Tag Archives: Review

Review: 10273 Haunted House

Since 2014 LEGO has been releasing amusement rides under the Creator Expert range. This year LEGO has killed the Creator Expert theme but introduced a new name for all of their amusement ride sets -The Fairground Collection. The latest addition is 10273 Haunted House.

Should you add this one to your collection or give this a miss? Read on to hear my thoughts.

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When I first heard that LEGO was producing a Haunted House set I thought it would be a standalone set, possibly even a remake of 10228 Haunted House from 2012′s Monster Fighters theme. That would have been cool but the fact that this is actually a fairground ride is actually a more interesting take in my opinion.

The Build

This set is an 18+ set with 3231 pieces so as you would expect it’s a complex build, here split over 18 sections. I think the breakdown of the set is fairly good with each section containing enough parts to be engaging, but each bit won’t take too long.

Review: LEGO House Exclusive – The Wooden Duck

Have you been thinking about befriending a Dane, but for some reason never got around to it? Now is probably the time to do it.

In June LEGO announced the first set in a new range of LEGO House exclusives. The range will only be available to purchase in person at LEGO House in Billund. I am sure you can appreciate that this makes the set incredibly hard to get – particularly with international travel being little more than a fantasy at the moment.

The team at LEGO House offered to send me one of these sets to review and it was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up. Let’s see if this set is good enough to get LEGO House added to your 2021 (hopefully) travel plans.

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The Wooden Duck is not a huge set and you should be able to get it assembled in one session, if you are able to set aside a couple of hours.

Even though it’s not a huge build I was quite impressed by the techniques that are used throughout. While at first glance this appears to be a pretty simple build, hidden behind the wings are quite a few technic elements.

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There is also a lot of SNOT building to get the curves to match that iconic wooden version.

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I really love the finished model. With the included display stand it makes a great display piece. While not every body who sees this on display in your house is going to understand the history, it’s still a great conversation starter.

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Just like the original, this duck features a quacking play feature – pull it along by the included string and as wheels turn the beak will open and close. The mechanism works really well but the only issue I had was that the wheels don’t have a lot of grip so if you pull this along a hard surface it may just slide rather than spin the wheels.

As great as this set is I kind of hate that it’s an exclusive. Far too many of these sets are going to end up stuck in a cupboard, hidden away as a collectors item. To me that is the antithesis of what the wooden duck represents. The wooden duck was created because kids deserve great toys. They are meant to be played with. If you somehow manage to get your hands on one of these sets I hope that you will open it, build it and play with it. Let a kid pull it around your floor so it can quack as it rolls along.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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So – Should you buy it?

Review: 10270 Creator Expert Bookshop

On January 1st LEGO officially released the latest modular building – 10270 Bookshop. Today I will be having a look at this beautiful addition to the modular collection.

Despite only being a few months old the Bookshop feels like it belongs to a different era. Enter a world where you can casually browse a bookstore without worrying about social distancing and how many people can fit inside based on how many square metres it is.

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Like 10218 Pet Shop before it the Bookshop is a split modular, meaning that you get two smaller buildings rather than the single 32×32 build. I really like split modulars as they give you a lot of flexibility in your modular layout, assuming of course that you’ve already got a few of them.

5 Uses For Your LEGO Trophy

This year LEGO has released a cool little set in 40385 LEGO Trohpy. This 200 piece set allows you to create a brick-built trophy and customise it with a range of different stickers. There’s so many potential uses for this thing! Here’s 5.

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My Wife Built My Modular

I have had the 2019 modular – Corner Garage – sitting in my room for over a year. My intention was that I’d build it and do a review telling you how great/terrible it is. As you will have noticed that didn’t happen. I got sent other sets to review, got busy and just never got to it.

After a year I figured the moment had passed for a standard review; I’m sure you’ve all already formed your opinions on this one. My wife offered me a bit of a lifeline though – she offered to build it to help me clear my backlog of review sets.

My wife is wonderful and supportive of my AFOL lifestyle but she is not an AFOL herself. There are limits to how much LEGO news I can spew forth before she tunes out, and I don’t really remember her ever building a set. It’s certainly not something she does for fun.

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The modulars are not a soft introduction to the LEGO building experience. They are parts intensive with lots of intricate details.

So what did my non-AFOL wife think of the experience?

2019 Had Some Weird Play Experiences

As we ease in to 2020 let’s have a look back at some of the weird stuff from 2019.

Throw your LEGO off stuff, it’ll be fun!

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  2019 was the year that LEGO encouraged fans to drop their LEGO off a high place with the Sky Police sub-theme and it’s new parachute element. The three part parachute features a circle of lightweight material with two sets of plastic straps. Finally LEGO has stepped up to the plate to take on those cheap plastic parachute people you find in Christmas crackers. I didn’t expect this to be as fun as it is but the parachute is actually pretty cool. I’m surprised I haven’t seen it pop up in more MOCs.

Just add water!

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Emma’s Art Studio features some lovely pastel colours but it also has a weird play feature with the included canvas. What looks like a blank piece of blue material is transformed with a liberal application of water. As the water soaks in you’ll see a paw print pattern suddenly appear on the fabric. It’s a bit strange to see the LEGO box instruct you to get your LEGO set wet.

Shoot the fire!

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Another weird one from the LEGO City theme. This time it’s the fire sub-theme. Several of these sets came with an interesting inclusion – a rubber bulb attached to a tube. Squeeze the bulb and blue elements representing water shoot out. This is actually a feature that worked quite well. It also had a distinct advantage over standard stud shooters in that it was a self-contained unit and doesn’t spread 1×1 rounds all over your house.

There’s an app for that!

LEGO has had several attempts of mixing real building and digital play. In 2013 they released Life of George. In 2014 they released LEGO fusion. Neither made their way to Australia. Well LEGO’s latest attempt was the Hidden Side theme which stepped up the Augmented Reality concept to another level thanks to advances in technology and smartphone cameras. These sets allow you to overlay a digital world over your physical builds. Judging by the deep discounts on these sets Australia wide, I don’t think it’s been a hit. I’ll be having a dig into that a bit more in a separate article.

What other weird play features did you come across in 2019?

Several sets mentioned in this article were provided to me by LEGO at my request. Opinions expressed are my own.

LEGO’s Marvellous Mustang

I have never been a car person. My technical knowledge doesn’t extend much beyond “they’ve got wheels and a motor”. Having said that, there are a few cars that have broken through my indifference. The cars that have become popular culture icons in their own right. One such car is the Ford Mustang. When the Creator Expert Ford Mustang was first leaked I knew I’d be getting one.

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The set features an impressive 1471 pieces with a build split over 6 sections.

Building a legend

I’m not going to go in to the construction process step by step in a lot of detail, because I feel that a lot of the joy from a Creator Expert set comes from the build itself.