Category Archives: Building Bricks

LEGO® My Valentine!

Last summer, when I got the word that Toys“R”Us was closing I ran to get the specialty holiday kits for myself and some family members.

I’ve been saving this kit for today! As you can see, my box is a little beat up from being stored in my Block-Kit crate.

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This is LEGO® 40236 Romantic Valentine Picnic. It features 2 minifigures, 3 separate base stands with tons of romantic elements. I had a lot of fun putting this together and managed to do a timelapse video of the assembly.

No, I’m not wearing anything cute or romantic, I’m rocking the USMC Skivvy shirt because it’s comfy and my date-night clothes are not. SC and I are joining friends for a dinner for our Valentines.

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The water fountain set is super cute and remarkably simple. I adore the curly ferns!

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This is the trifecta of Valentine’s gifting. Flowers, food and the bubbly of your choice! Note to my underage or expecting readers, bubbly doesn’t have to be Champagne to be romantic! I love a good Italian soda, great taste, low price and no DUIs!

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This tree rocks, I loved putting it and the bird together, even though my hands didn’t want to cooperate. The little birdhouse is a great detail, and the flowering branches remind me that Spring will be here soon!

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I went a little nontraditional with the provided couple. Everyone, regardless of gender,or sexual orientation should feel free to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their partner of choice. I placed the short hair piece on the female because I have short hair, and the long haired ponytail on the male because SC has long hair. Regardless, they make a cute couple, don’t you think??

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The picnic setup is really cute, although I’m not exactly sure how a pineapple is romantic?? The teddy bear, balloon and tray of cookie,pastry, cupcake and strawberry are all standard romantic treats/gifts. The minifigures are holding a chocolate bar and a valentine letter.

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Altogether, this is an amazingly complex and over-the-top romantic picnic!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Disability Note: This was a great little kit. I struggled some with my hands, but it was not so difficult that I got frustrated.

Where to buy: Obviously, Toys“R”Us is gone, but I managed to find LEGO® Romantic Valentine Picnic on the Bricklink website for ~$9 USD. Click Here.

LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.

Disclosure: I bought these items for my own use. The opinions are my own, and do not in any way reflect the thoughts and views of the Lego Group of companies.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

 

LEGO® The LEGO Movie 2 Polybags

I missed out on seeing The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part in theaters, so I can’t wait for the dvd release! To pass the time until May 7th, I picked up two polybags from the local Walmart. I think my favorite thing about LEGO® is that they’re serious about being for ages X to 99! IMG_5267

First is LEGO® 30527  The LEGO Movie 2 Lucy vs The Alien Invader.

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From the movie trailers, I know that the villain is the DUPLO® Alien Invaders. This polybag contains a minifigure of Lucy in her new kick-butt outfit and an alien for her to fight. Lucy’s face is two-sided, happy Lucy and angry Lucy.  She comes with a brown scarf, quiver of arrows, and a crossbow.

The build for the DUPLO® alien was surprisingly complex! It looks so simple, but looks are deceiving. Check out the instructions.

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Alien down!! He’s cute, if a little top-heavy.

I found this build to be quite fun for a small kit. And the end result makes an awesome picture!

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Showdown!! Lucy vs Alien!

My other polybag kit is LEGO® The LEGO Movie 2 Mini Master-Building MetalBeard. Metalbeard is another character that was in the first The LEGO Movie and has an expanded role in the new movie. Again, I have not seen the new movie, I’m basing my info on movie trailers and Brickipedia.

This kit was of a higher difficulty, not surprising as the character is a Master Builder. The really cool thing is that while the instructions only give one configuration, this kit has 2 other configurations that can be downloaded here.

Metalbeard is a really cool figure. He has a telescope and saber, as well as a banner for his “tail” and his signature neckpiece. I loved the flame feather on his hat and golden claws on his spider legs.

Disability Note: I did this on a mild day, so it is easily assembled by kids 6 and up or an adult with good to decent hand motility.

Where to buy: At the time of this post,  LEGO® 30527  The LEGO Movie 2 Lucy vs The Alien Invader and LEGO® The LEGO Movie 2 Mini Master-Building MetalBeard are not listed on the LEGO® website. However, I have seen it listed for sale on ToyWiz or BrickLink,  and at my local Walmart.

LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.

Disclosure: I bought these items for my own use. The opinions are my own, and do not in any way reflect the thoughts and views of the Lego Group of companies.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

 

25 Days of XMAS – Day 9

Let me state for the record that my Mom is amazing. I was feeling really down earlier this month because I didn’t purchase my LEGO® Advent Calendar in October, when I saw it in my local Walmart. At the time, I figured it would be available for a while, and I’d be able to pick it up a little closer to Christmas. Ladies and Gents, I am an idiot.

This year’s calendar, LEGO® City 60201 FLEW off the shelves! by the time I thought to go buy it, most stores were out of stock, and the prices on Amazon and Ebay were outrageous! So I was resigned to not having an advent calendar for the first time in years, which made me a bit depressed.  But! Mom saved the day! (I refuse to ask what she spent). Lego City Advent Calendar 60201Like most Advent calendars, LEGO® Advent Calendars have a theme. LEGO® carries three different types, Star Wars™, Friends, and City. I’ve never been a fan of Star Wars™, and have found that the Friends sets, which are marketed to girls; to be overly simplistic. That leaves me with City, which usually has a neighborhood theme with lots of small intricate builds that make a great Christmas scene when I’m finished.

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As you can see, the calendar has a printed play-mat and 24 little doors, each hiding either a minifigure or a small build.

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The pictorial instructions are minimalist, but that’s okay, as the advent calendar is set for an age range of 5-12 years.

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Voila! I have a decorated lamppost!

I love the daily surprise of advent calendars, and the fact that you can detach the play-mat from the main box to create either a display or play area. I keep my calendars from previous years and display them with my holiday decorations.

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Pandemonium plays Godzilla on my LEGO® scene!

Disability Note: This kit includes tons of tiny pieces. It may not be good for someone with moderate to severe hand coordination issues, or for people with small children.

Where to buy: At the time of this post,  LEGO® City Advent Calendar 60201 is listed as sold out on the LEGO® website, it is priced at $23.99 USD. However, I have seen it listed for sale at Target for $26.49 USD.

Special Shout-Outs:  MOM!!

LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site

Disclosure: My awesome Mom purchased this product for my use, the fact I’m reviewing it is due to being bored with puzzles today. The opinions are my own, and do not in any way reflect the thoughts and views of the Lego Group of companies.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

25 Days of XMAS – Day 14

LEGO® polybags are some of my favorite treats. I collect them all year long, eagerly searching my local stores for new designs. This one has been waiting for winter in my to-do pile since last Spring!  The name of this kit is LEGO® Friends 30402 Snowboard Tricks with Stephanie. 

I’m starting to get the hang of videos.

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Disability Note: I did this on a mild day, so it is easily assembled by kids 6 and up or an adult with good to decent hand motility.

Where to buy: At the time of this post,  LEGO® Friends 30402 Snowboard Tricks with Stephanie is listed as Retired on the LEGO® website. However, I have seen it listed for sale on ToyWiz or BrickLink

LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.

Disclosure: I bought this item for my own use. The opinions are my own, and do not in any way reflect the thoughts and views of the Lego Group of companies.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

 

 

25 Days of XMAS – Day 4

Hi guys! I have a small treat for you, I made another video! These are tricky for me, but I’m learning. Day 4 is LEGO® Friends 5004920 Emma’s Ski Pod. Everything is explained in the video, though I had to do a bit of research to find the name of the kit, as it was not on the poly bag or the instructions.

Instructions Side 1
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Disability Note: I did this on a mild day, so it is easily assembled by kids 6 and up or an adult with good to decent hand motility.

Where to buy: At the time of this post,  LEGO® Friends 5004920 Emma’s Ski Pod is listed as Retired on the LEGO® website. However, I have seen it listed for sale on ToyWiz or BrickLink. For Pods for girls or boys, LEGO® still makes a few. You can find them here!

Special Shout-Outs: Thomas Blackington

LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.

Disclosure: I received this product as a gift. The opinions are my own, and do not in any way reflect the thoughts and views of the Lego Group of companies.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

LEGO® Elves The Capture of Sophie Jones

Today’s post is a little different. I’m not doing a review or a tutorial. I’m assembling a LEGO® kit because my kid sister asked me to. I’ll warn you, this is a long video, clocking in at a little over an hour-long and I ramble throughout.

TL:DR  Hi! Columbus Day, my 9-year-old sister chose the topic and I hate stickers when assembling brick kits.  

I like the LEGO® Elves series for their designs, and knew there was a mini-movie on Netflix. It wasn’t until I was researching this kit that I found out that LEGO® has a whole series of webisodes hosted on YouTube. The webisode that explains this kit is here.

 

Overall, I had fun with this kit and will continue to collect LEGO® Elves and being silly while doing so!

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Disability Note: This was done on a really good day and I fully subscribe to the philosophy that growing up is OPTIONAL! A reasonable amount of silliness can stave off depression and pain.

Where to buy: At the time of this post,  LEGO® Elves 41182 The Capture of Sophie Jones is listed as Retired on the LEGO® website. However, I have seen it listed for sale on both Amazon and Ebay.

Special Shout-Outs: Hani DeFalco and Thomas Blackington. You two rock!

LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site

Disclosure: I purchased this product for review. The opinions are my own, and do not in any way reflect the thoughts and views of the Lego Group of companies.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

TICO Bricks Smithsonian Institute: A Review

In February, at NY Toy Fair, I came across a micro-brick booth I hadn’t seen before. The ladies running it were very nice, and gave me a mini pterodactyl kit to try.  I’m ashamed to admit it has sat in my brick box since then. I remembered it when starting the blog, and reached out to The Lazy Dog & Co., TICO® bricks’ US distributor. I’m really glad I did!

I was asked which kits I was interested in, and I responded back with a list of possible kits, including The Smithsonian Institute, which was my pie-in-the-sky item. Imagine my surprise when that is exactly what they sent me! Poor Spouse-Critter, there was much squealing and happy-dancing that day.

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The Castle

Now, the Smithsonian Institution name covers over 19 museums, a zoo, 9 research facilities and tons of affiliated buildings. The building featured in the kit is called “The Castle” which is the first of the Smithsonian buildings, and its headquarters to this day. Look at this pretty building! There are days I think it lovelier than Buckingham Palace.

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Not a lot of spare packing material, TICO doesn’t pad the box!

Set up is easy, open the box, lay it all out, grab tweezers and magnifier, and check out the instructions.

Okay, so this just jumped a level of difficulty! Unlike some other brick companies; each step is only shown by pictures, there are no lists of how many bricks of each type are needed.  I know that a kit this big will have a ton of pieces, nearly 1,100 according to the box, so I haul out my MasterPieces™ Puzzle Sort and Save. Sorting all the little pieces by type and keeping them away from the cats is a necessary thing!IMG_3776

This build took me about three and a half days over the course of several sessions. My hands tended to start to ache after a few hours, so I was glad to have photographed the process.

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I hit a snag on step #9, I had a piece missing! I searched all my sorting trays, thinking it may have been missorted, no dice. Okay….I’m a resourceful brick-builder, I subbed in a 1×2 and a 1×1 brick for the missing 1×3. I kept moving on until by step #11, when it was very noticeable that I was missing not one, but several pieces! Worse, these were pieces that I needed! I dug into my stash of micro-brick spares, and found a few that would sort of match. The upside to this? I found out that TICO® Bricks are compatible with their competitor’s bricks!

Then I emailed my contact at TICO®. She was awesome! Quick response, a request for a full listing of my missing pieces so they can be replaced, and a promise to let the manufacturer in Taiwan know. Customer Service Win!  In the end, I was only short 9 pieces, 2 of those because I subbed them in on step #8. In a kit of 1085 pieces? That’s a minuscule amount, and I would not have noticed if there was a large amount of spare bricks.

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Spare pieces!

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So Long! Just under 11 1/2 inches

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Standard micro-brick kit width of 3 1/2 inches

This Is Now Officially My Biggest Micro-brick Kit Ever!

TICO stands for Tiny – Intelligent – Combinative – Originality. Honestly, this company really embodied this! It is tiny, it took and stretched my intelligence, I managed to combine pieces I did not think would fit, and while following a set of instructions doesn’t use originality, TICO® also sells bulk piece kits.

Brick Kit SPECS

  • Company: TICO
  • US Distributer: The Lazy Dog & Co.
  • Title: Smithsonian Institute
  • Kit Number: T-1536
  • Year released: 2018
  • Pieces: 1085
  • Difficulty: 3/5 I personally rate it a 4/5 for the instructions
  • Brick Size: 4mm x 4mm x 5mm
  • Figure size: N/A
  • Finished size: 28.75cm x 9.5cm x 12cm 
  • Made from ABS Plastic
  • Made in Taiwan

QUALITY: 

  • Box: lightweight, 20cm x 14cm x 5.5cm
  • Build Integrity: Very Good, the trees and flag are a bit fragile
  • Recognizability: Excellent
  • Piece shapes: Standard brick shapes, with some new shapes like 90° angles
  • Piece Fit: Excellent

Notes: The size of the bricks lean towards using angle tip tweezers. As there are extra pieces provided, I recommend saving them with the instructions in a sealed bag. I will be sure to add an update to this blog post when the customer service issue of the missing bricks is fully resolved.  I’m incredibly happy overall with both the Smithsonian kit and highly recommend TICO® for other micro-brick enthusiasts!

Disability Notes: Due to the fine motor control required for this build, I do not recommend TICO® Bricks for those with fine motor control impediments, arthritis, or palsy, unless you have assistance. If you have a visual impairment, this is possible to do with the assistance of a magnifier.

Where to buy:  The Smithsonian Institute and other kits are available on The Lazy Dog & Co. website for $64.99 USD.

The Lazy Dog & Co. Tico® Bricks : Website 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary brick kit from the manufacturer in exchange for review. The opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!