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Review 70620: Ninjago City - Level 3

Posted by xccj , in Review Oct 26 2017 · 189 views

I have finished the Ninjago City model, so one last rambling of thoughts on it. The third and top level here consists of the rooftop sushi restaurant and the radio tower.

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The Sushi restaurant isn't too extravagant, because it is just sitting atop a rooftop. The edged of the curved roof are nice, with the two straight bits being made of door pieces. (One side is right hand doors, the other is left hand doors, so if you part this set out, you've have a full set of matching pairs.) There's plenty of seating up here, with nice use or rounded orange tiles filling things out, as well as a table with the menu sticker on it.

The big draw is the sushi conveyer belt, which totally works. I mean, it's not too complex; just 1x2 liftarms connected into a loop and placed in a nice slop, which uses some SNOT techniques to make a nice fit. It does get caught in a few places, and it's not secured in so if you tilt the roof upside-down (as one does with buildings) it'll fall right out. More irksome is the fact that the provided sushi dishes only fit in loosely, so a slight bump of the set and they go flying off the belt or their respective tables. There's a little table for the sushi chef to prepare the fish, but it's a little high for a standing fig, and I had to include a small stand for him for the display. (You can either refit the crab restaurant chef with a new hat and mustache and turn him into the sushi chef, or you could borrow the sushi chef from the Collectible Minifigure wave and have him man the table.)

Two of the final builds in the set are actually some of the best; the blowfish and squid sculptures, used to advertise for the restaurant. The squid makes excellent use of the small catapult arm and cheese slopes to get a striking design. (Granted, it took me a while to realize it was a squid, I thought it was just a fish design at first.) The blowfish is a bit more fragile but it's a technique I wouldn't have thought up, so it's quite impressive that they managed to design it and still pull off the look. Certainly a highlight of the model. (The last sticker of the set is also used on the green sign that hangs below the puffer fish, and is the final step to the entire set. Given how many stickers have been used, this seems fitting.)

But before you do those final designs, you have to build the big radio tower, using a fair amount of sand green elements (that look borrowed from the dragon mech.) It's a fairly sturdy structure, and the design of the hole looks pretty good from the front. The back, however, has a lot of anti-studs showing. Oh well. Not sure what all those bronze swords are supposed to represent, but they add some contrasting colors. What did surprise me was that the base of the tower has a small restroom built into it, thus being the last room built in the set. (And it's kind of needed; two residential houses, three restaurant, and a fish market... they needed a restroom somewhere.)

The figs are again less than impressive. You get a standard Ninja Jay, and although he was new to me he does appear in plenty of other cheaper sets. The Shark Army thug is the most common villain in Ninjago, so he's another repeat. Officer Noonan is slightly different, but basically just repurposing of standard police parts, so nothing special about here, really. I continue to be underwhelmed by the figs in this set.

The conveyer belt is a neat play feature, but not quite as nice as the crab grill. There are a few sushi stickers used here, as well as a couple of signs on the small black tower. (I think in the live stream, they mentioned one was a reference to Bionicle Glatorian? The top one with the circles reminds me of the Ga-Metru Kanoka disk design, although it's not exact.) This overall top level isn't quite as fulfilling as some of the others, but it serves its purpose as a rooftop restaurant and completes the model, so that's nice.

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I think it's easy to say that I like this set. The build was FUN, lots of different techniques used, some felt pretty standard, while others were quite creative. Plus, the designs generally don't skimp out; they use lots and lots of useful pieces. This set would make an excellent parts pack, with a fair amount of uncommon elements and colors. (But honestly, why would you not want to build this set? Unless you bought two... in which case you're way richer than I. This set was half the cost of my rent, or rather the majority of my Lego budget this summer.) But it was lots of fun and now I'm disappointed I don't have a new section to build after work every day. Heh.

This is a big set too. The rooftop restaurant is higher up than the top of the Airjitzu Temple. The top of the radio tower doesn't quite match the height of the Ferris Wheel, my other tallest set... but if you count the fishing pole antenna, it does. And there is a lot of room to desk this out with minifigs, which is what I've already started to do.

Overall, I would say my favorite designs include the bridge, the crowbar roofing, the comic shop, and Lloyd and Koko's house, plus the squid and puffer fish sculptures. Favorite stickers are the movie posters, comic book cards, and the Kimono lady. Best action feature is clearly the crab grille, but the elevator isn't bad either. The set isn't super great as far as figs go, but the exclusive ones like civilian Kai, Ivy, Mother Doomsday, and Tommy are my favorites. (Plus, I guess you always need some average figs to help bulk your city out. And from the mindset of a collector on a budget, it's nice that there aren't too many important exclusive figs here. There's nothing quite on par with the Airjitzu Temple's exclusive Misako fig.)

You do have the issue with the modular building design, where lots of details go into the interior, but it's too tight to really play in and it's not visible from the outside while on display. Luckily, there's plenty on the outside that it looks really good on display. The movie may have been a bit of a dud, but this set is excellent, and now I want to get even more Ninjago Movie sets to deck it out. (The street lamps from the smaller City Chase set can be easily placed on the roof, and the extra civilian figs can fill out the sidewalk and restaurant seats.) It's a great set... but it's super pricey and takes up a lot of room, so if you don't have the space or cash, you'll probably have to pass on it. Or just save up a lot and decide that you don't need shelf space in your kitchen for food. (Good thing too, cause you can't afford anymore now!)

That said, I should really get back to working on those front page reviews again...

Thanks for reading.



Review 70620: Ninjago City - Level 2 B

Posted by xccj , in Review Oct 25 2017 · 198 views

Onto the second half of the second level of Ninjago City. This level features the fashion store, another extension of the elevator, and an abandoned room with the bonsai tree growing out of it. And I also decided to add Lloyd and Koko's house to this section, although it's technically part of the third level.

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The main feature here is the fashion store, where they're selling a bunch of hats, as well as cell phones and a skateboard and a few other small things. (Basically, I think they rummaged through the accessories bin and threw in what they thought looked cool.) The color scheme of white and various shades of light blue is quite contrasting compared to the nearby buildings, which rely heavy on earth colors. In many ways, the fashion level feels like a Friends set, in that it has long sections of windows, a bright color scheme, and plenty of free space on the inside. (Seriously, it's the most opened "room" in this model so far, everything else has been very cramped.) I really did like the technique with the curved window piece on it's side... only after some research, I realized its been used this way before, although that was nine years ago. :o Overall, it's not quite as interesting as some of the other shops, but it is different.

I think there's a bit of wasted potential on the abandoned "construction" site on the right side of the fashion store. At this point, I'm guessing they were trying to keep from going over budget, because the room only has a few vines to represent tree roots, and single piece walls on the interior edges. (AKA the two sides not visible in my photo.) I'm tempted to redesign this region myself and make it more substantial, although I'd need to buy some more bricks in that light yellow colors, which is fairly rare. (And some pieces, like the 1x2 plate, only show up in that color in this set.) But this drab room can be forgiven because it attached to the amazing bonsai tree, which actually connects through the window using some CCSB parts. It doesn't feel like there were too many leaf pieces included here (really just four large leaf pieces with accompanying detaining) but they're spread out in a way that still makes the tree feel substantial. Quite a cool design, and the ball joints allow for easy positioning.

The elevator extension is just more of the same. The front end does use clips to get a neat window design. I don't know exactly what it's supposed to represent besides just some cool visuals to break up the wall. There is room on the inside to place a fig, although you have to disassemble the entire thing to get to it. Perhaps this could be a display room for the fashion store, or perhaps a place where Lloyd or Jay could hide as Ninjas (or even the Shark Army Goon.)

Next is Lloyd and Koko's house, and while it's part of Level 3, it doesn't actually connect to the rest of the level, so I put it here for greater visibility. It continues with the light yellow / tan color scheme, which is great, and it's packed with details, which is impressive considering it's only has the base of 10x10 studs. It has a bookshelf with the "book" plates connected to the back wall via clips, as well as a small table with a TV, a dresser, and a microwave. There are also bunk beds, with the upper bunk removable to place the figs in. Koko and Lloyd also have accompanying posters for their levels (although Koko's hair makes it difficult to fit her in.) The sloped roof is make using the plate with pin holes, and although the design isn't exactly groundbreaking, the repetition looks amazing. (This roof design also repeats on the one wall of the construction site, immediately below their house.) Finally, there's space in the roof to store Lloyd's ninja suit... although it's surprising Koko hasn't seen it since she just has to look up. Anyway, it's a cozy little house that would make an awesome Creator set of its own, and it's impressive that they squeezed so much detail on the inside.

The fig selection is mediocre again. Juno is the last civilian fig, and stands out with her umbrella, but all her parts are reused. Koko (or Misako) also uses a new head print to go with her unique hair piece, but the torso is pretty common and I'm surprised they didn't go with her movie outfit, although I guess they covered that with her collectible fig. Civilian Lloyd and his ninja suit both appear in other sets, so nothing too exciting about them either. (Granted, I suppose it's fitting that he shows up here... he's like Emmett or Batman from their respective movies; he has to be in a lot of the sets.) What did surprise me was the use of the training Ninja suits as the mannequins; if you want to make some for all six Ninjas, then you've got two right here. (I already have two, so I need to track down two more and the correct Ninja heads to complete that collection.)

No special functions on this level, unfortunately. Most of the stickers don't stand out either. The house has a few neat ones on the inside, plus some designs on the outside that resemble Gali's Nuva symbol. (This may have been intention... or not, it's not that uncommon of a design.)

All in all, it's not the most impressive level. The Fashion store is large and bright, but it doesn't quite compare to the crab restaurant or the comic shop, and the two side builds are dull too, although the tree is great. The house design is pretty nice, one of the highlights of the set really. (Now I'm tempted to make more compatible designs and start stacking up houses... maybe figure out how to add another level to Ninjago City. Eh, eventually, anyway.) Just one more level to go after this, nearing the end of this build...



Review 70620: Ninjago City - Level 2 A

Posted by xccj , in Review Oct 22 2017 · 225 views

Instead of finishing all of level 2, the first half had so much detail that I'm just going to do that part now.

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This involved bags seven thru ten, and makes the seafood restaurant, the comic shop, the ATM, an extension of the elevator, and an elevated sidewalk. There's another half level that sits on top of this that is technically Level 2, but there's still a lot going on here.

The restaurant is the biggest draw, and come with a small cooking area and a seating area. What throws me off the most is the array of tools that are hung in the corner: A frying pan (makes sense), a pick axe (um, I guess to crack the crabs?), Thor's hammer (just how tough are these crabs??), and a buzz saw (seriously?!?). This chef is serious. But the main attraction is the oven, which is the coolest action feature so far. By turning a knob on the outside, the interior of the oven flips, and stuff that was hidden in the bottom is now on the top. This is best displayed by a crab and a banana, which both come in two colors to show cooked and precooked versions. A neat idea, although there have been instances where the crab falls out when you open the oven and gets stuck beneath it, making it difficult to fish out. (PUN!) There's also a crab display over the main door, which is slightly pose-able. The placement of the round tiles in the clear 1x2x5 brick is also an ingenious idea. This could easily be its own set, either in City of even a stylized Friends verson.

The comic shop is cramped, but filled with details. Like, a large amount of stickers are in here. You have a display of 8 collectible character cards, similar to those in previous Ninjago sets. There are some that are easily recognizable, like Legends of Chima and Unikitty, and a few that are a bit vaguer. (I sort of recognized Fabuland, but did not catch the Rock Raider reference until it was pointed out to me.) No Bionicle, sadly. Only the Johnny Thunder one actually has a printed name. Luckily, the shop is split in two, for easier access to all the visual goodies, and the top half includes the Lego Movie cat poster, as well as an ingenious brick build "Comics" sign. (Does it count as cheating since they use printed plates pretty heavily?)

The shop also contains the action figure display, which has a dark blue, black, dark gray, dark red, sand green, and white figurines. They don't quite represent any Toa teams... the Inika come closest, if you could switch the sand green for dark green. And if you also switch the gray to brown, you could have the Metru. Apparently they're not quite matched up color wise for Galidor either, and the only sand green character I can think of is from Ben 10, but the other colors don't match up for that collection either. (But I've been told that they're actually supposed to represent the ninjas in their movie colors, which I guess is appropriate.)

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Between the comic shop and the restaurant is the ATM, which has a function to shoot out money tiles. Make it rain, eh! (The fence in front of it also rotates down, giving easy access to refill it.) Next to the elevator extension is the movie poster display. The posters are all quite epic, with the best being either the Galidor or Ronin posters. (Again, another chance wasted to make a cool Bionicle movie poster. I guess we'll have to make do with the subtle Bionicle references.) There's actually a cool mechanism to kick out the stored posters, so you can swap them out easily. The sidewalk also is bordered by the fences with various advertisements on them. Some are recognizable, others are in Ninja-script. My favorite is actually the reference to the Xtreme Team Lego Island Xtreme Stunts theme from the late 90s early 2000s... I may have to utilize the X on a brick badge now. The sign with the three boomerangs is also cool. The backside of these buildings, however, is fairly bland. :(

There aren't exactly any stand out figs in this section, but they make for a good civilian collection. Mother Doomsday is a character from the cartoon series, and I think Tommy closely resembles some of the kids from Darkley's School for Bad Boys... but apparently not their names. MD's Galador shirt is pretty nice. (Again, where's the Bionicle fan? :( ) The Chef and rich guy are also unique figs and fit in nicely with the cityscape, but again none that I would go out of my way to get. (This set is not really about the minifigures.)

Anyway, this is another awesome selection of shops. The crab restaurant could easily be its own set, while the comic shop is incredibly packed with details. It feels like this level has a majority of stickers here with lots and lots of references, some that I get and others that probably require some translating and / or research. :P And the crab grill is a great play feature (but does the chef know his grill can be accessed from a lever outside? Is he even cooking at all?) I'm excited to move onto the next level, although I have a feeling that they won't be quite as packed as this level. (Which may be a good thing... a little space to move the figs around helps with playability, IMO. The restaurant is accessible, but the comic shop is super cramped! Hope Mother Doomsday isn't claustrophobic!)



Review 70620: Ninjago City - Level 1

Posted by xccj , in Review Oct 19 2017 · 207 views

This model is so big and packed with detail, that a single blog entry won't suffice. (But not a full on front page review, that would be exhausting to finish.) I haven't even finished building it; partially because I was to spread out the build for as long as possible, partially because it already takes a really long time. (This would make for a great group speed build set, IMO, but I'm not rushing through it myself.) Anyway, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite bits, and because the levels are almost independent of each other, I thought I'd split it up that way.

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The first level is build using six numbered bags... although that's slightly off, since most numbers have multiple bags. It's a LOT of pieces. Not a lot of vibrant colors on this level; the buildings are mostly brown and white, with gray, dark tan, and olive green built into the base. The water uses a TON of trans blue tiles, which itself was a mighty task to put down properly, but the instructions weren't too bad. The water itself is a cool design, because they have different colors underneath the tiles, giving a vague idea that there's a waterscape below the city. (An interesting bit is that trans neon green was used as the base beneath the sewer... so take that for what you will.) There have been a few unusual parts here and there, so this does make for a good parts pack, but hopefully some of the newer, rarer elements will start showing up in cheaper sets.

The first thing that surprised me was how small the set's footprint is. Others have commented that it's only on a 32x32 baseplate, but at least a third of that is already taken up by water tiles, so the entire model is build up on three corners of a baseplate. :o There's already a lot going on the first level, as you have the clean up robot's storage area, the fish market, a small bedroom, and a tea house, as well as a cool bridge and the start of the elevator. The individual rooms are rather small, but have distinctive looks to them. It does remind me why I decided to avoid module buildings; there's a lot of detail packed into them, but they're hard to look in when the set's build, and even harder to access due to their size. (The cleaner robot's storage room is particularly irksome to access.) There are some nice details, and I especially liked the green Sabine hairpiece used as a plant. Some of them also have distinctive roof designs, but my favorites so far is the design using the crowbars. (Did that crowbar piece always snap onto a bar like that? Was I seriously missing their potential?)

The water is mostly tiles, but there are still a few studs popping out, either as plant life (the paint palette as a lily pad is great) or as 1x1 plates (to fit in the corners that the 1x2 tiles couldn't finish.) On one hand, that means the boat can't be slid along effortlessly through the water, but then there are also some connection points for it. The boat is an awesome little design, and I really like how they built the cover. (I mean, it doesn't feel like it's minifig scale, but I can let that slide.) They also included a neat dock on the back using brown technic connectors. The bridge is also a great design, and I'm impressed at how they designed the angles rails. Previous sets have used the clips, but they leave exposed gaps and sometimes aren't secured in. Well, they cleverly used the neck brackets to hide the gap, and the balljoints secure the tile at the bottom. The elevator is also a simple but effective and modular design. I skipped ahead and build the elevator stand, and it works great. There's also the small tower on the far corner, which is okay but the cooler part is the design they used to anchor it at the 45 degree angle, which is something we don't usually see in system sets.

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The figs are... well, they're not exactly the highlight of the set. Three figs have traditional Asian robe designs... that are seen in a lot of the Ninjago sets, wore by various civilians. Civilian Kai is great, mostly because he completes my civilian ninja collection, but the actual design is still pretty meh. I guess the best here is Ivy Walker, with her colorful torso design. (I thought she might be Jay's sister, since his last name is Walker on the TV show, although he doesn't have siblings. Instead, maybe she's his Aunt, and little Sally is his cousin?)

One thing I don't usually look forward to in sets is the stickers, but this one is an exception. Only, the ground level doesn't exactly have a ton. The two tiles along the bridge do reference Bionicle (they were the first stickers applied too) but sadly they're partially hidden by the plant life. My favorite here would probably be the kimono lady design on a door panel, but the tiger poster in the tea house is also well done.

There aren't really any fun play features on the ground level, although I know we get some as we move up in the set. I guess there's the elevator, as well as a few sliding door panels.

In conclusion, the bottom level is a solid design, and is sturdy enough to add more rooms to the top of this. The room designs are okay... some would be nice as their own mini set. The highlights so far have been the boat design, the crowbar roof, and the stone bridge design. I'm eager to build the next level and see what cool designs are waiting there.



Ninjago City Arrives

Posted by xccj , in News Oct 15 2017 · 196 views

It's here!

Say what you want about the movie, the sets have been pretty epic, and this one had me drooling from the get go. I won't be able to build it straight away (have a few things to clear out first) but it's going to get built sooooon. It was either get this set or collect all the other Ninja sets from the theme... so I chose this. It's only about half a month's rent, plus the largest Lego set I've ever purchased.

... and yes, I know it's probably the priciest way to get civilian Kai, but I have to complete my collection somehow.



BrickCon 2017

Posted by xccj , in Lego Conventions Oct 08 2017 · 280 views

I made it back to BrickCon again this year, having missed it last year. This was the first time I've visited as part of the public since 2008... and I realize just how hard it is to see all the MOCs during public hours. :bigeek: Got to hang out with some old friends and meet some new people from BS01 who were fun to hang out with. (And one kid who talks 100MPH and is really opinionated about Bionicle!) There was a lot of cool stuff on display, although between chatting and going out for lunch, I didn't really get much time to browse through it all. (Alas, the problem with day trips in cities that require 3 hours of driving to get to.)

The Bionicle display was pretty good despite being squeezed down to two tables; saw some impressive designs. Although the star themes were probably Space and Castle (per usual). There was a Dinotopia colab that looked cool (although I was thrown off by seeing a 15 year old show referenced), and also a fairly extensive Nexo Knights display. You can check out some of the photos that I posted on Instagram here and here. (They're even worse than my usual photos, since these are untouched straight from my phone cameras, so quality is lacking. I'm sure you can find more extensive galleries of the event on Flickr.)

The trip was too short for me, but t'was all the time I could afford this year. Maybe in the future I can return to BrickCon for the full event to contribute to the cool displays, hang out with the fun people, and also chill in Seattle. For now, I guess I will just focus on helping make Portland's BricksCascade into just as cool of a convention. :)



Now I Have Four Ways To Punch You In The Face

Posted by xccj , in TV Sep 29 2017 · 289 views

So for all the missteps of the Lego Ninjago Movie, it did have a couple of decent songs to go with it. I was listening to the album, and the song "Heroes" is a pretty decent pop song. It's not as addictively catchy as "Everything is Awesome" but enjoyable. "Operation New Me" and "Found My Place" are also good, but I don't like "Dance of Doom." The instrumental bits are also nice, but they're not quite as iconic as those from The Lego Movie. There's an Asian / action movie vibe, but it's not super distinctive. (To be fair, the general soundtrack to Lego Batman was also forgettable.) They also included some of the flute parodies that Wu plays in the movie.

However, there is one epic song on the list, which I do not recall hearing in the movie: It's Garmadon. The lyrics are great and really dial in to Garmadon's narcissistic personality, with a couple of fun callbacks to the cartoon as well, plus the great line in the entry title. That's the catchy song from the movie... and it wasn't even in the movie! (Well, maybe the chorus bit where they're chanting his name.)

Anyway, I was also entertaining the thought about how I wanted the movie to go, and now I'm considering if I have enough ideas to write a story about it. Like how I could focus on more characters and settings and parts from the play sets that didn't get featured and such. Granted, I already have a handful of stories that are WIPs so starting, and ultimately never finishing, another fanfict might not be my best option... but I've started posting my stories elsewhere online, so maybe I could pull in an audience? :shrugs: Probably not here tho, BZP isn't really the library scene anymore.



Ninja Concede

Posted by xccj , in TV, Thoughts Sep 24 2017 · 667 views

A true Ninja knows when to admit defeat, and alas I must too.

The Lego Ninjago Movie was kinda meh.

There, I said it.

I mean, it was a good movie and stuff, but it is definitely the lesser of the three Lego movies. In fact, there were some of the TV show seasons that I think would outshine it in terms of story and characters. (Tournament of Elements and Skybound, to be precise.) I thought there was potential that it didn't quite live up to, so yes I was kind of disappointed.

So what follows is a semi-spoilery review. I mean, I won't say anything too serious. Like, I'll tell you WHO the Green Ninja is, but not WHY the Green Ninja is...


So it was still a good movie, but still a bit of a let down... and I very much went into it hoping for the best. Honestly, now I'm more excited for the next season of the television show. Yes, the animation will be less impressive and it's not like the fight sequences are any better, but the continuing story probably will be. (At the very least, it won't have to work as hard to establish all the characters.) I probably will get the Lego Ninjago Movie when it comes out on disc, simply for the ability to pause and marvel at the scenery and background characters, because soooo much zooms by on the theater screen that I know I missed out on a lot. But still... mixed feelings about this movie, and that averages below my lofty expectations. :mellow:

Anyway, those be my ramblings. Now, the Ninjago video game... THAT looks like it might be fun!



Pre Ninja

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, TV Sep 22 2017 · 147 views

So the Ninjago movie comes out this week... or rather, tomorrow. I had been planning to see it Thursday night, only to check and see that, actually, they don't have any showings for it Thursday. And the showings on Friday are either too early in the day (AKA when I'm at work) or too late (AKA going to bed cause I have work on Saturday too.) So alas, I won't be able to catch the movie until Saturday afternoon, making me jealous of everyone who got a chance to see it early.

Anyway, despite my earlier reservations, I'm excited for the movie. It looks like it will have some nice comedy and action, and I've come to terms that it won't be the same as the TV show. (Which is continuing on its own anyway.) But I've already read for other AFOL reviews, and they seem to be of the opinion that it's good, but not as good as the other movies, and it exceeded their expectations because they expected it to be a flop. Because, like Bionicle, a lot of AFOLs on certain sites seem to dislike the theme because... I dunno, because it has a story aimed at kids? The Ninjago TV show is a fun cartoon, but it's no Star Wars, and adults who don't like the Power Rangers / Ninja Turtle / Super Hero vibe don't like it. That's fine, but it always seems like some assume that since they don't like it, it should (and will) fail. (Disregarding that it's the one Lego theme that consumers did successfully revive after a cancelation and continues to be a best seller.) Even if some of them like the sets, they only "get it for the pieces" and assume the show and story is worthless.

Anyway, that's probably an exaggeration, but that kinda feels like the gist I was getting from the reviews. The "This theme is awful, no way a movie based on it will work" that turned into "Okay, it's good but not AS good as the other movies." And there's legitimate reason's for it; the original Lego Movie was so awesome that it'll be hard to top or even match. (I think the Lego Batman Movie fell quite short of that.) And maybe it's too soon for another Lego movie to be coming out, because I guess people do start getting bored of more of the same and stuff. But I'm going to ignore that for now. I've read plenty of reviews where people who already disliked the genre ended up disliking the film, and I have high hopes, especially given that every new sequence I've seen clips for brings something new and cool to the table, so I'm optimistic that it'll be good. But the negativity right out of the door is a bit off-putting, even if that negativity is "good, but not as good."

(Although one spoiler that the reviews seemed to have confirmed is that the movie is very Lloyd centric. The original show was like that, where the first year focused primarily on Kai's journey. Further seasons have focused on the other ninjas, which is fine when you start getting a long running show, but that doesn't bode well for a movie, which made have started with too large of a cast of characters as is. If your favorite ninja isn't Lloyd, then you might get disappointed.) (Wait, must remain optimistic!!!!)

Anyway, I'll probably post more of my rambling thoughts this weekend after I see it. So far, I've kept myself from buying ALL the sets, only have two of the smaller ones... I'll see if I can continue to maintain that willpower...



Elves on Netflix

Posted by xccj , in TV Sep 13 2017 · 315 views

So I just watched the Lego Elves series on Netflix. I've seen the previous two seasons (episodes, they didn't really last that long) and while it was a decent story, the animation always seems a bit off, and the voice cast wasn't always the best. Well, the voice cast stayed the same for the most part, but either they got better or I just got used to it. The animation, however, is way better; you can definitely feel the Voltron / Avatar vibe to it. I was expecting the elemental uses to be a bit more of the martial arts style of Avatar, and while there were a few instances of that, they kind of did their own thing, which works. (And maybe a bit more like Bionicle... I mean twice they did "combine powers for the ultimate power" kind of thing.)

The story was a bit more kiddy than I'd prefer, but I recognize that I am perhaps not in the target audience for it, so that I can overlook. The characters got a lot more time to shine (and Farran's awkwardness was one of my favorite parts) and the story had a nice positive message to it, so that was very nice. Plus, most of the playsets got some screen time and were easily recognizable. (And there were even a few bits involving the characters building something, to go along with the Lego theme... even a hilarious bit where they build something upside-down.) Plus, there were plenty of callbacks to the previous episodes to better connect the world, like the treehouse and dragons and such. (Sadly, one of the characters who didn't return was Ragana, the evil elf from last year. Don't know how they could've fit her in, but some sort of reference or quick scene might've been nice.)

But the very best part was how they threw in random bricks in with all the fantastic scenery. Like, they're walking through the forest and there are just rock bricks scattered on the ground and stuff. It wasn't calling attention out to itself, but it didn't look out of place either and was a great connection to the Lego sets.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable series. Maybe not as good as some of the Ninjago seasons IMO, but better than Legends of Chima, with an artwork style that will appear to non Lego fans but enough tributes to the construction sets to entice the set's fans. All I know is that I have to pick up a few more of this year's Elves sets.


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