Topbrick Updates Spring 2016

Hey guys! So first off the good news. TopBrick will be moving back to weekly posts. Now that won’t be weekly reviews because despite my backlog reviewing a set takes a bit longer. The in-between weeks will likely be a mix of reviews, mini-reviews, fan-builds, and a new segment I am developing to go over a certain building technique.

As mentioned in my last post – all TopBrick reviews have been updated with a Page count (which while not a true marker of complexity, is helpful to know how much page turning you need to do). I have also though added the Spectrum section which is setup for each set to easily show the coloring and pieces breakdown.

Best of all because it’s interactive, and the tooltips can show the pieces it makes our little review site a bit more special. The reason being that you can easily and quickly determine a  bunch of things. First if a set has either a wide array of color or, only a few it become much more apparent than a knoll/build picture. Also since it breaks it down by piece this really gets into the ‘hoarding’ part of a set. As any serious builder can tell you – there are certain sets where it’s cheaper to buy that set than struggle buying by part or lot in order to make a decent collection or buy for an upcoming build.

Anyway, I am currently trying to fast-track the Lego Ideas Maze review (which by-the-by is awesome), and don’t be surprised if other JK-Brickworks creations show up here (I am a fan).

Anyway I’m glad that my reviewing (and buying) schedule has aligned to make content more frequent so stay tuned to TopBrick for more Lego reviews and news.

Top Brick – Explained!

top_brick_logo

So then what is this nonsense. Well as someone who spends their time making tabletop games, working for a simulation company, metal crafting armor out of soda cans, reviewing spirits, and doing critical genre analysis of anime and video games – I felt like I needed a hobby.

So I’ve once again gotten back (more) into Lego – and because I’ve spent the last 5 years or so reviewing things – I can’t do something without thinking, hmm maybe I should review this if for nothing else to color how I see it. (and based on HonestBoozeReviews, for others to look at)

So then how will I go about reviewing lego sets? Well I’ve decided to to it much like a proper Top Gear review – so it’s not just me talking about some ‘feelings’ or explosions and general tomfoolery, but a serious review of everything regarding the steps, pieces, miles per gallon, whether you could build a hang glider with it, and how exactly it can explain the universe – but more of that in the coming weeks. As a primer here’s an overview of a review.

[Stock image of product]

Series/Name: I say some things so this feels like an actual review instead of a spreadsheet.

Time to Knoll: XX Minutes (How long it takes to set out the pieces)

[Knolling Image]

Time to Build: XX Minutes (How longs it takes to build)

[Built Image]

Metrics:

Pieces: XXXX and XXX Steps With a link to the manual

Price: $XX How much it costs you on Amazon, Lego, and the internet.

Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): So taking the minimum longest width and height of the set I make a ‘square’. I then try to build up from that and do so in as compact a way as possible that uses all the pieces. I would then measure the overall volume of that using maths.

[Blob picture]

Scores:

Uniqueness: X out of 5 Stars – Does it feel novel in concept and look.

Aesthetics: X out of 5 Stars – Is it pretty enough to keep on my shelf

Fun to Build: X out of 5 Stars – Is building it fun or tedious?

Hoarding: X out of 5 Stars – Are there are a lot of good pieces, or rare bricks?

What Else?

Here I’ll do something unique to the model in question – such as calculate how much it would take to make in reality, whether it could deflect a nuclear blast, and what the fuel/mass ratio is for it to be sent into space. Essentially I’ll go off and do a bunch of research for it to be summed up in a paragraph.

I’ll then also build an alternate version. This is something that uses the pieces included in the set as something complete different. To give me a bit of leeway I have an under/over 5 pieces rule. Meaning I can add up to five pieces not from the set (if I feel it needs them) and I can remove 5 pieces from the official set from my remixed build. However those are the limits, with the goal to do that as little as possible. Minifigs are not included into this (or the above Volume calculation)

Remix: [Image of alternate build]

Final Thoughts: To wrap everything up before giving a final score of which people will hang every bit of their life on despite what I say here about things like. Mentioning that scores are an objective look into whether you’d like something subjectively, the futility of man, and finally if I actually liked a lego set.

Final Score: X out of 5 Stars