review: Cobi Action Town Dairy Farm (1873)


When I reviewed my first Cobi set a couple of years ago, I lamented the fact that it would probably be my last Cobi review as the hobby store where I purchased the set was going out of business, and importing the sets from Europe was not an option. Finding online bargains on Cobi sets was something of a rarity, but I finally stumbled across an online retailer which had some deeply discounted Cobi sets.  This particular set is part of Cobi’s “Action Town” theme, although I fail to see how a dairy farm fits in with the “action” part of the theme. Continue reading


review: Enlighten The War of Glory – Defend Barrack (2303)


Source: Enlighten

Like Lego’s Nexo Knights, The War of Glory is Enlighten’s update of their medieval Castle theme. Unlike the hybrid sci-fi/fantasy universe of Nexo Knights, The War of Glory takes place in a more traditional fantasy world filled with human knights, elven warriors, noble dwarves, and all manner of mythical beasts. I understand that it’s more than a little inspired by a popular MMORPG, but I’ll have to take other peoples’ word for that. Continue reading

review: C3 Construction Shopkins Kinstructions Checkout Lane (37330)


Last holiday season, I asked one of my coworkers what he was getting his children for Christmas. He listed off the usual “evergreen” toy properties (Lego, Barbie, etc). Then he asked me, “Do you know what Shopkins are?” I told him that I didn’t. “They’re the dumbest thing ever,” he said rolling his eyes. He then proceeded to explain to me what Shopkins were, and I was inclined to agree with him.  A short time later, I was out shopping for gifts for my own family, and I happened to see these C3 Construction “Kinstructions” (a horrible neologism) in the store. Continue reading

review: Grin Studios iiFun Build A Buds Scorpio (101 Pieces)


April may be over, but “Easter eggs” of sorts can still be found at Target stores in the form of these iiFun “Build A Buds” (as they’re called on the website, but not anywhere on the ovoid packaging) from Grin Studios. They won’t be found in Target’s bargain area or their seasonal area. I found them tucked away in the Outdoor Toys aisle with some other budget-conscious trinkets. This particular Build A Bud is named Scorpio. Continue reading

review: Grafix Block Tech Fast & Furious Extreme Chase (132 Pieces)


Summer Movie season is off to a roaring start with the eighth(!) installment of The Fast and the Furious film series (otherwise known as “Superheroes with Cars”) reportedly doing quite well globally in theaters, so I thought we would take a look at one of the final sets Block Tech put out before losing the license to the F&F property. While I’m sure that the terms of the license were limited from the beginning, I would like to think somebody at Universal Studios realized that they had mistakenly handed Block Tech a merchandising license to one of their most lucrative properties then quickly terminated the partnership when they saw what Block Tech was churning out. Anyway, here’s the face of the packaging. Study it carefully: we’ll be coming back to it later in this review. Continue reading

review: Winner City Series Modern Paradise 7038A


If the box office success of The Lego Batman Movie has proven anything, it’s that audiences really, really, really, really love clowns. Why else would they go to see a film called The Lego Batman Movie? Out of love for Lego? For Batman? No, people clearly flocked to theaters to see the Joker (who sometimes goes by the alias, “The Clown Prince of Crime”). He’s just such a happy guy, always smiling and laughing! Sure, there’s the whole criminal thing, but my point remains the same: everybody loves a clown.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to have a look at a small set from a new Chinese building block brand called Winner. The company that produces Winner also produces Bela blocks, a brand most commonly associated with bootleg Lego Friends and Ninjago sets. With Winner, they appear to be making a grab for a global audience (and some legitimacy) with original themes and set designs. Even the name Winner projects a universal familiarity (not to mention self-confidence mixed with maybe a touch of arrogance). Unfortunately, I don’t have a photograph of the packaging. The vendor I sourced this set from did not offer that option, which is why this review opened with a picture of “America’s Sweetheart.” What Joker has to do with Winner will become abundantly clear in a moment. Continue reading