Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lego Power Miners

This week's posts are all about Andre. PSLE starts today lah, so I'm leaving Lesley-Anne alone for now. Shhh...

As you know, Andre received a couple of boxes of Lego Power Miners for his birthday at his request. We'd actually given Lego a miss for years, even amidst all the Bionicles craze, as Andre had never been keen on building contraptions. He'd always prefered ready assembled cars and trucks, those that required any sort of construction, he usually left to Lesley-Anne.

So I was a little surprised and apprehensive when he asked for Lego Power Miners. I think Lego is a marvellous toy but you basically pay for the fun of construction, it's costly if you're just looking to play with the final product. Anyway, he assured me he was interested in building it, so these were the two sets he received from us and his aunt.

The first one is a mean machine, it took Andre and Lesley-Anne a few hours to put together. When it was done, I must say I fell in love with Lego all over again. I loved Lego as a kid but of course the selection was much more limited in those days. It had the same quality and attention to detail that I remember and perfectly cut pieces - not a single uneven fit that is so common (and frustrating) with the imitation Lego toys. No wonder Lego has been able to maintain their price premium for decades, despite the proliferation of copy cats.

This is the 8961.

Very intricate moving parts. The drill and truck operator seats came complete with tiny, miniature gear shifts! Here's a close up of the motor bike. There's even a little clasp at the back that holds the bike in place. A Lego man can ride on it and hold its handlebars.

The set also came with a catapult and two rock monsters that you could flip their tops open to store coloured gemstones (one of them in the pic below came with the other set).

The 8959 is a smaller set, Andre assembled it by himself.

As luck would have it, we discovered later that these two boxed sets can be combined to form a mega monster - the Crystal Crawler. What a bonus! After playing with the two toys separately for a couple of days, he attempted to construct the combined one. The step-by-step instructions are online. Before he could complete it, he had to leave for badminton training so I finished building it for him. It's a real beaut, I have to admit and I'm not even a machine-oriented person. I was just awed by the meticulous construction. Here it is:

The scoop at the back extends seamlessly and completely. When stretched out from end to end, it looks like a mechanical scorpion. Very cool!

Andre has been playing with his Power Miners all weekend, he loves them. My engineer brother-in-law was fiddling with them and sighed, "This is the type of toy I dreamed of as a kid."

A truly educational and creative toy. Totally worth saving up for!


Hsien said...

I can't believe you actually helped him to finish building! In our house, we have a rule: Mom does not help build or decipher LEGO or any other construction kits. If he can tell me specifically what piece needs to go where, I will do it because sometimes these things can be really fiddly or stiff for little fingers but nothing more than that! Although I must admit, we have about one new LEGO kit entering the house each week on average hence my aversion to spending too much of my life with LEGO.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mon,

Wow, cool man! The toys are truly ingenious. Thanks for sharing!


monlim said...

Hsien: Haha, Andre didn't ask me to finish building it for him, I did it cos it looked so interesting! Wow, you have one new kit every week? Sounds like heaven to Andre!!

SC: no problem! Lego is truly fun.

Alcovelet said...

Well done, Andre! These pieces look spectacular! Must have taken a lot of effort and concentration to get these done.

I was embarrassed to admit about the Lego in our house, but someone else 'fessed up, haha! One a week is about right, ouch.

Mon, if he likes the Power Miners, he'll like the new Space Police. I'm literally trying to keep a lid on the growing collection.

monlim said...

Ad: Don't give him any ideas! One a week? Is that akin to paying a second mortgage? :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Mon

I read from some forums that this year maths paper is tough, with 3 killer questions - speed, geometry and ratio. How did LA feel about it?


monlim said...

T: tough is an understatement! L-A was quite disheartened, couldn't do 3 problem sums (she could do the speed one though). But such is life, told her to put it out of her mind, still 2 papers to go.

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