Tag Archives: LEGO

LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out DVD

LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out DVD

Animated LEGO figures make a mess of the Star Wars world in LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, the latest release of LEGO Star Wars animated short films with plenty of laughs.

Film making 5/5
Video 4/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 3/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out

LucasArts along with LEGO has released their second animated short film on the Star Wars theme that bounces in the time frame of The Empire Strikes Back but actually encompasses many of the characters and events of all the Star Wars films. The Empire Strikes Out is a quick look at the Star Wars universe through the eyes Of LEGO figures with almost nonstop slap stick humor.

The Death Star made from a boxed LEGO kit or Darth Vader and Darth Maul sibling(Sith-ling) rivalry is some of the more hilarious moments but throughout the 22 minutes you do get lots of fun. Favorite characters like Luke, Han, Leia and Darth Vader are here but some from a variety of the series are also here like Darth Maul and Boss Nass.

Running from female fans we follow Luke Skywalker as he tries to find and destroy an Imperial base after destroying the Death Star which is why the fans are chasing him. Adoring fans aside the laughs come fast and furious in this not for kids only animated LEGO adventure that is well worth adding to any science fiction film collection and a must for Star Wars fans.

While the plot of the short film is not exactly adhered to the fun and joviality is and the Star Wars themed animation is a great entertainment. Notable actors voicing popular characters are Tom Kane and Sam Witwer but really famous is Anthony Daniels who played the original C3PO in Star Wars.

Other voice actors are not as well-known but all do an excellent job in voice acting for a really funny short film that is thoroughly enjoyable. The animated short has great audio and video quality without many problems while the standard DVD does not limit quality due to media size.

The DVD edition does not contain any bonus content but does contain a limited edition LEGO Darth Vader mini figure which really adds enough value considering the cost of the DVD. The DVD edition of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out is available from Amazon for $10 which is pretty good for the video and a LEGO mini figure.

While LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out is only 22 minutes long it has laughs from start to finish and enough Star Wars fun for the whole family. I highly recommend LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out for any movie collection where star wars is a part.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out @ LEGO

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out @ Amazon

LEGO Technic Moto Cross Bike Set

LEGO Technic Moto Cross Bike

The Lego Moto Cross Bike is a new LEGO set number 42007 for the Technic line that includes instructions to build a moto cross bike and a speedway motorbike from the 253 piece set.

Ease of Use/Instructions: 4/5
Appearance/Design 4/5
Price/Value 4/5
How much I enjoy 4/5

Recommendation: 4/5

LEGO Technic Moto Cross Bike

The LEGO Moto Cross Bike set is a new Technic model for 2013 with 253 pieces and instructions for both the moto cross bike and the speedway motorbike. The Moto Cross Bike set includes two large motorcycle wheels, working shock absorbers, chain link drive and several specialty parts including engine components and panels.

The Moto Cross Bike has the working piston engine with two cylinders and the Speedway Motorbike has the single cylinder for a realistic working engine where you can see the pistons moving. The set includes working shock absorbers and a chain link drive for the rear wheel that turns the engine when you move the model like a real bike.LEGO Moto Cross Bike Whats in the Box

The kit has fairly easy to follow instructions but due to the engine component use of gears and chain links this is a Technic set which is for the 9 to 16 age group. Some of the components like the chain installation does require some finer motor skills and the links are a bit small so the age recommendation does fit the model.

The models are fairly easy to assemble and took me about an hour each to build with instructions that are easy to follow with their picture only manual. Instructions do include pictures for length of beams and axles along with good piece by piece building and well done instructions for things like inserting axles and turning the model around.

A handy part of the instructions is life sized pictures of some pieces like those beams and axles so you can compare the actual piece with the instructions to make sure you have the correct piece. This may not be much of a concern when you only have one kit but with more pieces in your toy box easily getting the right pieces for each model becomes important.

LEGO Moto Cross Bike

The current instructions are LEGO’s answer to years of designing and selling kits as well as getting feedback from customers who build the models. The instructions are designed for younger LEGO builders but getting into the Technic sets you do have some more difficult steps like those engine components.

I had no problem building both sets as well as playing around with some other designs but the model is a bit limited to build other vehicles besides motorcycles or bicycles. The set does not contain a lot of beams for structures but it does have a good assortment of specialty parts for a good starter set for a more complete collection.

The Moto Cross Bike is a great set but is a bit limited to a select amount of builds but you can use it as a good set for future collections. Looking at the Lego Technic site I think the Moto Cross Bike and the Quad Bike would make a fantastic pair that would really make a great gift or a starter to a good collection of LEGOs.

LEGO Speedway Motorbike

In the end the Moto Cross set 42007 from LEGO Technic does work great as a model but is limited in how many models you can build due to the smaller amount of pieces.

LEGO Technic Moto Cross Bike

LEGO Technic Quad Bike

LEGO Motorized Excavator 8043

LEGO Technic Motorized Excavator

The LEGO Motorized Excavator with Power Functions remote controlled motors is an excellent base kit to build not only the Motorized Excavator model but the Tracked Loader and many other models.

Ease of Use, Performance:  5/5
Look & Feel:  5/5
Features  5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total:  5/5 Stars

LEGO Motorized Excavator 8043

What a few weeks it has been since receiving the LEGO Motorized Excavator and a couple of books from No Starch Press but the fun is not going to stop here with plenty more LEGO building in my off time. First I received a book from No Starch Press titled The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide by Pawel “Sariel” Kmiec so naturally I scanned the LEGO site looking for a Technic kit that would fit well with this book.

After a little back and forth with LEGO’s public relations contact I received the LEGO Motorized Excavator kit but this kit will be going out of manufacturing soon so quantities may be limited through official LEGO stores. I do see plenty of kits still available on sites like Amazon and at local stores like ToysRUs so getting your hands on one soon should not be a problem but if you’re interested in this kit I would shop soon.

The LEGO Excavator is a motorized kit that includes 1123 pieces but the main attraction for this kit is the Power Functions remote control system that includes four motors and two remote controls. The kit has instructions for making the excavator in three books which goes to show how technical this kit can be and is not for the young as it does require a bit of dexterity and good instruction following to get some of the steps accomplished.

The 8043 kit is recommended for 12 to 16 year olds and I really would not consider this kit for younger than a ten or twelve year old but definitely get them a book about basic LEGO building techniques like the guide I mentioned from Sariel. These types of information books will help budding engineers understand more about building techniques, give hints and tips in building their own models and give ideas for more to do with the LEGO kits than just build the couple of models they include instructions for.

Whats in the Box LEGO Motorized Excavator

The 8043 kit can also be used to make the Tracked Loader model that you can also download form the LEGO website here without having to buy any other parts for the model and you will even have parts left over from the loader build. The downloadable instructions is a handy feature and allows you to assemble and look at other models from this kit but you may not have all the parts for other models but I will go into more of that later.

The Motorized Excavator kit is a perfect one to use with books that help to show the LEGO building techniques and engineering basics behind the technics sets but the kit is also a fun time just following the instructions LEGO provides. The LEGO 8043 kit comes with the four medium sized motors and the two remote controls with two infrared receivers and one battery pack to run the motors and receivers.

The Power Functions system is LEGO’s newest remote control system for motorized vehicles or whatever other devices you could create and is really a dream to work with especially given the line of sight required by the remotes and sensors. The sensors have a domed top and do a great job of catching that line of sight no matter what direction the model is running at compared to where the operator would be standing and I had no problems controlling a tank or the excavator from about fifteen feet away.

The LEGO Power Functions website says the remote controls and receivers will work up to 33 feet away which is the same for just about any infrared devices I have seen and a typical range for these types of controllers. The domed top of the receivers make for a better line of sight so turning the vehicle your controlling is much less of an issue and I had no problem with the arm of the excavator blocking the signal.

Partly Built LEGO Motorized Excavator

You will have problems if you try to use the Power Functions remote controls and receivers at that thirty three foot rage as it is just not very good for longer distances but closer in at ten to twenty feet is very good. This type of remote control is really much better and more fun to use at the closer ranges and I really see no reason to use it at that far a range as it is just not fun when you can’t see the model well.

I built the excavator in about six hours but this may not be typical because I was taking breaks to snap a few pictures and answer emails so the building time will vary on both age of the modeler and understanding of LEGO building techniques. The instructions are easy to follow and only one small error on my part by choosing the wrong part made my build in any way not as smooth as it could have been.

I simply added the wrong piece early on and only after getting about three quarters of the way through the instructions and not finding the correct part did I realize I might have already used that part earlier and should not have. I simply went back in the instructions, found the step where I used the wrong part and partly disassembled the excavator to switch out the correct part and reassembled the parts I had to take off.

The LEGO Motorized Excavator kit is a great one to use for budding engineers or anyone interested on how motors, gears and tracked vehicles work and especially with the complicated gear assembly this model uses. The LEGO engineers also built and have instructions for a tracked loader that you can download from the LEGO Technics website which can be found here for easy download.

Track Detail LEGO Motorized Excavator

The Technic website has downloadable instructions for a wide variety of kits and you can easily try your hand at building these and seeing which ones have close to the right parts by looking through the instructions. You may need to buy some extra parts to finish some of the models the Technic website has instructions for but you have a great start to many of the models with the 8043 kit or any of the construction kits with the same amount of parts.

To find out if the LEGO Excavator kit could build another kit or what parts you would need to buy to finish another model you can go to the Brickset website to find lists of parts by set so you can see the possibility of making other models using the Motorized Excavator kit parts. The LEGO sites that others have created to help builders and collectors are really amazing and this comes to the buying part of the review and a site in the United States where you can buy additional parts.

If your budding engineer is looking to branch out from the kit instructions of the two models and make something else but needs a few specific parts the BrickLinks website can help you find a store that has the parts you need. The site is not really easy to use but there are plenty of helpers and a forum to help you if you have problems finding the parts or ordering and with a few orders just placed for some parts I can say the site is easy enough to use.

The Motorized Excavator kit number 8043 is a fantastic kit and really makes a great start to any young person’s LEGO collection if the common bricks are just not filling that building void the youth may be experiencing. LEGO’s go way beyond the simple houses and buildings I used to build as a kid when there were only a few dozen bricks available and no hint that it would turn into such a toy craze that it has.

Tracked Loader LEGO Motorized Excavator

I highly recommend the Motorized Excavator as a basic Technic kit to start a LEGO collection and the Power Functions remote control it contains is enough to start your own models without much else to worry about at the beginning. Of course over time the LEGO collection may need a bit of expanding so other kits or just parts to fill out specific models may be forth coming.

LEGO Motorized Excavator Website

LEGO Tracked Loader Instructions

Brickset Website

Bricklink Website

LEGO Education Storage Bin

LEGO Motorized Kit Video