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Akano's Blog



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Set Review: 79003 An Unexpected Gathering

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Feb 23 2013 · 99 views
Bag End, Bilbo, Gandalf, Dwarves and 1 more...
I've posted another set review! This time it's Bag End, so head on over here and check out some thoughts on and pictures of this wonderful LEGO set. :)

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Set Review: Ewar's Acro Fighter

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Feb 10 2013 · 97 views

I've decided to post this review here, as I'm not sure this fulfills the requirements to actually post this in the LEGO Sets forum.

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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It's a polybag. The front features the set's picture and a picture letting you know that the eagle character you get is Ewar. The back is full of legalese, as per usual, and has a cutout option for a free child ticket to LEGOLAND.

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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At only 33 pieces, this set does not take long to build.

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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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I would first like to point out that this set came with about 10 extra trans-light-blue round tile pieces, which I thought was ridiculous, but I'm not complaining. The vessel is pretty simple in design, but still rather cool in my opinion. It's like someone combined a snowmobile and a jet ski...and made it fly. The really cool thing about this set, though, is Ewar.

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First off, Ewar is an anthropomorphic eagle, which ranks up there in awesomeness with anthropomorphic echidnas. He also has a really simple but clever wing-mount that reminds me of the armor of the old Hydronaut figures. This also allows his wings (and those of the other wingèd Chima races) to be poseable, unlike the winged mummy figures from Pharaoh's Quest. I like Ewar's flip face as well; one side has goggles and the other is just his bare face, which has nice detail on it. The design on his torso reminds me a lot of ancient Egypt, and his helmet (head piece?) is really cool as well.

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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Woohoo! Cowabunga, dude!

While it is a small set and, thus, is kinda limited on playability by itself, I'm sure that it makes a nice addition to any larger set if you're building some kind of Chima army or need a new high-tech hover vehicle for your utopian LEGO world. Ewar himself is a cool minifig that also allows for some fun play time.

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Hey, Einstein, I'm on your side!

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

 

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Alas, jetski-snowmobile, you are the only one who listens to me.

This set was originally released as a free promotional with a $75 set order from LEGO S@H. It's now on BrickLink for about $5 USD. I don't know if I would personally spend that much money just to get him, but I'm glad I was able to get him through LEGO's promotional. If you're a fan of Chima, go for it.

Pros
What's to like?
  • Ewar is cool
  • Lots of extra pieces
  • Jetski-snowmobile
Cons
What's not to like?
  • Small
It's a cute little set. If you want to see the gallery, go here when public.

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Set Review: 10228 Haunted House

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Oct 30 2012 · 187 views
Haunted House, Review

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Oh noes! I forgot to hang the awesome picture of Frankie in his white tux on prom night!


The bedroom looks like your typical undead sleeping pad. With pictures hanging of friends and family, some undead deer skull, a rickety unfurnished bed, and an empty wardrobe, it's ideal for the everyday vampire who's trying to get away from all the stresses of life. The writing desk at the top of the stairs is in a nice corner by the window(s) so the maximum amount of moonlight is available when writing to those creepy, alive relatives of yours. I also like that there's a railing at the top of the stairs, but no railing following them down to the first floor. Clearly safety is of no concern during the transition between stories.


Go read it. Be enthralled. Clean up your drool on the way out.

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Brace Yourselves...

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Oct 29 2012 · 128 views
Not Sandy, Haunted House, Review
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10228 Haunted House review is coming.

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New Comic and Such

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review Sep 29 2012 · 62 views
Comic, Reviews
Hey, guys! Come over here and see the new comic this random yellow guy just posted! It's sure to make you LOL (or at least facepalm).

Also, my Halloween Accessory Set review is feeling rather unloved. Pay it a visit, won't you?

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Halloween Set Review and Other Stuffs

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review Sep 22 2012 · 84 views

Just posted a review of the new Halloween-themed Minifigure 3-pack, so go check it out!

Also, a lot of "Ask X" blog posts have been surfacing. Do I hop on the bandwagon and start my own? Hmm...

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Series 8 Minifigures Haul (Update)

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Sep 10 2012 · 149 views
Series 8, Minifigures, 3-pack
Today I went to my local LEGO Store to plunder some Series 8 Minifigures. I reviewed the 8 Series 8 minifigs (clever, ain't I?) over here, so check it out for pics and entertaining descriptions. :P I posted a teaser below:

Lederhosen Guy
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Yodel-lederhosen-hoo!


Lederhosen Guy is adorable. Just look at that smile; you know he's enjoying life so much more because of the sheer joy wearing lederhosen brings. He also loves pretzels (new mold!). Feel for the pretzel, and it will guide you to a world of happiness. A world of lederhosen.


Also, while at the LEGO Store, I noticed some new sets. Remember the recent beach set that contained the Hula Girl, Surfer, and Surfer Girl from the Series Minifigures? Well, two new similar sets are now in the LEGO store, and I snapped a quick pic of them.

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Click for larger image.


I sent this into news, so maybe you'll see an article about it. :)

UPDATE: Apparently, LEGO has these on its Shop@Home site. They are the Halloween Accessory Set and the Rock Band Minifigure Accessory Set.

ALSO ZOMBIE MINIFIG AAAHHH!!!

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Set Review: 6755 Sheriff's Lock-Up

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Sep 02 2012 · 82 views
Wild West, Review, Sheriff and 2 more...
It's over here in the LEGO Sets discussion forum, since they want people to post there. Go check it out! 8D

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Set Review: 6769 Fort LEGOREDO

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Jul 23 2012 · 330 views
Fort LEGOREDO, Western, Bandits and 2 more...
In continuing my trend of reviewing 90s LEGO System sets, I'm turning my criticism to one of the most beloved, nostalgic LEGO sets arguably of all of LEGO's existence.

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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Ah, the desert. Something about it inspires adventure. Perhaps it's the survival aspect of it. Anyway, the box pulls off the desert background very nicely, and the action of a bunch of cavalry men attempting to catch bandits gives off the Wild West feel. Also, the back of the box has alternate models, which LEGO doesn't do anymore and is something that I personally miss a lot from the newer sets. The large set also has the flap on top which opens to reveal the interior of the box. The plastic/cardboard sheet inside was used to preview minifigs and/or exclusive/unique pieces, but seeing as mine was used, this is not the case here. :P

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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This set is rather ridiculous with the space its pieces take up, so I couldn't organize them completely. There are 668 pieces total, which makes for a mild build. I think I built it up within an hour, since the build isn't terribly difficult. Also, I couldn't help but hear Gerudo Valley in my head as I was building. I can't imagine why. :P

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These pieces and the 1×2 and 1×4 log pieces are extremely prominent, in case you couldn't tell.


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.

There are four 16×32 baseplates in this set (no, I'm not kidding), so the build is split up into four parts. First, let's look at the entrance. the entrance:


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A fort? That's easy! Feel free to follow along with my simple step-by-step instructions. I make building FUN!!


The entrance is pretty...entrancey. The watchtowers are cool, even though (as seen from the back) they have no ladders to lead up to them, so one must wonder how a guard could get up there to look out from there. The doors are barricaded from the inside with a bar made from a 1×10 plate and two 1×2 hinge pieces, as are the other doors on this set. It's pretty cool how they designed that (it is a fort, after all).

Now, the walls:


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The first wall is rather nondescript. Just a guard wall with a ladder leading up to the top.

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The second wall has a little more going on. There's a side entrance and a rock wall made with, which I recently found out is called, a Big Ugly Rock Piece (BURP). The cactus at the bottom of the wall hides a cache of coins. This wall also has an actual tower on it to place a sentry in, which is cool. We also have a flag like the one at the entrance adorning the tower.

The final part of the set is headquarters:


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This is my favorite part of the set, as it actually has something going on other than being a wall. The headquarters reminds me of the Hydeout in the Borscht Bowl Club from the first case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. It has its secrets, like the hiding place in the chimney behind the fireplace.

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I don't know what you're talking about; I'm not hiding anything.


Or the spinning table that sends the bandit or cavalry member to the prison/floor below.

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You have a full house? I only have a two pair: a pair of ones, and another pair of ones.




Here, you can see the Colonel and Dewey Cheatum (no, I did not make that name up) playing at the aforementioned table. Rotate the table counter-clockwise, and Dewey ends up doing time for the vast number of card-based crimes he's committed.

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Not pictured: The incarceration of whoever came up with the name "Dewey Cheatum."


The room is accessed by its minifig regulars by a set of stairs that can also be found in the LEGO Studios Vampire Crypt, along with others.

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Now that we've covered the set itself, let's go over the minifigures:

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There are two factions. Let's first go over the bandits.

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From left to right, we have Black Bart, Flatfoot Thompson, and (*sigh*) Dewey Cheatum. Of all the figs, I think Dewey's is the coolest. His playing cards style vest and top hat clash a lot with his nasty gold-toothed scowl. It's as though class and hillbilly merged. Flatfoot Tom has a great western villain face, and Black Bart always struck me as the muscle of the gang.

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The cavalry contains three soldiers, two lieutenants, and the colonel (whose face somewhat resembles that of the LEGO Chess king). Since this set is the headquarters of the cavalry, it contains the largest number of their figures, which is definitely a plus for this set.

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I may have shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot this guy.


This set does not contain the sheriff (but Sheriff's Lock-Up does, and I hope to find a good one soon...), but it does contain his deputy. He has a white hat and hair and a sweet cowboy vest. Not much else to say about him; however, he looks to me like he's always chill about everything, even if a gunfight were to start.

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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Other than the doors opening and closing and the table trap that leads to the prison, there isn't really that much functionality with this set, which disappoints me a little bit. However, this set is a great setting for a western adventure, so while there isn't much to do with the set, there is a lot that someone could come up with at the set.

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


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Who shot first, Dewey or the Colonel?


This set, being a very nostalgic set, is quite pricey. If you can find this set for less than $100 and you want this set, grab it. I understand why it's so loved, but I personally wouldn't place it as more important than, say, Pharaoh's Forbidden Ruins or Night Lord's Castle.

Pros
What's to like?
  • Big
  • Many minifigs
  • Classic theme
Cons
What's not to like?
  • Price
  • Not much functionality
I hope you enjoyed this one. :) For the gallery, go here when it becomes public. :)

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Set Review: 9473 Mines Of Moria

Posted by Akano Toa of Electricity , in Set Review, LEGO Jul 01 2012 · 190 views
Moria, LOTR, Lord of the Rings and 2 more...
Today, we take a journey to Middle Earth and take a look at the LEGO reimagining of the Mines of Moria.

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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I really like the LEGO LOTR logo with the one ring on Sauron's finger in the upper right corner along with the map of Middle Earth in the background. The back highlights various parts of the set. I do like their cave-like choice of background for the front picture.

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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This set comes with four bags of pieces which build the well & Balin's tomb, the wooden doors, the center of the wall, and the outsides of the wall. The build took me about 2-3 hours or so (not counting distractions). I must admit that at times I jumped the gun with some of the smaller pieces and thought I had run out of pieces, meaning that I was frantically searching my pile of pieces for I piece I simply misplaced during the build, so follow instructions carefully. :P

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Again, this set does come with stickers (grr!) for some of the detail, such as the dwarves' record and Balin's tomb.

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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I totally forgot the cave troll in this pic, sorry.


The set consists of three main parts: the wall, the door, and the tomb and well.

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The door has some pretty good detail, but some of that is provided by stickers with the wood plank patterns. They also included the axe that locks the doors shut for about 10 seconds from the movie, and this axe has a metallic copper blade, which I thought was cool. I also like the use of spyglass pieces as torches. Looking from the back, the wall on the right has a lever that makes it fall.

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I like the detail of the cave troll; however, he has absolutely awful balance while holding his hammer, so the number of poses he can have while wielding it are limited. He has a tendency of falling forward, since his mold is rather forward-heavy, even when not wielding the hammer. If you have studs beneath his feet, then he should be fine, but he's rather unstable just standing on a table.

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The wall consists of bookshelves with some of the oldest books stickers can convey. There is also some of the dwarves' treasure underneath the floor in its own little nook. For some reason the treasure chest moves in and out.

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The sides of the wall have towers that can be toppled using levers underneath them. The box shows one of these landing on the troll.

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These are my favorite parts of this set. I don't know if it's the fact that they're small and simple or if it's because these are the parts most focused on in the movie, but I love the well and the tomb. The tomb actually opens to reveal Balin's skeletal remains.

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Shouldn't Balin's skeleton be dwarf-sized?


My only qualm with the well would be that the skeleton does not have any armor/helmet on it unlike the movie. Otherwise, I love this part of the set. :)

Now, onto the minifigures:

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The heroes are very true to their movie selves save probably for Pippin; I don't really see Billy Boyd when I look at him; in fact, Pippin's face isn't too different from Shire Frodo's face. My favorite is probably Gimli,since the detail in his face, beard, and helmet are amazing. Boromir's appearance is probably second in terms of movie accuracy.

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the goblins are pretty creepy looking, and while I'd say their faces are pretty good, they seem to have too much hair (but maybe I'm remembering the movie wrong). I do like the shield that the one carries, as it's very jagged and looks goblin-made.

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All the characters have back printing on their torsos, which is more impressive on some than others. They also all have flip faces, which is amusing for Gimli, since all that changes when his beard is on is that his eyebrows go from neutral to angry. Also, they tried to make Legolas look intimidating, which just never happens in the movies. :P

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The hair/helmets of the characters all seem to be new molds to match the movies. I particularly like Gimli's helmet, which again has a lot of detail put into it (including printing).

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As far as interesting pieces go, there are quite a few jewels in this set. You also get a set of weapons that came originally in the Heroica games which I found interesting. They're mainly there to litter the ground of the tomb, probably to serve as the weapons of the dwarves who once populated the halls. You also get a bone and a rum bottle that originated the Pirates of the Carribean sets.

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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For the Shire!


This set has quite a bit of play to get out of it, since you can basically reenact the battle in the tomb with it. It's also makes for good scenery for any type of underground adventure you'd like your characters to embark on, so there's a good deal of potential. Any Lord of the Rings fan, of course, will just want to spend hours having our heroes take out that cave troll. :P

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

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For any fan of the movies this set is a good pick, since it is, I think, one of the more accurate depictions of one of the movie scenes. All the minifigures in this set, save for the skeletons and Gimli, are exclusives, so it's a must-have for those who want, well, at least half of the Fellowship. :P

Pros
What's to like?
  • Great detail
  • Very true to the film
  • The minifigures
  • Cool pieces
Cons
What's not to like?
  • The price tag
  • Cave troll is a bit unbalanced
I hope all the LOTR fans who are reading enjoy this review. For the gallery, go here when it becomes public. :)

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About Me

Akano Toa of Electricity
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Premier Members
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1,500+ posts
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+2 for Premier Membership
+1 from Pohuaki for reporting various things in Artwork


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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