Lego Ideas – The DeLorean Time Machine (21103) Review

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Lego Ideas – The DeLorean Time Machine (21103): I have done this Pley service for a while now, and this is the first time I considered just absconding with the entire set. Much like my favoritism for the Midi Falcon – this ticks all the right buttons for me. It’s from something I love, it is perfect in size and scale, and above all – it is without a doubt a showpiece to keep in your cabinet/shelf/etc. Honestly I built this set and simply fell in love, and was so very disappointed to see the 85 dollar price tag on Amazon. If I see this back in stock or on the secondary market I would buy it in a heartbeat.

 

Time to Knoll: 28.5 Minutes

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Time to Build: 37.5 Minutes

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Time to Build: 5 Minutes (Add-ons to main build)

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Metrics:

  • Pieces: 401 and 63 Steps and about 15 steps for conversion – Manual (93 Pages)
  • Price: $34.99 on Lego (but Sold Out) and $83.95 on Amazon
  • Weight 215 grams
  • Combo Points: (14X34X1X3) = 1,428 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 48mm x 128mm x 51.2mm or 314.6 cm³

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Scores:

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

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else? So let’s go back to when Back to the Future first aired – 1985. Nowadays it would make sense that with a movie like BttF that there would likely be a corresponding Lego set. This however is actually a recent development with the major shift in the Lego company that started about a decade ago.

Let us however use the Brickset site to take a trip down memory lane for what sets were actually release in 1985. Most of it is actually to be expected – some Town, some Space, and something called Fabuland. There is also a technic set or two as this was actually the technical 2nd year of technic under it’s new name.

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The main takeaway from this exercise though is to showcase how much Lego as a company has changed. Most of the sets here can be considered ‘basic’ and that even the current City sets are a tad more complex. There is also a lack of anything that feels like a direct theme or product – sure Space and Town may be categories, but it’s not as direct as some of Lego’s current movie properties/Creator/set configurations.

 

Remix: So for a remix I was actually inspired by a recent “Lego with Friends” from Tested.com where Norm builds a spaceship from the Lego Movie (yes I will eventually have a review of the movie itself on this site). But I wanted to make a classic spaceship, and with all the nice piping and unique parts from the DeLorean it felt like a good fit.

21103_remix

 

Final Thoughts: Like I said, even ignoring the minifigs – this is just something that as a nerd because I know it exists – I covet it. Honestly if it wasn’t almost double the asking price I would just buy this outright to have in my showcase because it is such a perfect build. I have to say that the sets that come from Lego Ideas (Birds and Exo-suit) are just great, and I’m glad that because of the service we can get things like this.

Final Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Lego Creator – Blue Racer (31027) Review

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Lego Creator – Blue Racer (31027): A relatively small set (although not my smallest so far actually) this is a more kid-oriented Creator set which is actually why I choose to review it. Of course Lego is for all ages, but despite the age of 6 here I feel like this a good set to give kids once they get past that Duplo-eating Lego stage.

 

Time to Knoll: 3 Minutes

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Time to Build: 5 Minutes (Build 1)

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Time to Build: 3.5 Minutes (Build 2)

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Time to Build: 2.5 Minutes (Build 3)

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Metrics:

  • Pieces: 67 and 16, 15, 12 Steps (respectively) – Manual (26 Pages)
  • Price: $4.99 on Lego and $4.97 on Amazon
  • Weight 31 grams
  • Combo Points: (5X18X1X3) = 270 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 16mm x 48mm x 60.8mm or 46.69 cm³

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Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 0 out of 5 Stars – Just really not that unique.
  • Aesthetics: 1 out of 5 Stars – Or that terribly interesting.
  • Fun to Build: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 1 out of 5 Stars

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else? I complain slightly in my remix that there was really a limiting factor to what I could remix – I mean what could you make with just 70 bricks or so, most of which are of a certain color scheme (and includes wheels). Of course this isn’t a new problem. Lego itself once claimed that with just 6 pieces (of a 2 by 4) you could get 102,981,500 different combinations. This of course seems really high.

Until of course some enterprising folks at the University of Copenhagen decided to disprove this. In short their paper ‘The Entropy of Lego” explains that Lego has ignored that fact that one does not need to build one piece on top of another – this brings up the number of combinations to a staggering 915,103,765 (a fact which Lego has of course since accepted)

This however is a combination of things – one it’s a great selling point that with 10 ‘regular’ pieces one literally has millions of way to rearrange them. This is actually a good way to explain Big Data (yes I am a programmer so if you are here for just Lego, best to tune out) The point being that yes – someone could spend a massive amount of computing power to take even this modest set, and create various combinations to produce the literally mind-bogging amount of combinations (as mentioned in the paper and debrief) – but such an exercise is futile.

The other reason is because while a set might be technically unique – it may not be what one would call – something. This is funny thing because you give a five year these pieces and he/she will make something that mostly likely will be ‘legible’. So for those of you who want to understand or even work with Big Data – it’s better to look at the Big Picture, and to take what seems like a massive amount of data – break it into rules and patterns. If we start with some key rulings we can identify not how many combinations we get, but how many are visually interesting and identifiable.

 

Remix: Not much to work with here, at first I wanted to actually try an make a flag given the color scheme, but there was too much blue, and not enough red. I settled then on a small vignette of a crusade watchtower on the sea.

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Final Thoughts: While this likely will get some low objective scores I am a fan of this set for one reason – in that it’s a perfect size and piece amount to get started on building your own Lego-matchbox cars. It’s a bit bigger of course, but in a choice between giving a kid some matchboxes, give them a modular car, and one that further Lego collections can improve. As a set though it’s small and mostly not that interesting, even for it’s modest price.

Final Score: 2 out of 5 Stars

Lego Creator – Tree House (31010) Review

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Lego Creator – Tree House (31010): Another creator series, but this one feels a bit different than the others. It goes beyond the massive amount of small pieces, and it’s really the small detail choices made that make it feel like this is a more ‘aimed at an older audience’ Creator set. It’s things like the simple build having you place 14 small ramp pieces which gives it a distinct feel than if they just had a large 2×2 ramp.

 

Time to Knoll: 18.5 Minutes

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Time to Build: 16.5 Minutes (Simple Build)

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Time to Build: 18 Minutes (Medium Build)

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Time to Build: 28 Minutes (advanced Build)

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Metrics:

  • Pieces: 356 and 51, 48, 48 Steps – for the Simple, Medium, and Advanced Builds (57, 59, and 72 Pages)
  • Price: $29.99 on Lego and $27.06 on Amazon
  • Weight 321 grams
  • Combo Points: (18X42X3X3) = 6,804 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 80mm x 128mm x 28.8mm or 294.9 cm³ that’s the largest single piece, but there’s clearly more 436.21 cm³

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Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 4 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 5 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else?

So as you may have noticed in the builds there is a winch. I decided then to see how powerful this little winch actually was. So I set it up on a platform – using my jeweler’s anvil to act as counterweight. I then hooked it into a dice bag, and began one by one to fill it with stones plundered from my tabletop parts. They each weight about 5 grams.

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So then, how many stones – 41. Which including the weight of the bag it was about 316grams before the bag could not be held up any longer, and the winch moved down.

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To put that into perspective, that’s only about a single stone less than the weight of the entire set – meaning if there was a way to rig it, the winch could hold up the rest of it’s own set, not bad for Lego.

 

Remix: So this doesn’t feel as ‘remix-y’ but considering all the builds here are houses, and this is a plan crash – I feel it counts. And aside from not wish to restring the winch the only pieces missing here are the string and the pizza (pizza in a plane crash just seems out of place.)

31010_remix

 

Final Thoughts: I especially like the build of this set – the treehouse most of all, and as for getting some good pieces this is a damn good set for 30 bucks – even that big baseplate has a bottom section. My only real complaint is that since this isn’t ‘really’ minifig scale – they’ve given the minifig these stubby non-bendable legs. It’s a small blight on an otherwise great set though.

Final Score: 4 out of 5 Stars