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Set Review: 6495 Time Tunnelator

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO May 06 2012 · 109 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 · 92 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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Khan!

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , Apr 27 2012 · 54 views
Star Trek
So, I saw Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for the first time last night and Space Seed, Khan's debut episode in the original series. I love Khan's character. I can't tell if it's because he's written well or if Ricardo Montalbán's mannerisms make him so unique. Or both.

This also makes his role as Gutierrez in Freakazoid much more enjoyable (even though he was quite enjoyable to begin with).

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Elijah Wood On Red Vs. Blue

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , Apr 24 2012 · 109 views
Hobbits, LOTR, win, squee
I don't even...this is...

AWESOME!!! 8D

And as Sigma, no less.

I don't think ecstatic even begins to cover my excitement for this upcoming season.

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This Day

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in My Little Pony Apr 23 2012 · 106 views
Cadance, ponies
I've decided that This Day Aria is my favorite song from A Canterlot Wedding. Its juxtaposition of Cadance singing about her love for Shining Armor with Chrysalis singing about her callous indifference and plot to use him is amazing.

Also, it's (at least partially) a villain song, and those tend to be awesome.

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Set Review: 6491 Rocket Racer

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in LEGO, Set Review Apr 23 2012 · 85 views
Time Cruisers, Timmy, LEGO and 1 more...
As promised, I'm going to kick off my set reviews of LEGO System circa mid-late 1990s with a review of the Time Cruisers Rocket Racer (no, not the LEGO Racers Rocket Racer). Credit to BZP for the review format.

(My apologies if you notice the yellow tint to the shadows; my digital camera decided to be rather yellow when taking these pictures, and using GIMP to re-balance the white left those yellow shadows as an artifact.)

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 our protagonist, Timmy, riding in the eponymous racer through a rather dark, stormy backdrop. Pretty awesome. We can tell right off the bat that this isn't a very large set (seeing as the price was only $4.50 when it came out).

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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Not very challenging at all. The build took only a couple of minutes and was fairly straightforward, seeing as there were only 15 steps. All 55 pieces are included in the above photo, and it's not surprising that they don't take very long to assemble.

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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Nothing too sophisticated here. The body is based on a bracket piece that saw use in the Xtreme Team windsurfer/buggy set. The propellers are pretty cool in their functionality (yes, they do spin). A simple buggy/car set with a few modifications.

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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All aircraft report!


The propellers are the coolest part of this set. They are connected by an axle to a smooth base that sits on the back tires, as seen in the above photo. The tires, made of rubber, grip the smooth base of the propellers on one side, and as the tires spin, the propellers spin. Now, on my set, this works well for the (Timmy's) right-hand propeller, but not the left. I think this may be because the bricks on top are not completely aligned over the hole for the left propeller, and thus the axle grips the pieces. I'm not sure though. It's still a cool bit of functionality that I'm impressed they thought to incorporate on such a small set. You really don't see that much on newer small sets.

Beyond this, though, the set is mainly for you to roll on the table and go "Vroom! Vroom!"

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

Since the original price was $4.50, it's not a bad set for that price. I got mine for $4.00 with the other Time Cruisers sets, so it wasn't a heavy additional monetary burden for my wallet. If you see this set floating around for a low price, pick it up; you get a Timmy minifigure and a few cool MOC pieces/a cool race buggy.

Pros
What's to like?
  • Timmy minifigure
  • Cheap set (BrickLink has one for $1.00)
  • Neat functionality despite being small
  • Decent variety of pieces
Cons
What's not to like?
  • Not incredibly exciting, but it is a small set
I honestly think that this set isn't bad at all for what it is. Back in the day, this would've made any 90's kid happy if he/she found it in their stocking on Christmas day. If you want to get some Time Cruisers sets, add this one to your cart. It's cheap, cute, and fun in its own way.

Thanks for sticking around for my review. Next time we'll head into the realm of the villainous Time Twisters.

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Royal Wedding

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in My Little Pony Apr 22 2012 · 107 views
MLP, Cadance, changelings and 2 more...
Royal Wedding finale is best finale. Seriously, I was wowed throughout the episode. The songs were okay, but the plot was very interesting. Celestia actually fought someone! And Cadance is adorable.

Also, Jaller is best Captain of the Guard, be he pony or Matoran. :P

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They're No Delorean, But Still...

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in LEGO Apr 17 2012 · 70 views
Time, Cruisers, Twisters, Tony and 5 more...
So, I bought all the remaining Time Cruisers/Twisters sets (minus 1) that KK and I need to complete the entire theme for under $80 (Mystical Mountain Time Lab, Flying Time Vessel, Rocket Racer, and the Time Tunnelator; all that remains is the Hypno Cruiser).

Also, I think that during the summer I'm going to start reviewing LEGO sets of the 90s (more from the mid to late 90s), since this is the era of my childhood when I was first introduced to and subsequently obsessed with our favorite ABS bricks, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

I'll also make some more comics over the summer. :P Right now is the home stretch of the semester, which means more work in a shorter amount of time, leading to more stress and less free time.

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Dear Chairman...

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , Apr 15 2012 · 116 views
Red vs. Blue, Reconstruction and 3 more...
I love watching series over and over again to see if there are any subtleties the writers threw in that I never noticed during my first viewing. However, I rarely find a series that, when I watch it, I get the same feeling of suspense, the same feeling of revelation, as I do when I watch Red vs. Blue Season 6: Reconstruction.

If you haven't seen Reconstruction yet, be warned that there will be spoilers in this entry.

What is it that's so great about this particular season of a very comedic and ridiculous take on the Halo universe? Well, let's start with the premise of Red vs. Blue. We have two teams of ridiculously inept soldiers who are "at war" with each other for what they believe is the fate of the universe. Being the ineffective soldiers that they are, their battles usually end in whacky hijinks and the exchange of insults, and they very much keep those personalities in Season 6. A brief summary of the characters and their personalities:

Red Team

Sarge - Gruff and regimented leader of the Red Team, older, comes up with convoluted plans and ridiculous tactics. His hate for the Blues is only surmounted by his hatred of Grif.

Grif - Lazy comic relief who is smarter than he looks, just unmotivated. Has a sort of love/hate relationship with Simmons.

Simmons - The nerd of the Red Team, enjoys math, sucks up to Sarge every chance he gets.

Lopez - The Red team's robot who can only speak (poorly translated) Spanish. Deadpan snarker.

Donut - (absent from Reconstruction) Guy who wears pink armor and is rather effeminate.

Blue Team

Church - Self-appointed leader of the Blue Team

Tucker - Lazy member of Blue Team who only thinks about picking up chicks.

Caboose - The token cool dude of Blue Team. Probably the most popular character on the show for his ridiculous lines.

Tex - A special ops soldier and Church's ex-girlfriend. The only soldier who can actually do something.

Now, mix these characters with Agent Washington, a completely serious special ops soldier (like Tex) with no tolerance for humor. Surprisingly, this works extremely well (considering the number of ways they could have screwed this relationship up). Together, they are all trying to find a new threat known as the Meta who is killing off Freelancer agents (like Tex and Wash) to obtain their armor abilities and AI, which help them in battle.

Then there is the overarching banter between the Director of Project Freelancer and the Oversight Sub-Committee Chairman. These conversations open every episode in the form of audio letter and alternate between the two, and they illustrate one of the most awesome passive-agressive power struggles I've ever witnessed in any series (and they are never on screen throughout the entire season!). While brief at the beginning of each episode, the subject of the dialogue, while at first seems unrelated, is actually intertwined with the entire motivation of the events of the season.

And if that didn't seem to make things come full circle, the big reveal in the season further seals the deal. When I watch this one moment when Washington fully reveals why the Reds and the Blues were stuck in the middle of a boxed-in canyon in the middle of nowhere, why these Freelancer AI have plagued them and caused all their problems from the get go, and why he needs to put a stop to what Project Freelancer has done and bring them to justice, I am stunned. I always watch the scene and marvel at how perfectly everything is drawn together. I get the same goosebumps during each subsequent viewing of that scene that I got the first time I watched it. The reveal is always fresh; it always keeps me on the edge of my seat; it never gets stale, and that is why I consider this the crowning moment of the entire Red vs. Blue series.

And I can't think of any other series that does that to me.

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About Me

Akano Toa of Electricity
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Premier Members
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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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