While other sets from The Force Awakens have had either light or dark characters (i.e., either Resistance or First Order), this has a selection from both so kids can play at battling their chosen side. And on that point, it’s the first legitimate ‘playset’ of the series (May there be many more :0) ).
There isn’t a whole lot to the playset itself, a few walls and a tree that can fall, which takes down the overall appeal but, to balance it out, there are a few choice mini figures that take it into appealing territory.
While the official press release outlines that there are two First Order Storm Troopers, fans will know that one of them is, in fact, the character TR–8R. This particular storm trooper, who has become an overnight sensation in fandom, had a fairly minor role in the film but is memorable because he knows Finn, calls him a “Traitor” and wields a weapon that can take on a lightsaber. Pretty cool stuff.
As mentioned earlier the playest itself includes an ‘action’ feature – a tree that falls once a lever is pressed and a series of walls meant to recreate the cantina/temple owned by Maz Kanata. The colors are nice and the banner adds to the feel but I guess, as with most LEGO playsets, they could have added a few more generic bricks without breaking the bank too much.
All in all, it’s a good set, especially if you are after the figures but may be a pass if you prefer to collect the vehicles.
The Lego Star Wars Minifigure Encyclopedia is a standard in the bookshelves of any Lego fan. Shaped rather like a brick itself, the book is a tome meant to cover the breadth of characters in the LEGO Star Wars Universe, which seems to be growing exponentially every year.
This year particularly so.
I must admit, 2015 seems also a strange year to release a new editon of this book, given the looming release of Star Wars Episode VII, which will no doubt add dozens of new characters to the fold.
I’m guessing that with the new cast of characters DK might need to split the books into separate volumes (ie Pre Episode 7 and Post) and that is why they are releasing this volume now.
But that is just a guess.
So is the new edition a worthwhile purchase if you have the last one?
Did I mention that it comes with a white Boba Fett ‘prototype’ minifigure? You know, the Ralph McQuarrie prototype one?
I guess you know the answer to that first question then.
DK were kind enough to send me the latest edition of the encyclopedia and my first thought on opening the box was how thick the book was. Even taking into account the empty ‘white box of air’ which is bound into the book and meant to protect the minifigure on the front cover, the book seems at least 1/3rd thicker than the last.
I took some photos to compare them side by side so you could see for yourself.
Inside things remain pretty similar between both versions. I guess if you are on a good thing stick to it, right? And the first edition of The LEGO Star Wars Minifigure Encyclopaedia set the standard for future versions of this book, including the LEGO Harry Potter Character Encyclopaedia.
There are of course a number of new characters and DK have also added Star Wars Rebels to the mix as well as a category called ‘Legends’ which, if they are working on the new Disney-terminology, refers to non-canon characters in what used to be called the Expanded Universe.
Overall I would be happy to add this to my bookshelf.
Its nice to see the Star Wars Rebels characters and the increasing variations of familiar characters as well as new ones. A great addition to the bookshelf of any Star Wars LEGO fan. Worth the update even if you have the original because of the mini figure and the new additions. Casual fans might want to wait to see if there is a new edition after Episode VII is released.]]>
I suppose because of the ’Friends” sized figures they are directing the LEGO Elves theme towards a different audience than their traditional LEGO sets (I dare not bring gender into the argument) and I’m OK with that.
However I would still love to see them make ‘true minfigs’ of elves. Yes I know about LOTR and Hobbit sets, but as I mentioned above I am thinking about their own ‘branding’ of fantasy rather than a Brick-Tolkien version – in mining format this time.
Despite my own personal preferences I do like the look of Elves, even with this strange long-legged figures. It is amazing how this larger LEGO figure has snuck its way into (some of our) hearts so quickly and I know that fans of this format will rejoice in the new LEGO Elves sets. And, as an aside, I still think a Disney Fairies theme would sell well for LEGO. Heaven knows that franchise could do with some quality toys.
LEGO Elves wave 1 for 2015 is out in March.
The book is the latest in DK’s large hardcover titles with free exclusive minifigures, this time an exclusive Emperor Palpatine figure (a character who is hard to find in sets), and it is similar in size to books like the LEGO Yoda Chronicles and LEGO Star Wars Visual Guide.
The book is described as a guide to all the elements of the Dark Side, including characters, ships, weapons, accessories of the Dark Side from all six movies and also including The Clone Wars, The Yoda Chronicles and beyond – essentially everywhere there is a LEGO set featuring members of the Sith, then this book has it covered.
Lighter Side Of The Dark Side
But it’s not just a guidebook. The Dark Side has quite the sense of humour too, incorporating funny speech balloons into photos that recreate famous moments from the Star Wars universe with LEGO minifigures.
It also has some truly funny articles like a scandalous report revealing that Darth Vader is none other than podracing champion Anakin Skywalker and includes interviews with a few of Darth Vader’s old friends/foes including C3PO, Wald and Sebulba.
Other articles include ‘excerpts’ from Vader’s diary as well as guide to Galactic Domination, Emperor Palpatine style.
His lordship’s take on Tatooine?
“Ugh, Tatooine. Darth Vader tells me such horror stories about that desert planet. Too much sand for me – it’s itchy and annoying and gets everywhere. Note to sandtroopers: pack plenty of water and dewback food.
Mission: Avoid At All Costs”
So you can see it’s not a dry index of elements but gives fans of LEGO Star Wars a truly humorous approach to the dark side of the force. It’s pretty cool really and a great read for kids, however those seeking a definitive resource on the villains of the LEGO Star Wars universe would do well to look elsewhere (perhaps to the LEGO Star Wars Visual Guide – Expanded Edition).
At just under 100 pages, and an exclusive free figure (of a hard to find character) it is great value and deserves a place on any LEGO fan’s bookshelf. Thanks again to DK for the review copy.
Journey to the dark side of a galaxy far, far away and meet the LEGO® Star Wars minifigure members of the ruthless Imperial Army in LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side!
Witness Darth Vader battling Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, meet the Sith and all of Darth Vader’s minifigure subjects, and explore the Death Star and all of the Sith starships. Turn the pages to find facts and information about your favorite LEGO Star Wars minifigures and vehicles from the dark side in action-packed situations and discover everything there is to know about the legendary Darth Vader.
With new and exciting photography and an evil exclusive minifigure, LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side will have you questioning on which side your allegiances lie.
This volume is the latest addition to the LEGO Character Encyclopedia series which includes Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, Ninjago Character Encyclopedia and Harry Potter Characters Of the Magical World.
Each of these volumes is a small hardcover, slightly smaller than the big DK Lego books but still larger than a paperback novel. Each volume also comes with a mini figure, often exclusive to the book.
In the case of the LEGO Friends Character Encyclopedia the free mini figure is Naya and she comes with a small bag and phone. Naya has appeared in the set Heartlake Juice Bar, but of course this exclusive figure is slightly unique. She still sports a purple skirt and white shirt but on close observation the pattern on the shirt and the colour of her shoes are different.
In truth the figure is not terribly exciting and if you already have the Juice Bar set, the slight variation in her outfit is not a reason to buy the book. But rest assured the content of the Encyclopedia more than makes up for the figure’s shortcomings.
The book comes with 170 pages of photos and content about the Lego Friends series, up to the releases of early 2014. Chapter sections include the Characters, Animals, Hobbies, Locations and Vehicles of Heartlake City, the home of the friends.
It is a thick book and each unique element warrants its own page which includes captioned photos, anecdotes about the characters/sets and little facts that will add to fans’ understanding of the Friends’ interests and skills. A handy index in the back of the book makes the content easy to navigate.
My daughter picked the book up and was engrossed for at least an hour. I would recommend the book as a resource for fans, no matter the age. Younger children can flip through the book for the images and hopefully use it as a stepping stone to reading while older fans will revel in the details.
Thanks to DK for the review copy.
Take a trip to Heartlake City and join in on the fun with the LEGO® Friends in the new LEGO® Friends Character Encyclopedia from DK.
Meet Mia, Stephanie, Andrea, Olivia, and Emma-and all the LEGO Friends characters! Find out about their pets, hobbies, vehicles, and favorite places to just hang out. Learn about their likes and dislikes, their cool outfits, and even discover their top secrets!
Featuring tons of images and fascinating facts about the popular LEGO Friends sets and mini-dolls, LEGO Friends Character Encyclopedia also comes with a mini-doll in a new and exclusive outfit and two cool accessories!
In a nutshell the LEGO Play Book is awesome and the perfect gift for any Lego fan, whatever their age.
In situations like this, The LEGO Play Book is highly visual, images speak louder than words. Let’s start by taking a look at the book’s contents pages (all four of them). Just at a glance, you can see that the book covers a wide variety of LEGO themes, models and styles.
On each of these pages is a myriad of images featuring creations from different LEGO design experts. Keep in mind that this is not an instruction book, but is instead a book of ideas and models, perfect to inspire builders in their own creations.
The book doesn’t give you step-by-step instructions to build the models featured on its pages but instead is meant to be used as inspiration, chock-full of ideas that will definitely widen your perception of LEGO’s capabilities as an art form.
The format is ideal.
While there are no instructions, there are notes to accompany most models which give readers an insight into the particular pieces, colors and techniques the builders selected to make the model. To help you out there is also a very handy LEGO piece Visual Guide in the front of the book as well as 2 pages of hints and tips to help with building ideas and techniques.
The LEGO Play Book would make a perfect gift for any LEGO fan. While young readers can skip over the words and flip through the hundreds of images for ideas, older readers will appreciate the numerous hints and tips on each page.
The LEGO Play Book
LEGO Play Book proves it. You can build anything with a LEGO brick in your hand
LEGO Play Book contains a collection of all-new LEGO building ideas that will inspire you to play with your favourite LEGO models in new and exciting ways.
Organised in imaginatively themed chapters, covering everything from a LEGO safari and life under the sea to extreme sports and beach scenes. This book is designed to teach you how to get the most play out of your LEGO models. With over 200 building ideas and tips, including suggestions for “ten-minute builds”, “cool brick” features and “a handful of bricks”, you’ll discover endless LEGO possibilities. Advice from LEGO fan builders encourages you to get creative while developing your LEGO skills and knowledge of new bricks and tricks.
With a mixture of LEGO models, from the very simplest to the more complex, LEGO Play Book is perfect for everyone; for beginners and more accomplished builders alike.
I must admit I had found The Yoda Chronicles a little hard to pin down. I have never really been sure exactly what it was.
To be honest I’m still not sure.
Is it a TV series, a web series, a game, an app, a ploy to sell more LEGO sets or all of the above?
It turns out that there has been a TV series in the US, featured on The Cartoon Network. The story played out over three animated specials which spawned the resulting books, games, apps and LEGO sets. I have no idea whether the series has shown on Australian TV. I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to broadcast TV (However, it isn’t on itunes, I know that much).
A press release tells us more:
LEGO Star Wars returns in epic style with THE YODA CHRONICLES, a thrilling, funny and action-packed new LEGO Star Wars story told in three animated TV specials! Set in the “Prequel” Star Wars timeline, THE YODA CHRONICLES stars the one and only Yoda—the Jedi Master who has seen it all, done it all, and taught generations of Jedi Knights—in an all-new adventure. With the help of a fresh class of Padawans, Yoda leads the Jedi in a desperate fight to stop Darth Sidious and his minions from creating a new super-weapon that could crush theRepublic and win the war for the forces of Evil.
So what about the book?
The Yoda Chronicles Book tells us more about the story, the character of Yoda and other characters that feature in the series, some new, some old favourites. While a thick book, it includes a minifigure (an exclusive Clone Special Forces Commander), so a large proportion of the thickness is an empty space to protect the integrity of the figure and the book’s spine (this will make more sense if you have other DK books which have come with free minifigures).
All up it is 63 pages long and I have to say it won’t get alot of re-reading in my house but that is mainly because my kids are probably a little too old for the intended audience.
Younger fans will no doubt be impressed and pour through the colourful pages with glee, but for the more discerning older fan, the book will appear to be an expensive catalogue for the latest LEGO sets rather than a useful resource book. Additionally, because of the rather elusive nature of The Yoda Chronicles series if, like me, you are unfamiliar with the story then it might not be worth the purchase unless you simply have to have everything related to LEGO Star Wars.
Each page has a different focus (e.g. Where Does Yoda Come From, Pirates And Bounty Hunters, Jabba The Hutt, Yoda’s Galaxy, etc) and every other page features a Star Wars LEGO set prominently.
The facts are interesting and the figure is a powerful incentive for collectors but overall the book lacks something to make it universally appealing, and is best left for younger fans of LEGO Star Wars who are perhaps just starting on their journey into reading and the love of books.
Includes an exclusive minifigure!
Relive Yoda’s adventures in the LEGO® Star Wars® galaxy with this all new format from DK.
The first in a brand-new series, LEGO Star Wars: Yoda Chronicles features themed spreads based on the legendary Yoda’s adventures, from his leadership of the Jedi council and his duels with Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, to his support of the Wookiees in the Clone Wars and his training of Luke on Dagobah. Specially commissioned photography shows minifigures and vehicles in action, with tons of storylines and facts that kids will love.
In regards to the animated series, luckily someone has uploaded the cartoon to Youtube but the quality is poor so when it arrives on DVD I would recommend purchasing a copy.
So naturally once it arrived in my house the book immediately disappeared for 2 weeks and finally surfaced after my son had thoroughly “read” and “re-read” each and every minute detail on each and every page.
As far as reviews go I’d say that this book passed with flying colours.
Essentially the book consists of 10 detailed instructions for various vehicles that can be built with the set 5867, LEGO Creator Super Speedster which comes with 278 pieces.
It is wonderful that the book only requires the pieces from one set to complete all the models. The downside to this approach is that this particular set was released in 2010 and so is now quite hard to find – hard or “expensive”.
However every cloud has a silver lining.
As with most Creator sets, the parts included are fairly generic. There are very few parts that are rare or expensive to acquire individually. There are a full list of parts required in the front of the Amazing Vehicles book or you can find them itemised at Brickset. So if you don’t have the 5867 set, then head over to Bricklink and pick up the pieces you don’t have.
Models and Instructions
The models themselves are beautifully designed – the perfect balance of practical functionality and design ingenuity. The instructions are clear and easy to follow.
Every now and then a cartoon-character guide informs readers about the specific construction techniques used. This allows keen designers to get an inside look into the creative decisions made by authors, Nathanaël Kuipers and Mattia Zamboni who made sure the models stand up to use.
Overall the book is a winner and if you can combine it with the afore-mentioned Creator set then it is the perfect combination for kids and big kids) who want to make the most of their LEGO building collection.
BUILD 10 COOL MODELS!
With just one collection of LEGO® bricks, you can build any of these 10 models—from the simple Go-Kart to the intricate Rescue Truck.
Handy tips and advanced building techniques will inspire you to create your own amazing models for even more fun!
The sale is online too though a number of the best deals have sold out already. In that case they also have a Find A Store function on the site which allows you to see stores in your area that still have that particular set in stock. Given the great deals on a couple of sets it might be worth a phone call.
Online shopping also includes free shipping for orders over $100, which is wonderful deal for the larger sets. I have used Myer Online before and would trust their service. Their packing leaves a little to desired for larger boxes but they were very fast and used tracking.
The MYER Toy Sale ends October 13th.
Some notable sale items include:
This seems like a good deal – for one box shipped to Australia it works out to $165 AUS and for two slightly less per box.
With 16 all-new, special minifigures in Series 11, the LEGO® Minifigure Collection continues to grow. Each minifigure comes in a sealed “mystery” bag with its own special accessories, display plate and collector’s booklet.
Inspired by movies, sports, history and just everyday life, this collection includes: Scientist, Lady Robot, Evil Mech, Yeti, Jazz Musician, Holiday Elf, Constable, Dirndl Girl, Diner Waitress, Scarecrow, Barbarian, Welder, Mountain Climber, Grandma, Island Warrior and a Gingerbread Man.
Just a personal note: I’m not really re-launching the site. I’m writing this post to share a great deal I found. I might do more posts like this (on an irregular basis) as things come up leading up to Christmas.
Hope you are all well]]>