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On Fleas and Flick Missiles

Aanchir

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I was just in my room playing with Breez Flea Machine, a set that I got at the LEGO store last week. It's been on my wish list since before it came out, because I really love its design. The LEGO Group really showed great creativity with this year's Invasion from Below sets and I think it totally paid off. Generally the set meets all of my expectations.

 

Non-traditional design? Check. Its tripod build and heavy use of Technic really help it stand out from previous Hero Factory sets. It's also helped by its bulky leg armor and tiny feet, which give it a very nimble look (though with only three legs and such a tiny footprint, it can't hold TOO many different poses).

 

Great parts? Check. The Bright Yellowish Green square shell detail pieces are great. It DOES have a lovely printed shell like the other machines, though it's a different size and color than usual. The mini-heroes in general have great designs, and Breez is no exception. I'd be amiss if I didn't also mention the cool new cocoon petals!

 

Awesome functions? Check! At first I was a little bit disappointed with the claw, because it snagged every time I tried to flick it so I thought I'd be forced to extend it manually with the "Hand of God". Laaaaame. But then I realized that it was just the winch that was getting caught. If you unwind the winch before firing, it works like a charm! Then you can use it as a grappling hook, and the set even includes a zip-line piece that came out during my childhood, so Breez can slide down the cable to traverse a gap! It also works nicely for grabbing and retrieving the cocoon.

 

Plus, she even comes with a click-shooter — the first one I've gotten in a set, though I bought some from a vendor at Brickfair back in August. For those who aren't aware, these are tiny handheld shooters that fire a 1x1 round plate with surprising distance and power when you press the trigger. Considering how bulky, obtrusive, and difficult to integrate many previous LEGO shooters have been, this thing feels like a dream come true! The variations on the concept coming out next year will hopefully have similar efficacy.

 

But then there's something else. A regular flick missile launcher. And when I was playing with the set earlier, I couldn't help thinking this was probably one of the set's least impressive functions. Don't get me wrong, I love flick missiles! Or I did, back when they were one of the most compact, least obtrusive, and most versatile launcher designs. This year the LEGO Group introduced lots of amazing new launchers, including the click shooter. With a basic click shooter already in the set, I thought a pair of flick missiles would be kind of pointless and superfluous. It's not like they'd even work that well just slapped on the side of the set like that, right?

 

Well, it turns out I was wrong. Maybe I've been wrong for the past five or six years of my life, in fact. Maybe everything I know is a lie. Because just on a whim, I flicked that missile, expecting it to fly maybe eight or ten inches. And instead, like some kind of miracle, it sailed three or four meters, over my twin brother's bed, and landed in the far corner of the room. I actually thought it had misfired and gone straight into the ground before I heard it land on the other side of the room.

 

I was flabbergasted. Flick missiles aren't supposed to work that well. Not from my experience. Probably not from MOST people's experience, judging from all the hate I see for them in reviews. Surely this had to be some kind of fluke, right? After I found the missile, I returned it to the launcher and decided to try again. This time, I kind of screwed up. Instead of launching one missile, my finger accidentally hit both. Great, another misfire, I thought, before I heard yet another click of a tiny plastic missile hitting something hard on the far side of the room.

 

I found the first of the two missiles in the closet, about as far away from where I launched it as the previous launch had taken it. I still haven't found the second. Maybe I could get a blacklight to help look for it, since it does have a convenient fluorescent green tip. It didn't land in either of the trash cans over there, so it will have to turn up eventually.

 

But wherever it ended up, today I learned something amazing. Discounting the possibility of witchcraft, or the possibility that the last hour and a half of my life has all been some crazy dream... my flick game is surprisingly strong.

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You're just developing your mutant strength. Unfortunately, you shouldn't have posted this, cause now the Sentinels will use it to track you down.

 

:P

 

Tis a good set, but one issue here: Bright Yellowish Green? What's wrong with "Lime Green", LEGO?

 

:music:

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I don't mind flick fire missiles, but I also don't use them too often because there's an air vent in my room's floor and it's just begging to swallow any vagrant lego pieces. (it's eviiiiiil) Also they're just generally easy to lose. (case in point, I just picked up my Eris Eagle Interceptor and tried out one of its wing missiles and now I think it's either partying among my laundry or lost forever (way to go me))

 

But no yeah, these things can go pretty far. At least if you do it yourself. I've found that functions that are meant to fire them for you suck. Gorzan's Gorilla Striker's six chest-missiles are a hilarious and hardcore little feature that I love, but would love more if they didn't just fall to the floor after an inch or so. Not cool.

 

(and they seriously so easy to lose. there go my croc-copter missiles....)

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I like flick missiles when well integrated into the design. Unfortunately, only one out of every hundred sets featuring them do so. In pretty much every IFB set, they've been slapped on like an afterthought.

 

Also, I can't take the flea machine seriously because one of my siblings says the name sounds like what a grouchy neighbor character calls a protagonist's dog as an insult. Like, "Emily Elizabeth, get that big red flea machine out of my yard!"

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Tis a good set, but one issue here: Bright Yellowish Green? What's wrong with "Lime Green", LEGO?

Well, funny you should ask that! Back in the day, many of the official color names were developed according to a VERY organized system. Not all, mind you — there were some perplexing color names like "Light Orange Brown" (Bricklink's Earth Orange) even back in the old days — but many. And unlike Bricklink names, many of these official names help emphasize the RELATIONSHIP between certain seemingly unrelated colors.

 

Here's a chart I made showcasing the relationship between many of these colors. Bright Yellowish Green is called that because it literally occupies the space between Bright Yellow and Bright Green, the same way Bright Yellowish Orange (Bricklink's Medium Orange, the color of the Gukko's beak) occupies the space between Bright Yellow and Bright Orange or Bright Bluish Green (Bricklink's Dark Turquoise, or what BIONICLE fans call "teal") occupies the space between Bright Blue and Bright Green.

 

This chart also helps demonstrate the reasoning behind some of the less intuitive LEGO color names. The official name for Mata Brown is Earth Orange, and you can see here it has the same relationship to Bright Orange (Mata Orange) as Earth Blue (Metru Blue) has to Bright Blue (Mata Blue). The official name for Bricklink's Dark Tan is Sand Yellow, meaning it is in the same family as colors like Sand Red, Sand Blue, Sand Green, and Sand Violet. Tan, in turn, is officially called Brick Yellow. On another interesting note, Mata Green (classic LEGO green) is not actually called Bright Green like most other Mata colors, but rather Dark Green, which lies midway between Bright Green and Earth Green (Metru Green).

 

Sorry for rambling... you really shouldn't get me talking about colors! I can go on for hours!

 

But no yeah, these things can go pretty far. At least if you do it yourself. I've found that functions that are meant to fire them for you suck. Gorzan's Gorilla Striker's six chest-missiles are a hilarious and hardcore little feature that I love, but would love more if they didn't just fall to the floor after an inch or so. Not cool.

I think it depends on the design. For starters, flick missiles angled upwards get better range in general than those just angled forwards. Also, you generally won't get such good range from ones that fire multiple missiles at once as from those that fire them individually. At least, not reliably. I do remember getting good results from 5982 Smash 'n' Grab from the Space Police III theme, which has a very simple mechanism to fire the two individual missiles on the front.

 

I like flick missiles when well integrated into the design. Unfortunately, only one out of every hundred sets featuring them do so. In pretty much every IFB set, they've been slapped on like an afterthought.

Normally I feel sort of the same way. I mean, they don't BOTHER me a lot even when they're just slapped on, because I don't feel they really hurt the design (in this case, in fact, they actually help balance the design on a visual level since the click shooter and zip line are stored on the other side of the machine), but on a set that's already got plenty of other more interesting and well-integrated features they often do tend to feel a bit... superfluous. That's part of why I was so utterly surprised at how well they worked here. I expected them to be the most lackluster play feature. Instead, they worked astonishingly well.

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You're just developing your mutant strength. Unfortunately, you shouldn't have posted this, cause now the Sentinels will use it to track you down.

 

:P

 

Tis a good set, but one issue here: Bright Yellowish Green? What's wrong with "Lime Green", LEGO?

 

:music:

Also, actual limes aren't typically the same color as Bright Yellowish Green—they're typically more like Bright Green or even Dark Green (Mata Green). When I was talking about Bionicle colors to someone unfamiliar with Lego once, they got confused as to what the color I described as "Lime Green" actually looked like. :P

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