Category Archives: Reviews

2017 Advent Calendars – Day 7 – City, Friends & Star Wars

I can’t believe it’s already day 7. This month is going way too quickly. Yesterday was mixed, with two great builds and one lame one. Hopefully today will be three winners.

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2017 Advent Calendars – Day 6 – City, Friends & Star Wars

I had quite a busy day today (not just playing with LEGO AR Studio) so I’m only just getting a chance to post today’s builds now.

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LEGO Launches New Augmented Reality App

Earlier today I watched an animated Lloyd fly a LEGO dragon around my workplace, shooting fireballs at the printer. This is the kind of fun you can have with the new LEGO AR Studio app, now available in the iOS app store.

The LEGO AR Studio uses your phone’s camera and sensors to place 3D LEGO sets in the real world. It’s kind of like Pokemon Go, but instead of Pokemon it features a selection of LEGO sets.

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The initial selection of sets is fairly limited, but there are still some fun options. The current range includes LEGO City Police Station 60047, LEGO City Train Set 60052, LEGO City Fire Station 60110, LEGO Ninjago The Green NRG Dragon 70593, LEGO Ninjago Movie – Cole’s Mech 70632 and LEGO Ninjago Movie – Destiny’s Bounty 70618.

I had the Destiny’s Bounty sailing around the floor, complete with water effect.

The app is easy to use – it’s designed for younger LEGO fans after all. Upon opening you select a flat surface as your play area. It can be a little tricky to get the app to find the surface you want to use. Once the surface is mapped you can then start adding sets to the area. The sets feature various animated or interactive elements (such as making the dragon breathe fire).

The 3D models are very accurate to the sets and you can get up really close by moving your phone closer to where the set was placed.

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For an extra level of playability the models also feature hidden Golden Bricks. There are 12 to collect currently. Also present in the app are buttons to capture photos and videos of your action.

The app is available on the following iOS 11 devices: iPhone SE, iPhone 6s and later, iPad (2017), iPad Pro (1st Generation and later). Unfortunately being an AR app not every device can run it.

Via https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/news-room/2017/december/lego-ar-studio/

2017 Advent Calendars – Day 5 – City, Friends & Star Wars

Today may be all about the slightly underwhelming launch of Amazon but the inevitable approach of Christmas is not slowing down. It’s already day 5!

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2017 Advent Calendars – Day 4 – City, Friends & Star Wars

It’s been a horrible rainy day here in Brisbane. Hopefully the day 4 builds are better than the weather.

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2017 Advent Calendars – Day 3 – City, Friends & Star Wars

Day 3, which also happens to be Sunday. Hopefully these builds are fun and will make us all feel better about tomorrow being Monday.

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2017 Advent Calendars – Day 2 – City, Friends & Star Wars

Welcome back! Let’s get stuck in to our day two builds.

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Review: 41318 Heartlake Hospital

LEGO Friends has the advantage of being set, for the most part, in a single fictional town. This setting gives the designers a lot more room to play around with what is needed in a city, and build sets around that. It has made for a theme with a surprisingly diverse selection of locales. The latest addition to the city is a building that every town needs – a hospital.

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Style

All of the LEGO Friends sets have an unmistakable colour palate and overall feel to them, and that is also true for the Heartlake Hospital. The building features splashes of bright colour all through the interior and exterior. The pinks, purples and blue all visual hallmarks of a LEGO Friends set.

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Review: Exploring 70620 Ninjago City

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It feels like everybody was caught by surprise when LEGO announced the Ninjago City set. This set was bigger, more detailed and generally just more than anybody was expecting for a Ninjago Movie set - 4867 pieces and 16 minifigures.

LEGO have attempted to collate the entire Ninjago City into a single set. Did they succeed? I will be finding out by looking not just at the build itself but also exploring some of the real world influences and the world-building within the set itself.

This is a huge set so this exploration is broken down in to various sections. I have tried not to be too long-winded with so much get through. For each section I will examine; the minifigures; the style, influences, signage and imagery of the set; and the build itself, such as innovative parts usage.

Level 1 – The Old World

Style

The old world is blatantly and unapologetically inspired by iconic waterfront cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and various Japanese cities. As you navigate around this layer of the set you find all of the things you expect from a great waterfront city. There’s wide walkways right on the waters edge and a bridge that fishing boats pass under.

There is a market stall selling freshly caught fish and crabs, styled in a way that you can picture the real world version in your mind.

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The LEGO Ninjago Movie Review

The LEGO Movie turned out to be a massive hit that was hugely popular with audiences both young and old. It’s no surprise that everybody involved wanted more of that success, so LEGO Batman got his own movie. Now the popular LEGO theme Ninjago gets the big screen treatment with The LEGO Ninjago Movie – in cinemas from today (no Australian delay this time).

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If you aren’t familiar with the world of Ninjago then don’t worry – this movie uses the setting and characters from the theme/show but it is a completely stand-alone story. I have only seen a few episodes of the television show myself and I had no problem understanding what was going on. It’s possible that there were some references that I may have missed but this isn’t a direct adaption or continuation of the show.

I won’t get in to detailed spoilers here, but I will discuss some basic plot points.

One thing I will say is that the opening scene of this film caught me completely off guard. It’s an opening that on reflection I really liked, but not at all what I was expecting. Some reviews have given this away so be careful if you are reading others.

Even though this is a standalone film it is not an origin story. It’s not Wu finding a group of teenagers with attitude and teaching them ninja skills. The “secret ninja force” is already established and there is a regularity to life in Ninjago City – Garmadon attacks, he is stopped by the ninjas, repeat.