Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm still here!

I'm still around.  Just have been very busy with my 2 month old daughter.  I will be getting the next part of the Bricklink guide up soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New User's Guide to Buying on Bricklink: part 1

I think I mentioned writing a Bricklink guide when I first started this blog.  I guess better late then never.  I will be breaking this up into parts due to how huge it can be.  So part one will be focusing on creating and setting up wanted lists.  Part 2 will be about buying parts on your wanted list.  There may be more parts in the future.

As an AFOL you may have heard about Bricklink.  As the picture states, it is the "Unofficial LEGO Marketplace".  What this means is that you can buy parts, sets, minifigures, boxes and instructions of any Lego set ever!  Are you missing a part for your old childhood set? Need to buy 500 1x2 Bley bricks for a MoC?  You can get these on Bricklink.  I will do my best to guide you through your first time using Bricklink.  I know from experience that getting the hang of BL takes some time.  I am still finding cool new things that makes purchasing easier.

1. Username

Create a username.  You can't do anything until you have set up your username and password.  Much like eBay this username will track your purchases, orders and feedback.  You can also use the forums and set up your own store.

Once you have a username and have logged into the site. You should go to the "My Bricklink" tab.  In this tab you see your BL ID and a site map that you have access to.  Also you can see if you have any action items.  Action items are things that may need your attention.  They can include orders that need to be paid, status of orders (shipped, packed) or if you need to leave feedback.  I recommend looking around here for a bit to get familiar.
My Bricklink tab has all the areas you have access to

2. Wanted Lists

I think that wanted lists are the heart of BL.  These are customizable lists that you create.  These lists can include anything that is sold on BL.

2.1 Creating a wanted list

Go to the "Wanted" tab.  You can add items to a list one by one, many via xml document or by parting out sets. For beginners I would recommend just adding one by one.  As an example I want to add a red 2x4 brick to my list.  Here's how I would do it.

- From the "Wanted" tab click "Parts" and hit submit
- in the next window, pick "Brick" in the category drop down box
- click on "Brick 2 x 4"
- click "View Image" to make sure it is the right part
      BL used to update the color of the part based on your color pick, but it doesn't seem to do that anymore.
- select "Red" in the color drop down
     color is split up in "Known Colors" which are colors that this part appears in sets and "Lego Colors" which are all the Lego colors but the part might not be made in it.  Stick with "Known Colors"
- the rest of the options are pretty straight forward.  By default the part is added to you Main wanted list.  You can create new ones to help organize the parts you want.  For example I have a list just for minifigure parts, lists for missing parts in individual sets and a list for bulk parts.

The other options that I use are quantity and notify by email.  I turn off notify by email and it can be set to default off in your settings in the upper right corner of the window.

- click "Add Item"

The next screen will let you know that your part has been added successfully.  You have the option to see this part in your wanted list or just keep adding parts.

Adding a Red 2x4 brick with a quantity of 10

Repeat until all items you want are added to your list.  You can go back and select other categories to get boxes, instructions and minifigures.

2.2 Settings for your wanted list

Go to the "Wanted" > "My Settings" tab.  Here you can refine what BL does when you try and search shops for your wanted list and how BL notifies you about your wanted list.

This is a pretty straight forward tab.  It can help you set up the way shops come up when you search your wanted list.  I leave most to deafault settings.  I turn off all notification though.

Wanted list settings.  Tailor however you like.
That's it for part 1.  Hopefully this is enough for someone to start getting their lists in order.  I will edit and update this with any suggestions.

I'll start working on part 2 soon. I know once I had my wanted lists I was eager to get buying.  So stay tuned.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

MoC: Gone ICE Fishin'

UPDATE - This entry took 5th place in the contest!  This the first time I placed in a contest.  I am quite thrilled, 5th out of 51 is not to shabby.  Thanks to Eurobricks for putting on the great contest.

Here is a MoC I made for the Eurobricks Collectable LEGO Minifigures Series 3 Building Contest.

The category was to build an 8x8 vignette that would accommodate one of the minifigures from series 3 without the figure in the scene.  I chose the fisherman because he is one of my favorites.

The scene is a shack on a frozen lake for ice fishing.  Entitled, "Gone ICE Fishin'".  So here are some shots of my creation.

Photos also on my flickr page 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NEW: Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Sets

It has been known for awhile now that Lego will be putting out Pirates of the Caribbean (PotC) sets. Speculation came when Lego discontinued the new Pirate line and started picking up more Disney themed sets, Prince of Persia, Toy Story. We have seen confidential preliminary images of these which left many not too excited about the line.

Today we got high resolution images of what the final set designs look like and I am impressed!

The first run of the PotC line will include 8 sets. All of which hold some new and exciting parts/ features.

Click on thumbnails for larger images:
Prices and descriptions are taken from 2011 Toy Fair Fact Sheet.

4195 - Queen Anne's Revenge - $119.99

From the captain’s quarters perched high on his magnificent
ship, Blackbeard secretly looks on as Jack Sparrow and the
motley crew attempt mutiny against Angelica and the zombies.
Will our heroes be able to take control of the ship before
Blackbeard reveals himself? Includes Jack Sparrow, Angelica
and Blackbeard figures
4194 - Whitecap Bay - $79.99

At Whitecap Bay, Jack Sparrow and the other pirates
encounter the mermaids. Spot them using the searchlight and
shoot the net from the boathouse cannon. But beware! If the
whale oil tips over, the whole lighthouse is sure to go up in
flames! Includes Jack Sparrow, three mermaids and three
other pirate minifigs, mini-boat with pirates’ victims, crewmates
and a collapsing lighthouse

4193 - The London Escape
4192 - The Fountain of Youth - $19.99

The race is on to see who will make it to the Fountain of Youth
first! Will Jack Sparrow be outsmarted by Blackbeard or
wooed by Angelica, or will he beat his rivals to the coveted
pools of eternal youth? Set includes Jack Sparrow, Barbossa
with peg leg and Blackbeard minifigs, plastic waterfall detail
and two chalices
4191 - The Captain's Cabin - $10.99

Will Jack Sparrow escape the captain’s cabin with a coveted
prize or be captured by Zombies? Includes Jack Sparrow and
two Zombie minifigs, buildable shelf and two ships in a bottle
4183 - The Mill
4182 - The Cannibal Escape
4181 - Isla De La Muerta

As you can see these sets are mostly from the new PotC movie "On Stranger Tides" out this summer. The last three are from the other movies. They also have lower set numbers meaning that they are planning to release more sets from the first three movies.

Here is what I'm excited about:
- All the Minifigs
- Wine Bottles
- Gold bars
- Sword Holders
- Arched windows with shutters
- Queen Anne's Revenge

I think that all these sets are really cool. I would love to have multiples of The Captain's Cabin and The London Escape. These two sets have great new parts which I can see using in many new pirate/ castle builds.

EDIT: Just read Disney's press release for Pirates of the Caribbean toys. And they are saying Lego will release NINE sets this year. We have 8 pictured. Some people are saying the Black Pearl ship will be the ninth. Who knows?

Link to pictures of the actual sets from a Disney Event

Monday, January 31, 2011

SALE: Winter Village Bakery

If you haven't all ready picked up this years new seasonal set 10216 - Winter Village Bakery, do it now.

I was just at my local Lego store and it is on clearance at the price of $38. Regular price is $55. This is great set and is really fun to bring out for the holidays. It also has some great parts. The new 8x8 trans blue plate and some of the new nougat colored bricks.

Also being liquidated are the Star Wars magnets at $4.30 down from $15. These are the magnets that can be separated from the figures. 3 different sets:

C-3PO, Princess Leia & Admiral Ackbar
Chancellor Palpatine, Nute Gunray and Onaconda Farr
Han Solo, Paploo and Biker Scout

The magnets are also on sale at Lego shop@home for the same price, but the bakery is still regular MSRP.

I'm assuming this will follow at all Lego stores, but I have only been to mine which is the Hillsdale store in San Mateo, CA. My store had plenty of everything but act fast if you want these sets.

Have fun!

Edit: Looks like Lego shop@home only has C-3PO, Princess Leia & Admiral Ackbar left. So if you want the other two make way to your Lego store.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Collectible Minifigure Series

Look a new post all ready!

I want to talk about the new Collectible Minifigure Series that Lego has out. These are sets of 16 unique minifigures that boast new figure designs and at least a new element. The torso, hair, faces and accessories can only be found in these sets. The fun little gimmick is that these minifigures are sold separately in opaque mylar bags. The idea is that you are not supposed to know what figure you are getting and can lead to multiples of figure before you complete the set of 16. Of course there are ways around that.

I think this is a great idea for Lego. You know there will be people out there trying to complete the set of 16 and buying as many as they need to do it. Lego fans have also been buying complete boxes of 60 just to get as many as they can.

Currently these are on the third series. I first got to see these at last years BBTB convention. I wasn't too into them at the time. So series 1 and 2 went by and I didn't jump on them. When series 3 rumors started showing up and what new figures were going to be in it, I got excited. Mainly because of this guy:

I am a fan of all the Lord of the Rings books and a huge fan of the castle/ Forestmen themes that Lego has. So this dude was a must for my future mocs. So how do I get these? Luckily I have a coworker who is into collecting these figures. So when he got the option to pre-order a box of 60 for series 3 I went halfsies and am now the proud owner of all 16 figures plus 3 elves!

Pictures of series 4 are out and they look even better then previous series. My coworker has all ready placed an order for the box of 60. Again, I might go halfsies to get this. I'm still mulling over it, though that hazmat suit guy is very tempting.

Series 4

I highly recommend these awesome figures. If you can get your hands on some, go for it.

Nearly A Year!

Wow! Nearly a year has gone by since my last post. My last post was about the first Bay Area Lego convention, "Bricks by the Bay". And now that convention is coming up again in March! Sadly I won't be attending due to the good news in the next paragraph.

Since my last post my life has changed dramatically. Shortly after posting about BBTB, my wife and I got the great news that we will be expecting our first child in late December! We started planning and preparing for our new addition. We ended up moving to a larger apartment to have more space for our baby at the end of August. We are really happy with our new place and are even more excited for our baby to come.

Our daughter was born a week late and has been the greatest joy in my life since then. I'm glad to say that both my wife and my baby are doing great! Now when she is older I have a great excuse to go to Legoland and hopefully the MMB at the Lego store.

Enough excuses all ready. Back to posting about everyone's favorite hobby, Lego.

I have still been adding to my collection. Albeit more slowly then before (baby stuff is expensive). The two biggest additions to my collection are the most awesome 6295 - Black Seas Barracuda (picked off eBay for little more then MSRP, w/ box) and 10179 - Millennium Falcon UCS (picked up during the clearance on Lego shop online). Both of these sets have been something I've been wanting for a long time now. 6295 - BSB was a set that I drooled over as a child and never got my hands on. I have yet to put together the 10179. I opened the box and was overwhelmed by the size of this thing. It may be something that I put together in the future with my daughter or I just might get the building itch and spend a week or two building it when I get off work.

I haven't been building too much lately. Time has been a precious commodity and even though we moved to a larger place I still don't have an optimal Lego building area. I did however get more storage and re-organized my parts. I have been seeing a lot of great MoC's lately and I have been wanting to get building. Do you think my daughter will mind if I take up part of her room for Lego? I am going try and make it my resolution to build more with Lego and post more about it. There are just a few other hobbies I need to kick out first. I see that at this point in my life I need to focus on a couple things rather then half ass'ing many things.

So hopefully you will be hearing from me more often. Until then, Keep Bricking.