Topbrick Updates #7 – Tiny Lego Wonders (Book Review)

Apologies but I’ll be switching the review to next week (meaning you’ll get 2 in a row) – forgot I had a family beach day so I needed a little more time to finish it off. In the meantime though – it’s another Lego Book review. This time instead of being about Architecture it’s focusing on working in the small scale – which is likely one of my favorite aspects of Lego in being able to find just the right piece and scale to make something ‘work’. The book comes to us from Mattia Zamboni via No Starch Press.

frontcover

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Topbrick Updates #6 Late, but not Forgotten

Sorry about the update being slightly late, it’s almost like some sort of game came out 2 weeks ago that made someone forget to prepare an update for a blog that usually runs about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. In an unrelated note though here’s how you can make a Lego Pokedex.

(it’s totally related, no worries I will ensure to have next week’s review on time) Also I am looking to replace the theme – or possibly the CMS of the website to better accommodate it. My goal would be something that allows me to arrange all of the data in the reviews as sort of a living infographic, but for now I’ll settle for something that doesn’t break images or charts.

Please leave suggestions in the comments below!

Lego The Lone Ranger – Comanche Camp (79107) Review

79107_main

Lego The Lone Ranger – Comanche Camp (79107): Alright wanted to finally do a non creator or ideas set, and thankfully Pley was happy to provide. This is actually our second Lone Ranger set, which again is sort of hit-or-miss about the movie, but is a delightful version of Lego’s former sets of the old west. I fully understand the plastic teepee here, but if I’m honest the way it actually functions as a set is just odd (likely how the flaps and such work in reality)

 

Time to Knoll: 13.5 Minutes

79107_knoll

View post on imgur.com

Time to Build: 17 Minutes

79107_built

View post on imgur.com

 

Metrics:

  • Pieces: 161 and 24 Steps – Manual (34 Pages)
  • Price: Retired on Lego and $29.96 on Amazon
  • Weight 138 grams
  • Combo Points: (3X7X1X1) = 21 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 48mm x 96mm x 28.8mm or 132.71 cm³ but with the rest 160.78 cm³

79107_blob

 

Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 4 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 I figured it might good to actually check the archives to see what if anything has changed about the Teepee design here. One of the earlier designs akin is this set (6746 – Chief’s Teepee)

6746-1

From the initial look it does kind of seem the same, but there are 3 main differences that show the progression of the Lego company over the years. The first and easiest to see is that material is noticeable different. This new set has a plastic sheen to it, whereas the old one had a more cloth like almost sandpaper texture. Some would argue that in this case the old one was ‘better’ but it truly demonstrates Lego’s massive push for more sustainable products they can make.

Now let’s take a look at the mechanism, in principle what we see in the old set is this:

mechanism

Now that’s really not much different than the current method in terms of function, but what we see is how Lego has done 2 main things. First while Technic has been around for 40 years, it was really only in the 2000’s a few years after this set that Technic’s major shift to studless creation made the pieces used in our current Comanche set a much cheaper and viable option than the custom piece you see above. The design though of 2 pivoting poles with a connector between and a ball joint for the material remains the same.

material

Finally let’s review the material, but for it’s usage not it’s properties. We see the main difference here being this is a single piece. This design allows for the center circle to work; however the updated version improves on this design in 2 ways. First by splitting the cloth into 2 pieces you can effectively fit more on a sheet than this single piece. Second while the circle may look nicer the flap design of the new version is both more realistic, but also of stronger design. Because it has a whole side firmly attached to the rest of the material it will remain connected unlike the circle design above which over time would likely rip off.

This little example is a proof that despite claims against Lego’s more modern production stripping away possible character from a set – the progress of design and engineering are essential to Lego’s developers.

 

Remix: So I’ve made a moth. Sadly the amount of Pokemon GO and Butterfree/Venomoth’s I’ve seen made me instantly see the canoe as a body with the plastic as wings. I’m sort of pleased with it, but I had a lot of trouble getting things to fit right and wanted a bit more small plates.

79107_remix

 

Final Thoughts: The problem I have with this set is that I need to consider the price. And when you add 30 dollars (which makes a bit of sense on a retired product) to the mix you have consider if it’s worth it. This isn’t a great display piece or playset, and your cost to piece count isn’t great either. I’m fine with this being a rented set, but if I would never buy the set unless it showed up for a couple bucks in a tag sale – it’s not going to score well.

Final Score: 2 out of 5 Stars