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In October we had our first glimpse of this Architecture set when a small image was posted on the LEGO customer survey site. Last week its instructions were added to the LEGO Customer Services site, and now, thanks to LEGO's Singapore office and the CEE team I have one to review.
Before I launch into the review, I suspect you're all wondering 'how can I get one?' Well, there's good news and bad. The good news is that it can be purchased now. The bad news is, only in Asia. It's for sale at shop.LEGO.com, but only to Korea. It can also be purchased from the Marina Bay Sands hotel gift shop 'and selected LEGO retailers in Asia'. I'm told that it's a limited edition run of 10,000. Your best bet, then, is to head to the forum and see if you can hook up with someone in Asia to get one shipped to you.
Marina Bay Sands is a hotel and leisure complex on the southern tip of Singapore. It was designed by Moshe Safdie and opened in 2010. It's 57 stories high and cost $5.7 billion to build. It has some very cool features including a rooftop 'infinity pool'. There are some great pictures of it, and the building, on this blog. The 602-piece LEGO version was designed by Rok Kobe, who also designed the UN Headquarters.
It appears that LEGO Singapore has its offices in the Marina Bay area which may help explain why this set has been produced.
On day nine we have another mini model, this time an Acclamator Class Republic Assault Ship. This vehicle only appears fairly briefly during the latter stages of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but it also features heavily in the Clone Wars and various books and video games set during the Prequel Trilogy.
This model is a little too far from the source material for my liking. It is just about recognisable as an Acclamator Class Assault Ship, but the shape has not been captured perfectly and there is far too little detail in my opinion. The tail fin and engines have been recreated nicely, and I like how light and dark bluish grey pieces have been used to break up the design a little. However, the overall shape of the model is too long and not wide enough for my liking. Also, the tip of the ship is far too blunt (an issue which plagued the Star Destroyer mini model last year in 9509), although I can see no way of rectifying this given the limitations imposed by the scale.
The biggest issue for me though is the bridge section, which is completely wrong as far as I can see. This could easily be rectified with a 1x1 round tile in light bluish grey, but the 1x1 plate with clip simply does not work here in my opinion. The relative obscurity of the vehicle combined with the partial failure to capture the shape of the ship might mean that one would struggle to identify what it was immediately. This fact is evidenced by Huw's photo, which he took from the rear not realising which end was the front. Still, I think we can all agree that this is a great shot of the back of the ship!
Overall - 2.5 - Not a bad model, but only a vague representation of the vehicle in the film unfortunately.
Another mini model appears on day eight of this year's LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar, this time a Republic Gunship. This is among my favourite vehicles from the Prequel Trilogy and I think that the mini model here is an excellent representation of this iconic ship.
The anhedral wings of the Republic Gunship are captured perfectly using a pair of white flag components and I like how the twin cockpits have been included using a hinged plate. Perhaps my favourite part of the model however is the lime green tile which forms the nose cone, representative of the lime green highlights on the ship in the film.
This is therefore an outstanding little model, but there is a slight drawback. An identical Republic Gunship appeared in the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar from 2011 (7958) which Huw reviewed, so for those who picked up that calendar while it was around, this is a bit repetitive.
Overall - 4.5 - A sturdy and accurate little model of a great vehicle, but it is a shame that this is not its first appearance in the Advent Calendars.
It really does seem to be the season of goodwill to all men in the City calendar. After sharing a cuppa with the robber on Friday, the policeman is now hosting a Christmas party, complete with cocktails, chicken and pizza, on the table from yesterday's window.
It's nice to see them put their differences behind them, but is this how kids want to be playing cops and robbers?
The second edition of kids' comic Legends of Chima is out this week in the UK and other parts of Europe.
There's not much in it to appeal to adults, but it does have this Razcal minifig on the cover with an 'exclusive raven lance', which is pretty cool, unlike the odd weapon Ewar was wielding in issue one. It's a genuine figure, not made from Chinese ABS, which makes it even better.
Next month's issue comes with Grumlo, who only appears in 70008, Gorzan's Gorilla Striker, so will be well worth picking up.
Anybody who has purchased a LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar in the past will have known it was coming. On the seventh day of this year's calendar we have a weapons rack.
Not a lot can be said about this really, it stores three different blasters, and makes use of dark and light bluish grey pieces for the most part. I quite like the curved style of the rack (more so than in previous years anyway) but the blue hinge piece looks out of place to me and another grey or even a black piece would have been preferable.
While it is far from the most interesting inclusion, this weapons rack will provide arms for some of the Minifigures we have received already or are yet to come in the Advent Calendar, so will be quite useful.
Overall - 2 - This is about as exciting as a weapons rack can get, useful, but not particularly interesting.
Jason from Chowren Toys says: "This will be the last promo we will be running for 2013. We want to thank all the Brickset readers for their support and for making all of our promos this year a great success. We especially want to thank Huw for making all of this possible. We look forward to bringing more great deals in 2014 to the wonderful readers of Brickset.
"Our December promotion will be $5.50 for 30167 Iron Man's Fighting Drone. All the readers need to do, is enter promo code BRSET30167 at the check-out to get this price. There are total of 1000 units available and are limited to 30 per customer while supplies last. This promotion will only last until 11:59 pm (US West Coast time) on Sunday, December 15, 2013. Just like previous promotions, Brickset readers will need to have registered an account in our store in order to use this code.
"All buyers please look over and read the notes in the shipping chart before you make your purchase. Please note this is just an approximate shipping charge, but it shouldn't be too far off. As with previous promos any over-charge on shipping will be refunded. Please also note that we will do our best to ship every order as soon as possible but once it is shipped, it is out of our hands for delivery time. Please use a faster shipping method or please contact us regarding shipping methods if you are not sure what to use, and if you need the order by certain date. Thank you."
A scan from an Australian 2014 consumer catalogue has been posted on Photobucket showing the 2014 Marvel sets, which I believe are the first official non-watermarked images to surface. They'll be available in March and April in Australia, so probably slightly earlier elsewhere.
Does it look as if they have some exciting minifigs in them?
Thanks Jon Brick for the news.
Our third Minifigure of this year's LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar is a Rebel Commando, who has appeared in several sets before, most recently 10236 Ewok Village. This is a highly detailed and useful Minifigure, as it is nice to build a small army of these soldiers for use in Endor MOCs or for display with sets like the Ewok Village.
His helmet has been around since 2009, where it first appeared in 8038 The Battle of Endor, and it looks fantastic, featuring some excellent moulding and highly detailed printing, which comes together to bring astonishing accuracy to the piece. His head is a reuse of Boromir's from the Lord of the Rings theme, and his torso is detailed on front and back along with some sand green legs. Unfortunately he is unarmed, but no doubt some weapons will be provided at some point in the Advent Calendar.
Overall, this is a very welcome inclusion, and it should be quite useful in my opinion, particularly given that 10236 Ewok Village will most likely be at the top of many people's Christmas lists this year.
Overall - 4 - A lovely Minifigure and a useful one for every Star Wars fan.
On the fifth day of the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar we are provided with a Storm IV Twin-pod Cloud Car mini model. This vehicle appeared in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and challenges the B-wing for the most sets created compared with the number of seconds spent on screen, coming in at two so far versus the B-wing's four.
This model is fairly simple, using SNOT techniques throughout almost the entire craft to achieve the rather odd orientation of the vehicle in the film, which I like. The basic shape of the Cloud Car is captured, although the strut which links the two cockpits should be far narrower than it is here which takes away from the appearance of the model in my opinion. I like the inclusion of a trans-blue stud to act as the engine which demonstrates impressive attention to detail, although the shape of each cockpit windscreen is too steep.
Perhaps the biggest issue in my opinion however is the colour scheme, which should be orange. The red shade is acceptable, but the light bluish grey bricks which are the basis of each pod are quite unattractive, and they should have been replaced with pieces of the same colour as the rest of the model.
Overall - 3 - Not a bad model, but the accuracy is lacking in my opinion and I would have preferred the Cloud Car to be orange.