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.”

Back

Back Up

I am back. This post has been pretty hard to get out. Call it writer’s block. Stage fright. Or just good old procrastination. We talked about this in the past. Procrastination. You may remember. Anyway, back to the topic. I am back.

Two months

My last post here on the blog is two months old. And after our ever so epic toy safari in Denmark, a month ago, I kind of fell in a black hole.
A rollercoaster of Big Inc. keeping me more than busy, shooting some non-disclosed sets for The Mothership like the epic Tree House, familiarize myself with a new mirrorless body, squeezing some holidays in between and trying to renovate a kitchen with another Scandinavian brand that at times felt like LEGO for grown-ups.
You know.
Life.

Continue reading “Back”

The Eagle Has Landed

The LEGO NASA Apollo 11 Lunar set 10266 also known as “Eagle” has landed. It is since yesterday available in LEGO stores around the world. A good month and a half ahead of the fiftieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong being the first man to set foot on the moon. This set nicely completes last years NASA Saturn V rocket. One which got Stefan running around in Hamburg with the rocket in one hand and making woosh woosh sounds.

The Eagle is beautiful, fragile and very discreet and has a prominent place on my working desk.

One small step…

And while the detailed replica of Apollo 11’s Eagle lunar module may not be ideal to run around within the fish market in Hamburg on a Sunday morning, it is an epic nostalgic build. I replayed those magic first words of Neil a few times while holding the set in my hand and making touchdown on the Sea of Tranquility. From the iconic “Houston, the Eagle has landed” to the first step on the moon. “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.

One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind …

Now how to shoot this set?

That was the question that ran around my head for a while. First, I was thinking about taking a step back and go analog. Getting some good old film into my Hasselblad. I quickly came to the realization I do not have an analog Hasselblad at my disposal. And even if I had to, I would most probably get frustrated with the analog process of not having instant validation on the digital big screen. For those of you who are wondering what Hasselblad had to do with the moon landing, have a look at this beautiful page over at their website.

A selfie with a Hasselblad (*)

LEGO Space

And while I was contemplating how to get this set on the wet plate, Pink from Benny’s Space Squad came over and had to take some quick snapshots. After all, this felt for her like going back in time. A nostalgic moment she learned everything about in the Space Academy. And while she liked the gold touch on the helmets of these iconic men, she felt much more comfortable in her pink space suit.

Pink (**) is getting some snapshots from the Eagle.

The Golden Van Allen Belt

The Eagle has quite a few golden parts on it. When looking at them I thought that these golden parts were there to protect against space radiation. And while I ultimately was wrong in my assumption(*’), they brought me to the idea of shooting the set with a different kind of camera. An X-Ray camera.

Not the one used in space guns, but the ones used in Hospitals and Airports around the world to see through the plastic with a different lens. And so I sent the Lunar model for an X-Ray check up with my co-conspirator and operator of big cameras, and the result was special. Very special. Feel free to maximize the video below.

The Eagle for sure had landed.

(*’) The golden parts on the Eagle are not there to protect against space radiation but against the heat of the sun. Technically that is also radiation, but I was more thinking about the evil Van Allen Radiation Belt. The golden foil is actually Kapton multi-layer insulation blankets, and they act as a heat barrier to sunlight.

Worth buying?

Well, every LEGO set is worth buying of course, but this one is special and makes a perfect gift for the upcoming Father’s day (Mother’s day just happened in most countries so you were too late to get it for that occasion, but of course you can still gift it as a late present). The Eagle won’t break the bank as much as the iconic Porsche or Bugatti (another Father’s day present). It sells for a comfortable 89 EUR at the local LEGO store in Hamburg (Stefan, just in case if you want to land in the Fish Market).

The set is great fun to build and packed with nostalgic memories to a time when landing on the moon looked so easy. And with it’s grey and gold Kaplan-like color scheme it nicely fits in any library or office space and it won’t take up too much space.

And for those who are into collectibles, the LEGO stores around the world have a unique LEGO NASA patch available. Limited editions I was told.

Please note that Pink (**) and Hasselblad (*) are not included in this set.
They were added by yours truly as part of the creative review process.
TLG provided the set for review and picture taking.

The Disney Minifigures Series II

When TLG asked us whether we were interested in reviewing the new LEGO Disney Minifigures series 2 we did not had to think hard or long. We shouted almost instantly to Niels (not Holgersson) YES!
Count us in!
We love minifigures!
We love series!
And we do love Walt, too.

The unboxing

We got the package and started the unboxing process. It took us exactly 40 seconds to get everything unpacked.

We were that excited.

The Review.

And then it was time to get creative. Who was going to review these beauties? We asked our regulars, and they all said yes. And then we asked you on IG and you all shouted yes as well.

Right about now we have got sixteen creative reviewers signed up. So we are slightly overwhelmed and stoked at the same time. 16. One Six. That is a lot of reviews coming your way in April. Better fasten your seat belt and relax while we´re get this roadshow on the tracks. But before we get you all hooked up in the creativity of Natasja and Lukas, to just name a few, we would like to introduce to you our main characters.
The heroes and heroines of this series.
Shot without too much creativity.
Straight from the box before they jumped into their travel bag and on to their creative reviewer´s destinations.

Mickey and Minnie

Mickey and Minnie are right there

They are very similar to the Steamboat Willy set, yet different. They are not silverish. But you have a fair chance of picking up M&M as there are four of each in each box. And Mickey comes with a steering wheel while Minnie give us photographers an extra hat.
How cool is that?

The Duck Tales Gang

One happy colorful gang

The most exclusives of this series. Only two full sets of the ducklings are included in each box and you all wanted them. It is a pity that the legs are not the bendable type, but I am sure we will still have fun with Louie, Dewey and Huey.

Chip and Dale

The Chippendales …

For sure these are the party animals of this collection. A lot of you wanted to review these strippers (while at the same time I am missing my favorite Disney childhood character Pluto. He makes it here in Sweden every year to the Christmas Carol together with these two).
The good news is that there are four of each.
So lots of mischief is coming our ways with their short, brown, movable legs.

And there is much more Disney awesomeness after the break

Happy Birthday, Mickey

It is raining birthday parties. Last week we had Barbie turning sixty. DUPLO turned fifty only a week or two before. And believe it or not, it only feels like yesterday when the Minifigure turned forty.
And here we are again.
The iconic mouse from Walt Disney is turning 90th this year.
Happy Birthday, Mickey!
And to celebrate this the LEGO Ideas Team released 21317 Steamboat Willie ahead of schedule (as it was only announced a few weeks ago).

Steamboat Willie

Mickey Mouse made his screen debut in a 1928 black-and-white animated short film called ‘Steamboat Willie’, which was also the first Disney film to have synchronized sound.

Moving Steampipes Ahoy …

This LEGO brick version of the S.S. Willie features steam pipes that move up and down and paddle wheels that rotate when the boat is pushed along and is a really creative and colorful build as we could explore ourselves. And a true tribute to the original movie (which you can see below)

Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Mickey”