Porker Van – LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy’s Food Truck (80009)

LEGO‘s new Monkie Kid series has only been out for two weeks at this point and due to some favorable circumstances for once I was able to hop onto the bandwagon of just-in-time reviews, so here’s my take on Pigsy’s Food Truck (80009). Before we delve in, some more general thoughts on the series as a whole, though.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Box

Monkie Kid who?

As should be now be widely known, Monkie Kid is a modern spin on the old Chinese Journey to the West tale that revolves around the adventures of a band of mythical creatures and heroes, including the Monkey King. That’s pretty much where my knowledge ends. I’ve never seen a movie, not one of the older animated series that apparently exist nor read any books or comics. feel free to call me totally culturally ignorant. ­čśë This is not made better by LEGO’s own animated series tie-in not having come out yet, so the models can only be rated on their own merits out of context.

That being the case, I have to say I don’t like most of them. Not only had I hoped for a more traditional approach to this series to begin with, potentially giving us some interesting historically inspired stuff, but my real problem is that most sets look like a wild mix of Nexo Knights and poorly done Ninjago. That is they use way too many large, compound parts where one might have preferred to build up things from many smaller pieces, lots of exposed Technic elements and an overall aesthetic, that’s not necessarily appealing to adults with lots of intense colors like Dark Purple and glowy oranges.

The other major turn off is simply the crazy pricing. No way to dance around it, but it really seems with this series LEGO are reshaping their own reality and reaching new heights. It’s not per se bad that sets cost a certain amount of money, but keep in mind that this series is not a collector’s edition, but is genuinely meant o be used for playing. Funny enough it will serve the latter purpose just fine, as most builds in their own way appear to be done well enough to live up to that, but the insane cost will be prohibitive and put it out of reach for many.

On the positive side the series introduces a ton of new parts or parts in previously unreleased colors and brings back some legacy pieces even that haven’t been available for a while. That alone will be motivation enough for some potential buyers. I would in particular go so far and say that the Monkey King Mech (80012) will be extremely popular in the MOC-building communities just for its many Metallic Gold parts and similarly the Dark Green Technic parts in the Monkey Kid’s Team Secret HQ (80013) as long as they’re not available elsewhere.

Finally there’s of course some interesting new minifigures. Even if I don’t actually pro-actively collect them, you have to give props to some of the new designs. They look fresh and truly like they add something new with new color combinations, new hair pieces and overall rather elaborate designs and prints.

What the Pigsy…?!

Based on the factors mentioned in the previous paragraph and some additional ones I opted for Pigsy’s Food Truck (80009) for a hands-on look at at least one set from the series. The reasoning behind this is pretty straightforward.

First, my brother and I have this weird running gag of anything to do with pigs and piglets and as a consequence anything to do with certain shades of pink. That’s why I had to have this for the pig on the roof of the van and Pigsy‘s minifigure alone. On that same note, I’m of course also somewhat into LEGO Friends and thus already have a reasonably large collection of pieces in these colors which I’m always looking to expand and complete in the hopes of one day pulling off some gorgeous custom builds with them.

The other reason to get this set are the many white parts, in particular the arches used on the wheel wells and the large modified tiles constituting the upward-swinging doors on the sides. There’s quite a few of them and if nothing else, they may come in handy as snow-covered roof elements for Christmas-y builds when it’s that time of the year again…

With that in mind, the economics added up and I wouldn’t have to worry about a total write-off even if the model itself disappointed. Knowing that these sets will very likely be exclusive to LEGO stores for a while, I ordered it right away from their online shop. Lo and behold, despite all kinds of horror stories of packages getting stuck in distribution centers due too overwhelming demand in the current crisis, everything worked out just fine and one week later DPD dropped the box undamaged on my doorstep.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Overview

Unwrapping the Van

The set comes with a pretty sizable van, five minifigures and two motorbikes, which even despite my initial criticism makes for a good value. In fact I would argue that out of all the current Monkie Kid sets this is perhaps the one with the best price-to-value ratio overall. I’m not sure if 60 Euro is the best price it could have, but given how surprised I myself was at how large the food truck actually turned out, I feel that it’s still fair on some level. If it only cost 50 Euro it would of course be even better, yet I don’t feel I have paid too much, rare as this is these days.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Minifigures

As written earlier, the figures are pretty nice. Monkie Kid himself (center) stands out the most with not only a unique torso print (apparently he’s employed at Pigsy‘s, if only as a disguise), but also the most elaborate legs I have seen myself to date. They are dual molded wit ha red upper section and black shoes and printed from three sides. Technically this is nothing new, but figures with such complex leg prints aren’t found in every set and i never had one before. My only criticism would be the slight lack of opacity on the white portions.

Pigsy uses a new unique head mold and looks just fine as a comical interpretation of a pig. The single customer is a bit run-off-the-mill and the Red shirt/ Sand Blue pants combo feels a bit overused. Simply too many figures in City and Creator sets use it. The evil guys, called Grunt and Snort in this set, are just clones in the truest sense of the meaning. they all look the same and are contained in every set, so similar to Star Wars you may indeed be able to build a clone army once you have bought enough of them.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Motorbike, Left View  LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Motorbike, Right View

The motorcycle/ bike is a completely new mold and is reminiscent of certain older types like wartime messenger bikes or the somewhat rustic-looking generations after that until the 1970s mostly. What makes them great, aside from having another alternate design, is the fact that LEGO had the good sense to do them in decent, realistic colors. They are a combo of Pearl Dark Grey , Pearl Grey and Black, making them unoffensive and integrate well into any scenario. even the spoked wheel hubs have that nice metallic sheen.

It’s an ordinary World (very ordinary)

Moving on to the truck itself, you’re kind of immediately taken out of the Monkie Kid world again as – with all respect – it looks very, very mundane and ordinary, give or take the few extras. That is both a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. It’s good because of course this would allow you to use the model in other scenarios easily with only minor modifications. It’s bad because somehow it just doesn’t seem to fit the slightly more crazy other sets from the series.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck, Front Left View

Most notably the lack of any variation in the overall White color scheme makes it just look boring. Yes, you can insert the same platitudes about me just not using stickers, but I still feel that this could easily have been mitigated somewhat even without those. Had e.g. the large 6 x 12 tile been substituted with multiple smaller ones and some colored items been sprinkled in to imitate patched or rusty spots, it could have looked more interesting to begin with.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck, Aft Left View

And make no mistake – even if you were to apply the large stickers it would not necessarily look better. Both Bright Pink and Dark Cyan are “cold”, not very vibrant colors that do little to enliven the model. The lack of contrast can be extended to the mudguards or the rounded sections of the roof as well. Would have making the roof Light Bluish Grey been boring, too? Admittedly yes, but it would at least have given some contrast and a nice demarcation line.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck, Aft Right View

I feel that the the mudguards likewise could have been grey or in the Bright Light Orange/ Flame Orange Yellow as the middle strip on top of the roof. On the bright side, though, they are constructed from the new 3 x 3 rounded bricks first introduced in the latest Star Wars – Rise of the Skywalker Resistance X-Wing (75273) for the jet intakes. That opens up potential for using them in a million different ways on other builds as opposed of having more single-mold pieces with limited alternate uses floating about in your stock.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck, Front View

The various appendages, i.e. the red horns, bull catcher and lights to me merely feel like a half-baked, uninspired attempt to make the vehicle look even a tiny bit menacing, but ultimately it does not. In terms of “branding” this seems weird, anyway. Wouldn’t those pieces by Dark Cyan or one of the pink colors, anyway? This also wreaks havoc with the red sausages/ hot dogs. They just don’t stand out enough. I also wish for once we’d get those Wieners in a different color. would it have been too much to ask for veggie spinach sausages in Dark Green?

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck, Sausage Grill

Don’t be so tense!

When inspecting the driver’s cabin/ cockpit, we have to talk about one fundamental problem with this model. There is a lot of overall tension/ friction and by that I really mean a lot.

The cause of this is easy to pin down – the model uses some very long plates and equally 1 stud wide long bricks on top of a chassis frame that derives its main stability from several 6 x 8 plates on top of a Technic brick frame wit ha few pins. To me it’s all too obvious why this can’t work out. The cumulative shear forces will eventually get so great, you struggle to plug on another row of bricks. This is particularly bad with the yellow decorative strip running down the middle of the roof. Here the issue is exacerbated by the strip being build from 1 x 6 bricks that just won’t fit right due to too much lateral friction. Adding the turntable for the pig figure was a battle. This is definitely not for kids and you may need to have a wood hammer handy.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck, Cockpit

The roof of the driver’s cabin is not completely as bad, but still not really good. I guess the most fitting description would be that it’s a case of “It will jiggle itself into the right position”. You literally have to bend and twist the model ever so slightly at the step where you’re supposed to insert the roof and once the bricks have loosened themselves again and released some tension things will work. regardless, it’s just not ideal having to work this way.

BoringÔäó inside

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck Interior, Front Left

The boring-ness of the design continues with the interior. One can’t help but feel that you’ve seen this a million times in every Friends or City van of similar ilk already. There’s some boxes, the usual mustard/ ketchup/ salt & pepper dispensers and a workbench. The only real highlights are a fridge and an extra overhead storage cabinet in the roof which admittedly uses a cleaver on-the-side building technique, but even those feel like they merely fill too much space that otherwise would not be used.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck Interior, Aft Left

Don’t get me wrong – those elements are just fine for what they represent and even the “sterile” grey colors make sense, it’s just not what this model would have needed. If I had anything to say about it, this would be some insane stuff where once you open up the upward-swinging side panels/ doors you’d see a completely different kind of shop, be that some Chinese pharmacy or mystery items outlet or a full weapons store/ armory. At least the latter thought seems to have crossed the designers’ minds for a minute, as there’s a hidden weapons compartment in the freezer.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck Interior, Fridge Secret

The mechanism for the roof swing doors kind of works, but occasionally it does not. More to the point you need to be pretty careful when to push it up and when to swivel it around. This is again an issue with the panels being rather flimsily constructed from only a few larger tiles with some 2 x 3 plates bridging the gaps on the backside. In addition, the actual hinge mechanism doesn’t use any of the inverted curved slopes usually associated with creating a strong connection, further complicating matters.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck Interior, Front Right

The matter isn’t helped by once again severe tension problems in the roof. There’s simply too many bulky bricks up there like the big slopes in the middle. Funny enough, though personally I consider it sloppy, it may actually help that those pieces along with some of the arches have their ends loosely hanging in the air. Were they fully counter-locked with extra plates underneath, the friction issues would probably multiply even more.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Truck Interior, Aft Right

Pink Sculpture

As mentioned in the introduction, one of the contributing factors I wanted this set is all that pig stuff and the advertising figure on the roof is part of that scheme. It’s reasonably well put together, though again I wish it would have been a bit bigger and more elaborate. It would have been nice if e.g. the ears had been actually pointed by building them from symmetrical pointed curved slopes. Given how the model is designed in that area already, it seems it would have been easy enough.

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Pig, Left LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Pig, Aft Right

LEGO Monkie Kid, Pigsy's Food Truck (80009), Pig, Face The stud shooter forming the snout is okay, but I’d preferred some more realistic shaping over functionality still. it might even have been funnier to build the pig as a container and have a separate gun inside or at least hide the gun behind a panel on a hinge. Farting out bullets from the opened butt has its own weird appeal, if you get my drift…

Final Thoughts

Overall the set is perfectly okay as a traditional/ conservative van. It’s quite large and there are enough play features and accessibility to keep kids busy. It’s also a pretty good source for some unique and useful parts if like me you disassemble your models again after a while and use the pieces elsewhere. On the other hand there’s a lot of amateurish, bad construction used, which makes the assembly a bit of a pain at times and would have me worried about long-term damage to some of the elements. All that creaking can only mean something is going to budge one day.

With regards to the Monkie Kid series this doesn’t do much to spike my interest. It squanders its potential by being way too conservative and it just doesn’t feel crazy enough. For all intents and purposes this could just as well be a Creator 3in1 model and you wouldn’t notice much of a difference. So ultimately how worth buying this is depends on some very specific details. It’s still good value for money, though, just perhaps not in the same way for everyone…

A-Wing Craziness

LEGO are a bit on a roll with the A-Wing. From the recently released UCS model (75275) to other sets to even making and appearance in the May the 4th promotional Death Star II Battle┬á(40407) gift with purchase (GWP) it’s everywhere. So inevitably the LEGO Star Wars magazine, June 2020 edition, follows suit with its own variation on the theme.

LEGO Magazine, Star Wars, June 2020, Cover

I was really looking forward to the little buildable model and it sure does not disappoint. Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way first: This is not the least bit realistic. the sleek shape of the A-Wing is hard to capture with a ton of pieces in a larger scale, so one should not expect a perfect replica just with a few pieces. This is more a stylized version reminiscent of the egg planes found in Asian comics and the respective model collector/ model builder sub-genres. Still, it’s nice despite being short and plucky.

For the parts connoisseur it contains a ton of useful elements in Dark Red, including an 2 x 6 plate, three 2 x 2 plates and several 1 x 2 plates as well as a 2 x 4 curved slope. The latter is a pretty new variant so far only used in the Harley Davidson Fat Boy (10269) and the 1989 Batmobile (76139), so getting it here is not a bad deal. I also like the┬á 1 x 3 on 2 jumper plates used as engine covers plus, funny as it may seem, I don’t have a single minifigure base plate in white yet and can now rectify this thanks to this little bag of pieces. Overall fantastic value and the model alone is worth buying the magazine.

The comics don’t to much for me with the first one featuring some ugly large worm that’s kind of disgusting even. Just not my kettle of fish. The activities are rather lightweight with really not much to do, but at least there’s a quite good Boba Fett poster. If it wasn’t for the A-Wing model, this would be rather bland, honestly…

Lime vs. Black – LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Hurac├ín Super Trofeo EVO (76899)

I have this bad habit of getting into certain patterns. One of those is that I tend to want to have all of my LEGO pieces in each and every color they exist. That’s why it always triggers my OCD when new sets include such items and after the Formula E and i-Pace set it didn’t take long for me to ponder getting the Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Hurac├ín Super Trofeo EVO (76899) as well, the stupid reason for my desire being some of the lime green and glossy gold parts.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Box

Make no mistake – actually buying this set is a different story and I have to admit that my own crooked metrics and self-rationalizations don’t work out in that regard. Why? While the content is about the same as the other dual set in this year’s Speed Champions line-up, the price is significantly higher.

No doubt this has to do with the licensing, but whether this relates to Lamborghini defining exclusivity via high prices or LEGO just squeezing the customer is of course an open question. In any case, paying 60 Euro for this package is insane and even the 40 Euro I got my box for feels unjustified still. This set is just expensive and you can’t explain it away.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Overview

Similar to the other set this one contains two cars, two minifigures and a start/ finish gate. The latter one has a different build this time, but still feels utterly superfluous. There’s really not much more to say about that. It would make much more sense if LEGO used those extra pieces to build pedestals or turntables for presentation.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Start/ Finish Gate

The Hurac├ín is of course what most people will consider the main build of this set. Being one of them “flat as a flounder” cars, this clearly benefits from the new 8 stud wide build style and the overall proportions are therefore pretty okay, considering the overall limitations of LEGO. Regardless, once you dig into the details, a lot of things just look wrong.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Huracán, Front Left View

The first thing I noticed is the color. I’m pretty certain that there is a fully black version of this car, but all my research turned up a very dark grey version with this particular livery. The coating seems to be some odd metallic, yet flat nano-tec thing that looks very different under varying lighting conditions. Still, most of the time it looks like graphite, so methinks Dark Bluish Grey would have been much more appropriate here. Incidentally it also would have made the gold/ yellow parts pop more.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Huracán, Aft Left View

The rear section feels to bulky and I think the mistake here is that LEGO once again relied on the large 2 x 8 curved slopes instead of trying to capture the surface curvature with more, smaller elements from that category. That and of course those ugly steep wheel wells. If at a 60 Euro retail price they can’t be bothered to create a better mold for that, than what’s even the point?

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Huracán, Aft Right View

The airflow splitter/ fin on the back sticks out with its dark grey, which kinda reinforces my previous point. It’s like they couldn’t make their mind up and if they (in my view wrongly) opted for the black version, at the very least this piece should be black, too. that aside it’s a Technic propeller blade used rather creatively, I must admit.

Of course you would be right for blaming me to not use the stickers. It’s perfectly my own fault, but aside from my general dislike for these things I feel that in this particular case it would also be quite difficult to get it looking good. Many of the elements are just bits of the golden trim lines and if they don’t align correctly, things will look quite weird. The same goes for the headlights, BTW, which will definitely look squint-eyed with the slightest misalignment.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Huracán, Front Right View

At the same time, and that’s what bothers me, given the poor print quality LEGO have shown in recent time I’m not convinced that printing every decoration would really solve the issue. This is even noticeable on the windshield piece. The opacity of the whites is funny enough okay this time, but the prints feel oddly grainy and rough as if the paint was too dry when it was stamped on. Again not a good look for such a costly set.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Urus, Front Left View

The Urus apparently is Lamborghini‘s interpretation of an SUV for the super-rich. To me, however, it looks just like any other SUV out there and whether or not this type of vehicle even needs to exist is an ongoing internal battle between my environmental consciousness, my limited interest for cars in the first place and a few other factors. I guess it’s okay and if I had this kind of money, I’d see things differently, but on some level the concept just feels weird.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Urus, Aft Left View

Where the LEGO rendition is concerned, it suffers from the same limitations as the Hurac├ín. Again they opted for a handful of large slopes instead of many smaller ones and for all intents and purposes it makes the car look like a military vehicle rather than an everyday thing. You honestly don’t need to be an expert to tell that it’s really quite bad.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Urus, Aft Right View

The “lumped together” look continues with the poorly fitting mudguards/ wheel wells and the sides looking like bolted-on armor plates. Nothing, really nothing, feels right nor bears any semblance to the genuine article. The answer would of course have been easy – just use a ton more of the angled slopes/ wedges (29119, 29120) and sculpt the surface better. Too bad this set is so far the only one containing those pieces in Lime or else I might be tempted to give it a try and a complete workover.

LEGO Speed Champions, Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO (76899), Urus, Front Right View

All things considered, this isn’t really a great set. It falls short on so many points and doesn’t live up to the exclusivity it pretends to have. Some of the shortcomings would even be acceptable if it didn’t cost that much, but since it’s pretty expensive on has to wonder how LEGO thought they’d get away with that. I’d only truly recommend it for Lamborghini die-hards and Speed Champion completists.

Cinderella Blue(s)

The unpredictable nature of the LEGO Disney Princess magazine’s release cycle and distribution still rubs me the wrong way. I was genuinely surprised when Blue Ocean announced the new issue on their Facebook page as apparently no planned release date had been given in the previous edition. Since I wouldn’t hit the road┬áthis month and thus not come across one of the few newsstands in my area where the mag is sold, I ordered it from their online shop, adding a costly 2.10 Euro for postage on top of the 4.50 Euro price.

LEGO Magazine, Disney Princess, May 2020, Cover

The third issue in this still very young series follows the same pattern as the other two that came before. The highlight for me is still the actual written story, which makes good reading for a second or third grade kid or as a bedtime story. Some simple puzzles round off the content along with some acceptable posters. The crafting tip for some ruffled paper flowers is a bit of a head-scratcher. The templates in the mag are just stars, but since they’re not printed on stronger stock they are pretty useless as the real patterns. You better create your own ones from cardboard for improved stability and durability.

The Cinderella mini doll is okay, though obviously my preference still lies with buildable parts such as will be included in the next issue again. I already found out via Blue Ocean‘s web site that it’s supposed to come out on June 6th and if that holds up I should be able to pick it up only a few days later when I have one of my doctor’s appointments…

Saturday Triple

I’ve distracted myself with way too much other stuff this week, so I didn’t get around to catching you up on the latest LEGO magazines and thus I’m rolling three of them into this single article.

LEGO Magazine, City, June 2020, Cover

The June issue of the City mag this time is themed around the new racing/ car workshop sets from this year’s spring releases and consequently therefore we are getting a small kart as buildable parts. It’s nothing too special, but at least it uses the same base plate as they did in the failed Friends kart racing series, so building your little vehicle is super simple and at the same time super robust. The minifigure is also nice in that it’s plain and generic enough to fit many scenarios. Even the red helmet is a welcome change from the usual, as lately I seem to have only come across black and white ones in most sets.

The aforementioned figure is also featured on one of the posters and this, too, benefits from the somewhat unspecific, unbranded nature. If you will, it’s not as obtrusive as some other figures that are plastered all over with advertising, be that made up or real. The comics seem to now have fully transitioned to the newer, more dynamic style in all magazines, so it’s pretty acceptable and, which is a bonus, can also almost be followed without reading the speech bubbles.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, June 2020, Cover

The Friends magazine is giving me a lot of grief, not just because they reduced its publishing frequency to only every two months. It’s just done so poorly from the lackluster comic to the ugly CG figures. The only reason I still buy it are indeed the extra buildable pieces. With the puppy training theme being the latest weird trend in the commercial sets it was inevitable that it would show up here one day as well. The good thing about it is that this way I’m getting a white little doggy without ever having to buy one of those sets, as indeed Bello with the grey dotted eye patch is completely new print variant of this molding.

The rest is really not worth mentioning, though at least it seems they have adjusted their target demographic’s age a little and the activities and some other things at least make sense in that context.

LEGO Magazine, Hidden Side, June 2020, Cover

Finally there’s Hidden Side. The graphical fidelity of the series still impresses me and shows that a lot of labor was poured into it, the actual story and content not so much. At least the J.B. figure is pretty decent and they even were smart enough to include the ghost-hunting gun. That’s cool because it’s based on the newer 1×1 pistol piece, which due to its compact size and strategically placed studs opens up lots of possibilities to build custom weapons, household appliances etc. or even integrate is as a brick/ bracket of sorts into regular builds.

The poster with the different ghosts would actually be okay if it wasn’t so overstuffed, but Jack? SRSLY? Isn’t it bad enough that we’re getting yet another boring figure of him in the next issue? I’m sorry, but I’m literally facepalming myself over this…

Egged all over…

This year I’m surprisingly busy with building stuff for contests pretty early in the year. That’s most definitely a sideeffect of the ongoing crisis and everyone trying to keep people distracted and engaged.

Easter Egg MOC, Closed As you may have guessed already, this particular competition was themed around the Easter holidays and this is my contribution to it. I grandiosely call it “Verstecker- & Entdecker-Ei”, which roughly translates to a simple “Hide & (Re-) Discover Egg”

 

 

 

 

 

In initially I had planned something slightly different, but ultimately it became a matter of managing resources. I had way underestimated the number of pieces I might need and both my own stock and the extra parts from Bricklink I had ordered eventually ran out. Likewise, figuring out how to build the model and get a good approximation of the curvature took me longer than anticipated, especially given my own drive for savvy engineering and making things perfect.

Easter Egg MOC, Open

I wanted it to have a large hollow space inside right from the outset and I wanted it also to close seamlessly, so the upside-down modular building were on the table right from the start. this is also extremely useful for transporting the model and stowing it away as separate parts and had the model ended up being even larger this would have been even more of a requirement.

Easter Egg MOC, Components

The slightly irregular, asymmetrical shape is a concession to the curved building. The problem with these types of things is that you can ever only get it reasonably perfect in one direction and have to decide what’s more important to you. I in particular wanted to avoid those ugly large gaps on the corners where the two directions of the “flow” converge simply because there are no suitable bricks to fill those areas. At least for now the new 1 x 2 brick with the curved top isn’t available in Lavender like I would have needed it to fill some of those gaps.

Easter Egg MOC, Underside Mount

I didn’t win anything for this as with people stuck at home there were a lot of participants, diminishing the chances of winning as a mere function of statistics, but if some user comments are to be believed, I may have been in the top ten or top twenty still, as many users liked the clean design and solid building techniques. Who knows? At least it’s a good basis and may be worth revisiting and improving some time in the future…

Egg-sy Canoe Ride

One of my more favorite LEGO magazines currently is the Jurassic World one because of the nice little builds they come with and the May issue doesn’t disappoint on that front, either.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, May 2020, Cover

The magazine comes with a nice little rendition of a canoe built from some simple inverted wedge pieces in Dark Bluish Gray and some Dark Blue parts. Getting the same Owen figure for the umpteenth time on the other hand is kind of boring. I really wish they’d use a different character every now and then. At least there’s an egg in Tan, which strangely enough is a color that has barely been used so far. Most sets still use the plain white ones, so that’s definitely a positive. Short side note: Around Easter I was actually wondering why LEGO haven’t managed to bring out the egg in all colors in some sort of decoration pack. Seems so simple and would probably sell like crazy at that time of year…

The rest of the issue feels a bit lackluster, to be honest, with the comic being an example of taking a lot of pages to tell nothing and the puzzles/ activities being a bit too trivial for my taste. On the face of it I could come to like the poster with the Velociraptor gang, but unfortunately the text has been lumped on it so tastelessly and clumsily it completely ruins it. without the names and the tag line plastered all over it would look pretty nice, though. Well, maybe another time…