Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking Back Revisited

Let's take a look back at the past year. 

I'm down thirteen posts from last year, lower than the year before as well.  I'm still holding my slightly more than three posts per week average for the third year in a row though.

The Central MA gaming group continued to meet this year.  We managed seven games together, including another one at PAX East.  We even managed two games at the same time during one of our meets.  We fizzled out after three months in a row at The Wiz though.  I'd like to maintain a more public presence in 2017 for the group.  Maybe cycle through a few other game stores to get us in front of more people.


I managed 99 reviews this year; 4 clone bricks, 7 Mega Bloks, 8 Kre-O, 13 model/toys, and 67 Lego.  That comes out to an average of 8.25 per month.  Which is an increase of 1.7 reviews per month.  I also came up with another review rating system -- which was finalized with help from Dark Cloud Blogs -- for non-Lego models.

I'm closing in on 600K views, which is roughly another 250K views since last year.  Thank you to everyone for that.  My Flickr stream is over 1.5 million views which I must thank everyone for as well.

I got to attend PAX East again, meet more great MoF0s, and play a fun game.  I'm really looking forward to 2017 as it looks like everything that was planned with Dark Clouds Blogs will take place.

See you next year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Random Mechs 19

A little filler post for the day.

Tundra Reconaissance Suit by magusthemando.  A neat little mech.











Dorn (armed config) by Pasukaru76.  How did I miss
this one?  More Technic-y goodness from  Pascal.








UMR by The Extra Brick.  This has really clean lines.  I like the way it looks.



F.E.E. ARAMH 1.0 by @rabid.  Looks a bit fiddly but,
interesting nonetheless.  And downloads are disabled.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Review: 41575 Mixel Cobrax

End of the week and the end of the Nindjas tribe Mixels.

Bag.  MSRP is $4.99 for a $0.08 Price per  Piece.


Instructions.









Parts.  Several Plates, Slopes, Ball Joints, and Brackets, some Tooth Plates, Clip Plates, Modified Bricks, Minifig Sais, Robot Arms, and Large Claws, a Bar Plate, Turntable, Minifig Snake, Printed Tile, and Bar Holder w/Clip.  Then there's the two Orange Ingots in the lower right of the picture.





Build.  Something simple for this review, a Melee specialist.

The Questions:
Can you build something -- a frame, station, or starship -- right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?  Below.  (+5)  (The Golden Ratio is $0.10 per part.)
If you can't build a frame right away, or choose not to, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +20 (A+).  Number three for Series 9.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review: 41576 Mixel Spinza

Middle of the week and more Nindjas tribe Mixels.

Bag.  MSRP is $4.99 for a $0.08 Price per  Piece.


Instructions.










Parts.  Plenty of Slopes and Plates, a few Click Hinges and Ball Joints, some Clip Plates, Tooth Plates, Tiles, and Technic bits, a couple of Brackets and Minifig Katanas, and some lovely Light Bley Apollo Studs at the bottom right.






Build. Yeah, I know, a tripod build is cheating.
The Questions:
Can you build something -- a frame, station, or starship -- right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?  Below.  (+5)  (The Golden Ratio is $0.10 per part.)
If you can't build a frame right away, or choose not to, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +20 (A+).  Number two for Series 9.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: 41577 Mixel Mysto

Welcome to the beginning of the end of Mixels Series 9.

Bag.  MSRP is $4.99.  Which gives us a $0.08 Price per Piece.


Instructions.








Parts.  Plenty of Ball Joints in this one.  A decent amount of Plates and Slopes.  Some Brackets, Clip Plates, Tooth Plates, Jumpers, Lampholders, Bar Plates, Tiles, Horns, and a Bar Holder w/Clip, and a 6L Bar w/Stop Ring.



Build 1.  Yeah, it's ugly.





Build 2.  I actually had enough time to do a second build for this review.

The Questions:
Can you build something -- a frame, station, or starship -- right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?  Below.  (+5)  (The Golden Ratio is $0.10 per part.)
If you can't build a frame right away, or choose not to, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +20 (A+).  Starting out strong for Series 9.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: Gundam Converge RX-78-02 Gundam

I wasn't planning on doing another Converge review for a while, but when I saw this set I had to finish out this release.

Box.  I paid $10.99 for this at Newbury Comics.



Parts.









Disassembled.  I can see Direct Fire for the rifle, Artillery for the back mortar, Spotting for the head/antenna, and Defense for the shield.


Assembled.








Size Comparison.

The Questions:
Is it below, at, or above $10 per Frame?  Above.  (-5)

Is it a good size to use in a game?  Yes.  It's in between a Classic and a Chub.  (+5)
How many parts does it have to represent systems?  Four.  (+5)
Does it have enough parts you can remove to represent White Dice damage?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +10 (A-).  A better price and this would get a better score.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review: 40228 Geoffrey &Friends

This set seems to be regarded as a little weird in the Lego community.  It's an exclusive set to TRU.

Box.  I paid $9.99 for this at Toys'R'Us.  That's a $0.08 Price per Piece.




Instructions.








Stickers.  These look fun.

Minifigs.









Parts 1.  Plenty of parts in what Bricklink calls Bright Light Orange.  A good amount of Ball Joints, several 1x2 Bricks W/2 Studs on 1 Side, plenty of Plates, Slopes, and Tiles.





Parts 2. Clip Plates, Bar Plates, Ball Joints, Slopes, Plates, Cones, and New Headlight Bricks.




Build.  A quick, 5 minute, chicken walker.  2Rd+d8/1Y/2W.

The Questions:
Can you build something -- a frame, station, or starship -- right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?  Below.  (+5)  (The Golden Ratio is $0.10 per part.)
If you can't build a frame right away, or choose not to, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?  Yes.  (+5)
Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +20 (A+).  That's kind of surprising for a licensed, TRU exclusive set.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Terrain & Scenery 9

Something quick for a busy week.


The Forest Path by P.B.  Cotton Candy color trees, very sci-fi.








Underwater Scenery by Master Data.  I don't feature underwater
builds very often.  Maybe I should start looking for more.





"Micropolized" Lego City Vehicles by Galatek.  Very neat.







Future Truckin' by Rodney Bistline.  These use some neat
techniques to make some futuristic looking big rigs.




Bateria de Misiles by fotero.  These could make nice Stations.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Gundam Converge Schwalbe Graze

One of the fun things about the Converge line is that occasionally there are re-issues of older models with a pallette swap.  In this case these are similar Mobile Suits from the same anime piloted by two different people in the same faction.  This will allow you to field two copies of the same model without having to paint either one!



Box.  I paid $10.99 each for these at Newbury Comics.




Parts 1.



Disassembled 1.  I'm thinking Spotting for the helmet, Movement or Spotting for the verniers, Melee for the left arm, Melee or Direct Fire for the Right arm, and Defense for the leg shields.  The parts in the bag are extras for Gundam Barbatos.



Assembled 1.


Parts 2.


Disassembled 2.  I'm thinking Spotting for the helmet, Movement or Spotting for the verniers, Melee for the left arm, Direct Fire for the  Right arm, and Defense for the leg shields. The parts in the bag are extras for Gundam Barbatos.

Assembled 2.


Size Comparison.

The Questions (Gaelio):
Is it below, at, or above $10 per Frame?  Above.  (-5)
Is it a good size to use in a game?  Yes.  It's in between a Classic and a Chub.  (+5)
How many parts does it have to represent systems?  Four.  (+5)
Does it have enough parts you can remove to represent White Dice damage?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +10 (A-).  

The Questions (McGillis):
Is it below, at, or above $10 per Frame?  Above.  (-5)
Is it a good size to use in a game?  Yes.  It's in between a Classic and a Chub.  (+5)
How many parts does it have to represent systems?  Four.  (+5)
Does it have enough parts you can remove to represent White Dice damage?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +10 (A-).  I think these are both better deals than the score reveals.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review: Gundam Converge RX-110 Gabthley

Another review from my recent Gundam Converge buying spree.



Box.  I paid $9.99 for this at Newbury Comics.




Parts.






Disassembled.  I'm seeing the rifle as Artillery, the head could be Spotting or Defense, the backpack -- teardrop shaped item on the upper right side -- could be either Defense, Movement, or Spotting.  The antenna attached to the shoulders would probably be Spotting.


Assembled.  Looks pretty badass.








Size Comparison.


The Questions:

Is it below, at, or above $10 per Frame?  At.  (0)
Is it a good size to use in a game?  Yes.  It's in between a Classic and a Chub.  (+5)
How many parts does it have to represent systems?  Four.  (+5)
Does it have enough parts you can remove to represent White Dice damage?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +15 (A).  There was some mold flash on the backpack mounting post and the antenna were difficult to get into their holes, so the score fits.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Gundam Converge AMS-118 Geara Doga

I found out recently that there were more places carrying Gundam Converge sets than I thought.


Box.  I paid $9.99 for this at Newbury Comics.



Parts.



Disassembled.  It has three different helmets.


Accessories.  I see Single Shot Rockets, and that tiny, green post attaches to one of the helmets -- which could function as a Spotting attachment.  Then you have the rifle, shield, and armor panel for Direct Fire and 2x Defensive attachments.





Size Comparison.




Assembled.  It's a bit front heavy so you may need the base in play.  The attachments on the SSRs are a little touchy so you'll have to keep track of them too.

The Questions:

Is it below, at, or above $10 per Frame?  At.  (0)
Is it a good size to use in a game?  Yes.  It's in between a Classic and a Chub.  (+5)
How many parts does it have to represent systems?  Four.  (+5)
Does it have enough parts you can remove to represent White Dice damage?  Yes.  (+5)
Score: +15 (A).  I think the score fits.