Twenty. A first impression

Today LEGO announced officially the new series twenty and celebrates 10 years of the LEGO minifigure series with a brand new series 20. We got our hands on a box full of minifigure goodness and we will be sharing our first impression here and look for toy photographers who want to review their favorite minifigure for us. Read on.

But first, what is in the box?

You all by now have seen the announcements of LEGO and the detailed box art of the series twenty, and we will be sharing our first impressions with a photographer’s eye. But we can confirm there are 3 full series in the box.

In Not So Random Order

Piñata Time

The twenty series 10-year celebration kicks of with a Piñata and this Mexican boy which for sure has a reference to series two and sixteen. The legs are of the fixed size, and it would have been awesome if they were the posable junior ones we saw before. The new sombrero is cool, but the winner is the piñata.
I am sure it will make it into many fun shoots in the coming weeks.

Additional elements not included in this set. Just the piñata.

Dance Girl

The second minifigure is a modern twist on the aerobic girl aka fitness instructor of series 5. The “making minifigs dynamic” foot piece is included in this set (not one but two) and the beatbox is getting this party rolling.

Now, combined with the Rocket girl of position six, I can see how different mashups can and will be made.

Green Beans

Most probably for me the most mysterious character I still need to research more.
She comes with green lips, a most interesting T-shirt and a red apple.
I think LEGO should include an additional hairpiece for out of character shoots moving forward (hint hint) with all those minifigures that are bold when their headsets are removed.

Raven

Knights needed to be of the party.
And with their longswords, and beautifully decorated outfit they are one of my favorites. Again, the out of helmet hairpiece is missing in the standard bags but did not stop me from catching my knights off guard.

Pirates…

Only yesterday LEGO announced the latest LEGO Ideas Pirate Bay set, and on position five we find Lady Pirate. Ready to engage.

Rocket girl

When she is not working out our rocket girl is making NASA gear. A small tribute to the space series that has gone through 10 years of Minifigures, and a T-Shirt the space cowboys will for sure repurpose. While the tile is gorgeously printed, my favorite piece is the space cap.

Llama

Throughout the history of CMF, we have had costumes like the panda, the giraffe and just recently the rainbow teddy bear. The Llama adds to this collection and we will for sure be seeing some fun creations. Like a cozy one-piece…

Hercules

This wouldn’t be a toy photographers review if we would not look for the creative possibilities, and when we unpacked this Viking (or Scotsman) I could not resist and grab some not so random hairpiece from my bag.

The next three ones…

These are not my favorites. The LEGO number 0937 is a cute detail, and the martial arts is most probably cool as well, but these three did not speak to me.
But maybe they do speak to you.
Applications for review open below.

Turtle

The main character of this set is for sure the turtle. I am sure we all will want a few bags of this one, just for the turtles. At least I want.

Ten

And here is Mister Green.
With a 10-year celebration tile.
Curious when we will see Lady Yellow join the party.
For now, it is the RGB gang.

Where is Lady Yellow?

Rocking It

Across the years there have been many rockers and musicians in the CMF series and with our keyboard player, we are going back to at least series 4. I am not a big music fan, but I am sure some of you will rock it. I like the pink pants.

The Rabbit

No words needed.
The pajama is also cute, but the star is the rabbit.
And I am not sure there were already short pink legs.
There are now for sure.

Dronie

Or like Stefan said when he saw this image on the New York toy fair earlier this year, that is Boris. Yep. I like my drones.
And this drone is a pretty accurate model and I am sure I will do something with it later this year.
I did not get the plaster though.
Must be me.

Karlsson on the roof…

Wanna be our crowd photographer?

We are giving away a full sealed set of 16 minifigures to one of you, and will be sending smaller batches of 2 to 4 minifigures (sealed and opened) to at least 4 other toy photographers who want to join in the fun and create a crowd review image for us before they are available in stores near you.

You can leave a comment here on the blog with what figures you would really want to review and why, or leave a comment on our IG post and tag a friend.

Let the comments begin …

Trinity: the basics of exposure for toy photography

And we are back.
A little bit later than expected.
But we are back with the second theme of the year.
After composition, we now get our hands dirty with the real technical details of capturing the image on the digital canvas. The exposure triangle or the holy trinity of your camera.

Long Read Ahead

Composition

We launched our SiPgoesTT challenge for twenty-twenty last week and asked you to take a leap of faith and select three of the works that spoke to you. The initial response was overwhelming and if you haven’t explored your fellow toy photographers, you should. If you were on the brick of joining and haven’t done that, don’t worry. You can still do that now or later.
We are just getting started.
With composition.
And a new challenge for you to complete.

Click here to discover the challenge (long post ahead)

A little bit disappointed …

Last week I got an email from LEGO asking if I was an Original.
You most probably got the same.
We all got it.
How original is that.
Yet I was intrigued.
A beautiful crafted LEGO minifigure.
Five-time the size of the real deal.
An exclusive, handcrafted oak minifigure, challenging to unleash my creativity.

An exclusive, handcrafted red oak minifigure

Challenging me to unleash my creativity …

I was hooked.
And I clicked the link, and swiped my credit card.
I am after all a fan of all things LEGO, and this exclusive Original begged to come over to my place. The checkout page told me I was limited to two pieces max. While I was tempted to buy two, the pretty steep price point (yes, pretty steep) made me think twice and I only bought one.

On Friday I got a notification a package was waiting for me.
I got that creative feeling that this would be fun, and my mind drifted away to all the things I could do this weekend with my new minifigure in red wood oak.

Unboxing

Take it out into town.
Have a portrait photoshoot with my new camera (more on that later).
Get some creative street photography with my new friend.

I could not wait with unboxing it.

A little bit disappointed …

And that is where the disappointment started.

This little dude is completely not poseable.
A minifigure whose arms can’t move.
Whose legs are frozen in time.
One solid block of LEGO wood.

A sustainable block of wood as the FSC stamp stands for.
And a nice little visit card for roomcopenhagen.com which I was surprised to find here.
I would have hoped to get a unique serial number, since every piece is handcrafted, but I doubt my (H)/0001 is a real serial.

A beautifully crafted dead weight I can have on my desk to hold my Wacom pen.

Now, for 1399 SEK (130 EUR, 144 USD, 0,016 Bitcoin) this is a pretty expensive high-end dead weight. And LEGO advises me to get creative and build the buzz by painting or carving this beautiful dead weight. Now, at 1399 SEK one is not directly inclined to make a disruptive move.
At least I am not, as the object is beautiful on its own.
And so it actually does not invite to be a blank canvas that screams to be sculptured.
While you can see the inspiration may come from the CowParade, at this price point it is very elitish and I am not sure a lot of creatives will buy one to “create the buzz”…

My Buzz

My creative buzz … for now.

And this is where I think LEGO did not get it all right in this first of its Originals.
Or maybe LEGO tried to get too much in this little minifigure.

  • A collector item – yes
  • An expensive price point – yes
  • Beautifully crafted – yes
  • An inspiration to get creative with – maybe
  • A blank canvas – no
  • Playable – not really
  • Poseable – nope
  • And did I say – very expensive? Very expensive indeed.
  • And not something you give to kids to draw on and make their own art.

I am not saying you should not buy this for an AFOL that is looking for a timeless beautifully carved sculpture to have in their AFOL cave. But be aware of the limitations. This is not really a toy for kids to get creative with, and for us toy photographers it is a very static model, to say the least.

Looking for my Geppetto

So, here I am.
A little bit disappointed…
And looking for a carpenter that can make me a real poseable minifigure out of this one. With moveable legs and arms. My Gepetto…

Anyone around that knows someone that could help me out?

Pippilotta Rollgardinia Victualia Peppermint Longstocking

Pippilotta

This week’s person in the spotlight of our SiP goes 53 series is the creative storyteller behind the rebellious Pippilotta. Pippilotta Rollgardinia Victualia Peppermint Longstocking to be precise. Pippi in short is the red-haired, freckled, unconventional and superhumanly strong kid that lives in Villa Villekulla and embarks on amazing adventures with her horse and Herr Nilsson. And she has a suitcase filled with gold.
You must have heard about her.

Pippilotta was also the name of a red-haired adventurer I accidentally bumped into in a little village called Sparkle. It was in the middle of the nineties. The sun was shining and I just returned from an encounter with Lars.
She smiled at me and gave this newbie more silver coins than I could carry.
I must have made an hilarious impression while I thanked her blushing profusely and ran back and forth to the guild to level up my skills to kill rats in the docks.

Sparkle

If you start to wonder where Sparkle is located, you can find it in the old school text based mud game called genesis.
A (text-based) world of its own.
Full of fantasy and lore.
And fate made me bump again into this mysterious adventurer with green eyes and red-haired ponytails in the docks of Sparkle and she asked me to join her.
I took her up on the offer, and we set out to bash some some orcs and hobbits, wandered the lands and eventually got married.
And then we decided to meet up IRL in Paris.

The rest is history.

That Sparkle (tongue in cheek) turned into a real live adventure.
We fell in love.
We got married.
And we decided to name our firstborn after a character out of another book of this amazing storyteller from the North. Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter.
Don’t worry, our second got named after one of Walt’s classics.

Astrid Lindgren is her name.

The amazing storyteller of books like Pippi Longstocking, Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, and The Brothers Lionheart has left a lasting impression on me with her stories and her characters.
And if you have not read any of her books, I can warmly recommend them.
They are for all ages…

Astrid Lindgren is our SiPgoes53 person of this week.

Willhelm Röntgen

Willhelm Röntgen, also known as Conrad to his friends, is the german inventor and Nobel Prize winner of my wife’s camera of choice. She (my wife, not Conrad) is a professional studio photographer working with kids, and so when we were looking at great scientists and inventors to include in our SiPgoes53 series, Willhelm went straight to the shortlist. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the inventor of the X-Ray camera and inspiration to the 111th element, roentgenium.

There are many other interesting pieces in Willhelm’s life that can inspire you in this week’s episode of SiPgoes53. From being falsely accused and expelled from high school in Utrecht without a diploma, over a marriage of true love to being a big believer of free and open source research without patents.
My inspiration in Wilhelm story is my wife the unknown.
The hidden message.
The image that is hidden from one’s eye.
The limitations overcome.

Continue reading “Willhelm Röntgen”

A first impression

The new series collectible minifigures is upon us, and it is time to take a first look at what is inside the limegreen box of 71025. Sixty sealed bags with sixteen individual minifigures to collect. This box normally contains three full sets, but our box actually only contained two, but more on that later.

This series is really a mixed bag of characters and so without further ado we will dive in our first impressions of those 16 characters.

Continue reading “A first impression”

Week 35 – Christo and Jeanne-Claude

When we were looking for creative people for our #SiPgoes53 adventure a colorful image of pink islands jumped to my mind, and I added Christo to the list. It was early eighties when I saw an image that made an impression on me. I must have been 12 or thirteen years old, and saw this image in one of those glossy photographique magazines that were laying around our house all the time.
How cool was it to wrap islands with pink plastic fabrique.

Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1983 Christo
Continue reading “Week 35 – Christo and Jeanne-Claude”

Run Forest, Run.

A few months ago I joined my first ever photo marathon in Stockholm. Not sure what to expect, I started to prepare. And I went a little bit overboard. And here we are. Less as 24 hours before the real deal here in Stockholm starts again, and yours truly got a starting number and is (not) ready to do it again.
No preparation at all.
Not well rested either.
And yet very much excited.

My start number from the previous one. Together with my little other half. Too well prepared.

First things first. What is a photo marathon?

But first, let’s take a step back and look what a photo marathon really is.

Continue reading “Run Forest, Run.”