Category: LEGO Sets

Advent 2011 Day 7

Published / by Bill / 3 Comments on Advent 2011 Day 7

Day 7 of the LEGO City and Star Wars Advent Calendars for 2011.

In today’s City calendar entry, we get stuff to put beneath the Christmas tree: two wrapped gifts, a skateboard, and a helmet for the skateboarder.

Meanwhile, the Star Wars entry features a crossbow, hammer, and wrench, with a display holder. I’m not quite sure what this has to do with Star Wars, where blasters and light sabers are more the norm, but whatever. Tools for Chewbacca to play with, I suppose?

Since yesterday started a new story arc, and to avoid getting the “accumulated items” picture from getting too crowded, for now I’m just showing days 6-7.

Advent 2011 Day 6

Published / by Bill

Day 6 of the LEGO City and Star Wars Advent Calendars for 2011.

After the first five days it looks like we’re starting a new story arc. Now we have Chewbacca in the Star Wars realm – finally, someone I recognize! – and a nice little Christmas Tree in City. There was a glitch in the instructions for the tree – one of the trans-yellow 1×1 round plates was not shown in the picture under the flap, and I initially had two leftover of those… but I looked at the box art and found where they intended it to go. There’s still one extra, but LEGO usually does that.

Speaking of instruction mistakes, yesterday’s Slave I had one… a commenter pointed out to me that the two tiles on the top (the dark grey grille and the light grey smooth tile) were transposed. I built it to match the instructions, but the box art disagreed. Or rather, some of the places where it was depicted had it one way, and some the other way. For today I swapped it around as I agree with the commenter that it looks better this way. I did some Google Image Search investigation into what the original one from the movie looked like, and I don’t see a grille there at all, so it’s hard to say. Many of the images did have a darker part in the middle of the craft, and lighter grey towards the tip which matches the way I have it now, but I question LEGO’s choice to use a grille tile there.

Here are the accumulated items so far:

Advent 2011 Day 5

Published / by Bill / 5 Comments on Advent 2011 Day 5

Day 5 of the LEGO City and Star Wars Advent Calendars for 2011.

Another piece of the City hoosegow has appeared, and LEGO has kindly given us a bonus 1×2 “POLICE” tile and for the second day running, an extra 1×1 brick! Usually the extra parts do not include bricks, so that’s generous of them.

This time I actually recognize the Star Wars thing, for the first time… it’s Boba Fett’s ship, the Slave I! I am beginning to get the picture here … the minifig we got on Day 2 is a kid (with really bad skin and hair) who builds models of Star Wars ships! So this isn’t a microscale ship at all … it’s a minifig scale model of a minifig scale model of a ship!

I must say I’m really pleased with the parts selection in the Star Wars calendar so far. There’s a lot of good parts and clever building techniques used in making these little ships. Kudos to the LEGO designers… hope the level of quality doesn’t drop off as the month goes by; they’ve set a high bar in these early days.

Here are the accumulated items so far:

Advent 2011 Day 4

Published / by Bill

Day 4 of the LEGO City and Star Wars Advent Calendars for 2011.

Our City miscreants have their marshmallow shooter ready, but now they have something to shoot at. The prison wall! If only they can knock it down, freedom awaits!!!

On the Star Wars side we have a very nice parts pack that builds what is obviously the legs for a lovely dining room table. Perhaps the table top is coming in the next day’s kit? (Seriously I guess it’s a battle droid, or perhaps a microscale space station)

Here are the accumulated items so far:

Advent 2011 Day 3

Published / by Bill / 3 Comments on Advent 2011 Day 3

Day 3 of the LEGO City and Star Wars Advent Calendars for 2011.

Today, from the City calendar, we get a confederate for our convict, this one dressed in a cop’s uniform, the better to sneak them out of prison. That’ll probably work better than the marshmallows.

Star Wars gives us a giant foot from some kind of giant monster or dinosaur. I don’t remember dinosaurs in Star Wars, but it’s probably from Clone Wars – at least that’s what I always say when something I don’t recognize from the original Star Wars movies turns up.

Here are the accumulated items so far:

Advent 2011 Day 2

Published / by Bill

Day 2 of the LEGO City and Star Wars Advent Calendars for 2011.

The City box reveals a little catapult. Perhaps instead of a shiv, the convict is using the marshmallows as ammunition to try to bust a hole in the wall.

On the Star Wars side, we get a minifig having a really bad hair day.

Here are the accumulated items so far:

Advent 2011 Day 1

Published / by Bill / 3 Comments on Advent 2011 Day 1

Day 1 of the LEGO City and Star Wars Advent Calendars for 2011.

In City we get our first minifig, a dangerous convict holding a marshmallow, which he is obviously planning to turn into a shiv.

The Star Wars box builds a nice little spaceship. I’d like to tell a little story about it, but I got nothin’. I am assuming it’s from Clone Wars, but I’m not familiar with that part of the canon. But it’s not a bad little collection of parts.

I reshot the photo to fix the white balance on 12/2, but it’s still really dark.

2009 Advent Calendars

Published / by Bill / 5 Comments on 2009 Advent Calendars

Like last year, LEGO came up with two advent calendars, only one of which was sold in the U.S. The 7687 City advent calendar was sold everywhere, but the 6299 Pirates calendar was only available in Europe. (If you’re not familiar with advent calendars, they basically consist of 24 different gifts, one to be opened on each day of Advent, the traditional Christian season that precedes Christmas, or in other words December 1-24. These days, it’s secularized – fine by me, since I’m not religious – but the name has stuck.)

Pirates advent calendarLast year, LEGO accidentally shipped a few sets of that year’s specialty calendar, which had a Castle theme, to the U.S. Shop-At-Home warehouse, and since the fans were complaining so loudly about it not being available in this country they were convinced to make them available through a special mail-order setup. But we didn’t have any such luck this year with the Pirates calendar, so unless you had a friend in Europe willing to ship it to you, there was no way to get it.

Well, my friend Holger Matthes in Germany was willing to do this favor for me, and I was hoping to get it in time for December 1st so I could post each day’s set like I did last year (each of those words is a link to a different day’s calendar from last year; days 1-7 and 24 are shown, but I bet you can find the rest). But alas, the package took a long time getting here (not Holger’s fault; he shipped it as soon as I gave him the details – but DHL took its sweet time in delivering it. Next time I’ll pay extra for airmail/express, or just order sooner. Though hopefully LEGO will have learned its lesson and won’t require me to jump through such hoops…)

If you want to see more clever coverage of the Advent calendars than I can provide, check out Chris Doyle’s Reasonably Clever blog where he’s included each day’s calendar prizes into the BRiCK House web comic.

Anyway, I didn’t get the Pirates calendar until December 18th, so I put photos on Flickr of the first 19 days the next day and have updated it today with the rest. You can see the City and Pirates sets for each day in my 2009 Advent Calendars set (or view as a slideshow).

I was surprised to see that both calendars had the days in the same quasi-random order. It made it easy to build them side-by-side; once I found that day’s door in one calendar, the other calendar had the same number in the same position. It did seem to me that all the doors were printed upside-down; the flap of the box was in the way if you tried to open the doors with the printing facing right-side-up. Last year, the direction of the printing was opposite on the two boxes, if I recall correctly.

Pirates Advent Calendar Petitions

Published / by Bill

You’ve probably heard by now that the Pirates Advent Calendar is not going to be sold in the US. After last year’s debacle with the Castle Advent Calendar, you’d think LEGO would know better. Well, the good folks at Classic Pirates over on Eurobricks have a petition going, and The Brothers Brick also have a similar post calling for support for the Pirates advent calendar. Post your support now!

Spirit of St Louis

Published / by Bill / 1 Comment on Spirit of St Louis

One of the first LEGO sets I ever owned was the Spirit of St Louis, a little yellow and black (the original one was silver – see pictures on Wikipedia) airplane set that represented Charles Lindbergh’s plane from the first trans-Atlantic solo flight. It was sold as set # 456 or 661, depending on where in the world you bought it. I was six years old in 1977 when this set came out, and my parents bought it for me. I still have at least some of the parts – all mixed into my LEGO collection, of course…

456 Spirit of St Louis - image courtesy Peeron

Why bring this up now? I just recently saw the review on Eurobricks that was posted recently.

One of the unique bits from this set is this special 2×3 brick with stickers. I was very young when I got this, so I don’t remember if I put the sticker on or my parents did – I assume the latter. But 30 years later they still are in great shape! In fact, I had thought the bricks were printed until I saw the Eurobricks review that mentioned they were stickers, and then found my brick and realized that they are in fact stickers. I took pictures of my brick for this blog post:

Stickered Brick 1Stickered Brick 2

I think this set stands up pretty well today. Though the color scheme is bogus, as was often the case with LEGO sets from that era, the proportions are about right and it’s quite swooshable. It doesn’t use the fancy curvy pieces that modern sets have, but it doesn’t really need them.