Topbrick Updates #5 C-C-C-C-Combo!

Heya folks, so for this week I finally put in action an idea I’ve been kicking around since the site started. In short how to gauge sub-assemblies on a model. As a chainmail enthusiast I can often find sub-assemblies relaxing. I originally tried to include them into ‘Steps’ but that got too unwieldy to do.

So I have now devised a system of (Sub Count X Sub Sum X Books X Rebuilds) which is essentially the number of sub-assemblies, times the sum total (aka if I have 2 x8’s then I have a sum of 16), times how many books there are, and finally times how many rebuilds there are (with instructions only!)

I have now added combo points to the Metrics section (it looks like this: (8X20X1X1) = 160 points) for every post. It’s a fun way to see if posts have a bunch of complex sub-assemblies or if it’s a more bespoke set.

With that in mind let’s compare the lowest and highest score. Coming in with the only 0 at the time of this post is the Seattle Space Needle – which has no combos, 1 book, and no rebuilds. As mentioned on that review though this makes sense because it’s still one of the few sets I feel fits the phrase ‘every piece in it’s place, no where else’.

Then by a landside victory we have the Minecraft 8-in-1 Crafting Box with a whopping score of 40,716. There sheer amount of small assemblies to build the ‘Minecraft Elements’ with the number of redesigns surely put this over the top.

That’s all for this week folks, take your bets though on how high a combo could possibly go with Lego!

Lego Ideas – Curiosity Mars Rover (21104) Review


Lego Ideas – Curiosity Mars Rover (21104): I considered briefly trying to see what of this I could source myself, but despite a rare price tag I bought the full set via eBay and I’m glad it did. (Guy even gave me a little ‘Martian’) This is something I wish Lego simply did more of. I honestly have no idea why there isn’t an ongoing NASA line (I mean my wallet is happier), but it feels like a perfect match beyond just the Lego Ideas’ program, and a Discovery channel promo. It not only makes kids excited about space (I mean just imagine a kid building the ISS set because their dad is actually planning to watch for it in the night sky later), but adults who love science get awesome set pieces.


Time to Knoll: 16.5 Minutes


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Time to Build: 27 Minutes


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  • Pieces: 295 and 43 Steps – Manual (78 Pages)
  • Price: Retired on Lego and $165.47 on Amazon
  • Weight 246 grams
  • Combo Points: (8X20X1X1) = 160 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 128mm x 64mm x 38.4mm or 314.5 cm³ but add the rest and it’s 356.4 cm³




  • Uniqueness: 5 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 5 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 4 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 2 out of 5 Stars




What Else? Normally while there are a few things I could do about Mars (distance, how well this would hold up in the Martian gravity and wind, etc.) However I think it’s more important to fully underscore how insane the reality of this model is. Because while this looks fantastic – a real life Volkswagen size robot of this model really landed on Mars. I know that may seem blase now, but the actual mechanics of this still haunt me, and they should you as well:


Remix: So for this set I managed to get everything used, and I’m actually pleased despite some setbacks. With the weird mechanism for movement I wanted to see if I could translate that to a rube-goldberg machine where it would move along the wheels. Sadly I would have needed a few extra parts so while this has the spirit of my remix idea it is more of a complex slide than a true rube-goldberg machine.


Here’s a gif of it working:

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Final Thoughts: I honestly am debating building myself a bonzai zen garden, but to slightly dye the sand and just plop this little guy inside it. For now he’ll hang out with Wall-E, but this is one of those few sets that I am just glad exists in this world.

Final Score: 5 out of 5 Stars