Tuesday, December 3, 2013

LEGO Christmas Train Review for MFZ: RA

Christmas Train
So I was at Target looking through the Christmas Section when I came across what I call the 'stocking section' Well I found this polybag hanging around and decided to pick it up to do a review on it so let's get this started.

Well first I am going to state that this really just seems like a modified version of the Mini Hogwarts Express and this will be a terrain and normal review just like that one was. Also for simplicity I use terrain, scenery interchangeably for anything not a frame.

Can you build a frame, or frames, right away?

Off the bat I am going to say no but I also want to try and be a bit more creative. I think I might be able to make a tank but little to busy for that right now. Might be a revisit in the future! No -5

Can you build a terrain, or trains (terrain I mean), right away?

Going to go with yes! It can be stripped down for raw parts to be used to make terrain or it can be used mostly as is to put a in scale train on your field. I think it is a better size then the Mini Hogwarts is but it needs the back that it has plus I think that car in the back could be useful! +5

Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?

Picked this up for $4.99 at Target with 82 pieces. Calculate and we have $0.06 so below! +5

That's a lot for a polybag!
If you can't build a frame right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?

Yes but limited so +5

If you can't build a terrain right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?

If you want the train it is a yes but for raw other kind of scenery I think it would be a no. Going stick to giving it a yes though for the purpose of points at the moment. +5

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts (frames)?

Nope -5

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts (scenery)?

Yes +5
These looking interesting and useful. Only two in the bag.

So now our totals!

Frame: 0 = B
Terrain: 20 = A+
Next to a Chub for scale comparison.
Need to move a frame fast?
So I basically just repeated the Hogwarts Express review but...they are almost the same collection just more pieces.  If you are going to just use it for parts not for the train but something else it is most likely going to drop to an A or B+. Of course all these trains could be used to make a home brew scenario as well! Then again there is that tank idea...

Though now that I think about it there might be parts in here for Alpha Bandit...

Having some fun...

Of course review system credit to Mantis King.

About MFZ: RA Reviews

First I like to say thank you for those that have checked out my reviews, thank you. Currently I have a rough average 130 views per review post and I think that is awesome! I am also glad to see that some people are finding them useful! If you have checked out my other posts because of my reviews, then you get 10 extra points of gratitude.

Next I like to thank Mantis King and our 'rivalry' about reviews. I use the system he established (thank you) and I find it very exciting we have 'sister' reviews. I think it good for the community as I am sure we look at things in different ways and I will take more about this later. Once there are a few more I will most likely make a post having side by side hyperlinks of the reviews.

3rd I am sorry I have not done a review in awhile. I have been busy getting ready to move and nothing has really jumped at me lately but I have two reviews coming around the corner!

So now how I do my reviews.

I am going to start by coping a question and answer that came up in the Hanger.


When you calculate price per part, do you include the minifigure as well? I realized I had a lot of fig bits leftover from random polys, and it made me wonder.

Shades_Corvid (This is Me)

I go by the number on the bag which I am sure includes the minifigure but I don't think it includes the 'random' extras.

The reason I go by the bag is 1) I don't think the 'random' bits are included and 2) their is a few builds that use either legs or hands of minifigures but I don't include that fact for the 'useful bits' section of the questions.

Next when I do a review I think I have one big difference from Mantis King and that is I am not one of these 'master builders'. I don't look at the parts and go "I can use this to make this or do this." I think the best example of this is in our reviews for The Galaxy Squad Mini Mech; His, Mine.

I am the guy looking through the models and deciding what frames I want to use and looking for instructions or using sets as is (like in the terrain review).

So I hope that helps people understand my process a bit in the future.

Will of course answer more questions in the comments!

Additionally I will write about my demo soon also!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LEGO Mini Hogwarts Express Review for MFZ: RA

So when I was in 5 Below I picked up another set besides the Warrior Pack. This time we have the 'out of print' Mini Hogwarts Express. Thanks to Mantis King for our review system. Though this time around I think I will be rating on two fronts

Can you build a frame, or frames, right away?
I believe this is a no but I think we have a great piece that can be used to set up one's battlefield. To me the train is in scale to the rest of our game we love and play. It might be a bit too long BUT after building it I think it be an easy adjustment to make it shorter.
Frame: No -5
Scenery: Yes +5

Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?
Well given this set is out of print it is seen by some as a collector's item. The cheapest I can find it is in the $7 range BUT if you have a 5 Below in your area that has this in stock you should be able to pick it up for $3.99. So we have 64 pieces at a price of $3.99 gives as a ratio around $0.06 a piece!
5 Below: Below +5

If you can't build a frame right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away? 
I am going to go with a yes on this one but it is scrapping by. There is only one key part in hear but still ones I have seen use in several frame builds and it also be a good base for a wheeled frame or scenery piece.
Frame: Yes +5
Scenery: Yes +5

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts? 
So here we have my great divide get large enough for another split in decision.
Frame:  No -5
Scenery: Yes +5
The Mummy is here to show scale.

So Now the results.
Frame: B
Scenery: A+

Well that is a first for me, getting an A+ but it is on the scenery side of things. Of course that is at the 5 Below price and I am looking forward to putting it on a table sometime though it would suggest that I need to build some tracks and cars for it...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Warrior Pack Review

So I was browsing through 5 Below when I came across this little pack of third party LEGO accessories. They are called Warrior Packs (made by Brick Warrior) and this is currently Wave 1 with 10 varieties but these are not random packs. In fact the back of each pack is clear so you can see the item inside.

I was curious about them thinking about their use in the game Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack. Given that I picked one that looked spacey and brought it home for this review. First I want to say the quality of the plastic is great, about equal to LEGO products.

So my little pack came with three guns, a shield, a body cover piece and a helmet. The pack cost me $2.99 so that was about $0.50 per piece, very roughly. They fit well with my model LEGO minifigure (a knight from my random pack collection) which means they should fit well with a Mobile Frame as well. Just because I was curious again I went ahead and tossed that shield onto a Chub just to see how it look.

Over all I am a bit on the fence about the packs. If you are a fan of customizing minifigures then these are most likely great as they seem cheaper then buying the parts individually from Brick Warrior's website but as far as Mobile Frame Zero, maybe. I suggest if you find a set of Warrior Packs just look through them and see if anything in their windows catches your attention.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

LEGO Lawn Mower Review for Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack

This set just made it into the prestige Mantis King's Good Sets for Parts list (6 if we are counting) so I figure I get this review done. Again here are our requirements and moving on!

Can you build a frame, or frames, right away?
I don't think you can so No; -5

Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?
Alright we have 42 pieces with our bag costing $3.99 giving us a $0.10 (The math is $0.095 but you know, round up because I am sure that is what those machines do.) meeting our golden ratio for 0 points.

If you can't build a frame right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away? 
This is very much a yes and why I bought it. I picked it up during a BOGO 50% off at Toys 'R' Us when I also bought more of these. I was planning to take the 'lawn mower blades' and mounting them on the sacred Umbarran MHC but so far I have failed to get something I like. Anyone have any ideas? Anyways, +5 to the Parts House.

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?

Yes, +5 points.

So here comes our total: 5 which gives us a B+ which is a fair rating for a bag of pretty much raw parts.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

LEGO Iron Man Drone Review for Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack

Sitting on this one a bit because I picked it up at a Flea Market but I have not seen it in any stores. So why now? What has change in the world to make me do this review? Well Toys R Us is having another one of their LEGO build events and during that weekend the Iron Man Drone will be a free poly bag with purchase that weekend. So, let's get started.

As usual we are  using the review system established by Mantis King (insert fanfare).

Can you build a frame, or frames, right away? 
When I first got this set I would have said yes but now that I think about it and seen other sets I am more leaning toward no now. The drone would make a great drone for melee dice for a frame but it is not frame material on it own BUT I have half the mind to slap a pair of legs from a Hi-Leg onto that drone and use it!

So in short: No, -5.

Is it below, at, or above the golden ration?
Well as I said earlier I got this from a flee market for only $3.50 while the LEGO store has it for $4.99.
Bag contains 24 pieces so we do a little math and...
Flea Market price gets us $0.14 per piece so that is a clear above for a -10.
Store price gets us $0.20 per piece getting us even more above for another -10.
Mind you I love the buzz saw cutter pieces in this set and this is why I got them. They seem rare piece and so if your after them the hit might be worth it or you can try Bricklink. Oh wait, there it is right here. Looks like you can get them for 2 pennies each...oh this is awkward.

If you can't build a frame right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away? 
This is a clear yes but just very few pieces in the bag. So +5 points for House Stark.

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?
This is borderline  specially with Stark/Iron Man being in the bag but I am going to say yes. Let's be honest though, if the previous question is a yes, it is hard for this one not to be one as well. +5 points!

So now for our results, drum roll please!
We have a -5 which grades this set at a B- and given the ratio if bought in store I be willing to call it a B. Though if you can get it for free, go for it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Nation Coming Out Day (2013 Edition)

So today (when this post dropped) is Nation (USA) Coming Out Day and with that date I started a tradition on Facebook where I come out again and again on this date. I started about two years ago, coming out as transgender the first year then the second year pinpointing what that is for me (bigender and/or gender fluid). This year I included my more flexible sexuality on top of everything else.

Why do I do this every year and well for the simple fact is we never really stop coming out. Some like to think it is a big flashy event, we send out inventions, RSVPs, get on a stage, turn on the web feed and tell THE WHOLE FREAKY WORLD OUR BUSINESS but this is far from reality. We have friends, family, co-workers, pets and whoever else we have to deal with which we can never tell all at the same time or want to tell at all. Just because someone comes out to one group doesn't mean they will come out to others and then sometimes you still might split those groups up. It is just a complicated mess.

So that is why I post it every year because it never stops and hopefully one day will will never have to come out, things will just be said and we just all get it.

Though this is not the end of this little old blog entry because speaking having different groups we have to come out to, I have not come out at work about anything. Now I have selected people at work that know but these are friends. Today giving what day it was I was planning to come out at work during lunch but due to timing and work demands, everyone wasn't present so I chicken out.

Though I also realized this isn't a big deal because it didn't have to be today and it doesn't have to be a big announcement, it can just be part of conversation which I think can be better at times. The thing is I have had plenty of chances to drop in past talks but instead chose to avoid it in some fashion. I need to stop doing this and just let it happen. It would be best for me and ultimately make some of my co-workers look at things a bit differently. Could make some things awkward but well...that isn't my problem. Out!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fandom Resurrection?

So with the new J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter movie announcement I have seen several 'the fandom lives again' memes and such. I don't get it, did we go away? Was there some kind of fan protection program? As we get older and have kids we share the books and movies with them. They are becoming part of lesson plans. There is still merchandise being sold. I, no we still talk about all these things. We have a section of a theme park

We never left and we are not going to leave. We will be a generations fandom, we are with Star Wars, Star Trek and Firefly along with many more.

LEGO Galaxy Squad Mini Mech Review for Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack

Keeping up the tradition of using Mantis King's system.

Today we have Galaxy Squad's Mini Mech which I picked up from Target. I have been eyeing this one for awhile because it looked neat and I like the use of orange with it. Let's get started.

Can you build a frame, or frames, right away?
This is going to have to be a no BUT it makes for a great starting point for a four legged walker. -5

Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?
Well we have a retail price of $3.99 with 28 pieces for $0.14 but I saw this coming. In the many times I looked at it I had checked the golden ratio which stopped me from buying it in the past. I decided I wanted the set and not the pieces themselves so I swallowed the G ratio on this one for personal enjoyment. Above for -10.

If you can't build a frame right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away? 

Yes and in fact if you just kick the minifigure guy out, it might work as a good base platform to convert it into a full frame. +5

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?

This is very true, many of these parts are good for building frames and if you remove the driver I think you have a good base to get started with in fact. +5

So the results! Doing our math we come up with a total of -5 for a B- for this set. This is the worse score I have given and I really don't have any gut feeling about uping it or lowering it either. I think it is pretty much where it stands. If you like the look and think you can use it as a base as I recommend then go for it. I on the other hand will put it on the shelf with my minifigures. Might one more to see if I can turn it into a frame..hmm.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

LEGO Friends Animal Set Series 3 Fawn's Forest Review for Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack

I originally planning to to do a review on a different set next but then ran into this set while at Target which demanding to be reviewed tonight for reasons I will discuss a little bit further down. Also this post might aiming to be a bit biased...

This time our review system is a bit revised but still based on the Mantis King and you will see as we go.

Can you build a piece or pieces of terrain, right away?
Yes! This set is pretty much a frickin tree that can be blown apart! +5

Is it below, at, or above the golden ration?
This is where it gets complicated. This set is currently (9-22-13) on sale at Target for $3.99 until 9-28-13 vs the usual price of $4.99. I also get an extra 5% off for having a Red Card. So we have 35 pieces so here is our math.
Regular price is $0.14 so no. -10
Sale price is $0.11 so still no -10.
Red Card with Sale price $0.10 at ratio so +0.

If you can't build a piece of terrain right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away?
Yes, you could use the pieces to build different styles of woodland terrain or some other pieces in frames if you are looking for unique coloring. To be honest I am thinking of putting that bow on one of my Chubs, even if I have to glue it. Also the mushroom could be used on other terrain as well, giant mushroom worlds! Short answer: +5

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?
If you want to make a tree, hell yeah but I would keep off the 'flower and fruit' bits because I would be a bit ticked that I have to 'shoot through' all that before I could really drop the tree or just rule they don't count. Also thinking of putting those cherry looking pieces in a truck for a station. +5

So the results.
Regular Price B+
Sale Price B+
Red Card and Sale A

Though if you really want some tree terrain that can be shot up and don't have a Red Card then I would dare say for you this might be a B++ or A- set just for you so get it while it on sale for the rest of this week.

I bought this because it was on sale and I wanted the tree. Now that I have dissected it I think I will pick up one or two more before the end of the week.

Special mention: The Puppy's Playhouse set has bricks that look like actual mortar bricks. Not enough to justifying the purchase if that is all you want BUT you might want to take a closer look to the Friends line or it up a LEGO Secondary Market.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

LEGO TMNT Kraang Laser Turret Review for Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Atack

(After the comment by the Mantis King I have decided to update this blog post by adding additional material that I hope makes this even better post. New material shall be in this font color.)

This is a Review for the Kraang Laser Turret for the Game Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack that I should have posted about first but it is coming soon. Will be using the system established by the Mantis King to do this review, hope I do it justice.

Can you build a frame, or frames, right away?
Yes, sort of. The set itself could be used as a very small scout frame but very limiting so I will give it a +5.
I have to say this because technically it meets the yes BUT looking at our 'pre-built' frame it just doesn't give me a very good fuzzy feeling. I mean it really just looks like random parts with legs and a missile.

Is it below, at, or above the golden ratio?
Due to a weekend special I only payed 3.39 but the retail price at $3.99 at Toys R Us with 36 pieces. The ratio comes out to be $0.11 so above giving a -10.

If you can't build a frame right away, does it have parts you should be able to put into use right away? 
Yes, giving it a +5.
This is honestly the best part about this set. Just about every piece in this bag is an active frame building piece or terrain. The bonus (or minus) is that some of these pieces are in some uncommon colors

Does it have more than a handful of immediately useful parts?
Given that the whole bag is usable minus the minifigure I say yes giving it a +5.
See statement above.

This gives us a total of B+ though the gut is B.
Originally my gut was going with B but after thinking about it I really figured out what my issue is. It was the turret build itself. That was the B hanging in my gut but the reality is minus the recommended build plans this is a great poly bag I think. It above the ratio but at only by 1 cent, $3.99 over all and just about every piece in the bag is a frame viable piece so all that could make it a A- ish or so I think.

If I were to field it straight I would be.

Single Shot Rocket 

Why my frame layout choice?
Again I really don't like the idea of using the  suggested build as a frame BUT if I did it looks like a scout to me that runs and hides spotting other frames to report back to a bigger gun. It one shot missile is for self defense so it can run or perhaps to ambush snipe an open unaware target. That is what it make me think so based on this flavor in my head is what equals the above build choice.

Icons by Soren.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Personal Roller Derby Rival

So a few years ago when I was out breaking in my roller blades in again at a roller rink I noticed a sign in the back that caught my attention. Upon arriving home afterwords (actually if memory serves me right I think I got drunk that night and had to wait till the next day when I had my facilities returned.) I did a Google search and discovered The Dominion Derby Girls.

I was instantly interested and was set to buy tickets but had to wait for a few months because the season had just ended. Well I watched the calender and waited for ticket sales. My ticket was bought, I went to the show and was hooked! I loved it and went to every home game that season. Well, do to changes in life and moving to Southside in Hampton Roads I missed the very last home game. Sadly because of changes in life I had to put going to my beloved Derby bouts on hold, in fact it was a few years.

So what got me back into going back to the Derby? A site called Shirt Punch featured this shirt which I had to have! Of course I ordered it but it gave me a need to see the Derby so two months ago I went taking the Significant Other with me and here is her post about it. She was hooked and we have already been to our second game! With my birthday coming up in July I am hoping someone buys me tickets for a present.