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    Brickpicker blog articles on LEGO investing, news, reviews, evaluations, discounts and more...
    • Veegs
      A long time ago in an investing world far, far away from 2016, a Lego Friends kit set the world afire. This is the story, as told by me, with mostly conjecture and wild assumptions. I've linked the data I perused.
      Buy me now: Amazon

      The Boom
      The forums were surprisingly quiet in the official 41015 thread, but I do recall most of the chatter in the Daily Deals thread and the What Set Did You Sell Today thread. Camelcamelcamel.com shows the Christmas of 2013 as a sharp, powerful thrust upwards, peaking at $139.99. For a set that debuted less than four months prior to that spike, it represented a dream scenario for the QFLL in all of us. It was hot. Like Hansel-type hot (Zoolander references are cool again, right?). I believe some forum members posted nabbing Cruisers in store and listing them on the way to their car, only to find they had sold by the time they got home. Other forum members might recall some guy(s) boasting about flipping these in the parking lots, too. Canadians did better (I didn't look at other markets but smaller markets likely also had better flip opportunities) with the set peaking at $220+ CAD on Amazon.ca in December 2013, but I'm sure the US market moved a heck of a lot more volume. Cool set, Friends was hot and in the news and demand outstripped supply, which made for easy money for some.
      The Bust
      Since that first fated Christmas, two more visits from St. Nicholas have come and gone, and, while the DC isn't available from Shop at Home, it is still lingeringly available at some retailers in Canada and at major retailers in the US (and on sale from Amazon.com!). For those that purchased at or near MSRP, hoping for a repeat of 2013, profits were hard if not impossible to realize. In the Canadian market, the numbers were slightly better, with sales around $120 (CAD) for both holiday seasons but the largest market, the US, largely traded at or even under MSRP during prime selling season. I'm sure there will be a couple forum members who managed to make the best out of this situation (clearance finds, local flips for cash or other success stories), but I think it is fair to say that for most casual investors, a sure-thing super-hot 2013 item has been decidedly uncool for the last couple of years. Like arctic uncool.
      The Sleeper
      Some folks still aren't huge on Lego Friends, and I've heard some of the reasons why, but the 33.17 CAGR (as of Feb, 2016) is absolutely mind-blowing. I don't know how you can argue with a theme doing so well. At all. Sure, you still shouldn't go out and buy any/every Friends set and expect it to do well, but it seems with some careful research and planning that money can (and is) being made with the pink bricks.
      With fantasy baseball season coming up, I'll use baseball analogies. So, the DC was the hot prospect who had a great rookie year, only to have a (double) sophomore slump. This is where a lot of drafters look for sleepers. The reasoning is the player (or set) clearly had some raw talent or potential to do well. External factors and the grind of a couple years limited overall growth, but that just means the player is primed to breakout and enter their prime (usually around 27 years old) and have a career year that then lets said player command a big free agent deal and live happily ever after. People liked/loved the Cruiser before. It is a boat. It is a nice box and looks cool. The Grand Hotel gave the whole Friends line a lot more credibility (at least in my eyes) as well as raising what I'll call the 'price ceiling' of the line. What I mean is that having larger/more expensive sets that do well might add to the perceived value of other Friends sets giving them more secondary market growth potential. Maybe. At least I believe it, even if I haven't convinced you. I am reasonably confident that by Christmas 2016, the Dolphin Cruiser will begin to show some solid gains (at least $150 CAD on amazon.ca in my mind) and could easily be 2x MSRP by 2017 (or better). Or perhaps I'm delusional – only time will tell!

    • thoroakenfelder
       There have been many recent articles, all over the web, in local papers and on the radio. They're saying that LEGO investing is better than gold. It's sensationalist. It excites the imagination. It sounds easy. These articles point up the sets that have increased in value many times above their initial costs. Dreamers sweep store shelves expecting instant returns and easy money. Conventional wisdom says that you'll never lose money on LEGO, it will always be worth at least what you bought it for. What if it's not?
      I'd like to take a journey through the dusty backrooms of stores and the dark corners of investor's storage areas to look at some themes that proved to be so unpopular that if their demand and value hasn't remained flat, it actually got worse. These are themes that got the same market push as every other theme, but failed to capture the target audience.
      Let's take a look at some licensed themes from recent history:
      The first theme that we'll take a look at is Prince of Persia. Disney's attempt to turn a video game franchise into a profitable film franchise. LEGO released 6 Sets consisting of 7569 Desert Attack, 7570 The Ostrich Race, 7571 The Fight for the Dagger, 7572 Quest Against Time, 7573 Battle of Alamut, and 20017 Dagger Trap Polybag. All combined, this theme sold at retail for a total of $190.95 (Pre Tax of course,) the current value of these sets averages to $178.75. That's a return of 94% of the initial investment. It would be worse if not for the Polybag, which I calculated at retail of free because I couldn't find any data about cost.  (So, I assumed it was free.)

      The second licensed theme that we'll discuss is The Lone Ranger. (Personally, I loved these sets and wanted more. {if I could get them on steep discount.}) Disney released the Lone Ranger to poor reception and poor reviews. The days of the Western might be dead, and this theme sure did seem like a nail in the coffin. This theme consisted of 6 sets and 2 Polybags. They are 79106 Cavalry Builder set (How they can be cavalry without horses I don't know. I guess Artillery is confusing,) 79107 Comanche Camp, 79108 Stagecoach Escape, 79109 Colby City Showdown, 79110 Silver Mine Shootout, 79111 Constitution Train Chase, 30260 Lone Ranger's Pump Car, and 30261 Tonto's Campfire. The combined retail total before tax is $291.92 but when I get the average sold price for the last 6 months on Bricklink they sold for a grand total of $283. Slightly better than Prince of Persia with 97% remaining value.

      It's probably not LEGO's fault that these themes died on the vine. Some might argue that if the source material had been better received, there would be greater demand on the aftermarket. It's a fair argument, but you could also point out that if LEGO had done a better job on the sets, they might have succeeded despite the failures of the original properties. If you think it's the fault of the source material, let's take a look at a LEGO owned theme that they got very wrong.
      For our non licensed theme  we'll look at the horror of Galaxy Squad. It is a continuation/expansion of the classic Space theme. Science Fiction has been popular for a long time, and little boys have always wanted to be an astronaut and kill space bugs. This theme had a whopping 10 sets and 2 polybags. The sets are 70700 Space Swarmer, 70701 Swarm Interceptor, 70702 Warp Stinger, 70703 Star Slicer, 70704 Vermin Vaporizer, 70705 Bug Obliterator, 70706 Crater Creeper, 70707 CLS-89 Eradicator Mech, 70708 Hive Crawler, 70709 Galactic Titan, with polybags 30230 Mini Mech, and 30231 Space Insectoid. That's about 4000 pieces of fun right there. All of those sets together would cost $479.38 at retail before tax. How much is Bricklink's average sold price for the entire series? $320. You're losing a full third of your initial investment if you bought these at retail and sold them for the average price.

      Are these the only themes that have lost money? By no means. Early predictions are putting the future of Chima in the toilet. I'll let those of you inclined to do so research other past themes to see which ones should cause speculators to run for the hills.
      For those people who jumped in head first, thinking that investing in LEGO would be like printing money, this should serve as a sobering wake-up call. If you had bought any of these themes at retail, you'd have saved yourself time by handing $5 bills to random people on the street, or better yet, save the money by burying it in a coffee can in your backyard.

      With every success story and humble brag about the times when someone guessed right, there's someone cursing the hundreds or thousands of dollars tied up in inventory, eating storage space. What can you do with all those Ostrich Races or Crater Creepers? I hear Toys for Tots accepts any toy that is unopened and unwrapped. You could break them down for parts, but that's a whole different headache.

      The average values that I list are not a complete indication of the value of these sets. Looking at Bricklink, many have sold or are currently available for notably less than the average. On the other hand, some bought these sets at significantly below average pricing. Prince of Persia has 2 unique animals (ostrich and camel) that have some demand on the parts market. Some people are making money on these sets. Smart money avoided these themes from the beginning, most even avoided them on clearance. Some, however, are wondering if it's possible to use these sets to make storage for their moneymaking investment. If you haven't thought about it, even if you sold at the listed average price, the amount of your return is at least 7% lower due to fees.
      If you're buying LEGO for investment and you don't know or don't care about the themes that you are buying, chances are that you're throwing money away.

    • Jeff Mack
      Issue 17 of Blocks Magazine is now with subscribers, and will be in shops on Thursday 18th February.
      This month, we dive headfirst into LEGO’s latest Big Bang theme, with full reviews of every Nexo Knights set, plus an in-depth interview with LEGO Designer Mark Stafford – who reveals a few tantalising secrets behind the space-castle mashup, and gives us some hints as to its future direction.
      Elsewhere, we head back to the glory days of Castle, with a detailed look at the 1984 Lion Knights range, and showcase an incredible collection of Doctor Who builds from Thorsten Bonsch – as he unveils his latest timey-wimey creation exclusively in Blocks.
      There’s much more besides, with comprehensive reviews of the brand new Brick Bank and Ghostbusters Firehouse HQ, while Simon Pickard introduces us to the art of microscale. It’s all topped off with an exclusive interview with Tom Poulsom, LEGO’s very own birdman, on books, building and, of course, birds.
      Get your copy on Thursday in the UK, and why not subscribe to get future copies early and enter monthly free prize draws? See www.blocksmag.com for more details.

    • Veegs
      With so many total sets available and #chaos in full effect as predicted by J-Mack, I thought it would be useful for new(er) members to the site and to Lego investing on the whole to take a look at how a short or shorter than expected run can greatly impact the value of a set. Without further adieu...

      The Mine 4204 June 1st, 2012 – Nov. 29th 2014 CAGR: 0.05%
      I loved 4204 The Mine. It had a lot going for it (at least in my eyes) – cool subtheme, unlikely to be remade, and lots of potential buyers seem to like construction vehicles and sets in non-technic sets. I'm sure they like them in Technic, too, but based on sets released, traditional sets seem more popular and sell more. I got a great deal on a whole bunch of them about one and a half years in, and hoped to see it retire around the two year mark. Sadly, either more sets were produced or not enough folks were buying at MSRP because it lingered for about two and a half years. Unfortunately, the brickset.com dates also only indicate the date at which it became unavailable from Shop at Home, but I can assure you that Toys R Us in Canada still had stock into early 2015. I like a varied portfolio, I'm a big believer in the right CITY sets, but the shelf life hurt 4204 in my opinion. Currently Brickpicker lists its US value at essentially MSRP. Granted, it was a CITY set, so if you didn't get it at a good discount you can only blame yourself, but profit potential seems to have been crimped by availability from 2012 into 2015.

      City Cargo Terminal 60022 Aug. 1st, 2013 – Dec. 12th, 2014 CAGR: 15.97%
      In comparison, another large CITY set, 60022 Cargo Terminal, was available from Shop at Home for under eighteen months, total. Massive difference for another subtheme I liked and thought was cool. With a current BP value of around $155 USD, plenty of extra room to visit profit land and frolic in piles of solid returns. With CITY sets, I'm not really looking for a set to hit the stratosphere, but I find they can be steady workhorses that reliably net returns – great for mixing it up. That being said, a couple of other sets I want to focus on had even shorter runs than 60022 and have exceeded likely every investors' expectations. (I call BS if investors claim they knew The Zombies was going to break through $200 USD on launch day or even as it started to become a little hard to find)

      Logging Truck 60059 Dec 2013 (Jan 1st 2014 wide release) to Dec 15th 2014 CAGR: 67.27%
      Cool vehicle from a sometimes overlooked theme. Add approximately one year of availability, stir, and watch the money come in. Enormous ROI%, even at MSRP, but pure gravy for those with the foresight to get some of these at 20% off or more. The size of the set really helps the CAGR percentage, which is great for new investors who are looking for solid short to medium term sets that can really help a small time investor scale up.

      Arctic Supply Plane 60064 Aug. 1st, 2014 to Dec 28th 2014 CAGR: 43.63%
      Crazy short run from a theme most probably though had at least another twelve if not eighteen months. Just now the last Arctic sets have moved to Sold Out at Shop at Home, so quite a big difference. Even though the plane looks a lot like other planes (at least to me) in other City subthemes – like the plane in the Deep Sea subtheme (another Toys R Us exclusive, at least in Canada), it certainly hasn't caused collectors to NOT want to buy this set, even while its brothers and sisters were widely available. With great scarcity seems to come nice gains, even if the set doesn't seem all that amazing.

      Ant-Man Final Battle Jun 1st, 2015 – Oct 15th, 2015 CAGR: 25.66%
      Seems to be in a nice initial growth phase. Even with some chatter about this set and investors jumping on the bandwagon, the lack of new supply will likely only keep prices in relative check for a short time. Great minifigs and a very short run, plus upcoming screen time in new movies means a lot of potential. Despite knock off Superhero minifigs being an issue – and many superhero set builds being underwhelming – there is still money to be made on the right sets. Also spoiler alert the 2016 summer Superhero sets look a lot more desirable overall, so perhaps this is a good time to try out this theme (or revisit it, if you've been avoiding it in the post 6866 world). Plus, this is a crazy short shelf life for a set, even if it had issues at launch.
      Snowplough & Excavator and Others...
      The whole Demolition line seemed available on sale over the holidays, at least around me, but the Excavator seems to be the exception. Brickset lists it being available from Dec. 2nd, 2014, but general release (I believe) was Jan. 1st, 2015. A retail life under a year and from a cool subtheme, I think this might surprise in the next six to twelve months. Toys R Us Canada has them on sale right now, 33% off (Jan 29, 2016) and I tend to think this could be an easy double at this reduction with pending official retirement. The Snowplough is even cooler (at least in my opinion) and I think will be a huge draw next winter in places that get snow. Just around a year of availability and well-reviewed on other Lego sites all point to a nice potential profit in the next twelve months and beyond until it hits a plateau
      There are plenty of other sets from other lines, but I have to leave some work for readers to do themselves. I tried to highlight a few I find interesting, but rest assured this isn't a complete list and there are other short-run gems out there to be found. Right now, Hydra Fortresses, Pirates sets and Raptor Escapes are being sought out at retailers. The beauty of the short run sets (or themes...think Castle before and Pirates now...Scooby Doo is my prediction for 2016) is that often online stock dries up quickly and getting more than one or two requires some leg work, stock checking and dragging the kids (or self) to physical stores to mop up the remnants. For me, it is one of the most enjoyable parts of this hobby/business, although I am a self diagnosed masochist who likes the awfulness that retail environments sometimes foster.
      Final Thoughts
      Older investors are probably familiar with a lot of these sets, and earlier ones; the lore of the Zombies and Wolverine's Chopper Showdown are the stuff of investing legend, whispered about whenever two or more investors gather. Keeping a watchful eye on the forums here on Brickpicker as well as Shop at Home should give you enough lead time to go on a buying spree when you see a short run hit sold out. Currently, there are so many lines/themes and waves out there that short run sets seem to be happening with more regularity – or I'm just noticing it more – but they present opportunities that a savvy investor can jump on. If you live in a regional area with a lot of competition (from “normals” buying sets from their kids or, worse, rival Pickers) the chances of short run sets surviving long after moving to 'sold out' are slim, so stay sharp out there!

    • thoroakenfelder
      In a previous review, I looked at an exclusive Star Wars LEGO set from Target, the Hailfire Droid 75085. This time I thought I would look at the one remaining exclusive set from Walmart, Anakin's Custom Jedi Starfighter. This is the ship that Anakin flew in Star Wars: Clone Wars. For those of you who don't know or don't remember, in 2003 between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, there was a short lived animated series called Clone Wars. This series was loved by some, hated by others and largely forgotten until used as trivia. None of the events are considered canonical anymore since the CGI The Clone Wars series was launched.  
      All of that to say thatafter about 2005, there was not a single product released in conjunction with the first Clone Wars cartoon series until someone at LEGO decided to greenlight 75087 Anakin's Custom Jedi Starfighter. Let's take a look at this unicorn, this beautiful anomaly.
      Set #: 75087
      Name: Anakin's Custom Jedi Starfighter
      Theme: Star Wars
      Parts: 370
      Price: $39.99
      Before we get to the build, let’s talk value. At 39.99 the price per piece works out to almost $.11 each. This is on the high/middle side of pricing for a licensed set. There are 3 minifigures. The minifigures are Episode 2 Anakin Skywalker (also available in 75021 Republic Gunship), a unique Asajj Ventress, and a red astromech droid (unnamed) that also appears in 75039 V-Wing Starfighter.
      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 3 numbered baggies, a sticker sheet, and an instruction book.

      BAG 1: I honestly can't remember the construction on the last Clone Wars Jedi Starfighter that I built, so I'll be going into this without a comparison in mind. The first thing that I noticed was the place where the Astromech would eventually sit. If I remember one thing, it's that LEGO puts an ejection system into the deeply seated Astromech ports, a slot that an axle will fit in.

      Obviously the attachment points for the wings, but what about that Technic pin with towball? Ys, this is a separate chunk from the first  one.

      I was kind of surprised at how long this was. I guess for $39.99 I should have expected a longer/bigger ship, but I was thinking of how short every other Jedi Fighter in my collection is. (OK, maybe I was comparing things more than I originally thought.) There's 3 stickers applied to that 16x4 wedge. Too bad that they didn't print it, hopefully I got the stickers on straight.

      Now, flip it over and add some details and a landing gear. The details consist of a pair of pearl gold binoculars on each side.

      You also build Asajj Ventress with her dead white eyes, just like the 2003 Clone Wars character model. It would be nice if she had arm printing, but that's asking for a lot for a Walmart exclusive set, I think.

      BAG 2: You keep building up the structure of the ship. You're surrounding the Astromech port to protect it in battle, or from just randomly falling out.

      Instead of another landing gear or 2, they built a foot, and additionally some weird flap things. I wasn't really thinking ahead of the build, so I was wondering what these decorative flaps might be for.

      Ag, attachment points for the engine pods. It's weird because I thought for sure that they were bigger in front.

      Oh, there it is. Also 2 more stickers. I may have attached the stickers angling the wrong way. I didn't really feel like taking it apart to shift the stickered pieces around.

      Now, you build a wing. Thankfully, the striped pattern is brick built instead of stickers. I probably would have stopped if these wings used ugly stickers.

      Each wing has 2 guns and 2 spring missile launchers. But that wing looks short, right?

      So you build a smaller wing and attach it to the tow ball. This creates the more fluid wing shape that appears on this version of Anakin's fighter. It's not super easy to pin the smaller wing to the bigger wing. I kept fidgeting with it.

      Why is there a Red R2? Where's R2-D2? I don't remember the cartoon series, but back in 2003-04 Hasbro also had a red R2 dome. Maybe it's because in Episode 2, the Jedi Starfighter didn't have a full droid, just a red dome.

      Bag 3: I see where we're going here, time to build the other wing. For some reason, I was thinking that the cockpit was in front of the Astrodroid at this point. Guess I was tired or not thinking clearly. Rest assured that even though I did not picture it, the wing builds are similar.

      Looks like we're making the cockpit, look a sticker control panel.

      Don't fly in space with a giant hole in your cockpit.

      Ooo, another fin, and the last sticker.

      Here it is, the final product with young Anakin. This is pre-mullet Anakin. He's still got that ridiculous braid too. I guess that's why he's so angry. 

      The set looks good, but to me it just doesn't fit in. There's really no other sets from this era of Star Wars. It's an anomaly that it appeared so long after the cartoon that spawned it. Asajj was never my favorite villain, even though I was reading the comics and watching the cartoon that featured her.

      I think I set up my lighting wrong, so you can't really see the details on her head. Both minifigures have dual sided printing on their torsos and printing on the backs of their heads.

      They did a good job matching the unique shape of this ship to the original cartoon image. It's not perfect, but then what is?

      I looked at my thoughts on the Hailfire Droid, and I find that my thoughts for this set echo that one, only moreso. In this world of the Sequel trilogy and the anthology films, Clone Wars is becoming increasingly marginalized. The fans of 2003's Clone Wars are rarer than fans of The Clone Wars (2008) or Rebels. The only thing going for this set long term is that it is an exclusive. Its' exclusivity has not helped it terribly during its retail lifetime. I have never not seen this set on shelves somewhere. Walmart and the LEGO store stock it, and if it went out of stock, no one really noticed or cared.
      What would have helped this set the most is if it had been retired at the beginning of 2016 along with the raft of other Star Wars sets from 2015. It seems that LEGo had no new exclusives for The Force Awakens to take its place though. Target, Walmart and Toys R Us seem to require an exclusive to be available at all times. Because of this, this set is sticking around, and won't get a discount until the week it finally retires. By then, consumers will be so sick of seeing it on shelves, it will quietly disappear into the stockrooms of the few who buy everything on clearance. I expect minimal gains long term. I just don't see a lot of people who were kids in 2003 to be clamoring for it later on when so many other, better sets are available.
      As with most Star Wars sets, you wind up with some extra lightsaber hilts. You've got the metallic silver and the light blue gray Asajj ones in this set. Plus a gold pair of binoculars that is not very common.

    • jaisonline
      Looks like Lego has some interesting events and offerings planned for next month.  Get the kiddies ready (including your inner kid).
      Some highlights...
      Double VIP points on all purchases between March 7 and 22. The Classic TV Batcave becomes available to non-VIP members starting March 1. Various polybag and promo items based on money spent or themes.  Themes include DUPLO (a duck polybag), Ninjago (mini dragon polybag). Look for the annual Easter set (40202: Easter Chick) Events for children include bunny, DUPLO and Superhero monthly builds and club meetings. Maybe best of all for children...bring them to an Easter Egg Hunt that runs from March 21 to 26. Please review the calendar for more information especially exact dates.


    • thoroakenfelder
      I know I bought the First Order Snowspeeder in order to get the C-3PO polybag. I wasn't exactly excited about the looks of this thing before Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens was released, but I assumed it would get more interesting to me once I saw the film. I figured I might review this LEGO set with added appreciation once I had seen it in action. So I stuck 75100 on a shelf to age like a fine wine. The First Order Snowspeeder did not make a triumphant and exciting appearance. The enclosed Snowtroopers didn't battle valiantly against anyone. 75100 sat quietly on my shelf, waiting for a time that didn't seem likely to come. When I review a LEGO set, sometimes I have to hope that what I get is more than what I see. Let's see if this set wound up being more interesting than it first appears.
      Set #: 75100
      Name: First Order Snowspeeder
      Theme: Star Wars
      Parts: 444
      Price: $39.99
      Before we get to the build, let’s talk value. At 39.99 the price per piece works out to about $.09 each. This is on the low side of pricing for a licensed set. There are 3 minifigures. The minifigures are 2 First Order Snowtroopers and 1 First Order Snowtrooper officer. The only difference is a red shoulder pauldron and the weapon that you give the officer. The same Snowtrooper is available in the First Order Snowspeeder microfighter 75126 without a skirt.
      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 4 numbered baggies, a large sticker sheet, and an instruction book.

      BAG 1: You start the First Order convertible pretty much like every other ship in the universe, layering stuff to give an approximate shape. It does make me wonder sometimes, why do we get stuff like these grills that are just going to be buried in the build? Is it just to give MOCers something to use?

      This convertible is starting to look like the finished product. Sadly, it hasn't really been terribly interesting to this point. There's a couple hinges to help shape the chassis.

      With this number of brackets, we're obviously going to be sticking stuff to the outside. I hope it's not just panels.

      Hey, look, it's a panel with a sticker. . . yay. The most interesting thing of note is that they went SNOT on the edges. So we know that we are done building up the walls of this jalopy. First Order Snowtrooper Officer has the red shoulder pauldron that you also get with the First Order Officer in Kylo Ren's Shuttle. Plus you make him a special gun by adding a white lightsaber handle to a blaster pistol. 

      BAG 2: The stickers awaken. Fr people who love putting stickers on LEGO, this is the bag for you. 7 additional stickered panels get added to the outside of this thing.

      We start adding something to the underside. I was surprised because I thought the body was fairly skinny. but obviously we're adding something tall to the underside of the structure.

      Oooo, it's clear wheels in a bunch of Technic pieces. Now it will give the impression of floating as it sits in the background of scenes. 

      Attach the Technic construction and start to try to disguise that the whole thing is there. (A side note. I have no idea why that light bluish Gray Technic pin gets put in there on both sides. Nothing attaches to it.)

      Turn it right side up so that it can hoer and disappoint the way it was always intended to.

      BAG 3: What's this? 2 Axels stuck together in a box? now it gets crazy up in here.

      I am not a fan of the single stud shooter, but this crazy 6 stud shooter has a charm that I can't shake. I mean, who doesn't want to rapidly fling 6 studs as quickly as they can into the dark corners of a child's room?

      Attach the knob do that you can most efficiently launch your projectiles.

      Snap that bad boy onto the structure. So, now we've got 2 little pea shooters on the front and a big honking gun on the side.

      And replicate it for the other side, and we should be all gunned up, right?

      We need to greeblie up the back a bit, so here's your plate.

      And another one for the front.

      Cushy seats for the cushiest job in the First Order, plus 3 boxes of laser bolts. Why do we need 3 boxes? Well, as soon as your kid loses the first 12 studs, you need to be able to quickly replenish the stock of studs for them to lose. But, why 2 more on the deck? I bet you think we need one more gun.

      Of course we do. another gun with another stud shooter. Now our Space convertible with the reclining seats is ready for inaction. Plus, the officer just picked up 2 of his buddies to go grab some beers. Probably, he'll use the storage boxes as coolers once he's lost all his laser bolts. My daughter did ask if these were girl Stormtroopers since they had skirts. The minifigures look excellent with lots of detailed printing and sweet new helmets.

      I was whelmed. I got exactly what I expected out of this set. No more, and no less. The build was routine with no interesting surprises. To me, the fact that LEGO added floaty wheels to the bottom of this thing says that even they knew it was dull. 3 Snowtroopers make this an armybuilder's dream. You can take these guys who did nothing in the movie and pit them against the Resistance ground forces that did nothing in the movie.
      I am not sure, but this build may have made me accept the First Order Transporter a bit more. Apparently the First Order goes in for dull, utilitarian vehicles that have floaty wheels.

      So, this vehicle was used as set dressing in a few places in the movie. It has the distinction of being mostly forgettable and almost entirely forgotten. If JJ can somehow add the chase scene back into the movie, interest in this piece will finally take off. An indication of its performance is that it got an early 20% discount that it still maintains. The price point of this set did not break the bank. It was the cheapest Bad guy set when it came out. It did sell out at Christmas, unlike Kylo Ren's ship or the Transporter. I think that was mainly due to the price point and not fan demand.
      Unless this vehicle shows up in the next movie, or the scenes get added back into the film, I don't see a big upsurge in demand later on. A deleted scene extra is hardly likely to excite long term growth. Kids and adults like to see their toys in the media that they are watching. If the Snowtroopers had done anything interesting, they might have given this a boost. I spent an hour looking for pictures of the 2 occurences that I remember of this vehicle in the film. I could not find them. No one cares enough to point it out, as far as I can tell. I forecast low to no growth on this set. I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but nothing about it says "Buy me for a premium."
      Find it here on Amazon
      You get a couple extra backpack pieces and an extra white and black lightsaber hilt. The white is much less common, although not incredibly rare.

      Check it out concept art, cut scene and promotional still. Now you can feel like you saw these in the movie - ish.

    • thoroakenfelder
      Many Bothans died to bring us this information. The official Xbox website has launched a page showing screen captures from an upcoming entrant into the LEGO Star Wars game series. This time it is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The date given for the release of this game is 6/28/16. Players will be able to play as their favorite new and classic Star Wars character. One screen capture shows Han, Leia, and Chewbacca as they appear in the 75094 Imperial Shuttle Tydirium set. What that means about playing older movie scenes has not been shown yet.

      Warner Brothers games has not officially announced the forthcoming game

      Is this the release that will come with the FN-2187 Polybag that has been spotted, but has no official release information?

      The leaked trailer on YouTube mirrors the trailer for the film. At the end it shows that the game will be released on the following platforms PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PC.
      Check below for more pictures.

    • thoroakenfelder
      In a 2 day competition, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona conducted a unique job interview searching for their new LEGO Master Model Builder. In the food court of the Arizona Mills mall 46 applicants participated in a build off to find the most qualified person for the job.

      What is a Master Model Builder? They are the person that creates the models and displays that decorate the location. They are the face of the LEGOLAND location, communicating with the press and the public alike. They run the minibuilds for the kids and special events, as well as creating seasonal and special displays. I was informed that in November they will be creating a new Star Wars display in this location. Creativity and execution are important, so are working well with a team and kids.

      Inside the mall on the morning of January 30, registration opened early, the competition was to begin at 9:00 AM. Some applicants had arrived from out of state the night before, others very early that morning. Nervousness and excitement intermixed. The very last applicant registered slightly before the cutoff time. Some applicants had preregistered online, others filled out their application that morning. As they signed in, they were divided into 4 groups. At the start time, the groups were given the theme that they would build. Each group got half an hour to build an animal.

      There were 16 elements spread across 6 colors from a 1x3 yellow tile to a 1x8 white brick. There were large tubs of bricks that the builders could choose from. The judges watched them build, and watched each contestant interact with the spectators and the other builders. Enthusiastic kids helped to sort bricks and pieces for the contestants and offer suggestions. At the end of the half hour, each group took their build to the judging area. After 4 hours of building, the judges spent another hour whittling the applicants to 20.

      The semi-finalists were divided into 2 groups and given the theme "Under the Sea." Each group was again given half an hour to build. The semi-finalists were whittled down to 10 and the day was done. After 8 hours, 46 had become 10, and they each had a chance to go home and contemplate the theme for the following day. On Sunday, they would have to build something that represented them.

      Now, job interviews usually consist of an actual interview, and this one was no different. Early Sunday morning, each of the finalists had to return and be interviewed by representatives of Merlin Entertainment Group.  Merlin is the holding company that runs LEGOLAND, Sealife Aquariums, Madame Tussaud's and more. Each of the contestants arrived for their interview, tired from being up late trying to figure out their design. Some had spent the night trying to construct their ideas from bricks, others drawing on graph paper. But now it was time to put their best foot forward. Once the interviews were completed, they still had hours to wait until the afternoon's competition.

      At 3PM the second day's competition was scheduled to begin. The area had been cleaned and set up again, all the spilled LEGO bricks back in tubs. The Finalist's builds were on display, no hint of those who did not make the cut. Spectators gathered around the tables again, excited to see the end of the competition. Each finalist was introduced to the new crowd and the final event commenced. Families and friends cheered on their champion. Kids alternately helped or hindered the contestants. The finalists were mostly engaging and friendly, chatting with the kids and asking their opinions. Some were boisterous.

      Judges again toured the area, observing the builds, asking questions and seeing how they all interacted. When the time was up, they stood, hands held high. Relief mingled with hope. Each contestant chatted nervously with friends, family members, spectators and each other. They were each taken to be interviewed for local TV while the judges made their final decision.

      At 4 PM the final announcement was made, the winner was crowned with a hard hat. Alecsander Posta was the new Master Model Builder. He was given a brick built goblet and they dumped a bucket of LEGO over his head. Those who did not win were very gracious.

      Congratulations Alecsander, we look forward to seeing you on opening day.


    • Alpinemaps
      Here is the list of current and upcoming polybags in the LEGO world.  If you've found a polybag that's not on this list, or have any update to give us, please note it in the comments below.  This information is put together from a number of different sources on the Internet, including real world reports. Availability in your area may vary.  This information is US-based.  These are from within the last 12 months.
      Polybags Currently Available

      Set # Theme Set Name Locations 30256 Chima Ice Bear Mech Target 30312 City Demolition Driller TRU 30347 City Fire Car TRU 30314 City Go-Kart Racer Target 30315 City Space Utility Vehicle Legoland, Target 30349 City Sports Car Legoland, Target 30311 City Swamp Police Helicopter TRU 30471 Creator Helicopter Legoland 30472 Creator Parrot Lego Store 30285 Creator Tiger TRU 30397 Disney Princess Olaf's Summertime Fun Legoland, Target 30259 Elves Azari's Magic Fire TRU 30398 Friends Adventure Camp Bridge Lego.com 30112 Friends Emma's Flower Stand TRU 30203 Friends Mini Golf TRU 30205 Friends Pop Star Legoland 30202 Friends Smoothie Stand TRU 30204 Friends Wish Fountain TRU 30373 Nexo Knights Knighton Hyper Cannon Legoland 5004388 Nexo Knights Nexo Knights Intro Pack Lego.com 30372 Nexo Knights Robin's Mini Fortrex Lego.com 30291 Ninjago Anacondrai Battle Mech Legoland, TRU 5002144 Ninjago Dareth vs. Nindroid TRU 30421 Ninjago Skybound Plane Legoland 30294 Ninjago The Cowler Dragon Target 30286 Seasonal Christmas Tree Target, TRU 30272 Star Wars A-Wing Starfighter Legoland 30274 Star Wars AT-DP Legoland 5002948 Star Wars C-3P0 TRU 30276 Star Wars First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter Target 30246 Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Target 30278 Star Wars Poe's X-Wing Fighter Target 5002938 Star Wars Stormtrooper Sergeant TRU 30275 Star Wars TIE Advanced Prototype TRU 30304 Super-Heroes Avengers Quinjet TRU 5002125 Super-Heroes Electro TRU 5003084 Super-Heroes Hulk TRU 30303 Super-Heroes Joker Bumper Car Legoland, Target, Walmart 5002946 Super-Heroes Silver Centurion Gamestop 30305 Super-Heroes Spider-Man Super Jumper Walmart 30605 Star Wars Finn (FN-2187) Gamestop (Preorder Jun 2016) 30604 Super-Heroes Cosmic Boy DVD/Blu Ray (Preorder Mar 2016)
      Polybags Coming Soon

      Set # Theme Set Name Locations Status Date 5002942 Bionicle Bionicle Villain Pack   Unknown 2015 30217 Duplo Duplo Forest Random Bag   Unknown 2015 30218 Duplo Duplo Snail   Unknown 2015 5002931 Friends Disco Dance Floor   Unknown 2015 5002928 Friends Party Polybag   Unknown 2015 30292 Ninjago Jay Nano Mech   Unknown 2015 5002920 Ninjago Ninjago Accessory Pack   Unknown 2015 5002922 Ninjago Ninjago Role Play   Unknown 2015 5002919 Ninjago Scenery and Dagger Trap   Unknown 2015 5002939 Star Wars Phantom   Unknown 2015 5004409 Bionicle Accessory pack   Unknown 2016 5004404 City Police Chase   Unknown 2016 30474 Creator Reindeer   Unknown 2016 30371 Nexo Knights Knight's Cycle   Unknown 2016 30374 Nexo Knights Lava Slinger   Unknown 2016 30422 Ninjago ?   Unknown 2016 5004391 Ninjago Sky Pirates Battle   Unknown 2016 5004406 Star Wars First Order General   Unknown 2016 30277 Star Wars First Order Star Destroyer   Unknown 2016 30279 Star Wars Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle   Unknown 2016 30448 Super-Heroes Spider-Man vs The Venom Symbiote   Unknown 2016 30446 Super-Heroes The Batmobile   Unknown 2016  
      Polybags That Appear to be Unavailable

      Set # Theme Set Name Locations Status Date 5002941 Bionicle Bionicle Hero Pack Lego.com No Recent Sightings Mar 2015 30313 City Garbage Truck Target No Recent Sightings Apr 2015 30228 City Police ATV Kmart No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 30188 Creator Cute Kitten TRU No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 40146 Creator Lufthansa Plane Lufthansa No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 30283 Creator Off-Road Legoland No Recent Sightings Mar 2015 30284 Creator Tractor Lego.com No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 DRWU Jurassic World Dr. Wu TRU No Recent Sightings Mar 2015 30320 Jurassic World Gallimimus Trap GameStop, TRU No Recent Sightings Aug 2015 30293 Ninjago Kai Drifter Lego.com No Recent Sightings Apr 2015 40055 Seasonal Halloween Pumpkin TRU No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 5002947 Star Wars Admiral Yularen Legoland No Recent Sightings Nov 2015 5002943 Super-Heroes Winter Soldier Lego.com No Recent Sightings Oct 2015  

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