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Team J.A.F.


New In The Talkback Topic

Posted by xccj , in Review Apr 19 2012 · 53 views

So my last review didn't go over very well because of the database issue on the front page. Bummer.

But with a little bit of code tweaking, I switched it from HTML to BB and now it's good to get posted in the forums!

As such, you can view the full review in the Talkback Topic. And seriously, I described what I liked and didn't like about it there... if there's gonna be argument over how good it is, I should at least be able to get my say in. ;)

(Granted, it's the only Serpentine vehicle that I own, so I can't say that it's better than the others, but still...)



Review: Rattlecopter

Posted by xccj , in News, Review Apr 16 2012 · 456 views

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(Click for link) Actually don't because it's broken right now. :(

Anyway, cool Ninjago set! It's a snake helicopter that looks like a fish! Awesome designs. And I even took lots of pictures! You'll see them when the database gets fixed, I'm sure of it!



New Hero Factory

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Review Feb 12 2012 · 59 views

So I finally managed to find Toxic Reapa on store shelves, and since he was my fav of the Winter 2012 selection, I grabbed him up. I also saw Green Lantern, and since I keep missing out on him, I bought that set too. And since I don't think I've really commented on the Constraction sets I've bought, let's do that here!
  • Joker: Horrible looking, but luv the purple elements! Also has some other good pieces (minus the freaky head of course.)
  • Rocka: More gold is nice, and the trans bright green shield is strangely appealing. Head is awful small after his last huge one.
  • Furno: Decent Hero, but kind of lackluster. Water jets (which I keep envisioning as jetpacks) are okay but a little too bulky. Weapon isn't that amazing sadly. :(
  • Toxic Reapa: LUV! The trans lime pieces are super cool, and he also contains some useful ball joint connectors and such. Two round shoulder pads a plus, and the green flames are awesome. Plus, as a whole, the set isn't that badly designed. Legs are a little bare, but I can live with that.
  • Green Lantern: FINALLY. He has a decent selection of pieces. The green is excelent, although it is a shame that it's bright green and not standard green, so it won't go well with some of my green MOCs. :( Hopefully more bright green elements will be released in the future so I can make a decent green MOC using them. Also, the trans bright green weapon pieces are cool individually, although as a whole it seems a bit odd.

That's probably it for my Constraction figs for now. I might snag Evo if I can find him, but most of the stores in my area only have Furno and Rocka, and not any of the cheaper sets. :( (Not to mention how the only Super Hero figure I can find is the Joker.) But come summer, I'll be wanting more. I'll get at least Iron Man when they show up, and I'll want to grab a few Summer Heroes too, especially after seeing more purple in Andrew's Toy Fair coverage.

Speaking of Toy Fair, there are soo many sets that I want, and large ones too. Helms Deep, Mines of Moria, and Jabba's Palace are the expensive ones that jump to mind, and there are a ton of cheaper ones I want too, like the cheaper Loki and Iron Man set, the Wolverine set, the Desert Skiff, the next wave of Star Wars Planet sets, the Ninjago Samauri Mech, Weathertop, and some of the Monster Fighters sets. With that said, I propose another group purchase of a larger set at a convention, where we can maybe review it and then split the parts amongst us. :D

But yeah I know where my money's going this summer. Better start lining up a job...



Collecting Star Wars Figs

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Review Feb 10 2012 · 35 views

Gee, talk about the worst possible Lego habit...

Anyway, I've bought three recent Star Wars sets: Death Star Planet Set, Endor Battle Pack, and Droid Escape. Of these, only the TIE Interceptor has a decent built; the speeders in the other two sets are kinda meh, as is the escape shuttle and tree in general. The figs on the other hand are nice. Black TIE Pilot, Storm Trooper, Sand Troopers, Scout Trooper. (Those are the correct names, right?) Plus, I now have the droids I was looking for. (Of course, I think I prefer R2D2 with the white top rather than light grey. If you're going to change the color, then change it for the whole body... and even then I'd still prefer white.)

So obviously what I need to do is start collecting figures now. I'm only going to focus on the original trilogy, so I'll need Luke, Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and probably Vader. So thus the Desert Skiff set from this summer appeals to me. Jabba's palace does too, but that's a little too pricy for me, considering I'll probably be spending my large set money on themes like Ninjago or LotRs.

As for actual sets, I don't really plan to buy any of the large ships, but the mini-models look awesome so I'll probably be aiming for those.



Review: Superman Vs Power Armor Lex

Posted by xccj , in Review Feb 04 2012 · 75 views

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(Click for link)

Power Suit Lex has challenged Superman to a disco contest: may the best dancing robot win!

Or rather, I wrote up a set review on the Superman vs Power Suit Lex set. Go read it, and then go buy the set. It's that good!



Moar Sets: Heroes And Star Wars Polybag

Posted by xccj , in Review Jan 24 2012 · 51 views

So I went to Target today to pick up my prescription (I'm on meds that keep me from taking over the world / help with acid reflex, ext) and I stopped by the Lego aisle. (Okay, like I always head towards the Lego section of any store and it's usually the first thing I do and sometimes my entire trip revolves around browsing the Lego shelves...) I was determined to buy something... I was aiming for a Hero Factory 2012 set, but they were fresh out. In fact, the Lego aisle itself was pretty bare; most of the Ninjago stuff had been picked through, the City section only boasted a few of the many cool sets out this year (including the one I already have), and all the Star Wars stuff was 2011. Even other older themes from 2011, like PotC, Alien Conquest, and Cars, were pretty meager.

And they did have prices for a lot of the Super Hero sets, but they didn't have many in stock. Luckily, they did have the Joker, Green Lantern, and Superman vs Lex Luther set. (I want the latter two, already bought Joker for the purple.) After some hefty decision making, I decided I wanted Superman more than some green parts, so I grabbed that set. And at the checkout lane, I spied two polybag sets, one for Toy Story and one for Star Wars, so I grabbed those too.

The Toy Story polybag was the Army Jeep. It's not too different from the original Army man set (which has more minifigs and a better car design) but it offers some nice green pieces all the same.

The Star Wars one was a Venator Class Republic Attack mini model. I'm not quite sure why I bought this; I don't even recognize the ship from the movies. (I'm gonna guess it's prequels or Clone Wars) And it doesn't have amazing pieces either, from what I can tell. And get this; this is the FIRST Star Wars set that I've ever gotten. Sure, I had an R2D2 keychain, I've bought SW minifig parts off Bricklink, and I do own the second SW Lego game. (Ah, back when Lego games weren't incredibly glitchy and worked on my computer...) But in the 15ish years that Lego has had the Star Wars line (and trust me, I remember when they released the first SW sets) I have not once actually purchased a set. That has now changed. I have been bit by the Lego Star Wars bug, and I'm already considering buying more in the future. (Maybe a few planet sets, and the Hoth game. I'm not actually crazy enough to turn into a Lego SW completeist and try to buy every little thing released... I do that for other themes. :P ) Also, I haven't opened / built the set yet. I might try to do it in the polybag. ;)

And then there's the main one, the Super Man vs Power Suit Lex. OMG. Love the figs. Love the purple. Love the green. Love the various trans bright green. Love the mech! Love the balljoint elements. Love the... um, I'll just call it good for now. I'll do a more thorough review in the future. But lemme just say that this works. Besides the pieces, the mech just seems to be the right size with the right mobility... and yeah, it's awesome. Plus, only $20 for over 200 pieces... a steal as far a licence products are concerned.



More Collectible Minifigs Series 6

Posted by xccj , in Review Jan 23 2012 · 46 views

I made a couple of extra trips this week and completed my Series 6 collection. I have all 16 figs, plus an extra space girl and unopened Roman. (For convention trading, ext). I suppose I should feel bad about picking out ones that I wanted, but then on my last trip I met another AFOL. He was searching for Romans. And from that one store, he got all of their Romans; 17 of them! So every other poor sap was out of luck if they wanted one. (Luckily, I had already managed to get one from that store a few days earlier. :P) Also, he told me that he was going to use them for a project, so I guess that's better than the people who are planning to turn around and sell them on ebay for a profit.

Anyway, I don't have picts of the rest, but how about text reviews? :D (Okay, I'll make them quick!)

Alien: Kinda meh. The head is nicely detailed, but the torso is just skin lines. Reminds me of some of the Atlantis shark fig torsos. Not too exciting, unless you're after a bug eyed alien. However, the white gun and trans green bar are new colors, and great.

Statue of Liberty / Lady Liberty: Oh my, so much great detail. Excelent torso and leg / dress printing. 2x1 tile also has 'July IV MDCCLXXVI' on it. And the headpiece is so detailed, with the spikes and windows and everything. (The hair even has detailing on the back.) The face is mostly just a standard female face, but it might make for a good female zombie fig. ;) Overall, excelent figure, and any collector should try to get at least one of these.

Mechanic: HEEEEEEEEY That's what he says. He's got a dark blue uniform, and some extra detail went into smudging it up, along with his face. So if you ever need a dirty fig, here's one for you. He had a red workbox, but unlike the Gangster's violin case, it does not open. It's more like the boom boxes from the previous series. Still, nice details.

Leprechaun: Short green guy, but nice torso printing, and also more short green legs. Top hat in green is cool, and the new pot of gold piece is neat too... and I think it can fit the handles of the new bucket pieces too. Sadly, there's no peg inside, so the three gold studs that come with him don't fit into the pot. (On the other hand, if they did, they'd prolly get stuck there indefinitely.)

Clockwork Robot: Now this is a strange guy. He's got circuitry printing on his torso and legs, with some red and medium blue highlights. The rectangular head is also nice and detailed, but if you want to give him any resemblance of a neck he'll need to keep his backpack thingy on. The major drawback; the wind up piece on his back is dark grey, which clashes badly with the rest of his light grey body.

Sleeper: Not sure who thought up this fig, but hey we always could use a pajama minifig. (I guess.) He comes in the new light aqua color, but sadly his torso, arms, and legs all have white stripes printed on them, which works overall for the fig but hurts the parts for customization. Of the two faces printed, I prefer the sleeping one; the yawning face is a little too odd. Thing I noticed about the hair: it's the kind used for Kai in the Ninjago TV show. Crazy. Also, teddy bear is an interesting new mold: it can fit on top of a stud, and minifig hands can hold onto its arms.

Bandit: Classic western baddie. Front and back torso printing (mainly showing that he's carrying a lot of bullets.) Red bandanna is a cool piece, as are the two black pistols (I think that's the first time those have appeared in black.) The fedora would be cool in black too, except that we just got that piece from the Gangster. Still, it's nice.

Butcher: Crazy guy, with a cool cleaver piece and a giant steak. Torso has a blue apron printed on it, which extends down to the legs. Also has a new white cap. Not the best fig ever, but a decent one, and he has enough new pieces to be worth it.

Well, that's all of them. I might hunt for a few extras (Space Girl, SoL... not Romans) but I have a full set so I can't complain. Plus, I completely took advantage of Fred Meyer's "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" deal all week, plus an additional 10% off toys coupon. So instead of 18, I really only bought 12 at 90% of their market value. Score!




Bionicle Toa Lewa And Toa Onua Pens

Posted by xccj , in Review Jan 20 2012 · 1,814 views

I mentioned my interest in getting some of these pens for the masks. Well, I managed to purchase two, and they finally got in. (I’m still not done with my search… four more to go.) Since I have them, I’m going to make it into a review! (Can’t go on the front page tho. Something about an 11 year old, rare to begin with product that’s super hard to find even nowadays…)

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First off, the packaging for this is very neat. I believe it follows the standard design for Lego pens back in the day; it shows off the pen and a bunch of the extra beads. This one also has a purely Bionicle touch. The top and bottom piece (the bottom is actually within the plastic container) are the colors of the classic canister lids; basically, a shade of green and grey that were never seen in the actual sets. :P Behind the pens is a map of our favorite island (remember when it was actually an island and not some giant underwater robot’s camouflaged face?)

The back of the package (not pictured :P ) shows off how you can customize the beads on your pen, and lists some of the features, including 13 bead elements, a soft grip, replaceable cartridge (wait, this thing has ink in it too? What, are we supposed to use it to write?) and a pen stand (This is supposed to be made up of the two colored plastic pieces, but they’re a loose fit, and it’s stretching it to call it a feature.) Then, of course, it also makes sure to point out that it includes a collectible Kanohi mask of power that can attach to the pens. Neato. Also included is a generic picture of the Toa and a short Bio. Did you know Lewa was the youngest of the Toa, and that Onua has infrared vision? I sure didn’t! (Oh wait, these were the discontinued Toa bios that didn’t make it to the official storyline but still ended up on some of the non-set merchandice.)

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Then there’s the beads. Each pen comes with 13 of them, plus the two body pieces of the pen, and the collectible mask. The Toa share a similar variety of beads. Lemme list them out.

  • Each has an identical black Bionicle bead, with the word printed on one side and the symbol printed on the other.
  • They each come with a black bead with the Toa’s name printed on it.
  • Next come square beads with the letters of the Toa’s names printed on the four sides… in Bionicle text. (How this works for longer named Pohatu and Kopaka, I dunno, maybe they don’t have these beads.)
  • Then there’s a square bead that has the silhouette of the Toa on two sides, and then a landscape image on the other two sides.
  • Then there’s more square beads that show the Toa’s weapons on two sides (hatchet for Lewa, claws for Onua.)
  • There there’s a square bead representing the Toa’s Turaga. The noble mask is printed on two sides, and the Turaga’s silhouettes are printed on the other two.
  • Then we have two round beads that show off landscapes again. (A forested mountains in the clouds for Lewa, and a cave’s interior for Onua.)
  • The rest of the beads for each Toa are just generic shapes in the Toa’s respective colors. Onua actually had one additional square bead, which has the elemental symbol of four elements printed around it. (Pb for Lead, Mn for Magnesium, U for Uranium, and Fe for Iron.) I guess these help show that he’s an earth Toa. I’m sure they could’ve given Lewa one with elements that occur in the air, like Nitrogen or Oxygen.
  • Finally, both include one large bead in a transparent color (trans lime for Lewa, trans dark green for Onua.) These are the beads that the masks attach to. The mask attachments themselves aren’t very solid, but somehow there’s enough friction that they manage to stay on. When putting them on the pens, a top bead can help secure them on. But I had something different in mind…

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Okay, I admit, the masks are a little wonky on the minifigures. A redesign is in order. But these masks will certainly help in the creation of a mini Toa Mata. Oh yes, they will. Now I just need to locate 4 other masks so I can create my mini Mata team!

… as for the pens. Well, there was a lot of great detail put into all the beads, from the mask to the various silhouettes. And you can stack about 6 of the beads on the pen at a time, and you have enough that you can do a decent job of customizing it. The pens themselves are actually pretty worthless; in the eleven years, they’ve since dried out, so if I want to use them I’ll have to figure out how to replace the ink. But back in the day, I think these would’ve made for a fine Bionicle writing utensil. As it is, the old 2001 elements bring back a nice wave of nostalgia for me, and I can find ways to use these beads for decorations. (After all, they do all somewhat fit on top of studs.)



Collectible Minifigs Series 6

Posted by xccj , in Review Jan 15 2012 · 39 views

Finally. I heard Fred Meyers finally had these in stock. (It's not like I've been checking every other day or anything... :sarcastic: ) So I drove over, and sure enough there were like 6 boxes on display! I picked out a few (9 to be exact.) I know I'll probably end up collecting the entire batch again, but I'll hold off completely on the initial rush and allow some others to get their favs first. (And by that I mean I just grabbed the rarer ones and left the lame-os for everybody else. :P )

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So a quick look at them.

Flamenco Dancer: I've gotten pretty good at feeling through the bags, but this was the first mistake I've made since Series 3. I thought I had the Statue of Liberty, because of the slope piece. Oops, wrong. Anyway, she's not bad, but she's underwhelming. Plus, I don't like that particular hair piece.

Minotaur: He's the weirdest of the bunch, so I had to get him. :D He's kinda cool, looks very detailed. But he can't really do anything else except be a Minotaur. I guess he's one of the more common ones too. So solution: Army of Minotaurs. You don't need those Romans. Speaking of...

Roman Soldier: Oh, I can see how he'll be popular. He's got everything going for him that the Spartan had, plus he's got a cooler shield. Another thing I noticed; there's a hole in the helmet for one to attach a feather, so if you had an army you could use those to signify rank. Neat.

Highlander: Scary dude. I like the sword; longer than the one that came with the Gladiator. It reminds me more of the BrickForge custom swords. And strangely, it's rather pointy for a Lego weapon. Hazard Warning: Don't poke sword into your eye.

Skater Girl: Yeah, yeah, I know. People are sick of the skateboarders / snowboarders / surfers. But this girl has more personality than most of the other extreme sporters. Plus, I can use the parts for fig customization. The hairpiece with the purple streak is cool, although the plastic feels cheaper than usual. Regardless, Swert has suggested using it for a Claudia Donovan fig, and I see worth in that.

Nurse: At first glance, not a stellar fig. But look at it this way: dark azure legs and torso. Same color as the humans in Alien Conquest, but without the messy looking printing. Face mask would be useful for apocalyptic scenes, and the skeleton printed on a trans tile is pure WIN.

Genie: More dark azure plus some purple. The leg / tail / wisp is a nice piece, and it's too unstable when attached to a stud. Neat thing; when set on the lamp, the wisp curls up precisely to make it look like he's coming out of the lamp. Nice details!

And finally: Space Girl. Hot pink suit! Classic space logo! Awesome hairpiece in an even awesomer color! As you can see, I got two. I wanna make a space girl space ship and fill it with pink space girls! I mean, overall the fig has a lovely design, and I have a feeling it's meant to appeal to the "other 50%" of children. But sorry, I snagged two of them, and I'll probably try to find some more.

And that's it for now. Of the ones I really want, I need to find a Statue of Liberty. Then I might get some of the others and complete my collection... or even get a few more dupes for potential trading later. (I have some Series 5 I'm saving up for a trade... now that they're not on the market any more.)



Recent Sets I Got

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Review Jan 05 2012 · 54 views

So, between sales on Lego Shop@Home and new sets I've found in stores, I've gotten a couple of products that I could share my thoughts on...

Magma Monster Board Game: I totally got this for the orange base plate, but it turns out to be a very fun game to play, much better than the others I've tried out (Robot Build, Pirate Plank, Frog Hop... although that one was cool too.) It can involve some rather intensive gameplay, which is more than I can say for the other games (Well, we got intensive on Frog Hop at BrickFair, but this one is better).

Construct-A-Zurg: I got this for the purple. Indeed, he is less imposing than Construct-A-Buzz, but he has some nice elements. And quite a large cape... for this, I would think that any big Bionicle builder would want him. (After all, who doesn't want big capes?)

Pizza Planet Truck: I've wanted this set for a while, but it was a little too pricy... until I could get it at 50% off. The exterior of the set is really awesome, with printed pieces and smooth shapes and everything. Th interior is a little plain, but I can look past that. The minifigure / character selection is great, but it's a shame they don't all fit nicely into the truck. (Also a shame we couldn't have gotten the full cast in there... but I suppose Lego couldn't get rights to Mr. Potato Head, and how would they even start to make a slinky dog?) The pizza firing mechanism is okay, but isn't as powerful as I expected it to be. Also, a lot of nice pieces, including some older style window elements.

Joker Figure: Again, I totally got this for the purple. In fact, the set stayed together for half a day before I parted it out and started using the armor on my custom Heroes. (Yes, I know, it was a long time for it to stay together.) Design wise, The Joker wasn't too bad if you removed all those awful gimmicks on his back. Still, he came with quite a few useful parts. Shame they just looked awful together.

Kendo Cole Bonus Pack: My first new Kendo Ninja fig. Turns out they have the same body pieces as their original versions (which were cool, so I'm not complaining). The shoulder armor isn't new, but the helmet is, and it's kind of cool. The set also contains two of the new daggers, another gold chainsaw, and three smallish silvery chains. Oh, and cards. I've amassed a small collection of Ninjago cards, now I just need to find somebody who'd be willing to play with me. :(

Also one other set but more on that later.


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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5
Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone
I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need. 
~ Passion Pit
Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic


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