Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Items Arrive at Shop At Home

2010 is finally here, and that means that the new sets that have been slowly dripping into select stores should now be showing up everywhere. All the new items should now be available from Shop at Home, including one new exclusive (with apologies to my international visitors, all the prices below are in US dollars).
First, the LEGO direct exclusive (available from S@H and LEGO brand retail stores) - the beautiful upgrade for the Imperial Guards' Imperial Flagship:

(#10210, $179.99, 1664 pieces, 9 minifigs)

When the original Imperial Flagship kit came out in 1992, it was a nice kit but it was hardly the size you'd expect a true Flagship (in naval terms, not LEGO ones) to be. This kit might still look a bit small for ship aficionados, but the upgrade in size is worthwhile, the looks are great, the parts are excellent (and exclusive in some cases), and the price is pretty decent as Pirate sets go - 1664 pieces for $180.

Other highlights of this wave of new 2010 kits include:
Space Police Raid VPR:

(#5981, $9.99, 69 pieces, 2 minifigs)

An interesting development in the Space Police plotline, and the first clear connection between the original 1989 line and the current series. The alien's torso has both a double-printed Blacktron torso and Blacktron 2 logo. The officer in the set finally has a fully closed helmet, and even has a trans-red visor (which they haven't made SINCE the 1989 line). This set's a tad expensive, but the incredible new minifigs justify it (and make me wonder if we'll see more of a storyline develop - when did the Blacktron begin fraternizing with alieans?)

Woody's Roundup:

(#7594, $49.99, 502 pieces, 3 minifigs (4 if you count the new Toy Story horse))

The Toy Story line LEGO is releasing (thanks to their new licensing deal with Disney and Pixar) is off to an interesting start. Some of the sets are a bit expensive, but this one's right at the mark and includes quite a few rare pieces. The new character minifigs are very unique - we have hats permanently attached to heads, a new longer leg length, and even a new longer arm length. It seems like the best way to get LEGO to make a new part is to get a large licensing company to insist LEGO start making it - the Star Wars line had previously brought us new parts and colors, and the Toy Story line is already proving itself similarly fruitful. Additionally, this is the first new "Wild West" style kit we have seen since the late 1990's Wild West playtheme.

Tractor with Log Loader:

(#8049, $59.99, 525 pieces)

When the linear actuator component was unveiled a few years back, many of us Technic fans feared that this meant the end of the pneumatic system. As it was, we hadn't seen a new pneumatic kit in years and some parts (such as the air tank) were becoming quite hard to find (and expensive online). Last year saw their return to the Educational line, but this kit is the first to be available to the general market. As an added bonus, we finally get a new tractor design (last year's tractor kit was based on an older design, but in a new color), and (according to TechnicBricks' review) there's even parts and instructions included for building a motorized compressor.

Gateway of the Squid:

(#8061, $39.99, 354 pieces, 3 minifigs)

The Atlantis line is the big new playtheme this time out. It's a bit more exotic (and generally expensive) than the Power Miners series last year (which, by the way, is still around and will have additional new releases later this year) but it's turning out to be surprisingly interesting. New molded minifig parts abound, as do various earth-toned bricks and new elements. It's nice to see a new underwater line - they've tried several over the years - and the weirdness of some new elements and the mysterious new discs (which can open a gate in this set) are very appealing.

Finally, I wanted to spotlight one of the new Creator sets. The Creator sets continue to be the best values for the money, giving you plenty of special pieces and common bricks alike at a price lower than 10 cents per element. This one is just my personal favorite (I guess at some level these all are - you should really browse the full selection of sets yourself) - once again the Creator line features nothing but winning sets.

Apple Tree House:

(#5891, $44.99, 539 pieces)

A charming house with dark blue roof bricks and tan window frames. Sure, there are other nice features, but with those parts and that price-per-part ratio, aren't you already interested in one of these? The house may be a bit small but it's another winner.

No comments: