Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Disney Minifigures Series 2

The original series of Disney Minifigures were super popular, so it’s no surprise that LEGO have released a second series.

There are 18 minifigures in the series, from a mix of Disney properties. Here’s my in-depth look at all of them.

But first – the all important box distribution. With a series of 18 basic maths hints at the possibility of three full sets and some extras. Unfortunately that is not the case here. There are only two full sets, with numerous minifigures appearing four times per box. This isn’t quite as bad as having a single chase minifigure, but it’s still annoying.

Minifigure Counts

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Box Positions

Normally I’d include a breakdown of the box positions to help you out when looking for your minifigures. Unfortunately my box had about 5 packets that came loose during transit and I’m not sure exactly where they came from.

Now… on to the minifigures.

Steamboat Classics

Classic Mickey

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If you are a massive Disney fan but feel that the Steamboat Willie set is a bit expensive then you are probably going to be thrilled by this minifigure. This vintage Mickey is essentially the same as the Ideas set version, just missing some silver accents. The printing is fantastic as is the moulded head. The hat is a seperate element that fits securely on. I like the addition of the steamboat steering wheel, but the technic pin connection detracts a little.

The Bulbous & The Beautiful – Reviewing The Systar Starship

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What would you say if I told you that my top pick for spaceship of the year was a spunky little ball from the Systar System? I almost don’t believe it myself.

While local factories have been closing across the sector the Systar shipbuilders have started to gain ground as more pilots seek out ships that are fun without sacrificing any performance. While the traditionalists are still clamouring for the latest yellow windscreened cruiser, this ship is innovating in some really exciting ways. Look beyond the heart shaped accents and you’ll find something really interesting.

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With its bold curves this ship is not going to appeal to everybody – I admit it does kind of look like an onion. The overall shape is very bulbous and a big departure from the sleek designs of other companies. I found that the reduced aerodynamics did have an impact on takeoff times when you are launching within an atmosphere, but once you are in open space the shape makes very little difference.

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie 2

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The LEGO Movie 2 is in cinemas from today (March 21st)

I was lucky enough to be able to attend one of the preview screenings for The LEGO Movie 2 before the official release. After all the previous drama about Australian delays it was great to able to see this at the same time as the rest of the world.

Read on for my take on the film. This review will be spoiler free and only discuss things that have been shown in the trailer and talk about the film in general terms. In a few days I will be doing a separate spoilery discussion for those of you who have seen the movie. Please keep spoilers out of the comments on this article.

This review does have spoilers for The LEGO Movie.

The LEGO Movie was a surprise hit. There was – justifiably – a lot of cynicism around a toy company producing a two hour long ad but the film overcame that to be a well loved family movie. With surprise hits come the inevitable sequels and with them the risk that the magic will be lost.

The story begins immediately after the end of the first film. The impact of the Duplo invaders is shown through a series of fun battles, before we go to a 5 year later time jump. The time jump allows the characters to be re-calibrated – by making them grittier and tougher. The world of Apocalypseburg is shown to be your typical post-apocalyptic wasteland where only the strong survive. Everybody is adapting to this new world except for Emmet, who has lost none of his goofy positivity. The fact that Emmet hasn’t adapted is one of the various sources of conflict in the film, as Lucy feels that he needs to change.

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Grand Designs Outer Rim – Darth Vader’s Castle [Review]

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Darth Vader was a promising Jedi, when a gymnastics accident left him with third degree burns to 90% of his body and several missing limbs. With the support of his good friend Sheev, Darth Vader endured months of rehabilitation and has quickly made a name for himself in the Galactic Empire. Refusing to let his accident define him, Lord Vader has returned to Mustafar and found a fantastic block of high ground to build his dream home.

It’s fair to say this this was a unique construction project. Lord Vader’s initial brief was just a single word – monolith.

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“I wanted something that was going to stand out on the landscape, something tall. Height was very important to me”

The architects opted for a unique design that uses large triangular panels around a steel and concrete core. This design allowed for the panels to be fabricated off-world and then shuttled in.

Lord Vader was initially sceptical of the design.

“I’m sure the architects dreaded our meetings in those early stages of the process. There was plenty of force choking going on back then.”

It was actually another construction project Lord Vader was working on that helped him come around to the triangles.

“The construction project I’m dealing with at work is a giant sphere, and with so many curves the project is a real pain. Straight sharp lines became a lot more appealing.”

The construction itself was surprisingly quick and without any major complications. Lord Vader puts that down to personally managing the project.

“I found that the tradespeople responded quite well to threats. Early on somebody arrived an hour late so I cut off their hand. There were no further delays.”

Now that Lord Vader is settled in, he’s going to give us a look at how this castle in the lava turned out.

Review: 21041 The Great Wall of China

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To celebrate the Year of the Pig I decided to review something somewhat related to Chinese New Year. I thought about reviewing those sets that are impossible to buy but in the end I figured that’d just make people angry. Lets go with something a little different.

I haven’t really given the Architecture series much consideration but a friend suggest this set when I was looking for something to get at the end of last year. Let’s see if his recommendation was a good one or not.

Build Experience

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There are essentially three phases to this build. Firstly the underlying base is created with a series of plates and some bricks to create a framework.

The second part of the build is slowly building up the landscape using mostly dark green slope bricks. There is actually a fair bit of height on one side of the build so this is actually more involved than I expected it to be. There’s lots of internal structure in the raised mountain side of the build which makes the model very solid.

Review: 76113 Spider-Man Bike Rescue

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Last year a new Spider-Man movie hit cinemas and everything that I’ve read says that it’s amazing (it’s won a Golden Globe and is up for an Oscar). Unfortunately for LEGO they don’t have a range of tie-in products related to the movie like they do for other IPs. What LEGO does have is a series of unrelated Spider-Man sets that are officially available in stores from today.

If you’ve seen the trailers you’ll know that Into The Spider-Verse features the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man as the main character, as well as various other versions of the character. I picked this set because, while it’s not a direct tie-in, it seems like a good match for the film as you get a Miles Morales and a Peter Parker Spider-Man.

Read on to see if this set is as much of a hit as the film.

Review: The LEGO Movie 2 Minifigure Series

The LEGO Movie was a cornucopia of crazy characters and the sequel looks just as weird and wonderful. To help make more of those background characters available LEGO are releasing a new series of 20 minifigures from the film.

In this review I’ll be looking at each minifigure, providing a feel guide and also looking at the box distribution. If there’s something in that list that particularly interests you feel free to jump to that.

General Information

Normally a box of minifigures will contain 60 individual packets. With 20 in this series people were hopeful that meant each box would contain 3 full sets of minifigures, and I’m super pleased to be able to confirm that is the case. That’s right this series doesn’t have any stupid chase figures that there’s only one of per box.

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Something else to note with this series is that the packets are slightly different than you are probably used to. These packets are larger and slightly thinner than the previous series. If you purchased any of the Unikitty blind bags than you’ll know what these are like. You’ll also find that quite a few of the minifigures come with an additional bag inside the outer bag. I’m not sure why some have this and others don’t. Luckily I didn’t find that the inclusion of an inner bag affected the ability to feel the contents at all.

The flyer that comes inside the packet is also taped for most of these minifigures. It’s another odd change that I can’t really think of why they’d bother.

My earlier Facebook post about these minifigures contains some more general information.

This series is officially released February 1st, so should be in-store early February.

The Minifigures

Remix Emmet

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It seems that Emmet is handling the apocalypse better than most of the other characters. This version features a headphone and hair piece, coffee cup and printed phone (playing an Everything is Awesome remix). Emmet has dual face prints but both are pretty cheerful. I like the eyes closed grin.

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Review: 76095 Aquaman: Black Manta Strike

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The latest entry to the DC Cinematic universe – Aquaman – was released in cinemas on Boxing Day, a few months after the release of this tie-in set.

I requested this set for review before I’d had a chance to see the movie so I had no idea how well it related to the content before I got it. I am always interested in how well a movie related set relates to what we see in the movie. Sometimes it works out better than others.

I got a chance to see the movie while I was on holidays and I really enjoyed it, let’s see if I enjoy the set as much…

Review & Giveaway: 40341 Xtra Sea Accessories

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A new theme that went a little under the radar last year was Xtra. These small sets included a wide variety of accessories to add to your builds. The theme returns in 2019 with 40341 Sea Accessories a small polybag style set with 24 elements to add to your nautical play.

There isn’t a lot to this set so this is going to be a quick review but be sure to read to the end for details on how to win a copy of this set.

Animals

The set features three different animals. First up is the classic LEGO shark. You can’t have something LEGO themed with water and not have a shark.

Next up is a wonderful two-tone parrot, to add a little pirate style to any minifigure.

The final animal is a small fish.

Water Activities

The set features a few accessories to help your minifigures with their aquatic activities. There is a standard surfboard as well as some flippers – both in lime green.

You also get a spear for spear fishing and a single paddle, I guess to use with the board for stand up paddle boarding.

Treasure Hunting

The set features a great mix of treasures of the deep and the tools to find them. The treasure consists of a chest, three diamonds and a clam with a gold star in it (I’m not sure why either). As for the tools there is a printed treasure map tile and a pair of binoculars

Other

Finally the set also includes an orange brick built buoy and a barrel. The buoy feels a bit like filler but the barrel is useful.

Verdict

This is a fun little bunch of accessories. If you are building a MOC that has anything to do with the sea there should be some useful parts. If you have a younger builder then this pack can add some additional story telling options for their imaginative play.

At just $6.99 this is a great little extra to add to your LEGO Online orders. This set will be available from LEGO Online from January 10th.

This set was provided to me by the LEGO AFOL Engagement team for the purposes of review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review: 21311 Voltron

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I never saw the original Voltron TV show. It came out before I was born and it’s one of those pop-culture properties that while I was aware of it, I had never experienced it. When this LEGO Ideas Voltron set was announced I was clearly less excited than some hardcore fans. It was clear though that this was a particularly impressive model.

I’ve since binge watched the entire Netflix series (it’s great) and got a much better understanding of the Voltron concept.

Voltron has defeated some powerful enemies but can it overcome the toughest challenge yet – convincing you to part with your hard earned money?