Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Olympic Pride

Name of Model: Justyna Kowalczyk
Created by: hippotam
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hippotam/sets/72157623528673878/detail/
Here's one last Olympic model for this year's games. While I had previously blogged the mascot/logo of the games in LEGO form, I haven't even mentioned the athletes. Apparently this whole juncture is some sort of athletic competition. This model, based on Polish skier Justyna Kowalczyk is a simply a fantastic miniland-scale figure. The Technic-scale skis (which also appeared in the 1993 "Ice Planet 2002" line) work beautifully here, as do the antennae as ski poles. The real coup, though, is how well the click hinges allow the figure to be posed. She actually looks like she's skiing downhill! While click-hinges are often dismissed as "juniorization" (something to make LEGO kits easier for very young children to assemble that doesn't add value to the creative building process) by long-time LEGO hobbyists (these hinges were new roughly 10 years ago), their ability to lock in place makes them perfect for creating sturdy angles. In this case, we see the click-hinges used for the legs and the older "finger" hinges used for the feet. The effect works perfectly here. It's a shame that we won't be seeing "finger" hinges manufactured again in the future - Steve Witt confirmed at BrickFair 2009 that they are permanently discontinued, and he cited quality control as the reason for change to the newer hinges. That is completely understandable - most of us who grew up in the 90's (when "finger" hinges were easy to come by) have seen a few break over the years. It's increasingly becoming clear now that adult resentment at their "juniorization" was misplaced - LEGO wasn't trying to make the part easier for children to use, and as we've seen with today's model, there are new things coming out of the adult LEGO fan community that couldn't have been built with the older hinges.

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