80108 Iconic Lunar New Year Traditions Review

Review by Brett Thomas (SAFOLs Members, CapeLUG Members)

I would like to start with why I wanted this set (which I was lucky enough to receive as a birthday present). I am a huge fan and collector of the Lego minifigure. I am always looking for unique figures and creative ways to display these. I have built some of my own habitats for my minifigures and so this set immediately caught my eye as it ticks all the above boxes. It contains 12 minifigures and 6 mini built habitats as well as a central core to join the mini builds

The box is aligned to those in this theme and the front has a large picture of the final build as well as a picture of each minifigure. The rear of the box shows an alternate completed build structure as well as some enlarged pictures of the mini builds.

Inside the box are 7 bags (1 for each mini build and the central core) 6 instruction booklets and 2 sticker sheets. The instruction booklets are separated so that different family members can build these at the same time. The central core build is included in book 1 with the first scene.

Each scene depicts an activity related to the Chinese New Year, I will describe each one and the minifigures in each below.

The central core uses technic parts to connect to all 6 scenes. It has a printed round top with New year Mandrin printing and some stickered tiles representing each scene (These are hidden in the final build.) The rear of each scene has 2 technic axle connectors to join to the core, only 1 is used to join and the other gives some stability when lifting the final build. Each scene is built on a 9×9 base with 3 rounded corners. Each scene has a sticker in Mandarin that relates to the scene.

The 6 different scenes are spring cleaning, food shopping, making good luck decorations, staying up to ring in the new year. Visiting grandparents and the god of prosperity.

Spring Cleaning

In this scene there are 2 minifigures dusting and cleaning the windows of an apartment. It is a full scene with some washing an aircon and a white bird. I like the feather duster build using coloured flower parts and the squeegee using T-bar. Both minifigure are dressed in orange overalls and the torso is a new print

Food Shopping

This shows a Chinese street vendor and his stall. He is selling food and toys on sticks. The toys are depicted by micro statuettes in 4 different colours. The roof of the stall uses ingot pieces, which is a cool way to depict tiles. We also get a new colour ingot in sand blue. The vendors torso has a printed belt and “moon bag” which is new in this set

Making Good Luck Decorations

This scene has an adult and a child making decorations. This scene is packed with details, a mandarin tree holding the final decorations (depicted with a red 1×2 printed tile) a parcel on the doorstep (which per Jay’s brick blog review has the IATA code BLL on it, which is for Billund airport. Some Lego perhaps?) and a small table with a red stickered parcel. The young gild has a quilted jacket torso which is also a new print. The door is surrounded by 3 printed red 1×3 and 4 tiles.

Staying Up To Ring In The New Year

This scene shows a family of 3 watching television just before the new year. There is a stickered digital clock showing the time as 23:59. This scene has a couch, the television (Stickered) a small table and a really cool small aquarium. The father is holding a printed orange/mandarin round tile which is also new.

Visiting Grandparents

This scene shows a child and 2 grandparents they all have the same red printed tile from the making decorations scene. This scene is also packed with details, a picture depicting a tiger (sticker) to align with the year of the tiger, a vase with pink flowers, a bookshelf with 3 books (creative use of the sand blue ingot here also) and a few presents among which is a Lego bag (sticker). The grandparents are sitting on 2 chair parts and there is a lilac carpet. The grandfather has a neat torso with a printed scarf

The God of Prosperity

The final scene depicts Choy San, the God OF Prosperity. The figure has a new torso print and uses a sloped skirt piece to depict a robe. This is also a new print in this set. The head has a wink and a smile. The scene shows gold ingots and “yuanbao” (ancient Chinses ingots resembling a boat with a lump in the middle) These are done using a gold hotdog bun with a gold stud, there is also a large red pot. There is a printed lamp showing a tiger and a printed 2×4 red tile as decoration.

Alternative display

There are some exposed studs on the top of the walls of each scene which allows you to stack these in a pyramid format with 3 on the bottom, 2 on the next level and 1 on the top. The benefit of this is allowing all 6 scenes to be viewed without moving the display. I found this stacking methos to be flimsy and not stable. If you chose to use this, you would need to build some kind of support behind the display

Overall

 This set is only found at LCS stores and retails for R 1 299.00, it consists of 1066 pieces and includes 12 minifigures. There is a lot of detail crammed into each scene and a few techniques you could use in other builds. The builds could be done by the whole family together. There is a good quantity and variety of minifigures which could also be used in other Lego displays. This will make a interesting display piece. I would recommend this set.

71387 Adventures with Luigi Review

Reviewed by Chris McGee (SAFOLs Member, jhbLUG Member)

Introduction:

So it has been a while since my review of the Mario Starter Course set and a lot has happened, both in the theme and at LEGO® but seeing the Luigi starter course being released, I put it on the to-do list from a review perspective. Although I was positive about the Mario starter course, I was concerned about the longevity of the theme and the play system but with the introduction of the Luigi figure, it shows that the theme has had some legs on it. Also as a side note, I haven’t covered the mobile application in this review, but you can refer to the review of the Mario starter pack if you would like some insights.

The Figure:

In my opinion, the Mario figure was one of the most creative technology items LEGO® has produced in recent history. With the likes of the augmented reality themes coming and going without much staying power, for LEGO® to bring out a new starter set, embracing the old technology as well as bringing in some new co-operative features shows a lot of positives towards the initial Mario starter set.

The Luigi figure itself is very similar to Mario, having the same shape and ability to use the power up packs (suits and the cap), although also being slightly taller and the features elongated to give the impression that he is slenderer than Mario as reflected in the games. One disappointment I had was that the printed “L” on the cap was printed slightly off center, and hopefully is an isolated incident.

The functionality and usage of the figure remains the same as the Mario and updates come through the mobile application which will allows for the same functionality across both Luigi and Mario. One of the great aspects though is that the voice as well as the recorded lines are different to Mario giving you a semi-authentic play experience.

Best feature that has come with the Luigi introduction would have to be the new co-op feature. Essentially, you can use both Luigi and Mario in unison and actually play a 2-player game mode (Note: Mario figure not included in this set). The 2 figures can be paired using the Bluetooth functionality and now you can build a larger course or have multiple routes and play alongside your friend. A bonus to this is that Mario and Luigi also have talking points such as saying “Hi” to each other.

The Builds and Course:

So I noticed when building the set, that a large portion of builds were made to be more geared towards the course building system versus focusing on small modules, rather than the original Mario starter set which did try and guide the course a bit more.

The set also comes with extra plates for joining the different platforms and does allow for more intuitive creativity in the play and course building. It does also come with the starting pipe as well as the end flag which seem to be almost identical to the original starter set which I feel should be the case given this is also meant to be a starter course, and the inclusion of a single question mark block is a handy addition.

The core play function in the set comes from the inclusion of 3 characters and a rotatable see-saw build which is quite interesting.

The use of the “splat” gear modified plates which come in the separate platforms allows you to spin your Luigi (or Mario) to earn coins, but then also connect to and spin the rotating see-saw. You can also use the figure on the see-saw itself and earn coins by bouncing from either side. However, this was clearly built to be done in a co-op mode with 2 of the figures playing in tandem effectively teetering from side to side on the see-saw, or one figure spinning the platform and another figure busy on the see-saw. Playing in co-op with this build was a lot of fun trying to maximise the coin collecting.

The Characters:

Alongside Luigi, the set includes a Pink Yoshi, as well as 2 enemies to battle, being a Bone Gumba (in a walking pose) and Boom Boom, one of the many koopalings.

I am appreciative of the inclusion of the Pink Yoshi here as the original starter set did lack some additional aspects to the interactions available. It is a solid build although pretty much the same as the Green Yoshi which has been available from the first wave of sets. The printing of the eyes could have been more opaque though. The Boom Boom is a welcome inclusion and is a well thought out build giving the right shaping of the head and fists as well as nicely articulable arms using the mini-ball joints. The Bone Gumba is also very welcome since we did see more (and probably too many) regular Gumbas in previous sets.

I have heard of people who don’t enjoy the brick-built characters and would have preferred new moulds, and it is the same debate which happens with the different dinosaurs that LEGO® release. I can see that side of the argument, but for me, these brick-built versions really do give a great aesthetic to the course building system, and I do think that the designers have done a good job with them.

The Verdict:

This is a better value starter set with some extra interaction, an additional character when compared with the original with an additional 50 pieces and 280 pieces in total versus 230 pieces. The cost of the set is clearly down to the Luigi figure as the technology factor influences. However, as I said in the prior review, the technology really is great and worth the price of admission in the set.

But I am not sure if getting this set alongside the original version (if you have it) would be needed. If you are like me and need the Luigi to be alongside Mario and enjoy the new co-op features then the set more than attends to your needs and ticked all of my personal boxes (with some annoyances on production quality as mentioned through the review) But if you are happy with Mario or are not a fan of the course building system of play or fairly simplistic builds, it may be just more of the same…

Official Images:

21329 Fender Stratocaster Review

Review by Luke Comins (SAFOLs Members)

Released October 1 2021, this set includes 1,074 pieces.

The Gig
Just about all sets released under the LEGO® Ideas banner come from fan designers uploading their creations and getting 10,000 votes. In recent years, contests have offered a unique way to gather fan-created content. After a few smaller projects have been transformed into GWPs (gifts with purchase), this set is the first to be released after being featured in a LEGO® Ideas Contest. Back in 2020 LEGO® Ideas ran the ‘Music to Our Ears’ contest. This contest required fans to create a music-themed build. Fans could vote for their favourites as well as the possibility of one of the finalists becoming a future LEGO® set. One such entry was the legendary Fender Stratocaster project designed by Slovakian fan designer Tomáš Letenay. It did not win one of the contest’s top prizes however was chosen to become the 37th LEGO® Ideas set.

The Fender Stratocaster was created back in 1952 and became an instant classic, everybody needed a ‘Strat’. Known for its distinctive shape, double cutaway, extended horn and contoured back, the timeless design has led to nearly 60 years of market dominance for the Stratocaster – and that’s exactly the kind of legacy that makes it a perfect fit for the LEGO® Group, particularly the +18 Adult theme.

The Good, the Bad and the Build
The set consists of a guitar, foldable display stand, amplifier and foot pedal which comes in twelve numbered bags.
The first eight numbered bags contain the parts for the guitar, and the rest are for the amplifier.

The instructions booklet also includes some neat extra content including the history of the Stratocaster and the fan designer behind the set’s original concept.


You start by constructing the neck and fretboard of the instrument. There are 6 strings included in the build that aren’t normally offered in such a long length and they each have a coloured stud attached to them. Once correctly placed in position, these are then removed. This visual marker is a simple yet helpful way to ensure the strings are placed in the right formation. Once they are, you are required to twist them counterclockwise in order to tighten them. The unique fretboard tiles are really cool and make it possible for MOC builders to now create some other brand guitars. The 1×1 corner tiles supplied for 4 different picks are also a nice touch.

The headstock looks somewhat close to the real thing, but the connector piece makes it look a bit crappy and the tuning keys and bridge in silver would have been a real bonus. The printed Fender logo could also have been a fraction smaller just so it doesn’t freak out my semi-OCD mind.

The guitar can be built in red or black and I chose the red version to build first as that is what is shown as the main image on the box, and I personally find the red ‘Strat’ more iconic.

The body of the guitar uses various sideways building techniques using slopes to recreate the curves. The top curves are unfortunately not as smooth as have been achieved on the bottom of the guitar shape. The result is that swapping between the two colour ways isn’t all that simple. You can’t just cleanly detach the black body and attach a red sub-assembly as the official images suggest; thanks to the way the strings are integrated into the bottom of the pick guard and the body, you’ll have to pry apart chunks of the guitar if you fancy a change.
The volume and tone knobs could have been detailed whether printed or with stickers. LEGO® have printed tons of random 1×1 round tiles…
Oh yes, the stickers… there are a few nice ones to apply, one for the back of the guitar and three for the amp.

One of my favourite parts of the Fender build is the unique textile strap (same as used for minifigure capes etc). On a real instrument, the strap is an important tool to help with playing it.
The version here has been given a LEGO® twist, with brick stud patterns interwoven with the Fender logo, a nice print!

As much as the focus of the set is the guitar, the accompanying ’65 Princeton Reverb amplifier is just as important and in fact, is even more interesting to build.
The amp pulls a similar trick to the LEGO® 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System’s console in how it’s designed first and foremost to be dynamic for the builder, rather than solely to be admired on display. The various components of the motherboard and fuses that form the inner workings of the amp have all been worked into the build, even if some of those pieces aren’t connected in a traditional manner. This includes the speaker dish being held in place by the edge of studs and various different coloured 1×1 tiles wedged sideways between studs. The results are pretty cool and can be easily viewed or accessed once the set is built as the back and top covers can be removed.

Just as you would a real guitar, the LEGO® Stratocaster can be connected to the amp via a uniquely long piece of tubing. Another is used to connect the foot pedal to the back of the amp. Even the pieces used to achieve this are interesting, with ‘lipstick’ elements used to create connector pins. These elements are also used inside some of the fuse tubes inside the speaker.

The guitar measures in at a reasonable 36cm tall and 11cm wide and comes in surprisingly close to the initial design concept, both in scale and design.

This build brilliantly captures the iconic shape, proportions, and details of the Fender Stratocaster, across both the guitar and amp.

It does seem a little smaller than expected but I think that adds to the charm as well as making it a lot easier to display. Interestingly, the amp seems to be the overall bigger hit in the set.
There is not really any playability in the set so best to stick to your air guitar or a real one for that.

Oh yes, LEGO® throw in a nice big LEGO® Fender sticker as an added bonus!

This set took 4hrs build time including making the black version of the body to swap if I feel like it one day…

(Photos Credit: Vizcom)

70004 Chima Wakz’ Pack Tracker

Review by James Burnett (SAFOLs Members, CapeLUG Members)

The Chima theme is centred on the fictional world of Chima, a place inhabited by warring tribes of anthropomorphic animals. There are 12 main tribes living in the various parts of Chima. These are Bear, Beaver, Crawler (sub-divided into Bat, Scorpion, and Spider), Crocodile, Eagle, Fire (sub-divided into Phoenix, and Tiger), Gorilla, Ice Hunter (sub-divided into Ice-Bear, Mammoth, Saber-Tooth Tiger, and Vulture), Lion, Raven, Rhino, and Wolf Tribes.

The Wolf tribe is a nomadic tribe and have no need for large cities. They have a permanent base in the Timber Woods called Wolf Camp, but they prefer to roam the land. They have no royal family or formal leadership structure as it has little need for a leader because they form a close pack that all think alike. They do choose one wolf (the Alpha) to handle interaction and negotiations with other tribes. The Wolf tribe loves destructive. The Wolves revere a great “Mother Wolf” whose “Mother Tooth” was left to them to provide light in darkness and thus is treated as a holy. The tribe consist of 5 members:

  • Worriz (the Alpha male of the tribe)
  • Wakz (elder of the tribe).
  • Wilhurt (a soldier and the Alpha’s second in command)
  • Windra (a female member of the tribe.
  • Winzar (a soldier of the tribe)

All Wolf tribe vehicles feature a full wolf-head build into a truck in gray, black and dark red. Vehicle features include a head, jaw, white teeth, fangs, large wheels and flaming exhausts.

The Build

The main build consists only of the Wolf tribe vehicle called a Pack Tracker and it uses mainly black, dark red, DBG and LBG. It is built to resemble a wolf. The drivers cabin is shaped like the head of a wolf with eyebrows and everything. The bottom jaw of the snout is hinged and can be opened or closed, depending on the pose you could like to have.

The back of the vehicle resembles a stand truck flatbed and this is where the primary weapon is located which is one of the newer projectile launchers (cannon). The projectile has a good range and does shoot out with a decent force, so avoid shooting yourself in the eyes as it will hurt (don’t ask how I know J ).

The tail is a chain with two claws attached to it, and is a secondary weapon. It can be rolled in using technic gears thereby capturing enemies and bringing them on board the vehicle. The large open snout, large black wheels and dark red exhausts (with flames) gives the vehicle an a very aggressive look, which fits in perfectly with the nature of the Wolf tribe.

The Minifigure

The set comes with 3 minifigures. The first is Wakz, one of the pack Elders. His legs are DBG with white claws and he is wearing dark red pants. Patches of fur can be seen sticking out of his pants. On the front of his torso is a dark azure circle (representing CHI) with dark red armour, silver markings, and a fur animal pelt print. The same detail is on the back of his torso. A flat silver armour piece fits on the torso.

His head is double-sided with one side being stern, and the other appearing as if he is snarling. A wolf head-piece goes over the standard minifigure head in order to enhance the look of a wold. The headpiece is DBG with LBG accents which helps to create the look of an older wolf (seeing as he is an Elder).

The second minifigure is Winzar (a soldier of the tribe). His legs are LGB with white claw. He is wearing a dark red loincloth and has a fur tail lucky charm dangling from his belt.

On the front of his torso is a dark azure circle (representing CHI), surrounded by DBG chest hair. The rest of his fur is LBG with muscle printing. The back of the torso is mostly LBG with a few strips of BDG fur. I am slightly disappointed how plain his back print is, but luckily you would display him from the front.

His head is double-sided with very detailed red scars over his left eye with is closed. I am not sure if he lost the eye in a previous battle or if it is only swollen shut. His wolf head-piece has stubble and the same red scars as on the head. Over all the printing detail creates an angry and ferocious looking wolf soldier.

The third minifigure is Equila (the Tournament Announcer of the Eagle tribe). His legs are white with yellow talons. He is wearing a dark blue belt and pearl gold belt as well as pearl hold knee covers. 

On the front of his torso is a blue circle (representing CHI), with an absolutely stunning pearl gold armour plate pattern. The rest of the torso is bright light blue with muscle printing. The back of the torso has the same beautiful armour plate printing. A pearl gold armour piece fits on the torso with a trans-light blue round tile represents the CHI on the front. White wings can be attached to the back.

He has a double-sided head with one side having very cool orange goggles. An eagle head-piece goes over the standard minifigure head in order to enhance the look of an eagle. The headpiece is mostly white with some medium blue feather.

Conclusion

While the vehicle is a fun build that does a great job representing a wolf, the true value of the set lies in the detailed minifigures which is a pure joy to display and look at on a daily basis.

70003 Chima Iris’ Eagle Interceptor

Review by James Burnett (SAFOLs Members, CapeLUG Members)

The Chima theme is centred on the fictional world of Chima, a place inhabited by warring tribes of anthropomorphic animals. There are 12 main tribes living in the various parts of Chima. These are Bear, Beaver, Crawler (sub-divided into Bat, Scorpion, and Spider), Crocodile, Eagle, Fire (sub-divided into Phoenix, and Tiger), Gorilla, Ice Hunter (sub-divided into Ice-Bear, Mammoth, Saber-Tooth Tiger, and Vulture), Lion, Raven, Rhino, and Wolf Tribes.

The Eagle tribe is the most analytical of all the tribes. They live in the Eagle Spire which is a tall spire/pillar of rock jutting into the air with numerous buildings and towers near the top. The Eagle Spire has no windows, doors, or streets because Eagles can fly, making it obsolete.

Even though the tribe has a royal family, the tribe is ruled by a Ruling Council of Elders. The tribe consist of 5 members:

  • Ewald (head of the Ruling Council)
  • Eris (Princess of the Eagle Tribe)
  • Equila (the tournament announcer)
  • Eglor (the inventor of the tribe)
  • Ewar (a soldier)

The tribe’s vehicles generally resemble white bird-heads with yellow beaks. The body will normally be different shades of blue and azure with white accents. Talons are also a common feature, either coloured pearl gold or black.

The Build

You first build the small glider of the Raven tribe. It consists of only 29 parts. Although it does somewhat resemble a raven, mainly due to the black colour, it is a very plain build and does not use any new or interesting techniques. Luckily it is only a support build and the main focus should be on the larger Eagle tribe vehicle.

Next you build the much larger vehicle of the Eagle tribe after which the set is named. The designers did an excellent job in making the vehicle resemble an eagle. The wings, tail, legs (with talons) and head articulate, making it easy to place the vehicle in different positions. The colours of blue, dark blue, and dark azure (with accents of white and yellow) creates an appealing aesthetic. The vehicle has numerous weapons, while the talons can also serve as a weapon to grab and hold enemies. The head of the vehicle can also detach and be a small recognisance vehicle with its own wings and weapons.

The Minifigures

The set comes with 3 minifigures. The first is Eris, the Princess of the Eagle tribe. As with all Chima figures, a lot of detail has gone into the printing detail. Her legs are white with yellow talons printed on them (showing the attention to detail as it links to the yellow used in the talons of the vehicle), as well as pearl gold printing on the legs and hips.  

On the front of her torso is a blue circle (representing CHI), with a pearl gold armour printing. Lego does seem to have fallen into the trap in the fantasy realm where all female warriors have a lot of exposed flesh (compared to male warriors that are fully covered and protected by armour). This does however not take anything away from the quality of this minifigure. The back of the torso is the same armour print.

A pearl gold armour piece fits on the torso. I really appreciate the fact that even though the armour covers half of the torso, it did not limit the printing of the torso which allows you to display the minifigure with or without the armour. A trans-light blue round tile represents the CHI on the front. White wings can be attached to the back. As with all Chima minifigures, the head is double-sided with one side being calm, and the other appearing friendly. An eagle head-piece goes over the standard minifigure head in order to enhance the look of an eagle. The headpiece is mostly white is a beautiful pearl gold print that reminds me of a tiara (seeing as she is a princess).

The second minifigure is Razar (prince of the Raven tribe). His legs have dark bluish grey (DBG) talons printed on them with a red belt and silver buckles.

On the front of his torso is a blue circle (representing CHI), some DBG belts and dark purple feather prints. The back of the torso also has the DBG bels and dark purple feather. He lost his left hand which has been replaced with a flat silver hook.

A flat silver armour piece fits on the torso. A trans-light blue round tile represents the CHI on the front. Black wings can be attached to the back. The head is double-sided with red and silver printing. A raven head-piece goes over the standard minifigure head and has the same red and silver to match the head.

The third minifigure is Rizzo who is half raven and half cyborg. He has one flat silver pirate peg leg and one standard leg. Interestingly it is one of the few Chima legs with no printing on them. I don’t know what the reasoning was behind this/

His torso is almost identical to Razar, except he has a DBG belt printed onto his torso, while Razar has a red belt printing onto his hips. Rizzo also has both his dark purple hands.

A flat silver armour piece fits on the torso. A trans-light blue round tile represents the CHI on the front. Black wings can be attached to the back. The head is double-sided. Rizzo also lost his left eye so that has been replaced with a metal eye patch. A raven head-piece goes over the standard minifigure head which has a beautiful metal plate on the left side of his face.

Conclusion

While the glider of the Raven tribe is functional, the vehicle of the Eagle tribe is a fun and interesting build. The minifigures are also done really well, with enough variation between the two Raven tribe members to not appear monotonous. A definite must for any Chima fan.

70000 Chima Razcal’s Glider Review

By James Burnett (SAFOLs Member, CapeLUG Member)

In 2018 I came across a raven/crow minifigure that I had no idea what theme it belonged too. However, the printing detail was done so exceptionally well that I immediately did my homework to find out which theme it belonged too. And so I discovered the amazing (although short lived) theme of Legends of Chima.

The theme is centred on the fictional world of Chima, a place inhabited by warring tribes of anthropomorphic animals. There are 12 main tribes living in the various parts of Chima. These are Bear, Beaver, Crawler (sub-divided into Bat, Scorpion, and Spider), Crocodile, Eagle, Fire (sub-divided into Phoenix, and Tiger), Gorilla, Ice Hunter (sub-divided into Ice-Bear, Mammoth, Saber-Tooth Tiger, and Vulture), Lion, Raven, Rhino, and Wolf Tribes.

The most powerful natural resource on the world of Chima is Chi. It gives life and energy to much of the world and it contains the raw power of nature, compressed into an orb. Chi flows in the form of magical water into a sacred pool and combines with the minerals in the pool to form glowing, blue Chi orbs. Chi is then channelled into weapons, equipment, vehicle, and more. Most inhabitants of Chima wear a special harness that is designed for holding orbs of Chi and absorbing its power. When the Chi is placed into the harness, it releases a surge of energy into the wearer that increases strength, speed, stamina, as well as enhancing instincts and natural senses.

Figure 1: The tribes of Chima

The Raven tribe is the sneakiest tribe in Chima. They reside in the Raven’s Junkyard (a city in the desert). They are professional thieves with a strong attraction to shiny objects. Their vehicles are often gliders coloured black, dark red, and purple. The tribe consists of 4 members:

  1. Rawzom (King of the Ravens)
  2. Razar (Prince of the Ravens)
  3. Razcal (the tribe’s accountant)
  4. Rizzo (cyborg-like leader of some packs within the tribe.

The Build

The build consists of a small glider. Like most of the vehicles in the Chima world, the glider is built to resemble the specific tribe, is this case a raven.  For a small build of only 99 pieces, the designers did a good job representing a raven. The wings and claws can articulate making the glider easy to pose in various attack modes. The colours of black, dark red and purple give the vehicle an overall ominous look and feel, while adding a touch of humour in the form of a bone as the control stick. The glider has 1 main weapon which is flick operated in the centre of the chest.

The Minifigure

The set comes with only 1 minifigure which is Razcal. The printing detail is exceptional from the claws on his feet to piercings on his eyebrows. His legs have dark bluish grey (DBG) claws printed on them, as well as some gold, purple, and DBG details above there. His hips have gold detailing in the center and a bit of DBG around the gold.

On the front of his torso is a dark azure circle (representing CHI), some gold above it and around it, and a lot of DBG and purple detail. The back of the torso has printed DBG pockets with gold on them, and some purple feathers printed all around the back.

A flat silver armour piece fits on the torso. A trans-light blue round tile represents the CHI on the front. Black wings can be attached to the back. As with all Chima minifigures, the head is double-sided which one side being calm, and the other appearing agitated. A raven head-piece goes over the standard minifigure head in order to enhance the look of a raven.

Conclusion

For the size and number of parts, it is a fun and interesting build. It is a good introduction to the world of Chima.

10292 The Friends Apartment Review

Review by Cerry-Lee Chelin and Troy Chelin (SAFOLs Members, jhbLUG Members)

Set number 10292 The Friends Apartment is an adults set that was made off the back of the very popular 21319 Central Perk set that featured the cast of friends in the Central Perk coffee shop which they spent time at throughout the TV Series. This set features Joey and Chandler’s apartment as well as Monica and Rachel’s apartment separated by the hall way which can be placed in-between the two apartments or separate it is your choice.

Box Art and instructions

The box features the Friend’s iconic logo with the picture of the two LEGO® apartments on a black background, it features the characters on the bottom right corner with a blue LEGO® pieces band at the bottom stating the set name and piece count of 2048. Brickset has the piece count of 2047, but you are welcome to count for yourself. To be honest I don’t know why LEGO® chose all the 18+ Adult sets with the black background because on store shelves it does not really pop out at you and I find it very odd, adults do enjoy bright colours and fresh backgrounds I just find the adult box art unappealing and rather boring, even the instruction manual cover is black, luckily the instructions are in a lighter background so you can actually see what piece goes where. Talking of the instructions you get a heavy book with 291 pages, with some lovely pictures and notes from the designer and an overview of all the characters featured in the set. The set comes with 15 bags and a sticker sheet with 17 stickers to apply.

The all-important Mini figures

Rachel: This mini figure has matured from the last figure we received in the Central Perk set, she has a beautiful long ponytail and only Rachel’s character can pull off a printed cropped turtleneck, plaid kilt and knee length socks which makes her look fashionable.

Ross: This mini figure is based on the season 5, episode 11, and ‘The one with all the Resolutions” where he shows off his leather pants. Friend’s fans will know how that turns out. He has a long sleeved grey collared shirt; the hair is a perfect resemblance to Ross.

Joey: This is Cerry’s favourite mini figure because as soon as you see his torso you know the episode. “The one where no one’s Ready” Chandler and Joey have a fight over the couch and it escalates to where Joey does not have any clean underwear to wear with his tuxedo and to get back at Chandler he wears all of his cloths. (This was a two part episode and a must watch for non Friends fans) The legs are nicely printed and he has a scarf to represent the amount of cloths he has on.

Chandler: His character in the series has never had the best dress sense so it is great that the LEGO® designers have created his torso with a brown jacket and a very ugly tie from his collection. Nice hair piece which looks like a harry potter hair piece re coloured to brown. Chandlers alternative face print of him laughing is a nice addition.

Monica: Her hair piece has changed to a nicely moulded longer style; her mini figure is based off the episode “The one with all the Candy” where she makes candy for the neighbours to get to know them better and it all goes wrong. Her legs are beautifully printed to match her torso and are well matched to the episode.

Phoebe: She has a really nice flowing moulded hair piece with a nice pink cardigan torso with purple flowers, and plain purple pants, on the torso’s neckline you can make out a necklace printed in silver, we both find this character rather bland has she has such a spontaneous personality in the series and wears lovely different outfits throughout the. We would have liked to see her in a printed floral dress piece to match her personality on screen.

Janice: Central Perk we got Gunther and now we get another memorable figure in Janice, the torso is classic Janice style, leopard print top with plain legs and with the printed laughing face print you can almost hear her iconic laugh. Her hair piece has been adapted from a harry potter mini figure Bellatrix Lestrange but in dark brown.

The Build

Very enjoyable build and had a similar building experience to the Central Perk set. The same building techniques are used for the mats and furniture, not surprising as the fan designer had input in the building of this set. The best parts where all the Easter eggs that came out of every bag. When the hall way was finished it reviled the episode where Ross, Rachel and Joey eat the pie off the floor. Finding the Kayak, Duck and Chicken were an absolute treat.

Final thoughts

A must for Friend’s fans but even if you are not a Friend’s fan the details in the two apartments and the pieces would sway you to buy this set. Lovely use of colours and the addition of the lighting give the feel of a studio set, which you can remove if you want to display this set without them. This set takes up a lot of space so make sure you have enough room to display it. However the apartments can be separated and you could display the Central Perk and Apartments underneath each other in a display case.

Here is an alternative build https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-90906/beewiks/10292-friends-the-apartments-in-photo-frame/#details

Press Release images:

76391 – Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Icons – Collector’s Edition Review

By Andi Glogauer (SAFOLs Member)

Firstly, a disclaimer – I am fully certifiably Harry Potter obsessed.  So, if a Harry Potter Lego set comes out, I am likely to buy it, not because it is Lego, but because it is Harry Potter.

The only non-Harry Potter set that I own is the flowers set.

Secondly, I am not an advanced builder, and I struggle with perceptual issues, so I get help from my son if I need it.

Thirdly, I like cute and shiny things, and the fact that this set comes with potion bottles, gold minifigures, a golden snitch and a chocolate frog meant that I was sold from the outset.

Unboxing the huge box revealed 22 bags; an instruction book (which has lovely information at the end of each section, as well as information about the designers) and a small sticker sheet. (Yay! Fewer stickers meant printed bricks.)

The first part of the build was the wand, and I couldn’t figure out whether the core was there for stability or a representation of the actual core of the wand (phoenix feather). Needless to say, it did both jobs well because you can swish and flick the wand without any issues. It does not actually work – although that is quite fortunate since my son tried to do a spell on me to keep me quiet…

Harry Potter’s glasses are lovely and have round pieces that I have not seen before (one of the things that we love when building Lego is finding pieces that are new to us) and can actually be worn if you want to.  My only issue with the glasses is that they have no specific placement on the complete set.  I have put them on top of the scarf.

The base formed by a pile of books is incredible and creates a stand and support for the huge Hedwig.  I was fascinated by the engineering/technical side of the insides of the books, but I did need some help with some of them. The instructions were not always that clear to me, and I missed some steps without realising until a bit later – that was easily fixable, and I eventually got into a rhythm of how the build works.

It is not obvious that the bottom book is Tom Riddle’s diary if you don’t know any better, and I would have loved the designers to have added an ink splash or some writing on the book. The design of the open pages is wonderful and gives a very nice finish. I especially liked sliding the pieces into place rather than the usual pressing down of studs. The attention to detail on the books – particularly the spines and the angles that the books are placed is great. It looks so impressive that I think that the set would be ideally displayed where you can view it from all angles. You definitely miss out on seeing details if you place it against a wall or shelf.

And then we get to the great mystery… the box on top of the books.  It is an ornate, black box with the initials “H.G.” printed on one of the bricks. Who is H.G.? We had a lot of discussions about this. It seems to be Hermione Granger’s, but then why would Harry have Hermione’s potions? We wondered if they had made a mistake, and it should have been H.P. More about spelling mistakes later.

Building a giant owl – a feat of design and engineering. 

It’s a big owl, and although building some parts of Hedwig are monotonous and repetitive, it is incredible to see the owl take shape. The separator tool came into use a lot here as I sometimes struggled to see exactly where I was in terms of the placement of pieces. Once again, there were a few pieces that I had never seen before. 

For anything that needed two elements built, it was a joint effort between my son and I. We built the elements simultaneously or he sorted pieces while I built. Each feather on the wings and the tail is attached by either a ball or a hinge joint which make it possible to adjust their angles. The attention to detail with black and grey highlights gives her a beautiful and realistic effect.

The exciting parts – shiny and colourful – the potion bottles look incredible and are very satisfying to build.
The bottle tops look like realistic stoppers.  All the bottles can fit into the potion box. The labels for each bottle have meanings related to previous Lego sets, as well as classic Harry Potter references. As a bonus, the Felix Felicis vial glows in the dark.

The scarf is customisable to your choice of house.  It seems quite a simple element compared to the rest of the build.  I chose to use the colours of my house, Hufflepuff, but then wondered if it was true to the set because this is, obviously, Harry’s belongings, and then logic would say that the scarf should be in Gryffindor colours.  I have also heard people complain that the colours for the scarf are too bright and not true to the colours of the Hogwarts houses.

The golden snitch is also a quick, but very clever, build and is attached to the base with a technic piece so that it “floats” next to the books and potions.

The last element is the acceptance letter which is hinged to look like it has been folded and unfolded and is placed in Hedwig’s claws.

There is room to add your own name on the acceptance letter – again, this is Harry’s set, and I’m not sure that I will write my name on it.  Also, this is an adult set, and I don’t know how many adults want to write their name on a Lego set in permanent marker.  There’s a lot of upset amongst Harry Potter fans (and Latin purists I guess) about a spelling mistake on the crest on the letter – “titillandos” instead of “titillandus”.

Overall, I think that the finished set is really stunning and makes a great feature piece for any Harry Potter (or Lego) fan. It towers over Hedwig 75979 and is definitely a conversation piece and a beautiful addition to my collection.  I highly recommend it.

31119 Creator 3-in-1 Ferris Wheel Review

Reviewed by Riëtte Badenhorst (SAFOLs Member) and her son Gabriel

Pieces 1002, Age 9+, Released June 2021, Price R 1599.99

This build was done by Gabriel, almost-12 year’s old, and these are his views on how he liked this set.

Why did you decide to build the Ferris wheel build first?

I liked to build the Ferris wheel first because it’s the biggest build of the three.

What did you like most about the build?

I liked that I was able to motorise it with the LEGO® Technic parts.

I liked that it is interactive, and we can put people into the carts, and they have different colours that makes it fun.

It was easy enough to build and didn’t take too long.

The colourful style is very eye catching and we can put it with our Fun Town at home.

What changes did you make to the build?

The set is on 2 16×16 baseplates but we put those on a full baseplate to be more stable and so we could add other things like the ticket counter on it.

If Mom gets another set of this, which of the other two options would you build?

Definitely the bumper cars.

76182 Batman™ Cowl Review

By Allan Taylor (SAFOLs Member, CapeLUG Member)

Weighing in at 410 shiny black parts, split between three bags of bricky fun, set number 76182 Batman™ Cowl is yet another sterling product from the LEGO® Group.  This set is an amazing build of the headgear famously worn by none other than Batman himself!

Right from the get-go the packaging and even the manual is set to impress with its delightful and informative preamble on the opening pages to its stylish typesetting for the instructions themselves on beautiful glossy black paper.  This set sports an 18+ age recommendation and is clearly designed to appeal to an older audience.

So… let’s get to the actual build, shall we?

As with many of these busts, the fact that the base is designed to be hollower raising it by one plate height via strategically placed studs near the corners, makes this base tricky to build on because it isn’t stable unless you are working on a perfectly flat surface.  As I was building this set in our bedroom so I could also spend some time with my missus I did NOT have a perfectly flat surface to work on and frequently during the build the support struts would need reattaching to the base which would also require a bit of rebuilding as bits had popped off when I absentmindedly applied pressure.

If you’ve built any of these amazing busts before, you will be familiar with the start of the build as it follows roughly the same formula as previous sets. Establishing the base and support during the early steps so that it can all be incorporated deep within the final build, adding the essential structural integrity with tasteful engineering which is well obscured from view once the final product is on display.

The base design does differentiate itself slightly from previous Marvel and Star Wars busts by adding a few aesthetic elements more fitting with the Batman milieu in the form of some Trans-Black cheese slopes and some of the newer triangular corner tiles (and I REALLY hope these become more prevalent in future sets as they are invaluable to any MOC builder’s arsenal).

Another departure from the norm is the use of trans black 1x2x6 bricks to form the outer layer of the central pillar.  This trans black “smoky glass” is a theme that is evident throughout the entire build, but it just works, and I think Batman himself would approve of such well implemented design aesthetics.

As you progress through the build, raising the now well-known and cleverly design central cavity, one also notices that there are elements added at this initial stage which will nicely round out the completed design by elegantly complimenting the various sub builds which comprise the actual shaping of the bust, such as the black curved and angled plates layered near the bottom.  This results in a slightly less “vanilla” design to the support structure whilst still maintaining the necessary sturdy but hollow outcome.  This is a staple of these builds as it brings down the total part count (ie the cost to you, the end user) as well as the overall weight of the model once complete, which is great because even as is these things can get pretty hefty.

Once the second bag of bits has been built and incorporated the model really starts taking shape and looking every bit as iconic as one would imagine.  The sub builds for the top, back and sides of the cowl are brilliantly designed and are both authentically gorgeous looking as well as extremely structurally sound.  They attach flawlessly with not much overlap and no finishing pieces added after the fact to blend them, this could not have been an easy task given the complexity of the source design.  The ears, historically tricky to pull off properly without looking comically out of scale, are PERFECT on this representation.

The third bag is almost exclusively parts required for the front of the cowl.  Here again we see the recuring theme of trans black, ingeniously used to represent form without attempting to recreate that iconic square jaw and chin in actual “flesh”.  This is smart for two reasons, primarily, as (in my humble opinion) when LEGO® has attempted organic, and specifically human, form for faces it has largely failed.  More relevant to the display factor though, is that it creates the impression that this cowl is not currently being worn but is ostensibly under lock and key in whichever dark recess the Batcave is currently occupying.  In simpler terms, it just looks so freakin’ cool man!

The shaping of the nose, eyes and eyebrows is achieved through a brilliant combination of angled pieces and cleverly concealed hinge elements.  The final satisfying step is snapping the singular printed tile piece to the base, letting all your jealous friends know that this is indeed… BATMAN!  The end result is breath-taking, resulting in a display piece any fan of The Bat can certainly be proud to have as part of their collection.

LEGO® has once again delivered an outstanding rendition of a much beloved character, continuing its streak of successful throwbacks to the genius of Tim Burton in the mid 80’s.  Also, unlike expensive behemoths such as the 1989 Batmobile and Batwing, the price point on this set makes it extremely appealing and justifiable as a display piece. My final thoughts on this set would be almost totally positive despite some small niggles regarding the base design as I mentioned before.  Zero stickers, one printed tile piece and non-excessive use of new elements makes this another set which could be quite easily sourced and built if one had the patience and so desired, which is always a plus in my book.  Also, if you ever had the heart to dismantle it, it would make for an excellent parts donor set (even for a NON-BATMAN related to build!).