review: Winner City Series Modern Paradise 7038A

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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

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update: F.A.Q. Page Created

This is something that I’ve been meaning to put together for some time now. Although I’ve written a number of reviews over the years, none receive more regular views than the ones I’ve written for Hasbro’s Kre-O Transformers Brick Boxes. As a consequent, those reviews are also the reviews that have received the most number of comments. I hope that with the creation of a F.A.Q. page, some visitors’ questions will be answered.

More reviews and other fun things are coming soon! Thanks for visiting!

review: Kre-O Transformers Optimus Prime Brick Box (B2963/B2312 Asst.)

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Happy New Year! 2017 is well underway, but I thought we could take a look at a product that probably found its way under many Christmas trees last month. These Kre-O Brick Boxes can be found at discount retailers like Dollar General, but a reader of this blog (and other sources around the Internet) recently reported finding variants with different contents at Walgreens drug stores. If you haven’t yet read my reviews of other Kre-O Brick Boxes, you can read them here. Unsurprisingly, there’s not much different to report with this one. Continue reading

review: SSM Vending Brick Ops (Various)

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Source: SSM Vending

Have we attained “Peak Brick” yet? The thought occurred to me as I passed by the coin-operated capsule machines at my local supermarket and noticed these toys priced at a paltry USD$.50. With interest in the hobby skyrocketing, we live at a time when new brands (foreign and domestic) enter the global building block market each year to meet the seemingly inexhaustible demand for new product. Sets from other regions that once would have been considered rare or exotic are virtually at one’s fingertips as long as one has Internet access. There’s practically a theme or product line that caters to nearly every demographic of the toy buying public. Now that a building block fan can get a quick construction fix from a vending machine for only two quarters, is the hobby doomed to enter into a state of decline? Out of curiosity both journalistic and morbid, I broke a twenty to purchase two plastic capsules and learn the answer. Continue reading

review: Mega Bloks Kubros Terminator: Genisys T-800 Guardian (25)

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Collectible vinyl toys have gained greater visibility in recent years, Funko Pop! being one of the most pervasive brands. One may argue that the apparent popularity of Funko Pop! is mostly due to the rise of “-Box” monthly subscription services which seem to have access to an inexhaustible supply of them. Personally, I don’t see the appeal to these toys. They don’t seem all that fun, and I never hear about anybody actually playing with them. They only serve as signifiers to others that the owner is aware of some facet of pop culture. Of the two major building block brands, Mega Bloks was the first to attempt to horn in on this trend with their Kubros line. The greatest advantage that Kubros has over any collectible vinyl toy is that the component parts can be used to build something else if the builder doesn’t enjoy it or grows tired of it. Continue reading