In the 24 hours or so a number of videos from the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator has been showing up on YouTube, and I want to share some of them with you. These are not my videos.
This evening I stumbled upon a Kickstarter from a Swedish company called Cribble. It was posted in a Facebook group for furniture carpentry, and as soon as I saw it I thought that this is a very cool product. The easiest way I can describe it is LEGO meet IKEA.
Here is how it is described on Kickstarter:
Cribble is a kit of building pieces to create your own mini house. A blank canvas for your craftyness. Plan and build the foundation, wallpaper the walls, place the floors and put together some furniture according to plan, or your very own way. This is an inclusive project and it’s meant to integrate with other toys, crafts and stuff you find around the house.
The two founders, Josefin and Anna, realized that most toys for girls miss the construction and engineering aspects that toys aimed at boys usually have. So they set out to create a modular construction set to allow children to build a house, using the similar construction techniques as in real life.
So we think that if we increase the opportunity for girls to delve into building and technology they won’t just have a much more fun playtime but also even out one of the biggest mediators for the wage gap between men and women.
Cribble is dipping into the traditional girl play area and giving opportunity for all genders to play around with technology, room and space without overwhelming them with signals that this are meant for boys.
Now they are looking for help to get this product going. Take a look at the video and read more on Kickstarter. I think this is an amazing toy! And I think it is priced very nicely, when you think about what you get.
As the regular reader of this blog may have noticed, I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, and I also enjoy building LEGO. There are four new LEGO sets in the Lord of The Rings series to be released this summer (in June, according to TheBrickBlogger.com). They are:
79005 – The Wizard Battle, 113 pieces, $12.99
79006 – The Council of Elrond, 243 pieces, $29.99
79007 – Battle at the Black Gate , 656 pieces, $59.99
79008 – Pirate Ship Ambush, 756 pieces, $99.99
There are six different sets:
79000 – Riddles for the Ring, 105 pieces, $9.99
79001 – Escape from Mirkwood Spiders, 298 pieces, $29.99
79002 – Attack of the Wargs, 400 pieces, $49.99
79003 – An Unexpected Gathering, 652 pieces, $69.99
79004 – Barrel Escape, 334 pieces, $39.99
79010 – The Goblin King Battle, 841 pieces, $99.99
There are also talks about more sets in the Lord of The Rings series coming in 2013, as are surely additional sets in the Hobbit series when the next movie in the Hobbit trilogy is released in December 2013.
When I visited Toys”R”Us today, I found a small set not listed on the Lego website. It does not have a name, but the 31 piece set has the number 30213 and contains Gandalf with a map, a sword and a small part of a ruin with a skull, a torch and a spear. It comes in a small plastic bag, just like the Bilbo with fireplace set that was available for a while this fall.
This is an old video, called “The Night of the Toys”, made by me and four classmates when we were in 6th grade. I think it was filmed in the spring of 1982. One week our class was divided into groups of 5-6 students and each group then wrote and filmed a short movie. Most groups used one of the early (and huge) camcorders, but my group (being the overachievers) decided to make a stop-motion movie, using Super 8 cameras…
We shot the movie in a little over a week (using weekends and a couple of extra days our teacher gave to us, if I remember correctly), at the home of one of my best friends, and despite some errors (for example taking just one picture before moving the items, we should have taken two and moved the toys less between the frames) it turned out surprisingly good, if I may say so myself.
Some years ago, my cousin converted the movie into digital format, and I re-cut it using Sony Vegas. I was then able to slow down some of the really fast scenes, and speed up or shorten some other scenes. I also recut the film to avoid some artifacts at the splicing locations, and I also redid the titles from scratch. Finally I added some music and sound effects. You can see the result below. Remember, this was 14 years before Toy Story… Also, the titles are in Swedish.
I took this picture the other weekend, and it is one of my favorites from the Air Show. I always enjoyed these kind of demonstrations. It is a little like programming, man in charge of machine. Well, in most cases…
You may not be able to tell, but the number 5 right behind the air intake on the lower F-16 is actually painted upside down, so it appears correct to the spectators. This is because this particular position is flying mostly upside down…
While going to the 2012 Ft Worth Airshow two weekends ago, I took a few pictures. Like a little over 2000… 🙂 I have processed a few of them, and wanted to show a few HDR pictures I took. The day of the airshow was cloudy and windy, so the sky was fairly gray, and it was a bit dark as well. Perfect conditions to test some more HDR…
This weekend I spent with my son building some of the new LEGO kits from the new Lord of The Rings series. Here is a quick review of the kits we have built this far. You can click on the images for high-res versions of them.
9469 Gandalf Arrives – 83 pieces
A small but nice set. Contains Gandalf in his cart loaded with fireworks, as well as Frodo welcoming him.
Plenty of nice details, like the fireworks, a carrot for the pony and an envelope for Frodo to put the ring in.
9472 Attack on Weathertop – 430 pieces
This is a very nice set. It contains five minifigs: Aragorn, Frodo (with the ring), Merry and two Nazgûl (ringwraiths), as well as two horses. The three first minifigs have a feature I have not seen before, they have two sets of faces. By turning the head and exposing the part hidden by the hair, you get two different facial expression, like stern and aggressive or scared. The Frodo minifig in 9460 got the same feature, but not Gandalf as the back of his head is visible. All the minifigs are extremely detailed, it is obvious that the designers of the kits realized that collectors and adults will buy these kits.
The kit itself is of the ruins on top of Weathertop (Amon Sûl), and it features a trap door and a cooking fire. The ruins can be opened and in the inside you find weapons, toches and much more. Even a rat! There is also a stand-alone pieved of ruin with a bush and some plants.
The plants are the only thing I did not like with the kit. For some reason, perhaps the kind of softer plastic used, they don’t stick well to the bricks they are placed on. But that is a minor detail, otherwise this is a great kit.
9473 The Mines of Moria – 776 pieces
This is a big set, the second largest in the series, and it depicts the events in the Chamber of Mazarbul. It contains six minifigs (Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, Pippin and two Moria orcs), as well as the cave troll. There are four separate sections, a large wall section, the doors to the chamber, the well with the skeleton and the chain and bucket, as well as Balins tomb, containing the skeleton of Balin. By pulling a lever, the skeleton, bucket and chain will fall down in the well, just like in the book and movie.
There are plenty of details, from old weapons to gems and even the Book of Mazarbul.
9476 The Orc Forge – 363 pieces
This is currently my son’s favorite kit. It features a light brick, so when a rod is pushed, it looks like fire under the melting pot. In addition, there are four minifigs: Lurtz, two Mordor orcs and one Uruk-hai. To be really picky, Lurtz was created by Sauron, just like the Uruk-hai, so there should not have been any Morder orcs, but Isengard orcs. There is two sets of Uruk-hai armor (complete with the white hand of Sauroman), a crane to lift material to melt for the forge, etc.
So what is the verdict? As a Lord of the Rings fan (both the books and the movies by Peter Jackson), I am very happy with the LEGO kits this far. The quality is good, the instructions are very clear (recently I have seen some instructions where it was easy to miss a piece of pick the wrong shade of gray) and the detailing is amazing.
I still have two more kits to build that I already purchased, and I have to get the last kit (Battle of Helms Deep). I will report on them later.
Today I got the final delivery of the new Lord of The Rings LEGO I purchased the other day.
The kits I got were:
The Mines of Moria
The Orc Forge
Attack on Weathertop
The one I am still missing is The Battle of Helm’s Deep, but I plan to get it shortly.
I have a very excited 11 year old son who can’t wait to come over this weekend and build with me. 🙂