Thursday, March 29, 2007

Las Vegas bores me

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — What happens in Legoland Las Vegas will stay in Legoland Las Vegas — if the designers have anything to say about it.

With just hours to go before the official grand opening of a $1-million-plus scale model of the famed Las Vegas Strip, builders spent Wednesday snapping and glue-gunning the final few thousand bricks into place on replicas of 10 casinos — from the smooth black Luxor pyramid to the towering 20-foot Stratosphere, complete with a tiny working roller coaster shuttling green-faced passengers up and down the central spire.

Piles of little 3- to 4-inch Lego figurines — including scantily clad women, men handing out girlie fliers and partygoers toting neon green hurricane drinks — were stacked in bins and on the roofs of the waist-high casino buildings awaiting placement.

"We've got to get 2,000 little people in there this afternoon," design manager Pat DeMaria said as he surveyed the team of landscapers and engineers who were digging holes for tiny cacti and preparing to fill empty pools with water.

After years of complaints about the Disneyfication of Las Vegas, the famed Strip is getting the theme park treatment from DeMaria's designers. The new, 2-million-brick model recreates a handful of landmarks in intricate detail, from the bas-relief carvings on the campanile of the Venetian to the chic Tangerine bar set into the facade of the newly remodeled Treasure Island hotel.

The scale starts at 20-to-1 at the base, so the brick people don't seem dwarfed, and shrinks to 60-to-1 at the top, designers said.

About the only thing missing is any hint of gambling. Fiber-optic light boards advertise the Mirage dolphins and fake cabaret shows — in some cases headlined by the Lego designers' alter egos — but the constant jangle of slots and video poker machines is absent from the set.
Instead, there is a water-spitting Lego elephant, a two-track Lego monorail and automated Lego limousines that disappear into hotel-registration carports and then reappear on the other side. Kids can punch a button to see a parade of newlyweds come out of the Strip's infamous Little White Wedding Chapel — some in white gowns and tuxes, others in less formal nuptial garb.
"We wanted to make it kid-friendly," said Kristi Klein, the lead designer. "So there are lots of interactive elements for them, like the exploding Mirage volcano and the Treasure Island pirate ship."

Young Lego fans, drawn by the bright colors and all the moving parts, peered over yellow barricades that blocked off the new installation until its official opening Thursday.
The Las Vegas Miniland was built by a team of 15 designers in Carlsbad and at Lego headquarters in Billund, Denmark, over three years. It is the biggest scale model in the Legoland park, located 40 miles north of downtown San Diego, though the model Chrysler Building on the shiny New York New York casino is dwarfed by the plastic version rising a few yards away in the Lego Manhattan area.

"It's plastic replicas of fake copies of these great buildings," DeMaria said. "You have to take it a little tongue in cheek."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ooh! Oooooooh!

These guys just showed up on the overpriced, so I guess that means they're Out There. My list of gets is pretty short:

Old ones I missed:


Of course Hawk is grouped in there with Vulcana, so I'll be in good shape if I find one of those. Recent releases I still need are:

Single card:

Justice Lords Martian Manhunter
Justice Lords Green Lantern
Justice Lords Flash
Hawkgirl in yellow outfit
The Ray
Star Girl

(And the Aquaman I've got has a hook hand, so the two-handed version (see above) would kind of be like a new fig)

And that's it! I'm doing pretty good! Much better than I was doing when I posted this. Of course, I don't have a Black Canary, but that figure sort of sucks.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I found them, but they only had one of each

Inspired by your recent JLU finds, I went to Target today where they had exactly one of each of the above and a boatload of Superman and Batman. This is a good sign, however, as it seems that the purple cards are becoming more common in the aisles. I intend to look in two additional Targets before the weekend is over and I'll pick you up a Shade the moment I find him.