Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cuusoo of the Day: The Original Portal Project, a triple-changer, and a tour of space conflicts!

Special Note: 

If you are going to support Thinking with Portals, please also support T-bricks project Portal Test Chamber.

T-bricks beat them to the punch my more than six months and the project is very well thought out.  Additionally, Cuusoo has made it clear that they might, but are unlikely to, make new parts for Cuusoo projects.  If Lego does not make the 5+ new parts that "Thinking with Portals" requires, then it is GOING to end up looking a lot like T-bricks original submission.

There is absolutely no reason to not support both Projects.

Final Plea,
Hey, if you are coming to Cuusoo for the first time just to support Portal, why not also take a look at some of the other great projects you have never heard of and give them your support too.

If you go to this link:
and then click on "Most Supported" you will see all the Cuusoo projects in order of Support level.  I guarantee you, you will find something else that also impresses you enough to give it some support. 

Thank you and Cheers,


Now on with the Show...

Pick of the Day: 2012.06.28

Tri Changer Helicopter Buggy Mecha Robot
by Alanyap

Take note people:

"Transformation doesn't require individual parts to be dismantled or detached. (except his weapon/payload). "

 This is a technical marvel!  Not only a Robot to vehicle converter but a triple changer!  This MOC really showcases how dynamic Lego can be!  I really love how the propellers fold up too.  This more than anything puts "other" brick companies to shame. 

Honorable Mention

Star Wars - Star Tours Starspeeder 3000
by Hjr-holland

I have seen a lot of MOCs for Disney rides on Cuusoo but this is by far the best.  It looks very professional with a legitimate audience and works well with the partnerships that Lego has with both Star Wars and Disney.

I appreciate the non-sticker blue lines! Utilizing creative angles construction.  This was a hair's breath away form pick of the day.

Why it isn't My Pick of the Day

Thinking with Portals!
by Brickthing

I am sure lots of people expected this to be the project of the day for me, it did get to 1k in the first 24 hours of release.  So I figured some of you would like my justification for not putting it in either of the top two spots.

To clarify, it is not that I don't like this project, it is obviously a lot of good work.  I just like the Triple Changer and Star Tours sets better.  Had this come out earlier this week it would have been my Pick of the Day.  Could it be better, sure.   
The short story

The project relies too heavily on custom parts without need and uses showmanship rather than substance in my opinion.

Also I think a project doing Portal should have a least ONE gimmick that allows for a portal type effect.

Ok, now for the Long drawn out version of how my mind works

First, I disagree with the creators statement:

"Evan, one of the extremely talented MOCers collaborating in the project assured me that there was no way to properly brick-build the turrets or Portal gun at minifig scale while still following legal LEGO techniques."

I find that to be a totally unfounded argument and not in creative spirit of Lego.  Fortunately you do not have to take my word for it (note: some of these use the Illegal severed hand technique but those severed hands could be easily replaced with legal option, the core body is still obviously a portal turret)


Not to mention....

Portal Test Chamber
by T-brick

So first, I am much more in support of projects that creatively address modelling than hammering though them

Both the Pick of the Days encountered a severe challenge and implemented it with existing elements.  The triple changer changes 3 times without reconstruction.  The Star Tours uses a slanted build technique to implement a blue stripe rather than going with the stickers that are a common alternative.

Now that that is out of the way, lets review the actual project on what is presents

Lets say you are an absolute Portal fan and you just want to support a Portal Project because you love Portal and Lego...well, you already have a project to support (see above).  Which does not rely on custom parts or slick graphics.   

I don't tend to give support to projects that are not providing something new to the Cuusoo catalog.

Now the content.  Of no consequence and easily dismissed (for me): the  portal Lego game:

Like 90% of the "games" suggested on Cuusoo it is a MOC with no details on valid game play.  Apparently it is a puzzle game...but how do you keep a puzzle game fresh more than once?  Its like playing the same crossword puzzle again and again.  The suggestion is you have a friend make a new puzzle...but why not just spend you time playing Portal?  The MOC is very nice...but...

I don't support game projects that don't have legitimately described game mechanics.

Now the most Portal like set presented in the project

  Take the custom parts form this, which Lego is not likely to produce and you loose the turrets and gun.  Now take away all the decorated tile.  Since there is no special portal builds in here to get a portal effect...What do you have...3 walls and a platform and some boxes which looks like this:

Darth Maul's Revenge

Guess what, I didn't support this project either, and unless you are one of the 10 that did,...neither did you.  Sorry Alclone :(.

I don't support projects that are mostly walls

Now the core picture:

What I see here is a Minifig contorted in an impossible pose, holding a gun made of three custom parts that Glows with and internal light.  Then we see a robot head coming through a round hole.  None of the content of the project allows for the construction of a round hole that the robot can go all.. So...this image is for all intents an advertisement, a mislead....Even forgiving the custom parts...You have impossible Lego configuration, Luminous elements, and a depiction of something you can't do with the set.

This picture, and all the MOCS related to this project seem to me like a really good trailer to as sequel of a beloved film, a really good trailer for a really bad movie that is.   

Just like LDD designs for super sized vessels that could not support their own weight or Virtual builds that would fall over all the time...

I tend to not support projects which have a misleading (intentionally or unintentionally) presentation to the audience about what their project is capable of doing. 

So, we are left with this:

So, This is legitimate core of the project in my opinion

This is a really good MOC.  I am been assured the robot can stand on its own, and I don't doubt it given that they actually build it.  I can think of many ways I would do it myself.  I doubt they could get the tube to curve exactly as presented on the walkway given that it only has 2 anchor points but I am not going to quibble over that.  The gun looks like it would make the figure fall over but it has the anchor points on the stand so ok...

I really don't care that much for this set though personally...What is it a depiction of?...the last 10 minutes of Portal 2...doesn't really capture the essence of the game...the Journey....just the termination of it.  I accept I could be wrong...I only saw all of Portal 1 and a  bit of Portal 2, but I never saw this room and with think puzzles and dimensional holes...not a robot snake hanging from the ceiling.  What playability does it have?  Do you just dance the Fig around the robot?  I really don't know?  Someone please tell me. 

Now I compare all the sets of the day...and what do you get....

Tri Changer Helicopter Buggy Mecha Robot is a Lego MOC that transforms from a robot to a helicopter to a buggy without being taken apart. It uses no custom parts, showcases astounding Lego craftsmanship, and is presented in glorious true Lego.  Not to mention that the playability of it is off the charts. 

No contest, This set is totally better than a robot handing from a stand with a minifig on a platform.

Star Wars - Star Tours Starspeeder 3000 uses clever technique,  has a wide audience appeal, it is a clean build.  It almost looks like an authentic set and looks very professional.  Its made of real Lego.  They are close but I go a bit more towards the Starspeeder  Playability hot huge but you have a cast of figs and a ship.  In theory, since you no doubt have a lots of Lego you could "tour" you Lego with it.  

So Tours vs Hanging robot.  Both very good MOCS, but I like the Tour better.  It does not use unrealistic images or non-existent parts and has more playability, not to mention...its actually built. 

That is why Portal 2 did not make my list of top MOCS for the Day. 


Second Look
Portal Test Chamber
by T-brick

This was an easy one.  If you like Portal and Lego...then this is the a great choice.  No unique parts.  Actual holes in the walls.  No distracting flashiness.  Heck, no reason not to support both.  Nothing says that two similar projects can't both get to 10k.

If you are fan of creative use of Lego then give T-brick the credit for rising to the "challenge" of making minifig scale Turrets and Portal gun out of Lego instead of designing the parts to fit the bill.

Parting Pics
Here is an example of how a Portal style gimmick can be pulled of with minimal parts and very clean:


Cuusoo of the Day: Get a Clue and a Combine

Pick of the Day

Clue (board game), microfigure scale
by Rodiziorobs

I quibbled with myself a long time before choosing this one.  I was wondering if I should disqualify it on the face that being a Hasbro product it won't get through review...I decided I liked it too much to care.  
by Dr.runright

Another from the prolific Dr.runright.  Nice, very realistic.

Notable Series



Cuusoo of the Day: Walkers and Art Centers

Pick of the Day

by Yairmccoy

This is a fun looking walker.  Well crafted with creative legs.  I am surprised that it stands on its own on a firm surface let alone the...bed? it looks like its on  I guess there could be some trick photography at play but lets assume it stands.  So, for its creative design, technical achievement, and viable scale I give it the Pick of the Day.

Honorable Mention

Logan Center for the Arts
by Fallentomato

Compact and Engaging.  Sell-able scale with some interesting techniques.   

Notable +
I wanted to explain why these two did not make the cut.  They are Notable+ I guess.

by Lirinco

Its a little hard to judge the Technic stuff.  A lot of how good it is is how well it moves...and we don't really have that to judge this set by.  But it looks very good.   There are plenty of Technic Cranes though and I am not sure this really provides anything more than what we have already seen in the field.   If the tracks were powered then I would have been persuaded to put this as pick of the day. 
Southwestern Adobe House
by Scottfromsc

This is an astounding MOC.  I know plenty of people form El Paso who would want to own it.  But for its scale it really does not seem to do that much.  There are no internals and it does not harken to a famous structure.  So,  I love it for the MOC that it is, but I can't see it being a viable product based on its cost vs demand, so I can't give it the Pick of the Day. 


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cuusoo of the Day: Tron, Ice Cream, and Blasters

 Lego News

A new commercial is out for the Lego SWTOR Fury and Interceptor: 

Cuusoo of the Day

This is a Monday which has double the projects so, as usual I make Two picks of the Day

Pick of the Day #1
TRON: Legacy Vehicles
by 4estfeller

Add "Black" to front of the title of this project and I would be all over it.  I doubt Tron Legacy has the draw to get its own Cuusoo sets, but I have always wanted some re-imaginings of the Blacktron line.  4estfeller presents a very nice line of Black and Trans-neon vehicles which fit the bill perfectly. 

Pick of the Day #2
Ice Cream Truck
by Joeypoh

This is a well done ice cream truck, instantly recognizable.  Also, I am pretty sure Lego has not done an ice cream truck before either which is a nice selling point.  Great use of the butcher minifig too!  Although butchers and frozen treats remind of Fifth Element

Honorable Mention 
 European Fire Engine
by Zeki

This is a real nice fire truck.  One of the best I have seen.  It is also very well stocked, I suggest you take a look at the project to see the contents of the containers.  I might have placed this above the ice cream truck but Lego has tons of fire trucks already, not to mention the over-abundance on Cuusoo. 


Star Wars Blasters
These are truly fantastic recreations of the Star Wars blasters, I really recommend that you take a look.  The only reason I did not choose the Han Solo New Hope is because, well, I really don't think they could make it through the review board.  Cuusoo does not in fact have a stated position against guns, but Lego does.  I know for instance that you cannot put realistic weapons in LUG windows of the Lego Stores.

On top of that is all the strange legal issue is would introduce. I know all gun toys in the US need an orange ring at the end of the barrel.  Even if Lego did include a orange piece to go on the end of the barrel,  I don't know if Lego can sell a set with the intent of it looking like a real gun since the orange piece could be VERY easily removed.  

Nachapon Parts

Atlantis Phase III


Only Thing on Saturday 

 Star Wars Combine-able Battle pack(s) Combinatorial Mini Sets
by Samiam

This is not the first time Lego has done something like this but Samiam has a very creative implementation of the idea.  I disagree with the idea of Vader being in a Battle-Pack though.  Since Star Wars Battle Packs were introduced in 2007, no iconic character has appeared in one.  Besides, anyone who would buy multiples of the these packs, to form a larger room, would probably already have a Lego Vader ;).