As noted in my introductory post, one of the best things about LEGO blogging is the opportunity to show off the new toys in your collection. Growing up with several younger siblings, I am perhaps even more delighted in this opportunity than most, because my formative LEGO experiences were shaped by an atmosphere of "look at the cool LEGO so-so-sibling got!" In addition to the shiny-newness of new LEGO, there was also the spotlight addiction of "...and it's MY shiny, new Lego."
In that spirit, here are the fruits of my second expedition to the Braintree LEGO Store, way down the Red Line on the T from Boston, and then out a bus ride to the South Shore Plaza mall. That's quite a hike, but as I said to my girlfriend yesterday, "it's kind of a good thing it's so far away, since it means I can only realistically visit every few months."
Turns out, we picked a good time to visit. The store was clearing out last year's stock, so a number of things were 50% off, including the Prince of Persia sets, a few Star Wars sets, and a lot of keychains. In addition to these deals, I also had a pick-a-brick box (as opposed to a normal cup), to fill for free--the result of having spent too much money at the Store in the pre-Christmas season.
Besides the under-Recommended Retail Price stuff, I also ponied up for a blue 32x32 baseplate, which I should mention I am quite grateful to LEGO for re-releasing--as well as a couple token NinjaGo and Pharaoh's Quest sets, to start my collection of both.
Most importantly, however, I managed to pick up an Elf!
The elf, we should mention, is one of the coolest collectible figs to have come out this year, since LEGO started the line. I say this, of course, heavily biased by my status as a Tolkien fan--but seriously, take a look at that lovingly crafted little minifig, and tell me he's not cool. The only thing, as a Tolkien fan, is that I'm not really keen on him being blond (blond Elves are not normative, whatever Orlando Bloom may have taught you) and having pointy ears (I fall distinctly on the non-pointy ear side of the debate). However... one quick removal of the headgear, and that problem is swiftly solved. I'm thinking of replacing his hairpiece with a dragon-helm, since that's always been my "Tolkien-esque" LEGO-helm of choice, but I could also settle happily with a Qui-gon wig.
It's funny that this guy is the collectifig I've wanted most, because he's also the first one I've ever purchased... and this was the first time I've ever seen them for sale--even when I was at the same LEGO Store in November, they had none out. It also wasn't hard to pick him out. For all the talk about cheat-sheets, barcodes, and dot-codes that have proliferated in the discussion of these guys, all I had to do was feel around until I found an oval shield and a bow--only one fig in the series had those... and this was the second bag I tried.
The only thing apart from the hairpiece and my Tolkien-related peccadillos that I would change about this set would be to give him a quiver. I remember, back in "the old days," that you never saw a LEGO bow without a quiver (Note: this did not include crossbows, which were in a different colour until 2000 from quivers anyway). All the same, it's not a problem peculiar to the Elf (whom I want to name Gonderin, as an homage to the long-defunct Classic-Castle Roleplay), but is actually the case for another archer I acquired.
Well, okay, maybe the little guy has bowstring envy (oh... there is dirty pun potential there) next to the elf... but he's a Ninja! That's why I got his set, apart from being both small (and under budget), and a nice parts pack: there's little about this set that says "-Go" and a lot that says "Ninja-". Other than the target--which would actually work for a Robin Hood-esque archery tournament I think--the whole thing would fit in nicely with my little Ninja collection, ca. 1999. Cool as the NinjaGo thing has potential to be, I'm more interested in the Ninja-half of things.
A similar division of interest is operative in Pharaoh's Quest. Like NinjaGo, it can kind of be considered a redux version of a theme that originally premiered in 1998--in this case, the Adventurers. However, in the case of Pharaoh's Quest, the part that particularly interests me is the Egyptian end of things, and the high MOC-able potential (thanks to Stargate, Egyptian-themed bad guys have found themselves a place in the sci-fi end of my Lego universe). The Adventurer end of the theme... well... I don't feel a need to expand on Johnny Thunder and the gang, and I don't feel the new guys are any better. So the bare-armed hunk on the motorcycle is, I fear, merely parts-fodder (but don't tell him!).
Also parts fodder, and also desert-based, is the Prince of Persia set I picked up for half-price. Unlike the Egyptians, however, the flesh-toned figs will join the OTHER sci-fi baddie force, which is picking up a lot of support these days: the Evil Peachy Empire (all the flesh-toned figs with a visual aesthetic reminiscent of steampunk/Star Wars).
Looks like little Bare-Arms-Parted-Out-Dude here is a bit outnumbered by evil... perhaps those nasty Peachy figs will dismember him for me.