Archive for September, 2010

The Zzyzx “State of the Blog” address.

Posted in Hobbies, Lego, Organizing with tags , , , on September 23, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

"So many ideas and so little time."

First off, I always like to thank those that take the time and interest in reading my blog. The “sandwich” seems to be getting bigger as I add more ingredients to it. I remember when I just had two buns and that was it.

Every day as I wake up and look at almost anything, I think on how I could incorporate it on my blog. There are tons of Lego blogs out there and I really enjoy reading and viewing them. I believe that great ideas spawn more great ideas. My problem is that I input more than I output and that leads to me just pause for a moment to “gather my legos”…so to speak.

In previous posts, I have mentioned about adding video to my blog that would demonstrate how I build the MOC’s that I feature. I also mention that there are things that I will show in upcoming posts and they get put back on the burner due to new things or ideas that I come across but they are ideas that I feel will make this blog a joy to read, so I push back the previous ideas to input the newer ones…at least on paper. But I WILL see the video aspect through so it will add a more personal touch to this blog

Then there are things that I feel I must address at that moment and I just blog about them…like this very post for example. I just want to let y’all know that when the blog goes into a lull for several days, it doesn’t mean I have nothing to blog about or show….far from it. It just means that I’m gathering the info and figuring out what I want to share at that moment.

Not to mention the other things that are going on in my reality outside this blog that add speed-bumps to the progress of this blog. I think the minifigure head above sums it all up….don’t you? LOL.

Just thought I would let y’all know what’s going on at the moment. And again….thanks for taking an interest and allowing me to share a little brick with you.

Marcus.

Lego MOC: Space Police Sentinel concept…..or is it?

Posted in Building Toys, Family, Lego, Organizing, Pets, Toys with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

SP sentinel in "flight".

Plenty of light-gray bryxx.

Since my son was the age of 4, he’s acquired a great assortment of Legos. The Star Wars theme was the brunt of it….hmmm go figure. But other themes included; Indiana Jones,Power Miners, Atlantis-to name a few.

But these sets have all since been dismantled in their entirety and have found their way into either some 6 qt. “Sterilite” bins, an official “Lego” sorting cabinet or have “passed” through my 2-year old Shih-tzu….S’mores, which is another post in its entirety, so stay tuned for that. LOL.

Basically, I have amassed the following colors that have made their way into the 6-qt bins that I mentioned above:

  • Black
  • Dark-grey
  • Light gray
  • White
  • Red

Several months back, way before I decided to create this Lego blog, I was digging through the light-gray bin of bryxx and was just placing pieces together…or what I refer to it as… “fartin’ around”. I mean…that’s the way I address it when Sebastian asks me what I’m doing when I’m putting Legos together w/no particular plan in mind. I’m just simply assembling pieces to/with other pieces….farting  around.

So after 20 minutes or so of “farting around”, I came up with what I posted above. At first glance- it’s a ship, but that’s the beauty of Lego…it can be whatever I want it to be, but for now….let’s just call it a ship-a “sentinel” to be exact.

"Honey....you've shrunk my cruiser!"

This is considered a “micro-scale” build which means that it’s too micro to fit a minifigure in it. In order for me to fit a minifigure to pilot this thing, I would have to build it at least 4 times the size of its current design (oh geez, another project???)….but then with a pilot inside of it, it would cease to be a sentinel.

But what exactly is it????

On my earlier MOC Space Police Jail Cell post, I did mention my Lego Genre of choice is indeed…the Space Police. Not sure if sales of  the current wave of Space Police sitting on the toy shelves will dictate that we see a third wave of this 3rd go-around of the Space Police…but I will continue to build all things related to them after the genre goes the way of the doh-doh. After all, there are some breath-taking MOC’s (courtesy of Peter Reid aka “Legoloverman”) of the very 1st Lego Space theme that were based on the sets back in the late 1970’s.

As far as my MOC…it is a concept of a Space Police sentinel droid which consists of 19 pieces total. It’s a concept for now due to the fact that it could be used for the infamous “Black Hole” gang if I alter the colors and maybe a very few finishing details, but to make the droid go from concept to an official SP sentinel, I would have to change the colors to its common white with black elements with red & blue sirens affixed.

Most of my concepts will be in (but not limited to) the light-gray, dark gray or black since I have a vast array of different pieces in those colors kept in the bins mentioned above.

I got a couple more MOC’s to showcase which were created  around the same time as the sentinel, so keep an eye out for those as well.

Brick On!

Lego Collectibe Minifigures: Series 3 Pre-liminary list.

Posted in Collectibles, Family, Hobbies, Lego, Miscellaneous, Toys with tags , , , , on September 11, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

Series 3...ETA: January,2011.

The Spartan is HOT!!!!

After checking out the forum’s on bricklink.com, there’s alot of talk about how series 2 of the Lego collectible minifigs have been found more easily, possibly because Lego created more than series 1; and now they can be found at Target. To be honest, I haven’t been searching for them since I have my entire collection of the different sixteen minifigs myself. My hunt lasted less than 24 hours and that was including the usual 6 hours of sleep.
It was news to me to read that w/the additional extra vendors, people have been having better chances at finding them….except for the Spartan minifig, which I can validate, due to the fact that I myself went through almost 2 freshly opened cases (60 minifigs in ea. case)before I found my first Spartan.

No more codes.

I came across the following link
w/a proposed list of 15 out of 16 minifigs and as you can see, they should be available for sale in January, 2011.
It should be very interesting to hunt and to become touchy/feely w/the packages when the time comes to determine which figure is in the bag since Lego will NOT be providing the barcodes like they did in Series 1 & 2.

I myself will be searching for the Ferrari Driver while Sebastian will be looking for the Mummy to accompany his Zombie (series 1) and his Vampire and Witch (series 2).

Lego MOC: The bull stops here.

Posted in Building Toys, Hobbies, Lego, Miscellaneous, Toys with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

12 pieces of bull.

This is my first ever MOC of using those 2×2 round corner pieces I purchased  on my last PAB haul.
I guess this could be considered a mosaic.

I just started putting pieces on the large gray base plate featured and was going for some crazy patterns. At first, I was yielding some sort of flower or some abstract logo of a Japanese company, then….adding a couple of pieces later….I wound up w/what looked like a white version of “Ferdinand”.

Composed of 12 bryxx total.

PAB for 8.31.10

Posted in Building Toys, Family, Hobbies, How-to, Lego, Miscellaneous, Organizing, Saving Money, Toys with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

A 50/50 bar in Lego

Here’s my PAB haul while my son and I visited The Lego Store @ Downtown Disney-Anaheim, Ca -while lookin’ for those collectible minifigs from Series 2.

I found another blog in regards to PAB and followed the trick of utilizing the empty space of the PAB lid…

...even the lid got it's fill.

Now from the previous pics, it does appear that you only see 2 different types of pieces that I filled the cup with.

A yellow stow-away at the very bottom.

I was truly surprised to see that lil’ yellow piece mixed in my cup. He must’ve been scooped up along w/the orange pcs. Welcome aboard buddy.

The Three Amigos.

Here’s the PAB breakdown this time around:

  • 230 white round corner 2×2 bryxx
  • 1 Tr.Yellow plate
  • 102 Tr. Orange cheese slices

Grand total of 333 pcs.

Method to my madness.

Now you may be thinking…”What a lousy haul”, true….but, I’ve never seen the round corner bryxx of ANY color of ANY size at The Lego Store EVER. I was needing to purchase a rather large amount of the very ones that I just found but I thought I would have to go through bricklink to find a seller w/a rather large amount. I plan on using them for creating letters. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

The above example was created by a flickr member that goes by the name of  “Scruffy Mynxbane”

Now clearly, it didn’t take 230 round corner pcs to “create” the sign but I wanted to take the idea and use it in bigger projects in the future. I figure 230 bryxx is a good start or it may be a fraction of what I really need. It all depends on the projects; and as y’all saw in the group shot above, they make great columns.

Price Comparison:PAB vs.bricklink.com

I’m gonna try to make it a point to always provide a price comparison in regards to cost effectiveness for this and future PAB posts. My last PAB harvest was a tad over 1¢ but less than 2¢ per piece which is excellent depending on the pieces that I happen to pick up. Let’s see how I did this time:

  • The Lego Store: PAB

$7.99 (small PAB cup)/333 total pcs = 0.02399 or 2¢ per piece.

Now before I reveal the price comparison for bricklink.com, I have to explain the following so you’ll fully understand where my mind was at the time I purchased these 230 round corner bricks in a rather large amount. Take a deep breath…..we’re goin’ in.

For those not familiar w/the bricklink.com “Items for sale” screen, it’s broken-down by the piece you’re interested in. So in my case….

  1. I’m interested in the White Brick, Round Corner 2 x 2 Macaroni.
  2. I’m interested in a seller who is ONLY located in the USA. (I prefer a seller w/no minimum purchase or the lowest minimum purchase price possible)
  3. I’m interested in a seller w/no less than 230 pieces (to match w/what I was able to cram in the cup)

"Let's take a look"

Here’s a link to the bricklink screen. Let’s see if y’all can figure out which seller would’ve met my criteria. (Queue Jeopardy bonus round music.)

Did your answer match mine????

The seller that would’ve met my criteria is….
is…..
is…..

(drumroll)

…”Dad’s AFOL Supplies” who lists 3 options to buy and all options are sold in quantities of 2. Now, I would have to choose the middle option since I’m after more than 100 but less than 250.

  • bricklink.com

So let’s recap. 230 pieces (to match my PAB purchase), divided by the quantity of 2 in each bag =115 bags or let’s just say 115.

115 x $.0809 (middle option price) =$9.3035 or $9.30

The Bottom Line.

I am the Lego Master!!!!!

It appears that I made the right choice. Even w/Ca. state tax of 8.75% (Orange County, Ca) it was STILL less than the bricklink.com site ($8.69-to be exact). Not to mention the cost of shipping just the 230 round corner bryxx from the seller to me.

So basically, I got a some of those rounded corner pieces, the 102 Tr. Orange “cheese slices” and the Tr.Yellow “stow-away” as a bonus….oh yeah; and the nifty little PAB cup that I like to use as extra storage for my other bryxx.

Now mind you, I was at The Lego Store about 45 mins. prior to hittin’ the PAB section,by playing Sherlock Holmes w/the barcodes where I was trying to obtain all 16 different series 2 minifigs and my eyes were worn out from straining to read all those lines w/different thickness. Truth be known, I was worn out and did not give it my 100% in cramming more bryxx into the cup, but that’s the purpose of my bringing this info to y’all, with every PAB post. The more ya cram in those cups and utilize the gaps, the more cost-effective it is.The more money ya save, the more ya have to spend on bryxx.

I wanna end this post w/a big thanks to y’all that take the time to read my posts. The last few have ended up to be rather lengthy and hopefully, the topic that I try to write about…comes across somewhat clear.For those that soldier through the entire post….a huge THANX. 🙂

As I mentioned in earlier posts, videos will be accompanying this blog relatively soon. I just purchased a firewire cable and now I gotta shoot some video of some non-related Lego stuff just to get acquainted w/the idea of shootin’ myself on vid and posting them on youtube. (Gasp!)

Until my next post,

Brick On!

The 2nd Sixteen: A minifigure hunt.

Posted in Building Toys, Collectibles, Family, Miscellaneous, Saving Money, Toys with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

15 of 16 represented. Do you know who's missing?

As I mentioned before in a previous post, I was not going to be the one with my cheese left out in the wind….for those not familiar w/the “Ferris Bueller” term, it means left behind.

I am talking about my son and I being able to find and purchase the Lego collectible minifigures : Series 2.

In my “zombie” post, I mentioned how difficult it was to locate that particular minifig and what great lengths that I had to do to locate it. Driving here and there in Orange County,Ca and making special trips to a toy/sports collectible “swap meet” and to be continually let down when I wasn’t able to find this 1.5 inch tall (or short) piece o’ Lego plastic. Not to mention the same look of disappointment on my son’s face on a repeated basis. All he wanted was a zombie and after paying 5x the original price, I was able to locate one.

Which brings me to…

….yesterday (8/31), when I called my local Lego store and asked when exactly they were to receive the second series of the Minifig collectibles and the gal mentioned to me that they started selling them earlier when they opened. My heart was racing and my head was spinning w/visions of hope and then disappointment. I asked w/a timid tone if they still have anymore, she said yes and that they’ll be selling them tomorrow as well, which made it sound like that I better get my butt in there and purchase before I “miss the boat” AGAIN.

It’s crucial that I mentioned the date that I called because I was told in a phone call that I made 2 weeks prior that The Lego Store was expecting them sometime in September. I just wanted to have the most current and exact info when these things hit to improve my chances of scoring these 16 since I totally blew the opportunity to search and buy the 1st sixteen.

I break the news to my boy.

Sebastian (age 8 ) was in the room on my PC viewing Lego stop-motion UFO films on youtube when I told him about the news. His little face lit up like Christmas, Easter and his birthday all fell on the same day.

I should mention this time around that the “flavor of the month” was the Dracula minifig. That’s all he’s been talking about, I guess to keep his lonely zombie minifig company. He also mentioned some interest in the witch too. I’m beginning to see a theme here.

Just so y’all know and just like the Series 1 release, these minifigs are packed in a shiny foil showcasing the minifigs in front w/them in some “action” poses as if they were gonna bust out of the packages themselves. Series 1 packaging was yellow while series 2 was in blue.

But those clever marketing peeps at TLG (The Lego Group) came up w/the idea of making the whole packaging, a complete guessing game. There were no distinguishable marks on the packaging w/the exception of the barcode that rests to the right of the package which is not to be confused w/the barcode on the left of the package which is the item’s SKU.

So in our case, if we were looking for “Dracula”, we would have no way of knowing unless we either bought all the packages w/the 16 different codes or had access to a “cheat sheet” that provided the codes for the corresponding minifig. To quote Ted Stryker from Airplane…”What a pisser”.

This is when I opted to purchase all 16 different packages (@ $1.99 ea.) Sebastian was more than thrilled and to be honest, I had my eye on a couple of these minifigs.

And away we go.

We hop in my Honda Fit and take to the afternoon streets of Anaheim, Ca…Lego Store bound w/me at the wheel and obeying the speed limits w/an additional 5 mph of whatever’s posted on the sign, which is how I drive anyway…but I really wanted to just get there so I would not miss the opportunity of finding these things.

Traffic wasn’t that bad considering the time of day that it was. We made it to the Downtown Disney lot in about 10 mins. w/Queen’s “Another one Bites the Dust” blarin’ on the radio. Man….I hope that was not some kind of omen.

Not-so slim pickin’s.

Sure enough, we walk into The Lego Store and we head straight for the cashier counter and asked the gal if we can look through a carton of minifigs. That was the easy part.

My casessss !!!!!!!

Y’all remember in Lord of the Rings when Gollum had possession of the one ring? That was me or so it felt like that, since I had a carton all to myself. I start glaring at the packages and immediately find all the different barcodes and place them in one pile while I have the “duplicates” in another making sure that I don’t place the dupes back in the same box. It got somewhat nerve-racking however when I have other peeps w/their proverbial hands in the cookie jar, the noise of the shopping traffic echoing throughout the store and keeping tabs on my son with his whereabouts at all times.

Well, about 30-40 mins….yep, you read right, 30 or 40 minutes of scrutinizing dozens of barcodes which consisted about 2 dozen thick lines, thin lines and all line sizes in between, I somehow managed to yield 15 different packages. Yep…..I was missing one. Because of the mystery packing, I wouldn’t know which one ’till I got home to open them all.

Barcode help.

If you noticed the first pic above, I was missing the “Spartan” which he was called based on a youtube video showcasing the entire Series 2 line-up. Suddenly, the 2 or so minifigs that I wanted, were not as important than the Spartan that I was lacking…how sad-eh?

But I’m not worried for the simple fact that I have my resources in finding out the barcode for the missing Spartan in my new collection. I went to bricklink.com and hit up the folks on the message board. Such a knowledgeable group….I got my answer within the hour of posting in a form of a link that provided the “cheat sheet” which listed the codes for all 16 minifigs found here.

Lego store???? 10AM???? We are so there.

This is my son’s last full week of summer so I allow him to sleep in….BUT NOT TODAY. “Get up dude, let’s get some Lucky Charms in ya and get in the shower.” I follow suit and we head out once again to the streets of Anahiem….this time in the AM with my little barcode that I printed out earlier in the morning thanks to the info on brickset.com. Ain’t no way I can lose out on gettin’ my hands on that Spartan now.

We pull up to the somewhat unoccupied lot and we both walk to the Lego store in a fast pace, which is funny considering that I’m in soo much pain from my workout on the Wii Fit from the previous day, especially my legs. AAAArrrrrghhhhh.

We walk in the store just minutes after opening and the only soul I see, is the store greeter in her yellow smock welcoming us as we head straight back to the rear counter. “This looks good Bubba” (my son’s nick-name that I gave him), I have my little cut-out of the barcode at the ready…now, all I need is a case to go through but not just any case.

I need a fresh case.

I was just here in the afternoon prior and I didn’t wanna look through the same cases that I went through again since I know they were full of all the duplicates of the original 15 that I already purchased.

As we approached the counter, we saw two clerks that were pre-occupied w/other stuff and one girl at the register assisting a woman that was with 2 small kids lookin’ through….yep, a case of minifigs, but I wasn’t sure if she was goin’ through the same case from yesterday or even worse…a fresh case.

I was standing in line for at least 5 minutes but it seemed like an eternity when I was witnessing the Mom going through all the bags gettin’ touchy/feely w/the packages. apparently, she knew she was looking for but she was using her hands to caress and grope the package (husband is a lucky man-LOL) much like the blind trying to read someone’s face to get a “look” at’em. I apologize if I offended any blind peeps reading this. 😉

This mom was taking her time….and honestly, I could not blame her. She’d buy a couple of packages here so her kids could open’em up to find out what they had, then she’d buy a few more to open more up, then she’d repeat this process over and over, all the while….I hear her mention that she’s looking for “The Sombrero guy”. I’m not sure if her “technique” payed off or not because she said that she was gonna purchase a few more but go through the  entire box and make her final decision after she was done molesting all the packages (good grief).

The moment of truth.

Finally, the gal behind the counter that was assisting “Mrs.McFeely” asked what she could do for me. I asked her if the case (pointing at the Mom) was yesterday’s case. The gal said no, it’s a fresh case and without further communication, she brandishes a whole new unopened case w/her trusty utility knife, cuts the opening and slides the bountiful harvest towards me.

The anxiety is starting to kick in much like yesterday’s visit. I mentioned to the gal that I was gonna slide these towards the opposite side of “McFeely” so I don’t block the sales counter and let commerce take its place, also I didn’t want to run the risk of “McFeely” gettin’ her hands all over “my” packages and screwing up my sorting process. Sounds pathetic…don’t it. LOL

What do I find?

So here I am, on my side of the counter w/Sebastian within eye and ear range and I quickly pick up packages and compare’em to the cut-out of my printed barcode which ended up being the exact same size as the barcodes on the packages themselves which makes comparing both codes a snap.

There was a cute girl (which I’ll dub as “cutie”) who was another Lego employee that was witnessing what I was doing. Picking up packages every 3 seconds and making quick judgements of the barcodes based on my cut-out. She knew I was looking for something and I happen to share w/her why I was goin’ through all of malarkey.

There are 60 packages in one carton and I was about 5 away from goin’ through the enitre box and I was telling Sebastian that I am not having any luck w/finding the Spartan code. Cutie then takes out another box and cuts it open and swings it to me and says to leave her the other packages that I took out and that she’ll put’em away while I look through the fresh box. She’s a good egg I tell ya. If ya didn’t notice, not one Spartan code was in the first box that I looked through. This was getting tense.

The pressure is building, pardon the pun.

As I’m just beginning to go through the 2nd box, I hear another customer askin’ for the minifigures. Cutie responds by telling the guy that as soon as I’m done w/the case, he can look through it. Oh man, Cutie was such a big help but I was thinking that if a manager would’ve heard that, he would’ve made it so I would have to share the carton w/the other customer, which I would totally understand but I’m thankful it didn’t because about 8 more packages that I have not gone through in the second carton, behold…

I FOUND THE CODE.

Eyes, don't fail me now.

Yep, I was in shock and disbelief and had to compare the cut-out to the package a few times just to make sure. Sebastian was all excited and Cutie was happy for me too. I went ahead and told Sebastian to hold the package while I attempted to place all the packages back into the carton. Cutie said that she’ll take care of it and began to ring me up. I thanked Cutie repeatedly and she wished Sebastian and I a very good remainder of the day.

I’m not outta the woods yet y’all. The cynical side started to creep in my head. What if the code was wrong. Then the mystical side….What if “McFeely” used some magic and stuck me w/a duplicate Ringmaster minfig instead (my least favorite). The suspense was building w/every mile closer to home.

THIS IS SPARTA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh what a feeling it is to be on inside looking out than the outside looking in which is where I found myself w/series 1. I beat the aftermarket system by only doing my research and having luck and some help from a certain “cutie”. We were discussing about the series 3 minifigs and how the Lego online community already has a  list out of what’s to be included.

I also mentioned to her  that one of the minifigs is a Ferrari F1 driver, but the  source that spilled the list is the same source that mentioned that there will be NO distinguishable barcodes on the packaging and no cheat sheets made available. Even though Europe get’s the minfigs a few months ahead of time, the barcodes won’t do any good since they differ from the U.S. market.

Sebastian already mentioned upon learning of the series 3 list, that he wants the Alien minifig. Guess that means I’ll be molesting a few packages myself at the Lego store come next January.