Review: Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides

I watched Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides yesterday afternoon, and I can say that it deserves its PG-13 rating. There were definitely a few scenes that would be very intense for young children. There is some irony in one of those very intense and very scary scenes … Read more

Review: LEGO 7049 Alien Conquest – Alien Striker

The conquest is here! No, not the conquest on the Planet of the Apes, but the LEGO Alien Conquest series has finally overrun your local LEGO shop and other toy stores (and Target). The first set I’ve picked up at my local LEGO store is set #7049 Alien Striker. It’s available at the online LEGO Store as well as

LEGO 7049 - Alien Conquest - Alien Striker Review

I had a bunch of LEGO VIP points (become a VIP member if you haven’t), and spent some of them on this nice $4.99 set. Like all sets in this price range, the Alien Striker leaves a lot to be desired with it’s 42 piece count, but I believe this is more than made up for with the inclusion of a new alien soldier figure and blue ADU (Alien Defense Unit) trooper.

By the Numbers:
Set: LEGO 7049 Alien Striker from Alien Conquest Series
Year of Release: 2011
Type: Small set/Impulse
# of Pieces: 42
# of Minifigs and what kind: 2, including alien
Stickers? No
Price: MSRP $4.99 USD
Ages: 6-14
Time to Complete: Less than 10 minutes

Available for Purchase: (Prices maybe higher than MSRP)

If you are a major fan of minifigs like I am, then you will most likely want this set. At about five dollars, this set is a good buy for the figures alone. Compared to the $2.99 bagged minifigs that LEGO has been cranking out of the past year, an alien and an ADU trooper is worth buying, more so than a series 4 minifig that can be a double of something you already have (since you never know what’s in the bag).

LEGO 7049 - Alien Conquest - Alien Striker Review

This set is a great way to build your army for the alien conquest of LEGO Earth.

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LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu – King of Shadows Movie Review on Cartoon Network

This is part two of my LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu movie reviews. This is going to be light on the commentary – the images speak for themselves.

LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu - King of Shadows Movie Review

Remember, click on the images for larger versions – I’ve uploaded 1080p. Yes, they are out of order.

The first part of the review can be found here (Way of the Ninja Review)

As mentioned previously, SPOILERS AHEAD!

LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu - King of Shadows Movie Review

Would love to have a LEGO set of this ship:

LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu - King of Shadows Movie Review

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LEGO Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu – Way of the Ninja Movie Review on Cartoon Network

I wasn’t intending to post such a large review at this point – I wanted to watch the entire thing again and pay attention to the plot, but I’m impressed with both movies, and I’m going to go ahead and post a bit as well as a bunch of screen captures. It was a little bizarre seeing skeletons driving around in motorcycles and four-wheel drive monster trucks, however from my limited experience of what I’ve seen in stores, they did an excellent rendering of the actual LEGO sets into animation for TV. I also saw a lot of vehicles and settings in the movies that I’d like to see turned into actual LEGO sets. If they make the ship you see in the second review, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

LEGO Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu - Way of the Ninja Movie Review

I’ll say up front that I’m not very familiar with Ninjago! (or NinjaGo! or Ninja Go! as I’ve seen it) and its universe. The screenshots I’ve posted below are going to be out of order – I was jumping around and just taking random screen captures to give you a sense of things I thought were interesting – potential future LEGO sets, etc. I’m trying to avoid giving the actual plot away since many people haven’t seen it yet. Screenshots from the second “movie” – Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu – King of Shadows, will be in a follow-up post. These are screenshots from the first episode “Way of the Ninja” but they are out of order.

Even though I’m not familiar with the Ninjago line, I still enjoyed what I watched. It was very very well produced. The animation, voice acting, sound effects, and music seem to have been upgraded over last year’s LEGO Atlantis movie. This year I do benefit from being able to see it in HD, and it looked great. I would love to be able to view last year’s Atlantis movie in HD. I’m not that into Ninjago! but I think if you were a fan of the sets and minifigs, you’d love the movies.

I have no idea how long these episodes take to produce, but I hope The LEGO Group produces more, and not just in the Ninjago universe.

Just a quick note on the screen captures – there will be blurry areas – that’s due to motion of the characters. It looks great in HDTV. There were a lot of Cartoon Network logos popping up. If this comes out on DVD or Blu-ray, definitely worth picking up if the price is good just to avoid those.


Link to the second movie at the bottom.

A really cool animation style that was explaining some of the backstory of the characters:

LEGO Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu - Way of the Ninja Movie Review

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Reflections on 2010 – Part 1

Now that we are just over a week into 2011, I thought I’d share my opinion on the best and worst of 2010.

Best new theme of 2010
– Atlantis. I was very impressed with the amount of effort that went into Atlantis. A lot of great pieces and minifigs. The thing that impressed me the most was the amount of back story that went into Atlantis, up to and including LEGO Atlantis, the movie, and the larger variety of sets that cover all of the major prices. It was nice to see a much more thought out underwater series that went above and beyond Aquazone and Aqua Raiders, with a bit of Power Miners thrown in (to the point of a crossover minifig with Brains/Dr. Brains). I know there are still a few more sets to be released, including 7985 City of Atlantis, and there is a bit of a new storyline with the “Quest For the Golden King” arc, but I thought it was a mistake to change some of the colors with the transparent pieces/divers, because the 2011 sets look out of place when placed with the 2010 sets, but that’s the AFOL in me speaking. I’m also aware of the rumors that it will be discontinued in 2011, or will be shelved for the time being. LEGO’s lineup is very crowded, and and I’ve seen (and bought) Atlantis sets that have been on heavy clearance, even sets that were released just the past summer. I hope this series continues in the future. It would be odd to put that much effort into it and then drop it, but it seems like that’s what is happening.

Best theme revival of 2010
– Harry Potter. I don’t have that much to say – I like all of the sets, and while many of them are updates (or downgrades in some cases depending on your point of view), I thought they were done nicely. It gave people a chance to get into the Harry Potter LEGO sets who didn’t the first few times around. I thought it was nice that 10217 Diagon Alley would be released this year (2011), since it seems to be targeted towards AFOLs, similar to the 10210 Imperial Flagship. Would like to see that happen more often. Would loved to have seen an Atlantis set with a similar brick count/price to Diagon Alley and Imperial Flagship.

Best themes that ended in 2010
Indiana Jones. Not much to say – I liked the series for the most part, but I’m not upset it ended – it was never going to be as big as Star Wars, especially without a decent movie to keep it going. There is only so much room in the LEGO lineup. I have heard that it might be revived in the future depending on future Indiana Jones movies. Most people might say Pirates, but I had a clue that with the Disney licensing agreements, that we’d be seeing Pirates of the Caribbean, and that is going to happen here in a few short months, so I don’t necessarily see that as an ending of a theme, especially since Pirates is a theme, similar to City, Castle, Space, etc., that is always being discontinued and retooled and brought back in a new form. You might consider Space Police III to be discontinued in 2010, although I believe technically it will end in 2011. If you consider it to have ended in 2010, then I would put that as a tie with Indiana Jones. I really liked some of the Space Police sets. I would have liked to have seen as much effort go into the back story of Space Police III as went into Atlantis.

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LEGO Star Wars 7913 Clone Trooper Battle Pack (2011)

Fans of LEGO Star Wars Clone Wars rejoice, there’s a new set of clones in town. Gone are the plain, white troopers and clone gunners of packs past. The 2011 LEGO Star Wars Clone Trooper pack is here, it’s more colorful, has a new figure (the ARF trooper), and the set’s vehicle is pretty nice, too.

LEGO 7913 Star Wars Clone Trooper Battle Pack

This is another early bird set offered through Toys R Us online, and also in the retail LEGO Stores. This battle pack comes with 85 pieces which includes four Clone Trooper minifigs. It retails at the LEGO Store for $11.99. Toys R Us offers this set online for $14.99. I was able to use my LEGO VIP points on this (and the Mandalorian Battle Pack), so I got it for a little under half the price! The LEGO VIP program is very handy, especially when buying the new stuff no other store has.

By the Numbers:
Set: 7913 Clone Trooper Battle Pack (Star Wars)
Year of Release: 2011 (Released in Dec 2010)
Type: Minifig/Battle Pack
# of Pieces: 85
# of Extra Pieces: 1
# of Minifigs and what kind: 4 Clone Troopers
Stickers? No
Price: $11.99 US
Ages: 6-12
Time to Complete: Less than 15 minutes

Box Art:

LEGO 7913 Star Wars Clone Trooper Battle Pack

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