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J.A.F. Team

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Just a lesser evil, born unequal

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Review: Ninjago Master of the Mountain

Review: Ninjago Master of the Mountain

Yeah, so this isn't quite a standard review, but rather a discussion about the theme and the TV series. I actually fell behind on the Ninjago TV series and recently caught up with it on Netflix.  The shorter episodes were a bit off-putting, but they still tell a decent story, with the occasional break to focus purely on side characters.  (And the fact that sometimes they switch to a more anime-like animation style was neat too.)  The fact that the last season heavily focused on Cole was bit

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Review: 71722 Skull Sorcerer's Dungeons

Review: 71722 Skull Sorcerer's Dungeons

And now to move onto the biggest set of the themes... More photos on Instagram: The build process Set highlights and action features The minifigures 71722 Skull Sorcerer's Dungeons is $99.99 and has 1171 pieces.  And it is good. Ninjago has done a bunch of big based before, but something about this one feels like more of the adventurer big sets from the late 90s... y'know, the ones I never was able to buy but admired a lot in the magazines.  Part of this has to do with

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Review: 71721 Skull Sorcerer's Dragon

Review: 71721 Skull Sorcerer's Dragon

So I've been forced to relearn how to deal with images in BZP blogs.  (Yeah, this isn't the highest traffic place around anymore, but how else am I supposed to scream my thoughts out into the void??)  Flickr restructured and became unusable for a large quantity of images, and Brickshelf is another older platform that I just don't use that much anymore.  I was trying to go for the Instagram route for photos of sets to do quick reviews on, but then embedding broke on BZP (I don't know which side i

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Review: Spinjitzu Burst Packs

Review: Spinjitzu Burst Packs

I got a handful of Ninjago sets this last month, so I'll start out the new year by looking at some of the Ninjago "Master of the Mountain" sets from last year! First up: The Spinjitzu Burst spinner packs. More photos and videos on Instagram In case it wasn't obvious, I'm a sucker for exclusive Ninjago figs, and the various spinner packs are always enticing for their new figs, even if they are generally lackluster in the builds.  This batch is another spinner you set off by s

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Review: 70436 Phantom Fire Truck 3000

Review: 70436 Phantom Fire Truck 3000

More photos on Instagram. The first wave of Hidden Side was pretty great, but the second wave was lackluster.  Designs improved again in the third wave, and I think the highlight is the Phantom Fire Truck.  It goes for $59.99 and has 760 pieces, including some newer elements.  Not bad. This reminds me of the upgraded school bus from last year.  The front of the fire truck is well done and lots of nice details.  In particular, I like the wheel guard designs they came up with here, very

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Review: 71717 Journey to the Skull Dungeons

Review: 71717 Journey to the Skull Dungeons

More photos on Instagram. I'm a sucker for Ninjago sets, and the new Skull Dungeons theme looks pretty crazy.  I want some of the larger sets but don't currently have the budget for them, so I picked up the cheaper one earlier this year to get the figs and get into the theme.  It's 401 pieces for $29.99, so not a bad value. So this small set doesn't appear to be any major location, but mostly builds a rock ledge with some steps leading up to it.  That premise is actually kind of boring

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Review: 75939 Dr. Wu's Lab - Baby Dinosaurs Breakout

Review: 75939 Dr. Wu's Lab - Baby Dinosaurs Breakout

More photos on Instagram. Okay, Jurassic World continues to push out lackluster sets that I want just for the dinos.  (The big one this year with the Ankylosaurs is pretty bland, but I want it for the Ankylosaurs!)  This set is cheaper but it definitely shows.  All the same, you get two baby dinos here; a small baby Ankylosaurs and a slightly larger baby Triceratops.  The set is almost worth it for the two dinos alone; and if you're not interested in them, then don't bother, as the rest of

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Review: 60202 People Pack - Outdoor Adventures

Review: 60202 People Pack - Outdoor Adventures

More photos on Instagram. This is actually one of the minifigure collections released last year, but I only just got around to opening it recently.  It's $39.99 for 164 pieces, which is a lousy value.  But it has 14 figs and a few other exclusive parts, so the price is somewhat reasonable for a fig pack. I believe a few of the fig torsos may be unique, but I'm too lazy to go do the research.  As it is, none of them really stand out as must-haves, but they are also all generic enough to

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Review: 75250 Pasaana Speeder Chase

Review: 75250 Pasaana Speeder Chase

Yep, more stuff on Instagram. Opinions of Rise of Skywalker were mixed.  Some people hated it.  I assume others didn’t?  I walked out of the theater somewhat satisfied, but there were certainly some problems with the storytelling, and I did not have the same desire to rewatch it compared to some of the other movies.  And on top of that, most of the sets from the movie weren’t super interesting either.  (I mean, okay, they’re not bad designs per say, but they’re repeating vehicle designs aga

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Review: 71709 Jay and Lloyd’s Velocity Racers

Review: 71709 Jay and Lloyd’s Velocity Racers

The video game style Prime Empire wave of Ninjago sets is interesting.  On one hand, I love the aesthetic they have going with the white and trans lime highlights, and the figs are all great.  On the other hand, some of the builds were... less than desirable.  Not so much that they were bad, but they didn’t stand out too much from the builds of previous Ninjago vehicles and dragons.  And I have sampled a lot of Ninjago sets over the years, so it's really easy to get bored with repeated designs. 

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Review: 70427 Welcome to the Hidden Side

Review: 70427 Welcome to the Hidden Side

I’ll be out of it for a while at the end of the month, and I have some of these mini set reviews prepped, so I figure it’s about time to start getting them posted before I have to leave.  Without further ado... More photos on Instagram So this is from the second wave of Hidden Side sets from last winter, retailing at $19.99 with 189 pieces.  Except I got it for free as part of the BricksCascade Dirty Brickster game.  (If I recall correctly, I put in a Creator set from last year,

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Review: 71361 Mario Character Packs

Review: 71361 Mario Character Packs

So, Lego Super Mario.  Honestly, I’m not seeing the appeal, but then again I didn’t grow up on platform video games so I definitely don’t have that nostalgic connection.  And the not-minifig scale of the sets is a little off putting.  But I have to admit that the character packs are intriguing for the low price and interesting pieces, even if I don’t necessarily care too much about the character designs themselves.  Luckily for me, my roommate happened to come across a few of these packs at Targ

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Review: 71027 Collectible Minifigures Series 20

Review: 71027 Collectible Minifigures Series 20

More picts on Instagram So obviously I am a big fan of the Collectible Minifigures to the point where I obsessively try to get a complete collection of all the standard series.  But my method has always been to wait until they show up in stores and then feel out the bags I want.  Well, Covid-19 has greatly complicated that process.  Luckily, Chocolate Frogs was able to hook me up with a full set, and because I obsess over these too much, here’s a quick review of them individually. Dron

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Review: 80104 Lion Dance

Review: 80104 Lion Dance

So now for my favorite set of the year so far... More picts on Instagram After Lego released really awesome Chinese New Year sets last year but only in, like, the area around China, it was really cool that they came up with another wave that got a worldwide release.  I gotta be honest; I'm not super familiar with the traditions depicted here, but the builds were a lot of fun and the piece selection is great, so I had to go all in for this set. You get a stellar 8 minifigs in

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Review: 71708 Gamer's Market

Review: 71708 Gamer's Market

Oh hey I think I'll actually review a set I've picked up from this year... More picts on Instagram Okay, this is one of Ninjago's more substantial figs packs.  9 figs for $29.99?  Not bad!  Well, okay, the builds are bad, polybag level IMO.  But the weapons and accessories more than make up for it.  We've got katana in gold, silver, azure, pale green, red, and orange all in one set.  And the new gamepad weapon hilts are super fun!  Not to mention that pink sword that does fit loo

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Review: 75973 D.Va & Reinhardt

Review: 75973 D.Va & Reinhardt

More photos on Instagram So I am not an Overwatch fan by any regards.  Never played the game, was only barely aware of the characters before the Lego sets were announced.  I'll admit that some of the figs have been mildly appealing, but most of the models didn't look that great to me.  Well, except this one; the two Mechs look awesome, and having one in pink is another major draw, because I think that'll be a first for an official Lego set.  (Why haven't we seen a Friends subtheme with past

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Review: 41378 Dolphins Rescue Mission

Review: 41378 Dolphins Rescue Mission

Photos on Instagram I've honestly not purchased a lot of Friends sets in recent years.  First I started collecting from the theme because of the new pastel colors, but the novelty kinda wore off after a while (and I started focusing on the Elves theme instead) so I haven't picked up any.  But this set had a few fun pieces that I was interested to get.  And besides, I've always been tempted by submarine sets. The figs are... honestly I don't care, which is kinda unusual for me.  The des

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Review: 70678 Castle of the Forsaken Emperor

Review: 70678 Castle of the Forsaken Emperor

So I'm still too lazy to do proper front page reviews with custom pictures, write-ups, and massively edited video... and also we've stopped doing Youtube Livestreams.  But I still have a backlog of sets I want to build (and talk about) so I'll be posting a few more brief blog reviews with images via Instagram!  (Since Flickr has it's whole image count thing).  So without further ado... Ninjago's 70678 Castle of the Forsaken Emperor More Instagram photos and videos Gotta be h

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71026 DC Super Heroes CMFs

71026 DC Super Heroes CMFs

So we are now on the third wave of Collectible Minifigures featuring DC characters, only this time it's not branded as coming from The LEGO Batman movie.  I'm personally a bigger fan of the generic CMFs so the increase in licensed themes isn't always to my tastes, but I'm a sucker for good figs so I wanted to collect some.  Granted, I haven't had the most luck so far with these... LEGO Online order gave me two Green Lanterns and Joker (the latter who I did not want.)  When I visited the LEGO Sto

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Pohatu Nuva Minifig

Pohatu Nuva Minifig

Bionicle Pens strike again! Black Six recently sent me a rare Bionicle Toa Nuva pen he found at BrickFair NJ this year.  (Don't worry, I paid him back for it.)  I've been able to track down the Toa Mata pens and their mini Toa masks, but the Nuva variants have been a bit harder to come by.  Instead of a mask clipping over one of the beads, it has a pin attachment to a head shaped bead.  Sadly the pin itself isn't compatible with Lego elements, so the mask only attached to the head bead

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Set Review: 76115 Spider Mech vs Venom

Set Review: 76115 Spider Mech vs Venom

Another quick set review, picts from Instagram! More Images on Instagram This set is $49.99 with 604 pieces. I'd been eyeing this Spider-Man set for a while now, but it was a little too spendy and I had my eye on other sets.  Besides, I've already got Spider-Man and Venom, and Spider Gwen wasn't super detailed, so I tempted my expectations.  But then I got it as a birthday present, so it all worked out in the end! The figs are okay.  Spider-Man and Venom are great; super

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Set Review: 75937 Triceratops Rampage

Set Review: 75937 Triceratops Rampage

I think my new way to do set reviews will be via Instagram.  Sure, I'm limited to square photos only, but it's the easiest at the moment.  There's not exactly a ton of room for text, but I can elaborate here if I really want to! More pictures and videos on Instagram This set is $59.99 and has 447. I totally got this set for the Triceratops.  The coloring of the dino is new, but I believe the mold was reused from the 2012 Dino theme.  And we've had three or four waves of dino

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Sign Off

Sign Off

So I made this... Yay Instagram embedding.

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Ambitious Bionicle Mosaic Idea

Ambitious Bionicle Mosaic Idea

So I've helped make a bunch of Bionicle mosaics over the last nine years.  The first couple we did as a large group, but over time people's interest (and parts collection) waned, while my interest in making cool Lego mosaics has grown.  I gave up on trying to do big group projects after I ended up doing over half of the 2016 "group" mosaic, and instead Chocolate Frogs and I have done a couple of smaller size ones that have traveled around the convention circuit. But... We're coming up

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Oh No Change on BZP??

Oh No Change on BZP??

So BZP got a revamp, and only went down for a few month.  Now it's back and I have to get used to all the changes!! I think the blogs got the worst of it, TBH.  Although this does seem more in line with other personal blogs I've seen elsewhere on the internet, so it's probably a modern template that's cool for everybody but those of us (like me) who are so used to the old BZP / Invasion format.  This new one looks like it could incorporate pictures better, so that's something I'll have to s

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