Minifigure Monday – My Own Beat

My Own Beat
(An original LEGO® and Harry Potter inspired limerick from True North Bricks)

I am strutting down the street,
Proud to walk on my two feet.
Don’t care for the status quo,
Nor do I go with the flow.
I rock out to my own beat.

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This post was inspired by the Luna Lovegood Minifigure from the Harry Potter series.

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Coloring Page – Luna Lovegood

Here’s a new Harry Potter page for all you Wizarding World fans out there. This week, I present the quirky Luna Lovegood. You can use the link below to download a free, printable PDF of this coloring page (it will open in a new window). If you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for weekly coloring pages. Happy coloring!

Click here to download the Luna Lovegood coloring page.

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This is a sample of the Luna Lovegood coloring page, it is not print quality.

Review – Diagon Alley (40289)

Back in November, the LEGO® Store was giving away a micro-build of Diagon Alley along with qualifying purchases. My wife did much of her Christmas shopping for me on Black Friday, and this freebie came along with it. I actually got my hands on the set on Christmas. So, while this review may be a little late for many of you to actually get this set, I suppose it is better late than never.

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Diagon Alley box art.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Diagon Alley
SET #: 40289
THEME: Harry Potter
COST: Free with qualifying purchases
BRICK COUNT: 374
MINIFIGURES: 2
RELEASE DATE: November 9, 2018

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Diagon Alley box contents.

SUMMARY REVIEW: 73%

VALUE: 100% (It was free…)
BUILD: 50% (I am not a fan of this micro-build style.)
MINIFIGURES:
70% (One really nice Minifig, bad brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 70% (Good build time, but you can’t play with it.)

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The exterior of Gringotts Wizarding Bank

REVIEW

VALUE: 100%
It is hard to beat a free set… so I will give Diagon Alley a 5/5 (100%) in this category. The set was advertised as having a value of about $24.99 in Canada. So at that price, you would have been looking at $0.07 per brick, which is still an excellent value.

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The interior of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

BUILD: 50%
I am going to be honest right from the start here… I don’t like this micro Diagon Alley. I will discuss my feelings about these micro-builds more in the “Entertainment” section. But, in terms of the build, I find it only marginally looks like the actual buildings from the film. I am also not a fan of the varying scale seen through the set. The exterior is mostly built at one scale, but the interiors of Gringotts and Weasleys’ appear to be at another. I think it would have been a better approach to just seal off the buildings, and not provide interiors for any of them. There was also nothing in terms of interesting building techniques with this set.

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Ollivander’s

I do like the new printed tiles that were included for the cobble stone streets. I have not see those before, and it would be worth getting multiples of this set just for those. There is also a new light pink… could you call it sandy pink? I don’t know if this color comes more frequently in the Friends theme or something, but you really only get a few 1x1s in this set, so nothing substantial to build with. I’ll take off three points for the weird scaling, the marginal resemblance, and the lack of interesting build techniques. But, I will add two for the new bricks. Based on my rating scale, that lands Diagon Alley 5/10 (50%).

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Flourish & Blotts and Quality Quidditch Supplies

MINIFIGURES: 70%
Diagon Alley comes with one, exclusive Minifigure: Mr. Ollivander. For hardcore Potter fans, that is probably the main draw of this set. I am by no means a huge Harry Potter fan, but I did enjoy the books, and I have been collecting the Minifigure series. So, for me, this set was really just a way to get a another Minifigure. I love my Minifigs, especially free ones. Ollivander is a nicely designed one too. He comes with a hairpiece that I didn’t already have, as well as a double sided face. While he has a front and back printed torso, his legs are plain grey. He already has 11/15 (73%) just based on that. However, the set also comes with a number of accessories (most of which are incorporated into the build). You get two wands, two paint brushes, two mini-Minifigure statues, a top hat, a Minifigure head (with double sided face), and two black colored sausages. Those easily being the design score up to 15/15 (100%).

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Front view of Mr. Ollivander

With 374 bricks, you have a fairly-easy-to-calculate brick-to-Minifig ratio of 374-to-1. That is not so great, and earns 2/5 (40%). Averaging that with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 70%.

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Rear view of Mr. Ollivander

ENTERTAINMENT: 70%
This set took me 63 minutes to build. It was free, and I can’t complain about getting about an hour of complimentary build time. So, Diagon Alley gets 100% for value there. If this set had been purchased for the aforementioned $24.99, then each minute would have cost $0.40, which is still really good.

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Exterior of Weazleys’ Wizard Wheezes

I already mentioned that I don’t really like this set. This is the first micro-scale set that I have gotten and built. After building it, I don’t really see the point to having this. You can’t play with it, and it doesn’t really look an awful lot like the actual movie set, or what I imagined Diagon Alley looking like in the books. It would sit on my shelf collecting dust. This set was built and disassembled all in one day in my house. All the parts will be re-purposed. It does come with those interesting cobble stone printed tiles though, so I will give it 2/5 (40%) for enjoyment. Averaging that with the build time value score gives an overall entertainment rating of 70%.

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The interior of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.

OVERALL: 73%

As a freebie, Diagon Alley is worth it for the bricks, but mostly for the Minifigure of Mr. Ollivander. If it had not been free, it still would have been a good value set. But, I would not have paid for it. I am not impressed with the look of the micro-build. I also feel it serves little purpose since it is only a display piece with no play value. You can’t even put Ollivander in it for show because he is not the same scale as the set. I’m happy it was free. Do you have thoughts to share on the Diagon Alley freebie? Feel free to share them in the comments space below.

Until next time,

-Tom

p.s. If you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

 

Coloring Page – Mr. Ollivander

Garrick Ollivander was the renowned wand maker in the Harry Potter series of books and films. He was recently released as a Minifigure that came exclusively in the Diagon Alley micro-build set, which was given away for free at the LEGO® Store in November. I got that set for Christmas, and will be reviewing it later this week. It is quite a nice Minifigure, and worthy of its own coloring page. You can use the link below to download a printable PDF file of Ollivander (it will open in a new window).  If you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for weekly coloring pages. Happy coloring!

Click here to download the Mr. Ollivander coloring page.

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This is a sample of the Mr. Ollivander coloring page, it is not print quality.

My Top 10 LEGO® Photos of 2018

As many of you know, True North Bricks is also on Instagram (click here to check it out). I post many of my LEGO® photos there. Since 2018 is drawing to a close, I thought it would be fun to look back my best photos from the past year. But, how does one decide what their own best photos were? I certainly had a number of pictures that I was particularly proud of. But, then I thought why not let you guys pick them? So, here are my top 10 photos of 2018 as determined by the number of likes that they got from you guys on Instagram. Thanks for sharing this blogging journey with me this year!

10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom LEGO-fied

On July 5, I had a little fun with some dinosaurs, Minifigures, and bricks to recreate one of the posters from the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie. It achieved 92 likes this year.

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom LEGO-fied.

09. Don’t Even Breathe…

This shot was published on my birthday, June 23, as part of my review of the Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape set (click here to read it). I had a lot of fun photographing the figurines in that set, and this was probably my favorite photo from the shoot. It got 93 likes this year.

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Don’t even breathe…

08. Chemical Storage Locker

This past fall, I shared my latest MOC project. It was a police station that I had been planning, building, tearing down, and re-building for years. Each week, I posted a bit about each of the floors in the high-rise. This shot was published on October 30 along with the description of the CSI Lab I created on the fifth floor (click here to read about it). You guys hit the “like” button 93 times for this one. While it got the same number of likes as the previous photo, it gathered almost 200 more impressions, so I put it in 8th place.

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Chemical Storage Locker

07. Larry’s Date

The next photo on my countdown comes from February 19. Early in the year, I wrote a series of poems inspired by Larry the LEGO® Barista from the LEGO® Movie. I imagined a chapter out of his life, and wrote it in a series of rhymes over 8 weekly installments (click here to start reading the story). This was by far the most popular of the photos I took to go along with the poems, earning 99 likes.

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Larry’s date

06. Albus Dumbledore

I have been slowly working my way through various photos, poems, and coloring pages starring the Minifigures from the Harry Potter series. The headmaster of Hogwarts has been one of the most popular so far, earning 101 likes. He was published on November 19, along with a Minifigure Monday poem inspired by the character (click here to read it).

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Albus Dumbledore

05. Christmas Lloyd

Halfway through the list comes Lloyd Garmadon… the Christmas ornament. This was one of Hallmark’s keepsake releases for 2018 (click here to read more about it). I buy one for my geek tree every year, and for the last two years I have been treated with Minifigure inspired additions. This one got 102 likes when I published it on December 11.

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Christmas Lloyd

04. Hunting for Dinosaurs

My birthday was a good day for popular photos. This was another one from my Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape review. This was actually a surprise entry for me. I just snapped this shot without putting much thought or effort into it, but it seems to have resonated with a lot of people. It reached 104 likes.

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Hunting for Dinosaurs

03. Harley Quinn

Always a fan favorite, this picture of Harley was my reigning champion for weeks after it was published on September 13. It was taken while I was shooting for my Joker’s Notorious Lowrider review (click here to read it). Harley reached 107 likes.

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Harley Quinn

02. Living with this Infamy

Another surprise for me was the popularity of this Ninjago inspired photo. It was taken for a poem that I published on December 9 (click here to read it). The work was inspired by Lloyd Garmadon from the LEGO® Ninjago Movie. I spent some time trying to recreate the mood of the poem in a photo, but I didn’t expect so many people to like it. This shot got the thumbs up 109 times.

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Living with this Infamy

01. Sybill Trelawney

The number one spot goes to another of my Harry Potter inspired works. This was the first one that I published, on November 5. It also went along with a Minifigure Monday poem (click here to read it). I had a lot of fun learning to create the look of a spell being cast using Photoshop. It was taken using a piece of scrapbook paper as the background. It achieved 120 likes.

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Sybill Trelawney

Thanks again for all the support this year. True North Bricks has grown by leaps and bounds in 2018 because of all of you. I hope to share more of my journey with you all in 2019.

Warmest wishes for the new year,

-Tom

p.s. If you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

Coloring Page – Filius Flitwick

The next in my series of LEGO® Harry Potter coloring pages is Professor of Charms, Filius Flitwick. You can use the link below to download a PDF copy of this coloring page (it will open in a new window). If you like the content here at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for weekly coloring pages. Happy coloring!

Click here to download the Filius Flitwick coloring page

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This is a sample of the Filius Flitwick coloring page, it is not print quality.

Minifigure Monday – Constant Vigilance

Constant Vigilance
(An original LEGO® and Harry Potter inspired poem from True North Bricks)

Conspiracies and endless lies,
Surrounded by a sea of spies.
Be ever watchful and alert,
Or you’ll end up six feet in dirt.
Learn to not just look, but see.
Constant vigilance is key.

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This poem was inspired by the Alastor Moody character from the Harry Potter series.