alliance.

More details forthcoming. It looks like their new store will be opening at the beginning of December.

Where Fabuland Meets Mad Max


If you've read our interview with Morgan, you'll know that he claimed to have "ridiculously fond memories" of the Battle Beasts series of toys from the 1980's. Well it would seem he's found a way to bring his customization skills to bear on these pint-size, anthropomorphic beasts of battle (Fun Fact: Battle Beasts were originally called 'BeastFormers' and created by Takara of Japan, the same company who developed TransFormers). 

The Series 3 Gorilla Guy makes me think that the Fabuland line may be making a return. Let's hope this time they come with gatling guns.

New Items on BrickLink Store


Over the weekend I went through some of my backlog of items and placed them on The Ugly Duckling BrickLink store. Although it's a real 'grab bag' of minifigs and accessories, I do have items from Star Wars, Series 2, Kingdoms, and the new Pharaoh's Quest.

My shipping fees are fixed rate for USPS First Class delivery ($2.25 USD for US and $3.00 USD International), so buy all you want, the shipping costs won't go up*. I also don't have any minimums on orders.

If you have a chance take a look, and you might find an item or two of interest.

*See BrickLink 'store terms' tab for details

Product Review - Arealight Mando Helmet and Jet Pack

Today we will be covering the new Mando Helmet and jet pack release from custom house Arealight. Although not referenced directly, these designs are based off of the Star Wars Mandalorian armor, famously worn by Jango and Boba Fett.

The first item is the Mando Helmet which is inspired by helmets worn by many Mandalorian knights and merciless bounty hunters. Although the overall design has changed through the ages, all Mandalorian  helmet designs are distinctive through the use of a ‘t-visor’ on the helmet.

Arealight Mando Helmet (Silver)
The item is shown here in sliver with a cut out for the t-visor. The picture was taken using a black minifigure head with no print (not included) underneath, creating the ‘visor’ effect. There are also two holes on each side for accessories to be added. The item is made of ABS plastic and has a good connection to the minifigure head. This helmet is available in black, white, sand green, and silver.

Arealight Jet Pack Set with and without Warhead (Silver)
What bounty hunter’s arsenal would be complete without a jet pack? The Arealight jet pack is modeled after the Mitrinomon Z-6 Jetpack worn by Jango and Boba Fett.The jet pack set comes with a base element that attaches to the minifigure via the head post and has a small hole at the top of the pack. A ‘warhead’ comes with each set that fits into that hole. You receive a ‘warhead’ of the same color when you purchase the jet pack; however, you can buy them separately in different colors for further customization. The jet pack is made of ABS plastic and fits firmly against the minifigure torso. The jet packs and warheads are available in black, white, sand green, and silver.

Rocket Accessory with Jet Pack (Black)

In addition to the warhead, there is a rocket accessory that can be purchased separately for the jet pack. Measuring 1.6 cm in total length (1 cm of the rocket will show when inserted), it fits firmly into the hole at the top of the main piece. Even with the rocket accessory in place, there is plenty of clearance for the Mando helmet. The part is made of ABS plastic and comes in the four main colors mentioned above.

There are a few important notes regarding official LEGO accessories. I had an antenna/rangefinder that came with the 2010 Slave I set. I found that the LEGO part did work with the Mando helmet. This was nice as Arealight currently does not sell an antenna/rangefinder for this piece. Another nice touch is that the LEGO flames will attach to the nozzles at the bottom of the jet pack. Tight connections insure that the flames will not fall out during display or play time.

These are phenomenal pieces and are highly recommended buys. ABS quality with good connections and fantastic details that are ready for custom paint and decal treatments. Although some may balk at the lack of print, this allows one to customize these pieces to their own specifications or to take them outside of the Star Wars universe entirely.

Additional Stats
Custom House: Arealight Customs
Location: Taiwan
International Shipping?: Yes (see store for details)
Colors Available: Black, White, Sand Green, and Silver
Retail Prices: Jet Pack Set ($2.50 USD), Extra Warheads ($0.30 USD), Rockets ($0.50 USD)

The reference pictures and background information were taken from Wookieepedia

11/21/10

Bricks In Motion Animation Challenges

I'm not clear on how these animation challenges work on Bricks In Motion, but filmyguy and mobdeli have created these nice brick films depicting 'chopping down a tree' and a 'window jump', respectively. Given that these are 'challenges', I'm assuming this must be all hard and stuff. These folks make it look so easy!



11/20/10

New BrickForge Weekly Contests


News from BrickForge about their upcoming weekly contests. This can be also be found on the BrickForge forum and at the Flickr group referenced below...

"The Forge is jam-packed with awesome accessories and the Angry Dwarfsmith is demanding we unload a few so he has room to work. Thus, the Inner Sanctum has decreed to offer a weekly prize to worthy Flickr photographers.

How to Win Upload your BrickForge-laden minifig or MOC to Flickr - then add it to the BrickForge Group Pool. At the end of each week, Chief Smithy: QuickBlade will choose the one he fancies the most and award the lucky artist an anti-climactic, but nevertheless, valuable prize.

What you Win In the spirit of customization the Inner Sanctum has approved a $15.00 gift certificate allowing the winner to choose his/her own accessories as they see fit. The gift certificate will be awarded via e-mail.

Why you Win Your minifig or MOC must contain at least one unobstructed BrickForge product to qualify. Post as many photos of the same minifig/MOC as you want, but only one will qualify.

When you Win One winner will be selected each Saturday. The winning entries will be recorded in the Group Pool Contest discussion topic. Be sure to keep an eye out for a Flickr message from Quickblade requesting a valid e-mail address. Please refrain from mailing us to ask if you won - you will be ignored.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/brickforge/

This contest will take place on Flickr - not here."

11/19/10

Fantasy Minifigs and Drow City by Ivan

One of our readers, Ivan, contacted me the other day about his collection of custom fantasy minifigures. Given that I've been planning to explore this area as well, I thought this was a timely request.

Some of you may be familiar with Drow Elves if you ever explored Dungeons & Dragons or read the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden by R.A. Salvatore. Ivan has an affinity for these dark elves and recently completed a Drow city/castle MOC for a Clasic-Castle contest.

You can checkout Ivan's custom minifig collection on Brickshelf or his Drow city, Ched Nasad, on Classic-Castle.

JasBrick Custom Minifigs on Sale at FireStar


A new lot of JasBrick's custom minifigs went up for sale today at FireStar Toys. A wide variety of characters to choose from. UK based FireStar does ship internationally, so if you would like to own one of these custom pieces here is your chance.

I e-mailed Jas earlier today and he mentioned that although they didn't go on sale with this lot, his Steamtroopers and Hawkmen should be up for sale in the near future.

Update: Magnet Set Minifigs May Not Come Off

I don't want to jump the gun, but I have some news about both the latest LEGO Pharaoh's Quest magnet set and, potentially, future magnet sets.

I just opened magnet set #853168 and the minfigures are glued to the bases. Not only that, the torsos are glued to the legs! The only parts that will come off are the heads, hair, hats, and accessories. Darren, a reader, had asked me about this earlier, but I dismissed it as previous magnet sets were not set up this way. It sounds like Darren was right.

I then called the US LEGO Customer Service line. They said this was the first instance they had heard about this for the Pharaoh's Quest line; however, there were rumors of considering this for future licensed sets.

So although this is coming from LEGO Customer Service, I'm considering this a 'rumor' until we know for certain. The associate I talked to stated there was talk of the 2011 licensed magnet sets not allowing you to remove the minifigs. Are licensing partners upset that people were buying magnet sets over play sets? Who knows, but this is important news to consider when buying these products in the future.

If official word is released regarding this development, I will let you know. In the meantime, I'll be taking my magnet sets back to the store after the weekend.

Hawkmen... DIIIIIIVVE!


Take notes kids, this is how you get to be one of the best customizers around. JasBrick astounds with these wonderful Hawkmen and Valkyries. The figs themselves are purist, while the weapons are a mix of BrickArms and BrickForge gear, but those wings...those wings! Brilliant!

The jury is still out on where the wings came from, as they appear different from Kaminoan's designs. There's a high likelihood that Jas painted these...and maybe even made the wings himself. If these are available through a custom house, however, I'm buyin'.

(UPDATE: The wings are from this Warhammer 40K kit. Only $33 USD for several pair.)

(Via JasBrick's Flickr stream)

New LEGO Pharaoh's Quest Magnet Set


I just returned from the LEGO Store to see what new 2011 sets were in. Their selection of Pharaoh's Quest was quite good with around 5 sets available. In addition to the standard sets, I found magnet set #853168 and a new key chain.

The key chain was of the main mummy baddie, the boss man himself, but no other characters were available from what I could see. I believe the key chains standardly retail for $4.99 USD.

The magnet set features Jake Raines with a pistol, an Anubis Warrior with khopesh sword, and a Mummy Warrior with scarab shield. I would provide pics, but I need to wait until I get home. I'll try and update later tonight. $14.99 USD was the retail price, and a nice way to pick up the Anubis warrior on the cheap.

Another nice feature was that the magnet bases were tan and had the new map tile attached to the front. Now I don't know what I would do with three, identical map tiles, but it's a nice change to just the studs showing.

I bought a few of the magnet sets, so expect to see these figs on sale at my BrickLink store once their inventory logs these items in.

More as it becomes available...

Series 3 Collectible Minifigure Guide Update

The past 72 hours have been big for new news on the Series 3 Collectible Minifigures. We've had the figures officially go on sale, new pics and details, and the discovery of the code system that will allow you to pick all of the Fantasy Elves out of a case with a modicum of effort. Over the next few days I'll be updating the guides to reflect all of this information, but I thought I would do a brief summary here until those efforts are complete.

I've updated the guides to show the case composition of rare, uncommon, and common minifigures. Remember to scroll down to see the Series 3 information.

New pics of the figures and accessories have appeared on both Eurobricks and BrickPOP. I'll be using the montage photo on Eurobricks to update the guides. They aren't great, but until the official, rendered pics become available from TLG, they are better than the Japanese capsule inserts. BrickPOP keeps adding to their coverage and has some nice pics and descriptions of details for some figs.

I mentioned last night that it was only a matter of time before the 'codes' would be available in a nicer format. Well, here it is...


This, again, came courtesy of FBTB members, specifically Rick Theroux. I'll be adding these individual entries to the guides as well over the next few days. Again, we know these codes are accurate for North America, but don't know if a different system needed to be used for Europe and the rest of the world. Out of my own curiosity, if anyone knows what this coding approach is called in the retailing industry, I would like to know.

I'm hoping that by the end of the weekend, the guides will reflect all of the new information available. If you have any new news or questions in the meantime, please just let me know.

Eurobricks Scorpion Pyramid Review


Eurobricks member Hinckley provides an in depth review of LEGO Pharaoh's Quest set 7327, Scorpion Pyramid. If there was any doubt that these sets were going to be awesome, that doubt is erased after this review. Lot's of amazing minifigs in this set, so head on over and check out the full review.

Also check out BrickZone.net, which is a slick little site that was new to me.

(Via Eurobricks)