Category Archives: Reviews

DOTS – Weird or Wonderful?

dots-review-banner

LEGO surprised a lot of people this year with the announcement of LEGO DOTS. It was in some ways an evolution of what they attempted with Scala’s jewellery sets, but those similarities were fairly surface level. DOTS is something a bit different.

The theme is not just LEGO branded jewellery, it’s essentially a full range of art and craft projects that just happens to include some bracelets. There is a reasonably broad range of items on offer, all with the common denominator of being customised by LEGO elements.

It’s those elements that makes DOTS something interesting. Rather than featuring weird new parts the customisation and decoration happens primarily with a variety of 1×1 elements. There are 1×1 round tiles, 1×1 quarter tiles, 1×1 square tiles. There’s just a lot of tiny elements. Thankfully the larger sets include sorting trays.

To get enough of a play to really form an impression of the theme I got a collection of items: 3 of the bracelets (41900 Rainbow Bracelet, 41912 Love Birds Bracelet and 41903 Cosmic Wonder Bracelet), 3 packets of 41908 Extra DOTS, 41904 Animal Picture Holders and 41906 Pineapple Pencil Holder.

dots-collection-1

RRP for the collection that I got is $107.92 but each part can be found cheaper than RRP pretty easily.

My International Space Station Came With A Bonus Play Feature

international-space-station-banner

The LEGO Ideas International Space Station is not really intended to be a playset. It’s a serious set for people who like space and want a cool display piece. It’s marked 16+ on the box for a reason. It does a fantastic job of being a display piece, with a high level of accuracy to the source. It’s also huge – much bigger than I expected it to be.

international-space-station-16

While this set looks great on a shelf, it’s not the sort of thing you give to a little kid for them to play out their ISS role play games.

That’s true for most of these sets – but my International Space Station came with a bonus play feature that I think makes it way cooler.

Should you buy them – Ninjago Arcade Pods

I’ve never kept up with the lore of Ninjago, so when I got the Ninjago Arcade Pods it wasn’t because of how they tied in to the larger Ninjago universe, it was because they looked interesting.

So, in the opinion of a guy who has no idea what is going on… should you buy them?

sybt-ninjago-arcade-pods

To be honest I’d say probably skip these, unless you really want the parts or minifigures.

There are 3 different Arcade Pods in the range, each in a different colour to tie in to the specific character included. Each arcade pod comes with two full minifigures.

ninjago-arcade-pods-1

Each arcade pod includes a slightly different weapon made with a translucent green element and a game controller handle. The game controller weapon handle is an interesting concept and a cool element.

The pods themselves are really interesting. Comprised of a large front piece, a rear panel that clips in to form a hinged opening and a 6×6 plate to create a floor. The front ‘screen’ is also a separate trans clear panel piece.

Play Cubes are a great introduction to the world of LEGO Friends

Sometimes as AFOLs we overlook one fact about LEGO – There are new LEGO fans every year. Every year countless kids will make the transition from Duplo or 4+ sets to the standard LEGO range. It’s with that in mind that I think these play cubes are genius.

The LEGO Friends play cubes serve as a brilliant introduction to the world of LEGO Friends. LEGO Friends is a theme with clearly defined characters, each with their own interests. Having a series of vignettes for the characters just makes sense.

friends-play-cubes-all

Each play cube features two sides each with small LEGO builds. The cubes themselves feature a glittery side and a solid colour. Each cube has a different solid colour.

The key elements of each cube are two 2×6 bracket plates that attach to the sides and provide platforms to build on.

There are stickers for each of the cubes, with the rear wall of the coloured sides featuring a large sticker to add extra detailing. The sticker sheet also include a bunch of extra stickers for you to do your own decorating.

Should you buy it – 10271 Fiat 500

While LEGO Technic gets a heap of praise for their expensive reproductions of supercars, the Creator Expert line has been pumping out amazing versions of iconic cars for years.

The latest addition to the Creator Expert car range is an icon of Italian motoring, the Fiat 500.

sybi-fiat

Dovresti comprarlo? Read on to find out (Google translate tells me that’s Italian for Should you buy it?)

Behind the scenes of the Extreme Bake-Off finale

After 10 weeks of extremely delicious competition tonight we will crown the Extreme Bake-Off champion. Good Morning Heartlake had the chance to head along to the taping of the final. Here’s your exclusive behind the scenes look at the epic baking action.

gmh-bake-off-banner

On team Banana we have Stephanie. A contestant who has blown us all away not only with the taste of her cakes but also with the beautiful decorating. “The decorating part is something that I spent a lot of time perfecting before coming on the show. My friend Emma is an amazing artist, so I think I picked up some artistic flair myself just by being around her.”

friends-baking-competition-18

Over on team Apple we have David. The dark horse of the competition who has shocked us all with crazy flavour combinations that somehow all work. David definitely didn’t rate himself before coming on the show. “I was just a guy that liked cakes. Then I started making cakes. I never thought I’d get this far.”

friends-baking-competition-15

Master Baker Lillie isn’t surprised that Stephanie and David will be battling it out in the final. “These two have really been stand-outs so far in the competition. Stephanie has very impressive technical skills while David is like some whacky scientist. They couldn’t be more different and it’s going to be a very interesting final.”

friends-baking-competition-4

LEGO Classic is still the perfect family fun

LEGO has a lot of themes. There are original IPs and a diverse range of licensed products. In all of that there is one theme that often doesn’t get the love it deserves – LEGO Classic.

As part of an order from LEGO I decided to add in 11008 Bricks and Houses. With a young son who is getting more and more interested in “dad’s LEGO” I thought I’d revisit the classic building experience that starts so many lifelong love affairs with the brick.

11008-bricks-and-houses

11008 Bricks and Houses is one of the smaller Classic boxes available, coming in at 270 parts. The parts that you do get are a nice mix focused on building small buildings. Of course you aren’t limited to that but you get things like wooden arched doors that lend themselves to buildings.

Should you buy it – 31105 Townhouse Toy Store

What if I told you there was a LEGO set that gave you the modular building experience but at a smaller scale and at a much lower price? An amuse-bouche modular if you will. Well if that has caught your interest then read on while I answer the question…

Should you buy the Townhouse Toy Store?

sybi-31105

If you are looking for a small scale modular experience then yeah I think you should buy it. If you are wanting a great set to give a younger LEGO fan, then again yes you should buy it. If you want to create a large city display without having to try and fill it with full sized modulars? Yes buy it.

To be honest I can’t really think of a circumstance where you shouldn’t buy it.

Should you buy it – 21320 Dinosaur Fossils

I think it’s fair to say that almost everybody loves dinosaurs. They are these giant mysterious creatures that walked the Earth an almost incomprehensibly long time ago. They feel like mythical creatures, something dreamt up in a story.

It’s no surprise that LEGO approved the Dinosaur Fossils Ideas set. It’s a platform designed for flushing out great ideas for LEGO sets. Dinosaurs are a great idea.

sybi-21320-dinosaur-fossils

LEGO and Dinosaurs aren’t a new combination but this approach is something different. Here we don’t get clone dinosaurs or time travel. No, we get the dinosaurs how we see them today – as bones on display for our wonder.

Should you buy it?

Should you buy it – Monster Burger Truck

The world of LEGO is better than our world. It’s not constrained by things like logic. In the LEGO world nobody is going to question combining a monster truck and a food truck. In the real world you’d have all sort of questions like “Why?” and “Are you stupid?!”

31104 Monster Burger Truck is the right kind of nuts. It’s nuts because it’s cool.

monster-burger-truck-banner-alt

So – Should you buy it?