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 Post subject: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:57 pm 
Swage Fitter
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Here's the latest draft review focusing on the new instrument line-up. This one will go live on the blog Wednesday around noon, and then up on Eurobricks Friday (I hope). I'll be gone for two weeks starting next week, hence why the review will go up on EB so quickly.

Any feedback before Wednesday is appreciated.

Thanks!

(Begin draft)

BrickForge Musical Instrument SeriesImage

As part of their 2010 line-up of new products, BrickForge has recently released their line of minifigure musical instruments. This review takes a look at the electric and acoustic guitars, as well as their violin and drumsticks.

Electric GuitarsImage

The electric guitars are molded in ABS plastic with print on the body and neck of the instrument. The styling resembles that of a Fender Stratocaster. The detailing shows off machine heads on the headstock, frets along the neck, strings and pick-ups on the body, along with a couple of control knobs. The piece is about 4 cm long, 1.4 cm at the widest point, and 4mm thick.

There are two print variants, one where there's white print is on the body (seen here). This design comes in black, blue, red, reddish brown, tan, and white. There are also a couple of designs where there's tan print on the neck of the guitar only in black and white.

Acoustic GuitarImage

The acoustic guitars are also molded in ABS, but the current design has no print on the product. The style of the guitar most closely resembles a folk or classical acoustic. The detailing on the guitar includes the tuning keys and machine heads on the headstock, frets along the neck, strings and bridge on the body along with the sound hole. The dimensions of the product are 3.8 cm in length, 1.4 cm at the widest point, and 4 mm thick. Currently, the acoustic guitar only comes in tan and dark tan. The dark tan variant is shown here.

ViolinImage

The final member in this string instrument trio is the violin. The BrickForge violin details the scroll and peg board at the top, raised strings that descend down the neck to a bridge and tail piece, and F-holes on the body. The violin is roughly 3 cm long, 1.1 cm at the widest point, and nearly 5 mm thick. Similar to the acoustic guitar, this piece only comes in tan and dark tan. The dark tan variant is shown here. This piece does not come with a bow, but a standard LEGO bar of 4L or 3L length should suffice. As with all of the BrickForge products, this is made with ABS plastic.

Connections on Back of InstrumentsImage

All of the stringed instruments also have connections on the back of the piece. Both the electric and acoustic guitars have single holes which can be used in a variety of ways. The holes can accommodate any part the size of a single LEGO stud, this includes bars, posts, technic pins, or minifigure hands. This means if you wanted to 'hang' one of these guitars on the wall of one of your MOCs, it can be done. You could also sling the guitar on a minifigure's back if you had an accessory part with a stud on the back, like part 42446.

Image

The violin has all of these features but includes an additional post connection on the underside of the piece. This is where the minifig can grip the part to achieve a pose where the body rests near the shoulder. Without this connection, the minifig would not be able to achieve this stance given current articulation in the arms.

Another feature all three of the stringed instruments have in common are how minifigs can grab the neck of the instrument. The necks are rounded along the back in a type of semicircle design. I found that if the neck of the instrument is inserted into the hand flat and then twisted, it achieves a snug connection.

DrumsticksImage

The last 'instrument' from this series comes from the percussion family. The BrickForge drumsticks are a 'fun' little item that can be used to help fill out your LEGO rock band. A simple design, they are roughly 1.6 cm long or comparable to a 2L bar. The main shaft fits firmly in a minfig hand and then tapers down to a tip. These come is six different colors including black, blue, red, reddish brown, tan and white. The tan variant is pictured here. There currently are no drums, drum sets, or cow bells for your minifigure to play aside from those you build yourself. The drumsticks could potentially be re-purposed in various builds.

This concludes our review of the BrickForge minifig instrument series. I hope you found this review helpful in deciding if these may be the right product for you.

Additional Stats - Electric Guitars
Custom House:BrickForge
Website:www.brickforge.com
Location:United States
International Shipping:Yes (details)
Colors Available: With White Body Print - Black, Blue, Red, Reddish Brown, Tan, and White. With Tan Neck Print - Black and White
Retail Price:$1.00 USD

Additional Stats - Acoustic Guitars and Violins
Colors Available: Tan and Dark Tan
Retail Price:$1.00 USD

Additional Stats - Drumsticks
Colors Available: Black, Blue, Red, Reddish Brown, Tan and White
Retail Price:$1.00 USD

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:33 pm 
Mould Mason
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Nice review! I like these insturments a lot, but I want to wait to order these until the new hairpieces come out.

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:49 am 
Chief Smithy
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Nice review. The printed part is called a pickguard and the white guitar has a black printed pickguard, just to add information to your review. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:06 am 
Swage Fitter
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Quickblade wrote:
Nice review. The printed part is called a pickguard and the white guitar has a black printed pickguard, just to add information to your review. :)


Thanks for the catch Quickblade. That's why I do these draft reviews.

I'll update the info before Wednesday.

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:45 am 
Chief Smithy
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Great review, and love your minfig - instruments combo. Good stuff!!

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:08 pm 
Forge Master
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Another awesome review! It might be worth adding that a drawback to the rounded neck design is that if the element is turned/rotated in the minifig hand the connection will be lost. This was a compromise we had to make to insure the accessories looked like their larger-scale counterpart.
Also, the Drumstick makes a great Harry Potter wand!

-A

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:29 pm 
Swage Fitter
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Armothe wrote:
Also, the Drumstick makes a great Harry Potter wand!


I didn't think of that! Makes me wish the new HP sets were out now instead of this weekend...

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:04 pm 
Smelt Sire
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Armothe wrote:
Another awesome review! It might be worth adding that a drawback to the rounded neck design is that if the element is turned/rotated in the minifig hand the connection will be lost. This was a compromise we had to make to insure the accessories looked like their larger-scale counterpart.
Also, the Drumstick makes a great Harry Potter wand!

-A

Makes me wonder why Lego didn't use their new 1x3 rod for the wands.

Cygnet your reviews are amazing and glad you incorporated all the stuff together for those who are looking for what they want. I'll see if I can get this on frontpage for EB when you post it.

-Omi

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:00 am 
Swage Fitter
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The review is now up on the blog. Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

The 'goal' is to have this up on Eurobricks Friday, given I'm out for a few weeks after the weekend.

@Omi - A big thanks in advance if you can help get this posted on the EB front page. It really makes a difference in driving traffic to the review...and hopefully to BrickForge.

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback - Instruments Review
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:11 am 
Swage Fitter
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Quote:
Makes me wonder why Lego didn't use their new 1x3 rod for the wands.


I'm wondering if this round of HP sets were rushed out to coincide with the video game launch (learning from the ghosts of LEGO Batman). I listened to LAML podcast this morning and they played a clip of Steve Witt saying, 'no more Harry Potter' several months ago...yet here they are. Yes, he may have been keeping his cards close to his vest, but why say anything at all then?

Most are redesigns of old sets, except the Burrows. Also the 'official' early screen shots of the minifigs ended up being different from what launched (not that this is uncommon, just there were a lot more placeholders thrown in than usual). The 3L bars shouldn't have been that difficult to produce, but who knows.

Given some of the nifty molds coming out of China these days, I am surprised they didn't succumb to fan wishes and design a more detailed wand.

On a separate but related note...during the LAML podcast (http://radio.laml.org/) they recognize that LEGO's been 'borrowing' from BrickForge quite a bit (in reference to Series 3). They also have some funny ideas on how that process might go down...

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