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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Lego Ideas – Wall-E (21303) Review

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Lego Ideas – Wall-E (21303): Continuing with the reviews that were promised a long time ago this time it’s Wall-E. I’ve seen tons of robots or creatures made with Lego, but none has captured the heart of the creation more than this Wall-E build. If there is a testament here, it’s how much you emotion you can actually get from this Lego model just by the movement of the head, arms, and the eyes.

 

Time to Knoll: 56.5 Minutes

21303_knoll

View post on imgur.com

Time to Build: 81 Minutes

21303_build

View post on imgur.com

 

Metrics:

  • Pieces: 676 and 178 Steps – Manual (118 Pages)
  • Price: $59.99 on Lego (Temp out of stock) and $67.49 on Amazon
  • Weight 527 grams
  • Combo Points: (13X62X1X1) = 806 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 80mm x 48mm x 160.0mm or 614.4 cm³ with treads making it closer to 694.7 cm³

21303_blob

 

Scores:

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

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else? So then, let’s talk about why in part this review took so long to get out. First I did buy the original set from Day 1, and I was halfway through the review when it was announced that Lego was going to reissue the set. This is sort of unheard of, but if you bought the original you can attest that while the head may move more ‘freely’ with the original neck (show on the left) it was tough to make it ‘stay’.

I then spent a bit of time waiting for an official fix from Lego to come, and in the mean time saw that Chris McVeigh actually posted a fix of his own that I bought. (Which you can see here) I kept this for a while, and then not hearing anything further from Lego decided to buy those parts as well. With that in mind let’s do a quick review-in-review of the necks.

Lego Original: In truth I understand why this method was employed. It does actually give you a much larger freedom of movement. However like most I agree that while the joint in the neck worked well, the head was too much weight for it, and would lead to it falling over.

21303_lego

Chris McVeigh Fix: This is actually the fix that despite buying the official fix I am using currently in my Wall-E. I discuss this in more just below, but it really comes down to the angle and weights here. The complaint here though is that the pieces used are a little less common (and not worth buying if you just buy the updated Lego set)

21303_chris

Lego Fix: This does improve the ability for Wall-E’s head to keep itself upright, but it’s still imperfect. In short there’s just not enough weight or the wrong angle here that is throwing off the center of gravity. As well the back piece of the head swivels in a weird way.

21303_lego_fix

 

Remix: Alright so given the treads I figured why not turn the living embodiment of adorable into a tank.  With a big main turret that swivels, hatches on the side, and a rear machine gun post – I’m actually quite pleased with the result. Since there was also space inside I was able to make use of all the pieces.

21303_remix

 

Final Thoughts: So while I am a bit sad that I had to source parts because I bought this day 1 (getting the poorer version of the neck), I have 0 regrets. This set is less a display piece, and more like a (stationary) part of the family. Wall-E ends being a seasonal or sporadic piece of art – given various hats for Christmas and Halloween, or flags and baskets for Independence day or Easter. If you enjoyed the movie this is perfect set for you – even if you aren’t a Lego fan. (In which case, odd choice of blog for you to be reading eh?)

Final Score: 5 out of 5 Stars

Lego Creator – MINI Cooper (10242) Review

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Lego Creator – MINI Cooper (10242): (Sorry no Maze, ran out of time on an idea) Anyway while I might be a 6 foot man – I still have a deep passion for neat little cars. (Most notably the original Golf GTI), but I am a big fan of Minis. I’m also glad that they’ve gone with British Racing Green for the color instead of something more ‘pop’, and the addition of a picnic basket in an already large set is a nice touch.

 

Time to Knoll: 74.5 Minutes

10242_knoll

View post on imgur.com

Time to Build: 119 Minutes (Just under 2 hours!)

10242_built

View post on imgur.com

 

Metrics:

  • Pieces: 1077 and 76 Steps – Manual Part 1 (62 Pages) and Part 2 (50 Pages)
  • Price: $99.99 on Lego and $99.99 on Amazon
  • Weight 780 grams
  • Combo Points: (27X62X2X1) = 3,348 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 48mm x 112mm x 198.0mm or 1066.6 cm³ with the extra putting it at 1110.2 cm³

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Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 5 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 5 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 4 out of 5 Stars (It does start to drag on, but if you have the time and beer)
  • Hoarding: 5 out of 5 Stars (I think any set 1000+ will just automatically peak here…)

 

Spectrum:


 

What Else?

So I knew there would be a lot of small pieces here, but I was genuinely surprised at how large the car actually was. It makes sense for how much detail and moveable parts there are why this is quite large, but it’s certainly not the largest. Of course then the question becomes ‘what is the largest Lego car?’

You could consider this Legoland Ford as the largest (being bigger in size that an older super car made by builders)

lego

However Guinness most recently has this Caravan as the largest (it does oddly specify caravan though)

caravan

As far as a ‘car’ though I think the best example is this beast made by Raul Oaida which actually runs (although it does sputter out a few parts on occasion and has been described as “It might be the most uncomfortable car in automotive history”

LEGOCar

 

Remix: This obviously removes the blanket and bread, but the goal was a mountain vista trying to use the green as a grassy lead-up. It’s sort of worked, but the benefit of having a lot of pieces with these remixes is tempered by being forced to use nearly all of them so I’m not sure if I should have tried a different idea. Sadly this set is too large that I had to move onto the next. (And I wanted my Mini back)

10242_remix

 

Final Thoughts: I bought this partially because again – I love the Mini. It was also a good test for TopBrick’s first 1000+ piece set. I have to say though this was definitely a hard set to manage – even the build gif has gaps and bad frames just because the camera started to overheat.

Final Score: 5 out of 5 Stars