Saturday, 8 July 2017

The LEGO Shop In Leicester Square.

Now, I was in two minds about whether to write this post on my blog. Part of me said that LEGO isn't geeky enough to feature here. Just after Christmas last year though (Boxing Day I think but I could be wrong), there was a documentary about the new LEGO shop in Leicester Square in London. One of the people on the show has such a huge LEGO collection that he has bought a second house to store it all in. He even has labelled draws containing each type of brick. He is as much of a geek about LEGO as any one I've ever met is of Star Trek or comic books and I think he is awesome. Add to this that LEGO produce their own Star Wars, and Marvel and D.C. Superhero ranges and I think that it qualifies this post to go on this blog.

I went to the Leicester Square LEGO shop in the run up to Christmas Day last year and I can tell you that it is brilliant. It is (as I learnt on the aforementioned documentary) the biggest LEGO shop in the world. I had to queue for about ten minutes to get inside as they only allow a certain number of people in at a time so it doesn't get too crowded. While you are queuing though, you are greeted by a giant minifigure of The Queen on a Tube Train. I took a picture of it as it amused me.

There are several other London themed decorations around the shop such as this huge Elizabeth'Tower...

...complete with a naughty judge throwing a cream pie at a policeman at its base.

They also have this massive mosaic of London around the stairwell.

You can get a mosaic of yourself made from LEGO with their Mosaic Maker booth. It looks like an I.D. photo booth but after paying £99 and waiting about ten minutes, you get all the bricks and instructions needed to put together a digitised picture of yourself.

I couldn't make a blog post about LEGO without at least one LEGO Star Wars picture. This is a close up of a great set. It features the duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in the Emperor's throne room from The Return Of The Jedi. Palpatine watches on, force lightening playing between his hands. I nearly bought this kit. I just don't really have room to display it though and it is so cool that leaving it in a box would be a crime.

I seem to remember at Christmas, as a child, every year, Noel Edmonds would do some kind of Christmas special. While queuing to get in to The Lego Store, I saw the below image in the window. I don't know if the person who designed it deliberately made the minifigure look like Noel but with that beard and hair, and that jumper, for me, it couldn't be anyone else.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Star Wars At Disney World.

Cool things from theme parks part 1.

I was fortunate enough to be able to go back to Disney World in Florida last year and with the release of The Force Awakens, the place has gone Star Wars crazy. I'm pretty late in writing this post. Some of my friends asked me just after I got back if I would be putting my holiday photos up on my blog. That's not really what this blog is about, it's for geeky stuff, but as this holiday included loads of that sort of thing, I guess I am after all. For the first time on my blog, I'll be posting some pictures of myself. So if you're looking at them and thinking "Who is that fat geek?"'ve just told you, It's me.

There is a Star Wars presence in all of the parks and hotels that I saw, with at least one shop in each selling Star Wars merchandise. However, the main focus of the Star Wars goodness is at Hollywood Studios. Starting in the early afternoon and at half-hour intervals until mid-afternoon, on the main stage at the back of the park, there is a show. There are huge LED screens showing scenes from the films, rousing music and characters coming out for the audience's delight. Here are some pictures from it.

Captain Phasma and two First Order Storm troopers.

The bad guys, boo!

 A closer look at Boba Fett.

Chewy with his arms raised in triumph.

There has been a Star Wars ride at Hollywood Studios for many years. Called Star Tours, it has you flying in a shuttle through the Star Wars galaxy. New locations were added a few years ago featuring content from the prequels (urrgh) and, more recently, content from The Force Awakens.

While queuing for the ride you can see R2-D2...

...and C3-PO.

Outside the ride there is a huge AT-AT. I estimate that it is about a quarter of the size of a "real" one. despite this it is still impressive.

Also outside the ride, they have a speeder bike. Here's a pic of me sitting on it.

A new attraction in Hollywood Studios is a gallery of models, costumes and prop replicas from the films. Here are a load of photos of them...for no other reason than that they're cool.

First up...some ships.

The super-fast A-Wing.

The heavily armed B-Wing.

Workhorse of the Rebel fleet, the Y-Wing.

The ubiquitous TIE Fighter.

The Millennium Falcon as it appeared in The Force Awakens.

Some costume.

An X-Wing pilot's flight suit.

First Order Flame Trooper armour.

Some imperial helmets.
From left to right...Clone Trooper, Storm Trooper, AT-AT Driver, First Order Storm Trooper.


Han's blaster.

The exhibition also had two genuine props from the films. Here are two pictures of a speeder bike that was actually used in Return Of The Jedi.

I didn't get to sit on this one though.

The other prop from the films that they had was Anakin's pod racer from The Phantom Menace. I took a picture of it but as I hate the prequels, I'm not going to include it on this blog.

There was also a shop attached to the gallery. Here a a few things from it.

A Han Solo costume. This was on sale for $725.

An imperial officers uniform. Not quite as expensive as the Han Solo costume above but still £650.

These were well out of my price range but I did buy myself a Storm Trooper officer's cap.

Two statues and me. On the left, a First Order Storm Trooper. On the right, a life size Boba Fett based on the original Kenner action figure.

A set of Storm Trooper armour and me again.

Every now and then in Hollywood Studios you can find First Order Storm Troopers marching about. There may be a whole squad of them led by Captain Phasma, or, as in this case, just two of them.

They generally get up to no good, menacing people and suchlike.

Now, the picture below is a bit blurry but is important in telling this story. A family had left their child's buggy in the courtyard buggy parking area while they went to have a look around, maybe meet Chewbacca inside one of the buildings. Tied to the buggy was a BB-8 balloon. One of the Storm trooper thought it would be a good idea to poke it with the business end of his blaster rifle.
The balloon burst. The watching crowd went "Oooooooh."

I love this picture. This is the Storm Trooper that just popped the balloon. I imagine the cast member in the armour thinking "I've just ruined a kid's day." and "I've probably lost my job too."

If you're a Star Wars fan and get the chance, go to Disney World. If you're not a Star Wars fan go anyway. There is so much awesome stuff to do there.