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Posts Tagged ‘Lego’

Hulk Shoot!

May 21st, 2014 No comments

Last week I was in San Francisco for the PBS Annual Meeting followed by a few additional days of vacationing. On one hand, I believe San Francisco may be the most beautiful city in the United States. On the other, it also has more panhandlers per square foot. You can’t swing a box of Rice-a-Roni without hitting a half dozen beggars and grifters.

Speaking of things that are not-quite-legit, I wanted to share one of my shopping finds from the streets of San Francisco. A charming Chinatown shop named Powell Gifts enticed me with its mural depicting every Japanese pop culture icon from Mario to Godzilla.


Among the anime wall scrolls and Pokemon figurines was a cache of bootleg Lego minifigures. I’ve seen photos of Lego fakes before, but this was the first time I’d encountered them in the wild.

I exited happily clutching a Hulk. I figured that at worst I’d come away with a poorly-made glob of plastic in a nifty package, and just maybe I’d score a decent reproduction of a rare, out-of-production promotional minifigure.

The toy came in a colorful box that closely followed the typography and house style of Lego packaging.


The back-of-the-box artwork was cribbed from the Lego Marvel Super Heroes videogame, with Superman and Batman subbed in for Black Widow and Loki.


Here are the contents of the box: a minifigure, a stand, three superhero stat cards (none of which are for the Hulk), and a spare hand. Also, a sniper rifle. Like the Hulk is known to carry.


Note that the stand declares this toy to be part of their “Herd Series.” Not pictured are the backs of the stat cards, which inexplicably feature the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo.


I honestly love this figure. It’s comparable in quality to the collectible, blind bagged minifigs sold by Lego, and it’s of a character who is only available in large, expensive sets. Well done, bootleggers!


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31 Monster Toys #21: Harry Potter Lego – Fluffy

October 21st, 2013 No comments

Lego long had been reticent to license other intellectual properties, but that changed in 1999 with the introduction of a Star Wars theme. Even with that success, it took a while for them to place their bets on another outside property. Aside from some Disney-themed preschool sets, their next major license was one that–like Star Wars–had multigenerational, international appeal: Harry Potter.

The initial Potter sets were timed to coincide with the first of the feature films, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Sorcerer’s Stone. Among them was the Forbidden Corridor, featuring this charming representation of Fluffy, the three-headed dog.

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The Eye Of Mordor Is Upon Me

May 27th, 2013 No comments

Last week I found the latest assortment of Lego Lord of the Rings sets at Toys R Us, and among them was this little beauty.

Not only is there an excellent likeness of Christopher Lee beneath Saruman’s hairpieces, but take a closer look at what’s inside the Palantir: a minifig head printed with the Eye of Sauron. That turned it from a “want” into a “must have right now.”

Eventually I can see the Eye doing double-duty in a microscale version of the tower of Barad-dûr, but first I had to get these out of my system…

“Go, Mordor!”

Santa’s sack has a ring in it just for you!

“Sid? Sid? Ever since you touched that radioactive goo, you haven’t been yourself!”

Sure, you thought clowns were scary before…

“Disco Sauron just wants to boogie!”

Dear Diary: Vacation was frustrating. Bought a pretzel, but had no mouth.

Aunt Clara though Sauron was perpetually four years old, and also a girl.

Watercooler conversations were uncomfortable after the new intern arrived.

It was the Sixties. Everyone was experimenting.

He once mimed “grinding all of Middle Earth beneath his booted heel,” but no one really got it.

Hmm. Too “on the nose,” perhaps?

Goodnight eye
Goodnight orc
Goodnight Nazgul by and by

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Don’t Be Too Proud Of This Technological Terror You’ve Constructed

September 23rd, 2008 No comments

“Doctor, I’m quite certain this isn’t my mum’s flat.”
“Welllll…perhaps she’s gotten herself a new boyfriend.”

Coming in 2011 from Lucasfilm: Indiana Jones and the Star of Death!

“Today Gotham City, tomorrow…Mos Eisley!”

“Smeagol, are you sure this is the path into Mordor?”

Death Star Diary: Day 6

September 22nd, 2008 No comments

9:30 am: It’s Sunday morning, but there’s no day of rest for the wicked!

10:05 am: Here’s the first stage of the superlaser cannon. It would’ve taken less time to finish if I hadn’t erroneously used the crucial spiral gear piece on the handle of the trash masher mechanism back on Thursday. In the instruction book illustration, I mistook it for the intended hose piece. Thankfully, I remembered using it previously.

10:28 am: Again, I take my hat off to the Lego designers. The big dish is initially built as sixteen hinge pieces with various plates attached.

10:40 am: Goodbye, Alderaan!

10:40 am – 1:05 pm: Even a Sith Lord’s gotta eat.

1:35 pm: I guess that this is meant to be a repair shop. The knob underneath the table controls the gantry in the hangar bay below.

2:00 pm: After spending 15 minutes searching for a tiny angle brick amongst the diminishing parts piles, I decide to write it off as a loss and fetch a replacement from my storage closet. Yes, I am a cheater pants.

2:19 pm: I really like this scaled-down version of Darth Vader’s personal fighter.

2:20 pm: Here it is hanging from the gantry.

2:37 pm: This control station literally controls the superlaser cannon on the deck below. The station turns to pivot the cannon assembly, and the knob raises and lowers the dish.

2:40 pm: Assembly is getting much faster now. I’ve sorted the relatively few remaining parts into individual piles, making it easy to locate the pieces I need.

3:17 pm: A lever beneath the deck causes this pair of turbolaser cannons to pivot in tandem. A control knob on each cannon raises and lowers the guns.

3:50 pm: Almost there…

3:55 pm: Governor Tarkin’s conference room. The table top lifts up to reveal a secret weapons storage space. Just in case Tarkin needs to shoot a recalcitrant admiral.

4:05 pm: Almost there…

4:12 pm: The central elevator seems a bit less elegant than the rest of the model, but I guess it’ll do. The large knob on the wall lowers the platform.

4:20 pm: DONE!

4:21 pm: Hey, what are these bits doing on the floor?

4:22 pm: Crap! I pull out the elevator car and add the missing end caps.

4:24 pm: DONE! REALLY!

Elapsed Time: 18 hours, 40 minutes.

Current Page of Instruction Book: 260 (of 260).

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Death Star Diary: Day 5

September 22nd, 2008 No comments

5:55 pm: The weekend at last! Let’s get building!

6:25 pm: Another flooring section down; two to go.

6:55 – 7:25 pm: Time for a peanut butter and jelly break. The Emperor commands it!

7:55 pm: The central deck is complete.

9:20 pm: The Emperor’s throne room in progress.

10:20 pm: This may not look like much, but for me it was one of the “wow” discoveries. In the original Star Wars, the detention bay set used forced perspective and a painted backdrop to give the appearance of an endless hallway. The Lego designers used the same tricks!

10:22 pm: The detention bay is rapidly becoming my favorite section. This wall opens when a knob is turned, allowing direct access to the trash masher below!

10:35 pm: Princess Leia’s cell is complete. The barred wall here is removable for ease of access.

10:37 pm: My eyes are blurry. Gonna flop on the sofa for a bit.

11:50 pm: Once more unto the breach.

12:15 am: The hangar bay’s control room. The large knob on the control panel can be turned to slide the blast door below.

12:35 am: At last, a place for the Emperor to hang his hood.

1:05 am: The walls complete, I hit the sheets.

Elapsed Time: 14 hours, 10 minutes.

Current Page of Instruction Book: 196 (of 260).

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Death Star Diary: Day 4

September 19th, 2008 No comments

7:05 pm: Keith Olbermann provides audio accompaniment as I dive back into the pile of bricks.

8:05 pm: An hour later, the trash masher crushing wall mechanism is complete.

8:14 pm: Chewbacca lends a hand (and a head) to stop the deadly trap.

8:52 pm: The tractor beam generator is installed.

9:15 pm: Imperial minions test their brand new space cannon!

9:45 pm: The Claw! The Claw is our master! Oooooooooooo!

10:10 pm: I knock off for the night.

10:11 pm: “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Elapsed Time: 9 hours, 15 minutes.

Current Page of Instruction Book: 92 (of 260).

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Death Star Diary: Day 3

September 18th, 2008 No comments

8:40 pm: Really late start tonight. Lawn needed mowing. The Emperor will be displeased with my apparent lack of progress.

9:40 pm: Lots of fiddly bits later, the support walls and trash masher door are complete.

10:02 pm: The trash masher walls are a pretty quick build. Nearly all of the brown bricks have been used.

10:05 pm: Han Solo tries to figure out where that incredible smell is coming from.

Elapsed Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes.

Current Page of Instruction Book: 52 (of 260).

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Death Star Diary: Day 2

September 17th, 2008 No comments

8:00 pm: A late start tonight, because it took over two frickin’ hours for Wal-Mart to install a battery in Vic’s Honda. I put the “ultimate edition” of the Phantom Menace soundtrack in the CD player.

8:35 pm: Finished the bottom level!

8:36 pm: Vader thinks, “Three hours and fifteen minutes, and this is what I have to show for it? I may have to find new ways to motivate these construction workers.”

8:45 pm: The first section of deck quickly comes together.

9:06 pm: The second piece takes a bit longer, as I have to dig through the parts piles to find the bricks that serve as the floor of the garbage masher. Disc two of The Phantom Menace goes into the CD player.

9:07 pm: “And I want my throne to go here.”

10:05 pm: The Phantom Menace is over, and The Daily Show has begun. Time to call it a night!

Elapsed Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes.

Current Page of Instruction Book: 30 (of 260).

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Death Star Diary: Day 1

September 16th, 2008 No comments

6:30 pm: The unboxing begins.

6:31 pm: The big box contains four smaller boxes!

6:32 pm: And a 260 page instruction manual. What have I gotten myself into?

6:50 pm: Huh. Usually these big Lego sets break the model down into smaller sections, and number the parts bags accordingly. But I can’t even tell with which of the four boxes I’m supposed to start.

6:55 pm: The answer (shudder): all of them.

6:56 pm: Oh, my God. I’m going to have to sort 3,800 pieces!

6:57 pm: Han Solo offers to help.

6:58 pm: The sorting begins.

7:15 pm: Still sorting.

7:25 pm: Still sorting.

7:40 pm: Still sorting.

8:00 pm: Shit, I’ve been throwing black bricks into the grey pile!

8:10 pm: Still sorting.

8:17 pm: Done!

8:20 pm: I finish putting together the minifigs, and take a pee break.

8:25 pm: I begin to assemble the base.

9:10 pm: That’s enough for tonight. Off to watch Terminator.

Elapsed Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Current Page of Instruction Book: 7 (of 260).

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