Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Advent Madness: Day 5

VS Door number 5 - just under 1/4th of the way into these calendars. What are we seeing?

In CITY, we're still on familiar re-treaded ground. There's nothing particularly "Holiday" about the items, but they are very much CITY themed. The mini models haven't been particularly inspired, but that could change at any time - the past two years each had a couple of days that were quite spectacular. We can only hope this year's calendar holds the same sort of happy surprises.

Over in Belville we're seeing a more global "Holiday Princess" theme. I was going to say "Ice Princess", but there's been too much pink for that. (Get your minds out of the gutter: I just meant that an Ice Princess theme would be in whites and blues) We seem to be filling a princess' room with all the necessities - sort of like watching a doll house come together.

I'm undecided if the "one theme, one calendar" in Belville works better than CITY's "new sub-theme every three days". At least we're seeing a bit of creative difference in LEGO's choices; had Belville been a clone of CITY I would have been really disappointed.


A barricade. We've seen barricades-a-plenty over the past two years, but, to LEGO's credit, none of them were quite like this one.

Back in the day, LEGO used to produce a lot of bricks with graphics printed directly on them. In recent years they've moved to a more cost-effective "Have the kid slap a sticker on it" method. I can't say I'm fond of the stickers - I can never get them to go on straight. Why do I bring that up? Because this barricade neatly skirts the sticker/printed issue by making the "caution" strip out of tiles. This, to me, is a great solution. Yes, I know I'm a geek. It's no secret.

Bonus points to CITY for including extra little tiles for post-advent building. And one more bonus point for the use of trans-orange for the 1x1 rounds - I just love trans-orange.


Not having three-day themes to work with makes figuring out how these items work together a bit trickier. And when the items themselves are wacky? Well, that doubles the challenge.

Today's door held a strange assortment of items - A huge cat, a small wall, a bucket, and a transparent purple fish. I guess it's a sort of "insta-pet" for our Princess. (Is it a bedroom for a Princess? Or are we making a room for the Pink Fairy from day one? It occurs to me that we just don't know. Curse my non-intuitive grasp of the Belville universe!)

Anyway. A Cat. A Wall. A Fish.
Today's door was designed by Dr. Seuss.

How could a transparent purple fish lose? Today goes to Belville for the surreal approach.



Jordan said...

Cool. I wonder how a cat will mix with the story. Maybe the cat isn't really a cat, Maybe its something in disguise or a soildier for good or Evil like in the playmobile calender, or maybe, just maybe it's a plain old cat.

Marc said...

That may be the best official TLC barricade ever. Now I'm inspired to go work on some.

Nick said...

I hate stickers too, I've practically stopped putting them on, no matter how ugly it looks without them.

I especially hate when stickers go over 2 bricks at one, like they do alot in the mini racers. What if you ever wan them apart and you don't want a broken sticker?

Taylis said...

Just a brief comment on the sticker vs. printed issue... I've got some old sets from my childhood (early 80's) and have more stickered bricks than printed ones (at least, within the "City" theme). Space tended to use the printed bricks more than stickers.

Personally, give me the printed ones any day.

takua-777 said...

remember the first line of exo force sets?

i spent more time adding stickers to them than building them.

Christopher Doyle said...


Yeah, I had sort of blocked that LEGO has always had a use for stickers, at least in some sets/themes. Heck, even the early SPACE mini-figures had a sticker for torso decoration until they moved to printed pieces.

What I'd like to see? A LEGO kit that lets you print on clear stickers to customize your Mini-figures. (I'd have to come with pre-cut sticker sheets with the right size stickers for the torso, legs, etc.) I've seen several people on-line already doing work with that technique - it looks pretty good.


Another pro-sticker moment: I do like the EXO stickers - they make great decals for NON exo-force creations. Sort of a "sticker greeble"

But, oh yeah, I'd still rather have a printed brick than a stickered one.