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

Lego Creator – Power Mech (31007) Review

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Lego Creator – Power Mech (31007): Perhaps its the nature of the other Creator series I’ve done, but I am actually a bit nonplussed about how in all the other of the series – there is often 1 build which uses all the pieces, and another 2 which are more subsets. Here however even the big mech build leaves behind more than a dozen or 2 pieces. On the other hand though I am actually a big fan of how the mech works and comes together.

 

Time to Knoll: 13 Minutes

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Time to Build: 19 Minutes (Mech)

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11.5 Minutes (Helicopter)

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14.5 Minutes (Truck)

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Metrics:

  • Pieces: 223 and 28, 31, 45 Steps – Manual for Mech, Helicopter, Truck (64, 45, and 47 Pages)
  • Price: (On-sale) $9.98 on Lego and $35.80 on Amazon
  • Weight ~300 grams (I forgot to weigh before sending back, apologies) value is based on shipping.
  • Combo Points: (9X18X3X3) = 1,458 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 32mm x 48mm x 166.4mm or 255.59 cm³

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Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 2 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 1 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 2 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else?

To be fair I sort of see where the model was coming from – in short it’s trying to bank in on the Transformer appeal – the problem being that there are parts in all 3 types which are just not used in the other models. If you are looking for a real Transformer, check out this creation from Boyzwiththemosttoyz(about 1 minute in to see the transformation)


This is the sort of thing I wish Lego would do more of – they’ve proven very good at moveable parts, and I feel like their aversion is legal-based. However the above is only a single example of people making Lego transformers. I urge you to just take a look at MoCPages category page as there is just a bunch of great builds.

 

Remix: Well with all the nice green here my mind drifted of course to space. So at the need for wheels and limbs, and it was clear I was going to make a rover. Best of all I was able to use all the pieces in the model – and I only needed a common black circle axle – keeping well within my 5 rule.

31007_remix_rover

 

Final Thoughts: I feel this is more (especially with the current sale) a step to get some nice green pieces, some good limbs and bending parts – and the weird and rare corner 2×2 plate. While I do like the mech, the other builds feel kinda more tacked on as compared to other Creator builds, and I wish Lego had just release the mech on it’s own.

Final Score: 2 out of 5 Stars