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Akano's Blog



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Set Review: 6493 Flying Time Vessel

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in LEGO, Set Review May 28 2012 · 112 views

I hope everyone had an enjoyable, reflective Memorial Day today. Since I couldn't come up with a comic, I decided to work on another retro set review. This time, we switch gears back to the Time Cruisers with the 6493 Flying Time Vessel!

Presentation
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

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I just love the backgrounds for Time Cruisers and Time Twisters. They're so trippy and cartoony yet so dark and spooky. The castle and pirate ship in the background add a nice touch to the scenery and really help reinforce the idea that this theme was about visiting various periods in history. We also see Dr. Cyber and Timmy showing off various helmets and artifacts they've received throughout their travels, and the monkey, Ingo, is sporting a flintlock pistol. Isn't it dangerous to give firearms to a monkey?

Building
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

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This set contains 234 pieces, and while there are large pieces like the bow and the stern, it still took me at least an hour to build, but the inner workings of the gears and axles for the functionality in this set were fun to construct. Because of this, the construction isn't straightforward, but it isn't incredibly difficult either; it just takes some time.

Set Design
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

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The vessel is, obviously, built on the bow and stern pieces that come in the set. Interestingly, these pieces seem to be unique to this set! The Pirate sets from the late 80s/early 90s had bow and stern pieces, yes, but they were not of the same dimensions as those that appear here. I find that kind of odd, but cool. Also, this set is quite large and takes up a lot of space, partially because of the mast and partially because of the wings. The rudder/propeller system doesn't help either, since there's a large peg on which the small propeller sits.

This set comes with three figures: Dr. Cyber, Timmy, and Ingo the monkey, which is one short of the entire Time Cruisers cast.

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I, the hard working Ingo, do not approve of my new simian form!


It also comes with several accessories, including a pirate hat and bandana, various helmets from other LEGO themes, a flintlock pistol, two crossbows, a magic wand, and a chainsaw. Because those things always go together. :P

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Cower before my miscellany!


Needless to say, this set has a lot of good parts to plunder.

Playability
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?

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There's a Titanic reference here somewhere…


Like the other Time Cruisers/Twisters sets, this set does not disappoint on functionality. The wheels are connected by bars to the underside of the wings to make them flap up and down and are also connected internally to the axle that drives the rear propeller. The cockpit also opens up via hinge revealing a treasure chest and the control panel to the ship (which, interestingly enough, no one is operating in any photos of the set. Perhaps it's on autopilot?).

However, it's the look of the ship that really hooks me in. It's a pirate ship with wings and a periscope that is fueled by the spinning of a propeller hooked onto the stern. And also has wheels. That's just awesome! It's a vehicle that can practically go anywhere — swamp, mountain, ocean, canyon, and other locales that aren't in Majora's Mask. Bottom line: this set tickles the imagination and gives a lot of good opportunity to create your own Time Cruisers adventure, and that's why it's probably my favorite set of from the line.

Final Thoughts
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

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Hold onto your helmets; time travel can be rough.


I love this set. It's a creative concept for a creative theme, and I wish they had done more sets like this. Not that the other Time Cruisers sets were bad, but they didn't quite stand out to me as much as this one. This vehicle can go on any journey anywhere, anywhen, giving the player nearly infinite possibilities as to where to send these characters, and that's pretty cool. Also, it has a plethora of cool pieces.

On BrickLink, you can find lots with this set at around $20 in Europe and around $30 in the US, which is not bad at all considering the original MSRP was $44 in 1996. If you have the cash, definitely consider this one, as it's a classic.

Pros
What's to like?
  • Functionality (again)!
  • Great pieces
  • Looks awesome
  • Not terribly expensive
Cons
What's not to like?
  • There aren't more like it in this theme.
If you were to get only one Time Cruisers set, I'd say get this one. It's a very imaginative set for an imaginative theme.

Now, I only have two more sets to do from the Time Cruisers/Twisters themes, so soon I will be moving on to some other LEGO theme from the 90s. Does anyone have any suggestions/a particular theme they would like to see? I could do Fright Knights, UFO, Adventurers (hecks yes), Insectoids, and others that I have with me but can't think of off the top of my head. Suggest away!

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Set Review: 6496 Whirling Time Warper

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO May 27 2012 · 120 views
Time Cruisers and 2 more...
Welcome to another installment of 90s LEGO set reviews! This entry's review is of the 6496 Whirling Time Warper of the Time Twisters theme!

Presentation
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

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Image courtesy of Peeron


The box features a shot of the titular Time Warper flying through a dark backdrop with what looks like a portal to a city in the sky and a dark forest near the bottom. Behind some mountains, a moon or other celestial object appears to be setting. There's a flying ghost and bat along with other objects flying around the vehicle. I have to say, I really like the backdrops for the Time Twisters sets. The give a good dark edge to the appearance.

Building
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

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This set contains 147 pieces, of which 142 are shown here. This set is missing two TrRed magic wands, one black airplane rudder piece, and two chrome daggers (this is what happens when you own a set for a long time and leave it apart for a while). You'll notice that this has significantly more pieces than the Time Tunnelator, and for an originally $22 set, it better have more pieces. The build time for this set was around twenty minutes or so, which isn't too bad.

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There are two figs to obtain in this set: Professor Millennium, Tony Twister's brother and fellow Time Twister, and the Ghost. Note that this ghost, which has a smiling face, is different than the one coming with the upcoming Monster Hunters sets, which features a more spooky moaning face. Also, you may notice that the ghost's arms are not quite as white as they should be. Being an old piece, it got a little too much sun over the years, and the body is faded. :(

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The legs were replaced, so you can see the difference.


Set Design
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

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The set foundation is a white bathtub piece which premiered in Belville theme. This piece has only ever been released in three sets: this set (1997), 5895 Family House (1996), and 5837 Flora's Bubbling Bath (2002). I'm guessing that the rarity of this piece is why BrickLink has this set at relatively higher prices compared to its original MSRP than those of other Time Twisters sets.

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Curse your exclusiveness!


You also get some cool minifig accessories, such as the bugles, coins, magic wands (not shown), a chrome crystal, and a bunch of 1 × 1 clear round pieces.

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Note: these bugles are not edible, nor are the coins chocolate.


Playability
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?

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Again, pretty cool functionality. In this set, like the Time Tunnelator, the rear wheels drive the moving parts of the set. The propeller is connected by a rubber band to the wheel axle to make it spin, and the propeller is connected to the "power drum" on top to spin the container and swirly disk around.

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The skulls on the side also bob up and down exactly out of phase with one another due to the wheels having a peg that moves the side "arms" (for lack of a better word) up and down. Thus, you get a spinning propeller, rotating container of stuff, and bobbing skulls that make this vehicle come to life. I would rate the functionality of this set higher than that of the Time Tunnelator, since it simply does more stuff.

Final Thoughts
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

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Note: The dome piece is old/scratched up, hence the not-so-clearness.


Again, fans of functionality will like this set. It comes with two minifigures, both of which are different from the Time Tunnelator, and it comes with that unique bathtub piece, so anyone wanting to do a vignette of a bathroom would love that. :P This model is also more filled-in than the Tunnelator, so this set may be preferred simply from an aesthetic point of view.

What about Price? Well, as stated earlier, the MSRP was $22 in 1997. Sets available on BrickLink that are in the US are all above that price, with the lowest at $25, while most of the lots in Europe are < $20. So, if you're willing to spend a little extra on shipping, you can get a good deal.

Pros
What's to like?
  • Functionality! (again)
  • Cool looking vehicle
  • Has good pieces to plunder
Cons
What's not to like?
  • Price may be high.
If you can find a good deal on this one, pick it up. It's a good set with quite a bit to offer. :)

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Hobbits...

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , May 25 2012 · 101 views

Tomorrow my roommate (of three years), a fellow physics graduate student, and I are going to watch the three extended Lord of the Rings movies. In a row. In one day.

My roommate has tried this once on another occasion, but we couldn't help but bleed into the next day. Here's hoping that we can manage it this time.

Also, three day weekend! 8D

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Summer: Week 1

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Math/Physics, Life May 24 2012 · 107 views

Already I'm nearly through my first week of summer research. That's kinda weird.

What I've gained from this experience thus far: aligning a laser beam so that it hits a fiber optic cord that's ~1-2 microns in diameter is tedious, painful, and annoying. However, magneto-optical traps and ultracold plasmas are awesome. I am learning a lot about optics and atomic physics despite it only being week one, and I'm sure this lab will be fun. :)

This weekend I hope to work on my Whirling Time Warper review (I have the pics, I just have to type and format everything) and maybe even make a new comic! :o Hurray for no homework and more free time!

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Oh Hey, Guys...

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , May 20 2012 · 97 views

So, I've kinda been gone recently. The reasons for that are the school year was wrapping up and I went home for a week to visit my family. In that time, I didn't go online much and thus did not visit BZP much.

However, I did get pictures of the Whirling Time Warper, which I will be reviewing next in my overarching review of the Time Cruisers/Twisters theme from LEGO, so keep your eyes peeled for that review entry.

Also, now that it's summer I hope to get some comic making done (seeing as there will be no homework to stop me). :)

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Quantum Mechanics

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Math/Physics May 08 2012 · 67 views

You were a worthy adversary, but in the end, it was I who came out superior.

Got an "A" in the course. :)

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2 Days

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , May 07 2012 · 92 views
comics, third grader, eight years
…Until my comics are eight years old. :blink:

You'd think after all that time I'd have more than 154 of them. :P

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Set Review: 6495 Time Tunnelator

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO May 06 2012 · 104 views
Time Twisters, Tony Twister
Greetings, all! It's time for another retro set review. This time, the villainous Time Twisters and their smallest set, the Time Tunnelator!

Presentation
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

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We see here one of the sibling antagonists, Tony Twister (whose face bears a striking resemblance to Black Bart of the Wild West theme), flying through a stormy backdrop with a jagged mountain to the left, a forest or something of the like near the bottom of the picture, and what looks like a portal to a city in the back-right.

Building
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

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There are 80 pieces in this set, and all are pictured above. This build is pretty straightforward and doesn't take more than ten minutes. Still, there are more pieces than the Rocket Racer, so it's slightly more involved, but not by much.

Set Design
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

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The set foundation is a blue wing piece, and everything kinda sprouts from there. It's interesting that, despite the fact that the set isn't really "filled in," it doesn't look very skeletal or lacking, and I think the plastic wings help that. As far as interesting pieces go, there are two trumpet pieces, two bats, and a few trans-neon orange pieces. I like the use of the black dragon wing as a rudder; it adds to the bat/evil look that this theme has going for it.

Playability
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?

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Oh, the functionality. In this set, when the wheels move, not only does the propeller spin, but the wings also flap up and down. The mechanism for the propeller is a rubber band belt that goes from the wheel axle to the propeller, while the flapping wings occur due to the cranks connected to the outside of the wheels; as they spin, the wings flap.

This kind of functionality will be seen again in future reviews of Time Cruisers and Twisters, and this is one of the reasons why I find this theme so cool; they have cool looking vehicles that do more than just roll on the table.

Final Thoughts
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

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Oblivion is at hand!


While this is a small set, the functionality is a reason I would recommend getting this set over the Rocket Racer; the friction-driven propellers in that set aren't as reliable as the cranks and gears of this set, so this set will satisfy you more if you're a fan of functionality (like me).

This set also looks cooler than the Rocket Racer and has a more diverse range of pieces in its inventory, like the bats, barrels, and bugles. Tony Twister is also a good minifigure in that he gives you a set of epaulettes in yellow and a police hat (which is odd seeing as he's a bad guy, but I digress). Given the choice between the two, I'd buy this set. It was originally listed as $10.00, but can be found now for about half of that, making this set a pretty good deal.

Pros
What's to like?
  • Functionality!!!
  • Cheap (~$5.00 on BrickLink)
  • Looks cool despite being small
  • Has good pieces to plunder
Cons
What's not to like?
  • Small
If you're thinking of collecting the Time Twisters sets, this isn't a bad one to start with, so I highly recommend it. :)

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Mark Hamill And Rob Paulsen

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , May 04 2012 · 67 views
Talkin' Toons
Longest Talkin' Toons podcast yet, and every second is worth listening too.

I love voice actors. 8D

For those who don't know Rob Paulsen, his roles include:
  • Yakko Warner
  • Dr. Otto Scratchansniff
  • Pinky
  • Raphael
  • Mark Chang
and many more.

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Take That, Quantum

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Math/Physics May 03 2012 · 86 views
quantum mechanics, exam, final and 1 more...

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Finished 4/5 problems on my quantum final today AND almost half of the fifth one. I'd say I thoroughly owned that test to the best of my ability. 8D

Also, kudos to BZP's staff for keeping their cool and being able to bring the forums back. You guys are awesome.

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About Me

Akano Toa of Electricity
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Premier Members
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1,500+ posts
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Name: Akano
Real Name: Forever Shrouded in Mystery :P
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Likes: Science, Math, LEGO, Bionicle, Ponies, Comics, Yellow, Voice Acting
Notable Facts: One of the few Comic Veterans still around
Has been a LEGO fan since ~1996
Bionicle fan from the beginning
Misses the 90's. A lot.
Twitter: @akanotoe

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