Lego

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’: Edie and the Quest for the Lost Lego

EDIE VAN HEELIN’ and the QUEST FOR THE LOST LEGO

By LeBrain with Harrison Kopp

“Hey Edie!” shouted a distraught Mr. Van Heelin’ from the Lego room.  “We’ve been robbed!  All my Lego is gone!”  He ran from room to room of the house, but it was true:  every single piece of Lego was missing.

Edie Van Heelin’ was relaxing with a tea and a menagerie of pets.  She had to remove about three cats from her lap to get off the recliner.

“You’re joking, right?” she asked but not without concern.  Mr. Van Heelin’ doesn’t joke about Lego.  He was continuing to search the house to no avail.

“I am not joking!” he shouted frantically from another room.  “Every set, every single piece, is gone!”  Then he added incredulously, “But nothing else seems to be missing!  What is going on here?”

Edie strode into the room that he was currently searching.  “It could be those pesky aliens again,” said Edie.  “But they’ve never shown interest in Lego bricks before.”  She paused a moment.  She knew that she was going to have to take care of this one herself.  As usual.

“I’m sorry sweety, but I need to go,” she told him.

“I understand,” he said.  “But be careful.  What’s your first move?”

Edie placed a well-manicured purple thumbnail on her chin as she thought a moment.  “I’ll need help.  Time to pay Fanboy Mike a visit up in Canada.  Don’t worry about me.  I can take care of myself.”  She gave him a kiss.  “Time to suit up.”

The Shoe Shed in the back is where Edie kept her prized collection of heels, but more than that, it also contained her ultra-secret superhero gear, and she was going to need all of it this time.  Edie zipped up her favourite rocket boots, a new pair this time by Christian Louboutin but rigged for flight with afterburners and a sweet pair of fins.  Decked in a suitably badass outfit with fishnets and black leather, Edie Van Heelin’ was ready to rock.  She applied a gadget-filled utility belt, and strapped her favourite red guitar to her back as the final touch.  The guitar was no ordinary instrument.  Enhanced with alien tech, it was a weapon in more ways than one.

Edie dropped a pair of smartglasses over her eyes and smiled.  She loved her rocket boots and it was time to fly!

“Set course for Canada,” she said to the smartglasses.  “Southern Ontario.  Fanboy Mike’s house.  Let’s fly!”

With the sound of thunder and a blast of flame, the boots fired!  In seconds, Edie Van Heelin’ was little more than a bright contrail in the sky.  It was mission time!


Winter in Canada.  Fanboy Mike’s least favourite time of year.  He stood knee-deep in snow, in his Croc-boots, panting heavily as he tried to remove the white mounds from around his vehicle.  Every shovelful that he removed seemed to be replaced by two more!  He stopped a moment to wipe the sweat from his brow, lest it freeze to his face.

“This sucks,” he said to no-one.  Everyone else seemed to be staying in today, which was wise.  He grabbed the shovel and kept digging.  It was then that he heard the sonic boom of rocket boots overhead.

He dropped the shovel into the snow.  “Yeah baby!”  He shielded his eyes as he looked for the tell-tale sign of Edie Van Heelin’ in the sky.  There she was!  Red flame and smoke contrails, heading his way.  He shouted for joy as he knew that shovelling time was over and adventure time was about to begin.  He tossed the shovel aside and watched as the superhero in black leather came to a landing.

“Edie!”  He trudged through the deep snow towards his friend.

“Fanboy!” she responded in glee.  “Great to see you!”  The two hugged warmly for a minute.

“Wait, no — don’t stop!” joked Mike.  “I’m friggin’ freezing!”

Edie laughed.  “Well it’s about to get hotter.  I’m not here to go snowshoeing with you this time.  I’m on a mission and I need your help.”

“Oh thank God,” laughed Mike.  “I thought I’d be shovelling this crap all day!”

“This crap?” laughed Edie.  “I love snow!”  She dropped on her back and quickly made a snow angel.  Laughing, she got up off the ground and wiped the snow off her fishnets and leathers.  “Sorry, I just had to.  Can’t be in snow without doing a snow angel.  Anyway, don’t worry about the shovelling.  If I remember, you have squirrels here right?”

Mike nodded in the affirmative.  “Huge, huge black ones!”  He winked.  “That was a joke.  But yes, yes we do.”

While Edie relied on her rocket boots for flight, she had one unique superpower.  He unique connection to animals allowed them to communicate.  Her animal allies helped her defeat aliens and Tommy Lee in the past.  Now they were going to help Mike.

Edie raised her arms up.  “Canadian squirrels!  Come to my side!”  In seconds, dozens of black squirrels could be seen dotting the snow, running towards Edie and Mike.  Mike’s eyes went wide as he saw the flood of animals in the snow!  He counted 18 large black squirrels, all now sitting on the haunches, at attention, in a semicircle around Edie.

“Wow, they really are big!” she said to Mike.  “OK, squirrels!  We need your help!  We are on an urgent mission and Mike has to go!  Please, help him dig out his car!  I’ll be back with a big bag of peanuts for you all, I promise!”  She blew them a kiss, and immediately the squirrels got to work, frantically digging around Mike’s car.

“That’ll take a while but you don’t have to worry about it,” she said.  “Now let’s saddle up and I’ll fill you in on the mission.  Let’s go somewhere warm.”


“Hi, do you have green peach tea, with watermelon honey?” asked Edie at the front of the line at the Tim Horton’s.  Mike tapped her on the shoulder.

“Edie, they don’t have stuff like that at Tim’s.  Just regular tea,” he advised.

“OK, just a tea then,” she settled.  The two soon had hot beverages and were seated at the Canadian institution, sipping their drinks.

“So what’s the mission?” asked Mike.  “I’ve been snowed in all day, I can’t wait.”

Edie explained to Mike how Mr. Van Heelin’ discovered that all his Lego had been taken, but nothing else.  Mike’s eyebrows rose in surprise.

“You’re not going to believe this,” he said.  “When I got up this morning, I couldn’t find my Optimus Prime Lego.  I thought Jen moved it and it got buried in laundry or something.  And I couldn’t find the Lego boxes that we gave each other for Christmas.  I was going to look for them later, but now I am thinking it’s a pointless search.”  He paused a moment to scratched his gray-beared chin.  “I have an idea.  Toys R Us is right down the street.  They still exist in Canada.  Let’s take a look and see if their Lego is gone too.”

“Good idea Fanboy!  That’s cool that you still have Toys R Us.  Of course, in California we have Legoland,” winked Edie as she finished the last sip of tea.  She stood up.  The Tim Horton’s customers stared when she did.  They were certainly not used to see a leather and fishnet clad women in nine-inch platform boots drinking tea in a Horton’s.  Fanboy smiled as he basked in his temporary attention by association.  Once outside, Fanboy grabbed hold of Edie’s waist as they rocketed to the Toys R Us store.

Inside, the pair made their way to the Lego section.  People stared, but Mike just smiled.  Meanwhile Edie just looked determined as she strode hastily down the aisle.

The empty aisle.

There was not a single Lego set for sale at the Toys R Us.  Not one minifigure pack, not one Star Wars, Marvel, Technic, or any other franchise.  Not even the old minifig pack from two seasons ago that was always under the shelves.  Nothing.  Edie was not surprised.  Mike was slowly beginning to take in the magnitude of what was happening.

“Let’s ask that guy if they have any Lego,” said Edie, pointing to a long-haired man with a broom.  Dressed in a Toys R Us uniform, the man with long straight dark hair didn’t seem to be working hard.  Mike knew what it looked like to me faking work, and that guy was definitely lazily pretending to be sweeping up.  “Let’s make him earn his paycheque,” said Mike.

“Excuse us,” asked Mike as he approached the long-hair.  The man turned to face them.  Mike was a bit stunned.  The man, a clean shaven younger fellow, looked terribly familiar.  “Umm, sorry, do I know you?  You look familiar.”

“No, we definitely do not know each other,” answered long-hair in some strange unidentifiable accent.  “Can I help you?”

“Yes,” said Edie.  “We’re looking for Lego.  Any Lego.  My husband is a big fan.”

“Sold out,” said long-hair as he resumed pushing his broom.

“Are you sure?” asked Mike.  “That…doesn’t seem possible.”

“Sold.  Out,” said long-hair dismissively as he turned his back.

“Come on,” said Mike to Edie.  “I know where we can get some real help.  I have a buddy.  I’ll give him a call.”

Fanboy Mike was proud of his rich circle of friends, many of whom he’s never met in real life.  There was Tim on the east coast, an author and music collector.  There was Rob, a local radio show host that Mike has known for decades.  And there were a couple guys way up north in Thunder Bay.  One of them was a bit of a technical wizard with a knack for problem-solving.  Mike dialled a number on his phone and was soon connected with the tech-wizard.  Mike filled him in on the situation.  He nodded with concern as his listened to the wizard on the other end.

“That’s right.  Every single Lego piece.  Gone.  Gonzo.  Double Live Gonzos,” said Mike into the phone.  His eyebrows raised.  “Really?  Yours too huh?  Your motorcycle set!  I gave you that set!  Holy crap.  This is serious!”

Fanboy paced the floor of the Toys R Us as he listened intently.  He nodded a few times.  Then he spoke.

“Ok.  Gotcha.  Understood.  We’ll be on our way shortly.  Thanks man.  I owe you one.  Again.  And say hi to your partner in crime for me.  Ciao baby,”  Mike hung up the phone and spoke to Edie.  “OK, it took some doing, but my tech wizard buddy has a danger alert system at his HQ, and he managed to jerry-rig it to detect Lego.  And guess what he found?”

Edie braced herself for bad news.  “No Lego anywhere in the world, right?” she gulped.

“Nope,” responded Mike.  “To the contrary.  All the Lego is still here.  It’s been moved.  The Lego signals were concentrated in one location on the globe.  Just one.  Care to guess where we’re headed next?”

Edie shrugged.  “Somewhere warmer than Canada?”

“How’d you like to throw another shrimp on the barbie?” he winked.

Edie’s eyes lit up.  “Australia!  I’ve never been there!  But that’s a whole continent.  Where do we start?”

Mike checked his phone for a text message.  “Here are the coordinates,” he answered.  “Australia’s east coast.”  Edie dropped her smartglasses over her eyes and scanned the coordinates.

“Got the location locked and loaded,” she answered.  “Let’s fly!”


Australia.  Summer.  The east coast.  A cloud of dust kicked up as Edie came to a landing, with Mike holding on tight.  The landscape, far from any city, was relatively barren.  Beautiful, but deserted.  A wombat burrowed nearby.  Edie removed her glasses and scanned the horizon with her eyes.

“Nothing here,” she said in disappointment.  “Nothing at all.  I’m sorry Mike but your friend was wrong this time.”

Mike shook his head to the negative.  “Not this guy, he’s rarely wrong about anything.  He said the signal was coming from within one klik of this location.  We just need to look harder.  Maybe your animal allies can help in our search?”

She snapped her perfectly manicured purple fingers together.  “Good call, Fanboy.  What’s that thing over there?”

“I can’t be sure but I think that’s called a wombat,” answered Mike.

Edie motioned to the wombat.  “Hey cutie!” she beckoned.  The wombat stopped burrowing and looked at her.  “I know you’re busy right now, but we need your help.  Do you have any friends around?  We’re looking for something in this area.”  She paused and bit her lip a moment.  “We don’t know exactly what we are looking for but I think a building of some kind.  A structure.  Do you know what I mean?”  The wombat nodded affirmative.  “OK sweet stuff.  Get your friends and let’s sweep this whole area.”

In seconds, a wisdom of wombats emerged and scurried about frantically.  As they busied themselves digging and searching, a few could be seen…pooping.

Edie blinked.  “Hey Mike, is it just me or is that poop…cube shaped?”

Mike grabbed his phone and googled.  He laughed out loud.  “Hah!  Yes, yes it is!  Look at this!”  He showed his phone to Edie.  “Don’t step on any brown cubes, it’s not Lego bricks!” he laughed.  Edie stared at the phone in a mixture of surprise and disgust.

“Noted!” she said.  “No wombat poop on my Louboutins!”

The wombats scurried around, doing their work. Suddenly, one started jumping around and making noise.  Edie saw and ran over to the wombat’s location.  “Mike!” she shouted.  “Get over here!  We found something!”  Surely enough, just inches beneath the soil, was concrete.  A hidden, buried bunker!

“How do we get inside?” panted Mike as he finished running over.  “I don’t see an entrance.”

“Neither do I,” said Edie as she scanned the area with her smartglasses.  “The structure beneath us appears to be a huge concrete cube, perfectly Lego shaped, but with no seams or openings I can detect.”  Edie then reached for her guitar, a beautiful red axe with serious modifications.  “Stand back,” she cautioned.

Mike did as told, while Edie aimed the neck of her guitar at the concrete.  She flipped a switch on the back, and hit a hidden trigger.  A laser blast jolted from the headstock, burning a neat hole in the ground.  Edie shone a light from her smartglasses down the smoking hole.  What she saw below looked almost like a warehouse, except one of Indiana Jones proportions!

“This is it!” she said to Mike.  “Your friend was right after all.  Let’s fly!”

With that, Mike jumped on her back and Edie rocketed down into the hole she had just created.  She activated some lights on her leather jacket that helped illuminate the underground bunker.  Mike turned on his Croclights.

The pair scanned the mammoth sized room with their eyes.  Boxes upon boxes, countless boxes.  Thousands, millions?  The human brain simply could not absorb the scale of the scene before them.  They turned slowly around and examined every side.  Over there, loose Lego bricks, in buckets and pails.  On that side, fully built Lego structures and sets.  The rest of the entire space of the massive room was taken up by box after box after infinite box of Lego.

“Hey Edie,” joked Mike.  “Know where I can find some Mega Bloks?”

“Hah hah,” she deadpanned.  Then she got serious.  “But who would do this?  And why?”

A voice boomed from a gantry above.  “I would!”  Suddenly every light in the building was switched on.  Edie and Mike covered their eyes as they were blinded by the sudden burst of light.  Edie could barely see a figure, a silhouette.  Suddenly the figure dematerilized.  With a shimmer of light, he was gone.  Then, a microsecond later, he rematerialized on the ground before her eyes!

“So that’s how you stole all this Lego,” she surmised.  “You have transporter technology.  Where did you get it?  Speak!”

The figure slowly became unblurred in their eyes.  To their shock, it was someone they both recognized.  Before them stood the clean-shaven, long haired man they met at the Toys R Us store in Canada earlier!  He was now dressed simply in jeans and T-shirt, his beautiful brown hair hanging like waterfalls over his shoulders.

“I swear you look familiar!” shouted Fanboy Mike to the villain.  “What’s your name, dick head?” he taunted.

“My name is Shinzon,” answered the Australian.  “I was cloned by a man named Tyranus over one of the moons of Bogden,” he sneered.  “Perhaps that is why I appear familiar to you, Michael.  Where I got my technology is of no concern to you two.  As for why I took all the Lego?”  The un-moustached Australian smiled an evil smile.  “Because I wanted it.”

“Selfish fool,” said Edie as she shook her head.

“Selfish?  Yes.  Foolish?  Look around you.  Who’s the fool and who’s the one with all the Lego?”  The Australian glared at the woman before him.  “Look at you…you think you can fight me in those heels?  If you agree to leave peacefully now, I’ll beam you back safely to wherever you came from.  What will it be, Edie Van Heelin’?  Yes, I know who you are.  I’ve heard of you.  You are starting to make a name for yourself.  Be careful.  You do-gooders are attracting the wrong kind of attention from powers greater than me.”

Edie yawned.  “Oh I’m sorry, were you speaking?  Listen, Shinface.  I just have two things I need from you and then you can take a nice vacation in prison, which is where I’m taking you when we’re done here.”  If looks could kill, Shinzon would be dead by now.  Edie set her terms.  “Firstly:  you beam every single brick of Lego back where you got it, and hand over your tech to me.  Secondly…” she paused a moment, as she had a rare shy spell.  “Secondly, how do you get your hair so silky and beautiful?  I have to know your secrets.”

Shinzon laughed.  “Let’s just say it’s a trick of the lights, no secret.”  Edie harrumphed at his answer.  Shinzon continued.  “As for the Lego?  You’ll have to make me, Edie Van Heelin’.”

Edie sighed.  “Oh well.  Prepare to get made.”

Shinzon growled, “They always said you were the Party Police, Edie.  Well not this time.”  He activated a switch on his belt.  Suddenly, from the ceiling, millions of Lego bricks poured onto to the floor!  “Try walking over those in your heels, Edie!” laughed Shinzon.

Edie laughed.  “Who’s walking, Shinface?”  She ignited her rocket boots and flew towards the villain.  With a mighty tackle worthy of the 49’ers, she easily knocked the villain to the ground.  But with a smirk, he beamed himself across the room before she could strike another blow!

Fanboy Mike was stuck on the floor of Lego, trying to move towards Shinzon but unable to get much traction.  “I’m sorry Edie!  I’m stuck!”

“Stand back, Mike,” she warned.  “This guy’s going down!”  She took aim with her laser guitar, but missed as Shinzon beamed himself to the top of a giant stack of Lego boxes.  He laughed in mockery as Edie struggled to get a clear shot.  She did not want to destroy any Lego in the process.  Then she had an idea.  She raised her arms to the sky and summoned the animals!

“Magpies!  Dingos!  Roos!  To my side!”

Suddenly, from the hole in the ceiling, poured every animal from the Australian wild!  Shinzon’s eyes went wide in terror as a magpie swooped at his head.  There was a dingo on each arm now, preventing him from activating his transporter!  Several kangaroos lined up to take the first kick on Edie’s command.  Shinzon struggled against the magpies and dingos but it was futile.  He was beaten, soundly and surely, as the animals immobilised him.

Edie aimed her laser guitar at the evil Australian clone.  “Don’t make me,” she warned.

Shinzon coughed up some red spittle as he barked back at her.  “Do it!  I double dingo dare you.”

Fanboy Mike groaned at the joke.  Edie kept the guitar aimed directly at the Australian.  “One last chance!” she warned.  “Give us the tech, and hair care secrets, now!”

The villain simply laughed.  “You don’t understand do you?  I want you to shoot!”

Edie shrugged.  Without hesitation, she fired the guitar.  The blast hit Shinzon square on.  “Ow!” he moaned as he felt the impact.  His body went limp as the animals let him fall to the ground.  Then he did something unexpected.  He smiled.  And then, like all villains ultimately must, he explained.

“My suit…” he coughed.  “My suit has a failsafe.  If I am critically wounded…it automatically beams me to a safe location to recuperate.  Goodbye, Edie Van Heelin’!  You lose!”  With that, a device on his belt sputtered sparks.  “Oh no…” said Shinzon.  “It’s broken!”  Suddenly he began to shimmer in bright light, as the broken device beamed him away.  Where to, would be impossible to know now even for Shinzon.  He had escaped…but to where?

Edie Van Heelin’ stood dejected.

“It’s OK Edie,” said Fanboy Mike as he struggled to walk in her direction.  All the animals made their way to her side to comfort her.  Mike continued.  “We didn’t lose, we won.  We saved the Lego.  Most of it, anyway.  Maybe he got away, but he may be worse off now than if he didn’t.”

Edie smiled.  “Thanks Mike.  You’re always such good support.  I guess not every ending can be the perfect ending, can it?”

Mike smiled.  “Not every ending.  But I’d give us a solid 9/10 stars for this adventure.”

“OK, 9/10 stars it is,” said Edie with a grin.  “What now?  How do we get all this Lego back to where they came from?”

Mike answered.  “I’ll give my wizard buddy from Thunder Bay a call.  He’ll know what to do.  As for what WE do now, we go for tea.  I assume they have tea in Australia!”

Edie’s eyes lit up.  “Tea time!  Let’s do it!”  With that, Mike jumped on her back, Edie lit the rockets, and the pair soared off into the Australian sky, basking in the Southern Lights.


Epilogue

On a distant world, his eyes opened wearily to an alien sky.  The stars were foreign to him.  He was now a stranger in a strange land.  His transporter was fully destroyed, the one last beam-out being the fatal one for its circuits.  Stranded.

“She won,” said Shinzon.  “But not for forever.”  He tried to stand, but fell back down into the alien dirt.

“Ow,” said the Australian clone as he laid down on his back in pain.

“My boss will not be happy about this at all.”

The End

 

 

 

THE EXTENDED LEBRAINIVERSE

The Adventures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie vs. Tommy Lee in the Bouncy Castle of Doom! (By LeBrain)

The Advenures of Edie Van Heelin’:  Edie and the Quest for the Lost Lego (By LeBrain with Harrison Kopp)

 

THE ADVENTURES OF TEE BONE MAN:  PHASE ONE

Chapter Zero:  Tee Bone Man – Origins (by LeBrain) Coming March 2023

Chapter One: A Friend in Need (by LeBrain)

Chapter Two: Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Three: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be (by LeBrain)

Chapter Four: Tee Bone Man and the Rink of…Doom? (by Aaron KMA)

Chapter Five: The Super Duper Vault (by John Snow)

Chapter Six: Tee Bone Man Goes to Camp (by LeBrain)

Chapter Seven:  The Revenge of Common Knowledge (by LeBrain)

Chapter Eight:  Tee Bone & Deke’s Time Travelling Adventure (by 80sMetalMan)

Chapter Nine:  Castle Communications (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Ten:  The Case of the Lost Iron Maiden Socks (by LeBrain)

Chapter Eleven:  A Tee Bone Man Christmas (by all five of us)

Chapter Twelve:  Lost In Space (by John T. Snow) Coming January 2023

Chapter Thirteen:  Clip Show (by LeBrain) Coming February 2023

 

The Writer’s Room: Chapter One

The Writer’s Room:  It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Tee Bone Man Christmas

 

Youtubin’: Jang’s Lego Reviews – Star Wars TIE Bomber

If you caught this week’s episode of Grab A Stack of Rock, then you know that California Girl showed off a brand new (January 1) Lego Star Wars TIE Bomber.  This baby first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.  I had the original blue & black Lego version, but this is the first update since that edition.

If you’d like a closer look at this beast, check out Jang’s Lego review below.  Jang is one of the most thorough and intelligent Lego reviewers on YouTube and I always check out his content when I’m curious about a set.  Here he breaks down the build, the parts, the features, the value, and the problems.  Check it out.

Grab A Stack of Lego and Heels with Mike & Married And Heels!

GRAB A STACK OF ROCK…with Mike and the Mad Metal Man
Episode 10:  MarriedAndHeels AKA California Girl!

A very special episode today for you Lego lovers, music fans, and connoisseurs of high fashion!  I was planning on taking this Friday off, but then suddenly had the opportunity to tape an episode of Grab A Stack of Rock with good friend MarriedAndHeels on the west coast — also known as California Girl and Edie Van Heelin.  I’ve been working on getting her on the show, and this week everything fell into place.  Unfortunately, Harrison could not make it but he was certainly with us in spirit.  CG rolled out some hot new Lego sets, just released January 1!  Star Wars and Marvel fans, pay attention!

Meanwhile the Australian Mad Metal Man flipped it around, and submitted questions for us!  One for me, one for her, and I hope you like our answers.

Of course music was a topic that we continually circled around, and this is where we may earn some hate.  Hendrix fans, skip past this part.  But one thing we share in common is that we love what we love, and we have our reasons.  What it turns out to be, is that we both tend to love the older tunes the most.  Have I officially become an old fart?  Possibly.  Watch and let me know.  It’s an interesting discussion that we could easily have expanded on.

A big thanks to California Girl for joining me this week.  We’ll have to have her back with Harrison.

Enjoy the episode!  Next week:  Star Trek with Mike, Rob, Tim, Harrison and Kevin “Buried On Mars” Simister!

Grab A Stack of Rock – New intro theme – Dec 17 2022

I can’t stop tweaking this video, and I’ll continue to update it as we continue to have fun shows together.

Tee Bone’s reaction shot is priceless.

Grab A Stack of Rock – Lego Intro version 3

More Lego scenes! More stacks of rock! More to come!

Impromptu Friday Night Stream with Harrison and Mike – Oct 28 2022

As I was leaving for work on Friday morning, I thought to myself, “You know, I wonder if Harrison or anybody would feel like going live tonight.  Just shoot the shit for an hour.  It might be a fun way to be social on a Friday night and it only has to be an hour.”

I messaged Harrison in Australia just as he was tucking in for the night, and he graciously agreed to get up early and join me for an impromptu live stream.  Setting his alarm clock, Harrison prepared for our first live show since July!

In this hour we discussed the following subjects:

  1. Lego Optimus Prime
  2. Transformers/Back to the Future Gigawatt
  3. Star Wars Black Series Dark Trooper, Marvel Wakanda Forever Ironheart
  4. Recent Japanese import CD arrivals
  5. New acquisitions by Harrison
  6. Black Sabbath/Ray Gillen – Dio/Craig Goldie
  7. Surprise guest appearance by the Meat Man discussing the Dio movie Dreamers Never Die, and Death Angel/Exodus/Testament live in concert
  8. Meat’s next concert, The Musical Box

This was great fun and I hope to catch up to the guys again in the near future.  Thanks for watching everyone!

REVIEW/GALLERY: LEGO Optimus Prime 10302 (2022) Over 240 photos!

LEGO Optimus Prime 10302 (2022)

After undergoing a pretty serious dental surgery, I needed something to keep my mind occupied.  I chose Lego’s new 10302 Optimus Prime set, the first fully-transformable Lego figure that you can change without having to add or remove any parts (more on that in a bit).  This set is geared to the 18 and up crowed, contains 1508 pieces, and costs $240 Canadian dollars.  That’s a price per piece of 16 cents a brick, which is not too bad by today’s standards.  Licensing costs money, we have to remember.

The set is broken up into 11 bags (two are numbered “5”) plus one bag for the tires, and a small sticker sheet.  There are only five stickers: his knees/thighs, belt and front fender, and name plate for the display.  The belt/fender piece is the only one that the instructions say to swap out for transformation.  Most people just keep in the piece they like best.  I chose to keep in the fender piece rather than the belt on my final display.  The instructions also tell you to put on the knee/thigh stickers upside down.  Fortunately it’s just a matter of flipping the piece.  Every other detail in the set, such as the autobot logos, head details, and rims are all printed pieces.  There are also some cool brick-built details such as a black arrow on the backpack.

The large instruction book takes you through the build bag by bag, with each bag corresponding to certain components such as chest, legs, or arms.  Aside from some segments where all the parts are darkly coloured and hard to see, the instructions were easy to follow.

As much as the final toy is fun and hefty to handle, the true joy came in the building process.  This was my first Lego build in 15 years, and there are many new parts and therefore new techniques as well.  Studs on the sides, top and bottom.  Interesting new curves and angles that were impossible before.  Small details and technical pieces that didn’t exist before.  Even a brand new faceplate, specifically designed for this set and since exported into other Lego lines.

You start simply, by sticking bricks on top of bricks.  Before too long, something with the dimensions of Prime’s chest starts to emerge, complete with hinges that will enable the transformation later on.  You can see where the arms will go, and you can see where other parts will attach, but it’s not even clear which side is front until you get a little further.  There are plenty of smooth flat plates so that parts can move over each other, but also just for aesthetics.  The final Prime has very few studs at the end of the build, and is mostly smooth and detailed.

As things come together at angles you thought were impossible, it’s actually quite a surprising and enjoyable process.  Your mind is constantly at work, ensuring things are in place.  There is very little tedium, as things are only repeated on the legs and arms, and only repeated once.

Prime is fairly solid, once you learn how to handle him and transform him.  Fortunately if bits fall off, you can just snap them back on.  Optimus is articulated at the head with a socket joint, at the shoulders with a full 360 degree rotation, and outward shoulder joint.  You can also butterfly his shoulders backwards, using the transformation joint.  His hips are fully articulated in and out, backwards and forwards.  His knees will not bend due to the need to keep the figure stable, but they do swivel.  His feet are also on a rocker joint so you can pose Prime with legs slightly spread, but feet still flat on the ground.  He has hands with a swivelling wrist, plus thumb and mitten movement.  You can modify the hands by removing one piece, to get all three fingers moving independently.

Optimus comes with a few accessories, which are built after the main figure.  This part is total anti-climax and really should have come at the beginning, or middle, of the process.  To come at the end is just not at all satisfying.  But you get Prime’s matrix of leadership, which fits in his chest compartment via opening windshield.  You get his excellent ion blaster, a really remarkable piece when you look at that stock and how the gray inner detail comes together. This piece attaches to his arm, while his hand appears to be holding the gun’s grip.  You get one pink transparent energon cube that you will never use for anything, and a pretty clunky orange energy axe.  This axe can be attached by removing either of Prime’s hands, and inserting a black technic bar into a ready-made hole.  Finally, Optimus Prime comes with his name plate for display, and that extra belt/fender piece that you can swap out if you so choose.

Minor quibbles aside, Prime was an excellent way to spend two days of recovering from surgery.  The final figure is large, heavy, and looks more like a toy.  He is easy to transform and works very similarly to the original 1984 toy.  His finish with printed details and silver bits looks quite high-end.  And it should, for that price.

5/5 stars

Please enjoy the massive photo gallery below that takes you through the entire build page by page.  You may need to give the page time to load.

 

 

 

#1017: Post-Op

It certainly seems appropriate that my first album post-surgery is Lick It Up!

Tom Petty would have worked as well, since “The Waiting Is the Hardest Part”.  That was certainly true.  I woke up at 3 AM this morning and I was raring to go.  I got a couple more hours’ sleep after that, but was up again well before 6 AM just wanting to get on with the day.  Get it over with!

Extraction was scheduled for 8 AM.  Dr. McCann’s office in Kitchener Waterloo — nothing but praise.  Fantastic people.  Wonderful nurses, terrific doctor.  I said “I’m probably in the top ten chickens you’ve ever had.”  No problem.

I sat down in the chair.  They attached all the monitors and accoutrements.  I asked if I looked cool.

The IV going in was the hardest part.  They said there were a few stages to the drugs, and first they would take the edge off the anxiety.  I asked the nurse to just keep talking to me.  We talked about my work, she kept asking me interested questions.  And that’s the last thing I remember.

I don’t even really remember waking up.  I remember being light on my feet with a face stuffed full of gauze.  I remember feeling confident to stand, and then to slowly walk.  By the time I was in the car, I was talking slowly but back to my old self.

I’ve been sitting here chillaxing at my parents’ house today, tired but not sleepy.  My dad made me a nice lunch of orzos.  Tonight my mom is making home made mac n’ cheese.  We watched Spiderman: No Way Home together.  My dad thought the idea of three Spidermen was kind of goofy; he only likes Tobey.  My mom seemed to understand most of it.  I had fun.

It has been about six hours since I left the dentist and I’m still really frozen.

I have this awesome Optimus Prime set to build.  I’ll save it for when I’m back in my own home.  I’m a little swollen.  I was hoping for more actually!

I’m doing OK.

Thanks for your support!

 

#1016: Pre-Op

I really don’t give a shit what people say.  “Oh it’s no big deal, I had a tooth out last week.”  Well to me it’s a big deal.  I’ve had teeth out before too, but never so seriously that they are advising five days of complete rest afterwards.  Five days seems serious, right?

I was advised to treat myself to something nice to look forward to after the surgery, so after a lacklustre trip to Toys R Us (which apparently Rob Daniels didn’t know could be shortened to TRU!) I placed an Amazon order.  And I ordered this sexy beast of a set.

It’s the first ever fully transformable Lego set, and it’s Optimus Prime himself. This toy has been getting (mostly) rave reviews so I decided this should be my get-well present to keep myself occupied. It has been about 15 years since I last purchased a Lego set.  It will be fun to see how much the system has changed since I was into it.

So that was Sunday.  Monday was a bit of a shit-show.  Jen had three seizures, two of them in bed.  I barely slept last night, but I made it through work today and now I’m off until next week.  Poor girl really suffered yesterday.  I worry about taking care of her during recovery.  My parents will be pitching in to help since I won’t be able to do it all by myself.

I’ve been lucky to have plenty of support from friends.  They know who they are!

Tomorrow’s the day.  I’m scheduled for 8 AM.  If I can, I will update you as soon as possible.  I would like to record funny videos of swollen cheeks and muffled speech but I guess we shall see what I’m in for.

Wish me luck!

Sunday Screening: Lego Atari 2600 set coming

Good morning, Harrison and Mr. 1537!  One of you will remember these from the 80s and one of you will not!  Still you must agree, pricetag aside, this is a pretty beautiful Lego set.  The Atari 2600 is coming August 1 for $240 USD (ouch)!  The dimensions closely match that of the original console.  It comes with three iconic cartridges made of Lego, three mini dioramas representing art for these video games, and a little shelf to store the cartridges.  The front of the console opens up to reveal another mini diorama, of a kid playing Asteroids in their bedroom.  It even comes with an incredible joystick made of Lego.

You can insert a cartridge into the console, flip the switches, and plug in the joystick.  If it wasn’t for the price, I’d want this in a heartbeat.  Check this video by Balazs from Racing Brick for a detailed preview.