Wedding Painting Time-lapse Watercolor of a Couple at Leeds Castle, UK

A Time-lapse Watercolor Painting Artwork of a Wedding Couple at Leeds Castle UK. This couple had their wedding at the wonderful Leeds Castle in the Kent countryside in the UK.

Captain Carter Timelapse Watercolor Painting – What If…?

A quick timelapse watercolor painting of Captain Carter from Marvel What If…?Based upon work by @armoredheartcosplay and @thegeekstrong

#captaincarter #watercolorpainting #artwork #timelapse #marvel #marvelstudios #whatif #avengers #marvelwhatif #mcu #marvelcomics #marvelcinematicuniverse #disneyplus #agentcarter #peggycarter #supersolider #captainamerica #fanart #smallpainting #artist #londonartist #londonartists #artsy #arttimelapse #artvideo #timelapsevideo #artsagram #quickpainting #portrait #portraitpainting

LEGO DeLorean UCS Back to the Future Car MOC David Slater Review & Time-lapse. Is It Any Good?!

In this video we are going to review this custom LEGO UCS DeLorean Time Machine from the Back to the Future Movies. This was put together from David Slater’s instructions under license from Brickvault, and sourcing the pieces from our own collection and Bricklink.

We will go over the features of this LEGO DeLorean, give a size comparison with other common LEGO cars available, look at the pieces to make the model and identify the expensive ones. We will review the model in terms of Displayability, Playability, Value and Build Experience. We will make some suggestions on how the DeLorean could be improved and answer the question, Is It Worth Building and alternatives available.

After this we will take a detailed look at some of the specific features of the LEGO car before finishing off with a time lapse speed build with commentary. So strap yourself in as where we are going, we don’t need roads ….

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/

Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:

0:00 Introduction
1:04 Overview & Features
3:04 Size Comparison with other LEGO Cars
4:17 Expensive Parts, Piece Management & Bricklink
6:18 Displayability
7:18 Playability
10:08 Value
11:36 Build Experience
12:11 Suggestions & Recommendations
12:42 Is It Worth It?!
14:06 Close Up Features & Detail
17:32 Time-lapse Speed Build
20:00 Summing Up

Transcript from the Show (Partial)

’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here. In this video we are going to review this custom LEGO UCS DeLorean Time Machine from the Back to the Future Movies. This was put together from David Slater’s instructions under license from Brickvault, and sourcing the pieces from our own collection and Bricklink.

We will go over the features of this LEGO DeLorean, give a size comparison with other common LEGO cars available, look at the pieces to make the model and identify the expensive ones. We will review the model in terms of Displayability, Playability, Value and Build Experience. We will make some suggestions on how the DeLorean could be improved and answer the question, Is It Worth Building and alternatives available.

After this we will take a detailed look at some of the specific features of the LEGO car before finishing off with a time lapse speed build with commentary. So strap yourself in as where we are going, we don’t need roads ….

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

Overview & Features

So here we have the DeLorean and we’ll just run through some of the features. You’ve of course got the classic, iconic gullwing doors that open. You’ve got that there and you can look inside and see all the different bits in pieces in terms of the time circuits in there. Coming around the back you have the Mr Fusion, some details and profiling there and the other main thing that opens is the front bonnet.

Its nice and wedged in there, so I can pop that up there. And you can see the space in there would be for your spare tire. Of course, being a car it has what you’d expect in terms of your forward and back motion but it doesn’t actually have any sort of steering and the reason for that is the wheels themselves will enable you to flip out into flying mode that you saw at the end of back to the future 1 and then a lot of the second film Back to the Future Part 2. That’s got a really cool mechanism.

Just enable you to flip the wheels over pretty quickly like that and you know your ‘swoooshablitiy’. Looks really good.

Here I’ve just got it mounted up on a few transparent clear pieces that weren’t part of the part list. Just to go through and see it from all sorts of angles and looks pretty cool.

And we’ll quickly check out the inside to see the detailing inside which has been done really, really well. So you can sort of see the steering wheel and all the bits and pieces there. Then the center console and the chairs. Nice little buildable ones there. And the flux capacitor and things in there as well. Later on I’ll show you as it was being built cause its clearer as to how you can see things and get access to.

And if we quickly spin around to the other side and have a little look at what’s on the inside there. Bit better look at the time circuits. And you’ve got your Mr. Fusion sort of up there, done quite well. And some other detailing on the side of the car.

Size Comparison with other LEGO Cars

Here I just wanted to go through and give a comparison with some other LEGO cars that are currently available so you can get a bit of a sense of how big it is. Here we have the DeLorean compared with the Tesla which is actually a re-MOC version of the Mustang, which would be roughly the same sort of size cause it is just using the same bits and pieces. Click around the video to see a review and break down on that. So length wise they are about the same there, and then width wise, a little bit wider.

Comparing it with Dom’s charger from the Fast and the Furious movies, the Charger is a little bit longer, but then width wise, the charge is probably about the same sort of width. With these two however, you can really notice the weight disparity. Cause this is about 800-900 grams whereas this one here is almost a kilogram and a half. It feels like it is much more heavy than what it is. And that is the thing with this, it has been built really solidly, the weight is really there and you can really feel that there is 2000 odd pieces there.

Comparing it with the 1989 Batmobile however, it does feel a little bit small. The Batmobile is almost twice as long as what the DeLorean is. And then if you are looking at the widest parts there, the Batmobile is almost 1.5 times as wide at the widest point the fins.

Expensive Parts, Piece Management & Bricklink

We’ll go through and have a look at the parts I got from some 20-odd different Bricklink orders, and the rarer pieces and some of the more expensive ones. So here are all the parts to build this DeLorean, there are about 2000 pieces here of which I already had 1500 in my collection and then needed to Bricklink the last 500 which is really interesting.

Cause of the 1500 that I had, that was about £100 worth ($140USD) and of the last 500 pieces, that was about £250 or $350 US dollars. There are probably a few extra pieces in here as when I’m doing Bricklink, I try to order over what I actually need for some stuff cause there is nothing worse than if you want 10 of something and then the seller turns around and they only have 9 or something like that then you have to try to find the rest from somewhere else.

I always find it interesting how some Bricklink sellers send stuff. So this one here looks like somehow they have managed to vacuum seal all the pieces into their own individual slots.

So these are the most expensive pieces which you need to get for the set. So in these 20 pieces there is about £100 or $130 or $140 US dollars. So just quickly running through them. These blue shoulder mounts are about a £1 each. Each on of these little green unicorn horns are about a pound, these flat silver about a pound, these corner pieces here are about £2 each, they are about £3 each, each one of these little hooks, about £5. Each of these rims are about £5 each as well. These are second hand used prices.

But one of the most expensive pieces is this right here. It’s about £40 or $50 US dollars. This is going to be used for the windshield and it came in 1 set (3 in 1 creator 31070). I did look at trying to get the set itself off eBay or something like that, but unfortunately, I could never get it for less than £40. I could get it for about £40 / £45. That little hammer pieces is also a couple of pounds or a couple of dollars.

Normally these blue axle friction pins are about 1pence or 1 cent each. Whereas to do it in black is about a dollar or a pound each. And you need a couple of those. So hopefully they are going to be in a place that if you saw it or saw through it, the blue would be icky. Otherwise you are going to be paying that extra pound for a piece you aren’t going to see and doesn’t make a difference. We’ll soon find out.

Displayability

In terms of displayability, this model is fantastic for that as you can have it like this hovering mode here, or flipping the wheels back up, you can have it the other way. Really done a great job in capturing the lines and getting all the angles right. You know the iconic front part there and getting the sloping pieces here, the gullwing doors work, the sloping windscreen as it goes through there, and all the side detailing and grabbling, which goes along and just into, you know, this back area here. The Mr. Fusion, just some really nice ways they have these vents or whatever they are in the story.

The rear lights and everything you know just looks fantastic. Even the internals, even the way they have all the bits and pieces there. It doesn’t have the glass there, it does have the small little window opening they have gone through and figured out. And just having it in the way they are getting the angles coming down the side of it. Its really been well thought out and really well designed.

Playability

In terms of playability, this thing is really, really solid and rigid so you can swoosh it around pretty easily and you’ve got obviously the opening doors. And if we come through you can just, rolled it through. Its going to be easy enough to create scenarios and have a bit of fun with it.

The main thing you are going to be limited to is the front wheels, they don’t actually steer, they don’t have a full on steering mechanism, cause obviously the wheels will roll over when you convert it to hovering mode. Sure there is probably some genius bright spark out there that could figure out away to get it so it could do both, but I would imagine that is going to get pretty complicated. And you don’t have a great deal of space to achieve that with the angles sloping down. There is a couple of pieces in the way they hook together which is going to prove really challenging for that.

Which probably means you aren’t going to motorize it. You probably could cause in the back there, once you take this top section off, there is a bit of space there you could reconfigure. If you’ve only got it going forwards and backwards and not really able to turn, it might not be worthwhile doing that.

As rigid as what the main body is, you’ve still got a lot of these cables, ridges and piping tubes which if you just touch them in the wrong way, particularly some here, they can really pop off quite easily so whether or not you’d want to be manipulating that or small fingers, might prove a little bit of a challenge.

Then the underside at the back here, I don’t know whether because of the old piece that I had here, if I just left it in by itself, it kept popping out with the slightest little bit of a nudge. So what I’ve gone through here is just added in this 1×1 clip with a 1×1 stud there just holding it in place and that’s been there for the better part of a week now.

Now its probably formed it up to the shape that it needs to be you can probably get away without having that clip but it is going to pop out pretty easily.

So with regards to playability, the gullwing doors do come up and stay open. What I found when I first built this however, 1 of them kept falling down and then when I saw other people doing reviews on it, they had much the same issue. And what I found as a solution to it is you have one of these 1×3 cross technic pins which slide in there and into the back in there goes a little hook piece. Now what happens is the friction of that hook holds the door open.

And what I’ve found is that if this is slightly malformed in here, then the doors will start drooping and falling start down. So what I’ve found you need to do is when you have this here, make sure that when it goes in there, you need to make sure this is absolutely perfect. If it is not, then it will fall down. The other thing too, is when it is falling down if you can’t get that fixed, if you just push one of these chairs in slightly, what happens is that it creates a little bit of a blockage so you can get at least get the doors to stay open that way.

If you don’t have enough of these or struggle, or once you build it you couldn’t be bothered to address that issue.

Value

Value is an interesting one to have a bit of an assessment about. While it looks great and they managed to get all the lines and everything, to be able to achieve that, it comes at a cost. On the brickvault page where I got these instructions from, it suggested that the Bricklink price might be $350-450 US dollars. By the time I do the conversion, it is definitely over the higher end for what I paid for this , it is getting closer to $500 US dollars.

So it really is going to be something that is going to be hard to justify unless you are really into your DeLoreans. Don’t get me wrong though, it is a really solid build and it is quite weighty as well. But to achieve that has come at a fair bit of a cost.

So you could have optimized a few more of the piece usages. Those black cross pieces, they are actually hidden in behind there. So for them to be black, you don’t really need for them to be black. You could get away with them being blue and there is 2 pounds or a couple of dollars you could have saved there.

I’m not really sure he could have optimized it to any significant extent. Certainly on the underside, some of these plates and things you could have been able to do in light bluish greys or whatever the ones you have lying around. You can sort of see it starts to become a bit challenging in making them variable. If you are just making the whole thing looking as solid as possible from any sort of angle.

Particularly if you are going to be having it converted to hover mode and it is up like that and the underside is a mixture of black and grey and whatever other plates you have available, that might limit what you are doing with it.

Build Experience

The build experience on this was also pretty good. The instructions were quite clear. Each side, because it is mirrored, you do have to build each side slightly differently. Like the way that you build this part of the door is different from the other side. You are very rarely getting that sort of things, here do this twice or do this four times or whatever like that.

The instructions were pretty clear for the most part so it makes it quite good. There are just over 600 steps around 300 pages of instructions so quite well done. So it will take you 10, 12, 14 hours depending upon how you are going with it and obviously sorting parts that sort of thing to begin with.

Summing Up

#If you’ve enjoyed and / or gotten something out of this video, then hit that thumbs up button and/or consider subscribing. Is this a set you’ve built and do you think you’d be interested in building this? Sound off in the comments below. Or just leave the word “Biff” and we’ll know you watched the whole video.

What LEGO movie car is best? Check out this video here. Otherwise here is a review of that LEGO Mustang to Tesla Cybertruck mentioned earlier. Or alternatively, here is that Mustang to LEGO Porsche. However, this may be more of interest to you.

Thanks for watching and that’s it from us here a Family Bricks. Until next time when we talk about all things LEGO and lifestyle.

LEGOLAND Windsor UK Reopening 2021 – Is it Worth it? What has changed? VLOG

What is LEGOLAND Windsor UK like now it has reopened for the first time in 2021 with covid 19 measures in place? We will check out what is new, whats different, whats open, what’s not, the construction underway for the new rides coming in 2021. We will check out the restored Miniland, changes to LEGO retail at the park, and also give some hints and tips to get the most value out of your day. We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and first hand experience as a family.

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/

Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:48 Overview
1:38 What’s Open / What’s Not / What’s Closed
2:52 New and Different
5:17 Mythica
6:15 Miniland Restoration & Refresh & New
7:22 LEGO Retail
9:06 Hints & Tips
10:28 Is It Worth it?
12:19 Summing Up

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here. What is LEGOLAND Windsor UK like now it has reopened for the first time in 2021 with covid 19 measures in place? We will check out what is new, what’s different, what’s open, what’s not, the construction underway for the new rides coming later in 2021. We will check out the restored Miniland, changes to LEGO retail at the park, and also give some hints and tips to get the most value out of your day. We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and firsthand experience as a family.

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

OVERVIEW

We went to LEGOLAND UK on Monday April 12th, 2021, which was the first time it had been opened since easing of lockdown measures. Check the timecode below to jump to your section of interest as we will cover what is and isn’t open, what’s new and different, the new Mythica 2021 rides currently under construction, the restored Miniland and new features, changes to the LEGO stores in the park and hints and tips.

This was a crazy drive to LEGOLAND Windsor as it was actually snowing. Snow in London is rare enough, let alone in April. Certainly, made the M25 a scary proposition but we got there in double in the normal time.

Entrance to the park is the same as last years post covid measures, trying to be socially distanced in the queue (although car parking was however you wanted). The usual security bag check followed by some temperature guns. We got here at about 945am for a 10am opening and was pretty much straight through.

What’s Open / What’s Not / What’s Closed

All the indoor rides are basically closed so things like the Haunted House are obviously indoor and closed. And even the submarines, they don’t even let you up there, its barricaded off. So you can also see to the hotels are closed and probably won’t be opening til May sometime.

The outdoor rides are open so ones like the boats and cars. Ok, so the LEGO Ninjago ride is closed, the Ninjago shop is open, and come further around Destiny’s Bounty ride is open at the moment. So this is new and will be interesting to see what it opens up to be.

Laser Raiders and the Game Zone is closed, but most of the others like Aerial Nomads and the Thunder Blazer is open.

Pirate Shores is pretty busy with the playground of course being open and also to your rocking ship there, and the pirate falls as well (Screaming!!).

Knight’s Kingdom has a few things open, like Merlins Challenge, Dragons Apprentice and The Dragon. Spinning Spider is open and operational.

Viking River Splash is operational.

New and Different

Now for a quick overview on what is new and different.

As you come in they have completely rejigged this area hear with this new minifigure sculpture there. And they have chopped this up and changed it. There use to be a little coffee shop here. A nice little character build that the kids can also sit in.

A tree made out of lots of little bits of Technic at the top, as you come down more bricks, and inside here little miniature displays, that is in the top and the sides.

And all through out the park you’ve got this little spots to stand on when in queues to maintain your 2m social distance.

The old sort of build center is now the Rebuild the World Planet, which is not open at the moment. But they have finally got rid of the awning which use to have the Star Wars Millenium Falcon there.

This has been refreshed, it use to be the Banjo Player.

By the fire academy you’ve got this new water fountain sprouting coming out of the fire hydrant made out of LEGO bricks, which is new.

Outside the 4D cinema you have some new giraffes.

A new train conductor on the station.

A new bright, pink and purple colour scheme on the panda there, sitting in amongst the bamboo.

If you can’t have a unicorn, the next best thing is a rainbow coloured zebra.

Seeing LEGOLAND with a little bit of snow. Even LEGO Mount Rushmore has a bit of snow on it.

And some other little subtle changes like the cars, you use to go in and they would have them in a room showing them a movie on how to run and drive it. Where as now they just let them go straight through.

As obviously they don’t want them, parents and people crowding in a confirmed space.

And everyone over the age of 11 wearing a face mask.

And in the Duplo Valley playground they have closed down the LEGO shops and looks like it is going to be a coffee shop at some stage.

Heartlake café area all been given a fresh coat of paint. Looking nice and spiffy.

So down in Heartlake city in terms of the shows they are trying to get you to leave gaps between groups which has been marked out.

You can sort of see marked all the way around so you can do the whole socially distancing thing. But unfortunately at the moment there are no shows running.

Sweet shop has been revamped.

There were a few people using the ride and reserve, but not too many.

A lot of your take away food type places are open but your restaurants are not.

And the pizza pasta place has become fully takeaway, all the tables and chairs have been taken out. And there is seating outside for the Pizza and Pasta you pick up.

Mythica

In terms of the on going construction, you’ve got the area down by the squid surfers. The restaurant is obviously being redone , its still boarded off there.

So you can see a few of the new drop towers that are coming in there, another new arch into the general sort of area.

So you can see just through there is says “Creature Encounters” and in the back they have been building.

Originally in the planning permission it was outlined to be a LEGO Movie Cinema. I think they are going to change that to something else now as the LEGO second movie didn’t do too well. So its going to be a massive theatre of some description. That should be coming very soon.

So the new area just off Heartlake looks like it is going to be about Mythica theming, which they were doing contents and things for over the winter period. So the new Mythica area, looks like you’ve got a children’s playground here with the slide coming down there, the restaurant is now the new Hungry Troll and some of the new LEGO models look pretty cool.

Looks like one of the new drop rides are going to be called “Fire and Ice”.

Miniland Restoration & Refresh & New

LEGO Miniland, lets check out what new things have been added and revamped and refreshed.

NASA has been refreshed with some new little men down there and a couple of boosters and a space shuttle, and so on.

A few more rockets like the real John F. Kennedy Space Centre

Getting a lot of restoration work being carried out. So, in and around the docks that has all been restored there, and some of the ships in brighter, whiter colours. Even in the back here some of the cruise line ships like the Bella one over there.

The Dragstrip one the building has been refreshed. Obviously, the drag strip itself is not here but that was looking pretty tired and did need some work.

The European section has had a lot of restoration. A lot of these buildings were really showing signs of wear and everything like that and sun discolouration. Where as now, bright and crisp, particularly a lot of the reds and whites

New upgraded Waterloo station in the London Section.

A couple of lost sheep have appeared.

Big Ben clock face looks like it has been given a bit of a refresh as well, all nice and crisp and sparkly.

LEGO Retail

Just off the main entrance where they use to have the little shop, that is now gone and looks like they have been consolidating a number of shops through out the park.

So, where you use to also have the café there, that’s been removed and they have completely refurbished this, which use to be “Big Shop”. So now that is all completely LEGO retail.

The interior retail space has been completely redone and given a nice, fresh coat of paint, completely changed the layout and organization.

Interesting to see the build models on top and not behind glass. Obviously behind glass there is a bit more of an ability to deal with theft.

Of course all your Star Wars stuff is altogether and looks interesting with the black and white boxes.

Coming around to the check outs, so hopefully more organized and in a more consistent sort of away.

Check outs, new models in there, going around, Technic section and all away across and through the back.

Interesting new little layout for the Build your Own little minifigures and then going across to Mosaic Maker. Use to be only in the main flag ship Leicester Square store in London.

Then you’ve got this Pick & Build sort of section which is kinda like a Pick a Brick but slightly different.

Apparently later in the year they are going to have your own customize minifig where you’ll be able to print on the torsos your own design and so that will be interesting.

And they are calling it the “Personalisation Studio”.

Probably the only retail store that has Vidiyo at full retail price of £18. And here you have a magnifying glass to try to see the value in Vidiyo.

Down near Heartlake there is a new way to do virtual shopping. Scan the code, use the password, enter in what you want to buy and collect later on.

Hints & Tips

Some quick hints and tips to get the most out of your day and not get blown away by the expense.

Given that the hotels are closed, it is worthwhile getting here a little bit early, so then you can go through and quickly do a couple of rides  before any queues get out of control.

With the hotels being closed, there is no early access for others to get in, so if you are in first, you can be first, as the lines do get progressively longer during the day.

Also, if you are booking online more than 7 days in advance, you get further discounts and usually definitely if you book the day before. If you book on the day, online its usually full price, whereas if you do the day before online, it can be 50% cheaper and a more reasonable sort of price.

If you pay for the Pizza and Pasta online, there can be up to a £5 discount as opposed to paying at the til. If you pay your parking online, that can also be a pound or so off without having to queue and deal with the hassle of the parking ticket machines.

At the end of the day, the queue to get into the shop is crazy. So either do it during the day, or we just came up from the Ninjago shop down where the Ninjago ride is and there was nobody in there. So, if Ninjago is your jam, get it from down there and don’t queue up, up here.

While they do have the Reserve and Ride, the old Qbot, it didn’t feel too bad today. Other times we have been here and there will be lots of people being able to use them and jump the queue. Whereas today there was only a few times people were doing that.

So, the other side of that is if you do want to get onto the rides, its probably value for money in that the queues aren’t all that long.

Is It Worth it?

So is LEGOLAND in 2021 worth a visit? I think it is going to be one of those things that really depends. When we originally booked our tickets, we didn’t know that the indoor rides were all going to be closed.

So being nice English weather, I think if you get a really rainy day or like that, then standing out in the rain for the open air rides is going to be real issue and a bit tricky. On the flip side of that, it might actually mean that people don’t actually come.

We have quite a good day. Seeing we’ve been able to get onto quite a number of rides and the ride queue lengths have only been about 30 to 35 minutes at the worst of times. So it hasn’t felt bad like what it did last summer, and there are links around the video where you can see that.

The only thing I would qualify it with is you are still paying full price tickets which can be a bit of a sting in the tail.

However if you are after a lot of the indoor rides, Ninjago, Haunted House, those sorts of things then probably wait until May or late May when they open up.

Otherwise, they have done a few upgrades and refreshes over winter but nothing that I’d say to definitely come back and check out.

If anything, maybe towards the end of May when they open up the Mythica, that might be better value to come then and see things.

We let our Merlin Annual passes expire last session as they have dramatically increased the price structure of the Merlin Annual pass and really isn’t value for money anymore. Check out this review where we discuss this in depth (link around the video).

Numbers wise it hasn’t felt too bad, whether or not that is because this has been the first day, and this morning it was snowing and people didn’t want to end up coming along, or whether they haven’t quite figured out it is open yet and things like that.

So, if the numbers get worse, which they did last season, then it might not be as enjoyable.  

Hopefully, the park numbers can stay down to what they were today. But unfortunately, I have a funny feeling they will go back up like what they did last time /year.

In terms of social distancing, most people seem to be following it with lots of masks with lots of people, so it is good that way.

Still there is some who won’t, while you have the 2-meter dots on the floor, there are sometimes people who don’t pay a huge amount of attention to that. So, it can be a little frustrating.

Over we had a good day and the kids really enjoyed themselves and we were able to get on lots of rides that we outdoors so enjoy a bit of the sunshine.

Summing Up

So that is it from us here at Family Bricks. If you want to check out a full walk through of the park in a couple of minutes, click the video here. Alternatively, if you want to see another video on How to Save Money at LEGOLAND, check out this video. Alternatively, here is a walk through of LEGOLAND Dubai.

That is it from us here at Family Bricks. Thanks very much for watching. Please like, share, and subscribe.

Until next time when we talk about all things LEGO and Lifestyle.

Iron Man Custom MOC vs LEGO Iron Man Helmet 76165. Which is better? Review Time lapse Speed Builds

In this video we are going to look at the official LEGO Iron Man Helmet set 76165 vs a custom MOC design by ZetoVince that is available for sale on rebrickable.com.

Head to Head, how do they fair, which one is better and will come out on top? We will look at each and even a few surprises the custom fan design MOC has. Both models will have a quick time lapse speed build as well so you can get a sense of how they differ in construction.

At first glance, which do you prefer? The fan design or the official LEGO design?

Affiliate Links:
LEGO 76165 Marvel Iron Man Helmet Display Building Set https://amzn.to/3klEOmV

Instructions for ZetoVince’s Iron Man MOC can be found on rebrickable.com:

https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-49601/ZetoVince/iron-man-helmet/#details

LEGO Telsa Cybertruck MOC from Ford Mustang set 10265. Review & Time lapse Alternative Speed-build

In this video we are going to look at this custom MOC Telsa Cybertruck that is built exclusively from the pieces in this LEGO Ford Mustang set 10265 that was released in 2019. This alternative build b-model was created by fan designer geraldcacas and instructions can be purchased from rebrickable.com

https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-37419/geraldcacas/cybertruck-alternate-build-of-ford-mustang-10265-set/#details

We will also give a quick review in terms of build experience, displayability and playability. We will also give a quick time-lapse speed build so you can get a sense of how the set goes together. Is this set worth building?

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/

Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:50 Overview of Rebricking & Scale
1:40 Features
3:20 Build Experience
3:40 Displayability, Playability & Value for Money
4:25 Time Lapse Speed build
7:00 Summing Up

#review #LEGO #cybertruck #telsa #motor #model #elonmusk #truck #musk #legoart #legobricks #legoman #legolife #legobuilder #legocreations #legoinstragram #legofan #legocommunity #legofun #legomania #legostagram #homewithkids #boredkids #legovideo #legoquickreview #macatsim

LEGO Porsche 911 MOC from Ford Mustang set 10265. Review & Time lapse Alternative Speed-build

In this video we are going to look at this custom MOC Porsche 911 that is built exclusively from the pieces in this LEGO Ford Mustang set 10265 that was released in 2019. This alternative build b-model was created by fan designer ale0794 and instructions can be purchased from rebrickable.com

https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-34163/ale0794/10265-porche-911-turbo-b-model

We will also give a quick review in terms of build experience, displayability and playability. We will also give a quick time-lapse speed build so you can get a sense of how the set goes together. Is this set worth building?

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/

Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:50 Overview of Rebricking & Scale
1:24 Features
2:30 Build Experience
4:25 Build Improvement Suggestion
6:43 Time Lapse Speed build
9:00 Summing Up

#review #LEGO #porsche #porsche911 #porscheclub #porschelife #porsche918 #porschedesign #porscheclassic #porscheturbo #porschelove #PorscheGT3 #porschepanamera #porschecayenne #porschecarrera #porsche964 #porschefans #porschecayman #porsche356 #PorscheGT3RS #porsche911turbo #porscheracing #PorschePix #porscheporn #porschegram #porscheartdaily #porschemacan #porsches #porschelovers

EPIC Mistake?! LEGO Porsche 911 GT3 RS Review – Still Good After 5 YEARS?! Set 42056

In this video we are going to look at the LEGO Porsche 911 GT3 RS that was released in 2016, and its major mistake. It was the first in the new waves of branded, elaborate supercar Technic builds. How does it hold up 5 years down the line?

We will also give a quick review in terms of build experience, value for money, displayability and playability. We also turn over one issue about the build that LEGO appear to have gotten wrong. The gearbox issue.

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:43 Overview
2:55 Box & Packaging – First Black Box?!
4:15 Instruction Manual, History of Porsche & Designers
7:15 Build Experience
8:50 Value for Money
9:21 Playability
10:00 Displayability
11:30 1 Page Review Summary
12:30 How Does it Hold up 5 Years On?!

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/

Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

LEGO Monorail 6399 Airport Shuttle: Why So EPIC? Complete Guide, Review, Time Lapse Speed build

What’s the big deal with LEGO Monorail and what makes it so EPIC? In this video we are going have a comprehensive look at LEGO Monorail Airport Shuttle set 6399 released in 1990. We will look at what makes it so great, the mechanics of how it works, and a quick buyer’s guide on the rarer and expensive parts.

We will also give a quick review in terms of build experience, value for money, displayability and playability, and finally finish off with a time lapse speed build and commentary.

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:46 Overview
1:23 What is included in the set?
3:00 Buyers Guide – Key Pieces & Rough Prices
5:20 How does LEGO Monorail Mechanics Work?
9:00 Integrating into LEGO Cities & Monorail Track Design
10:24 Monorail Carriages – Power & Connections
11:20 Monorail vs LEGO Train Track
12:55 Why Doesn’t LEGO Bring Monorail Back?
13:50 Quick Review – Build Experience
14:50 Playability
15:18 Value for Money
15:45 Displayability
16:22 Review 1 Page Summary / Overview
16:40 Time-lapse Speed Build & Commentary
19:14 Summing Up

#monorail #legomonorail #airportshuttle #legovintage #legorarity #monorails #monorailtrack#review #LEGO #legoart #legobricks #legoman #legolife #legobuilder #legocreations #legoinstragram #legofan #legocommunity #legofun #legomania #legostagram #kidsplay #kidsplaying #kidsplaytime #keepingkidsbusy #funwithkids #boredkids #legovideo #legoquickreview

DO NOT BUY MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT DISCOVERY, GOLD & PLATINUM ANNUAL PASSES before seeing this video!

DO NOT BUY MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT DISCOVERY, GOLD & PLATINUM ANNUAL PASSES before seeing this video! These passes are effectively the rebranded Merlin Entertainment Standard and Premiere annual passes of days gone by.

We’ve used annual Merlin Passes in both pre and post covid world and can see the difference. The main issue is what you discover after you’ve purchased your passes that you wish you knew before you purchased your passes. By watching this video, you’ll be able to see a couple of these key considerations and discover that what is written on the tin, may in fact not be the case.

Merlin Entertainment Passes give access to:
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort UK
LEGOLAND Discovery Centres
The London Eye
SEA LIFE Centres
Thorpe Park Resort
Alton Towers Resort
Blackpool Tower
Chessington World of Adventures
Madame Tussauds
Shreks Adventure
The London Dungeon (and other Dungeons)
Warwick Castle

Time codes to the Video:

0:00 Introduction
1:00 New Discovery, Gold & Platinum Annual Passes vs Old Standard & Premium Passes
2:45 Questionable Customer Feedback
3:35 What they don’t tell you that you wish you knew
4:00 “Throttling” / “Capping” Annual Passes – Problems booking annual tickets
5:15 Merlin Entertainments Double Dipping on Customers
5:45 Non-Disclosure of Ticket Allocation Opaque Process
6:35 No Annual Members Access vs Non-Annual Full Price Access
7:05 Queue Times at LEGOLAND Getting Longer – Removal of Hotel Priority Ride Hour
8:50 What Access do you Truly Have to Attractions?
9:28 Undefined and Ambiguous Terms & Conditions
12:00 Short Term Gains at Long Term Expense – Alienating Current Customers
13:13 Is It Worth It?
14:30 Alternative Attractions
14:48 Summing Up

#review #merlinannualpass #altontowersresort #sealife #londoneye #thorpepark #blackpooltower #chessingtonworldofadventures #madametussauds #shreksadventure #warwickcastle #londondungeon #merlinentertainments #merlinpass #LEGOLANDWindsor #LEGO #themepark #worththemoney #queuetimes #fasttrack #LEGOLAND #Themepark #Miniland #HauntedHouseMonsterParty #DaysOut #DaysOutWithKids #Playground #keepingkidsbusy #funwithkids #homewithkids

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here. In this video we are going to ask if the newly rebranded Merlin Entertainment Annual Discovery, Gold and Platinum passes are worth it? We’ve used annual Merlin Passes in both pre and post covid world and can see the difference.

The main issue is what you discover after you’ve purchased your passes that you wish you knew before you purchased your passes. By watching this video, you’ll be able to see a couple of these key considerations and discover that what is written on the tin, may in fact not be the case.

Originally we purchased a Merlin Premium passes in May 2019 so got to experience the attractions in both pre and post covid environments, up until November 2020 (due to corona virus, the passes were extended by 5 months beyond their initial 12 month period due to attractions being closed during lockdown).

We have a number of videos on Merlin Entertainment attractions, what they were like post covid, and full time lapse walk throughs of a number of attractions. Check out our Merlin Entertainment Attractions play list for these videos linked around this video.

New – Discovery, Gold and Platinum Annual Merlin Entertainment Passes

Just this week Merlin have announced new passes and changed their offering. Their passes use to be called a standard pass, premium pass and VIP pass. The VIP pass is pretty much gone. The standard pass use to offer access except for school holidays and bank holidays. The premium pass pretty much had access all year round.

There were additional benefits to the passes which use to include 20% off food outlets within the parks, some free parking options and a number of £15 tickets for friends and family. These were largely icing on the cake as the key aspect you are paying for is access to get in the front door at attractions.

Now, the new range of Merlin Entertainment passes are called Discovery, Gold and Platinum.

The discovery pass is new and seems to offer 180 days Monday to Friday, excluding weekends and school holidays. So effectively appealing to nursery kids and family who can go during the week during slow times.

Gold pass appears to offer most days excluding bank holidays and other key dates. It is somewhat equivalent to the old standard pass but slightly  different.

The platinum pass seems to not have any date exclusions, can be offered year round. It is pretty much the equivalent of the old premium pass. The old premium pass was in the ball park of £170 a year (depending upon whether new or renewal). The new equivalent is £239 which is a 40% price increase, or a 76% price increase if you look at the post introductory price of £299.00). This is massive for effectively the same thing – granted there are some tweaks around the edges but largely the same.

The usual marketing trick of repacking something old, with a few changes so it is something new and they can distance themselves from this massive price increases and confuse the issue with it being an allegedly new product.

Questionable Customer Feedback

In Merlin’s communications they have made reference to these changes are based upon customer feedback. I do think this is disingenuous. On September 18th, 2020, we received their survey and filled it out. It was 12 questions and would offer you a choice between an A option and a B option, and was heavily skewed.

It was literally do you want horrible option A, which is a significantly restricted access to a single attraction for an expensive price, or horrible option B which is access to all parks at a significantly expensive price with numerous exclusions? You were choosing the lessor of 2 evils in essence. What they really needed was a 3rd option C allowing you not to choose either cause they were both unpalatable. But this didn’t happen.

There was no place in the survey to provide any written feedback so came across to us they have already pre-determined significant price rises and it was just what form that would take and/or what would draw the least resistance and backlash from customers.

What they don’t tell you that you wish you knew?

Have you ever purchased something and then gone to use it to discover all the little caveats and effective restrictions you weren’t really told about upfront. Or directed to the small print where there is an exemption that you weren’t told existed up front with rubbery marketing wording that is presented to be implied one thing but then actually means something else. For mine, these new Merlin Passes have a couple of these and they are significant  .

The biggest single issue we’ve experience in the post covid experience is the actual booking of tickets, This is where it becomes really murky, and where what’s written on the tin, doesn’t meet up with reality.

“Throttling” / “Capping” Annual Passes – Problems Booking Annual Tickets

The issue is around what we like to call “capping” or “throttling” of annual pass numbers to the park. Numerous times since covid, we’ve found attractions allegedly completely booked out and nothing available to Merlin Annual pass holders. However, if you were to go to the attraction website and wanted to pay full price for the day as a completely new customer, you could buy tickets without a problem.

Initially when attractions reopened July 4th, 2020, after the national lockdown, numbers were definitely restricted at attractions – but we also found shortened trading hours, many park specific attractions closed etc. See this video for what LEGOLAND was like shortly after reopening  in mid July 2020. Effectively you were getting less for the same money, so the question of value starts to arise.

By the end of summer 2020 however, you wouldn’t even know there is a pandemic and park numbers felt pretty much back to normal. You can see our subsequent LEGOLAND video for details on this. We experienced the same thing at Chessington World of Adventures and have produced a video on that at the time as well.

Merlin Entertainment “Double Dipping”

We found this throttling of annual pass holders across the board at the London based Merlin attractions – LEGOLAND, Chessington, The Aquarium, London Eye etc. To us it felt very much like double dipping by Merlin. People have paid in advance for their annual passes then, struggle to use them as Merlin show preference to non-annual passholders who want to pay.

So annual passholders have paid and not gotten what they had paid for, while Merlin in essence go and resell an annual passholders spot for a second time to a new customer. This completely undermines and destroys the value of an annual pass. Great for Merlin as they effectively get paid twice for only delivering the 1 service or product.

Non-Disclosure of Ticket Allocation

This is part of the process that is opaque. It really needs to be disclosed what percentage of daily tickets are allocated to annual members vs non annual members. Is it 10%, 50%, 80% of the daily park capacity? Pre-covid this wasn’t an issue. But in a post covid world, that allocation fundamentally affects if/how you can use your annual pass, hence its value/viability and what it is you are actually purchasing.

Even though you’ve purchased an annual pass, through Merlin Pass ticket allocation, Merlin can throttle the value of what you are paying for and you don’t actually know what you are paying for in essence. This for us was one of the single biggest factors in deciding not to renew our passes – we have no idea of what we are paying for. What an annual pass means in a post covid world is different to in a precovid world and it is going to take people getting burned by this to realise.

No Annual Members Access vs Non-Annual Full Price Access

It was always really frustrating to find days we wanted to go to attractions there was no Merlin Pass ticket allocation available. But for those very days Merlin passholders couldn’t get tickets, if we wanted to purchase tickets as one offs and pay full price, not a problem. Pre covid we’d never been denied access on any day that we chose to go, including peak times during summer school holidays.

Without some sort of disclosure of annual pass ticket holder allocation, from the outset you are sold a product that can never be honored, or the product sold can never live up to how it has been sold, and is sold under false pretenses.

Queue Times at LEGOLAND Getting Longer – Removal of Hotel Priority Ride Hour

We have pretty much been to LEGOLAND every October half term break for the last 3 or 4 years. This year, the queues throughout the day on major rides were the longest we’d ever seen. They were pretty much 90 minutes throughout the entire day, from opening time to closing time. In our 3 minute full tour video of LEGOLAND from Summer 2019 we made reference to going early being a great tip. Now it doesn’t matter. The first and last hour of opening don’t see dramatically shorter queues anymore.

One reason is people staying in the LEGOLAND hotels use to get early access and be able to ride for the first hour of the day before general crowds, as the rides would start at 9am. Now they get early access to stand in the queue from 09:30am and the rides don’t start til 10am. In essence, you get early access to stand in a queue for 30 minutes. This then has a domino effect blowing out queue times for the entire whole day. 

Merlin are obviously doing this as they can save an hour of staff wages across the park at the expense of blowing out queue times. This was a last-minute change made to hotels several days before the October 2020 half term holidays without any compensation or offset. So many people booking a hotel stay have had one of their main benefits taken away, early access to actually being on the rides, that came with staying at the hotel.

During summer 2020, Merlin also charged annual pass holders an additional £1 per ticket to book. I understand this stops people booking and taking other people’s opportunity to visit and then don’t show up, but it was an additional cost none the less.

For any annual pass holder who visited the park having paid this additional surcharge (which could be argued was outside the terms and conditions of the annual pass) should have gotten a voucher to use in the park, refund or something as a goodwill gesture. In the end, it was just another revenue stream for Merlin, over and above what you thought you’d already paid for (and in any other circumstance, would have been).

This is the other problem is beyond not knowing what access you truly do have to attractions, the variations being made to the passes feel very much like what you think you are buying and what you end up getting are two different things.

Now you have to book so far in advance, the weather becomes a real lottery and makes planning for the day that much more difficult. Previously you could get a week or so out, see what the weather is like and then plan according. You could go a day earlier or later depending upon the circumstances. School holidays we’ve found you now have to book at least a month in advance for any hope of getting a date you want. Now if you are stuck with a date that is raining, with little kids, what really are your alternatives?

Short Term Gains at Long Term Expense – Alienating Current Customers

We understand trading conditions have been tough but the solution opted for here is to massively increase prices while significantly reducing the value and experience of the product. This is very short term thinking and detrimental to the long term. The old saying, “once bitten, twice shy” springs to mind.

Merlin are probably anticipating that with no foreign travel available, everyone will be having staycations so extract maximum value from customers who probably won’t be long term customers as once they can travel again, they will.

The problem becomes in alienating your otherwise long-term customer who won’t return in 2-3 years time when things return to normal. We were a little surprised that in the lead up to our annual passes expiring and even after that had happen, there wasn’t an email or an offer to try to get us to renew. It can be said that attracting a new customer can cost 10 times what it takes to keep an existing one, so on the surface doesn’t make sense.

Maybe Merlin know with a local captive market that can’t travel, they are going to have strong demand for their passes. Why would they want to take a returning customer at a discount when they can have a new customer at a significantly higher full price? I get the sense they aren’t calculating the lifetime value of customers and interested in maximizing the short term, at the expense of the long term.

So overall, is it worth it?

From our point of view and what we’ve experience, on paper sounds brilliant, but the reality is very different. There is no point having an annual pass if due to opaque throttling by Merlin, you can never really use the thing. If you can’t get in the door, what is offered past the door has no relevance.

In a pre-covid world, the annual passes were great value. You only needed to go 3 or 4 times in a year to be in front. Having the passes also made you more inclined to visit attractions or if you did go, and felt like half a day was enough, you wouldn’t have a problem leaving a little early as you knew you had value out of the day.

In previous years we certainly made the most of the passes visiting most attractions multiple times a year and really enjoying.

In a post-covid world, having the ticket allocation throttled means it is too unpredictable and no point paying for something you can’t use. If it was a matter that once the ticket allocation is exhausted on a day for everyone, annual and non-annual members alike, on a first come, first served basis, you might think fair enough. But that isn’t how it works.

Imagine you are at the LEGOLAND gates, or any other Merlin Attraction and being told you can’t get in with your annual pass as it is full. But someone rocks up after you, pays full price at the ticket office and then can walk through the turnstiles, but you can’t. In the real world that wouldn’t be tolerated but somehow by shifting the ticket booking system online, that is exactly what is happening.

Having paid your annual membership, that leaves an incredibly sour taste in your mouth.

Alternative Attractions

We won’t be renewing and haven’t. We will look at alternatives, such as castles and non-Merlin attractions (click around the video for some of these other options), as these are proving to be much better value. When times are difficult, businesses that thrive are the ones that offer value. We think Merlin has lost sight of this and only thinking in terms of short-term wins.

Summing Up

If you’ve gotten something out of this video, don’t be afraid to hit that thumbs up button. Here are some videos on Castles outside the Merlin Entertainment ecosystem that have been great value. Here is a playlist of Merlin Entertainment attractions and quick full walk throughs. Alternatively, here is what LEGOLAND was like at the end of summer 2020. Thanks very much for watching. That’s all from us here at Family Bricks and do consider subscribing to the channel.