In my quest for fairness and accuracy, I'm posting the text of my next review here in the forums for 24 hours (give or take) for feedback. Please review the draft below and let me know if you have comments, suggestions, or complaints. I will consider any and all feedback, but I'm not asking the forum to write the review. I will post the full review on my site at noon (EST) tomorrow (Friday 9/10).
My apologies for not including the pictures, but if the full content were included anyone could grab the review and post it as their own.
After living on my site for a few days, I may seek to post on Eurobricks again. Thanks in advance! (Begin draft)
The Mime from Series 2 of the LEGO Collectible Minifigures has introduced a beret in the pantheon of official minifigure accessories. Did you know, however, that berets have been available for quite some time through custom house BrickForge? The objective of this review is to compare the LEGO and BrickForge versions of the beret to allow fans to choose the right product for themselves.
LEGO Beret - 360 View (Picture)
We turn first to the LEGO version of the beret which comes with The Mime from set 8684, Series 2 Collectible Minifigures. As with many pieces the hat is molded in ABS and has an asymmetrical design. As pictured here, there is a broader portion around the brim which tapers as you move (facing) from right to left. The design is such that if the tapered end were turned to the front it might also resemble a flat or ivy cap popularized recently by the Kangol brand and the actor Samuel L Jackson. The broader rim does leave some room for the addition of decals or painted highlights. The gripping or clutching power of this piece is quite firm as it utilizes ABS and a full tube inside the cap.
This item is only available in black with no indication of further use in other sets. The Mime is an uncommon figure in the series meaning that there are only four available on average per case of 60 figures.
BrickForge Beret - 360 View (Picture)
Looking at the BrickForge option, we have a more rounded design with a deeper profile when sitting on the minifigure's head. As shown, this piece has a broad, high portion around the brim which tapers as you move (facing) from right to left. The tapered end differs from the LEGO design in that it is more rounded and falls against the head in a more 'natural' form. The BF beret has a broader, taller brim allowing more room for decals or painted details. The BrickForge piece does not grip as tightly to the minifigure head when compared to the LEGO beret.
BrickForge as a wide assortment of berets available in their store. This design is currently offered in black, blue, dark green, medium blue, orange, pink, red, tan , white, and yellow.
Although the the art of 'mime' is all well and good, we have asked our chief of security, Sgt. Fury, to step in model these two pieces with a more military style of minifigure (see below).
In summary, the new LEGO beret provides purists with a new headgear with tight, secure connections; however, supplies and color choices are quite limited.
The BrickForge option provides a rounded design with a high profile for custom touches, available in a wide color palate. Although clutching power is less than the TLG part, it was not a significant issue.Additional Stats - BrickForge Beret
International Shipping:Yes (details)
Colors Available:Black, Blue, Dark Green, Medium Blue, Orange, Pink, Red, Tan , White, and Yellow
Retail Price:$1.50 USD
Additional Stats - LEGO Beret
Availability:Worldwide but in limited quantities
Retail Price:With Series 2 Collectible Minifigure, $1.99 USD (MSRP)/ Average BrickLink price (figure) ~$4.00 USD* / Average BrickLink price (beret only) $1.90 USD*
*BrickLink prices as of 9/9/2010