Lego Minifigure: Year by Year, A Visual History – Review

I was so excited last week that we were picked to review the new Lego book to review from DK Dorling Kindersley books – Lego Minifigure: Year by Year – A Visual History 

I got the opportunity to review the book by signing up to the DK Books Newsletter. Every now and again you get an email letting you know all about their latest books and offers, plus regularly you can apply to review their newest books. Lucky us, this was our chance to get picked!

You don’t even have to have a blog, you just submit the review on the website. However this book was so wonderful I wanted to write about it here too.

This book is an absolute must for Lego fans young and old. It has such a wealth of information inside, and every page looks simply stunning. I feel so honoured to have this book and it’s something I will treasure forever.

The book charts the history of the Minifigure all the way from the beginning in 1974 when the first Lego figures were released, up to the present day in 2013.  However the first true minifigure wasn’t actually released until 1978 however, but if you want to know more about the distinction you’ll have to pick your own copy.

My husband was trying to explain to the boys that when he first had Lego there were no minifigures. They were dumbfounded, What no Lego men? The book has been a brilliant bit of nostalgia for me and hubby, and a big Lego lesson for the kids.

We’ve had some great family time flicking through the book together, reading each page which covers all the Minifigures there has ever been year by year.

It’s been amazing to see some of the figures I remember from sets I used to own growing up and relieving those childhood memories with the boys.

Another great part is that as Lego has been passed on from older brothers and uncles we realised that we have a wide range of minifigures old and new. Theres been a lot of ‘OMG I’ve got that hat!’ or ‘We have a guy with that uniform’ happening.  So Thomas has been busy going through all the spare pieces trying to recreate older minifigures.

There is so much information fitted into this book it’s amazing. and I’m sure we will be reading and re-reading it for years to come.

If you love Lego then you will adore this book. I highly recommend you get this book for the Lego fan in your life, young or old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Latest Lego Family Blogger Box – Review

LEGOBloggerBadge2012-13It was as almost as exciting as christmas morning when the boys dived into our latest delivery from the Lego Family Bloggers. There was bubble wrap, cardboard and bricks flying everywhere.

Thanks to the wonderful people at Lego carefully tailoring each individual blogger box, we received some new versions of our much-loved Hero Factory figures, but also new ranges to discover like Galaxy Squad and Lego Castle.

Heres a rundown and review of everything that was included on the box:

60019 Lego City Stunt Plane

60011 Lego City Surfer Rescue

70400 Lego Castle Forest Ambush

70701 Lego Galaxy Squad Swarm Interceptor

44011 Lego Hero Factory Frost Beast

44012 Lego Hero Factory Evo

 

60019 Lego City Stunt Plane

The stunt plane is a really nice set, and has tons of play value.

It’s part of the new Lego City Cargo Airport theme, with Cargo Terminal, Cargo Heliplane, and Cargo Truck all completing the range.

Thomas tackled this build on his own. It was slightly tricky for him, but he didn’t have to resort to asking mum for help, it just took a little longer. Total build time was approximately 30 minutes in the end after a few rebuilds along the way. However it was totally worth it.

The fact that it’s not just a regular plane is really cool. The cockpit lifts open and you can even leave your little Lego stunt man hanging from it as you loop the loop and fly around the room.

The propellers on the front spin around really well, and were the highlight of the plane.

The Stunt Plane comes with 2 Minifigs plus a little mobile fuel truck and tools. With an RRP of just £9.99 it’s a brilliant value for money Lego set.

60011 Lego City Surfer Rescue

Apologies for the ripped up box in the picture, but Jacob was so excited to get inside and see the Shark he just dived straight in.

This surfey set Fits in nicely with the new Lego City Coast Guard range, consisting of the Coast Guard Patrol, Coast Guard Plane, and the Coast Guard Helicopter and 4×4.

The Surfer Rescue set has an amazing RRP of £4.99, which is incredible when you think that you get a lego vehicle, surfboard, big shark and 2 minifigs. Theres no way you can argue with that value.

The coastguard has a yellow inflatable life vest just like the boys wear when they go swimming, which they thought was funny.

He also has a rubber ring which he can throw out to the stranded surfer when the shark appears.

 

 

70400 Lego Castle Forest Ambush

This was our first look at the highly anticipated Lego Castle range. I’m so pleased that Lego Castle is back as I think that the knights and  dragons has been sorely missed in recent years.

I remember a couple of years back looking for some Lego Castle sets for the boys and being so disappointed that all I could find was old sets on Ebay for exorbitant amounts.

Anyway, Lego Castle is back and we couldn’t be happier with our Forest Ambush set.

I know I’m sounding like a bit of a broken record, but at RRP £7.99 you can’t go wrong for all the Lego you get.

4 Minifigures (2 Knights and 2 Dragon Soldiers) with weapons,  a big cart full of gold,  and a little forest hideout which the soldiers can hide behind and launch projectiles.

Although I’m sure the big Kings Castle will make its way onto one of their christmas lists, the Forest Ambush set is an introduction into the world of Lego Castle.

70701 Lego Galaxy Squad Swarm Interceptor

We were all thrilled when the boys pulled some of the new Galaxy Squad Lego out of the box.

After seeing all the adverts for Galaxy Squad on tv we were all really excited about this new range.

The great thing about the  set is that it comes with the blue team leader of the Galaxy Squad Solomon Blaze and his Swarm Interceptor.

His ship is very cool as it can split into two, from a big space ship with hidden missiles to a small agile fighter which can zip alongside the alien mosquitoid on his space flyer.

The front of the ship rolls around and spins while you’re flying the big ship, and the kids both thought that was awesome.

Of all the sets we received this one was the trickiest. It does have the highest age category too at 7-14, so that was to be expected.

With the big spaceship being able to split into two, Thomas found the build a bit confusing. So this one we built together in the end. It took us just over an hour in the end, after a few rebuilds.

The Swarm Interceptor has really whetted the boys appetite for the Galaxy Squad, and with Jacobs birthday coming up he’s asked for the Eradicator Mech and Crater Creeper to add to his collection.

44012 Lego Hero Factory Evo and 44011 Lego Hero Factory Frost Beast

Now were down to the ones which elicited the loudest screams – The new Hero Factory Figures!

Firstly apologies for the bad photo which already has pieces missing from it. Jacob just can’t keep his hands off, and as soon as they were made they were already getting into battles and losing pieces.

I only noticed after the picture was taken, so sorry about that. At least you can tell they’re getting played with.

Hero Factory are still continuing with the Brain Attack story arc, and there are 7 new figures to collect.

Surge, Dragon Bolt, Stormer, Frost Beast, Evo, Aquagon and Jet Rocka.

Jacob loves that the baddie characters have a new evil brain attack which makes them have bright red eyes. He’s been having a blast saving the animals from the brains clutches and seeing them become nice again.

Frost Beast is a real intimidating figure, lots of spikes, claws  and a very cool color palate.

Even though he loves making his own Hero Factory guys, Jacob’s not quite up to reading and building from instructions yet. So it was down to Thomas to build these two, which took him about 15 minutes each. He’s such a pro at Hero Factory now.

Jacob’s asked me next for the Jet Rocka figure, as he loves the look of his wings and missiles.

 

Once again we were totally blown away by our Lego Family Bloggers Box, and it’s going to provide tons of brick based entertainment for months to come.

Personally I’ve been so surprised by the lower priced sets. The Lego Castle Forest Ambush and Lego City Surfer Rescue would both make amazing gifts for children’s birthday parties at an affordable price that are guaranteed to go down well. 

Thanks again Lego

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Lego The Lone Ranger Set: Cavalry Builder Set 79106 – Review

August 9th sees the wait finally end for all of us to get to see the new Disney The Lone Ranger movie.

The boys and I are really looking forward to it, as they love Johnny Depp and Pirates of the Caribbean, so were hoping for more of the same but with cowboys replacing pirates.

If only to whet our appetites even more, our latest Lego Family Bloggers set to review was one of the new Lego Lone Ranger Sets – Cavalry Builder Set 79106

There are 6 different sets in the Lego The Lone Ranger collection:

  • Cavalry Builder Set (79106) RRP £11.99
  • Comache Camp (79107) RRP £19.99
  • Stagecoach Escape (79108) RRP £29.99
  • Colby City Showdown (79109) RRP £39.99
  • Silver Mine  shootout (79110) £69.99
  • Constitution Train Chase (79111) RRP £79.99

 

The Cavalry Builder set is the most affordable of the lot, but you honestly wouldn’t know it by looking at all the things you get inside.

For £11.99 you get 3 cavalry soldiers, a mini fold up defensive wall, a campfire with pretend flames complete with a chicken cooking in a frying pan, an impressive fireable cannon, and that’s not forgetting our hero the Lone Ranger on top of his horse Silver!

An amazing amount of figures and accessories in such a small pack.

Thomas and Jacob having been busying playing with the set for around a week now, and are still finding new stories for the Lone Ranger to play through.

The only thing the set is missing is a Tonto, but I realise that not every figure is going to be included. Plus it gives us the perfect excuse to indulge in another set.

A few years ago Thomas had the Lego Toy Story Woody’s Round Up set for Christmas, and he still absolutely loves that. So in terms of the Lone Ranger sets I think the next addition to our collection will be the Colby City Showdown set.

The Sherrifs office in Colby City showdown looks somewhat similar to the Toy Story one we already have, but we’ve always wanted a bank, so I think it will fit into our Lego collection nicely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the family have taken a real shine to The Lone Ranger Lego sets, the Cavalry Builder Set especially so. Amazing value for money for the amount of enjoyment you will get out of all that Lego!

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Interview with Legoland Florida Master Model Builder Jason Miller

As well as all the fun and laughter, My one resounding memory of our recent trip to Legoland Windsor is all the questions.

My son Thomas was constantly asking questions, How do they make that? How long do you think that took to make? Do you think I could get a job doing that?

The more we explored Miniland and the new Star Wars Miniland, the more the questions kept coming.

So it was amazing timing when Attraction Tickets Direct gave us the opportunity to ask our questions to a real Legoland Master Model Builder – Jason Miller, Who works at Legoland Florida.

Thomas and I had a great time writing up all of his most pertinent questions, and finding out all the answers was incredibly interesting. It’s been a lovely mum and son project for us, and I hope you find the answers as fascinating as we did.

It was also wonderful that Thomas was able to take this interview into his school, and tell his class all about how he got to interview a real Lego Master Model Builder.

Here’s our interview with LEGOLAND Florida, Master Model Builder Jason Miller

Do you have to go to school to take classes on Lego building when you start at Legoland? 

When you first start as a Model Builder, you are required to successfully complete the Model Builder 101, a series of courses that explain the different techniques used by model builders. It takes approximately 1-3 weeks to complete the series.

 

What is your favourite ever Lego range? Mine is Legend of Chima, but my brother loves Hero Factory. 

My all time favourite product line from LEGO is the Wild West sets that were produced in the 1990’s. Of the current product lines, I would have to say my favourite is either Monster Fighters or The Lone Ranger.

 

Knowing how hot it can get in Florida, Do you have to do anything special to look after the Lego Brick models?

If a model is going to be installed outside, we coat the entire model in a UV protector to protect it from fading in the sun. Otherwise the model handles the weather on its own.

 

Can you remember your first ever Lego Set?

One of the first sets I remember receiving was a Lego City Airport and I remember flying the airplane all over the house.

 

Do you have certain things which you specialise in building, or do you have to build everything?

Every Model Builder has specialties and may be better at certain types of building than others. I tend to be good at building mosaics and designing buildings.

 

Do you ever get to go on the rides?

Every once in a while we will ride the rides to make sure all the models look great from the guests point of view. We want to make sure that every person that visits the park gets to see the same thing and experience it for themselves.

 

I would love to grow up and become a Lego Master Builder. Apart from loving Lego, what other skills do I need?

Math and Science are always important. We use math to figure out certain formulas that allow building in ways that we never thought we would be able to.

Math also helps in creating mosaics so we can make sure they will fit where we intend to put them.

Science is important for all of the animations we have in the park to figure out if a model will stand up to being moved over and over.

Cultural studies are also important because it helps us understand the environments and buildings in Miniland USA and why they are there and how our Minilanders would react to them.

 

How do you begin tackling the models, Do you plan them out on a computer first?

It depends on the model. Some models are in every LEGOLAND in the world and we do have files that guide us in the building of them. However, most models are designed by hand and a scaled prototype is built to see if the concept would work.

Once the concept is approved then we move forward with building the completed model.

 

Do you have a favourite Lego piece?

I sure do! It is a Lego 2×4. This is the most basic piece and allows us to create some really cool models.

 

Do you still play with Lego at home?

Absolutely! I have a large collection at home and build with them to relax and unwind at home.

 

I’m so grateful to Jason for answering all our questions, and to Attraction Tickets Direct for giving us the unique opportunity to ask them.

If all this Legoland Florida talk has made you thirsty for a visit of your own, you can book tickets online at www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk

 

 

 

Turn your hero into a Lego Statue – Competition

Lego City and Chat Magazine are running a truly brick-tastic competition, giving you the chance to honour you or your child’s hero with their very own statue at Legoland Windsor!

Maybe your youngster has an inspirational leader at youth club, one in a million lollipop lady. Or you would like to nominate an unsung child hero who’s helped their community with their work.

Whoever gets to be the lucky recipient of this money can’t buy prize, will surely know how much they’re hard work is valued, and how much they mean to their nominee.

The life sized Lego statue will be displayed at Legoland Windsor for a month, and then your lucky hero get’s to keep it.

Plus if having a statue made of you wasn’t enough, check out the whole prize package both your Hero and you as the nominee could win:

FOR THE WINNING HERO…
•    WIN a life-sized LEGO statue modelled on the nominated hero. The statue will be displayed at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort for a month – then the hero gets to keep it!
•    WIN a 2 night stay for hero and up to four guests at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort Hotel for statue unveiling, plus £100 travel expenses and dinner at the Bricks Family Restaurant!
•    WIN a LEGOLAND Annual Pass!
•    WIN 2-day LEGOLAND tickets for up to four guests to see the statue unveiling!
•    WIN £100 worth of LEGO CITY products
•    WIN a LEGO CITY: Undercover WiiU game and a Nintendo WiiU console!

FOR YOU…
All of the same fantastic prizes as the winning hero, except for the statue of course!

PLUS RUNNERS-UP PRIZES!    
Two runners-up and their nominated hero will each win £100 worth of LEGO CITY products

You can check the Chat Magazine website for full details on how to enter.

The competition is open until midnight 11th june 2013, so get your thinking caps on and get nominating your hero’s!

 

 

Lego Legends Of Chima Speedorz Sets 70104/70105/70106 – Review

Here’s the next part of our review of our latest Lego Family Bloggers box.

As you may recall, our last delivery was all about the Chi! With tons of Lego Legends of Chima Goodies.

Today I’ll be reviewing the remaining three sets

70104 – Jungle Gates, 70105 – Nest Dive and 70106 – Ice Tower.

Initially I thought I would review all the sets separately  but then after playing with them I realised they could all be used in conjunction with one another, so decided on a collective review.

Firstly we sat down and made the Nest Dive.

All of the Speedorz sets reviewed here come with a Minifigure and their Speedor, 6 Chi, 5 Game Cards, 2 weapons, and one piece of equipment.

The Nest Dive came with Eglor, and the aforementioned Nest Dive obstacle.

It was a fairly easy build for me, but Thomas did struggle a bit as it’s slightly fiddly, so I did most of the work on this one.

It didn’t take long at all to get fully set up, 10 minutes max.

Every one of the Speedorz have a unique part on the rear, and we all liked Eglor’s as he has very cool wings.

The object of the Nest Dive is to charge your Speedor into the middle of the nest. To do this you need to negotiate it up one of the branches, before it will land in the nest.

It’s not an easy task. It’s fun, and everyone will enjoy practicing and taking it in turns to perfect their skills, but it’s very hard to master.

Next up we put together the Ice Tower set.

Winzar of the Wolves is the character bundled with the Ice Tower. Winzar’s Special part on his Speedor are two saw type blades, one for each side.

This is the most traditional Lego style of the Chima Speedorz sets I’ve tested. It felt like I was putting together a Lego build, rather than a random set of pieces as some of the others sets have.

All the pieces fit together perfectly, and look brilliant when assembled.

It’s a fun game where you have to blast your race your Speedorz full speed into opposite sides of the ice tower. When you both crash, the top will fall off and the ball of Chi will roll to the ground. The winner is whoever grabs the Chi first.

The Ice Tower is beyond a doubt the easiest to master of the Speedorz sets. Whenever we’ve raced the Chi always falls out easily, so it makes for a lively game of catch the Chi at the end.

In terms of both build and playability, the Ice Tower Speedrorz set has been the most popular with my boys.

Lastly we set about building the Jungle Gates.

This is the one that Thomas was excited about the most, as it comes with Lennox the Lion. He’s fully on The lion’s side in the battle for Chima, so was exited to get another Lion tribe minifigure.

We now have Longtooth and Lennox. A Laval is next on the wishlist.

Lennox’s Speedor is very interesting. His unique piece is an extra set of wheels on the back. They are described on the pack as power wheels, “for the ultimate straight line performance!”.

We’ve found that the special wheels slow the Speedor down significantly, but that does make it much easier to control, and it does travel straighter more easily than the other Speedorz.

You don’t have to use the Power wheels, but it makes for a different challenge and is particularly useful for negotiating the Jungle gates.

The gates are basically just two arches, which you have to travel your speedor through. It’s not the most exciting of sets, but the gates have some intricate Lego Bricks in the shape of Lion Heads which are interesting.

The real fun from the Jungle gates comes when you combine it with the Ice Tower and Jungle Nest sets to make the ultimate Speedorz obstacle course.

 

If you can manage to traverse your Speedor through the Jungle Gates, straight over the nest dive and into the Ice Tower, then you are truly a Speedorz champion worthy of the power of the Chi.

As for us? We’re nowhere near that level at the moment, but we’re having fun practicing.

 

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Going on a Florida Holiday this year? Great Ticket offer from ATD

Going on a Florida holiday anytime soon? Lucky you! Sadly my Florida holiday this year has been and gone, but that dosn’t stop me looking out for offers.

I stumbled upon this great offer from Attraction Tickets Direct this morning  and thought i’d pass it on and hopefully save some of you some spending money.

For all bookings made in May containing Disney, Universal or SeaWorld Tickets, Attraction Tickets Direct will give a free 14 day unlimited Legoland Florida Ticket for every person in the booking.

Bookings must be made in May, but the tickets are valid for the whole for 2013.

Double check on the website which tickets are covered in the offer

This is a great offer if your planning on visiting Legoland anyway. We were hoping to get there on our last trip but the spends didn’t end up getting us that far. If this offer had been available then I would have jumped at it!

Another great reason to visit Legoland Florida this summer is the opening of the brand new World Of Chima, which looks absolutely amazing. If your children are fans of Chima (or possibly you are if your daft like me) then the World of Chima is not to be missed. I can’t wait to see what the floating Mount Cavora looks like when it opens.

For more information on tickets and this offer visit the Attraction Tickets Direct website

 

 

 

 

May The 4th be with you : Star Wars Day Events in the UK

This Saturday is May the 4th, otherwise know as Star Wars Day.

All over the world Star Wars fans will be gathering for events, and toy shops seem the perfect place to me for events to be held.

I actually thought that more of the big toy shops would have something going on, especially as the day is a Saturday. So this little post is just to promote the stores that are getting in the spirit and celebrating May the Fourth!

I am not connected with any of the below events. I just wanted to list a few toy related Star Wars Day events in the UK. If i’ve missed any that are local to you, please contact me and I’ll add them to the list.

 

Ducklings Toy Shop Marlborough, Wiltshire will be hosting a range of Star Wars Day activities, as well as their Lego Minifigure and Moshi Monsters swap day

Forbidden Planet

As well as Star Wars Day, May the 4th also happens to be Free Comic Book Day. Check the website for details of store participation and opening times. The website says that they will have goody bags suitable for all ages, and you might even be lucky enough to bag a Star Wars comic.

Hamleys

If you’re looking for Star Wars Days events and you have a Hamleys near you, then I think you’re in luck. Hamleys definitely seem to be putting the most effort in, and have a really strong lineup of events in all of their stores.

Were lucky enough to have the brand new Cardiff store just down the road, so if you’re looking for us May 4th. This is where we’ll be :)

Hamleys Cardiff will see Boba Fett running a craft workshop, and a special green screen installed for you to transport yourself into the Star Wars universe (additional cost)

Princess Leia, some Stormtroopers and possibly a Jedi Knight will be popping over to Hamleys Regent Street

Hamleys Glasgow are pushing the boat out with nearly everyone from Star Wars attending.

“Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Gamorrean Guard Sandtrooper, Imperial Gunner, TIE Pilot, Tusken Raider, Tarfful the Wookie, Jedi Knight and a Biker Scout…. and a very special appearance by R2-D2 on Sunday May 5th!

The Hamleys Entertainment Team will also be dressing up and joining in the Galactic Fun! So you might even get to meet Princess Leia and even Yoda. “An amazing weekend this will be”!

And Hamleys Dublin are running several Star Wars workshops and a Facebook competition where you can win 100Euros worth of Star Wars Goodies

I love that Hamleys have got so into Star Wars day, and have even made this video.

 

Legoland Windsor

Although not a free event as you obviously have to pay the entrance fee, I wanted to give the Legoland Windsor Star Wars weekend a mention as it looks like it’ll be a lot of fun. You can download the leaflet all about it here: Legoland Star Wars Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lego Legends of Chima Starter Set: 70113 Chi Battles – Review

Lego Legends of Chima Speedorz Starter PackFollowing on from our brilliant day out at Chessington World of Adventures taking on the Chima Challenge in the Easter Holidays, our latest package from the Lego Family Blogger Club was very welcome.

Inside our box of goodies this time was a whole lot of Lego Legends of Chima Speedorz sets!

In total up for review we have:

Lego Legends of Chima Starter Set 70113

Lego Legends of Chima Jungle Gates 70104

Lego Legends of Chima Nest Dive 70105

Lego Legends of Chima Ice Tower 70106

Plus we also received two Lego Chima Keyrings, one Cragger and the other Laval. I was actually surprised that both boys were arguing over who would have the Cragger keyring, but Thomas eventually gave in and gave it to his little brother.

Lego Legends of Chima Keyrings

With so many Legends of Chima sets to review, I’ve decided to start off today with the Starter set and review the other sets over the following few days.

Land of ChimaLand of Chima

Legends of Chima is the newest Lego range out there, so if you’re not up on your Chi and Speedorz yet I’ll give you a bit of a background into the land of Chima.

The land  of Chima is populated by eight different animal tribes. You have the Lions, Crocodiles, Eagles, Wolves, Gorillas, Wolves, Rhinos and Bears. All the tribes have lived together in harmony for thousands of years, but now jealousy and greed are getting in the way of reason leading to all out conflict between the tribes.

The fighting is really all about the Land of Chima’s most precious resource, Chi. There are many smaller arguments between the tribes which make the situation worse, but the main bone of contention is over who gets to look after and use the Chi.

Chi is a magical energy which flows through the waters of Chima, and gives life and energy to the land. It’s an intensely powerful condensed form of raw energy, and as well as using it to power their Speedorz, the animals can also use it to give them super powers when in battle. It’s dangerous stuff though, and should be used sparingly, that’s why the Lion tribe look after it, and make sure it’s power is not abused.

The lion’s harness the power of Chi into Chi Orbs in their sacred pool of Chi. The Lion’s have been protecting the Chi ever since it was first discovered, as they were the first tribe to use it.

Some of the other tribes, Crocodiles in particular are not happy with the Lions being keepers of the Chi, and after a serious of other disagreements things go from bad to worse and look to be getting out of hand.

70115 Chima SpeedorzHistory of the Speedorz

Speedorz are the vehicles that the animals use to travel around the land of Chima. The story goes that long ago the animals collected rocks that had fallen from Mount Cavora and carved them into wheels of extraordinary power and strength. The Speedor were then born!

Although the Speedorz started out as purely a mode of transport, the sport of Speedor racing began soon after. The grand arena of Chima is where the official tournaments are held, with the powerful golden Chi going to the winning tribe.  However the younger animals often sneak off for some less official Speedorz challenges to settle their own scores.

 

 Set Overview

Inside the starter set you will find

Longtooth Figure with his Speedor- Longtooth is an older foot soldier from the Lion Tribe

Wakz Figure with his Speedor – Wakz is a Wolf Tribe pack elder.

2 Ramps

4 Fang Cones

12 Chi

and 10 Game Cards

Lego Legends of Chima Starter Set

Speedorz Games

There are 4 different activities you can play with this starter set, so I think it’s a brilliant way to get yourself into the world of Chima.

The first thing you’ll need to get the hang of is handling the Speedorz. It can be a bit tricky initially, but is fine after a bit of practice. There is a definite knack to it, and once you’ve got it your golden.

The video below is a much better explanation of what to do than I could ever give. This is what I watched to give me some tips, and I think I’ve cracked it now :)

Once your confident with handling your Speedor, you can set up some of the challenges.

First off there is a spinning top and the aim is to race your fellow Speedorz challenger to the top, and whoever gets their first is the winner. It sounds simple enough, but this is just the beginning.
Next challenge is to set up the Fang cones into a set of bowling pins. Take it in turns to charge your Speedorz into the Fangs. Whoever knocks over the most is the victor.

The final challenge is the big one, this one is for the Chi! Hide the orb of Chi underneath the tree and then take it in turns to ram into the tree with your Speedorz. Whoever knocks it over and captures the Chi is the winner.

Lego Legends of Chima Battle CardLego Legends of Chima Battle Cards Game

The battling card game that you get with the Legends of Chima sets is a brilliant added extra. I’m quite lucky that both of my boys are very good at maths, but for others who find maths a struggle card games like this and Pokemon are great for encouraging maths skills without seeming like actual work.

If you’ve ever played Pokemon cards or Top Trumps then you’ll know the score here, the nice extra you get with the battle cards though is the addition of Chi for the winner. The winner of every hand gets 2 Chi from the pile. Once a player has 6 they’ve won. It’s an additional dimension to the sets and great fun.

Thomas is the one who really enjoys the battle card aspect, as all his friends in school love Legends of Chima. Obviously they can’t take their Lego sets into the playground, so a Chima card battle is the next best thing.

Each card has 5 different coloured sections down the bottom. These are what you use to defeat your competitors in battle. If your value is higher than theirs in your chosen category you win the hand and 2 Chi.

The categories are:

Yellow – Instinct

Red – Speed

Green – Courage

Purple – Strength

I think you can call out either the category names or the colours, it depends on what age group your playing with. Thomas likes to use the categories not colours, but that’s because he’s used to playing these types of game a lot. Either way is ok.

The blue ball at the bottom of the card is a Chi bonus. If you decide to use a Chi bonus you can add that amount to anyone of the category values for that round. The catch is that it costs you one of your Chi’s to use the bonus.

You only need to worry about the bottom half symbols to play the game. The top ones are just information about the cards.

Up in the top left hand corner is the Tribe from which your card is from. If it’s a character card there will only be one tribe, but the other cards have more than one on them. I’m not sure why this is, I think it’s to show whatever move the card is named after, more than one tribe can do it.

In the right hand corner is either the character’s name, or the move, or the Speedor illustrated.

The video below will give you a good illustration of how to play Battle cards if your still unsure of anything.

I think the Legends of Chima Starter pack is the logical set to start your Speedorz collection with. It has a good variety of games and challenges, plus you get 2 Speedorz rather than the usual one. The only other Speedorz set that comes with 2 is 70115 the Ultimate Speedor Tournament.

Hope you enjoyed the review, and look out for my reviews of the other Speedorz sets over the next week.

Lego City Undercover – Review

Last week you may remember that we received our best delivery box from the Postman ever! Our surprise Wii U box from Nintendo.

Well we’ve been busy for the last few days whiling the Easter holidays away helping Chase McCain run around Lego City chasing Rex Fury, so we are now ready to give you our full Lego City Undercover review.

Storyline

If your familiar with the previous Lego games then you’ll feel right at home with Lego City Undercover. Although unlike previous games which have been based around familiar film storylines, Lego City Undercover is a totally new and original story, with all new characters to meet, and areas to explore.

Without giving too much away the story is all about cop Chase McCain, who comes back to Lego City under a bit of a cloud after the last criminal he arrested escapes. Chase must recapture Rex Fury and stop his evil plans, whilst also trying to make it up to Natalia. Natalia is the girl who testified against Fury, but who Chase inadvertently revealed as the source, so she then had to go into witness protection. She’s not too happy with Chase to put it bluntly.

Fun with Familiarity

Initially you start of as Chase McCain the police man, but as in previous Lego games, then fun comes when you get to change costumes and characters. As you progress further and further into the game you’ll collect and need to use more disguises and tools to complete your missions.

If you’re a fan of the actual Lego City sets, you’ll love noticing all the familiar vehicles and buildings from the sets you know, love and probably own. Here in our house we have the Lego City Police Station and Fire Station, and the boys love seeing them in the game, and then getting to play the game afterwards with the models. I actually commandeered the ‘Octan Fuel Truck’ from the Lego City Tank Truck set yesterday, and was grinning from ear to ear.

Wii U Gamepad

The new way of playing with the Wii U gamepad is a revelation  Initially I will admit I thought it sounded like a bit of a gimmick, but it is honestly an amazing way to play and adds so much to all the games we’ve played so far – but probably Lego City Undercover the most.

As well as steering and moving around with the gamepad, you also have a touch screen inside which shows you a map of where to travel. Having a large-scale  map always there, showing you where to go is a real plus. Whilst playing the last Lego Game – Lego Batman, the boys found it difficult to see where to go, and where the objectives were, but with Lego City Undercover this has not been a problem at all.

As well as the map function, you also receive video calls from your colleagues over the gamepad, giving you hints on new missions and filling you in with your objectives.

Some of the most enjoyable and innovative ways you use the Wii U Gamepad are the scanner functions. Whilst playing as Policeman Chase McCain you often have to use your Gamepad to search for criminals hiding inside building. Holding the Gamepad up to the TV screen, you move it around, zooming in on the bad guys when you find them.

The boys love the scanner missions, and it instantly adds a bit of extra excitement to the game, as you know once you’ve discovered where the bad guys are there will be a high-speed chase to catch them!

Jacob’s favourite gamepad function is also when playing as Policeman Chase McCain, where you happen to find a special clue lying around. Then you need to follow the path of question marks on the ground around, with Chase onscreen looking at his own Wii U Gamepad. I think Jacob likes the music you get whilst searching the most, it’s very Pink Panther-ish.

 Gameplay

My only initial hesitation about  the Wii U Gamepad is that all the new functions mean that Lego City Undercover is only a 1 player game. At first I was surprised by this, but after playing for a while it become obvious that there was no way a 2 player option would have been possible.

The way we have got around this is having a joint save where the boys have to take it in turns to complete the tasks and catch the bad guys. It’s been working remarkably well really, and even when it’s the other ones turn it’s still lots of fun to watch and help out without actually being in control.

Previously in other Lego games when you have 2 players going off in different directions the missions become harder, and nothing seems to get done.  A lot of the time I can remember Thomas shouting at his younger brother to come over to a certain place and help him push a switch, resulting in more and more noise when Jacob takes to long to get there.

So in reflection I’m actually quite glad it’s only one player, as it means there is no more split screen, so the action is always easy to follow plus it looks excellent as a full screen adventure.

Final Thoughts

Lego City Undercover on the Wii U is a totally engaging, exciting, innovative game, but most of all it’s just undeniably fun! The kids absolutely love it, and I do too. I have to fight the urge to start up the Wii-U and get a sneaky game in once they have gone to bed.

We’ve been playing in for around a week now, and I know we’ve still only just scratched the surface as we’ve only unlocked around 5% of the total game. Plus once the storymode is all done and dusted, we’ll still have all the extras and studs to collect to keep us busy in free-play mode.

Lego City Undercover is absolutely a 10 out of 10 from us, no question about it.

 

** We received a Wii-U and a copy of Lego City Undercover from Nintendo for the purposes of this review. However all opinions are my own **