January 2019 Haul

It feels like it was just over a week ago that I posted my last haul article… oh wait a minute, it was… I had originally planned to wait until later in January to make another LEGO® purchase. However, this week the LEGO® Store surprised me with a unique freebie. Apparently the LEGO® Group has now opened its 100th store in North America, and to celebrate, they released a commemorative Minifigure. I had some gift cards from Christmas to spend, so I figured why not? In addition to that, I have an update on the Build-a-Mini tower for you, some other freebie info, and my haul!

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My January 2019 LEGO® Haul.

To begin with, you needed to spend $50 in store to get yourself the commemorative Minifigure. So, I spent a while contemplating just what I should get. It was a hard decision. I ended up picking up Indoraptor Rampage at Lockwood Estate (75930). I have wanted this set for a while because I love dinosaurs, the Jurassic Park franchise, and I can see loads of MOC possibilities with this set. Plus, like I said, I had some gift cards. So, I had the option of going with a more extravagant set this time around. You all seem to like Jurassic World content as well. For the last few weeks, my Jurassic World posts have been getting some major hits. So, I’ll have more of those articles and coloring pages heading your way soon.

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Indoraptor Rampage at Lockwood Estate

The second set you see in the image above is actually not part of my purchased haul, but I did get it this month. I caught up with a good friend who gave it to me as a belated Christmas present. So, since it missed the Christmas haul post, it gets a mention here. I am actually pretty excited to put this one together. One of my favorite Batman story lines in recent years has been The Court of Owls. This set, Batman: The Attack of the Talons, is based on that (Talons were assassins for the Court of Owls in the comics).

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Batman: Attack of the Talons

I also check the Build-a-Mini tower every time I go to the LEGO® Store, just to see if there are new pieces. As luck would have it, this time there was. There were some leftovers from Christmas (you could build Mrs. Claus, there was an elf hat with elf ears, and Santa hats too). But, those were out of season, so I didn’t go for them. There were other unique parts that are worth mentioning though. As many of you know, if you are patient and willing to collect odds and ends from the Build-a-Mini tower, you can eventually put together pretty good facsimiles of Minifigures from a retired series. This time around, I saw the pants and hair for the Karate Master from series two. I didn’t get those though. But, I did pick up the following:

  • the red mohawk from the Battle Dwarf seen in series 17
  • a different color variant of the backpack worn by the Hiker in series 16
  • the panda mask from series 12
  • the saw from the Construction Worker in series 13
  • the bulldog from series 17
  • torso from the Thespian in series 8
  • torso from the Motorcycle Mechanic in series 10
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Front view of the Build-a-Mini figurines that I put together.

As I mentioned with the backpack before, it is not unheard of to get different color variations of parts seen in sets or from the Minifigure series. I was particularly intrigued on this trip to find a blond version of Barbara Gordon’s hair from the LEGO® Batman Movie. Until now, that piece was uniquely seen in those sets (to the best of my knowledge). There was also two different options of two-toned legs sporting the pants and boots looks (I picked up one version). Two of my characters were made to have an oriental style of dress to go with the MOC I recently started. The third was built to have a punk look.

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Rear view of the Build-a-Mini figurines that I put together.

And now, on to the pièce de résistance… the commemorative Minifigure. This is actually a two part freebie. First, you get the Minifigure. It comes in a Comic Con-esque blister pack with a golden card insert. The Minifigure is actually a variant of the polybag that was given away at the LEGO® Store in 2013. However, this time, he comes with a front and back printed torso, and a printed 2×4 brick. The other part of the freebie is a golden poster.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, any purchase at the LEGO® Store got you a LEGO® Movie 2 double-sided poster. My LEGO® Store was even kind enough to give me TWO of these posters, so I can display both sides simultaneously!

As always, thanks for stopping by, and feel free to share any thoughts in the comments space below. More of you have been reaching out in recent weeks, and I have genuinely enjoyed the interactions (meeting new LEGO® fans was one of the reasons I started True North Bricks, after all).

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.

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Christmas Haul 2018

The build up to Christmas always seems so long, and then it is over in a flash. I hope all of you took the time to enjoy it. It was hectic for me, but I still love Christmas. This year was particularly fruitful in terms of LEGO® sets. My wife and I bought our first house this past year, so my LEGO® budget has been drastically slashed in the last few months. My family really came together to help me keep True North Bricks going with set reviews. I got a super haul, and I am really excited to get building and reviewing over the next few weeks. So, what did I get?

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My Christmas 2018 Haul… I was spoiled this year 🙂

  • Batgirl Minifigure Keychain
  • 30184 – Creator: Pirate Roller Coaster
  • 40289 – Harry Potter: Diagon Alley (micro build)
  • 40292 – Buildable Holiday Present
  • 40305 – The LEGO® Brand Store
  • 40311 – Xtra: Traffic Lights
  • 60165 – City: 4×4 Response Unit
  • 60181 – City: Forest Tractor
  • 60193 – City: Arctic Air Transport
  • 60195 – City: Arctic Mobile Exploration Base
  • 60205 – City: Train Tracks
  • 70608 – Ninjago Movie: Master Falls
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Buildable Holiday Present, train tracks, Diagon Alley, Xtra Traffic Lights, and Batgirl keychain.

A couple of the items on the list were fillers or freebies. I know my wife took advantage of double VIP points on Black Friday, which also landed me the Diagon Alley and Buildable Holiday Present. Then she convinced some other family members to shop on the surprise double VIP points weekend in early December. The Xtra polybag and Batgirl came along then to fill the cart… sadly LEGO® had run out of the carousel freebie. I also got the train tracks. Who doesn’t always need more train tracks?

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Pirate Roller Coaster

Two roller coaster sets were released this year. One was the huge Creator version. I would LOVE to have that set… but it is a little too pricey for now. I was happy that a more affordable variant was also released. The Pirate Roller Coaster has the added perk of being pirate themed (as the name suggests). I was big on pirate sets when I was younger, and this is a fun way to bring that nostalgia into my city.

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The LEGO® Brand Store

My sister got me the LEGO® Brand Store on a recent trip to New York. This set has been a little hard to come by in Canada (at least in my neck of the woods). I have some renovation plans for the MOC LEGO® Store in my city, and this will help out with those.

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4×4 Response Unit

The 4×4 Response Unit will bolster my coast guard, which I started to collect for my trip to Costa Rica this past summer. Believe it or not, I don’t actually have a LEGO® squid yet, so that is a score in my books too. I will eventually build my LEGO® beach, so this set will fit nicely.

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Forest Tractor

The Forest Tractor is a set that has been on my wish list for a while. My dad works in the forestry industry, and I used to occasionally go on business trips with him when I was little. I went to logging sites and shows, which were full of equipment like this. I even got to drive similar machines when I was lucky. So, this set has a lot of sentimental value for me.

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Arctic Air Transport

The Arctic sets were also big on my list this year. I waited to buy them myself because I wanted snow outside before I photographed them. I am really looking forward to those photo shoots. I am also a science geek, so the whole idea of digging up frozen creatures from the past is always fascinating. Additionally, LEGO® animals are one of the things I like to collect. The woolly mammoth and saber-tooth tiger were must-haves!

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Arctic Mobile Exploration Base

Finally, Master Falls, has also been on my wish list for a while. I am looking forward to getting a closer look at the building techniques for this rope bridge. I will find a place for it in my city (or outskirts thereof). It should be fun to photograph as well.

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Master Falls

That was a long ramble… can you tell that I had a quiet and uneventful Christmas Day? I hope you did too. Though I said it in my post yesterday, I will say it again. Happy Holidays to all of you, my readers, and thanks for continuing to swing by my little corner of the web.

Until next time,

-Tom

p.s. I would love to hear about your Holiday LEGO® hauls in the comments below. Also, 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.

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Merry Christmas, I hope you all had wonderful LEGO® hauls.

October 2018 LEGO® Haul

This year was supposed to be the year that I finally took part in Bricktober, and finally got myself one of those exclusive Toys R Us Minifigure packs. In the past, I have always made my October purchase at the LEGO® Store because I have always felt that double VIP points, and whatever monthly freebie that went with it, was always a better deal. Don’t get me wrong, I think those Bricktober Minifigure packs are awesome, and I have been tempted by them each and every year. But, double points and a freebie trumps four Minifigs in my personal opinion. This year, with no announcement of double VIP points when the October LEGO® Store calendar came out, I decided to go with Toys R Us. But, it was not meant to be…

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My October 2018 LEGO® Haul (with some festive props).

As it turned out, double VIP points was back this October. Instead of being the whole month, like it has been in the past, it was announced partway through the month, and only for the last two weeks of October. On a recent trip to the LEGO® Store, I asked an associate about the fact these events have not been advertised the last few times, and I was told that LEGO® Store employees don’t even know they are coming until they start nowadays. In any case, I opted to make a big purchase that I have been eyeing for some time in order to rack up my points. I bought Ninjago City Docks, and a pick-a-brick cup (they had 1×1 and 1×2 dark grey bricks that I am in desperate need of for my MOCs). That also landed me the freebie Minifigure frame that is currently being offered with purchases over $75.

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Box art for the October 2018 Minifigure frame freebie.

In terms of the frame, I was a little underwhelmed. I have seen Minifig frames for sale before, and have even been tempted to get one. However, this one is nothing really special. The whole thing is actually cardboard. I will still put it up for now, but one day I might change it for a higher quality one. I can’t complain too much about this because it was free. You also get a 32×32 baseplate with it, and  bunch of pieces used to build the Minifigure stands. A baseplate this size with normally set you back $10. So, if you don’t like the cardboard frame, you can trash it for a the new, dark grey baseplate that is glue to it. There is also a LEGO® printed tile in the mix.

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The freebie LEGO® frame with the Minifigure stands assembled.

This frame also comes with an exclusive Minifigure. I quite like this character. He comes with a rubber duck flotation device, like the one we saw in the LEGO® Batman Movie Minifigure series. It is really his facial expressions and t-shirt that I find amusing though. He has a double-sided face, with one side featuring Kanye-style sunglasses. The other side, which you don’t get to see on the packaging and ads, is this hilarious whistling expression that makes him look like he’s checking out some hottie walking by. To add to the story, he’s wearing a cheese-ball tank top that shows a muffin with the word “stud” written on it.

So, am I sad that I missed out on the great Bricktober promos this year? A little. But, I now have enough VIP points to get a pretty decent sized, free set. The frame was nice to get as a freebie, and at worst it gives me a cool Minifig, and a free baseplate. While it is cardboard, I will still use it to display the Minifig series I am collecting at any given time. How do you feel about this year’s Bricktober versus double VIP points/frame promotions? I’m curious to hear which option you went for and what your reasoning was.

Until next time,

-Tom

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Alternate expression of the exclusive Minifigure that comes with the October 2018 LEGO® Store Minifig frame freebie.

Great Day and Contest Update!

Wow – what a day! It all began with a trip to the LEGO® Store. As many of you know, you get double VIP points with all purchases this week. Spending $199 or more will also get you the beach tote bag. Since I am leaving on my long awaited beach vacation to Costa Rica in just one week, obviously I had to get the tote bag! With double VIP points as well, this was the opportunity that I was waiting for to finally get Destiny’s Bounty from the Ninjago Movie.

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My new Destiny’s Bounty and beach tote bag!

Then, I get home and start tweeting about my purchase, when I see a tweet from fellow Canadian LEGO® fan, Canada Brick Dude (click here to visit his YouTube channel). He found Clayface Splat Attack from the LEGO® Batman Movie for $10.00 at Walmart. This set normally costs $44.99 in Canada, so you are looking at a phenomenal savings of 78%. You don’t get a deal like that everyday! I quickly checked online, but the deal was not available. So, back into the car, and off to Walmart I went. Canada Brick Dude’s video shows the discounted price on the box. At my Walmart, there was no indication that the price had changed. I grabbed a box anyway, and went to the price-check station. Sure enough, the price popped up at $10.00. SOLD!!! I spent way too much on LEGO® today, but I saved almost 80% on one set, got $20 worth of VIP points, and a beach tote bag for my vacation. Do I feel guilty? A little. Do I feel like it’s Christmas? Absolutely.

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I picked Clayface Splace Attack up for $10 at my local Walmart!

Finally, on to a little bit of news. I have been running a giveaway here on True North Bricks for the last month. Up for grabs is one Jurassic World Dr. Wu Minifigure. The results are in, and I got over 100 likes on Facebook for this promotion. Thanks so much to everyone who entered! At this point in time, the draw has been completed. I have notified the winner, and am just waiting for their response before publishing their name. If they do not respond in a reasonable amount of time, I will draw another name.

Did you take advantage of double VIP points? Find another great deal this weekend? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time,

-Tom

Batman Movie Score!

I went out yesterday to do my usual weekly groceries, but also to stop by Toys R Us. You might recall that I took advantage of a special at Toys R Us last month (click here to read about it). I got a $10 rebate card, and I went to redeem it. Since last month was a pricey LEGO month, I decided to keep it on the cheap this March. So, I got the Spinjitzu Training set (70606), and the Road Worker (30357). With the rebate, the Spinjitzu set cost me $3.00, which is pretty sweet. I will review both of those sets later though.

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My little LEGO haul for March.

When I hit Walmart for my groceries, I did my usual browsing of the movie section, and I found a new version of the LEGO Batman Movie that comes with an “exclusive” Batgirl Minifigure. I did a piece last June on all the different options available for buying the movie (click here to check it out). At the time, Target in the US and Amazon in Canada were offering this very same set. Amazon still has it for an exorbitant $40. I picked mine up at Walmart for $15. You get the Blu-ray, DVD, digital download, Batgirl Minifigure, and three Batman postcards. I am really glad I ended up waiting to pick up this movie, because it is half the price from what it would have cost me in June, and about 66% off of the current Amazon.ca price. I got mine in store, but Walmart.ca also offers it for the same price.

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Postcards that come in the special edition of the LEGO Batman Movie.

In terms of the freebies included, the postcards are nothing special. They are printed on relatively cheap paper compared to standard postcard fare, but for something free, you can’t really complain too much. The Batgirl Minifigure is a nice touch though. As far as being “exclusive” goes, she is almost identical to the Batgirl that comes in the regular LEGO sets. Her facial expressions appear to be different though. At least they are different from the Batgirl Minifigures that I already have. Other than the double-sided face print though, she is no different.

The regular edition of The LEGO Batman Movie currently retails for $13.99 on Blu-ray at Walmart. So, for a dollar more, you get Batgirl and the postcards. I think that is a pretty good deal, even if the exclusive Batgirl is not so exclusive. So, if you have waited to buy this movie like I did, now might be a good time to head on over to Walmart!

Until next time,

-Tom

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LEGO Batgirl that came with the special edition of the LEGO Batman Movie that I picked up at Walmart.

At it again… and it’s still February.

I just posted about my LEGO haul for the month the other day (click here to read about it). I got a bunch of stuff on Valentine’s Day at the LEGO Store in order to get myself the freebie sunflower. Well, yesterday I did my usual rundown of Canadian LEGO deals for the week (click here if you are interested), and found another fun one. My wife is out of town, meaning so is my conscience. So, after work I swung by Toys R Us. They were having sales on some sets I was interested in, and spending $30 got you the LEGO Creator “Cute Pug” polybag for free. When I got to the store, there were signs all over the place advertising last week’s promo as well, which was a $10 LEGO rebate card for March that came with purchases over $50. So, again, I spent more than I planned to.

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LEGO haul #2 for February 2018

But, (and this part is for my wife who may read this before I get a chance to tell her what I did) I got a good deal! The set I bought was 20% off, I got a $10 gift card, and a LEGO pug worth $5.00. Additionally, if you really think about it, I spent my VIP points and last Christmas gift card at the LEGO Store earlier in the week. So, in reality, I only bought one set this month… I have such a wonderful and understanding wifey 🙂

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LEGO 30542 Cute Pug

The pug, as its name suggests, is actually quite cute. It is officially numbered as Creator set 30542, and consists of 68 bricks. The large majority of those go towards building the pug, but you also get a fire hydrant for puggy to pee on. It is a three in one build, so you can get a turkey and a koala out of the same bricks. I was not able to figure out that the third build was a koala, I had to look that one up on LEGO’s official site… My receipt shows that this set would normally retail for $4.99 if you don’t get it through this promotion. That means each brick would cost $0.07, which is actually an excellent value even if you buy this guy. So, if you like pugs and have some other LEGO purchases in mind, this is a decent deal, especially if your Toys R Us still has last week’s promo going along side this one.

As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time!

-Tom

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LEGO 30542 Cute Pug