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Exo Suit Review

Posted by xccj , in Review Aug 26 2014 · 99 views

I wanted to review the Exo Suit from Lego Ideas for a while, especially after the hassle it took for me to get it. But alas, Black Six beat me to the punch and posted his review. (And to be fair, I didn't really vocalize my desire to review this, cause I've been busy with other stuff.) So instead this will get the less-than-stellar treatment of a blog review! Yay!

To start off, I should probably give my history on this model, or rather lack thereof. I was not familiar with Peter's Exo Suit before Cuusoo, nor did I really vote for it (because it looked way too specialized and fragile, didn't think it would translate well into a set.) I guess the main thing that won me over was the green space men/women. But I'm approaching this review more from a constraction MOCist point of view, and not a nostalgic Lego space fan. Heck, I'm not even a classic space fan; that was before me time, and I guess some of the space themes of the late 90s were a little too "out there" for classic space fans or something?

(Pictures to come when Majhost stops being stupid and comes back online)
A lot of nice pieces here, including those T bars, the plunger piece in light gray, and the round 2x2 tiles with holes in the center. Most of it is light or dark grey, but I like the splashes of trans yellow, and the green space figs are lovely as ever. I can't really compare them based on the nostalgia factor, because aside from Benny, these are the first classic space figs I've ever owned. But GREEN! I like colored suits, and my favorite color is green. Therefore, MUST HAVE. I also appreciate that we get a male and female. And while we're on the extras, the little turtle bot is a great, compact design.

And here's the Exo Suit. I am glad it's not mono-colored like the original; a little shading is a good thing. The design does seem to be a bit different than the original, to make it legal by Lego's standard, which was a given. Of the ten main articulation points, eight are ball joints, which I think help land this mech in constraction territory.

The body design is quite decent, with lots of SNOT all over the place. (SNOT= studs not on top, just to be clear.) I especially like how the extensions from the legs use the nozzle piece to connect to the cockpit; that was a connection that caught me by surprise and probably goes a long way in adding stability. There's room for a minifig to stand inside... as long as they don't move their arms forward. It's a little tight in there, but I suppose it works.

The limbs... um, yeah. The legs are a basic design that uses liftarms and socket pieces and ball joints to create a leg with a knee. I think it's kind of a simple and lackluster design; I say this because it's a concept I utilize a lot in MOCs, so clearly it must be underwhelming. There's some greeble added on, but it feel just like that: slapped on. There's no real function to it; it's just there to add "flair" or whatever. And it still leaves some gaps that would get mocked in the BBC. To be fair, I guess it's not supposed organic like Bionicle, but that's just how I view constraction / technic limbs.

The feel have a lovely, compact but technical design. The problem is that they attach to the legs via a friction pin. This is bad. For a brand new piece, it serves to hold the model up, and I know with time that will weaken. Since the base of the foot is only 1 stud wide, I don't know how this could be fixed. My solution would be to make the foot 2 studs wide, and use a brick with an axle hole for a firm connection. But alas, that's not what's going on here. It can balance on one leg, but just barely.

The arm design is kind of cool, because instead of a balljoint at the elbow, it uses a rod, and makes excellent use of the 2x2 round tiles with a hole in the center to fill out the space. I know lots of people complained about the barrels, but combined with the two plunger pieces, I think they make a great arm. The hand concept is okay, but one we've seen before, both officially and unofficially. But the shoulder armor... ugh, worst part of the set. The old space arm element has always been weak, but I feel like mine were pre-worn, because they could hardly stay on a stud new out of box. It's just something with the design of the piece. If they had a bar to go through them to help stabilize them, then maybe. But as it, this piece of armor shatters with ease, which takes away any "cool" factor it could possibly have.

In conclusion, this model has it's ups and downs. Sometimes they've used real innovative methods to connect things, and other times they've used techniques that seem rather odd or downright dumb. The greeble on the body and feet is excellent, but it does not translate over to the limbs quite as well. It has decent mobility, but the fragile armor and weak ankle hurt it. I suppose it makes for an impressive display piece, which is what a bunch of people are probably after. And really, why worry about what the kids think when playing with it: based on the sales history, none of those kids will probably ever get their hands on it, and the entire inventory will remain with adult collectors, nostalgic for the theme from decades past. :P

So, honestly, while it's a nice set, it's not a must have. Unless you want green space men and women. Then IT MUST BE BOUGHT! Oh, and robo space turtle is cool too. It has good parts as well, although it's a little much to be considered purely a parts pack. :shrugs: And really, at this point, if you wanted it, you already bought it, and if you haven't, you're out of luck (until the next release, anyway. I swear they underestimated the response to their "it will be a 1 production run only" comment.)

Now to build the female scientist Research Institute, which I did vote for and have expectations that will probably not be met either!



Cosplay Question!

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 24 2014 · 140 views

I'm contemplating doing a President Business outfit for BrickCon, but I don't quite know what to do for headgear. The evil helmet is a little too over the top, but the brick-shaped hair? Not going to happen with my short hair, sorry. But I have an idea to make it into a kind of hat. But where would I find a hat that I could easily glue stuff to? Also preferably one that won't turn into an oven cause that convention center doesn't stay cool when packed full of people. I've tried looking at a few different places but all I can find are the usual sports hats. Anybody have any suggestions? Thanks!



Korra Season Three Finale

Posted by xccj , in TV Aug 22 2014 · 140 views

Spoiler: It was good. I was kinda annoyed cause I saw other blog entries pop up while I was at work and I couldn't watch this until the afternoon... but I guess that's what you get for being a responsible adult, can't watch cartoons whenever.




Spikels Mixels Review

Posted by xccj , in Review Aug 18 2014 · 159 views

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Click Here For Review

Probably not the first review of the new Spikels, but gosh it's gotta be one of the first. (Not that it really matters, I know most people barely read the reviews anyway.) Still, I am happier with these three than a lot of the others! Lots of character here!



Tired All The Time

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 17 2014 · 104 views
complaining, again
I can't say my life is bad, since I've managed to secure a bunch of the essentials: a college education, a regular job that actually pays for something that I'm fairly good at doing (but don't ask me to explain it), an apartment that is mildly tolerable even without air conditioning, and enough money that I can buy Lego without an overbearing sense of budgetary guilt.

But as of late, it's seemed very... basic. Work has been interesting, but I'm usually quite burned out by the end of the day, and usually resort to napping or watching shows. I've done a little bit of building, but not as much as I would like. And despite all the great plotlines in my head, I haven't touched any of my stories since last November. Oh, and no social life to speak of. At all. Mostly, it just comes down to me not having the energy to do it after a full day of work.

I've always been under the assupmtion that I've lazy. A procrastinator. Unmotivated. An ungrateful leech. (Or so I've been told.) How else could my lakc of drive towards school and socialization and such be explained?

Unless it turns out I have sleep apnea. In which case when I try to get a full night's sleep I don't... and instead I'm tired all day. And don't have energy for non essential things. Like friends. Or stories. Or game ideas that I've had for years. Or for exersise at that gym where I'm totally paying each month for membership but hardly going to. Arg.

I kinda-sorta have plans to go get tested for it, but just getting that takes up so much energy! <_< But if that's not the problem then something else must be reeeeeally messed up with my outlook of life. And my only other solution is to just keep buying new Lego sets to ease the pain away...

Tl/DR I'm complaining about life. Want to take a nap now.



Recommend Me a Book

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 10 2014 · 178 views
Imgonnaregretthis, probably
So I have a cross continental fight at the end of the month, for like 9 plus hours both ways. It’ll be a red eye on the way out, so hopefully I can try to get some sleep, but it’s going to be middle of the day on the way back. Just my experience two years ago with airplane rides was that my electronic devices won’t hold a charge long enough to provide ample entertainment over the full course of the trip. As such, I need an old fashion, non electronic form of media. Y’know, like a book. But I haven’t read any new books in years now. (I read plenty of online stuff, so not illiterate, but just haven’t had the chance to really settle down with a book.) I don’t particularly want to reread something, so I’d thought I’d ask for suggestions.
All the while knowing there’ll probably be a deluge of recommendations from the BZPower bookworms.

So here are some of my preferences:

Genres I would prefer would be science fiction. Not particularly fantasy, it’s not the same as sci-fi even if it’s in the same section at bookstores. I guess I would also be down for adventure or mystery, but not something that’s too gritty. I want something fun. And preferably something that’s not part of a trilogy or a tetralogy or whatever; is it too much to ask for a story with a full beginning and ending in a single book?

I dunno, I have particular tastes, and sometimes books can just be hits or misses. So, go ahead and make suggestions, but ones that clearly violate one of the above points will be crossed out and publicly shamed. :P

Oh, and um thanks! (Unless I scared everybody away at this point.)




Posted by xccj , in TV Aug 03 2014 · 129 views

Man, it was more of an adventure getting to this movie than I'd like to admit but will love to brag about. Between timing, troubleshooting at work, Max trains not running, and a distance of about 0.5 miles from the station to the theater, I only just got in as they finish the credits at the beginning. But man, was it worth it. Great movie, and I have just one thing to say about it! (But beware, may contain spoilers.)



That is all.

(Gosh now I need to buy The Milano Spaceship Rescue set)



Ordering a Rare Color

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Aug 02 2014 · 118 views

Isn't it great to spend a hefty amount (in two different orders) on Bricklink to get some useful pieces in a rare color... only to finally receive the packages and realize that it's actually a different color.

See, I saw that they had 2x2 dishes, ribbed tubing, and some clickits elements in trans medium blue, the kind that glows under a black light. The tubing and dishes turned out to be in light blue. (Well, the dishes, anyway. The tubing appears to be some unique color between trans medium and light blue, but in the end it doesn't glow under a black light.) The clickits pieces do glow, fortunately. However, that's still $15 that I thought was going to be spent on a rare color only to realize that it was not the color I thought it would be. (Again, the tubing wasn't a complete rip... it seems that bricklink in general has misclassified that color. The dishes... I have sent my complaint to that store owner.)

And this isn't the first time this has happened to me with this color. :annoyed: Next time, I'm asking the stores to look at their parts under a black light BEFORE shipping them to me to confirm.



Buy from Lego Online Now!

Posted by xccj , in News Aug 01 2014 · 113 views

Except in the span of me starting to write that front page article and posting it, shop.lego.com decided to just crash.

It happened in the middle of verifying my order too! So I don't know if I'm getting the Exo-Suit or not.

It seems that the hype for the new sets (likely the rumored-quite-a-bit-to-be-a-limited-release Exo-Suit) may have crashed the site? They posted an unusual error report on the shopping cart page, saying that we can't use express shipping or VIP points and that they'll add all the perks (free shipping, free polybag) later if they qualify. Also that it could take 24 hours to process your order, oh, and by the way, availability might not be up to date, so that limited production set that we totally say is available is actually sold out... sorry sukkah!

I see this for potential to reeeeeeally screw up orders. "Oh, sorry, we forgot the free polybag?" "What's that, we charged you for shipping when you qualified to get it for no cost?" "Instead of LEGO sets, your package contained a bobcat? Odd." I've had good experience with Lego customer service a few times in the past, so I'm sure they could eventually help work it out... but yeah I still could see this going badly.

Or worst of all, my order might not have gone through at all, and by the time I realize that the Exo-Suit will have sold out. :( I don't want to risk dropping more cash to redo the purchase on the off chance that it did fail... especially when they mentioned that there will be a delayed response. But if it goes over 24 hours, I might redo my purchase.

(My purchase, to note, was a Exo-Suit, 2x Research Institutions [an extra for a potential gift maybe?], Breeze Flea Machine, discounted Dragon Bolt, and Aquaman parts pack that also contains Batman.)

But, all in all, not the smoothest release of new sets from Lego, not by a long shot.



Posted My Lenticular Mt St Helens Mosaic

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jul 28 2014 · 49 views

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Lookie here, a topic in SBC!

So I guess the phrase "lenticular" is the one to use, since "cheese slope mosaic," besides being a mouthful, can also refer to some other styles of mosaic-ing.

I do need to take some better pictures, but my issue is A: bad lighting in my apartment and B: no backdrop large enough to fit the full mosaic. I also need to get a stand for it, and maybe somehow reinforce the back because it's rather flimsy, especially compared to classic brick mosaics, which hold up remarkably well. This will probably show up at a few conventions, cause I'm not planning to take it apart any time soon.

Also, anybody know a decent was to advertise this? :P I put it in a mosaic flickr group that, apparently, turns out to be dead. So fail there on my part. (Maybe the whole "take better pictures" thing also needs to come into play here.)


October 2014

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