Lego Architecture – Empire State Building (21002) Review

empire

Lego Architecture – Empire State Building (21002): Back to another Architecture set (as you may have noticed I have an affinity for it), but if I’m honest I’m not a huge fan of this. This is one of the 2 actual buildings I’ve seen (Big Ben being the other) and this rendition certainly captures it, but unlike Pisa or Big Ben this just doesn’t have the impact of those sets. Anyway onto the review.

 

Time to Knoll: 2 Minutes

knoll

Time to Build: 4.5 Minutes

finished

 

Metrics:

  • Pieces: 77 and 25 Steps – Manual (12 Pages)
  • Price: $19.99 (On sale for 15.98 currently) on Lego and $22.21 on Amazon
  • Combo Points: (1X2X1X1) = 2 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 32mm x 80mm x 44.8mm or 114.7 cm³ but because there’s a bit more on the top ~125 cm³

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Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 2 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 2 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 2 out of 5 Stars

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else?

So then for this week I started getting it into my head about what I would change for this set, my problem being that to get enough Tan/Brick Yellow parts I would need to start buying sets like these which are full of them. So I then began playing around with Lego’s Digital Designer – which if you’re not familiar is basically a program that let’s you build virtual Lego sets. (You used to be able to order the set, but sadly that’s no longer available, there’s always Bricklink though!)

Anyway I began cobbling about some designs, mostly doing certain sections – but hey these reviews are weekly and doing a set like that in small scale properly (and virtually) was a little out there (but hey maybe there might be a future post when I can’t have a review for the week.)

As such I decided to see how long it would take me to do the same set virtually, (15 minutes) and then offer up the file here so that others could give it a crack as well in modifications (post them in comments below!) and look forward to usage of LDD in future reviews for more grandiose purposes.

empire_digital

 

Remix: This week there wasn’t as much to work with as most everything was the same color and size. I decided to be a bit creative to move pieces around so it wasn’t as uniform and made a windmill.

windmill

 

Final Thoughts: Overall like I’ve said while I get the mindset of a set that is the most distilled essence of the set, and not an accurate representation – it’s not my favorite. Having seen the other Architecture sets this just doesn’t feel as nice – it lacks the impact that the other sets bring to the table.

Final Score: 2 out of 5 Stars

Lego Bricks & More – Large Brick Box (6166) Review

largebrickbox

Lego Bricks & More – Large Brick Box (6166): One of a few sets that came in a lot I recently bought (this one was actually still in bags!) I first thought this to be an old set, but there’s a few things (such as the different wheel types, lighter blues, etc) that make it a much more recent set (although still retired just last year). As for whether this is a set worth getting to bolster your collection let’s get into it first.

 

Time to Knoll: 16.5 Minutes

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Time to Build: 7 Minutes (For first image), then 9 Minutes for the second build as laid out by instructions (some key pieces overlap)

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Metrics:

  • Pieces: 405 and 46 total Steps across a few builds – Manual (27 Pages)
  • Price: Retired on Lego (was 29.99) and $119.99 on Amazon (Although it comes with a carrying plastic case)
  • Combo Points: (2X5X1X5) = 50 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 128mm x 128mm x 57.6mm or 943.7 cm³ at least for the main section, I divided up the top parts and the final total is actually ~989.8 cm³

IMG_0985

 

Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 1 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 1 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 4 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else?

So then before we discuss my remix, I found this set and wanted to know what was the rarest part of it. Clearly this isn’t an all-brick set like one of it’s siblings, but the pieces for the most part seemed pretty common. Thankfully with sites like Brickset, I could look into this and found it was the window pane.

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Well that’s not as exciting, so let’s pull back a bit and see what non-minifig/door/window/baseplate piece is the most rare. (With the notion of it being more likely to be reused) and we find it’s a humble Red 2×8.

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This struck me as odd, but then again while the 2×4 and 2×6 are used often, and even the longer 2×10 is more common it makes sense that with more classic sets they’re more likely to throw in 2 2×4 than a single 8.

 

Remix: Anyway for a remix here I had many doors and windows and wheels, and rather than trying to break it up, I took a bit of inspiration from Howl’s Moving Castle and made what’s below. I’m not too pleased with it, but it’s now got me looking into what it take to make Howl’s actual castle more realistically – so kudos for that, because that’s surely an interesting build that I’d I get into on this site.

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Final Thoughts: Here though I must confess that while this came to me in a lot with 2 other sets (and more) I don’t know if I’d have considered it for the even the original price of $30, but certainly not for the 80-120 it’s going for on Amazon. While it’s a great add to my collection, I wish sets like these were more likely to include darker and less often found colorings as it’s more often those that you need to complete the esoteric sets. I’m also not a fan of how the instructions for this requires you to re-use a few central parts a few times over, and that they didn’t give you multiples of that part, but that’s a more theological gripe.

Final Score: 2 out of 5 Stars

Lego The Long Ranger – Stagecoach Escape (79108) Review

stagecoach_stock

Lego The Long Ranger – Stagecoach Escape (79108): I will admit that no – I have not seen the Disney’s new take on the Long Ranger. Mostly because I’d seen Will Smith’s Wild Wild West and decided that was enough ‘odd’ western movies for me. However I was intrigued by this set, because I do love a good western theme, and the stagecoach is nice. The set itself does a few things I like most notably the play in the wheels of the coach.

 

Time to Knoll: 11.5 Minutes

stagecoach_knoll

Time to Build: 32 Minutes

stagecoach_built

 

Metrics:

  • Pieces: 279 and 87 Steps – Manual (Although the steps are set in a bunch of substeps) (68 Pages)
  • Price: Retired on Lego and $53.00 on Amazon
  • Combo Points: (7X14X1X1) = 98 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): Now see this was a bit harder this time because of different types so I split it to be more accurate. First the blocky part, 64mm x 80mm x 72.0mm or 368.6 cm³ Then the round parts for 10.81 cm³+ 12.82 cm³ + 3.217 cm³+ 0.9425 cm³ = 27.79 cm. Finally I tried to find a nice way to measure of the volume of a horse, and ended up in an article about horse sized ducks and forgot what I was doing. So we get a total of 396.39 cm³

stagecoach_blob

 

Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 2 out of 5 Stars – Western is sadly common.
  • Aesthetics: 4 out of 5 Stars – This does look nice for a display.
  • Fun to Build: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else?

So despite the fact that initial estimates had The Lone Ranger losing 190 Million. We instead have values that it actually lost 95-120 million instead. Now let’s make a few assumptions. First while right now Amazon has only 16 sets from Lego at the price of 53 USD (with other sellers having as low as 46 USD) let’s assume that all other resellers had the same price as Lego.

Let’s also assume that the 225 million of the original movie is how much it actually cost, and that the Lego sets were included in that (they weren’t). And that each Lego set sold was pure profit to make back the 94,748,943 dollars we need to break even. How many sets would we need?

About 1,787,716. Now when I considered this exercise I thought it’d be cute to have an image with an icon to show the stagecoach and then have the image go off the screen, but my image program crashed trying to do that. So let’s just go with a lot.

 

 

Remix: Anyway I am as always tasked to do a remix, and sadly I was a little stumped on what to do here. Too much of it was unique (even considering I don’t include minifigs – which I extended to the horses). So I went with an iron giant/Laputa style mecha, but while I’m pleased with some of the things I did on it – I’m not proud of it as a whole

stagecoach_remix

 

 

Final Thoughts: Overall I think my favorite part of this set is how much thought and good design went into the wagon itself. It perfectly captures that rickety feel to the parts and movement without it feeling weak or loose. Minifigs aside this could be any stagecoach really, and that’s something a lot of kids I feel would want, but then again they didn’t grow up with Johnny Depp in their western movies…

Final Score: 3 out of 5 Stars