Now I’ve officially retired from writing reviews of LEGO sets, after my 101st review was posted a few weeks ago, I miss it. I was at the LEGO store looking at the new Mixels (series 3) and Friends animals (series 6) sets, thinking about how great it would be to review them at last… but then I remembered I don’t do that any more. It’s a feeling one has to get used to after three years of doing their thing.
I got to thinking about what my top five reviews are, even though I’m probably the only person who cares! Probably more appropriate would be my top five list of “fun with the set” moments, which appear at the end of most of my reviews.
The very first “fun with the set” section was in my review of the Winter Village Post Office, and served as a way to provide more visual information about a set without talking endlessly about how to build it. As time progressed, it also developed into a way of showcasing a set’s playability, especially with the inclusion of minifigures and other sets. Most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to express myself.
So with that lengthy preamble out of the way, here are my top five “fun with the set” moments.
#5: 10216 Winter Village Bakery
Having reviewed the Winter Village Post Office and Winter Toy Shop in succession, using the same overall plot, I definitely wanted to do something different. For inspiration I remember finding it humorous that a pair of dangling legs in the snow was included in the set design, and at the time I was a fan of Criminal Minds (despite the numerous instances of misandry) – so why not combine the two?
The end result was something I’d never seen done before in a review, and have never seen since – although the execution (no pun intended!) would be very different now.
The minifigures were created on the fly during the photography stage, and Garcia’s “office” was part of an old and incomplete MOC.
#4: 21110 Research Institute
You may not like my review of the Research Institute (at least a couple of feminists sure didn’t!), but the only thing I’d change about it would be to omit the “spoiler”, which would have been better suited to a regular post.
Like most of my reviews, the idea for this review’s “fun with the set” section didn’t come until I’d finished building the set. The whole idea hinged on the dinosaur skeleton being poseable, which it fortunately was. It was also fortunate that there was a way to incorporate parts of all three vignettes for the conclusion.
#3: 41005 Heartlake High
Along with being the set with the highest score I’ve reviewed, I highly anticipated writing the “fun with the set” part of this review since I saw the first picture of the set. The only thing I didn’t know, leading up to the build, was how it was going to be structured.
With a set that’s full of surprises, the main thing I wanted to do was tease the reader with EvilMode’s presence around Stephanie, as bad things usually happen to her when he’s around. The only thing that let this “fun with the set” down was the ending line, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but disappoints me today.
#2: 3300002 Holiday Set 2 of 2
The beauty of the whole thing is that it was completely done on the fly, mainly inspired by the brand new 1×1 round tile (which people were going absolutely nuts over) and the odd use of a Red bandanna for Santa. The end result was an event that turned out to be funnier than I’d expected.
Yes, there’s my ranting about scalpers and resellers (mainly directed toward scalpers), but again I stand by what I’ve said: they do more damage to the LEGO community than I could. Just look at the recent activity around the Research Institute and Exo Suit, as well as the rampant feeBay-ing of 3300003 LEGO Brand Retail Store.
#1: 41038 Jungle Rescue Base
Without a doubt, the “fun with the set” part of the review is my best work – and it should be, because it was my final review. I knew roughly what was going to happen, but again it took building the set and studying the layout to decide how to go about it.
With the unique opportunity of having both Stephanie and Andrea in the set, the main aim of this “fun with the set” was to tie up the loose end of Andrea’s interest in Matthew. Although EvilMode makes an appearance, it was important to keep the focus on the main characters involved. Everything – in my opinion – worked out perfectly.
As for the other loose ends… watch this space.
Those are my top five!