Category Archives: Reviews

Book Review: The LEGO Animation Book

LEGOAnimation PDF-1

Stop motion animation using LEGO bricks is a fantastic way to tell stories, and some of the top YouTube channels have massive followings.

It’s no surprise then that there is a lot of interest in learning how to get started with the medium. The LEGO Animation Book aims to be your complete guide to being a LEGO stop-motion animator.

A lot of the previous LEGO books that I have reviewed have been fairly light, easy reading. They’ve either been fun things aimed at kids or informational books with more pictures than text. The LEGO Animation book does start off light but does get very technical.

The book has a great progression from the basics of staging a shoot to some very advanced topics. You can see the trailer for the film referenced throughout the book at the end of the article.

October Minifigpak Unboxing & Review

BrickPak MinifigPak

The monthly subscription service Minifigpak has been up and running for a while now. Each month bringing people three mysterious minifigures. With the October pack in the hands of most people I have done a quick unboxing and review.

Warning: If you haven’t got your October Minifipak yet this post will contain spoilers.

Read on below for my review, and more details about the Minifigpak product.

MinifigPak Unboxing And Review

BrickPak MinifigPak

Some of you may have seen that the team behind the subscription LEGO box BrickPak have just launched a new product – the MinifigPak. Subscribers to the new product will get monthly delivery of three mystery minifigures for $17.95 per month.

You can sign up for your own pack at minifigpak.com

I just received one of the first packs couldn’t wait to get stuck in to it. Check out my unboxing video and thoughts on the pack below.

If you are getting your own pack and don’t want to be spoiled – here’s your chance to turn away now.

Review: LEGO Star Wars Adventure Pack

RRP $24.99
Available from most book stores.

The LEGO Star Wars Adventure Pack is a little different to some of the other books I’ve had the chance to review. As the name suggests this is a pack rather than a single book.

There are four elements to the product – LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary: Rebels and Imperials, Darth Vader’s Empire Sticker Book, Yoda’s Jedi Army Sticker Book, and 30272 A-Wing Star Fighter.

With my excitement levels for The Force Awakens at an all time high after the latest trailer I can’t wait to get stuck into something Star Wars related.

Star Wars Adventure Pack Contents

Book Review: I Love That Minifigure

I Love That Minifigure Cover

RRP $29.99
Available from most retailers

Be sure to check out the review of the exclusive Zombie Skateboarder minifigure at the end of the book review.

I don’t think LEGO would be as popular as it is today without the cute characters known as minifigures. The little people increase the play value of sets and help turn bricks into worlds from comic books, TV shows and movies. To celebrate the wonder that is LEGO minifigures DK have produced I Love That Minifigure, a book that celebrates all things minifigure.

The Book

ILTM Book Detail 01

The book has 11 chapters, each with a different group of characters. The chapters range from Everyday Heroes to All-Time Icons. Other chapters include You’re History, Out of This World, You’re My Hero, Spooky and Scary, The World’s A Stage, One of A Kind, Wild at Heart, Rotten Rouges, and We Have The Power.

Book Review: Just Brick It

Just Brick It Book Cover Small

RRP $29.99.
Available at most bookstores.

Unlike a lot of the books that I have been lucky enough to review, this one is targeted at the adult LEGO fan community. While I don’t mind the occasional trip to Heartlake City or the world of Ninjago, I was looking forward to something written for somebody like me.

The Just Brick It book doesn’t muck around with who it’s marketed towards – the introduction features the term AFOL with no explanation of what that term means. It assumes that you know what it means because you are an AFOL.

The book comprises of 20 different LEGO projects that you can recreate and the contents details where to find each. This isn’t a book you have to read from cover to cover, you can easily start with a build that catches your interest.

The layout of the book is quite easy to follow. The parts list is presented at the start of each model. This book is not an officially licensed product so unfortunately the parts list lacks detail like element IDs, which would make ordering parts online a lot easier. Having more detail on the parts would also help with colours – there are different shades of grey coloured bricks for example.

Book Review: Great LEGO Sets – A Visual History

Great LEGO Sets A Visual History Cover Small

RRP $49.99
Available from most retailers
Currently $33 at Target

LEGO is undoubtedly one of the most popular global brands and that success comes from decades of creating amazing products (and of course some not so great ones). Great LEGO Sets attempts to distill the best of the best from LEGO’s history into a single book.

This isn’t a book for young LEGO fans, this is a detailed study of the history of LEGO. I’d like to think that if there was a university course in LEGO this would be high on the required reading list.

The book opens with a beautifully written foreword that makes a very strong case for why LEGO is such an amazing product.

The intention behind the LEGO System of Play was to “create a toy that prepares the child for life, appeals to the imagination, and develops the creative urge and joy of creation that are the driving forces in every human being.”

The foreword also give adult LEGO fans a call to action – go and get that LEGO sitting in your parents house collecting dust. I’d try this myself but I’ve been told by my mum that those bricks are reserved for grandchildren.

The content of the book is broken down by decade. This structure works perfectly as it allows LEGO fans of any vintage to quickly flick to the decade of their childhood.

The book opens with a year by year timeline of the LEGO company. While the main parts of the book focus on great sets, this timeline is more broad but also less exclusive. Themes that are well regarded as flops still get a mention in the timeline.
Great LEGO Sets Review Timeline

After the timeline is one of my favourite parts of this book. The section is called “How a LEGO set is made” and it’s a really interesting insight into the design process. It’s packed with great quotes and information that people may not know.

BrisBricks 2015 – Photos & Review

The start of October kicked off with a busy weekend for me. Not only did my little brother get married but it was also when BrisBricks put on their biggest show of the year . I headed out to Chandler on Monday to check out the show and you can see my photos and recap below.

Brisbricks-Chandler-2015-Front-Banner

Ticketing
Tickets were exclusively sold online this year with no tickets available at the door. I’m not sure if anybody got caught out with the lack of door tickets but I doubt it was a major issue. Like most large events there were pre-determined session times to spread the crowds out. I noticed that some sessions did sell out but there were still some available when I purchased my Monday ticket on Sunday night. I attended the 12:30 PM session on the Monday and when I arrived 15 minutes early the area looked pretty quiet so I got some food before going in. That was a slight mistake – the area was only quiet because there was a line up around the corner that I didn’t see. Thankfully the staff managed to get everybody inside within a couple of minutes.

Review: 21303 WALL•E

21303 Wall-E Review Thumb B

When we learned that the WALL•E Ideas project had passed review there seemed to be a lot of people adding the set to their wishlist. I was certainly one of them. Despite stock issues I managed to track down one of these sets at my local Toys R Us store and built it over the weekend.

21303 WALL•E

RRP $69.99
677 Pieces ($0.10 per piece)
Temporarily out of stock online. Store stock very limited.

For those interested in the “neck issue” I address it later in the article.

When I cut the tape and opened up the box the first thing I noticed was that the bags aren’t numbered. I personally love the process of tipping everything in to a big pile and sorting the bricks out before getting stuck in to a build. It gives you a chance to appreciate that those little pieces all combine to create something cool.

The only alike parts bagged together are the tread pieces for the wheels.

The second thing that I noticed is that there is no sticker sheet. The few decorated elements are all printed. For a set that seems designed as a display piece I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about getting the stickers perfectly applied.

The build of the body begins out fairly easily. The overall shape of the body is very boxy but the build manages to not be boring or overly repetitive. There are more details on the body than you may initially release from the pictures.

21303 Wall-E Review 02

Rather than just being fixed to the side of the body, the arms are attached to a sliding mechanism. The way they have build the arm slider means that it is easy to move the arms forwards or backwards, but they shouldn’t move when you are handling the model.

21303 Wall-E Review 10

Review: 41099 Heartlake Skate Park

41099 Heartlake Skate Park Thumb

When I picked up my 75099 Rey’s Speeder set at Toys R Us the other day, I decided to take advantage of their sale and pick up another set for half price. It seemed like a good opportunity to buy something from a theme I don’t usually buy. So here we are – my first ever proper Friends set.

41099 Heartlake Skate Park

RRP $29.99
199 Pieces ($0.15 per piece)
Available online and most retailers.

I had seen pictures of this set online as I had been reporting on LEGO news and thought it looked interesting. There are some of the Friends sets that seem a bit boring but a skate park seemed like something different. The box contains two numbered bags containing different parts of the set.

The set includes a Mia minidoll and a white puppy. I believe the printing on Mia’s outfit is quite common. The hair and helmet are combined into a single element made out of the softer rubber material. While I appreciate the need for safety I would have liked to see a normal hair piece included as an alternative.

The Friends style animals are very cute, and the included puppy is no exception. It also fits perfectly on the skateboard.

41099 Heartlake Skate Park 01

The actual build begins with the construction of the half pipe. I really like the colours used here. I didn’t apply the stickers but I don’t think the finished model is worse without them.