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    Brickpicker blog articles on LEGO investing, news, reviews, evaluations, discounts and more...

    • Blocks magazine Issue 22 is now in the hands of subscribers, and will be on shop shelves Thursday 21 July.
      It’s a LEGO Star Wars extravaganza, with an exclusive, in-depth look behind the scenes of the new animated series The Freemaker Adventures. With unique access to the team working on the new show, we cover the LEGO animation production process like never before.
      Inspired by the new show, five top builders have built their own Uglies — amazing mash-ups of existing Star Wars ships. As well as Star Wars mini-builds and a look at how the LEGOLAND Death Star was made, we review the latest official releases.
      It’s not all Star Wars of course, as Blocks celebrates 30 years of an absolute cinema classic; Aliens. We chat with the Arvo Brothers about their Alien Project, build a Loadlifter and showcase the beautiful work of Andrew Francis.
      To get each issue of Blocks delivered to your door — before it arrives in shops – visit www.blocksmag.com to set up a subscription.

    • The next 2016 SDCC Lego minifigure giveaway has been released via Twitter.  According to this tweet from Lego, the next Lego DC Comics minifigure promotion will be the Atom:

      This great looking minifigure represents the DC Comics character from the Legends of Tomorrow TV series.  It appears the minifigure also comes with an exclusive Palmer Technologies printed base that really complements it nicely.
      What are your thoughts on this DC Comics Lego exclusive giveaway?  Let us know in the comments section below.


    • Brick fans, brace yourself for the newest San Diego Comic Con giveaway reveal: according to this USA Today article, Lego will be introducing a new line of collectibles starting in 2017 entitled Lego BrickHeadz.  It appears this new theme recreates cute, stylized versions of our favorite Super Heroes in Lego form, similar to Pop! Vinyl Figures.
      At San Diego Comic Con, there will be four limited edition "preview packs" that attendees will be able to purchase for $40 each.  They are:
      DC Comics

      Batman & Joker

      Superman and Wonder Woman
      Marvel Comics

      Iron Man and Captain America

      Doctor Strange and Black Panther
      No further news has been provided on what the new 2017 BrickHeadz retail offerings will look like or which characters will be provided, but I would guess these characters will all be available at retail. 
      What do you think about this new theme?  Please give us your thoughts in the comment section below.

    • I've built both the A-Wing and Darth Vader's TIE Fighter before. Neither build had previously done a lot to excite me. I remember building 7150 TIE Fighter and Y-Wing back in 1999. That particular build colored my perception of Star Wars LEGO for the next decade and change. I also built 8017 Darth Vader's TIE Fighter which was miles better and 75003 A-Wing Starfighter. None of them really excited me enough to keep. I wish I had held onto them in order to compare and contrast, but that's the breaks. I didn't really need another Darth Vader or another Sabine Wren without her helmet. It feels overpriced. The original retail for 75003 was $24.99 and 8017 was $29.99. But their piece counts were 177 and 251 respectively. This set is more than 270 pieces more than both of those combined. Is it worth $35 more?

      Set #: 75150
      Name: Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-Wing Starfighter
      Theme: Star Wars
      Parts: 702
      Price: $89.99
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 7 numbered baggies (numbered 1-6 with duplicate bag 6) and a bag containing stickers and a pair of instruction books.

      BAG 1: Instruction book 1 is all about building the A-Wing. When you begin construction of this fighter, it's different from previous versions of the ship, or most of your average Star Wars ships. You create a tile platform below a set of railing. It's pretty obvious that something slides here, but what and why? 

      This segment appears to have be the part that slides. I'm not sure if it's the impeller or impelled.

      It appears to be the lever. The base of the fighter appears to be the platform that the upper section slides upon. You may notice that more of the body shape is being filled in, but it's quite a few steps before it looks like the end product.

      It's sort of hard to see here, but there are a pair of spring missile launchers underneath the front. The slide appears to be part of a completely hidden feature to launch the spring missiles. I like that it's unobtrusive. I actually couldn't picture what an A-Wing looks like at this point in the build. I had to pick up the box again to try to make it out.

      Underneath of the chassis is a pair of rubber bands. This prevents the top from sliding on its own and launching the missiles by accident. I like that the slide feature isn't loose.

      And here's the end of bag one. It's not much yet, It's a lot more complex than the last A-Wing that I built though. 

      Bag 1 also contained the 2 hero minifigures, Sabine Wren and an A-Wing pilot.

      BAG 2: I like that the details are green. I get a little tired of the white grey and red of most of the Star Wars universe.

      You expand the body and fill it in. It really begins to bulk up from here on out.

      You add slopes to continue shaping it, but to me, it still doesn't look like the ship I remember.

      Bag 3: I love these new wing pieces. I love the way these engine pods look. You guild them out separately.

      You snap the engine pods on. They pivot somewhat which is kind of offputting, but look great.

      Make a duplicate/mirror image engine pod. attach it in the same way with a hinge.

      You make the gun pods separately. They seem a little large to me.

      The guns rotate, reminding me of the old Kenner A-Wing. It looks great to me. The action feature is nice in that it is hidden. There's no dial or lever or hole. For a smaller build, it had a lot of stickers.

      BAG 4: You begin the build of Vader's TIE Advanced. You also begin Instruction book 2. As you can see, there's 2 spring missile launchers fairly early in this build. Since you can't really do round, of course you use slopes.

      There's a lot of random colors that will be hidden in the final build. I don't really understand why there's tiles in here. Vader's got a comfy seat and a Battle Droid torso to steer with.

      You have to frame the TIE Fighter because the TIE Advanced has a lot of extra bulk.

      It looks like the tile is there to let you slide a sideways slope on.

      Youngish Tarkin and Vader inhabit bag 4.

      BAG 3:  I'm going to call this section the Hyperdrive. Maybe it's the shield generators. What kind of Star Wars geek am I that doesn't know what this section is for? Anyway, it's the part that sticks out from the back, making it obviously different than most TIEs. That's what makes it advanced. Maybe it's just the advanced stickers.

      Where 8017 used various pieces of kibble (or greeblies if that's your thing) this one has a couple stickers. Sort of disappointing from a build perspective.

      It's kind of hard to see here, there are 2 technic pieces that act as triggers for the spring missiles.

      You fill in the body shape and snap on a couple rounded hatch covers. I like the forward hatch a lot better than the old style cockpit piece. The upper one is larger and more detailed than before too.

      BAG 6:
      there's 2 different attachment points for the wings. There's an axle hole in the center to hold the axles sticking out of the main build. You also have a post attached to the wings that slot into the ship.

      Filling in the back of the wing was actually kind of fun. I liked the variety of pieces used to match the shape.

      Grab the second bag because there's a X2 at the end of book 2.

      Snap the wings in place and put the spring missiles in. Vader's TIE is complete now.

      The individual builds are satisfying. I think that they look good and represent the vessels well enough. The size of Vader's TIE seems a little puny.It really seems that, for the cost, they could have made it a bit bigger. I honestly liked the puzzle aspect of putting the inside of the wings together. Remembering how flimsy the first TIE's wings were, this is a definite improvement. Plus, no blue.
      The A-Wing is satisfying in the build, but doesn't necessarily look to me like what I think of . The cannons are bulky, the body is stubby and not too sleek. But, when I look at pictures of the Rebels A-Wing, it's all accurate enough. When I thought that it would work well enough for an original trilogy display, it's going to be a bit off.
      Ok, so I'll talk about value for money. $90 is a lot for 2 smallish ships. The price per piece is high and there are no large pieces to offset the cost. The number of minifigures is low for the price point. For $90 we're overpaying for a few unique minifigures and a couple of redone ships. $65 or $70 seems more in line with what you get. If it weren't for coupons and discounted gift cards, I'd feel really put out by the cost of this set.

      Vader's the same as the Death Star Final Duel with the white head and the 2 piece mask. I didn't review that set, so I'll say what I would have said then. The design of the helmet causes it to tilt up ever so slightly, so Vader appears to be looking up. The head in white seems a little goofy to me, but that's a personal thing. I understand it entirely, but neither of these are changes that excited me.
      Tarkin really reminds me of the 12th Doctor. Probably because of the hairpiece. The tan costume is a weird choice. I don't think that he's even depicted in that color in Rebels. Kind of a fail for me from top to bottom.
      The female A-Wing pilot looks good. She's functional as far as troop building, and since her body isn't decorated to be obviously feminine, you can head swap to fill out any number of aliens or others.
      Sabine Wren is almost entirely different than the previously released version. I think the body deco is better on this one and the black sleeved arms is better than the flesh arms in the previous versions. I hate the hairpiece used. I wish she came with her helmet. I'd rather have a Mando helmet than that ugly hairpiece any day.

      At $89.99 this should be a pass, unless you're hardcore. I don't know how long after retirement it will be before it even reaches MSRP. This set should be clearance fodder. OT purists will be disappointed that they took liberties with the designs. I expect that there will be discounts for a while. I just don't see huge potential on a set that was way overpriced from the beginning.
      Most of the extra pieces are exactly the ones that you would expect. I didn't picture the brick separator, but rest assured, there is one. The lower part of Vader's mask has low utility.

      Please take a look at the other Star Wars Reviews:
      #75060 Slave I (click here) #75078 Imperial Troop Transport (click here) #75085 Hailfire Droid (click here) #75087 Anakin's Starfighter (click here) #75092 Naboo Starfighter (click here) #75094 Shuttle Tydirium (click here) #75100 Snowspeeder (click here) #75101 Tie Fighter (click here) #75102 Poe's X-Wing Fighter (click here) #75103 First Order Transporter (click here) #75109 Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure (click here) #75125 Resistance X-Wing Fighter Microfighter (click here) #75127 The Ghost Microfighter (Click here) #75131 Resistance Trooper Battle Pack (click here) #75132 First Order Battle Back (click here) #75133 Rebel Alliance Battle Pack (click here) #75134 Galactic Empire Battle Pack (click here) #75135 Obi-Wan's Jedi Interceptor (click here) #75136 Droid Escape Pod (click here) #75137 Carbon-Freezing Chamber (click here) #75139 Battle on Takodana (click here) #75141 Resistance Troop Transporter (click here) #75148 Encounter on Jakku (click here)

    • After The Force Awakens was released, I looked at the available first wave sets and felt something was missing. To me, the Luggabeast conspicuously absent. Sure, Unkar Plutt was missing, but I wasn't really missing him. When I heard that this set was coming, I got excited. When I saw the preliminary images, I cried out as loud as any other about how bright the blue was. Upon further research, I saw that the blue was right. The Luggabeast shown in the film had a lot of bright blue, but most of it was heavily scratched and marred. It's hard to have the mottled look in LEGO, so they simplified it by going blue. I think it's time now to review and see how well LEGO accomplished the feel of Jakku. 

      Set #: 75148
      Name: Encounter on Jakku
      Theme: Star Wars
      Parts: 530
      Price: $59.99
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 5 numbered baggies,2 plastic "sails" and an instruction book.

      BAG 1: The first thing that you do is start building the body of the Luggabeast.

      I just want to point out the new parts 2x2 wedge in dark azure. There's a lot of dark azure pieces on  this build. Many of them are rare or unique.

      You round out the bottom of the beast It's fairly blocky, but I think that fits since the creature looked half mechanical and half organic.

      I guess you could call this the saddle?

      Bag 1 ends with only half a luggabeast. You do get your Teedo, but he only wants this set for spare parts.

      BAG 2: Introduces the new leg molds. You jus t peg some random kibble on them and slot them on, nothing really fancy, so I didn't show that.

      Now you build the basic shape of the head. It doesn't look like much now, but you're going to just slap some decorative panels on it anyway.

      More medium azure here. Check out the decorated piece.

      Use a couple whips to represent hoses or cables or something.

      Finally, you slot the head on. There's not really a lot of interesting techniques here. I think the end result is fine, but nothing in it to really excite.

      BAG 3: So, we're building a structure. No matter how big of a structure it is or if it is even a full one, we need a foundation. If it's a Star Wars structure, you need to build in stuff like slotted bricks and levers from the beginning. After all, you have to have play features, right? 

      I'm not sure if that's a counter to transact on or a table to clean junk on, either way, it's just more there to provide visual appeal than serviceability.

      I like that you use ladder pieces over the windows to create a security gate effect.

      A wrench appears, so it must be for taking apart junk to get to the good bits. Plus, now we have a hidden pistol.

      Unkar Plutt's base  of operations is a ramshackle affair, probably made out of a crashed ship or cargo crate. If we're going for a junk heap, well it's looking pretty good.

      BAG 4: We start another part of the structure, this time with a lot of slopes. It's interesting to me how much Dark Orange is used in here. This is a color that I don't feel like I see much of.

      Another window, this time with the typical bar arrangement. Maybe this is where you receive your meager portions. (meagre for British and Canadian readers.)

      Snap the 2 structures together with a hinge. You can see where Unkar keeps his riches. Lots of past date ration pouches in that safe.

      Finish up your walls and you can close up shop. I didn't really look to see what it looks like with Unkar in there. It seems pretty small, but if he's anything like the owner of the comic shop I used to go to, he never moves and only needs a small area.

      This upper platform isn't used for anything, except maybe to provide shade under the glare of Jakku's sun.

      Bag 5: I'm not sure if we are creating a walkway or a waiting area. It looks a lot like a disused Egyptian explorers set.

      You put together an arch, you can see some of the junk that wasn't good enough for Unkar Plutt here.

      Snap your new creation onto the previous larger structure. Notice the Battle Droid legs, those are supposed to be there.

      Look, more Battle Droid parts. There's even another arm in that box on the left. Actually that torso in dark orange is not common. You also attach the sail/awning, Unkar Plutt doesn't want anyone to suffer heat stroke. Our heroes Rey and BB-8 are here too.

      I like the way this set looks. I'll keep it together on my shelf for a while. It definitely represents the scene(s) in the movie. Is it accurate? Weeeeell, more or less. It's more the parts your brain fills in than the specific details that put you in the scene. I'm amused by the Battle Droid parts scattered all over. I would have thought those junkers would have rusted out long before. This set contains a lot of colors that you don't normally see. There's a lot of medium azure, a lot of tans and dark tans and some dark oranges. I would think that even if you didn't want the set for yourself, it's a good parts warehouse.
      I actually really like the Luggabeast. If nothing else, I am pretty glad that I got the set just for that. I might modify it a bit at some point by throwing some light grey or tan pieces on the blue, but overall it looks very satisfying.

      The minifigure selection is good. Rey and BB-8 both are reissues. These figures have both appeared in several sets, Rey in 3 and BB-8 in 4. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if fatigue starts to set in on them, especially now that their keychains have also been released.
      I thought for sure that Teedo was portrayed by a little person. I thought that this figure should have short legs. With that having been said, this figure looks nice. The decoration is well done even if it does remind me of a Tusken Raider figure that I had as a kid. The head is a nice new mold. But Teedo is not the star of this set.
      The star of this set is Unkar Plutt. Actually, he's not my favorite looking of the four. He is however the minifigure that is most wanted. The head/body piece is well executed, except I feel that the paint job is too simplistic. The character doesn't look like anything so much as a blob with eyes. Maybe that's an accurate representation of the character though.

      I don't think LEGO is going to be revisiting Jakku again anytime soon. They may get to it in 5 years or so. I just don't think there will be a lot of motivation on their part with new movies every year. Will that lead to it being worth more because it's not being remade, or will it languish because the scenes depicted are not super important? Either way, this set is begging to be paired with Rey's Speeder and, if you can swing it, the Unkar's Brute minifigure from that book. Look for discounts on Amazon.
      You get a lot of the small pieces that you usually see. Plus you get an extra sail thing. I'm not sure why you need an extra one, but there it is.

      Please take a look at the other Star Wars Reviews:
      #75060 Slave I (click here) #75078 Imperial Troop Transport (click here) #75085 Hailfire Droid (click here) #75087 Anakin's Starfighter (click here) #75092 Naboo Starfighter (click here) #75094 Shuttle Tyderium (click here) #75100 Snowspeeder (click here) #75101 Tie Fighter (click here) #75102 Poe's X-Wing Fighter (click here) #75103 First Order Transporter (click here) #75109 Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure (click here) #75125 Resistance X-Wing Fighter Microfighter (click here) #75127 The Ghost Microfighter (Click here) #75131 Resistance Trooper Battle Pack (click here) #75132 First Order Battle Back (click here) #75133 Rebel Alliance Battle Pack (click here) #75134 Galactic Empire Battle Pack (click here) #75135 Obi-Wan's Jedi Interceptor (click here) #75136 Droid Escape Pod (click here) #75137 Carbon-Freezing Chamber (click here) #75139 Battle on Takodana (click here) #75141 Resistance Troop Transporter (click here) #75148 Encounter on Jakku (click here) #75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-Wing (Click Here)

    • According to this Lego Ideas blog entry, the approved Lego Ideas Adventure Time set is nearly complete!  Here's a quick glance at the set:

      The set will be number 21308, and include 495 bricks with an MSRP of $49.99.
      Per the blog entry, seven brick built characters will be included in the set: Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Lady Rainicorn, Marceline, BMO, Gunter and Ice King.  Compare this to the originally approved Ideas entry:

      Even though there are fewer characters, the ones in the approved set appear to be slightly more detailed than the original entry.
      This new set is much different than the Lego Dimensions packs that are set to be released with Dimensions' second series.  They include Adventure Time minifigures and micro-builds, all shown here:

      It looks like a lot of Lego Adventure Time is coming your way in the near future.  What are your thoughts on the new theme?  Be sure to comment below.

    • The Lego Group has revealed the first of their 2016 San Diego Comic Con minifigure giveaways: a new "Hydra-devoted" Captain America minifigure! This minifigure celebrates the heel turn of one of Marvel fans' favorite heroes.  More information on the giveaway can be found at Entertainment Weekly.
      What do you think of the new minifigure?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.


    • If Walmart's $139.99 TIE fighter sale wasn't enough, here's an even better discount.  Amazon.com has discounted the set by 37% to $125.99 for Prime members.
      An additional $30 can be saved by using the Amazon Rewards Visa credit card during check-out.  

      Click the link below for more information.

      For more Brickpicker information about this set and more Lego deals, please view the Forum topics below.


    • Hey Lego fans, boy does Brickpicker have great news to share today!
      Walmart.com is throwing a "Throwback Thursday" sale like it's 2013.  Walmart's online website is currently selling the $199.99 Lego 75095-1 Star Wars UCS Tie Fighter set for only $139.99 with free shipping!  That is a 30% discount.  We haven't seen a sale like this for an Exclusive set in "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away".
      Click the link below to save money on a fine Lego set.
      Regarding the Investment potential,  the Tie-Fighter is an iconic Star Wars ship.  The ship's status alone will help it's Lego version perform better than even less popular UCS Set such as the 10127 B-Wing.  10127 is now selling for $300 on eBay.  This is not a bad price for a set which was heavily discounted in 2013 (many sets sold for $99.99 and $160 at retail). 

      For more Brickpicker information about this set and more Lego deals, please view the Forum topics below.



    • Sometimes I get random sets if I find them cheap enough. Usually they are broken down for parts, and the minifigures are sold off to defray the costs. I don't usually think much about those sets if they don't fit in with the themes that I collect. My kids have taken to watching Ninjago over and over on Netflix. I happened to have a few Ninjago sets and let them have a couple. They love them. I thought I would take a moment to look at one of the remaining sets that I have. Are the builds fun? Is there more to it than I would expect? Well, I have reviewed a Batman set with a pair of motorcycles in it fairly recently. That should give me an idea of what to expect, similar size, similar part count and price point. I am almost expecting it to be the same set in different colors.

      Set #: 70600
      Name:Ninja Bike Chase
      Theme: Ninjago
      Parts: 231
      Price: $19.99
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 2 numbered baggies, a sticker sheet, and 2 instruction books. Each book corresponds to a bag and a build.

      BAG 1: There really wasn't much about this build to make it interesting other than the dude is flying on a rocket pack made from a garbage can. How menacing can that be. On the other hand, his sword is awesome. Really very happy with that weapon.

      You may not be able to see that he has a clear collar piece that attaches to the jet pack. Only one of his bombs fits in the garbage can, and he can't really hold the other one.

      Since you wasted so many parts making a lame glider jetpack the motorcycle has a simplified design. Batman wouldn't make a bike like this. Then again, he's Batman and Kai's a ninja that doesn't seem especially bright.

      The decals on the sides are mostly obscured, but whatever, they're decals. I have to say tat I do love the big chunky tires, but I wish there was more to it. It really makes me appreciate the Batbike.

      I didn't mention it before, but you also make a killer 5 piece sword in this bag. According to the LEGO site it's a "translucent smoke-colored Djinn Blade with ‘trapped Cole’ element brick."  Yeah, I don't know the story behind that but that's 2 nifty swords and a regular katana. Maybe that makes up for the lameness of this motorcycle.

      BAG 2: It's time to tackle Nya's motorcycle. Her motorcycle starts out more complex than Kai's which makes me happy. It's also not a clone of the Batman bikes. So, again, happy.

      It maes sense that Nya's bike would be more complex because compared to the other Ninjas, she's a genius. She's like the Batman of Ninjago, which I guess is why she's going to be getting her own Batcave soon. Note: complex doesn't mean more difficult or interesting. This bike is more pieces, but not really something particularly fun to build.

      Ok, now you've got my attention. This girl apparently loves weapons. Her bike is decorated with or made out of 6 edged weapons. I bet all of her Barbies have scars.

      2 things to note: First, I like the design of the fanned fins. the look is interesting and it wasn't a configuration that I would have thought of at random. The other thing is that the axles aren't pegged into anything except the wheels. This free floating thing means that it doesn't have any stability. If you try to race the 2 motorcycles, you have no idea which direction Nya will wind up going. There really should be some bushing to keep the wheels from shifting too much. Also, I felt that the placement of the axle brackets made the vehicle ride too low. I'm thinking of flipping at leas one set to give more ground clearance.

      The final bike reminds me very strongly of a Speeder bike from Return of the Jedi. It doesn't really look like it, but it gives a good impression of one.

      Well, that set wasn't enough to turn my mind around on Ninjago. It did make me feel a bit better about the Gotham City Cycle Chase though. With 2 bags and 1 instruction book per bag, you could easily (except for the stickers) divide this set between 2 kids. It's fairly inexpensive and it's not terrible for kids to play with. It's not really going to shine when compared to the amazing large sets in Ninjago though.

      I wish the minifigures came with additional hairpieces. Nya and Kai desperately need to be able to be played with without masks. I do really like Nya's costume in dark red, but hate the azure mask accents. Kai is an angry young man with a scar. Both Ninja look good with their hoods on, but I'd just like a little more. The pirate's name is Sqiffy and honestly I feel like that says more than enough about the character. His costume looks dumb, he has a dumb name, and his expression looks more constipated than anything. 

      What can I say? People don't really invest in Ninjago. There's nothing about this set that calls out for it to be in demand later on. At this time, it's only about 3 months old and is already living with a 20% discount. Strangely, it's not actually currently being sold by Amazon. Every listing is third party. Could it have been only available for a short window to Amazon? I don't know how It works, but I would keep an eye out and see if it retires super early, if so, that might cause a loser to become a winner.
      Wow, for a small set, you get a lot of extra pieces. You get an extra Cole spirit token a sai, 2 katanas, Sqiffy's sword and an extra djinn blade. If that's not enough, there's enough pieces to make an extra bomb.

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