Lego Architecture – Seattle Space Needle (21003) Review

space_needle

Lego Architecture – Seattle Space Needle (21003): Another in my continuing series of Architecture reviews. I mention this in my remix notes – but the scale and piece count works here so well. I know some people are not fans of the needle, but for the model – I really like how it’s come together.

 

Time to Knoll: 1.5 Minutes

knoll

Time to Build: 4 Minutes

built

 

Metrics:

  • Pieces: 57 and 27 Steps – Manual (12 Pages)
  • Price: $19.99 on Lego and $29.95 on Amazon
  • Weight 56 grams (So close to the same number of pieces.)
  • Combo Points: (1X0X1X1) = 0 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 32mm x 80mm x 12.8mm or 32.7 cm³ but as noticed there are a few extra parts so the true total is 49.5 cm³

bulk

 

Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 5 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 1 out of 5 Stars

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else?

So when I first thought about something special for the Space Needle – I noticed from Wikipedia the facts of how sturdy the structure actually was. The building was made to withstand 200mph winds which at the time was double what the 1962 building code required. So this is a scale model, so I can just scale down the speed and test this right?

Those with Aerospace engineering backgrounds likely just shouted at their computers. Because it seems to be nearly the opposite. Due to pesky things like fluid dynamics (and in this case yes air is a fluid) you need to properly match air viscosity and make sure things like the Reynolds number is satisfied. This requires a Wind Tunnel which I don’t have lying around (and considering the scale of this model – that’d be one hell of a whopper)

I still wanted to ‘destroy’ my scale model though – so thanks to some sites detailing making a homemade shake table I could. Thankfully I haven’t lost my marbles, but I also secured the base with tape (just so the shaking wouldn’t ‘pop’ it off the surface). My hope for failure is where the 2×2 Circle Plate with the technic axle meets the base plate of the model. So I tried this.

And nothing. I figured – well okay I can remove the black nameplate – surely that’s just making it too wide anyway.

And still nothing. In fact I had to decrease the model to a single 4×6 plate (I made it to surround the sides so it ‘sunk’ in.) Only then did I get the failure I want. So it seems at the end of the day the model is likely just as sturdy as the Needle itself.

failure

 

Remix: I did manage to use all pieces, and I tried many different possible ways to remix this. All the ways though just felt wrong, and even my drone (with stand) feels wrong. I know I normally seem to laud sets where remixes come easy, and that good sets allow you to easily make new things. However I also really appreciate this build. Aside from it’s simplicity I get the sense that no matter what I did – this wanted to be the Space Needle. Kudos to the designer Adam Reed for his fine work.

alternate

 

Final Thoughts: Again another pleasing model from the Architecture line. In fact my only real complaint is that only residents from Seattle would enjoy this. Unlike Big Ben, or the Tower of Pisa and other historical landmarks – this lacks an appeal to, well sense. It’s like – you could easily have some of the more iconic locational sets – even if you’ve never been there. This however lacks that same appeal. (Unless of course you have the whole line of Architecture in which case get them all)

Final Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Lego Creator – Forest Animals (31019) Review

main

Lego Creator – Forest Animals (31019): Another Creator series this time, although we trade in dinosaurs for mammals (and a bird). This is a weird set for me, it says Forest Animals but honestly squirrels and monkeys are kinda very different forests. Plus a Teddy bear instead of an actual bear? Also the Toucan is almost not needed – a black 2×2 plate is all there’s used in the alternate builds. (not that I don’t think the Toucan adds a nice bit of color and variety to the set – but for a 3 in 1 build these doesn’t jive as well as say last week’s dinosaur set did.

 

Time to Knoll: 13 Minutes

knoll

Time to Build: 21 Minutes (Monkey Build) It was 4.5 Minutes for the Toucan

monkey

12 Minutes (Bear Build)

bear

16 Minutes (Squirrel Build)

squirrel

 

Metrics:

  • Pieces: 272 and 271 Total Steps – Manual but there are 3 builds, in total. (57, 31, and 33 Pages)
  • Price: $19.99 on Lego and $15.72 on Amazon
  • Weight 165 grams
  • Combo Points: (9X19X3X3) = 1,539 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 32mm x 48mm x 169.6mm or 260.51 cm³

blob

 

Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 4 out of 5 Stars (though the squirrel build is weak in my mind)
  • Fun to Build: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 3.5 out of 5 Stars Good hinges and small bits.

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else?

So then, what else for the set? I was originally gonna look up and try to compare the genetic diversity of the creatures (maybe try and find/build a common ancestor), but that totally ignores the Toucan in the set.

Before I leave that though – do check out things like OneZoom ToL which has a nice infini-zoom look at the tree of life.

So then one thing to note then is that the three of these builds are nearly the same size – and while we can assume that a Teddy Bear is not an actual bear. (It still baffles me how such a soft-plushy version of a bear came about from one of the manliest presidents) But we can agree that the scale seems off with a monkey (at least what the model portrays which is most likely a version of a Capuchin or Spider monkey)

However this seems to be a fault in that we just needed to look to a bit more closely at Laos for the Biswamoyopterus laoensis or Laotian Giant Flying Squirrel (maybe the set should have tried for a winged squirrel) anyway though. This creature actually measures a good 18 inches (without the 2 foot tail)

As such I think it only fair we update this set to give our squirrel some wings (some added angle plates could easily be worked into the other 2 sets)

 

Remix: So for this remix I was able to get away with not adding or removing a single piece – and using the whole set. I’m also quite pleased with my little desert vignette of a drying up desert oasis complete with massive happy sun, and some adorable creatures.

remix

Aww the spider is so cute.

adorable

If you’re wondering though – yes this does mean that the underside looks like a maw of a creature.

themaw

 

Final Thoughts: I will admit I like a lot of parts of this build, particularly faces, and there’s some novel techniques in the build so things look right. I’ve also just realized my sun looks like Aku Aku from Crash Bandicoot. Overall though I think there’s a lot more you could get from other sets for a goal to build creatures like this.

Final Score: 3 out of 5 Stars