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    Brickpicker blog articles on LEGO investing, news, reviews, evaluations, discounts and more...
    • Ed Mack
      Target "exclusives" have seem to do well over the years.  Sets like the 9465 The Zombies and 9476 The Orc Forge were Target exclusives that have performed well on the LEGO secondary markets.  Unlike Toys R' Us "exclusive" LEGO sets which seem to never retire...LOL...Target exclusives seem to have shorter production runs, with the 9476 The Orc Forge lasting about 1.5 years on the primary retail shelves and the 9465 The Zombies lasting less than a half year at Target and LEGO Shop @ Home.  So anytime a Target "exclusive" hits the shelves, I pay attention.
      Let me introduce the 66535 Buildable Battle Pack 2 in 1: General Grievous & Obi-Wan Kenobi set.  This set combines the 75112 General Grievous and 75109 Obi-Wan Kenobi STAR WARS Buildable Figures.  I have had the pleasure of building both sets and they are well done, sturdy, accurate and extremely playable sets.  The 75109 Obi-Wan Kenobi is a nice replica of the young Jedi Knight, while the 75112 General Grievous set is just "bad to the bone."  A dynamic set in my opinion.  If you are fan of STAR WARS and Bionicle/Hero Factory sets, you will love these STAR WARS Buildable Figures.  
      The 66535 Buildable Battle Pack 2 in 1: General Grievous & Obi-Wan Kenobi set sells for $59.99 and comes in a stylish box that includes an exclusive poster.  There are new STAR WARS Buildable Figures being released in 2016 based on the new movie, The Force Awakens, so the current six:
      75107 Jango Fett 75108 Clone Commander Cody 75109 Obi-Wan Kenobi 75110 Luke Skywalker 75111 Darth Vader 75112 General Grievous ...might be disappearing from primary retail outlets soon after the new versions are released.  LEGO seems to like limiting production runs of sets like these and similar "constraction" sets from the Legends of Chima and the Marvel and DC Comics Super Heroes themes had short production runs to illustrate this point.  Regardless, they are fantastic LEGO sets and every LEGO STAR WARS fan should collect all six before they disappear.

    • Jeff Mack
      If you like Star Wars and if you like seeing Star Wars scenes show in an amazing way using LEGO minifigures, then LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy will be right up your alley. The description from Amazon is as follow:
      Created by Finnish photographer Vesa Lehtimäki using his son's favorite toys, the book features painstaking recreations of classic movie moments and hilarious new takes on fan-favorite characters and themes. Informative captions give technical details for each scene, while anecdotes from Lehtimäki offer background insights to his creative process.
      LEGO Star Wars Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy is a breathtaking new look at a timeless icon that allows fans to see their favorite minifigures from the classic saga in an exciting new way.
      Here is some images from the 176 page book:

      It looks like Vesa Lehtimäki did a wonderful job with this book and I look forward to reading through it.

    • TheOrcKing
      Meet the Nexo Knights! This is an exciting activity book with a collectable minifigure featuring LEGO's newest theme - classic knights with a high-tech, futuristic twist. You can read the cool story and complete fun puzzles in the kingdom where magic meets technology. Let the adventure begin!

      Scheduled for release on February 4th, 2016, here is a direct link to the book on Amazon.

    • TheOrcKing
      Featuring the latest LEGO Star Wars sets and minifigures, LEGO Star Wars: Chronicles of the Force is a fun and informative guide to a LEGO galaxy far, far away....
      A must-have for fans of the live-action Star Wars saga and its LEGO incarnation alike, this is the most up-to-date companion to LEGO Star Wars, with detailed information about the latest sets and minifigures and illustrated with extensive photography.
      Featuring an exclusive new LEGO Star Wars minifigure, LEGO Star Wars: Chronicles of the Force follows the same format as DK's LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side and LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles.

      This title is scheduled for release on May 3rd, 2016. Here is a quick link to the book on Amazon.

    • TheOrcKing
      For 2016, our Friends of Emma, Stephanie, Olivia, Andrea, & Mia will be taking their adventures to the great outdoors for some camping! Here is the promotional poster showing off the girls with a couple of the sets including a few new parts such as the unique life preserver in orange followed by the rubber raft colored magenta I believe.

      From the rumored list of known sets, there will be at least three here out in the woodlands. (Presently these are unconfirmed loosely translated titles.)
      41120 Adventure Camp Archery 41121 Adventure Camp Rafting 41122 Adventure Camp Tree House

    • thoroakenfelder
      Let me start by explaining that this particular review focuses solely upon the physical contents of the LEGO Dimensions set 71204 Doctor Who Level pack. For those who do not know about LEGO Dimensions, it is the newest addition to the LEGO video game library. The game allows users to customize their gameplay by adding minifigures and minibuild objects. The Minifigure chips unlock characters with unique abilities. The minibuilds have 3 different modes that each have in game instructions. Those builds perform different actions/duties in game. The basic game comes with a chip reader that allows you to perform certain actions based upon the placement of the chipped items. It seems like the gameplay is not influenced in the slightest by the physical bricks or minifigures on top of the stands. From gameplay videos online, it seems like Dimensions is similar to every other LEGO video game with certain enhancements to make the reader/base necessary. The Level pack (like this one) usually contains a single minifigure and a pair of minibuild objects. These items can be used within the basic game or add additional content in the form of an additional level including theme specific story content and a themed free play adventure world. I presume that the RFID chip for the Doctor character unlocks the additional Doctor Who content, as I did not find a code in the box. All of the level packs have a retail price of $29.99. Also available are Fun packs that also have a single minifigure, but only one minibuild item. These items do not add content, only enhance gameplay by allowing the user to activate new abilities and unlock secrets that already exist within the levels.
      However, I am not including any information as to how this set impacts gameplay for the LEGO Dimensions game. I cannot add any digital content reviews, IE the Doctor Who level of the Dimensions game, because I do not have the game itself.
      Set #: 71204
      Name: Doctor Who Level Pack
      Theme: LEGO Dimensions
      Parts: 83
      Price: $29.99
      Before we get to the build, let’s talk value. At $29.99 this is not a cheap set The price per piece works out to a bit over $.36 each, which seems terrible for those looking to be about $.10 per piece. One assumes that there's some inherent value in the additions to the LEGO Dimensions game, but as I do not have the game, there is no additional value. Strangely this is the second set I have opened recently with such a high disparity between piece count and cost.
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 2 baggies and an "instruction" book. The instructions show how to build your minifigure, and the rest of the book is an ad for all of the other level packs and play packs available for the LEGO Dimensions game. The assumption is that if you buy this set, you already have the game, so you would look at the in game instructions. I used a youtube video:

      The big thing that I think people will buy this set for is the minifigure of the Doctor. At this point in time, he is a unique design with a unique hairpiece and a brand new Sonic Screwdriver. As far as likeness goes, well it's a LEGO so, it's as good as any and better than some. With the upcoming Ideas set, some of these unique elements will probably be replicated, but the costume is more akin to what he wears in the series than that strange purple outfit on offer in dimensions

      The unique elements for this set look nice, new hair, printed tiles, and of course the Screwdriver. Also included are the RFI chips that allow the game base to decode what build you are using for the game. Without the game pad, I can't figure out if there's a difference between the 2 plain discs, so I just put the mini builds on the first one to hand.
      The builds, once I got the videos up and running were simple and quick. They were each about half of the 83 pieces. So, they're smaller than a polybag, but bigger than an Advent Calendar build. They're cute little representations of things from the show, with the TARDIS being undersized and K-9 being dramatically oversized. K-9 only has a printed piece on one side. It's been so long since I saw the old Who episodes that I can't recall if that's accurate or not.

      I like the Doctor minifigure. I think that the minibuilds are cute and fun and will go on display. Whether I get the game or not, I'm not sad to have them. This set is not for every collector. People who like Doctor Who, especially if they like or are tolerant of his current incarnation, will probably dig it. People who play the Dimensions game will probably like more level and minibuild options. Fans of neither can probably find a much more value conscious set to buy and build. The Creator Treehouse, Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, Avengers Hulk Buster Smash, and the Lincoln Memorial are all examples of sets at the $29.99 tier.
      There was a small allotment of extra parts, more than I expected. Happily one of the extra parts was the Sonic Screwdriver.
      While I personally like the set, I doubt its long term value increasing significantly. For one thing, with this set and the upcoming Cyberman fun pack, I feel like LEGO is signaling an upcoming theme. The deciding factor in my mind is whether the Ideas set and the Dimensions sets perform. With that said, I cannot imagine this minifigure staying unique. I actually feel like any currently unique Dimensions minifigure will appear in a set sooner or later. If I am wrong, the minifigure will be the driving force behind this set. I doubt that the game will last more than a couple of years before they create version 2.0 or something, rendering all of the old content moot. During the life of this version of the game, these sets should be readily available. Modern game players are fickle and will move on as soon as the next shiny game comes along, so they are unlikely to have long term nostalgia for an expensive add on to an already expensive game.
      If the minifigure is released in a later set, as I surmise, then any future value lays on the minibuilds. The TARDIS is cute, and the printed tiles are nice, but a larger TARDIS playset that has play/display value is coming soon. K-9 may have nostalgic value for fans of the 80's Doctor Who serials or the Sarah Jane Chronicles, but is a complete nothing to more modern fans. I don't see either of these providing long term incentive for people to pick up later.
      I might not have gotten this set myself given its high price point and my lack of the Dimensions game, but I had VIP points to use and there was an inexplicable $5 discount. Am I happy that I got the set for myself? Absolutely. Will I be adding a bunch to my storage room in hopes of significant long term gain? Not unless I find a significant discount. Maybe you see greater growth potential, and dispute my points entirely. Well, I wish you good fortune. For now, I need to find a place to display these neat little additions.

    • TheOrcKing
      Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group announced today the release of LEGO NINJAGO: Shadow of Ronin, available now on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Based on the popular TV series “LEGO NINJAGO : Masters of Spinjitzu,” the mobile game extends the high kicking fun of the handheld game to mobile devices and introduces an enhanced player experience, including improved touch screen controls and an upgraded hint system.
      “We’re excited that players can now enjoy the latest LEGO NINJAGO adventure on their mobile devices, which allows gamers to experience this hugely successfully series in a whole new way,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “With enhanced touch screens controls and upgraded game mechanics, iOS is a perfect platform for fans and newcomers to journey through the expansive world of NINJAGO, on the go, anytime, anywhere.”

    • thoroakenfelder
      Recently, Arizona news outlets had stories about 50,000 LEGO bricks being dumped at a local shopping mall. Was this some weird Santa sighting? No. Did the ghost of Ole Christiansen manifest all of the bricks there? Sorry. It was in celebration of the beginning of construction of a LEGOLAND Discovery center at the Arizona Mills Mall. Arizona Mills is located in the city of Tempe, part of the larger Phoenix Metropolitan area.
      The attraction is scheduled to open in Spring of 2016. The LEGO-inspired play space will include a huge pool of bricks, brick building classes, a Lego ride, a 4-D cinema and a replica of the Phoenix skyline built entirely from Legos, according to the release.
      Judging by what is available at other Discovery centers, we should see a LEGO shop, but one that doesn't exactly participate in the VIP program. It seems like they give an instant 5% discount to VIP card holders and 10% to season pass holders. Do these discounts stack? I actually am not finding information, but I would hope so. Someone who has a Discovery center in their area should be able to say. I honestly doubt that they do. LEGO likes to do one or the other.
      However a 10% break on whatever exclusives or sale items that they offer would be a welcome addition to any brickvestors in the Phoenix area.
      So far the website has little information, and they tend to keep the riff raff out, but I'll see if I can talk someone into a site visit to get pictures before it opens. Otherwise, I will be there opening day to report on the experience and what my fellow Phoenicians might find of value there.
      In the meantime, a couple of articles with attached video as well as a link to the official site.
      Honestly I am looking forward to taking the kids.

    • Alpinemaps
      Brickset.com has posted the first images of 2016 Star Wars sets and minifigures.  The images come from an insert in the recently revealed 30605 Finn (FN-2187) polybag.  Eight sets appear on the insert.  The first four sets are battle packs.  75135 is Obi-Wan's Jedi Interceptor, which is very reminiscent of 9494 Anakin's Jedi Interceptor.

      75136 will be the third iteration of the Droid Escape, following 7106 and 9490. I would expect values on those two sets to even out and show no other growth when this set premieres.  Although each set is slightly different, "new" and "on-the-shelf" will eat into the market.  Although the "dirty Sandtroopers" that appear in 9490 are still unique to that set.
      The final two sets are from The Empire Strikes Back.  The most anticipated is 75137 Carbon Freezing Chamber.  The Ugnaught minifigure has long been desired.  Small in size, I would expect this set to do well after retirement.  Boba Fett appears to be the same as 75060 UCS Slave-1, which may have some impact on the sales of that particular minifigure.
      A photo of all the minifigs appears on the back of the flier.

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