Lego Creator – Twinblade Adventures (31020) Review

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Lego Creator – Twinblade Adventures (31020): Another 3-in-1 from the Creator series, but I’m not as enthralled with this one (even among those with winged vehicles) I’ve always said my main peeve with Lego sets are those without a clear audience. This lacks any cool factor, historical factor, or engineering factor – it feels more like it exists because they needed some more aerial Creator sets.

 

Time to Knoll: 11.5 Minutes

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Time to Build: 14.5 Minutes (VTOL Build)

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Time to Build: 12.5 Minutes (Plane Build)

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Time to Build: 13 Minutes (Helicopter Build)

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Metrics:

  • Pieces: 216 and 23, 31, 28Steps – Manual for VTOL, Plane, Helicopter (32, 34, and 32 Pages)
  • Price: $17.99 on Lego and $15.29 on Amazon
  • Weight 153 grams
  • Combo Points: (16X39X3X3) = 5,616 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 96mm x 32mm x 83.2mm or 255.6 cm³

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Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 1 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 while it’s clear without any sense of motion – the plane offered here has no way to maintain, and would as Toy Story put it ‘fall with style’. Undeterred though I set out to see how possible it would be if this was mechanized. Where my little push of velocity was a constant it could maintain.

Of course NASA is kind enough to provide formulas and understanding on the topic of Lift. Most of this equation is easy enough to figure out, weight, air density, surface area of wings. Of course there was one wrinkle – namely the Coefficient of lift.

Now while NASA does provide info on this, sadly in order to calculate it – you need a wind tunnel. Which as mentioned before I do not have (although maybe I should invest). Now using a nifty calculator (and Worcester’s current temperature) I get a required CL of 51571.41 (which checks out doing the reverse math).

Now sadly I am not an aeronautics expert – so I can’t say whether 51k is a lot or a little, but especially with no motor – it would seem Lego planes were simply not meant to fly.

(For those wondering that comes from 1.068 N for weight from grams of 109g, 7 inch^2 for wing area, 0.284 ft/s from a simple push test, and this chart for air density.)

Of course I am a computer programmer reviewing Lego sets – so I welcome others to correct my math here.

 

Remix: For the remix here, with the past fourth of July, and the return of Battlebots I figured it was good of me to make a little bot myself. (Okay I admit I was watching it during review) Due to the needs to get all the ramps, flippers, and horizontal spinners it does suffer from a bit of rainbow-warriorism though.

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Final Thoughts: Overall this is my least favorite from the Creator line, and it’s not hard to see why. The color palette is rather drab, each of the creations just doesn’t feel as ‘tight’ as other creator series sets, and I wish the sets were a bit more complex and minifig scaled.

Final Score: 1 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.)

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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