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Review 70644 Golden Dragon Master

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 21 2018 · 189 views
ninjago
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Here is Lego's latest Ninjago spinner / action / unique character only available here set: 70644 Golden Dragon Master! Some people might be enticed to buy these because of the figs. (Guilty.) Some people might do it for the pieces. Some might do it for the action. And some people might mistake the price of these things and think they're getting a legit set. (I mean, really, $15? I get there are more pieces, but did this new design really need to be this big... or needed at all?)

Piece wise, there's a decent selection of tan elements that go into decorating the handle, including some slopes, a wedge plate (sadly only two of one side), and various other plates. Then there are some elements in black, but nothing noteworthy. You do get some new "flyer" pieces. The core that the fig sits in now has a longer step, to which the wings are attached via two other specialized pieces that wedge in the plastic wings. Neither of these pieces have standard System or technic connection points (at least that I could see) making them kinda worthless to a MOCer. Meanwhile, I believe we return to the original propeller piece again as the spinner. I mean, I'm not nessessarily against Lego release big bulky elements, but it would be nice if they could connect to other pieces. At least the cool dome piece has rod connections.

The minifigure is of the new Golden Dragon character. Who is he? A new character, or perhaps one of the Ninjas leveled up? Or perhaps another well developed character who they're trying not to reveal is special at first but it becomes increasingly obvious who it's actually suppose to be as the sets come out... by which I mean, we may never know. (Until the show comes out, obviously.) Anyway, he has a cool gold and white color scheme, and the various strap designs do look like he's preparing to strap into a flying vehicle. It might be a mighty expensive way to get this set of figs, but gosh they look nice.

The actual build is a handle that launches the spinner, similar to the last... three?... times they've made these spinner sets. This handle is a bit more complex, with the angled plates creating a bend to make it feel more like... a gun? Really, these sets are Ninjago guns, aren't they? Anyway, you can fit the spinner in, adjust the angle, and let it rip! The wings are supposed to help it glide, with the actual spinner acting as a propeller rather than a rhotuka. And it... kind of works. But for mine, the full contraption is just too heavy, so it just glides slowly for about five feet. This feels a bit sluggish compared to the other flying spinners, which could get some legitimate distance. On one hand, these feels more controlled, but the control can also be seen as boring. Or perhaps I am not the target audience and will be scrapping this for the pieces instead of playing with it. Hmm.

So yeah, there are some pluses here. The handle has a couple of useful elements (and also a new 2x2 circular tile with the dragon master symbol printed on it, those are always neat.) The plastic wings don't exactly have a system compatible gap, but I'm sure they could be used in MOCs, and they have a neat design on them. The rest of the spinner parts... I'm going to need to buy a bin just for these junk specialized spinner parts. Maybe there's some connection points I'm not seeing.

The fig is great, but I'm not sure the full set justifies spending $15 to get one. And especially if you want to get the full set of characters. (Which I do.) Bricklink or other secondary markets are always an option, but I've found that most of them price the figure so highly that it just makes more sense to go for the full set and score the extra pieces. And I don't see these sets on sale a lot; not that they're big sellers, but I think stores just don't carry a whole lot of them. (Or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough because I was just buying the spinners full price earlier. But $10 was easier to justify than $15.) (I guess what I'm saying is if you want some slopes and tile pieces and cool dragon wings but don't care about figs, give me a call and we can work out a deal! :D )

(And gosh, what a pain this set is to photograph. Also, I do have a legitimate review almost ready for the front page, for realz!)

:music:


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Review: Harry Potter Collectible Minifigures

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 18 2018 · 124 views

Technically the Harry Potter Collectible Minifigures aren't supposed to hit shelves until August, when the whole Wizarding World line releases worldwide. But my local Fred Meyers scoffs at such release dates, and there were at least five boxes to choose from, three unopened! So I spent way too much time feeling out my favorites... which accounts for most of the series!

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For the record, I did not get Dobby, pajama Harry, or Credence because I don't want them. I did miscount and so I didn't buy a Mad Eye Moody, even though I found a couple. The hardest to fine were Cho and Luna, and I was only able to get to them when I got to an unopened box. And because I can, here's a short review of em.

Newt: His design is very similar to his Dimensions fig, but this time his inner jacket is burnt orange. Head has more unnecessary wrinkles on it. :( The suitcase is rad; I've never been a fan of the classic Lego suitcase, so if this one becomes the new norm, I'd be cool with that. But the raddest part here is the Niffler... which sadly is behind Cedrick in my photo. :( To find, feel for the suitcase and then the spikey hair or wands. (Niffler was difficult to feel for).

Tina: Again, a very similar design to her Dimensions fig, but more blue coloring this time. Sausage is rare in dark red, bun is new in dark nougat (or whatever that color is.) To find, feel for the hot dog pieces.

Queenie: A little bland compared to her bright pink fig that shows up in the other set. Maybe it's just me, but her smile looks a bit creepy. (As opposed to fun / innocent to match her character.) To find, feel for the bread piece.

Jacob: C'mon, easily the best character from Fantastic Beasts. His suit is plain and kinda boring, but it matches the character, and the head works. Plus, another suitcase! To find, feel for the suitcase and the two round 1x1 tiles.

Trelawney: I'm not fan of the new dress / robe piece because of the unusual slope on the back, but I guess I'm just used to the standard slope pieces. Either way, it is far sturdier. Nice hair piece which wouldn't look out of place on a hippy fig. Nice teacup and platter pieces, but they missed a chance to print a Grimm shape in the teacup. To find, feel for the dress and then the fluffy hair piece.

Dumbledore: Neat blue robe design. The Pensieve plate is a neat design; I could see using multiples as decorations on something big, because the blue swirls on the silver plate could be a lot. To find, feel for the dress and then the long hair piece or the beard. (Or the plate, although that's not what I noticed.)

Voldermort: Did this guy ever show up in dark green robes? I feel like he was always dressed in black; the green color just doesn't feel right. New snake mold is an interesting shape but only with one bar connection on the end of the tail... I wish they wouldn't gone a different direction for it. :( To find, feel for the superficial snake.

Cedrick: Hufflepuff represent! Great torso printing (and yellow stripes on legs?!) but the TriWizard trophy feels like a bit much. To find, feel for the trophy.

Luna: A bit different from her previous fig version, but not a huge update. (Then again, her original fig was extremely popular, making it on the list of 100 most expensive figs, so why change it too much?) I like the hair piece better, but from the side it looks awkward as it strangle juts out to allow space for her shoulder strap. The skirt has nice printing, but I still dislike cloth skirts on figs. The new medium sized legs in blue are nice! To find, feel for the 2x3 tile, or maybe the long hair piece. She only appears 2 to a box, a little rarer than the others, so she was a tough one to find.

Dean: I expected Dean to have darker skin tones, but always good to have more heads in that color. Flag is okay. Torso is basically a slightly modified Gryffindor robe, so nothing special. To find, feel for the 4L bar (you know, the original wand piece) and the flag.

Cho: Honestly, I don't think this skin tone matches Cho, maybe it would be better for Padme or Parvati. Still, a subtle blue Ravenclaw torso, so yay. Hair matches the character, and the medium sized legs in black are nice. Owl is okay, grey skirt is not. To find, feel for the rubbery hair piece and the owl. (She was a tough one to pin down, since Harry also has an owl.)

Neville: The Mandrake is cool, with a new beet and green stem piece included. (Which is reusable if you like your beets to have faces.) Neat recolored hair piece, and again the medium sized legs in back are cool. He also has two facial expressions. It's not exactly a battle scarred Neville, but it shows off his Herbology skills. To find, feel for the Mandrake pieces.

Percival Graves: He's an okay fig of a neat villain from the Fantastic Beasts movie. Torso and leg printing is a plus, as are arm prints. He comes with two faces and two differently colored hairpieces to represent his two variations, since he was a character disguised with polyjuice potion. (They do the same thing with the Moody fig.) The only reason this fig is special is because it's rare, only 1 to a box, so people will be abnormally happy to get it. To find, feel for two separate hair pieces, preferable the ones that are smooth and similar. Moody also has two hair pieces, but he also comes with a Maraca, a staff, and the wands, while Graves only has the wands.

Flitwick: Hey, another professor! He's short, has a megaphone, and a col bowtie. The megaphone is a new piece, with a few bar connections to make it utilizable. To find, feel for the megaphone. (And you can narrow him down by confirming he has the shirt legs; only Dobby, Pajama Harry, and Malfoy also have short legs.) (And no, feeling for medium size legs doesn't tend to work; I generally can't tell the difference between them and the regular sized legs.)

Hermione: She has a basic Gryffindor robe, which is nothing to call home over, but she's a main character so a new variation is nice, and she has the medium sized legs, so yay. She also comes with a car who is not quite Crookshanks but hey, an extra cat is still nice.

Harry: The Boy Who Lived... in almost every set. Again, basic Gryffindor robes, nothing too exciting. Hedwig is a good addition, although I don't think the printing is that updated from previous versions. (But hey, you need Hedwig somewhere.) To find, feel for the owl, and then confirm that you have the shorter hair piece.

Ron: Hey look, another main character with a basic Gryffindor robe! But he does have Scabbers as a new rat mold with a scuff mark printed on the head, so that's well done! To find, feel for the rat.

Malfoy: Well, at least they didn't include him in the Quiddich set this time, but he still shows up in Slytherin sports robes. Although a lovely excuse to include a snitch! Hair piece is the same mold from the last variation of the character, but this time in blonde instead of tan. Dark green broomstick is there too... I guess. Maybe someday they'll design a broomstick that the figs can actually ride. To find, feel for the broomstick.

One last quick note: most of the characters include the new wand element... or technically two of them. Two come connected together, and that piece feels like a grille tile in the bags, but since it's in almost every bag, it's not useful in determine the fig's identity. You do get some colors. The common wand colors are reddish brown (Tina, Cedrick, Luna, Cho, Flitwick, Ron) and dark brown (Trelawney, Dean, Neville, Harry, Malfoy, and presumably Moody.) Dumbledore, Graves, and Hermione also have wands in dark tan (not counting Hermione, the other two characters may be wielding the Elder Wand, so nice connection there.) Three other characters have wands in unique colors, including burnt orange (Newt), black (Queenie), and white (Voldermort). If you're interested in getting extra wands, this series is for you!

As for the figs I skipped... I already have a Dobby, and I didn't particularly like him anyway, so I see no reason to get another. Similarly, pajama Harry doesn't really offer anything I'd want. And Credence's design is just boring, and he wasn't a compelling character to me either. I will have to seek out a Moody; I mistook Neville for him initially, but then determined it was Neville, but somehow still thought I had Moody and so skipped him when I found more. Whoops, the risks of trying to get all the figs you want in one go. The only one I might want a duplicate of is Cho, but Cho and Luna were very difficult to find, given that I think others were also searching for them and because they don't exactly have parts that really stand out while feeling. Still, collecting more medium legs is always worthwhile, and it would be nice to have a few spares for future trading.

:music:





July 2018

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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.
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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

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke

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