Thursday, April 30, 2009

Daily Fail: Street King

First time here? Please take a moment and read the DAILY FAIL DISCLAIMER. Thanks!


Street King, better known on late-night TV as "King Rikki", is a 2002 film that re-frames Shakespeare's Richard III as an urban gang war. It stars Jon Seda and Mario López. I haven't seen it myself, and even Wikipedia is pretty sparse on details. Still, the poster looks pretty cool.

Street King is also a crappy bootleg from the evil cloners at BRICK.

Aside from the name, what do these two things have in common?

Absolutely nothing.

Still, it's amusing to think of Spider-Bootleg as a mixed up in a Shakespearean rewrite.

This is the bootleg of our discontent
Made hideous plastic by this son of a BRICK;
And all the licensed toys that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the knock-off buried.
The box for Street King is pretty much identical to the others in this latest line of BRICK failure. Check out the review of Speed Racing for all the badly translated slogans and malformed verbiage.

The box art shows that Street King has no need to follow the roads - either that or they captured him in the middle of a bootlegger's reverse.

Street King comes with the same tiny instruction sheet as the others in this line. Notice the similarity of the "jet pack" at the rear of the bike to the on on Speed Racing and the tiny Spidey in step five.

This toy had the same strange smell to it that TERMINATOR had - I suspect it's the "rubber" used in the tires, but I wasn't about to start sniffing the toy to find out.

Speaking of TERMINATOR, here's the bike from that set side-by-side with today's FAIL. Hmmmm. Somewhat similar, aren't they? Pretty much just an inversion of colors and slightly different accessories.

At least Street King here doesn't have the the genetic defect of two right arms. Here we see him easily kicking the ass of the TERMINATOR Spider-Bootleg.

If I had thought about it, I could have shown the LEGO Spider-Man kicking Street King's ass in a final photo.

Oh well. Maybe next time.

As always, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.

Episode 680

Read the comic here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Daily Fail: Terminator

First time here? Please take a moment and read the DAILY FAIL DISCLAIMER. Thanks!

The second of the newest BRICK bootlegs. The last one, Speed Racing, featured Spider-Man. Today we have.....TERMINATOR.

Terminator also features Spider-Man.

In fact, most of this bootleg is identical to Speed Racing. The box is roughly the size of a pack of playing cards. The front and back are almost identical except for a bit of badly translated text. That badly translated text is the same as on Speed Racing.

The Spider-Man figure shown is identical to the one on Speed Racing.

The toy is a repeat of another BRICK set - CHALLENGER - the only change is the color scheme and the lack of a helmet and pistol for the mini-figure.

The instructions come on the same 4" square scrap of paper that we saw in Speed Racing. The scale on the Spider-Man in step five is better this time, though.

The figure itself, though...well.... he'd be better if BRICK hadn't given him two right arms. And look at all that untrimmed plastic. This is truly a Spider-FAIL.

The cycle looks okay, at least. The colors come across as strangely USA Patriotic. The guns are cast in black plastic, an improvement over CHALLENGER's red versions.

I should mention, though, that the plastic on this set smells really funky. I don't know what sort of chemicals they mixed into the brew, but I'm sure they've taken years off my life.

Here's Spider-Fail trying to drive his bike one-handed.

Maybe he's on the way to the hospital to get that arm looked at.

As always, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.

Episode 679

Read the comic here.

I like the sense of interaction you get in the last two panels. Luckily Tony's singular "smarmy" expression works in so many situations.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daily Fail: Speed Racing

First time here? Please take a moment and read the DAILY FAIL DISCLAIMER. Thanks!

I know what you're thinking. "Oh, no...not another stupid race car bootleg." Trust me, I'm tired of them, too.

Speed Racing from the Super Bricks Series. That sounds suspiciously like "Speed Racer", doesn't it? And LEGO had a line of licensed Speed Racer Toys just last year. Could it be....?


It's better.

Well. Sort of.

My friend Joe of The Undiscovered Playthings sent me a box of six new "sub-impulse" bootlegs - each one packaged in a box roughly the size of pack of playing cards. BRICK is back, and this time it's personal.

Of course the first thing you're going to notice is that instead of Speed Racer, we're looking at another hero....Spider-Man! The second thing you might notice is that the BRICK logo looks almost identical to the LEGO logo. The third thing might be the tag line "Handsome Appearance". After that, your eyes will glaze over and you won't have to face up to the fact that the car part of the toy is a slightly-modified clone of the LEGO set 1363 - Stunt Go-Cart.

The back of the box is pretty much the same as the front, minus the part counts and branding. The classic BRICK slogans do re-appear:

Vivid Andgreat In Style
Handsome Appearance

I really wonder why the "Andgreat" typo continues to appear. Are the BRICK graphic designers just cut-n-pasting from one line to another? (The answer: Probably.)

Speaking of the Cut-n-Pasting of errors we've seen before, the side of the box has this to enjoy:

Most New Catena
Completely New To Come In To The Market
More New Items Available

The instruction sheet is a fairly tiny scrap of paper - about 4" on a side. Note the super small Spidey figure in step 5.

Speaking of Spidey - here he is. As usual, the actual toy is complete crap - look at all that excess plastic around the edges of the molds. The fact that his mask is a printed piece only helps a little...

...considering his hand won't stay in his arm. The poor quality of the hand casting is at fault this time - there's no friction points to attach the hand to the inside of the arm.

Spidey's head isn't a LEGO part - it's actually lifted from a MegaBlok set! (The MB figure is shown at left.) Check out the square peg-hole in the neck on the BRICK version - it almost fits on the round peg from the LEGO-mold torso.


The other parts suffer from the same lack of trimming as the mini-figure. Here's a close up of the steering wheel - that's a huge chunk of sprue still attached.

Finally, here's the completed toy. Due to poor castings Spidey won't click onto the car - and the entire rear "jet assembly" falls apart at the slightest touch.

You might notice that one of the flames has fallen off in the photo above, along with Spidey's hand. After five failed attempts to get a decent shot with both attached, I just gave up. This is one Bootleg that refuses to stay assembled.

Will any of the other five sets in this series do better? Stay tuned...

As always, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.

Episode 678

Read the comic here.

I think Whiskey is a little scared I'll put him back into stasis for another month or two.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bad Day: Things get worse (or better, depending.)

The Bad Day gets worse for the citizens of Micropolis - another batch of entries arrived over the weekend. I've updated the entry grids with them - browse and be amazed!

We scored a blog mention over at The Brothers Brick, so hopefully we'll be reaching a even wider audience with this contest. Reasonably Clever fans have had a few extra weeks to work on their creations, though, so I'm still hoping for a "home team" advantage.

Remember, you have until May 3rd to get your entries in!

Ian Healy's entry: Cthulu Released.
If a busy webcomic author like Ian has time to build and entry, so do you!

Daily Fail: Rayish Battleplane

First time here? Please take a moment and read the DAILY FAIL DISCLAIMER. Thanks!


As a suffix, it indicates approximation. You've probably heard it used it yourself - "The banana was sort of greenish - I didn't want to eat it." Or even "The MegaBloks were LEGO-ish, but clearly inferior."

It's an unusual grammatical construct - and one I was surprised to see appear in the name of a bootleg. Behold!

The Rayish Battleplane - The bootleg they couldn't quite find the words to describe clearly.

Today we return to the normally-sized impulse sets from our "friends" at Zephyr Knight. Rayish Battleplane is number 1010 in the series, placing it next in line after Awoke From The Nightmare.

The box art shows us roughly what to expect from this toy - a clone of the LEGO Life on Mars alien (a strange Mustard-yellow clone) riding a...well...."rayish battleplane". "Plane" as in "a very flat surface", apparently.

The imagery suggests an underwater scene, with our yellow friend gliding along with the Manta Rays that may have inspired the model. The presence of Grecian columns suggests that this is either happening in the sunken city of Atlantis, or maybe in a financial district of San Francisco after the ice caps finish melting.

Part of Zephyr Knight's ever-present "Series Transformation", the Rayish Battleplane has four different builds. All of them are shown skipping across the top of the water like a jet-ski - not exactly something you'd expect to see a Manta Ray doing. Oh well, they only promised us "ray-ish."

The included clone alien has the same face design as shown on the box, but the Non-LEGO yellow coloration has been replaced with a close-to-LEGO lime. Of course, since they decided to use that lime color for all the parts, it appears our alien friend is butt naked. A shame really, since the red hair and freckles suggests that he's going to sunburn easily.

Here's the Battleplane itself. They came really close to matching the color scheme from the box art. As far as impulse sets go, it's not a bad build. The blue side wings extend on a hinge to create a "swooshable" shape. But it wouldn't be a bootleg without some sort of fail, now would it? So let's try and put the alien onboard....

The strange choice of controls (a gear shift and a spout) may look alien, but making the alien use them requires our pilot to really contort him-(her? it?) self. Maybe this is why so many of the Zephyr Knight sets lack any sort of control surfaces for the drivers - they can't figure out how to have the pilot reach them.

Or maybe it's because they're cheap, crappy bootlegs.

As always, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.

Episode 677

Read the comic here.

I know Marvel is in the process of un-demonizing Tony, but for a while there they seemed to be doing their best to make him as icky as possible. Another reason I just read the Green Lantern books these days.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Daily Fail: Power Spaceshuttle

First time here? Please take a moment and read the DAILY FAIL DISCLAIMER. Thanks!

As hinted by Skeleton Town Treasure, there's more to the Zephyr Knight's line of over sized-Impulse thefts than just LEGO Racer designs. No, there's some truly....otherworldly....offerings in there,too. Case in point: that Spaceshuttle Power or Power Spaceshuttle?
(And why isn't "spaceshuttle" two words?)
(And why is the sky blue?)

Quite a departure from the endless Racing Car rehashes, eh? This set (# 2007 in the Zeyphyr Knight line) takes LEGO set 7467 (International Space Station), strips it down to just the vehicle and then....does it.

But before we get to the toy, let's take a closer look at the packaging. In particular, let's zoom in on the two astronauts on the lower left...

A "For Sale" sign? Is this a spoof of this photo?

The back of the package reminds us that this set is part of "Series Transformation". There are three alternate models for the Space Shuttle....strangely combined with a mini-figure. This shows that Zephyr Knight couldn't let go of the Race Car theme, even when they changed scale and abandoned roads back on Earth. And that they couldn't let go of "Series Transformation" even when the model in question clearly wasn't designed to have alternate builds.

My favorite is the bottom photo where the Moon Giant just stands by and waves.

The astronaut clip-art is repeated from the front of the box, but those "clever" graphic designers flipped the image to make it fit better. As you can see in the close-up above, "McDonnell Douglas" and "NASA" are inverted in the art. That's attention to detail, right there.

The top of the box has the Spaceshuttle Power logo (Power Spaceshuttle logo?) with the addendum of "INTERNATIONAL" - a possible holdover from the original LEGO set name. (International Space Station)

The bottom of the box has an astronaut and some more NASA clip art. It's strange just how little emphasis they put on the toy this time around.

The instruction sheet allows us to pinpoint just when the bootleggers decided to get drunk: Step 13. Adding a giant pull back motor to the Space Shuttle - that's some impaired thinking right there. Or maybe not. Maybe we should forward this design concept to NASA. I think they'd be impressed with the "outside of the box" thinking on this one.

Here's the toy mostly assembled. The nose piece comes with the desgin printed on it, but you have to apply stickers to the sides and tail of the completed model. Of course, if you DO apply those stickers to the side of the craft, you can't take it apart ot make the alternate models. I'd like to note that this set lacked two of the 1x1 round plates used to assemble the jets at the back of the shuttle.

And where is our Moon Giant mini-figure?

I feel cheated!

Who am I kidding? This is a bootleg! I WAS cheated!

And so, I leave you with a shot of "Monster Truck Shuttle Endeavour".

The Space Race is ON!

As always, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.