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Team J.A.F.



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Review: 76035: Jokerland

Posted by xccj , in Review Feb 22 2016 · 136 views

To take a break from official front page reviews, I’m going to do a couple of blog review. Mostly these were sets that I was planning to review, but for one reason or another they didn’t end up making it to the front page. So here are some thoughts but without all the super details and pictures and video. (I mean, some pictures, but they’re not great quality cause I already had this on display and I wasn’t going to move it just for a photo shoot.)

The priciest Batman set last summer was Jokerland, which weighed in at $119.99 USD. It did have 1037 pieces to it, in a bunch of colors (I think all the primary colors were covered, and not just as filler either.) It came with eight figs, four models of various amusement park rides, and a Batmobile, plus a few smaller models as well. There’s a lot to it, but it is pricey, so is it worth the cost?

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The big draw should be the minifigures. You get four good guys and four bad guys, so an even lineup. However, right away there are some drawbacks, as only two of these characters are actually new in minifig form, and some don’t even have new designs. Specifically, Poison Ivy and Penguin are reused characters. The Joker’s technically new, but it’s a similar design that’s been used before, and although Batman and Robin have some updates (new cowl, duel molded legs and arms) they’re not exactly breaking ground either. Harley Quinn probably goes the farthest for a new outfit design, but it’s easy to see why there was disappointment for the others.

Still, there are two figs that are a major drawl. Beast Boy and Starfire are brand new, with recolored hair pieces. (BB reuses the elf / werewolf design with the pointy ears) Fans of the Teen Titans will surely want these two. (And bemoaning the fact that Raven hasn’t gotten a fig yet.) And they are two excellent figs... but they alone don’t make the lineup super appealing. But it worked out for me, because I didn’t have any of the other villain characters yet (given that they were previously only available in expensive sets too) so I didn’t mind the repetition. But I can see why it bothered folks.

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The first model you build is the Batmobile. This is easily the star of the set. Great use of various slopes and such give it a classic shape, and it even has a decent missile launcher mechanism. (Although, to be fair, the missiles don’t always load in properly, so that can take some extra effort.) I mean, this alone would’ve made for a great $30 set or something. It has the look and play features down; they didn’t phone in this vehicle.

Now, the rest of the amusement park rides… those are certainly weaker. On their own, I think they would’ve made for some decent cheaper sets, so this model could’ve easily been split up into five parts. But for what this set is worth, it just seems a bit underwhelming. A lot of effort went in to making these pieces tall and functional, but also sort of hollow looking. I would expect this from cheaper sets, but I think they could’ve gotten rid of a ride or two and make the others more substantial.

The funhouse mirrors is the biggest set piece, with a decent joker head on the top. The hat spins, you can rotate the eyes, and when you throw somebody through the mouth, they go down the purple slide and into the vat of spare parts. (First time I’ve actually picked up one of these new Lego slides… they work, I’ll give it that.) There’s a little room at the base for funhouse mirrors, where they use the reflective stickers nicely. (The various signs also have stickers, but they were all lame so I didn’t apply them.) There’s also a functioning cannon (which doesn’t function very well), and a brick built jokerbot, which is nice enough for its size. Still, the model looks impressive from the front, but not from the side or back. It’s like they wasted all their time designing the (admittedly cool) Batmobile.

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The next three rides feature the other villains messing with the Teen Titans. Harley Quinn can ride down a ramp and drag Robin into some fire. The design holding the cycle to the ramp works, and it even has a lever at the top to kickstart the bike and send it down the ramp. The function works, but... this thing is fragile. If you try to move it, to reposition the bike or something, the ramp (connected just via a clip) slides around or breaks off. It’s long and tall, but too flimsy.

The Free Fall ride has been taken over by Poison Ivy. The ride has some nice green pieces to it, and the stands and shell pieces in green are exclusive to this set, I believe. I do like the carnivorous plant design, probably my favorite after the Batmobile. But the seats on the ride are also well done, and while they don’t have studs, a standard minifigure will be held in place by the handlebars. The mechanism is if you hit the plant, the seats crash down to the ground, presumably without the breaking system the normal ride would have. Not sure what Poison Ivy gains from this, as she’s shown hanging from the same seats that are going to drop. All in all, with a little bulking up, this probably could’ve been its own $20-$30 set.

Finally, you have the Duckies ride. Of all the rides, this is probably the most fleshed out. It has a decent background, detailed duck cars, and a fun mechanism to spin it. (It would’ve done well as its own set... I know this because they have released a similar ride as a SpongeBob set.) Although the Penguin threw in some dynamite and some shark fins underneath it, the biggest danger for the riders is probably getting queasy as the duckies spin around.

Overall, it’s an interesting set, but quite a lot of faults that make it undesirable. A few great figs, but repeats will only appeal to those who (like me) didn’t get the originals. (I’m sure this still applies to plenty of folks, tho.) The Batmobile is excellent, and the rides all have various functions that offer plenty of play value. But I think they tried to squeeze in too many rides, and a few of them are severely lacking in heft. A lot of good parts in a lot of colors, but besides maybe the green shell / plant pieces, nothing I’d go out of my way for. This set has a few perks, and if there are enough to entice you (How much do you want Starfire and Beast Boy?), then pick it up, but otherwise, it’s still a safe one to skip.


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Review 70751: Temple of Airjitzu

Posted by xccj , in Review Feb 18 2016 · 211 views

To take a break from official front page reviews, I’m going to do a couple of blog review. Mostly these were sets that I was planning to review, but for one reason or another they didn’t end up making it to the front page. (In this case, the Airjitzu Temple was just too large.) So here are some thoughts but without all the super details and pictures and video. (I mean, some pictures, but they’re not great quality cause I already had this on display and I wasn’t going to move it just for a photo shoot.)

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The Temple of Airjitzu is one of the most expensive sets I’ve ever bought. This took a whole afternoon to build (with Hobbit making-of video in the background.) But it was certainly quite interesting, and certainly makes for a highly detailed Ninjago set.
First off, the figs. On one hand, it’s absolutely amazing that all the main protagonist characters are in the same set; it’s usually a challenge to get the full set of Ninjas, but they’re all here. I was planning on just getting this set to fulfill my Ninja collecting desire… but I did end up getting a bunch of other Ghost sets, so this will be my second full set of Ninjas. They’re all pretty cool, but then again they have all been seen before.

You do get some extras. Sensei Wu is always a nice addition, and he’s in a unique outfit here. Dareth also gets to show up in a proper set, although still without a brown ninja hood; maybe later. Clair and Jesper seem to be civilian characters; I don’t remember them in the show, and they’re basically rehashes of city characters. But whatevs, you need your civilians in Ninjago too. The Postman is a neat addition and a nice surprise, but the real deal breaker is the Misako fig. She’s played a moderate role for at least three seasons, so it’s about time she got made as a fig. And the details match the show perfectly, which is great. So if you were after this for the figs, then it’s delivers. I mean, still a bit pricey to pay $200 for twelve figs (thirteen if you count the statue) but still, they’re good.

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But the main set is also amazing, and that’s probably what drew in so many non-Ninjago AFOLs to get this set. The two smaller buildings are fairly well done and stand off well enough on their own. The Blacksmith shop has a good interior, a nice sloped roof, and a few interesting trees on the outside. The marketplace is less interesting on the inside, but they did a fabulous job using the garage door panels as the sloped roof, which also has the benefit of folding back to reveal some hidden crates.

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The overall temple tower has five main levels; the shadow theater, a tea room, a training room, a study, and a small attic. The shadow theater mechanism is build into the base and isn’t really accessible. The lever for activating the light is a bit different; it hardly has any room to move, but it turns out to be just enough to switch the light on and off, so a clever design idea. And the theater works, so very neat. Another thing that caught me off guard were the doors on the tea room level; they are actually sliding doors, and they totally work. (I expected the window pieces to go in a wall panel or something, so was pleasantly surprised with that design.) The sloped roof elements are also a neat touch, if a little flimsy at times.

The way the final product sits is angled differently than most models; it still covers about a square 48x48 base, but rotated 45 degrees, which means it can be troublesome to display. The fountain in the center is a neat touch, but I especially like the angled stairs leading to it. The bridge is also neat, but surprisingly doesn’t have a stud attachment to the main structure, so it just kind of sits in place.

There’s a lot of playability with this, from the various features in all the rooms to some of the extra vehicles. (The firework shooter has the six stud launcher, but it comes with medium azure studs, so it’s worth it. The hang glider seems like too simple of a design and I would write it off as lame... except it’s a callback to the original Ninja line, so I guess it’s also passable.) There’s plenty to role play, since you have quite a diverse cast of characters. You don’t really have any enemies, but if you’ve collected other Ninjago sets, you can have the baddies storm the temple and force the Ninjas to defend it. But it’s also a stellar piece of Asian architecture, and makes for a great display piece, which is primarily what I’m using it for. And plenty of room to showcase the figs too. (It even makes sense to put the Ninjas on the roof, because that just means they’re training.)

A great set, both for Ninjago fans and architecture fans. Good cast of characters, amazing designs, and a few neat pieces pop up here and there. (Sorry, not going to make a full list, but lots of special plates and bricks and walls that you’d expect to find in a larger structure set. Although there were four golden rings of power used in some of the pillars.) I can see why people have been praising this set, and it totally deserves it. Granted, at the price point ($200 USD) it’s not an easy buy. (Like I said, it’s tied with the Ferris Wheel as the most expensive set I’ve ever purchased.) But if you have the cash (not to mention the display space) it would be worth it.

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Review: Raptor Rampage

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 16 2015 · 170 views
Jurassic World, Dinosaur
So the other day I finally got my copy of 75917 Raptor Rampage (otherwise known as the Chris Pratt V3 parts pack) in the mail. I had ordered it for double VIP points in June, but it was backordered, so it took three weeks to get here. :shrugs: Full disclosure, I haven't seen the film, and don't feel inspired to see it in theaters either. I just assume that the raptors chase and eat people. And Owen takes them on friendly motorcycle rides.

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The figs are... decent. Owen's okay, pretty much like a cross of Indiana Jones and Star Lord. (Maybe I'll attach the Piece of Resistance to his back, just 'cus.) Claire has a good printed torso that I know I can use in custom figs, so plus there. ACU guy is boring, IMO, but I see potential for space army building stuff. Too bad this one is just a boring white guy.

The two raptors are also fun, realistic depiction aside. Movable arms and legs and neck and jaw... kinda odd that the tail doesn't pop off, but okay. I didn't get into the dino theme last time, so these molds are new to me. Nice printing and colors, and it is cool that we get two. Think the theme could've done with a few more herbivores, but I guess those aren't the exciting action ones. (For the record, I still have my Johnny Thunder Dino Island dinos, and they're great even if they're mostly large molds.)

The vehicle is... blocky. Like, this can be positive and negative. On one hand, it's large and bulky, looks like something that could take a beating. It's made up of some useful parts, particularly large plates and bricks, which I can certainly find useful, and an interesting chassis that keeps it pretty high off the ground. On the other hand, the design is fairly unimaginative. The back, in particular, is a mostly uninspired box, and there's not a whole lot of interesting designs in the cab either. Maybe I'm just jaded now as an older, more experienced builder, but I'm just disappointed in something this basic, even if I do like the pieces. Although I must admit, the clever way the turret slides in the back works. But to end on a sour note... there are stickers everywhere. I applied the one Jurassic World sticker to the hood, and that was it. For me, this set is a parts pack, so I'm not going to sully the other bricks and panels with dino scratch stickers. Meh.

Even at double VIP points, this set is overpriced at $50. I like the figs (well, two at least) and the two Raptors are nice. I'm disappointed with the truck, but don't mind the pieces that make it up. So yeah, I stand behind my statement that this is a Chris Pratt parts pack. (I haven't gotten it yet, but I think the Dilophosaurus Ambush might be a better value set. Even though the Gray fig is boring, at least the ACU trooper is non-flesh.) For the Raptor Rampage, maybe wait until you can find it on sale. (Assuming these do go on sale. I still think they're mediocre sets, but they've been flying off the shelves thanks to the movie's popularity, it seems.)

:music:


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Review: Flash Speeder

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 13 2015 · 322 views
Star Wars
The other day I ordered the 75091 Flash Speeder Star Wars set. I was planning to pick it up anyway, but I decided to wait until the Star Wars collectible poster promo, so I got that too. The set was actually pretty delightful, and I'm glad I made the purchase. Although, honestly, I don't remember this vehicle from the movie very much, but it's green, so yay!

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First off, the figs. I may or may not have wanted this set primarily for the medium nougat not-super-frowny head of the Naboo Security Guard. (I was tempted to get the $90 MTT for him last year, but that was too costly and the fig's Bricklink price was also too steep, so glad he showed up in a cheaper set.) (Also i guess it's the same head used for the not-white ACU Trooper in Jurassic World, so maybe a new standard head for diversity?) (I have a fig who needs it.) Anyway, I guess nice design, with a fancy hat, but it's the head that's important. There's also the security officer, who is just another frowny flesh-toned guy (who apparently reuses the head from Hobbit style Legolas), showing that half the people in Star Wars (and I suppose also Middle Earth) are just not happy ever. (That probably affects the force.) I do like his sand blue arms and legs, but otherwise he's kind of meh. Then there's the Gungan guy. (Do we hate him because he's Gungan, or do we just hate JarJar and the others are cool?) I wasn't too excited about him until I realized he had lavender arms... and then got less excited when I realized it was the lighter shade of lavender. (Still, a fairly uncommon arm color, just not my favorite.) Then we got two Battle Droids, and I realize that I don't like Battle Droid figs because they are way too flimsy. So, in conclusion, I guess there are a few rarer fig parts here, and while the figs themselves are detailed enough and fit with the scene, they're otherwise nothing too special.

But once you get over the disappointment of the figs, the actual ship actually is pretty neat. First of all, its green, and I like green and can always use more green pieces. But this is also a cool green design, with a lot of smooth curves and SNOT techniques. Like, there are a bunch of curved green slopes, and I like that. (I guess I wish there had been some green cheese slopes, cause I could use more of those, but you only get two 1x2 cheese slopes.) Another interesting design bit is that the interior has offset seating for four, which is a neat trick, and I like the backrest designs too. Even cooler, IMO, is the door design, in which the sides just entirely lift up. Wasn't a feature I was expecting, TBH. The blasters on the back have a decent range of motion and such, so I guess they're okay. Oh, and there are small hidden compartments in the headrests in the back, which ends up working quite well.

The set comes with 312 pieces (plus a few extras) and a bunch of them come in green, so as a parts pack it definitely excels, at least in my book. (Granted, not a lot of rare pieces, but the 10 length green curved slopes are exclusive, so I'm pleased enough.) The figs are worth more for their parts than their whole selves, and end up being a little underwhelming, even if I can find a use for those parts. And the set itself has a great, smooth design, a bunch of nice features, and it's fairly sizable and swooshable. And it's only $29.99 USD, so it's fairly affordable. (Gosh, I used to think $10 were affordable, and now I'm stretching it and saying $30 counts... so maybe less "affordable" and more "won't break the bank.") I think it has enough pros to be considered a decent set for most folks. But if you just don't need green slopes or really dislike the Phantom Menace, I guess maybe look elsewhere? Works for me, anyway!

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Review: Naida's Epic Adventure Ship

Posted by xccj , in Review Mar 19 2015 · 205 views

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Click for Review

TL/DR, it's a great set, lots of rare pieces, go buy it now.

NOW!

Unless you already have it. I mean, you could always buy a second one, but let's not go crazy here.

:music:


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5002641 Bionicle Hero Pack Review

Posted by xccj , in Review Mar 02 2015 · 377 views

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(Click for Review)

Somewhat surprisingly, this is my first EVER Bionicle review posted on the BZPower front page. My first review was Ben 10, right after the higher staff had all claimed the Bionicle Stars sets in 2010, so I never got a chance to review em back then, and I got disincluded from reviewing the first Gen 2 wave this year. But I managed to sneak one in. Coolio.

Eh, it's a lengthy review for what boils down to an exclusive mask. But hey, another chance to post black light photos on the front page!

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Review: Brainiac Attack

Posted by xccj , in Review Feb 15 2015 · 287 views
Supergirl
And here’s another short review. I ordered 76040 Brainiac Attack at the start of the new year, but then it got backordered and I didn’t receive it until the end of the month. But I’ve put it together and now will speak my mind on this.

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Brainiac Attack is $24.99 USD, the second cheapest DC Super Heroes set out this winter and the cheapest one to get Superman in. And you wouldn’t be amiss if you got this strictly for the figs; technically they’re all unique, although that’s slightly misleading. Superman’s head, hair, and torso are all reused from previous versions, although not necessarily all from the same fig. The only main difference is the cape, which is a new softer fabric material, unlike the paper-like capes of old. On one hand, it doesn’t fit around the necks quite as nicely, but it feels much better to touch. The new cape style is seen with the other figs too. Martian Manhunter is also not exactly new, as he showed up in a polybag last year, but he does have some more-obviously updated printing, plus the two part cape. Brainiac is completely new, with a new lime green head and tubes printed on his torso. But, honestly, he’s kind of boring. The real reason to get this set would be the unique Supergirl, who comes with a nice female torso printing, a printed skirt on her legs, and a soft fabric cape. Don’t get me wrong, the other figs are nice and certainly help build out a child’s Justice League. But since I got Sups and MM already, Kara was the one I was after.

Then there’s the actual build, because they need to include bricks with their minifigs nowadays. It appears to be some skull UFO manned by Brainiac. I confess, I’m not that deep into DC lore, so I have no idea how comic-book accurate this is. I guess it’s seen in the latest Batman game, so that makes it worthwhile. The bulk of it is pretty meh; it feels just like another standard UFO from Alien Conquest. The tentacles at the bottom are a neat touch, and I like the use of the technic beams to attach them to the craft. The most interesting design feature, however, is the skull on the front, which has some neat SNOT (studs not on top) usage, especially with the cheese slopes on the nose. Piece wise, there’s not a lot here that’s of interest. The silver tentacles elements are relatively rare, haven’t only appeared in, wouldn’t ya know it, Bionicle playsets. This is also the only set to get the 8x8x3 dome in trans neon green. Oh, and it has that new super jumper thing, which you can attach to a minifig and use to make them leap. I’m not a huge fan of it, so it’s probably not going to get used much. . . ever.

Honestly, I’m a little disappointed in this set. All on it’s own, it’s not too bad, because it comes with a good cast of character, a decent build, and all at an affordable price. But it feels too repetitive, from the UFO build to the reused figs and not enough interesting pieces. For a more dedicated fan, I might avoid this one and try for one of the others. (I mean, the Green Lantern set definitely delivers, and it’s even cheaper than this one.) Unless you want Supergirl, like I did. Since she’s currently going for $10 on Bricklink anyway, might as well get the full set with her for just a little bit more.

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Review: Allegra from Galidor

Posted by xccj , in Review Feb 08 2015 · 731 views

Hah, bet you weren’t expecting this one! (I dunno, is there any expectation really? “Oh look, he’s blogging again about some set he likes. Better keep scrolling.”)

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Anyway, last month I was in a BrickLink store and saw they had like half the pieces to this set, which was one I’ve considered for a while (out of Galidor sets.) But then I found a store that was selling the original set for less than buying all the parts individually, so I just went with that. And even though we know the theme failed miserably, I’ll review it to find out why! :P

Allegra was the second human of the Galidor characters and only female. Um, that’s all I know about her background. I guess the two human characters, her and Nick Bluetooth, were warped to some alternate dimension, where they could swap out limbs between a cast of alien allies and fight evil. I don’t know why the show failed as badly as it did, cause that premise is not bad, per say. I’ve never watched the show so I can’t really comment on it, but I guess it wasn’t very appealing. (But I would’ve said the same about Chima, and that show lasted for a few years.)

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Anyway, onto the set. Allegra is a tall character (closer in scale to Gali Masters). She’s only made up of nine pieces, and I guess originally sold for $10, so that’s a pretty horrific price per piece value. (Oh, she also has two pieces for her robot worm pet.) Most of the joints here are click joints, similar to those used in the Bahrag and later in Knights Kingdom figures. They offer a fair amount of posability; heck, she even has bendable knees, and she came out a full year before the Rahkshi! Unfortunately, her arms don’t have elbow joints, even though her wrists do rotate. While the leg pieces can easily be switched from left to right, the design of her arms doesn’t allow for switching sides, which is unfortunate. She has another click joint in her neck, and also comes with a hair attachment. This is probably the most interesting piece here, because it has a standard axle connection. True, it is rubbery, so it doesn’t fit in standard axle holes quite as well as it should, but it allows for some more versatility. I’ll need to find a way to use that piece eventually. All in all, the pieces are very detailed (and large) but then this also makes them a little too specialized, in a way that even Bionicle never quite achieved.

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The main play feature of Galidor was to swap around the limbs, which doesn’t sound like a terrible idea, but for Lego fans we were certainly hoping for some more options. The joint connections do fit into technic pin holes, where they’re a little loose, or even in the technic click hinge pieces like that came with the Bahrag or Knights Kingdom (or Exo Force robots or most modern mech sets. . . that click hinge design has not exactly gone away.) Granted, swapping out limbs between Allegra and Gali Mata didn’t produce the most desired effects, but it shows off what can be done.

She does come with a pet, to make up for the lack of anything alien or robotic about her appearance. I don’t know what it’s called, but it seems to be an orange worm that has robotic legs. The head has a connection point and can be detached (and connected to Allegra’s torso, for example) but overall it seems to just be a silly addition.

As an action figure, she’s not terrible. Her arms could’ve used elbow joints (I think some of the other characters had them, so she just got neglected) but she has otherwise decent posability and plenty of detail. However, as a Lego set, it’s flawed, partially for having too few pieces, but mostly because those pieces are not very compatible with standard system or technic bits. Even when they do connect, the style of the Galidor pieces is just too organic. It’s a Lego Brand action figure, and let’s just keep it at that. They improved their character buildings later on with things like Knights Kingdom, Ben 10, and this other theme called Bionicle, which both predated and outlasted Galidor. Still, Galidor has the knee joints first. Sorry, Rahkshi, you were a year too late.

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Review: Jasmine’s Exotic Palace

Posted by xccj , in Review Feb 07 2015 · 183 views
Jasmine, Aladdin
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The Disney Princess theme has reused the Friends Mini-doll design, but while the characters were recognizable, I never really got into the theme last year. But then they released an Alladin set, 41061 Jasmine's Exotic Palace, and since itwas one of my favorite Disney movies, I decided that I should pick this one up.

There are quite a few small builds, and most are fairly unimpressive. There’s a tree, a stand for the lamp, a fountain, the magic carpet, a shopping stand, and a palace entrance. Most of these are small landscape builds, and while they’re not particularly bad, I felt they lacked substance. (But maybe it works for the target audience, of which I am not.) The palace entrance has a somewhat decent build, and I wish some of the other parts had been sacrificed to make that part a little more impressive. However, my favorite part is the magic carpet, which has a basic flat design but some lovely printing. (Stickers are used elsewhere in the set, which I didn’t apply, but the tiles used on the carpet are printed.) The original carpet has the slot for Jasmine to wedge her legs onto, and a stud for the tiger, but I revised it a bit in the image above.

Jasmine is a decent mini-doll figure, although the generic face seems a little off to me. The hairpiece is excellent; it’s rubbery but highly detailed, and looks just as good on a standard fig too. The torso and legs also have printing to really pull off the character’s look. She also comes with her tiger, Rajah, but he is was too small to be the fully grown tiger from the movie. More likely this is the tiger cub version after he got transformed, but since that was not a fun time in the movie for them, let’s just pretend that this predates the events in the movie and he’s only just a cub. (Oh, I think it’s just the same tiger mold used in the friends jungle sets last year.)

The set comes with 143 parts for $19.99. It’s not an amazing value, and there aren’t any spectacular pieces here either that demand such a price, so it must be entirely the licensing cost. There are a fair amount of pieces in tan, medium lavender, and gold. Interesting or unique pieces include the 1x2 foot plate in blue, 2x4 blue printed tile for the carpet, 4x4 plate and 1x2 plate with clips in Keetongu orange, 1x2x5 medium lavender brick, medium azure 4x4 round plate, speckled trans purple 1x1 round cone, gold 3x3 quarter dome, gold cream top, gold lamp (probably not THE lamp, just a replica), and a white inverted dome. So while a fair amount of rare recolors, the set does seem a little costly for what you get. Maybe if they had made it $10 more and made the palace most substantial, it would’ve been nicer. Or, alternatively, get rid of some of the some of the smaller models (or the palace bit entirely) and have Jasmine and the carpet for $10 less.

Overall, I don’t think it’s the best set you could pick up, especially compared to some of what the Friends line has to offer. But the character is recognizable and popular, so that’s what will probably make this set sell. Maybe we can look forward to a larger palace set in the future with maybe Aladdin and the Genie included? Wishful thinking, maybe.

:music:


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Review: Ezra’s Speeder Bike

Posted by xccj , in Review Feb 06 2015 · 221 views
Star Wars Rebels
Onto more quick set reviews!

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Today I’m looking at 75090 Ezra’s Speeder Bike. This is from the new Star Wars Rebels cartoon, which is actually pretty decent. It features Ezra, the main character and a Jedi-in-training, along with ally Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian, against a generic Stormtrooper. Ezra and Stormy have appeared in last year’s Rebels sets. (In particular, this exact Stormtrooper, who I guess has some slightly different printing, including blue vents, that makes him stand out from others.) Sabine, however, is the last of the Rebel crew to appear in minifig form. While Ezra’s character looks close enough to the cartoon version to work (although maybe a little taller than he should be. . . guess they don’t want to give him short legs) Sabine’s character looks a little off. The hair piece especially seems too large for her (and I do believe it is a new mold?). Maybe the slenderness of her character didn’t translate into fig form very well. Normally that doesn’t bother me, but it does this time. :shrugs: She also doesn’t have her colorful Mandalorian helmet, but it sounds like they’re saving that for a pricier set this summer, so maybe she’ll look better then.

As for the bikes, my first reaction was disappointment when I realized both have the same designs with just different colors. Like, it’s not even a Toa Inika kind of thing where the structure is the same with some different armor and weapons; these bikes are completely identical, with only color differences to set them apart. But after building the bikes, I find that this doesn’t bother me too much, because they have some excellent builds. There’s a lot of interesting SNOT designs (studs not on top) and a bunch of curved slopes that really makes the vehicle have a smooth exterior. I know I’m not a very knowledgeable Lego Star Wars fan, since I really only started collecting a few years ago, but these are the best Speeder Bike designs I’ve seen. (And I’ve bought like 3 other sets that came with one, so at least I have some experience on the matter.) As it is, I’m totally fine having the same design repeated twice, because it’s a good design. (Like the Bohrok. . . although I won’t be buying twelve different speeder bikes just for a completion’s sake.) Anyway, they’re stable and relatively swooshable, and having two of them means you have a fairly even field as far as the chase goes.

As far as pieces are concerned, you get 253 in a $19.99 USD set. That’s actually a pretty good value, as far as Star Wars sets are concerned, even if a lot of those are small detailing pieces. You get a bunch of SNOT bricks and brackets, and a fair amount of curved slopes, including a few exclusive ones in dark green. Plus, the trans bright green 1x1 studs for Ezra’s stud launchers, which are still a fairly uncommon piece. Oh, and Ezra has a light-sabor coming out of some binoculars; this makes absolutely no sense unless you’ve seen the show, but there is a reason for it. IMO it looks cooler in the show.

Anyway, it does seem like kind of a niche set for those who watch the cartoon and not so much for those who only follow the movies. (But hey, they’ve been doing Clone Wars cartoon sets for a while too, so nothing new there.) Still, good characters (or passable, in Sabine’s case, even if she could be better) and great bike designs make it worthwhile. If you’re interested in the material anyway.

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July 2016

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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
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