Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Clone Troopers

I'm not a die hard fan of Star Wars but I can't deny that the film is a worldwide phenomenon. And Lego is taking advantage of it by producing Lego Star Wars sets since year 1999.

At first, I didn't pay much attention to the themes because it just like another Star Wars merchandise but as the film continues with its prequel trilogies, more and more characters emerged. This means a lot of new mini figures were produced based on the film's characters.

Recently I made a new start by purchasing Lego mini figures from Star Wars theme. As shown in picture above, I received my first batch of Clone Troopers. From left is Clone Trooper from Episode II, the blue one is a Senate Commando taken from set 8039 and far right is a Clone Jet pack Trooper. Again their helmets mark their identity.

I've seen one of a collectors who have a whole regiment of identical clone or storm troopers, maybe a thousand or more. I wish I could had them - if only I have extra money and not to forget, extra space in our home.

Goodbye my little friends

In year 2009 I decided to restart my Lego collecting hobby. It was hard to find vintage minifigs and sets here in Malaysia so like many collectors out there I used eBay as medium. I just got involved with eBay 2 year before, mainly as a seller.

It's not I'm saying that
there are no Legos selling at supermarkets and toy shops here but most of the current themes didn't get my attention as much as classic themes; maybe I used to cling to the past.

Then I found a good bargain on eBay and spent USD 6 for 3 minifigs of Black Falcons as shown in the picture. Only one of the three had the Black Falcon crest on its torso with sword and shield, obviously became my favorite. The other two just an added bonus.

They were in good condition, no scratches and no discoloration thanks to the previous owner who took a good care of them.

When the minifigs arrived at my place, I found they were so small in my palm compared to how I found them 22 years ago although their actual size are still the same. My old passion has been ignited - - - I bought another 2 sets of 3 minifigs; The Lion Crusaders and The Forestmen.

Later I found out there are other channel that I can get hard-to-find minifigs and Lego sets besides eBay, where I can choose specific item based on my preference.

It's time to let go these minifigs at the same place I bought them --- eBay. I made some profits selling them, but that's not the main reason because I know somebody out there who share the same hobby with me are looking for these little guys. And I'm on another new Lego hunting, only this time more personal and more accurate.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lego Star Wars - Rebel Commandos

These two green camouflage geared mini figures appeared in set 8038 The Battle of Endor, produced in year 2009. Although identical, the only different is the head - one with a frown (angry?) face and another one with brown beard.

Taken from the scene of Star Wars Classic, Rebel Commandos are trained Rebel Troopers for special forces operations, usually for recon missions. They also fought in the Battle of Endor.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Black Falcons

Lego Castle theme attracts me with its castles, knights and horses. After all, it's about medieval times full of adventures and mystery although it did not represent actual history.

"The Black Falcons" is the name given by Lego fans for Lego Castle sets that featured a crest with a black and white bird against a black and white background, split down the middle, with a blue or gold border. Mini-figures that have the bird emblem on their chest often come with black helmets, blue torsos with black sleeves and black legs; sometimes with red hips. Several sets have mini-figures with gray helmets and gray legs though.

Compared to other Castle Classic themes like Crusaders ( with Lion crest ) and Black Knights ( with Dragon Crest ), I favoured Black Falcons the most for its black and blue colour combination; which for me, it represents law enforcer; something more like police force during medieval era. Perhaps you had seen the movie about King Arthur starring Sean Connery and Richard Gere? I think the title is 'First Knight' but that movie was several years ahead since The Black Falcons sets were produced within year 1984 - 1992.

I used to divide my Black Falcons mini-figures into 3 groups based on type of helmet they're wearing ; neck-protector as Guard (infantry) - usually armed with spear or halberd, chin-guard as Archer or Crossbowman - equipped with bow and quiver or crossbow, and lastly grill helmet as Knight which wield lance, shield and short sword as secondary weapon.

Left: Guards (foot soldier) , mid : Archer with red hips, right :Knight with breastplate torso and yellow feather on its grill helmet.

As far as I remember, the one and only castle I ever had was set 6074 Black Falcon's Fortress (1986) but I only had it in 1989 - the most expensive Lego set my dad ever bought for me. The construction of the castle was quite complicated for a 9-year boy like me so my brother helped me to build it. The unique characteristic of the castle were its octagonal corner pieces and the yellow Tudor wall. The set included with 2 Guards, 2 Archers, 2 knights and 2 horses ( 1 white, 1 black).

Today's price for this 24-year old set ? Up to USD 1,380.00 for mint in sealed box (MISB) set.

My First Lego

I was first introduced to Lego products when I was 5. It was my elder brother who gave me a box of plastic men. He got it for free when he was travelling to Terengganu with my parent by MAS flight. I wasn't in the company because I stayed with my grandparent in Ipoh.

For a kiddo like me, it just another toy to play with. But there was something new about it. The figures had movable arms and legs, and they can be disassembled and re-assembled to whatever variations that I want. They were small and I could put them in my pockets. Where ever I went, I brought them with me. I even put them under my pillow when I slept at nights. I started to liking them.

I didn't know how to read at that time but I remembered my brother told me it was Lego.

The year was 1985. It was set 6701 Space Mini-Figures which consisted 2 yellow suit Space-men, 2 reds and 2 whites. They had air tanks on their backs but quite funny though; the helmets they were wearing didn't have visors.

The Simpsons didn't exist during that era but these little brick men got yellow faces and one more thing that I most noticed - they always smile !

So, what was your first Lego?

***Set 6701 was released in 1983. Each of these minifigs nowdays is valued at
USD 35. That's mean a complete set for 6 mini figures will cost up to USD 210 !