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Rest of the Toa Masters Short Reviews

Posted by xccj , in Review Jan 21 2015 · 80 views

So I’ve completed my collection of the Toa Masters. (Is calling them Toa Masters fine? That’s what I’m going to do anyway, I forget if it’s been used elsewhere.) I would post short reviews with pictures… but Majhost has been down for over a week, so I don’t think that’ll work, since I don’t feel list hosting blog images elsewhere. So text it is. . . if you want to see them, you know where to look. ;)

First off is Gali. My first reaction is that she needs more of that lovely dark azure. I might buy a second just to get more of those armor pieces. The thing that really bugs me about her is her shoulder armor. They attached it to the rotating beam that’s supposed to be her gear function. WHY? Not only does the armor look kinda meh (seriously, what’s the need with shoulder armor that extends above the heads?) but now it also messes up the arm functions. It has since been removed.

I’m also not a big fan of her trident. Sure, it’s a somewhat decent design, but it’s waaaay too big, especially considering she’s one of the smaller Toa. I instead broke it down into hatchets, more similar to what they wanted me to use on Lewa. (But I refused on him.) I think the new axes closer resemble her original hooks, of which I was always a fan of. Plus, their size is more manageable for her. I also took out one of the extra gears that was used in her function. She initially came with two in order to provide the friction to hold the trident, but when I got rid of that, it was a little too much friction, so I took one out to give her a little more room. (As fun as those added friction gears are at keeping things straight, they totally take away the fun of quick arm flailing by spinning the gears on the back, which is something I liked. . . but maybe that’s just nostalgia again.)

Without the bulky shoulder armor or giant weapon, Gali feels more properly slimmed down and looks quite good. Heck, I’m even getting used to the mask, which I guess invoked more of the MoL Kaukau shape. I mean, it’s still a far cry from the Kaukau and Kaukau Nuva, but it feels recognizable. (Lewa’s, however, is still a far cry from any of his previous appearances.)

Next I picked up Kopaka. I was always used to the tall and narrow versions of Kopaka, but I can dig the muscled-up version too. I do like their shoulder design for him, which fills in the gaps nicely but also doesn’t really affect his gear system at all. On some of the other Toa, I was disappointed when there was only a gear function for one of the arms, but for Kopaka this method makes sense. I do wish he had a slightly better sword (or rather a spear, I think) and shield. The pieces are good and all, but I wish his shield was more circular. (It reminds me more of Glatorian Mata Nui’s scarab shield, which is not a bad design, just for me it’s not Kopaka. Again, I think that’s mostly nostalgia.)

The elephant in the room is Kopaka’s legs. They used those 3L beams with a ball joint in the center to position armor on the front and back of Kopaka’s lower legs. I like the attempt, and the pieces are great, but gosh it looks ugly when viewed from the wide. The porportions are just entirely wrong. I quickly just put the front armor on straight to the leg joint. He’s not as armored, but it flows better. Also, his upper leg armor comes with stickers, which I regretfully applied, since armor in that style only appears in white here. But the design looks great on Kopaka, so the stickers stay. Oh, and the mask is great, probably the one that closest resembles the original. (Granted, it doesn’t quite have the circular look of the original Akaku, but looks like the Nuva. And really, if the three lenses are there, it’ll be an Akaku no matter what. Those seem to help make all of Kopaka’s masks recognizable.)

Then I bought Tahu, who is again the Toa who’s hogging all the limelight. He again has his shoulder armor attached to his rotating shoulder, which I dislike. It was easy enough to switch it around a bit so it’s connected to the front body piece, but is still kinda annoying that they designed it that way. The connection for the gold swords on the back is pretty nifty, although I preferred them angled down instead of up. His swords are a great design, resembling Lhikan’s quite a bit. It was always a shame the original Tahu didn’t have his own lava surfboard, and Tahu Nuva’s doesn’t quite compare to this new style. They make for good melee swords too. However, like Kopaka, his lower leg armor is pitiful. Those giant torso armor pieces look good from maybe one angle, but from the side or back they just look too empty. Not a bad Toa, and his mask is clearly based off the Hau, but I guess not quite my favorite.

Finally, I come to Onua. Man, Onua’s been hulked up. Like, seriously, that chest piece was originally used on the Hulk. I like their method for extending the arm functions, and adding function to it with the socket piece on the back. It slows down the motion considerably, but when he’s holding onto his massive hammer, that helps, and makes it feel like there’s some force behind his swings. I do like the design of his hammer, with the Ben 10 foot piece fitting in quite well. Meanwhile, his weapons are very versatile. I like how they act as claws and armor individually, but their combination into the hammer is very awesome. Onua does come with four, but I could definitely use more. Speaking of the shoulder armor, its design allows it to cover the shoulders and gear function quite well without actually disrupting it.

Onua’s color scheme is a little out there. I love the inclusion of purple, although it would’ve been nice to see more of the trans purple limb elements included, since they appeared on the legs but not the arms, where the gray version of the piece was used. The gold armor is supposed to fit with Onua’s gold, powered up form, but I still think those pieces would look better in silver. As soon as I can get some extras, I’ll be switching them out. His torso piece also uses a sticker, unlike any of the other Toa’s torso designs, but in this case I’m fine with it, since I don’t see myself repurposing that torso armor anytime soon anyway. His mask also closely resembles a Pakari is design, but seems way too small for such a large character, especially since the original Pakari was a sizeable mask.

So all these Toa definitely have their ups and downs. The colors are all great, including a fair amount of rare shades, even if that does make MOCing in that color very difficult. The gear functions work on all of them, pending some shoulder armor redesigns. I think I have made slight modifications to all of my Toa, some more than others, because each one tended to have something about their design that I didn’t like, and also making it really hard to pick a favorite, because I have issues with them all. Still, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of collecting and building a Toa team again, which I haven’t really done since Tahu and the gang last appeared in 2008. So worthwhile sets, and now I have all six Toa on display, guarding my apartment.

I should also mention that the Skull Spiders are nice. I kind of wish the green ones had been in a more common shade, or that made of them had included stinger tails like the ones that came with Pohatu. They’re kinda meh on their own, but now I’ve got my own small swarm collection, and they’re trying to take over Benny’s Spaceship now. See, fun! I’ve also built a simple display stand for the gold masks, although having seen better ones posted online, I might redesign it.

I’m still considering purchasing the Lord of Skull Spiders and the Protector of Earth, and then maybe an extra Pohatu and Gali for their pieces. And then I need to think of some cool ways to MOC with these new pieces. (Maybe, my Toa might not come apart for a while.)

:music:


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Lewa and Pohatu Masters Review

Posted by xccj , in Review Dec 27 2014 · 152 views

Target had some more Bionicle... in fact it was one of the few Lego shelves that was fully stocked. So I bought some more. Muhaha. Now time for a quick review.

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First things first, did I either not read the Lewa reviews closely enough or did none of them mention all the new technic goodies that he came with? +oo rods and 1 length rod spacers? First one was from last year and relatively uncommon, and Lewa has four, and the spacers are new, I believe!

Since I already started... Lewa seems fairly well done. I was especially impressed with how they did the shoulder spikes, which I expected to just be another random ball joint connection, since Hero Factory did that a few times. But the proportions, weapons, general colors... all Lewa. Except for the mask, which totally ruins it. I also wish he had longer handles for his axes; I'll probably throw in a rod myself to make them that way, but the official version just seems to have him gripping them too high up. They don't quite look as good as wings as they could, but it's a nice attempt, and the duel swords work. Wish he had more green; it could totally replace the Keetongu orange without issue.

Pohatu's a nice combination of armor and lack of armor for sleekness. While his mask looked like one of the best in promo images, I think it's a little too small. The trans neon green and burnt orange isn't my favorite combo, but I like the pieces in those colors. (I again wish we'd seen more of the primary color. You could've replaced those silver shells with burnt orange.) The Boomerang weapons are fantastic and I'm tempted to buy another Pohatu just for more. (Oh, yes, and in the picture I flipped him upside-down so his hips are wide and have the gear joints.)

Speaking of gears, I generally like how they did it. The big, Boxor gears are used for the direction change of the spins, but the smaller gears do a wonderful job of stabilizing it. Plus, I like that a different technique was used between the two, and I know that some of the other Toa have different designs too, so props for multiple creative uses and not just one-size-fits-all. Although Pohatu should've been allowed to move both his arms. Or, you know, had his motion translated to his legs. But I guess that doesn't work quite as well as it did with the original sets.

Another thing that does bug me; the masks seem to fall off way too easily. I know that's supposed to be a function, but it seems the connection is just really unstable. And I feel this is the same across all the masks; skull spiders, Kakama Mask of Stone, Miru Mask of Jungle, and the Protector masks. And with such a unstable connection on the heads, I don't know if they'd be stable enough for MOCs. Sorry, I'm just not impressed. I wish they could've included axle holes or something so we could attach em if we wanted to, but I guess that takes the challenge out of MOCing with new pieces.

And now that I have four of em, I want to MOC with the dark blue spider masks. I'm more of a fan of the scorpion spiders that came with the stone characters; it's a shame that none of the others seem to have tails. With the tail, they seem a bit imposing, less so with just the legs.

I guess I also got the protectors. Decent characters, I guess, but mostly parts packs. Like the flame pieces in different colors as their weapons. Not a huge fan of the Gatling guns, but they serve their purpose. The masks are nice in the two tones, although that will make MOCing with them a bit harder. Plus, 4 burnt orange shells with the stone protectors. Sadly, the shells are trans green on the jungle protector; could use more shells in bright green. Seriously, if they're going to introduce a new color into constraction, they need to give it more parts! (Technically I guess they're doing that with Lewa since Green Lantern Ultrafig has CCBS parts first... but still, I want more of them if I'm going to MOC in that color.)

I'm aiming next for Onua and Gali, although I'll eventually grab Tahu and Kopaka as well. Maybe also the purple Earth Protector, the other three don't really appeal to me, besides their masks, and currently the sets aren't worth the masks alone.

And that's my ranting about the new Toa. They still have to grow on me some more, but they're not half bad.

:music:


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The Real Death of Vitruvius

Posted by xccj , in Review Dec 25 2014 · 114 views

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Whoopsi.

Read set review here. Spoiler: you should buy this set. Also, Vitruvius dies, in case you didn't catch onto that already.

:music:


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Review: Series 12 Collectible Minifigures

Posted by xccj , in Review Nov 03 2014 · 88 views

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[i]Click for Review

Well, THAT was more work than it was worth. I mean, I don't know if anybody's really excited for these anymore / wants to know how to feel for them. But then, I kind of feel the same about all reviews I do lately. Like, is it really worth stressing out to get these done quickly when other sites have done the same thing already and nobody here really gives a care anyhow.

Granted, it's the only time I seem to do news anymore, so I guess I need to do it if I want to keep my job here? (Unless that's also against the public consensus :P )

I'm going to go back to sleep now and get ready for my real job tomorrow.

:music:


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Buyer's Guide: 2014 Ninjago

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Review Sep 29 2014 · 107 views
My Opinions
On the heels of my last Ninjago review for the year, I have to admit that I was a fan for this wave through and through. And I also had the budget to buy most of them. (Well, except for the Ninjago City Temple, which is still on my wish list... waiting until October for double VIP points) But just saying "Buy em all" is a poor buyer's guide, so I should think on a more limited income level. So here's a quick rehash of my opinion of what Ninjago sets to get this year. In case you hadn't decided yourself yet, of course.
  • Thunder Raider - It comes with two Ninjas and two vehicles for each (which can combine too.) Plus a decent Nindroid to boot, although he's totally outclassed. At $30, I think it's a nice, affordable way to get multiple Ninjas and an enemy character.

  • Kai Fighter - You only get one Ninja here, but it's Kai and the new hairpiece is a win. Plus a decked out General Cryptor. The jet is also an excelent design. A little similiar to Jay's previous jet, but good all the same, and nice at $20.
  • 3: NinjaCopter - This is probably my favorite vehicle of the wave, plus exclusive battle damaged Zane. You also get Pixel and Nindroid and a drone (which is kinda lamer than a full Nindroid), so good deal there too. At $60 it's a tab pricey tho.
  • Destructoid or Ninja Charger - I don't have either of these so this is a toss up really. You get good figs in each, a mid-priced Nindroid vehicle in the Destructoid (they're a little lacking in vehicles in that size), and a cool red car with Kai in the Ninja Charger. They're a little pricier ($35 and $40 respectively) and IMO the designs aren't as good as the others. But still probably fun builds.
  • Hover Hunter - The cheapest set is a bit lackluster; the drone is a lame verson of the Nindroids, and Cole's a repeat. But it's the only way to get the green techno blade, and the spinning blade function worked better than expected. Still, even with the price, it's not high on the list.
  • Nindroid MechDragon or Battle for Ninjago City - I have the former and plan to get the latter. These two are pricey: $90 and $120 respectively. But each comes with a plethora of characters (including at least two exclusives) and great designs. The MechDragon makes up for the reletive lack of Nindroid vehicles by looking super rad and awesome. Meanwhile, the Ninjago City temple is an awesome design that improves upon previous Ninjago buildings (or so it seems from the picts I've seen.) I'm sure both these sets are must haves, but at their cost I doubt everybody could afford one. If you have enough budget for just one of these, you could get it and potentially ignore the rest of the theme. But if you're tight on cash, you can still enjoy Ninjago with some of the smaller sets without needing to go bankrupt for these.
  • OverBorg Attack - Yeah, this is at the bottom of my list. It's the cheapest way to get Lloyd and only way to get Cyrus Borg, but the latter is not that exciting of a fig compared to the other Nindroids, and if you can save up for one of the pricier sets then you also will get Lloyd. Beyond the figs, the vehicles are pretty meh-worthy here, with nothing too exciting. It does kind of capture the essence of the Ninjago theme here, but I think some of the other cheaper sets do it better, and this seems to just be a cheap way to grab Lloyd if you can't get him in one of the pricier sets.
Anyway, those are my opinions, feel free to disagree or whatever. Or take my advice and purchase away! It's been a fun year of Ninjago, and I'll be interested to see where it takes us next year.

:music:


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Spikels Mixels Video Review

Posted by xccj , in Review Aug 27 2014 · 76 views

What is this?

Totally not just a video rehash of what I said in the review, plus a little bit of song and dance thrown in.

:music:


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Exo Suit Review

Posted by xccj , in Review Aug 26 2014 · 119 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!

:music:


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Spikels Mixels Review

Posted by xccj , in Review Aug 18 2014 · 203 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!

:music:


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Review: Batman: The Joker Steam Roller

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 16 2014 · 199 views
Batgirl!!, Batman and 1 more...
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Let's look at set 76013: Batman: The Joker Steam Roller. I was able to snag this set at 20% off at the Lego Store. They had a sale on a bunch of the winter DC sets, basically all the ones that were kinda lackluster. I've had my eye on this one for a while, but it never appealed to me enough to go out and get it. But this sale made it worthwhile, so I spent the money. But now how does it add up?

I don't normally mention the boxes; I do in the official reviews just to cover everything but don't really care for the packaging too much myself. However, this box seemed exceptionally thick. Maybe it was because of the wheel pieces or something, but it's just like an extra large box. Odd.

I'm not going to lie; I wanted this set for the figs. And sadly, not even for all the figs, but primarily for Batgirl. I'm not a huge Batman fan, so I can't said I've been wanted her to appear as a fig since the theme began... BUT I did like playing as her in the original video game, and I thought it was a terrible cop-out that there wasn't a real fig verson of her. But now there is, and the detailing on her face and mask is excelent. Plus, a purple cape!

Batman is more of the same, although I guess this is my first all-black one, so he'll fit right in with my Lego Movie character lineup. Short Robin (forget which verson he's supposed to be) is okay, but I'm not a fan of his facial expressions. (Eh, he'll probably die tragically or something later.) Joker is decent, but not a must-have, especially since I personally prefer some of the older versions. I guess the henchman is good for army building, but I found him kind of bland anyway.

The Steam Roller is a very decent model. It's big, bulky, and detailed. The best design is, of course, the mouth on the front, but the back side also has a lovely tractor look. There's a fair amount of SNOT here, and a decent hinge joint to control the roller. The bulkiness is mostly attributed to the large roller and wheels, but it's still a hefty enemy vehicle. What's also interesting is the use of color: there's purple (back wheels), red (mouth), orange (front rollers), yellow (side highlights), lime (back engine), and green (roof). They just need to throw in some blue and it will be a full rainbow! (Blue technic pins don't count.) Although there is a LOT of color, it seems to be fairly well balanced so I kind of like it. One bit of a fail is the flick fire balloon launchers, which don't have a secure connection in their holders like normal flick fire missiles. (Although the face printing on the rounded cone piece is a plus.)

The Bat-Plane, on the other hand, looks awful. It has a fun little function, where the wings snap forward to grab onto the Joker or smash his head in. And the function is creative and it works! But it doesn't look good. They have a lot of curved edges as they try to round out the vehicle, and those curves are sharply contrasted by the straight edges on the inside of the wings. It doesn't look iconic or even very areodynamic. Even the function is kind of hard to pull off because there's no real way to hold onto it as you set it off; if you push in on the front "bumper" then the wings snap in on your hand, and depending on the speed it could be painful. Plus, the construction has you build the two wings at the same time when they're only connected by one 1x4 brick, so the construction kept falling apart. Generally Lego seems to have these builds done independently and then added together at the last minute, so the instructions here just seemed odd.

In conclusion, I can see why this set is on sale. The minifigures are good, but only Batgirl is great, and the rest have kind-of been done before. The Joker's Steamroller is an excelent design, but the Bat Plane not so much. I think the problem with the plane is that too much effort went into creating its function, which does work, but greatly at the expence of its overall look. If you wanted a bat vehicle, there are better options out there to choose from. The pieces are decent (and there are 486 of them, which is good) but nothing is exceptional or unique (except for the purple and orange wheels.) I wouldn't recomend this set unless you reeeeeeally want Batgirl (guilty) or this has some parts that meet you needs. Even then, keep an eye out for a decent sale first.

:music:


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Review: Arctic Helicrane

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 15 2014 · 216 views
HUSKIES, Arctic, Helicrane
And now I continue on with my non-official front page reviews that take much less time to make...

Some people were excited to see the return of Arctic sets this year. Arctic was one of the last system themes I got really excited about back in 2000, right before I got consumed by Bionicle for the next 7 years. The explorers and parkas and snowmobiles and polar bears... it was a great theme. I only ever got two sets from it, but the mobile outpost one was definately a highlight. With that said, this year's theme had a lot to live up to.

And it lives up to it by including the one thing the original theme didn't cover; dog sleds!

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I picked up the 60034 Arctic Helicrane last month primarily because it was the cheapest set to get the team of huskies with. Jumping straight into that, the dogs are a lovely new mold with excelent face printing and great two-toned color. Better yet, the shading of the gray on the back varies, so each dog looks unique. The actual sled is fairly basic, but works, and the use of the Friends handle bars to hold onto the dogs is ingenious. I would've love this on its own to be the cheap set instead of the snowmobile, but I guess they'd rather use it as incentive to purchase the bigger sets.

And the bigger part of this set is the helicopter. I couldn't tell you if it is based off a real life helicopter, but IMO it looks a little bare bones. There are a lot of big, bulky pieces here, especially with the cockpit cover, making me feel cheated out of a more intricate build. (But that's just my complaint, I'm sure it's fine for a younger audience.) Basically, it feels like a long stick in which you attach the propellers, side legs, tail, and cockpit. In theory, the empty belly would get filled up with the storage device that's lifted up by the winch, so there's a very good reason it seems so empty in the middle, but the simplicity of the build still bugs me.

There are good parts about it. There's an ingeinous design for the trusters that uses click hindges to achieve a nice SNOT angle. They also use the 5L propeller beams as essentially 5L plates to hold down the larger propellers, so that's a nice trick. (And you get 10x of those 5L propeller beans.) The winch is also securely worked into the design, and although I'm not a huge fan, it works. Plus, you get 6x of the new ski pieces on the end of each leg and bottom of the cockpit. Speaking of neat pieces, the classic rock element appears in trans light blue here. (Last time they had trans light blue meteors, so that's a slight change.)

Parts wise, there's nothing exceptional besides the huskies. There are a few decent elements in orange. While orange makes sense as a safety color, I do kind of wish they had more of the blue color scheme of the original theme, but that's again just personal preference.

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The minifigs are nice, although neither is exclusive to this set. Still, like with the huskies, this is the cheapest one to get them in. I suppose the pilot is technically unique (according to Brickset) but none of his parts are. He has a classic brown jacket with some nice orange safety highlights to fit him in with the rest of the crew. I was surprised that the explorer was actually female; she seems to be in most of the sets as the huskies, so she must be their caretaker. She has a unique torso and face printing, as well as the new blue parka head piece. Again, I'm disappointed that the explorers don't come in various colors like they did in the original theme, but the consistant orange and blue scheme does make them all look like part of a team. And honestly, it's cool to see a female explorer who's not (only) in the most expensive set of the year.

This is a hard set to reccomend. The figs are good, and the huskies are excelent, but the actual helicrane is a little too basic for my tastes. It does have some decent parts, but only 262 for the cost of $39.99 is a pretty bad value. And while this is the cheapest way to get the figs and huskies, they do appear in some of the larger sets, so if you can afford those, I might go that route instead. But if you like the design of the helicrane, then there's plenty of play value to be had as you explore the arctic. (Next year I want the team to go to the Antarctic so we can get more penguin molds!)

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January 2015

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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

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

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