Wednesday, 28 August 2013

As Doris Rowland said in 1975…


“The difference between men and boys… the price of their toys.”

I do wonder, sometimes, just who the top end Lego sets are aimed at.  I’ve got a Technic flagship shaped itch that needs scratching in the shape of the 42009 Mobile Crane Mk II, but rather than rushing out and buying it, as I am wont to do, I’m actually pausing for thought. (1)  

Because it’s £150!

One. Hundred. And. Fifty. Pounds.



Technic 42009 Mobile Crane MkII.  £150 worth of 'I want!'

(Image courtesy of Brickset.com)


Now I know the world’s changed since I were a lad etc etc, and before we go all sepia-toned Hovis advert, I know that £150 isn’t the life changing amount that it once was (2), but even so, it’s a lot of money for a toy.

And in this age of instant gratification, I don’t know many children with the willpower to save up that amount of cash.  I mean, what’s the going rate for pocket money these days?  I have no children, so I have no idea.  Hang on...

To the search engine!

Well, according to a recent article in the Telegraph, the average pocket money for a 12 year old (which is a reasonable demographic for this particular set) is £7.88 per week. 

Now if we assume some of that will go on sweets and crisps and whatever it is that 12 year olds can’t get through the week without, then let’s say our young friend will be doing well to save £2.50 a week.  Thus we can deduce that it would take 60 weeks without falling off the wagon to raise the appropriate moolah. (3)

And no child has that kind of iron will.  And quite frankly, with a 60 week timeframe they’d better have started saving straight away, otherwise the set will have gone EOL by the time they’ve raised the funds.

So if it’s not practical to buy the set themselves, then it’s either Bank of Mum & Dad, or Bank of Gran and Grandad that’s footing the bill.  Many savvy youngsters will strike up a ‘for every pound I put in, will you match it?’ type arrangement with their parents.  They’re not stupid.  These are the kids that will have a nice fat pension fund when they retire with that kind of financial acumen. (4)

I was about to make the point that it’s Technic, and so there’s a strong chance that many of these sets will, in fact, be bought by adults like myself, who can afford the occasional splurge on a luxury item such as this.  But then again, there are as many non-Technic sets that go for this sort of money, and indeed more!

The Ewok Village set, from The Return Of The Jedi, for example, will be released fairly soon, and that’s an eye-watering £199.99.  And while there will be any number of 40-something Star Wars buffs who will be in the queue on release day, it looks like a whole bundle of fun to play with, and so there will be just as many young Lego fans who are after it too.



The 10236 Ewok Village.  I've had holidays that cost less.

(Image courtesy of Brickset.com)

I would not wish to be the parent of a junior Lego builder.  To those of you that are, I feel sorry for your purses and wallets!



Meanwhile, as the voiceover guy use to say at least three times in any given episode of Batman (5), at the other end of the price range...

Some time ago I wrote of the embarrasment that I endured while buying a copy of The Sun every day for a week, in order to get some free (ish) Lego polybags.  It was one of these ‘buy the paper, cut out the tokens, send them off and then wait for a random selections of sets to drop through your letterbox’ type arrangement.

Well last week there was a similar sort of thing, only this time instead of The Sun, it was everybody’s favourite crazy paper, The Daily Mail.  And the advantage this time was that the polybags were there in store.  You just had to go to WH Smith, buy the paper for 60p and (in the case of the shop that I went to) rip the token out of the paper there and then, and hey presto!  One polybag.

Well.  Six actually.

I actually read the paper once or twice, for old times’ sake.  My late parents used to get it every day, and quite frankly it hasn’t changed a bit.  Not long ago, someone released this t-shirt…




That just about sums it up!

But back to my polybag haul, and it was, by anyone’s standards, a good mix.  We had :



The 30260 Lone Ranger Pump Car



The 30240 Star Wars Z-95 Headhunter



The 30105 Friends Mailbox



The 30222 City Police Helicopter



The 30108 Friends Summer Picnic



The 30251 Chima Winzar's Pack Patrol

(All images courtesy of Brickset.com)


Not actually sure what I’m going to do with them at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll come in handy for something.
It did make me realise that I’ve been collecting for a while now, however, when I picked up the Helicopter and realised that I already had one from a promotion earlier in the year.
My first double!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~





(1) I suspect I won’t pause too long, but I am nevertheless, pausing a bit.  

(2) No kidding.  I remember when petrol was 70p a gallon.  Now it costs £100 to fill our car up. 

(3) Think of the temptation!  After 30 weeks, you’d have £75!  There is no way, that as a 12 year old, I could have had £75 without wanting to run out and blow it on something unsuitable.

(4)  Children.  If you are reading this, take note.  It is never too early to start a pension!

(5) And when I say Batman, I’m talking about Adam West.  While both Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan might have rebooted the franchise in their own way, for many people of my vintage, the campfest that was the 60’s TV series, starring West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo will still be the benchmark.
Plus they had the best Batmobile. 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Review : Lego Cuusoo 21103, The DeLorean Time Machine


Ever tried making bread?

It’s simple stuff.  Flour, water, yeast and salt.  And that’s it.  You chuck it in a bowl, mix it round, stretch it a bit, leave it for a while, put it in a tin and put it in the oven.

Result : Yummy bread.

Or, more likely, something that looks like bread, but doubles as a hammer, because it’s rock hard.

Now I like bread, and I like - despite the fact that my bread is exclusively of the rock hard variety - making it.  So a while back, Mrs Boo bought me a voucher for a day at a baking school. (1)

It’s incredible what flour, water, yeast and salt can become in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing.  And now I’m, if not an expert, able to produce bread that you might actually want to eat.

Don’t worry - we’ll get to the DeLorean soon…

Rewinding *cough* years, and the teen-aged Boo surveys his Lego collection. It consists of one basic set (I’ve had a hunt through various archives, and nothing springs out at me, but this…



I had a set something like this.  A box.  Full of bricks.

(Image courtesy of Brickset.com)



...is the sort of thing that I had) which was, in a nutshell, a box of bricks.  I also had an old biscuit tin which contained a few more bricks, and lastly, I had the electric motor set.

All of which can be summarised as bricks, some more bricks, a few more bricks, and some bricks.  Plus two green baseplates which would have been about 8 studs by 20 studs, or something of that order.
And the motor.

As previously mentioned, many most everything I built consisted of flat walls and right angles, made almost entirely of these…


A 2x4 Lego Brick

(Image courtesy of Lego.com)

...and these.


A 2x2 Lego Brick

(Image courtesy of Brickset.com)


I had a few of these sorts of things…

A 2x16 Lego plate

(Image courtesy of Brickset.com)


...but they were just used as connectors to hold wobbly slabs of bricks together.  I never actually considered building anything with them.

Probably because I didn’t have enough.

Fast forward (or Back to the Future, if you will (see what I did there?) ) to the present, and I have in my hands the Cuusoo set 21103.  Or in layman’s terms, the time travelling DeLorean from the Back To The Future series.

After coming out of my ‘dark ages’, I’ve been concentrating on Technic to the exclusion of all else (2), and so this will be my first ‘normal’, or System Lego set.
Actually, thinking about it, because I only had the basic sets of bricks when I was younger, this is the first normal Lego set I’ve ever built.

Gosh!

I wasn’t even going to buy it.  I’d looked at the original Cuusoo submission, I’d seen what Lego had come up with, and I thought ‘Hmmm.’

But when I got to the Watford Store a couple of weeks ago to pick up my Crawler and a couple of the new Technic sets, they had a pile of 21103 boxes on display.  I picked one up, had a look, and, well, the rest is history.

So.  Here’s the box, and upon opening it, what’s the first thing we notice?

Well the first thing we notice is that you can actually open it.  Like a normal box.  Without completely destroying it.

I’m baffled as to why every other set I’ve opened thus far (3) involves those perforated tabs that you have to run your thumbnail round, and once you get your fingers inside, you have to rip the end of the box open because it’s got about a gallon of glue on it.

After mangling the first couple of boxes, I now cut through the glue blobs with a knife (4) and open them without any of the associated cardboard-based carnage that had gone before.

But it’s very annoying.

Anyway.  For whatever reason, this box just opens.  And inside we find a nice solid, bound manual, five bags of parts and three 2x16 flat plates.



A very nice manual.



Never mind the quality, feel the thickness!




A box full of goodies.


The manual is a cut above the usual instruction booklets.  At the front it has a couple of pages dedicated to the film, and some ‘facts’ about the the actual time machine.   It then has two pages about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.  And if you want to know more about what the Foundation does, have a look at their website.


At the back of the manual there’s a message from Masashi Togami, the founder of Team BTTF, who were responsible for the original Cuusoo submission, a message from Steen Sig Andersen, the Lego model designer who came up with the final design, and a page about the Cuusoo project itself.

The rest of the booklet is (unsurprisingly) dedicated to the build - 82 pages to create the Mk1 model, and a further 10 pages to tranform it into the MkII and MkIII versions.

So here we go…

Remember how I said that just about everything I’d built in my youth was with the big, chunky Lego bricks?

Hardly any here, other than a handful of the 2x1 stud bricks.  The majority of the build utilises the thin ‘plate’ type pieces.  Much like the bread, I had these simple parts, but never did anything clever with them.  But now I was about to see what a Master Baker could do.

If a Master Baker used flat Lego pieces, rather than flour and what have you...

I think part of the reason I never tried building with these ‘flats’ was that it seems like you keep adding pieces, but never really get anywhere.  A bit like those people who build cathedrals out of matchsticks.  You put in a lot of work, stand back to see how you’re doing, and find you’ve built 2” of wall.

And so it seemed with the DeLorean.  Lots of fiddling with small pieces, 2x1 plates, 3x2 plates, three stud L shaped pieces and so on, and after about 20 mins I had this:



I don't think it'll drive, let alone travel through time.



Quite a lot of pieces, and seemingly, not much to show for it.  Some points to note - the blue and red parts don’t seem to signify anything other than to make it easy to spot which is the front (red) and which is the back (blue).  And at this stage, you can see how some Technic pieces are being used to allow the wheels to swivel under the body in the MkII and MkIII variations.

Another 15 minutes, and another 90 or so parts later, and it’s sort of starting to look a bit more like a car.  
Kind of.




Getting there.  Slowly.


It’s been an interesting build so far, but things are about to get both worse, and better.

The bonnet, which caused howls of anguish throughout the Lego community when the final model was unveiled is… well let’s just say it ain’t pretty.  However, it can take some comfort in the fact that it’s not as bad as the ‘A’ pillars that form the edges of the windscreen.

They. 
            Are. 
                       Grim.

But meanwhile, at the back, things are looking up.  A bunch of small black pieces come together perfectly to form the… exhaust things… that stick up at the back.  But the best bit (to my mind, although they’ve come in for some criticism elsewhere) are the gullwing doors.

Yes, they’re only attached at one point, which has the potential to make them a bit fragile (although I’ve not had any trouble with them), but by virtue of the fact that they’re also hinged where the window (or gap that creates the window) meets the door, it fits with the bodywork perfectly.  Some people might moan about them, but I think they’re one of the highlights of the set.

Inside, the dashboard has been coming together nicely, and it’s worth noting that this set has no stickers - all the relevant tiles are printed.  This includes the various dials and readouts on the dash, plus both versions of the numberplate (‘OUTATIME’ and the orange barcode version).  It also includes the now infamous Flux Capacitor tile, with it’s ‘Sheild’ misprint.  Time will tell whether these early ‘mistake’ versions will be worth the mint that some people think they will be.  Trouble is, no-one knows exactly how many sets were in that first run.  If it’s twenty or thirty thousand, and the mistake is rectified for any further runs, then maybe it’ll be worth a slight premium.  If, as many believe, there were 100,000 or more produced, then you’re unlikely to be sitting on a goldmine.

While on the subject of the printed tiles, I have to confess to a bit of a grump where the time displays are concerned.  First off, there are only two displays, rather than the three from the original car.  I can live with this - it would have made the display too small to read.  But the thing that does bug me, is that instead of setting the target time to 1955, as per the film, Lego have set it to the 28th of January 1958 which, as a note in the build manual tells us, was ‘the date when the first Lego brick was patented’.

So?

It’s about ‘Back To The Future’ here, Lego!  Not you!

Some people have thought this was a nice touch.  Personally, I think it’s Lego getting a bit unnecessarily ‘Me, me, me.’  I guess everybody will have their own view.

Anyway.  Along the way there had been a fair bit of greebling (5) to do, and the build is finished off with some more of this, including the flexible tubing along the sides which represents… some sort of flexible tubing. (6)



The finished MkI DeLorean Time Machine, greebles 'n' all.



Stepping through the gullwing door.  One at a time.



OUTATIME



Lastly (or firstly, if you’re following the manual to the letter), are the two minifigs included in the set.  Marty McFly comes with a torso printed back and front representing his shirt and bodywarmer (remember them?  I had a blue one.  It was great.  Wonder if you can still get them?), but other than that is a run of the mill minifig.  He has the now quite common ‘two expressions’ reversible head, one smiling, one looking rather worried.  Rounding Marty off is a purple skateboard, though sadly, it comes with a set of clip on wheels only, and does not have the option of replacing them with a clear block to represent the hoverboard of the second film.



Marty McFly and non-hovering skateboard


Doc Brown is a broadly all-white affair, white legs, a white printed torso (badges and whatnot on the front and a large and not-entirely-accurate-if -my-memory-serves-correctly radiation symbol on his back.

He’s topped off with some white, swept back hair which reminds me more of an albino ‘Uncle Fester’ from The Munsters, rather than Doc Brown, but you can’t have everything.



Doc Brown.  Apparently.


It’s a fairly simple task to convert the set to MkII and MkIII configurations, so I set about that.

The MkII involves swapping out the grey wheels for red and folding them underneath the body, courtesy of those Technic hinges.  The rear ‘OUTATIME’ numberplate is then changed for the orange barcode version, and four small parts make up the ‘Mr Fusion’ reactor that sits at the back.  It’s completed by creating two transparent stands which allow the model to ‘float’ in a most satisfactory fashion.


The 'floating'  MkII



New barcode numberplate



'Mr Fusion' portable nuclear reactor, perfect for when you need 1.2 Gigawatts



New red wheels, folded under in 'flight' mode



The final transformation to MkIII status is the cause of that not-entirely-pretty bonnet.  The front 1x4 smooth plate is lifted off, and then two 2x3 orange plates have a large amount of greebling added, which then sits on the bonnet, clipped on at the point where the smooth plate has been removed.




The MkIII bonnet.  Controversial.



Overall?

Well to call it a Curate’s egg would be a bit harsh.  It’s good, with a few iffy parts, rather than the other way around.  There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a bit lumpy, but on the other hand, anyone who’s ever seen the film is likely to recognise it straight away, so  from that point of view, it has to be classed a success.

Let’s face it.  Lego is a blocky medium.  In the same way that if you try to represent a digital image with just a handful of pixels, it’s going to come out as a whole lot of corners, but up the pixel count and suddenly everything becomes smoother, so it is with Lego.  At this scale it was always going to be a bit compromised.  Up the scale and who knows?

Well in fact we do know, because the same team that produced the original for this set has also created a larger UCS version, which is around 60% of the way to gathering enough support to be reviewed by the Cuusoo team.  And by virtue of the fact that it’s so much bigger, it’s that much smoother.

But for now, we have this set, and I have to say it’s grown on me.

Yes, you can complain about the fact that the cabin isn’t big enough to fit both minifigs in at once, the ‘A’ pillars are awful and the the front bumper is the wrong colour.
And that bonnet will always divide opinion.

But it’s undeniably the BttF DeLorean!  The doors are clever!  The wheels fold up and it flies!  All the ‘bits’ stuck on it look right!

It’s never going to be my favourite set, but it was an enjoyable build, if only to see what ‘regular’ Lego can do in comparison to my favoured Technic.  And far from it being the ham-fisted, blocky, no-detail medium that I expected it to be, I’ve had my eyes opened.

Brilliant?  
No.

But pretty good?

Oh yes...




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~





They concentrate on baking but do a variety of other cookery courses too.
Not cheap but highly recommended for the cook in your life.

(2) As mentioned elsewhere, I now own some non-Technic sets, such as the UCS R2-D2, and the VW Camper Van, but I haven’t built any of them yet.

(3) Admittedly, this is only four boxes.

(4) Carefully.  Very carefully.  I’m very attached to my fingers.
And they’re attached to me.

(5) I came across the term ‘Greebles’ some time ago, and it baffled me.  The following definition is taken from the glossary at the website ‘The Brothers Brick’.

Greebles

Pseudo-technical detail added to a LEGO creation to enhance its appearance. Frequently seen in LEGO space and mecha creations.

(6)  While I love the BttF films, I make no claims to knowing what all the technical gubbins on the car is supposed to be.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Review : Lego Technic 9392 Quad Bike (Part 2)


There’s an old saying : “Where there’s a will, there’s a relative.”  And in the world of Lego, a variation might be, “Where there’s an ‘A’ model, there’s a ‘B’ model.

The Quad Bike lasted a week, but this morning it was dismantled, and I made a start on the second model, which is an off-road racer / dune buggy type vehicle.  Normally the ‘A’ model gets a stay of execution for a couple of weeks, but in this particular case :

a) I’d really enjoyed building it, and wanted to see if the ‘B’ model was as interesting, and

b) I’d picked up the Cuusoo ‘Back To The Future’ DeLorean last weekend, and promised myself I wouldn’t build it until I’d done the Quad Bike ‘B’.  (1)

In my limited experience of Technic, ‘B’ models have been pretty good, but relatively simple in comparison with the ‘A’ model, as they’re compromised.  Obviously the ‘A’ model can be built from any parts at all, as the designer has the entire range available to her / him.
However, when it comes to the second set, they have to work with what’s in front of them, and maybe one or two other parts at most.  So I don’t expect a whole bunch from a ‘B’ design.

At first glance, our Dune Buggy doesn’t look too far removed from the Quad Bike.  That double wishbone suspension at the front looks awfully familiar, then there’s some ‘stuff’ going on in the middle, and what looks suspiciously like a rear axle with a single spring suspension set up.  It’s the Quad Bike with the panels in a different place, isn’t it?

Well actually, no.  It’s not.

If anything, I enjoyed this more than the Quad Bike.

We start off with that front, double-wishbone setup again, and while it’s not identical to the Quad setup, it’s not a million miles away.  Then we get stuck into the ‘stuff in the middle’ and quite frankly, it’s complicated!

On reflection, maybe it wasn’t that bad (2), and it only seemed worse than it was because it was 8.30am on a Sunday morning, a time when I would usually be hitting the ‘Alarm off’ button, and contemplating at least another hour in the land of Nod.  But for reasons which now escape me, I was at the dining table building a Dune Buggy.

I was expecting the single cyclinder engine, used in the Quad Bike, to make an appearance here too, but no, it stays in the box.  The gubbins squirreled away in the middle of this model is yet another variation on the ‘hand of god’ steering mechanism.  It involves a couple of gearwheels, and something approximating the steering mechanism of my first build, the 9390 Mini Tow Truck, to articulate the front wheels.  I was a bit disappointed for a while - as mentioned previously, the range of steering on the Quad was pretty limited, and this appeared to be worse still.  However, after a bit of head scratching, and some poking about, I realised that one of the axle pins, that would eventually have a wheel attached to it, had slipped into the steering mechanism, and basically jammed it up, hence the lack of movement.  Some further poking about rectified the situation, and I’m happy to report that the steering’s actually pretty good.

The Dune Buggy definitely has all the interesting stuff going on up front.  As I suspected, at the rear is a relatively simple axle with cushioning via a single spring, and that’s about all there is to say about the back end.

A few bits and bobs to give the suggestion of a cabin and the model is finished off with the addition of the body plates.  In a neat touch, the ‘hand of god’ steering wheel is given a suitably rugged finish by wrapping a length of the chain round a gearwheel, rather than using the usual small wheel that I’ve seen on previous sets.



The Technic 9392 'B' Model - Dune Buggy

(Image courtesy of Brickset.com


Complaints?  Not really.  The only things I could see were :

a) As you steer the vehicle by the HOG wheel, there’s a tendency to pick it up by this too, except that it’s not as snug a fit as it might be, and so every time you do pick it up like that, the wheel comes off and you drop the Buggy.  Thanks to that chunky suspension, though, it bounces in a very satistfying manner.

b) The only other thing (which may not be a thing at all), is the rear axle.  The left-side rear wheel fits flush with the end of the axle, while the right hand side has a few millimetres of axle sticking out, which annoys the neat-freak in me.  The wheels look to be centred correctly in relation to the rest of the body, so I don’t believe that I’ve missed any spacers etc out, but it’s entirely possible.  Depending on whether it continues to bug me or not, I may have to take the back of it apart and rebuild it.

But that’s about it!  It can get a bit boring, reading reviews that constantly say ‘This is great, that’s great.  That other one is also great!’, but in this case, it most definitely is.  Less than £18.00 gets you a set with two very interesting builds that teach you something about wishbone suspension and then lets you drive it round the living room, leaping over things when your wife’s not looking.

Highly recommended.





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(1) This second point may have been what swung it.

(2) I sincerely hope that this is the case otherwise the big sets, like the Supercar and Unimog, are going to be a nightmare.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

I've had a relapse...


Some time ago, I mentioned that I’d developed a bad case of collectivitus.  It appears that once infected, you can keep the disease at bay, but you can never be truly rid of it.  It comes and goes - sometimes you’re free of it for a while, sometimes you’ve only been clean for a matter of days, when it strikes again.

As seen in a recent entry, I’ve had a bit of a splurge on the buying front recently, and once I was done, I figured that would probably be it for a while.

But of course I reckoned without August…

Well I didn’t.  I knew perfectly well that August was coming.  It comes every year, otherwise there would be an awkward gap between July and September, and 8.3% of the population would complain that they’d missed their birthday. (1)

But August brings with it the new wave of Lego releases.  I’d been so caught up with trying to make sure that I got a 41999 Ltd Edition 4x4 Crawler,  that I almost forgot that there were four new Technic sets out too.

So it was that while I was browsing the Lego site on July 31st, I was nearly taken by surprise when I clicked on the Technic theme, expecting to see the same sets that are always there, and lo and behold!  The new stuff was in!

However, what I was completely blindsided by, was the big flashing ad on the front page, saying that Mindstorms EV3 was available for pre-order, and would be shipping on September 1st.

Now that I had forgotten about.

And will have to forget about for a while longer. (2)

Anyway.  Last Saturday was an AFOL day, (3), and thanks to a timely call to the Watford store, branch manager Eamonn (a fine chap, although he looks like he should still be at school.  Maybe they’re like Policemen, and you know you’re getting old when all the Lego employees look young) said he’d put a Crawler aside for me, as there was no way I was going to get there on the 1st, and judging by the forum chat, they were going to be far more popular than anyone thought.

So, up and out at 7.15 - which unless we’re going on holiday or there’s an earthquake, is unheard of on a Saturday morning - and off to the Watford Lego store.  There were one or two others around, and bang on 8.00am, the shutter rolled up and in we went.

I have to hand it to the staff, if I was at work at that time, I’d be barely able to remember how to stand upright, but they’re a bright, breezy and cheerful bunch and we were welcomed in.  I had a chat with a couple of them and then went off to get my first proper look at the new Technic stuff.  

And I couldn’t help but notice the pile of Cuusoo ‘Back To The Future’ DeLorean’s…

The Technic was worth waiting for, and I grabbed the two smaller sets.  One, the 42001 Mini Off-Roader, is a dune-buggy sort of thing - palm-sized like the trucks that I built a while back, while the 42005 Monster Truck is a 329 piece mid-sized set with a smallish truck body on a ridiculously large suspension set up.



The Technic 42001 Mini Off-Roader - will fit in the palm of your hand





The Technic 42005 Monster Truck - will not fit in the palm of your hand unless you have freakishly big hands

(Images courtsey of Brickset.com)



And talking of trucks on crazy suspension, here comes Eamonn from the stockroom with my Crawler! 

At last!



The 41999 Crawler.  Woo.  And indeed, hoo!

(Image courtesy of Brickset.com)


It’s an eyecatching thing.  Typically, a Technic set comes in a box with (unsurprisingly) a picture of the set on the front, and maybe a few smaller pictures showing special features like pneumatics or power functions.

But this one?  This is classy!   The bodywork of the new Crawler is in a previously unseen (4) petrol blue colour, and there are a pair of white stripes running the length of the vehicle.

This has been replicated on the box, and boy does it look good. (5)



A very exciting box.

(Image courtesy of Brickset.com)


As I made my way up to the checkout with my two Technic sets (6), I passed the DeLorean again.  Might as well have a look…

Let’s face it - it’s not the prettiest set you’re ever going to see.  But it is BttF.  It’s a great film.  It’s a great car.  It’s £35.00.

I caved. (7)



Who says nostalgia ain't what it used to be?

(Image courtsey of Brickset.com)


Reading the Brickset forum a few hours later, it looked like several other Bricksetters arrived after I left.  But once I’d bought what I came for, there’s only so long you can hang around in a toyshop without looking a little bit weird, so I picked up my bright yellow bag of plastic goodness, headed back to the car and went home.

Mrs Boo had surfaced by the time I got back, and good-naturedly shifted off the dining table with her mug of tea while I sat down, catalogued the new purchases and photographed the boxes. (8)

I shall be stripping down the Quad bike over the weekend and building (and doing a write up of) the ‘B’ model, but once that’s done, I think I’m going to take a short break from Technic and build that DeLorean.

Now where did I put my bodywarmer...?

/goes off to find some Huey Lewis & The News




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(1) Are birthday’s spread out equally across the year?  Where’s a statistician when you need one?

(2) Mindstorms EV3 is £299.99, which even for a child-free, non-smoking, non-drinking stay-at-home like me, is a lot of money.  Particularly when you’ve just had to pay out a huge sum of money to have the bodywork on your car repaired because some lowlife scumbag creased our door.  I could have understood it if I had been on the mean streets of London, but this was at a County gardening show in Malvern.  You’re all supposed to be decent upstanding citizens who drink organic tea and listen to the Archers.  Not do hit and runs on other people’s cars without leaving a note to apologise!

(3) There are strict rules about AFOL days -  a bit like Fight Club, the first rule of AFOL day is you don’t talk about AFOL day.
So I shall say no more.

(4) As far as I know.

(5) Apologies for getting excited about a cardboard box.  I don’t get out much these days.

(6) There are, of course, two more Technic sets.  The 42008 Service Truck, and the taking-the-crown-from-the-Unimog-for-the-Technic-set-with-most-parts 42009 Mobile Crane Mk II.  However, between them, these two are £250.  I fervently hoped that John Lewis were going to stock these so I could pick them up with staff discount.  A few days later, and bingo!  There they were.  They’re going to have to wait a while though.  75% of a lot is still a lot.

(7) And that lack of willpower cost me £8.75.  A couple of days later I was in Peter Jones, and there it was sitting on the shelf.  That’ll teach me.

(8)  No, I’m not sure why I do this exactly.  It’s an extension of the ‘blokes like making lists’ thing, I guess.  I just like cataloguing things.  

Ask me about my CD collection sometime...