Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Naughty Elves

The December 2007 Buy-Me-Mizer promotion ends in a few hours, and I thought this would be a good time to highlight the (presumably) last of the Naughty Elves to escape my Workshop.

Three more Elves join the ranks, bringing the horde to 9 members. The three new NEs are:
  • Minski
  • Santa Pimp
  • Blinder
To view photos and data on the all of the Elves, click here.

Transformer Challenge - Final Hours

The December Challenge has entered the final hours - if you're finishing up a build, best get to it! Photos need to be in my mailbox by Midnight EST tonight!

Right now there are eight entries - here's a sneak peek of the entry grid. Check back tomorrow to read all about them - and find out who won!


Epidode 329

Read the comic here.

Mary Sue is right - this has been the busiest month in Reasonably Clever history. (Well, in terms of the comic, anyway.) On a normal "once a weekday" schedule an average month has 22 strips. We entered December on #272 and we're ending on #329 - that's 58 strips, or over two and half month's worth of content.

In the meta sense, Whiskey should be happy - he did get some new LEGO items for Christmas. That's the torso from the new Indiana Jones figures he's holding in the last panel.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Epidode 328

Read the comic here.

To me, this strip feels like the real end of the Advent story - a nice bit of closure for a month of madness.

Oh, there's still some loose ends to tie up - next week we'll be dealing with the presents Santa left for the group. And then...well, you'll just have to keep reading to find out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Epidode 327

Read the comic here.

And there you have it: The big secret about the advent calendars. They're just meant to waste your time.

A couple of people have asked for better images of the sled - tomorrow's strip has some nice shots of it, and in a "ready to move" condition. Don't expect too much out of it, though, it was like a ten minute build that was originally just going to remain wreckage.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Transformer Challenge Update

Yes, the December Challenge is still happening. I've just decided to post all of the entires at once - when the contest closes. (So far I have entries from Doug, Pumpkinetics, George Fox, and Dan Main.)

I know this is a change from the normal "post as I get 'em" methodology, but there's only a week left to the challenge anyway.

Next time we'll go back to the normal routine...and hopefully pick a contest that will garner a few more entries!

Epidode 326

Read the comic here.

Ah, Santa. Even after they destroy his sleigh on his ride home from the mother of all long days, he still has enough Christmas Cheer to hand out gifts.

It's interesting to note that the Santa here in RC and the Santa over in S-Team don't look anything alike. They must have come from different malls.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Epidode 325

Read the comic here.

With Santa's appearance, we've reached the conclusion of the Christmas Marathon. The Advent arc will take the rest of the week (or so) to finish up, then we'll be moving on to new territory.

Man, that was a lot of comics.

Episodes 321, 322, 323, and 324.

Read the comics here and here and here and here.

Part II of the Christmas Marathon. Part III will be up later tonight.

Episodes 318 and 319 and 320

Read the comics here and here and here.

Part One of the Reasonably Clever Christmas Marathon. Check back later for Part II!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Chirstmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone.

(Or however you choose to celebrate this season. Please modify the above to the festive greeting of your choosing.)

Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit my little ego-centric corner of the web this year. Particular thanks to Ian Healey, the Forumites, Mike and Beth, people who have emailed, and those who take the time to comment here in the blog - it's really nice to not just talk to myself. The site wouldn't be the same without you.

Here's hoping the new year holds all that you wish it to.

New parts in Buy-Me-Mizer

Just a minor update: I added a few new parts this morning to the Buy-Me Mizer.

Three new heads (Agent Smith, A goofy smile, and a solid orange option) and a new accessory: a brown dog.

Total combinations now at 97,338,150,912

Episodes 316 and 317

Read the comics here and here.

Just because the Advent Calendars have given up their last treasures doesn't mean the adventure stops here. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion! It's like four hundred strips long, so it'll keep you busy while waiting for Great Aunt Agnes to finish her mush before you kids are allowed near the presents.

Advent Madness: Day 24


Well, this is it. The final day of the LEGO Advent season. Looking back, what have we learned?

We learned that CITY, while repetitive, can still come up with a good mini-model or two. That it's steeped in repetition tradition, and will hold on to its core themes even to the point of being a bit stodgy.

We learned that Belville, for a first time Advent Calendar, did a heck of a job. $10 cheaper than the CITY calendar, filled with rare and unusual parts, and even a couple of interesting mini-models. It lacked the structured order of the CITY, but still managed to tie everything together in a vague sort of way.

So now, without any more pointless introduction...Day 24.


"Young fool. Only now, at the end, do you understand."
- The Emperor, Return of the Jedi

As in years past, the final door of the CITY Advent holds a holiday treat. Unlike previous years, there's no Santa Mini-figure to deliver presents. The one figure that should be repeated every year doesn't make an appearance.

But, in his stead, is a tree. A tree decked out with Christmas lights and candles, with gifts a-plenty underneath.

It's an interesting choice - LEGO has a couple of one-piece Tree models that are very nice. Instead we get the most complex mini-model of the year. Plenty of pieces, lots of details.

True, it doesn't look as sleek or pretty as a pre-made tree, but that's not what CITY is about, is it? CITY isn't about nature. CITY is about a fake tree made from plastic that you have to build yourself. Sure, it looks sad, but you built it. Who really should take the blame?

Belville, as expected, takes a more elegant route. The tree here is one of the two models I mentioned in the CITY review - only cast in super-rare swirls of white and green. Previously only available in last year's Holiday Train the 2005 Belville "Snow Queen" set, these trees have been a highly sought after part. And the Belville Calendar has just made them much more plentiful.

The small presents that accompany the tree are much more glittery than their CITY cousins - more blocks and tiles for that stained glass window.

But there's really not much building to do here. And that, sadly, is really the theme of Belville. It looks great, but there's not a lot of building to be done.


I've decided to call a truce here on Christmas Eve - today's battle ends in a tie. Both CITY and Belville delivered a solid, Holiday-Themed end to their journeys. And, as I talked about already, each one is truly a winner in terms of serving the Calendar's theme.

The total score finds that the Belville Calendar was slightly ahead - a final score of 14 to 11. But look closely at that scorecard. Every day was a coin toss - and if you didn't want a bunch of oversized LEGO pets to deal with, the CITY would have been the right choice for you.

The final Judgment is this: LEGO, you did a decent job. There's room for improvement, but then, there always is.

Next year, though, let's give CITY a rest and try a new theme out, eh? Please? For me?



Sunday, December 23, 2007

Episodes 311, 312, 313, 314 and 315.

Read the comics here and here and here and here and here.

Caught up again. Tomorrow's installments are ready, so they should go up on time in the morning.
The story will continue with a massive update on Christmas, so be on the lookout. Starting the 26th, I'm going back to a once-per-weekday schedule.

Sorry for the delay, but, as I posted earlier, I was without power for a bit. It's hard to do much when you can't charge the battery for the camera or run the PC...

Advent Madness: Day 23


With yesterday's loss to Belville, the CITY calendar gave up all hope to take the Season's Championship. At best, if today and tomorrow grant CITY can end in a tie.

It's somewhat shocking that this close to the final door there's even a question of who is going to win the title. I thought for sure, with all the repetition and lack of interesting models that CITY would be dead and buried by this point.


Continuing the 2 (or 3?) day Police Sub-Theme, we have this computer and workdesk. it. Looking closer we see that it's got a flashing blue light and a credit card scanner. Maybe this is actually a K-Mart checkout lane!

No, there's a chair. And K-Mart employees would never have a chair to sit in while serving customers.

So I guess it is a police theme.

The green color is also a bit off - when was the last time you saw a police set with green highlights?


The computer monitor and (printed!) keypad are both nice post-season parts. But there's not much of a model here, no extra pieces, and no holiday theming.

CITY - you have one more day. Can you find the holiday spirit?

I was going to write how the Belville theme had gone meta on us - that elements best suited for life in a dollhouse now include a small dollhouse. That perhaps if the calendar had gone on for another week or two, we'd have Belville scaled doll house items - completing the circle down to another level.

Instead, I'd like to go back to some of my earliest hopes for the Advent Calendars. I've always suggested that the best thing LEGO could do would to be highlighting more than one theme in a calendar. That instead of CITY Sub-themes, maybe we'd have a week of CITY, then a week of EXO-Force, then a week of Belville, etc.

Look at today's little wee castle.

That's right. You've spotted it.

Castle. Another currently-in-production LEGO theme.

My wish came true! Sure, it's a reach, but I'm going with it.


Today's CITY is stronger than some of the week Belville doors, but it was easily overpowered by the magic of today's Belville cross-theming.

Don't go away, though. Even if CITY can't win (or tie), they may still have a shock ending for us tomorrow...


Power Back On

Due to an ice storm we lost power here for a while. It just now came back.

I'll be getting updates to the site posted as quickly as I can. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Advent Madness: Day 22


Just a warning for those of you reading the strip as well: I have to help a loved one with some shopping today, so the stips will be up late. Still today, but late.

As to the calendars...this is it. THE BIG THREE. The score is running very, very close. Can CITY do the unexpected and force a TIE? Or...dare I imagine Belville for the next three days and take the WIN?


Hrm. Well, so much for taking all three days.

Yes, another complete repeat. Here's the standard recap:
Assuming we've got a Holiday theme behind Door 24, we're looking at a two-day Police Sub-Theme. Which isn't particularly bad, but, as usual, the execution is lacking. With all the different police-themed torsos that LEGO has on hand, they decided to revisit 2005 again. And, as I griped about on Day 10, they've decided to duplicate yet another face in a single year.

Here was a great chance to surge ahead with a totally new sub-theme, or figure, or, well...SOMETHING. Maybe, gosh, I dunno, THREE DAYS OF HOLIDAY STUFF.

But no. We get Day 10's "Oil Jr" in a police suit.


Stares at today's build.


No, I think it's real. That's a Christmas Wreath.

An interesting, if simple, build. And an extra part.

Someone catch me, I may faint.


You're kidding right?


Friday, December 21, 2007

Set Review: (7621) Indiana Jones and the Lost Temple

Okay, you asked for it, so here it is. The first of my reviews of the LEGO "2008 Sneak Peek" lineup.

I started with my favorite of the bunch, Indiana Jones and the Lost Temple.

Click the picture to read the review, but be sure to come back here to talk about it!

Wigswap Theater Presents...

Whiskey's hair makes just about anyone look like Guy Gardner.

Advent Madness: Day 21


Day 21. Just three more doors to go - how much Holiday Goodness is hiding behind those innocent looking portals? A lot? Some? A smidge? A dollop?

In years past, CITY has had a strong Holiday Finish - pulling otherwise somber calendars out of their nose-dives and into the light. Will we see that again? Or has LEGO given up on CITY to let Belville shine just that much brighter?


The final day of the Janitor sub-theme brings us what I consider to be a very nice mini-model. This trash bin has a hinged lid with enough space inside to hold the extra "junk bits" and quite a bit more. The design is sleek, easy to build, and can easily be incorporated into much larger models. I can see this same design as a storage area on a tank or starship - or a slightly modified version working as a stand-alone cargo container.

No, there's nothing Holiday Themed about it, unless you count it as a place to shove all that pointless wrapping paper at the end of a gift-opening frenzy.

Still, points for continuing a new theme with a new build, for having useful (if common) parts.

I'm guessing that this is meant to be another pet-bed. It has similar styling to the cat-bed we saw earlier, and adding a second mini-figure bed to the furniture tally doesn't make much sense.

Maybe this is for the puppy from yesterday's haul.

It also comes with a Bionicle "Zamor Sphere" in gold - which is being labeled as a "toy ball" in this context by most sites. Just to be difficult, I prefer to think of it as a Horta egg from Star Trek. Resting on a very fancy egg-warming tray.

In the post-season part view, today we have a few more "stained glass" elements that might be good, but those are balanced by the iffiness of four big fake flowers in trans-glitter-purple and some pink arches. And I've yet to find a good use for those spheres.


A tough call today - Belville looks like more fun, but CITY has the better model. In the end, my builder's instincts won out, and CITY took the day.