Category Archives: Reviews

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.

Review: The Ninjago Movie Minifigures

The Ninjago Movie looks like it is going to be a heap of fun, and like the LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman Movie before it LEGO have released a series of tie-in minifigures. With 20 different minifigures in this series there is a lot to cover, so lets get stuck in to it.

There are two parts to this review, first up brief review of each minifigure with pictures. The second part is a full 360° degree look at each minifigure. I have grouped the minifigures into four different batches for the 360° looks; Ninja Crew, Garmadons, Shark Army & Others.

The Minifigures

Lloyd

Lloyd

Lloyd is undoubtedly the main character of the movie and this minifigures features him in his ninja outfit. The two-part ninja mask works well but I am sure that a lot of kids are going to misplace the smaller neck part in time. The optional hair element gives you some flexibility in play/display options. The highlight of this minfigure may just be the printed tile. The blue on white is quite striking and the design perfectly matches Lloyd’s mech. The printing on the torso reads NINJA.

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Book Review: DC Comics Build Your Own Adventure

As book week comes to a close I am taking a look at one more Build Your Own Adventure book. This time Green Lantern John Stewart takes us on a journey through the world of DC Comics.

The central plot of this book is that John Stewart is looking for the Justice League, and with communications down he has to go find them in person.

For those not familiar with the character there is a brief introduction on who he is. It doesn’t get in to the entire history of the Green Lantern Corps but does provide a basic overview.

The Justice League has had a varying line-up over the years as you’d expect for anything to do with comics, but the team presented here is the basic big hitters: Wonder Woman, Flash, Superman, Aquaman and Batman.

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After the instructions for the included set we get the usual builder talk section that seems to be common to all of the Build Your Own Adventure books. It’s a nice overview of the different parts on offer and acts a little teaser to get your brain thinking about building.

[Read on for details on the Green Lantern Minifigure and the included set. There is even a 360° look at the set]

Book Review: Nexo Knights Build Your Own Adventure

It’s Book Week, so this week I am going to be reviewing two LEGO related books. First up the Nexo Knights Build Your Own Adventure Book. Be sure to check out the 360° look at the included set below.

There are a few different style of LEGO books produced by DK – from the serious encyclopaedia style books to sticker books at the other end of the spectrum. The build your own adventure books fall closer towards the “kid” end, but generally still have some great building inspiration.

This latest Build Your Own Adventure book is based on the Nexo Knights theme, specifically the 2017 sets – with the current rock villains featured.

As this is a book that comes with a LEGO set it is presented in an outer cardboard sleeve. If you don’t intend to keep it in that once you’ve built the set then you will be pleased to note that the book itself is nicely bound with a solid hard cover.

First up is some basic introductory type information – a spread on the various LEGO parts that are available, an introduction to the Robin character and the actual building instructions for Robin’s Mech.

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The book is split up over 5 chapters. Each chapter is loosely based around a different area of the Nexo Knights world. I am by no means an expert in the lore of the Nexo Knights, but the book does a decent job of explaining the various areas and their relevance to the story.

The basic plot is that Monstrox and Jestro have destroyed a network of servers around the kingdom, and Robin must travel to each of them to make repairs. It’s a very loose story just to link the various sections.