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Mine Mech

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21 comments posted
HAPPY

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Josh

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CollectionDX Admin

JoshB's picture
Posted by JoshB on 23 September, 2009 - 06:16
This is going to sound a

This is going to sound a little wierd on a site like this,but I prefer the classic Lego town and blue/grey space themes to some of the crazy stuff coming out now. Since Lego creations obviously have to be simplified,being based on a real world (or easy to imagine like a classic spaceship) vehicle/building makes it look a little more "right" in your mind. Like I can look at an 80's era 1-seater Lego car with a windshield as tall as the driver and still say,"That's a car." I would never look at this day glo thing and be like "Oh,that's Power Miner the Brain's mining mech!" Those words don't even make sense to me in that order.

I'm aware that the realities of the market mean Lego has to become a "boy's action toy",but I still miss when it was a "building toy."

I used to work at KB before they went under,and I can tell you that parents HATE the way that Lego is basically an action figure series. I'd say 8/10 parents we saw looking at Lego stuff were asking about houses and cars and stuff and ended up disappointed.
Those of us on this site are a slightly different breed. We might understand the appeal of neon robot vehicles,but average 30-40 year old mom looks at this thing and sees a pile of garbage.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 23 September, 2009 - 08:50
In a way, I agree with

In a way, I agree with you. LEGO sets have move beyond basic bricks in many ways, and they may indeed be polluting the spirit of the toy.
The only real lines I was drawn towards when I was younger (and still am for the most part) are Space and a limited number of City (airports, boats), and that was it.

I took a major change when Bionicle ("Biological Chronicle", BTW) came out- not because it was an action figure (which I never thought of it as), but because they were poseable characters with a unique backstory and intricate designs. I have since lost interest in Bionicle because it has gone on far from its origins and become too intricate with itself. Naturally any franchise must evolve over time to keep our interest, but I didn't like the evolution that it was going down.
Originally, it was simply a single tropical island with ignorant bio-mechanical robots who live day-to-day in primitive villages, and are threatened by an evil spirit called the Makuta. To combat the Makuta, they prayed to their "great spirit" Mata Nui (whom they named their island after) to send them help in the form of six spirit guardians, the Toa, to protect the villages with their elemental knowledge & power from the invasion of Makuta-infected Rahi beasts (i.e. infected animals). But the Toa came to the island in a weakened state, and needed to each recover six [collectible] Masks of Power hidden all over the place in order to properly harness & administer their power(s).
But nowadays, we find that the Matoran actually fell from grace from a technologically-advanced civilization, and they were betrayed, and they slept for thousands of cycles, and their memories were erased, and the Toa are always winning even though they usually have no idea what is going on or where they are or what they are doing, and Mata Nui is a false god/myth-only/name of a race separate from other Matorans who hide their exiseance/lives on a giant island which envelopes hundreds of other islands that no one knows anything about because they can't be seen, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah...

Exo-Force, however, was different in that it gave us a dedicated line to something that kids & LEGO Maniacs had been doing since LEGO was founded- make giant robots that minifigs can pilot, and as a bonus it was stylized on anime. Regardless of its own storyline (which deteriorated over time, to the point of ridiculousness, IMO), I wrote LEGO several times and told them that it was a dream-come true for me. Alas that it ended after only three years in shame...

I, too, miss the days of old, where Futron(sp?), Blacktron, M-Tron, Unitron, and the Space Police were kick-ass in their own rights, and didn't all require flashy gimmicks and parts and collectibles and specialized parts. As was mentioned earlier, Space Police is making its third appearance as of 2009... and I don't want anything to do with it because it's so outlandish! The Space Police were generic heroes, and they didn't depend on comic book-like stylizing & villains to be aforementioned kick-ass. They went about rounding up 'evil' Blacktron figures (which we already had from the previous years), and that was it. (Star Wars is an entirely different issue, which I won't bring up here.)

While I like the new variety of uniquely-adapted parts, I would agree that they are overcoming the challenge LEGO Designers used to have of incorporating parts from the past. That is certainly NOT to say that they are getting lazy, but rather spoiled.
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 23 September, 2009 - 13:42
Gotta agree that this is a

Gotta agree that this is a nice little set for the price. It's the only Miner set I grabbed, but I'm happy with it. I actually bought it to complement my sudden Mars Mission obsession, which it does well (Brain is the crazy lone prospector on Mars and the monster is his pet/sidekick, LOL). I've had to avoid most modern Legos due to price, but I found the MX-81 Hypersonic Operations Aircraft on clearance one day, and it blew my mind with how cool it was. Then I ran around and had fantastic luck finding several of the other big sets on deep clearance, each at a different chain. I wish they'd continued that particular line (Space Police doesn't do it for me).

I hear ya, kidnicky. I grew up on (and still have) my old blue and gray Lego Space sets from the 70's. Those sets really encouraged me to build my own designs. Now, a combination of highly specialized pieces and my own shriveled imagination have turned Legos into "build the intended design and be done with it". In their defense, Lego has always kept generic block sets in rotation, and now they're featuring them with their Lego Creator series. And the custom creations I see online, using all the newer specialized pieces, are breath-taking. :-)

japester's picture
Posted by japester on 23 September, 2009 - 12:22
These newer Legos are

These newer Legos are cool, but I agree with kidnicky .

"Dinobots, destroy Devestator!"-Optimus Prime TFTM

Goldenage's picture
Posted by Goldenage on 23 September, 2009 - 12:47
Y'know, I think I agree that

Y'know, I think I agree that a lot of the older pieces seem to be... not better, but more likable I guess. The example I give is when I went to Legoland California as a kid and they have the huge cities of made of Legos there. All the parts they used were the standard simple blocky pieces to construct those, and it looks just as, if not even better than the latest sets made by Lego.

Not to say this set isn't cool. I really like the little rock guys.

Dkun's picture
Posted by Dkun on 23 September, 2009 - 13:04
OK, I've been mulling this

OK, I've been mulling this over for a while now while reading your reviews, and while I think they're really comprehensive, this one in particular showcases what I've been trying to figure out as having been bugging me. The toy seems pretty neat, but there's far too many words and far too few pictures actually contained in the body of the review. It's a Lego set... it's made of a bunch of parts, so show us! Show us the box, the directions, the in-progress build, and more shots of the toy built up and in action... I know you've got linked shots for some of the views of the mech, but honestly, for the time it takes to imbed those links, you could have thrown them right in the review and broken up that massive block of body paragraph. For an $8 toy, there's an awful lot of writing, and not alot of showing me what I'd get for my eight bucks... it's a simple little toy, with what seems like great articulation for the size and price, as well as limitless interactivity due to both the Lego system and two phenomenal mini-figures, both full of character. Show me all sides of the toy, show me all the neat features like the equipment on the sides, and what you can do with them... there's not even a picture of the driver in the mech...

I know we'll see more reviews from ya, so I hope you can take some of this to heart!
Ben

Prometheum5's picture
Posted by Prometheum5 on 23 September, 2009 - 17:32
Re: OK, I've been mulling this

Thank you for your extensive constructive criticism! I have been waiting for such for nearly seven years now! I just kinda slap them together, and hope that the refinements I make are enough, but I never hear good or ill about my style, what's missing, what's needed, etc.


LoL I actually consider this one of my shorter modern reviews for first-in-a-series- only 2 1/2 pages in MSWord!

I've actually intentionally been holding back on some photos because they were redundant. I usually avoid profile shots, and multiple angles of the same detail unless I'm trying to illustrate specific points. Photos also take up a lot of space, so the less I put on CDX, the less maintenance our Imperious Leader needs to do. (Granted, we're not restricted to 8-per-review anymore like in the old days...)

As to things like showing instructions or work-in-progress, that is an experience that I can't really illustrate in words, pictures, or video to any significant value. Part of building a LEGO set yourself is the enjoyment of that building process. So, for me to expose part of that would show little of what the final product is like- which I am here to review.

As to posing, I usually try to shoot poses that appear in the original media where possible, and maybe a few of my own; usually a minimum of 3 per mode/whatever. Besides, most of the things I review- i.e. Super Sentai- don't have many posing options.
(The Mine Mech is also top-heavy, so moving the legs about isn't really an option. And since it doesn't have elbows or a waist...)

Perhaps the only thing I've been negligent of late is in the little mini-gallery at the bottom of reviews- I figure the reader can just go to the main gallery, and view all the extra pics there rather than me inserting every single pic into it. there may be a few different angles or humorous shots there, but otherwise almost all pics are linked/shot for the text review.

...I did shoot a pic of Brains in the cockpit; you just have to browse through the gallery a bit more. ;)
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 23 September, 2009 - 21:33
Just put all of your pics in

Just put all of your pics in the review. You have more text per pixel than pic.

VF5SS's picture
Posted by VF5SS on 24 September, 2009 - 15:12
Here is your feedback...

... as straight-forward as I can put it.

Put your photos IN the review. Stop linking to the gallery. Most people do not like to have to "work" to get to a photo in your review.

Break up these walls of text with the photos. I guarantee you it will make the reviews far more readable.

________________________________________
CollectionDX - Assistant Editor - Writer

Atom's picture
Posted by Atom on 24 September, 2009 - 16:43
Thank you. I will take all

Thank you. I will take all of your suggestions into consideration in the future!
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 25 September, 2009 - 15:12
Sorry, guys, I'm totally NOT

Sorry, guys, I'm totally NOT feeling this set. I mean, it consists of--what?--six friggin parts? Come on.

I'm totally with kidnicky and the others. The older sets had a little more flavor. Not to poop on Lego, of course--it's just a sad fact that they have to compete with video games and short attention spans with stuff like Bionicle.

I like the older sets because they simply employ more creative/imaginative use of more basic blocks. I only had a couple 80's space sets 'cause that's all we could afford back then! But, man, I loved the crap outta them! You could rip 'em apart and create something equally astounding, diverse, unique...

Incidentally, guys, have you actually priced older sets on eBay??? It's actually kinda scary. I was able to buy a few of the sets I had growing up for DIRT cheap...complete...and even with instructions! Wild!

Oh, and lastly, if you guys dig minifigs, you should really check out some of the crazy stuff Mega Blocks puts out. They have whole lines of medieval European/fantasy style figures that are actually pretty cool. Oh, and Minimates aren't too bad either if you dig minifigs of comic characters...

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 23 September, 2009 - 19:17
67 parts...but who's

67 parts...but who's counting? ;-D

You know, I won't buy open Lego sets on Ebay. That's my minor OCD kicking in. Too easy to have missing parts, which would bug me to no end.

Totally agree about Mega Blocks. When Legos got too expensive, I turned to Mega Blocks, which seemed more willing to take chances and do cool themed sets. I remember them doing big mechs a looong time ago that had some cool motifs (SWAT, Egyptian, etc). Not to mention the dragon stuff and magnetic figures. ^_^

japester's picture
Posted by japester on 23 September, 2009 - 19:51
I hear ya with the OCD, but

I hear ya with the OCD, but a lot of sets are MISB or explicitly say "complete". It's easy enough to do a quick inventory when you receive the set. Just match what parts you have against the contents in the instructions (and if it didn't come with instructions, you should be able to find them online....doesn't brickset have 'em?).

I've always scored big with "complete" Lego's on eBay!

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 23 September, 2009 - 20:32
Re: 67 parts...but who's

I'm right there with ya, japester, on buying LEGO sets second-hand.

Mega Bloks have their own fans, so I won't bash them as a LEGO wanna-be even as they are a direct competitor.
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 23 September, 2009 - 21:38
Get off my lawn. Again.

Get off my lawn.

Again.

VF5SS's picture
Posted by VF5SS on 23 September, 2009 - 21:25
Um... did I miss something

Um... did I miss something here? O.o?

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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 23 September, 2009 - 21:39
...And, like, how many

...And, like, how many pieces compose just a single 2" Pheyden figure, which y'all worship for its durability and ability to be disassembled/reassembled into new original MOCs? Or perhaps a 6" vinyl?
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 23 September, 2009 - 21:35
Eva,I have to say Bionicle

Eva,I have to say Bionicle has been complete BS right from the start. The storyline of lego should be "this is a cool boat and this guy drives it."

When I read a wall of text like,"Originally, it was simply a single tropical island with ignorant bio-mechanical robots who live day-to-day in primitive villages, and are threatened by an evil spirit called the Makuta. To combat the Makuta, they prayed to their "great spirit" Mata Nui (whom they named their island after) to send them help in the form of six spirit guardians, the Toa, to protect the......"

I'm sorry,that just makes my eyes gloss over. The full version Eva included in his post is like an instruction manual for a foreign DVD player. Sanjeev is a rocket scientist,and I doubt he fully grasps the Bionicle backstory. It's lunacy.

Lego used to be a wonderful toy that inspired children to use their imaginations,now it's an action figure line that isn't as cool as a real action figure line. For the eight bucks or whatever this cost,I'd rather just get a Marvel superhero figure. The Marvel figure wouldn't be any less of a building toy than this is.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 23 September, 2009 - 22:37
If I were to properly review

If I were to properly review Bionicle (any takers?), the summary would be more refined than that one which I had to spit out in a hurry.

But, you are correct- a simple back story was needed, and Bionicle originally had that. But where I left the franchise is where it did become too complicated. Too much backstory can be just as hurtful as not enough or none at all. Pokemon is, what- "Gotta Catch 'em All", right? Boom, end of story. Anything past that is filler. What is Bionicle's motto?

...exactly.

However, to say that LEGO can be summed up as nothing but Bionicle, I think, is very unfair to the legacy the company has. That's like judging it solely on "Galiador"... which even LEGO Maniacs hate with a vengeance.
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 23 September, 2009 - 23:38
cool new Lego!

Love the mad play value!
Another stellar review, thanks Eva!!!

shogunnadia's picture
Posted by shogunnadia on 1 October, 2009 - 20:25
 
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