Friday, April 17, 2015

Andy's Creeper

Here's a video of Andy Milluzzi's Creeper bot from Orlando Maker Faire a few months ago... I would have shared it earlier, but I keep forgetting to. :(

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New Web Host

I'm transferring BrickBuildr to a new web host today.  Shouldn't take longer than a few hours, so please hold off on updating the Pick-a-Brick wall until I'm finished.  We should be back on-line soon.  :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

iPaB Parts Data

I was adding a new part to the database this morning, when I did something catastrophic -- the part name don't show up correctly.  I'll be spending the next few days correcting this error, as well as find a way to make the process of adding a new part less tedious.

Stay tuned...  I'll post updates as I make progress.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Quick Update

Heading into 2014, it's never a dull moment... I've been procrastinating on a project that I need to finish by mid January -- OrangeLUG will be participating in The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons Exhibition display at Orange County Regional History Museum.  As you can see, I'm working on a mosaic.  :)

I'm using the Photobricks app for my iPhone.  I love and hate it; I have few different shades of orange and red that I'd love to incorporate into the mosaic, but the application has a limited pallet, but beyond that, it's been a wonderful! 

I've also recently spoke with Bryan Bonahoom about getting the website ready for Brickworld Chicago registration.  I have been working on updating the web-site with a fresh look for the new year -- hopefully it looks better on mobile and tablet devices.  I still have more work to do... some pages haven't been converted to the new look yet.

I have a few updates to BrickBuildr as well, in terms of new parts selection & wall dimensions for some stores; I should get to that in the next day or so...

Ok, back to building.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Wal-Mart Side Effect, part 2: Winning a Fight, but Losing the War

So I didn't intend to write a blog follow up to The Wal-Mart Side Effect, part 1 just yet, but this is related...

Here's something I think is funny... so I'm on eBay this morning, and one of the new features is displaying items similar to what I've searched for in the past... when I see the following mixed in with the results:
What I suspect, with LEGO outsourcing many things to China, China is fulfilling the quota of parts, but making a few extra on the side, in the process -- I doubt there's any agreement in place to what the machinery does after the quota is fulfilled -- so minifigures are being sold to different distributors and repackaged.

I also suspect, LEGO Retail is waging a war with BrickLink sellers -- seeing the amount of money being spent on after market LEGO -- LBR is using this to justify reducing discounts and many policy changes -- damaged sets use to be on discount at 20%, now it's 10%; opened & returned sets use to go into grab bags, to which many LUG used to help bulk up collections; etc.  But honestly, I think LEGO is losing the war -- the amount of money they're losing through discounts to North Americans vs. outsourcing to China, has got to be comparing a trickle of water to a tsunami.

You can't use the quality argument for not buying any of the above -- I suspect the makers of the above make the same quality of parts for LEGO.  Unless I do a side-by-side comparison, would there be any differences?  If it's minor, would it matter in a large fan display, considering if I bought some of the above at 50% of LEGO's price or better?  I makes you think if TLG & LBR has their priorities a little backwards.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

I don't know if you've had the same feeling as I had, looking at the new LEGO Movie sets coming out... I keep thinking Timmy & the Time Cruisers.  It's not that Time Cruisers was a bad line, it just felt like there was no real deeper story, than a few drunk designers got together one night over a few too many drinks with some spare parts from different themes and said "I know how we can save the company some money; we'll just take these excess parts from all these different themes and combine them in ways, like this guy Timmy is traveling through time."

We may never know the truth why this theme idea was put into production, but it remains a part of our fan checkered heritage.

The new LEGO Movie sets seemed like a very controlled PR experiment, releasing a new image every so often when the buzz about the movie (or new sets) has cooled off.  They look interesting; like Time Cruisers, they make good parts sets -- but nothing screams why I should buy any of them, except maybe one or two.

I also found that LEGO making Junior sets again feels like a blast from the past as well.  Fans use to complain about the juniorization of sets with Town Jr. and yet, here we are again... I wonder if it'll be just like 1998 and we'll hear the same reasons why their price per part is so high when compared to other sets.