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24 Sep 19:26

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Sleeping Beauty

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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Well, I guess there are plenty more comatose fish in the sea.

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Hey geeks! You can enter for a chance to win an early copy of Soonish here!

23 Sep 23:54

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Lemonade

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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It's so easy to get adults to give in to peer pressure.

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23 Sep 04:53

Comic for 2017.09.20

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
22 Sep 18:49

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Humor

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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How many blondes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, because automation has eliminated the need for humans.

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20 Sep 21:11

Hands on with the new LEGO Star Wars 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon [Review]

by Andrew

When LEGO sends The Brothers Brick an early copy of a LEGO set to review, receiving it a few days before it’s widely available is generally not a problem. We just spend a couple evenings building, photographing, and writing up the review — no big deal. But when the new 75192 Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon lands with a resounding “thump!” on our doorstep two days before it’s available to LEGO VIP Program members, that’s a bit of a different story. TBB Senior Editor Chris Malloy and I have spent literally every spare moment since last Monday (a week and a half ago) slaving at the brick to bring you our hands-on review of the largest LEGO set ever released.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The new UCS Millennium Falcon includes 7,541 pieces with 10 minifigs, and costs USD 799.99. That obviously makes it the most-expensive LEGO set ever released, and we’ll address the price later in the review.

Fair warning up front that this review will be as much about the subjective build experience and our Gestalt perspective on the completed model as it will be about details like parts, minifigs, and building techniques. We expect that many of our readers will not be able to afford an $800 set, and we want to give you as much vicarious insight as possible into the end-to-end experience. We’ll also do our best to compare this set with the earlier 10179 UCS Millennium Falcon from 2007.

The box and instruction book

The obligatory “The box” section in our LEGO set reviews is generally intended for our readers who are interested in seeing what’s on the back of the box before they buy it, and of course to let everyone know whether it’s a disposable box or reusable collector’s box (like LEGO Architecture and earlier LEGO Ideas sets). I don’t find cardboard packaging particularly scintillating myself — I’m more about the little plastic bricks on the inside — and I only write those sections somewhat under duress, after much goading and nagging from Chris, on our readers’ behalf.

But there are certainly LEGO sets whose packaging blows me away, like the lovingly placed tires and small printed details in the 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS released last year. The Falcon’s box isn’t quite so … artisanal, but she’s got it where it counts, kid! The box clocks in at a whopping 28.8 pounds. It’s about 21 inches wide, 18 inches tall, and 15 inches deep (53 x 46 x 38 cm).

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Inside, there’s a tray for the instructions, which themselves clocks in at a monstrous 6.4 pounds (2.9 kg). Underneath, there are 4 interior boxes that contain the set’s 17 sets of numbered bags.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The interior boxes line up with a printed scene showing line art of the Falcon, along with lines from Han Solo about the Millennium Falcon.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Mere words like “whopping” and “monstrous” don’t really do justice until you’ve seen this box yourself in person. LEGO stores apparently provide special wheel attachments so customers don’t do themselves an injury hauling it away. Here’s the box again with a 32×32 baseplate for scale.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The back and sides of the box include more line art and photos of the play features, interior details, and minifigs.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The instruction booklet is hardly a booklet. It’s a ring-bound book that weighs more than 6.4 pounds (2.9 kg). The book isn’t just heavy, it’s big — 16.5 inches wide by 11.4 inches tall (42 x 29 cm). That results in a lower overall page count than one might expect, though the earlier 10179 UCS Millennium Falcon’s instructions was also ring-bound. The resulting tome is 466 pages long, spanning 1,379 steps. Compare again to 10179 with 314 pages (10179’s “main-line” instructions only counted final assembly of sub-components, so ended with step 97 on the final instructions page — I’m not currently inclined to count the actual total, sequential steps).

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The first 16 pages of the instruction book include concept art by Ralph McQuarrie and other Star Wars artists, schematics from the Essential Guide series of reference books, and interviews with several of the designers who contributed to the LEGO set. (We interviewed the LEGO Star Wars designers ourselves recently, so be sure to check out our report from the midnight launch event in London.)

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

One of the designers talks about the “bake test” that LEGO sets go through to stress-test connections by heating a set up in an oven (or a public sauna, in the case of this massive set) — part of the design process that secretive LEGO has not previously revealed. While some of the questions and answers aren’t especially revealing, the interviews are well worth a read — probably after you’ve skipped over them first to start building right away.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The build

First, let’s take some time to put this build into perspective. Most LEGO Star Wars sets I build — both for fun and to review here on TBB — are in the $50-150 range, and I generally spend a pleasant evening building something like 75101 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter ($70) or 75187 BB-8 ($120). Building quickly (and granted that when I build for pleasure I’m not building for speed), I can bang out a $50 set with about 500 pieces in something between one and three hours — a pleasant weekday evening or Sunday afternoon diversion.

It’s worth emphasizing again that 75192 Millennium Falcon includes 17 groups of bags, averaging 444 pieces in each group. So, that’s like building a typical $50 Star Wars set seventeen times. Aiming for speed to get this review out in a timely manner, I averaged about an hour per bag group, so building the Millennium Falcon took the equivalent of more than two 8-hour work days, occupying 100% of my available spare time over this past week (in my defense as a participating member of my household, I did clean the gutters and clear some blackberry vines). If I were building this purely for leisure, lingering to admire details and techniques, it would likely have taken twice as long, and I’d probably have spread it out over a couple of weeks. Other sites have done multi-person team builds that still took 12 hours over 2 days.

Part of the problem with the multi-bag packaging inside interior boxes is that the bags are not arranged sequentially in the boxes. Presumably to balance the weight of the boxed set (or some other arcane production reason), bag groups are distributed seemingly randomly throughout the four boxes. For example, the first box we opened had the bags numbered 1, 4, 14, and 15. So, you’ll spend the first few minutes of your build experience digging through deep interior boxes looking for, sorting, and rearranging bags.

With that sheer scale and impact on your day-to-day non-LEGO life in mind, let’s begin…


The first six sets of bags all primarily build the Falcon’s underlying Technic frame, which 75192 largely shares with 10179 (confirmed by LEGO set designer Hans Burkhard Schlömer in the Q&A section).

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The LEGO Falcon’s core frame consists of Technic beams sandwiched between plates, reinforced by 3L Technic liftarms and pins. Very little recognizable detail is in the first group of bags, but the first six of the Falcon’s seven landing gear are built from the parts in the second group of bags.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Chewbacca and C-3PO turn up in the third group of bags, accompanied by a pair of little creatures from The Last Jedi called porgs. We’ll cover the minifigs and creatures in more detail later in this review. The third bag adds the underside of the front mandible, the forward landing gear assembly, and two interior sections.

The main hold area includes the lounge where Threepio advises Artoo to “Let the wookie win” while playing the chess-like holographic dejarik game. The lounge area includes padded seating, and the dejarik board is printed on a black radar dish. The engineering station has a swiveling seat and a mix of printed and stickered elements.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The corridor entrances are particularly ingenious, with tan elements that encircle the doorway. To create the illusion of a curved corridor that extends to other parts of the cavernous ship, LEGO Star Wars graphic designer Madison O’Neil created stickers that you apply to 1x6x5 panels and slip in behind the round entrances. The brick-built archway combined with the stickered panel create a trompe l’oeil effect that would certainly fool Wile E. Coyote (or any near-sighted Imperial stormtrooper).

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The sticker sheet itself is fairly large, but the actual number of stickers is small for such a large set, with the specification sheet and corridor entrances taking up most of the sticker sheet.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Bag group 3 includes the seat for the upper quad cannon emplacement, which won’t get completed until the very final bag group, 17. The core Technic frame also supports two greeble sections that will remain exposed after all the hull sections are added.

Han Solo and Leia Organa turn up in the fourth set of bags wearing their cold-weather Hoth gear from The Empire Strikes Back, with the parts for the rear port interior section and the first sub-assemblies for the outer hull.

According to both DK reference books that show the Falcon’s interior layout (Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections from 1998 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections from 2015), the rear compartment includes the crew quarters and access to the hyperdrive, with escape pods near the center-line of the ship. The rear interior compartment in 75192 Millennium Falcon compromises a little bit with absolute movie (and reference book) accuracy in favor of more interesting details than a bank of bunk beds, so you get the Class 0.5 Isu-Sim SSP05 hyperdrive and engineering bay where they belong, with a pair of doorways for escape pods on the far port side where the bunks should be. There are also three arched doorways leading off into curved corridors, with another pair of stickered panels.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The floor of the rear compartment has a 1×4 plate that is removable, presumably to reenact smuggling activities not shown on screen in the Classic Trilogy or the scene in The Force Awakens when Rey, Finn, and BB-8 try to hide from Han and Chewie. However, the space is so small that you can’t fit one minifig underneath the 1×4 plate, much less several. Regardless, it’s a fun detail.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The sub-assemblies for the lower hull’s exterior sections are not especially interesting, largely built from plates attached to more Technic beams, which then clip onto the core Technic frame with pins. Other than a floor to provide an exterior hull, the starboard interior section is empty — something I’ll come back to when discussing the finished model.

The fifth group of bags finishes the rear underside of the hull, along with the iconic sublight engines at the back of the ship. The underside of 10179 was built like a box, with stud oriented up, stuck onto the undercarriage of the Technic frame only with the sheer clutch power of the studs themselves.

If the interior sections were a hint of how different 75192 is from 10179, the rear underside is your next big clue: The designers gave as much attention to the exterior detailing of the rear underside as they did to the upper hull — no mean feat given the dearth of publicly available reference materials about what the Falcon looks like underneath. The large hull panel wraps around the underside of the interior sections, and has all the details that the corresponding upper section has, from the vertical fins (fuel drive pressure stabilizers) to various unnamed greebles. The rear hull section attaches to the Technic frame with clips, and rests neatly on the previously attached lower hull sections, angling gently up with another set of clip/bar connections.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The next sub-assemblies build the frame and “greeble sandwich” center for the curved hull sections behind the round airlocks on either side of the vessel. The port and starboard segments are identical, which means that they’re inverted from each other on either side.

The blue glow of the sublight engines is achieved with long trans-blue tubes attached to Technic pins, framed by pirate ship rigging in light gray. This leaves a visible gap between the tubes and the rigging, detracting from the grid effect on the “real” ship that I’m sure the designers were aiming for.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

In 10179, the sublight engines were fully brick-built with a grid of 1×2 trans-blue tiles, and I have to question whether the tubing-and-rigging solution in 75192 was a shortcut to save on parts count after investing in a detailed interior, detailed underside, and even more detail on top. Either way, it’s a bit of a disappointing design solution.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The Millennium Falcon truly begins taking recognizable shape in the sixth set of bags, which add the frame for the instantly recognizable forward mandibles. Unlike the shorter sections behind the airlocks, the mandible frames are neither identical (x2 builds) nor mirrored — the greebles are subtly different on either side, and they look more…purposeful than the alternating jumper plates and 1×2 plates with bars on 10179.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

We’re now in the seventh set of bags, on step 471, nearly 200 pages into the instruction book. The seventh bags include the parts for the forward mandibles’ lower hulls, including round holes for the four equipment access bays. The 2007 UCS Falcon did have exposed equipment access bays on the underside, but they were built from standard “castle” arches and considerably cruder than the smoothly curved access bays on the new Falcon.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The bags numbered 8 add another set of underside hull sections (built again from plates and Technic beams connected to the frame with pins and axles), plus the exposed machinery in the equipment access bays on the mandibles. Each of the exposed sections has different greebles, so you end up building four panels on bricks with greebles on either side, attached sideways above the holes in the lower hull.

The ninth bags add a small section of exposed machinery behind the starboard mandible, along with the top covers for the mandibles themselves. The top covers are similar to the lower hull sections, with smoothly curved equipment access bays. As I attached the top covers for the mandibles to their frames, I felt like the Falcon was finally starting to show itself. Bar pieces and flex-tubing create numerous exposed pipes and tubes across the surface, and several of them drop down into the equipment bays. In what seems like a bit of an odd choice with stickers used elsewhere, a pair of 2 x 4 x 2/3 rounded slopes are printed, and attach from the “greeble sandwich” on the frame up over the upper section of the mandibles, on droid arms.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Much of the rest of the build from bag groups 10 through 15 add exterior hull sections built from sub-assemblies of layered plates, so we’ll go through them fairly quickly (and with large pieces like wedge plates, I spent most of my time attaching greebles and double-checking when I encountered extra pieces I shouldn’t have had left over at the end of a bag group).

The tenth and eleventh bag groups include the parts for the four, angular sections of hull that span the central section of the Falcon, out to the port and starboard airlocks, together with the boarding ramp underneath the starboard side. Other than the one section with the boarding ramp, these are largely simple builds with half-studded 4×6 plates attached with Technic pins to the “roof.”

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The boarding ramp looks like the other sections from the outside, but has some interesting Technic mechanisms to lower and raise the ramp. The sub-assembly feels a little wobbly until you attach it to the underside, at which point it becomes rock solid, and the ramp moves up and down smoothly on Technic friction pins without flopping down.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Bags #10 also contain the pieces for the lower quad cannon emplacement — another major upgrade from 10179. The quad cannon’s ring mount is almost fully circular thanks to the various rounded slopes LEGO has released in the last 10 years, and the window uses a TIE fighter canopy rather than an open (“webbed”) 8×8 radar dish. There are hardcore SNOT (Studs Not on Top) techniques built into the upper and lower ring mounts in order to achieve the outward-facing curves, along with attachment points for exterior greebles and the attachment point for the quad cannon itself. The whole assembly slides up into the frame and attaches with Technic pins on liftarms.

Finn and BB-8 join the party in the twelfth set of bags, which build much of the rear upper hull. The heat exhaust vents are also remarkably different from 10179, where they were built from webbed 6×6 radar dishes surrounded by 4×4 curved “macaroni” pieces. In the new UCS Falcon, a layer of 1×2 grill pieces is sandwiched between 4×4 curved corner plates and 4×4 quarter-circle tiles. That’s a difference of 5 pieces vs. 32, and thus the level of detail and movie accuracy is radically higher in the new version.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Two more upper hull sections drop over the rear of the Falcon, with removable sub-sections to access the compartment with an interior. Each section includes a hole where the machinery built onto the Technic frame can show through.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Bag group 13 adds the remainder of the rear upper hull, including the final pair of exhaust vents on either side. The fuel drive pressure stabilizer fins match the corresponding details on the underside.


Partway through the thirteenth group of bags, I crossed step 1,000 in the instruction book, which felt like a milestone worth noting as a life accomplishment that should be written into history books a hundred years from now.


The fourteenth set of bags is another hull section, adding the sloped section above the central freight-loading room and concussion missile tubes, as well as “wings” to either side that cover part of the front upper hull. Like the sections around the port/starboard airlocks and each of the rear hull sections, every new hull section makes the Falcon begin coming alive, but stacking plates and adding greebles isn’t very interesting to read (or write) about. The wings attach to the central sloped section with clips on bars, and angle down over the hull.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Bag group 15 includes a lengthy 2x build of the circular airlocks to port and starboard, and use curved slopes built SNOT-wise with an inset section surrounded by quarter-circle tiles to achieve a much more realistic look than the inverted 2×3 slopes that had huge gaps between them on 10179.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

After finishing the airlocks and a brief, four-step sub-build for the base of the main sensor rectenna, there’s another set of hull panels to cover the forward interior section, with another removable cover to access the inside of the ship.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Old Han comes home in the sixteenth (next-to-last) set of bags, along with Rey (whom I hope will get a surname in The Last Jedi). These bags finally have the parts for the cockpit and its tunnel to the main saucer section (shout-out to Star Trek fans reading this). The cockpit itself relies heavily on brackets angled in various directions to attach the front canopy and rounded hull. The canopy uses two new trans-clear printed pieces.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The rear of the cockpit section and tunnel back to the main hull is composed of sections of plates with curved slopes, attached with Technic pins. The whole assembly attaches with another set of Technic pins to the core frame, and the upper section of the tunnel slots onto an angled beam attached farther back.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

There’s a “spine” of greebles along the top of the cockpit tunnel.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon


A vague sense of impending loss hung over me as I opened the final set of bags. I’d spent every available spare minute over the past week building the new UCS Falcon, and the herculean effort was about to come to an end — somewhere between 17 and 20 hours, maybe more.


Bag group 17 begins with the mynock, further reinforcing the LEGO designers’ stated intent to depict the Falcon from Episode V. A couple small sections fill the final gaps in the surface of the upper hull, followed by the upper quad cannon emplacement, which is mostly identical to the lower emplacement, with some differences in coloring (including a pair of stickers to extend a section of dark red onto light gray bricks). The whole emplacement fits like a cap over the hole that contains the gunner’s seat.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The quad cannon itself swivels smoothly on its mount over the viewport.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The final bag also includes the two variations that enable you to build both the Episode V and Episode VII Falcon — the round vs. rectangular sensor dishes, and a pair of small details on the very front of the mandibles. The very last steps assemble the standard UCS specification card on its black stand, ending with step 1,379.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The minifigs & creatures

75192 Millennium Falcon includes ten minifigs in two groups — one batch from The Empire Strikes Back, and a second batch from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Han Solo and Princess Leia wear their outfits first seen on Hoth. For the first time, they each have reversible heads with breathing masks to supplement the atmosphere on the insides of an asteroid-adapted space slug. They’re accompanied by Chewbacca and C-3PO to round out the ESB asteroid belt crew.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The Force Awakens is represented by “veteran smuggler” (old) Han Solo, Rey, Finn, and BB-8. These minifigs add a different angle to the set, but are largely similar to the ones from previous sets released within the past two years. Each character has a reversible head with two different expressions, which are new, but the torso and leg printing is close enough to previous versions that I can’t tell the difference.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

To represent The Last Jedi without giving too much away, the set also includes a pair of bird-like porgs, which have a new print on BB-8’s head piece, and are quite cute.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Mynocks are flighty creatures you don’t really get a good look at in Empire Strikes Back, so I can’t say that the brick-built mynock is instantly recognizable out of context, but with bat-like wings and a sucker mouth, it’s right at home trying to eat through power cables on the hull of the LEGO Falcon.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

The finished model

I think we’ve established by this point that this is the largest LEGO set ever released. But just for good measure, it measures over 8″ high, 33″ long, and 22″ wide (21 x 84 x 56 cm). But honestly, size and scale are not what we should remember this set for over the coming years as we look back at the greatest LEGO sets ever released. Any collection of bricks can simply be huge (massive, monstrous, and so on), but it takes something special to make a LEGO set great (epic, awesome, etc.). If I wasn’t being 100% clear, I’ll try to be less circumspect: 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon is a truly spectacular LEGO set.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Over the past 25+ years, I’ve pored over multiple reference books, and of course I’ve been watching the movies all my life. I can’t think of ways to make a LEGO Millennium Falcon more accurate from an exterior standpoint, short of increasing the scale even more or adding electronic features like moving quad cannons or working lights.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

That said, the proportions are not 100% perfect, as this comparison of 75192 in the center against 10179 on the left and the movie Millennium Falcon on the right illustrates. The available LEGO wedge plates make the mandibles slightly too short, the airlocks are just a bit too big, and the shortened mandibles have the equipment access bays a little farther back than on the real thing. The biggest difference is set of six exhaust vents near the stern, which are all much too large on both LEGO versions. Unfortunately, I suspect that LEGO just won’t ever make circular pieces in an odd length/width that would happen to fit perfectly on the Falcon. Regardless, it’s a remarkable likeness, and the angle and size of the cockpit with its access tunnel is especially spot-on.

LEGO Millennium Falcons (10179 & 75192) vs. movie version

Photo montage by TBB contributor Edwinder Singh. Source image credits: Flickr user STICK KIM (10179), the LEGO Group (75192), and Lucasfilm/Simon & Schuster (movie version)

One big opportunity for builders to improve the new UCS Falcon is to fill the two empty interior compartments on the starboard side of the ship. Forward cargo hold #2 sits behind the right mandible, intersected at an angle by the cockpit access tunnel. The rear starboard compartment should have another engineering station, more engine details, and at least one of the escape pods that occupy this LEGO Falcon’s crew compartment area on the port side. Get building, and share your pictures of your UCS Falcon mods!

Every LEGO set includes play features, and it’s evident that this set is truly intended for adult builders — there’s not a single stud-shooter or spring-loaded missile anywhere in the set. This Falcon is more of a playset, with interior sections to recreate static scenes rather than functions for role-playing. Nevertheless, there are a few really cool “play” features, from the loading ramp I mentioned previously to the “ground buzzer” surface defense blaster that pops down from the underside.

As noted earlier during the build, the set includes parts for both the Empire Strikes Back and Force Awakens versions of the Falcon, mainly distinguished by the different sensor rectenna. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Lando pilots the Falcon through the second Death Star and whacks off the round dish, so the older Falcon seen in Episode VII has a replacement dish that’s square.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Another difference is much more subtle. The tractor beam projectors at the very front of the mandibles are different in the two versions of the Falcon, so there’s a small sub-assembly that you can attach to the Episode V Falcon to turn it into the Episode VII Falcon.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

We’ve been comparing 75192 Millennium Falcon mainly to the previous UCS Falcon, 10179. But it’s also fascinating to see how LEGO Millennium Falcon designs have evolved in the 18 years since the LEGO Star Wars theme launched in 1999. LEGO released its first Millennium Falcon in 2000, using rounded panels from the LEGO Space theme’s UFO line released a couple years previously. Early LEGO Star Wars sets were almost entirely lacking in detail, and the overall shape wasn’t really correct until LEGO created new wedge plates for subsequent LEGO Falcon sets.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

Conclusions, philosophical musings, and recommendation

Like a Toyota sedan or a can of Coca-Cola, LEGO is a mass-market product — the company is frequently the top toy company by revenue in the world, with products ranging from a few dollars for a Collectible Minifigure to 16+ sets like the annual release of new modular buildings. But companies also produce products that only a small subset of their customer base can actually afford, like the limited-run supercars that manufacturers like Volkswagen produce for the world’s billionaires: Fewer than 500 Bugatti Veyron supercars were delivered during the vehicle’s ten-year production run. These products are “prestige” products that set the company apart from its competitors, showcasing their design and engineering expertise.

I feel like the same is true of LEGO sets like 70620 Ninjago City and 75192 Millennium Falcon. Unless you win it from TBB’s LEGO Millennium Falcon Contest or some other contest, most of you reading this review will probably never own this set.

75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon

As a daring act of pure LEGO engineering prowess, the new UCS Falcon is a monumental achievement. But as a consumer product, I have to question whether dropping $800 on 7,500 mostly gray bricks is the best investment in parts. I’m consciously ignoring the secondary speculator/collector market — more UCS Falcons will be hitting LEGO stores on October 1st, but if you have $2,500 to waste in order to buy an $800 set a week or two earlier, you can find them on eBay and Bricklink today.

I also feel compelled to question whether dropping $800 on any LEGO set is the right way to spend that kind of money. And let me be clear: By “the right way,” I mean ethically, morally. A steady trickle of impulse purchases and investments in parts for custom models (MOCs or “my own creations”) surely adds up to far more than $800 for the average LEGO fan over the course of any given year. But in the context of broader world events and the state of society around us — and I don’t say this lightly, and I know I’m going to get hit hard in the comments section by readers who take their ethical queues from Ayn Rand rather than Martin Buber for even suggesting this — doesn’t it seem like there are more important and valuable ways to spend $800 all at once than purposefully, consciously, intentionally blowing that kind of money on something like a UCS Falcon? Like a Bugatti Veyron for billionaires, it smacks of privilege, and the very idea makes this card-carrying bleeding heart cringe — not least because I feel more than a little bit like a hypocrite myself. You can argue that some of the money trickles down to the designers, factory workers, and retail employees, but how much of every $800 UCS Falcon goes into the pockets of Denmark’s wealthiest family so that someone with the surname Kristiansen can add to a fleet of Ferraris? It all feels slightly obscene, like the beauty of pure science gone horribly awry.

But let’s set aside my progressive guilt and self-recrimination and return to the set itself.


I truly enjoy building LEGO Star Wars sets, but my favorite LEGO sets more broadly are ones for which I don’t have preconceived expectations, like the recent Saturn V and Fishing Store. It would be hard to consider 75192 Millennium Falcon my favorite LEGO set of all time, but it’s undeniably one of the greatest and best. With a monumental scale that enabled the designers to add every conceivable detail, including half an interior (leaving space for fans to supplement their own UCS Falcons), it’s hard to imagine how LEGO will be able to top this set any time soon.

If $800 and the necessary space to store either the finished model or 7,500 more LEGO pieces aren’t particularly thought-provoking, I genuinely hope you get as much pleasure from building this fantastic LEGO set — superlative in just about every way — as I did over this past week.


75192 Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon will be available again for the general public starting on October 1st, retailing for $799.99 in the United States, £649.99 in the United Kingdom, and 799.99€ in the European Union (likely more elsewhere, like Canada and Australia).

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

The post Hands on with the new LEGO Star Wars 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon [Review] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

20 Sep 20:15

USB Cables

Tag yourself, I'm "frayed."
20 Sep 19:33

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Algebra

by tech@thehiveworks.com


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
How am I the only person who's considered this consequence?

New comic!
Today's News:

We're now in our final month promoting Soonish. As ever, we really thank all of you who've preordered. I can't say everything, but those good early sales numbers have really opened some doors for us. So, thank you all!

19 Sep 20:31

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Glass Slippers

by tech@thehiveworks.com


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
And you rode to the ball in a pumpkin? No wonder you were covered in orange slime.

New comic!
Today's News:

New BAHFEST DAY! In which Beth Bearce proposes a new method of bosonoception:

19 Sep 06:57

The world has an abundance of "Devil's Bridges"

by Minnesotastan

The one in the photo above (that doesn't look real...) is the Rakotzbrücke at the Azalea and Rhododendron Park Kromlau (Germany).  (summer photo)
Devil's Bridge is a term applied to dozens of ancient bridges, found primarily in Europe. Most of these bridges are stone or masonry arch bridges and represent a significant technological achievement. Each of the Devil's Bridges has a corresponding Devil-related myth or folktale. Local lore often wrongly attributes these bridges to the Roman era, but in fact many of them are medieval, having been built between 1000 and 1600 AD. In medieval times some Roman roads were themselves considered beyond human capabilities and needs, and therefore had to have been built by the devil.
List of such bridges and some legends at the link.
17 Sep 19:41

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Kids vs. Adults

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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Alternate formulation: kids have energy but no power. Adults have power, but are tired and would like to sit and drink coffee for a few hours.

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Today's News:

Seattle BAHFest tickets are selling fast. Don't miss your chance to see me, Henry Reich, Sarah Andersen, and more!

15 Sep 19:27

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Hunting Man

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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I am prepared to read your emails on how I don't know how to pronounce 'pho.'

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Last full day to get in a proposal for BAHFest West!

15 Sep 07:06

Mamma mia! Che bella città!

by Alexander

If your haven’t travelled to Italy this Summer, Luca Di Lazzaro is bringing a piece of Italy to you. This stunning diorama is full of Mediterranean sun thanks to a brilliant choice of colours — tan, dark orange, reddish brown, and some touches of dark green and sand green. However, the unique irregular shaping of this tiny street is what makes the build look totally Italian. No wonder why that tourist minifigure looks so lost and delighted!

Finally here my little angle of Paradise..

The post Mamma mia! Che bella città! appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

14 Sep 17:53

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Likely Apocalypse

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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Honestly, God has rebooted the system at least twice and it hasn't gotten any better.

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Last few days to submit a proposal to be part of BAHFest San Francisco. We need your ideas to make it happen!

13 Sep 21:54

Why RSS Still Beats Facebook and Twitter for Tracking News

by msmash
An anonymous reader shares a report: One of the main reasons RSS is so beloved of news gatherers is that it catches everything a site publishes -- not just the articles that have proved popular with other users, not just the articles from today, not just the articles that happened to be tweeted out while you were actually staring at Twitter. Everything. In our age of information overload that might seem like a bad idea, but RSS also cuts out everything you don't want to hear about. You're in full control of what's in your feed and what isn't, so you don't get friends and colleagues throwing links into your feeds that you've got no interest in reading. Perhaps most importantly, you don't need to be constantly online and constantly refreshing your feeds to make sure you don't miss anything. It's like putting a recording schedule in place for the shows you know you definitely want to catch rather than flicking through the channels hoping you land on something interesting. There's no rush with RSS -- you don't miss out on a day's worth of news, or TV recaps, or game reviews if you're offline for 24 hours. It's all waiting for you when you get back. And if you're on holiday and the unread article count starts to get scarily high, just hit the mark all as read button and you're back to a clean slate.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

13 Sep 21:49

A place to call home in Hong Kong

by Elspeth De Montes

Walking amongst the old residential buildings in certain parts of Hong Kong, one looks up to see hanging laundry, treasured rooftop garden space, and air-conditioning units attached to dusty windows. Chiukeung Tsang has captured the scene perfectly in LEGO, with loads of character packed into one model. The curved corner is typical of the architectural style, as are the rows of windows, and the commercial nature of the ground floor with residential housing above. I particularly like the use of colour on the right, it lifts the entire build and adds visual interest without looking too garish.

2017_CK_old_building_MOCa27E

The view from the other side shows the typical ground floor shop, complete with awning, and the obligatory tourist posing for a selfie.

2017_CK_old_building_MOCa25E

The post A place to call home in Hong Kong appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

13 Sep 17:45

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - AAAAH

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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Of course, in real life that guy would be clawing his eyes out.

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12 Sep 21:14

ooZ

by Minnesotastan

Via the Pics subreddit.
11 Sep 23:36

Still in Use

'Which one?' 'I dunno, it's your house. Just check each object.' 'Check it for *what*?' 'Whether it looks like it might have touched a paper towel at some point and then forgotten to let go.' '...' 'You can also Google to learn how to check which things are using which resources.' 'You know, I'll just leave the towel there and try again tomorrow.'
11 Sep 23:34

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Longterm Saving

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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I hope they at least have weird social status games.

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In which Ben Tolkin explains the emergence of pwecious kitties.

 

PS: Submissions are still open to be part of our San Francisco show!

10 Sep 03:06

A quiet corner of chaotic Hong Kong

by Alexander

An extremely neat piece of Hong Kong by Vincent Lai is actually much more sophisticated than it may seem at the first glance. Three different architectural styles — the “legged” version that stands on the pavement; cantilevered one at the corner; and the typical set-back type with smaller windows — represent the evolution of the city throughout the second half of the last century. Moreover, the diorama tells several stories of ordinary citizens. For instance, an old lady picks up unwanted paper boxes and cartons in exchange of little money, while one of thousands of light trucks, buzzing around the city, is parking outside for loading. And, of course, bonus points are for the retro road sign piece, which is out of production for 20 years already.

Hong Kong Old-Styled Buildings (Tang Lou)

The post A quiet corner of chaotic Hong Kong appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

10 Sep 02:35

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Royalty

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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I'm so royal, my family tree looks like crochet.

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09 Sep 10:41

The Uncomfortable: A Series of Inconvenient Household Items Designed by Katerina Kamprani

by Kate Sierzputowski

The Uncomfortable is a series of impractical household objects by Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani. The infuriating works play off of common dishware, cutlery, and watering cans, making the task each is typically assigned either impossible or extremely difficult. Every object is created from the material it would be constructed from normally, making siamese wine glasses and linked ceramic mugs all the more humorous.

Often before Kamprani creates the physical object, she will create a 3D model to test its shape. Two of my favorite hypothetical pieces are her toeless rainboots and concrete umbrella, neither of which have been physically produced.

To see more of her works from The Uncomfortable check out the architect’s Tumblr and Facebook.

08 Sep 21:09

Cold reality shower

by Scandinavia and the World
Cold reality shower

Cold reality shower

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08 Sep 20:56

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Outsourcing

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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Once the dad gets replaced, the family will achieve peak efficiency.

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Last chance to submit a proposal for BAHFest Seattle or San Francisco!

08 Sep 20:40

Celebrity geophagia

by Minnesotastan
Many years ago I used to give lectures about geophagia (the consumption of clay).  I saw the phenomenon mostly among urban impoverished women in the Dallas area. Now I'm a bit bemused to discover that it has become a celebrity activity:

"Shailene Woodley, star of “Divergent” and “The Fault in Our Stars,” eats clay.  Zoë Kravitz once lost 20 pounds eating clay. Juice Generation, the popular purveyor of liquid lunches that’s partially owned by Salma Hayek, is introducing a one-ounce bentonite clay shot in September.

This Shilene Woodley is cited in a Guardian article as saying
"Clay binds to other materials in your body and helps your body excrete those materials that aren't necessarily the best for you."
What she doesn't cite are the reports I found in the medical literature of zinc deficiency causing serious medical problems in clay eaters.

There's more in the New York Times.  All of this ultimately linked to the current passion for "detoxifying" the body of some imagined evils.

Ingestion of clay was in fact historically a useful (and biologically valid) deterrant to poisoning by heavy metals in Greek and Roman antiquity. Terra sigillata, if ingested before the ingestion of a poison, could bind the toxin (basically acting as an ion-exchange resin) to facilitate excretion from the bowels.  That is the basis used by the modern charlatans to promote their quack concoctions.

For more, see Cup made of terra sigillata.

Reposted from 2015 to add a report about pagophagia in parrots, where the process serves as an essential source of sodium:

The parrots of Southeastern Peru crave an earthy delicacy: dirt. At the Colorado clay lick, a cliff face rising above the Tambopata River in the western Amazon Basin, parrots — often hundreds at a time from up to 18 species — gather each day to feast on sun-hardened clay...

Brightsmith previously showed, for example, that parrot geophagy is concentrated in moist tropical forests where sodium — critical for nerve function and muscle contraction — is quickly washed from the ecosystem, except where it's stored in hard clay. Amazonian clay lick soils typically contain levels of sodium 40 times greater than the parrots' plant foods.
More details at NPR.  The equivalent behavior in butterflies is called "puddling."

Photo credit: Frans Lemmens/Getty Images
08 Sep 20:38

"Alt-Jesus"

by Minnesotastan

From a discussion thread at the Political Humor subreddit.
08 Sep 20:37

Caption contest

by Minnesotastan

Flamingos being sheltered in the men's room at the Miami Metrozoo.

From an interesting article at NPR detailing how zoos cope with hurricanes.
06 Sep 23:13

Typing Notifications

Over the years I've decided I'd rather have them on than not, but I'm glad there aren't "has opened a blank note to compose a reply to you" notifications.
06 Sep 05:43

Happy Thirties

by Robot Hugs

New comic!

This is not a joke. People right now ask me how I’ve been and I’m like ‘bought this sweet dish rack. Also a garbage bin! Living the high life.’

I have become just so fucking interesting in my adult years.

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05 Sep 04:32

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Special

by tech@thehiveworks.com


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We are a unique and imaginative animal. Like, not me in particular, but I know a guy.

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Today's News:

Hey geeks! Just a few days to get in your proposals for BAHFest Seattle and BAHFest San Francisco! (please note, we've extended the Seattle submission date, due to some earlier errors on the form).