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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 10-16-2015, 10:46 AM

    OPINION: Creations for Charity

    Fundraising Through Fandom...

    Last fall, I wrote an article referencing my participation in Creations for Charity (see HERE), an international event that raises funds in order to purchase LEGO sets to donate to Toys for Tots. The fundraising model is simple: Independent LEGO builders create custom models that other enthusiasts and hobbyists purchase. The organization that facilitates the event uses the proceeds to buy LEGO across the country during the holidays, which in turn goes to Toys for Tots for distribution. This year, I’m supporting the charity again, and I’d encourage any of fellow LEGO (or general toy) enthusiasts to do the same. You can support the mission by donating a creation, buying a creation, or both (check out the FAQ page for more details).

    Just for fun, I thought I’d take a moment to preview all the models I’ll be donating this year!

    While I would certainly be described as an AFOL (Adult Fan Of LEGO), I’m far more of a LEGO minifigure hobbyist than a full fledged builder, so my donations center around kitbashed figures enhanced with items beyond official LEGO parts. I did this last year for the charity with my Transformers Build, which incorporated Kre-O. I have mentioned my enthusiasm for combining toy lines on this site, so extending that personal interest into my builds for the charity is fitting. I thought the below donations would be unique, though they are arguably far less sophisticated than the usual faire offered by Creations for Charity.


    DESCRIPTION: “Hail Denethor, Steward of Gondor! Build features the fated father of Boromir and Faramir, plus a MOC [My Own Creation] of the beacon of Amon Din, as seen in Minis Tirith during the Return of the King.”

    BACKGROUND: Obviously inspired by the film Return of the King, this build features two of my favorite aspects of the fabled White City: its cowering, broken overseer and the awesome means to “call for aid”. If you don’t have context for this build, watch The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, extended editions. In fact, even if you’re not interested in the build, just do that anyway. Those films are epic. The figure carries an awesome torch from Brickwarriors(whose founder and CEO we interviewed in the spring - see HERE).


    DESCRIPTION: “This trio of heroes studied the animal kingdom and based their training and methods on powerful beasts of the earth. The set includes a Wolfpack Hound, a Raven Archer, and a Lionheart Mighty Knight as well as a campsite.”

    BACKGROUND: The build was the result of taking Lego’s animal-themed crests from their classic castle line and fusing them with their recent Legend of Chima property. LEGO’s Chima line offers animal-inspired helmets for spiders, scorpions, rhinos, and crocodiles, among others; but interestingly, the masks did not work on standard minifigure faces because the eyes of most figs were too close. The helmets actually covered the eyes or made for an odd expression on the figures. Therefore, I substituted flesh-toned Kre-O heads, which work really well. This build would fit into any fantasy or castle display.


    DESCRIPTION: “Build Sponsored by Brickwarriors!!! MOC depicts the threat of Mordor spreading across the lands of men. This raiding party consists of 8 Orcs armed with Brickwarriors gear, marching away from the burning ruins of a pillaged inn. Their ranks (in order from front to back): War Monger, Chieftan, Goblin Digger, Peon Wrangler, Armored Berserker, Two Warrior Orcs, and A Taskmaster.”

    BACKGROUND: This past summer, I did a Tour of LEGO Middle-earth on Flickr, and when all was said and done, I felt my displays could have used more interesting orcs. As I considered builds for this year’s fundraiser, I figured I was not the only one whose armies could use a nice boost of new armor and accessories. Brickwarriors was kind enough to support my vision and provide all the gear that make this orc force unique; I just put ‘em together.


    DESCRIPTION: “Enhance your Collectible Minifigure Collection with this one-of-a-kind series!!! Features a full set of 16 figures, plus sidekicks, blending the idea of LEGO Collectible Minifigures with Hasbro Cityville Kreons. Includes, Farmer & Son, Demon Warriors, Skeleton Warriors, Female Adventurer & Tag-a-long, Robots, Martial Artist & Student, Scuba Diver & First-timer, Knight & Squire, Spacewoman & Child, Firewoman & Jr. Volunteer, Cosplayers, Zombie Survivalist & Son, Jeweler & Protege, Fanboy & Child, Deputy & Son, and Mer-Creature & Croc-Kid.”

    BACKGROUND: As has been documented on this site, I love me some Kre-O. Sadly, it appears that brand has now all but ended, with only the last few Transformers offerings finding their ways to shelves (Kre-O’s Cityville has already ended, and though they had the Star Trek building block license for Into Darkness, I believe Mega Brands has secured the rights moving forward; plus G.I. Joe seems to be on hiatus). Ever since Kre-O’s Cityville line first hit the streets a few years ago, I always felt that the small Kreons made for great children in scale with LEGO Minifigures. LEGO’s incredibly successful Collectible Minifigures lend themselves to endless variations and additions, so I kitbashed together this wave using my outlook on the body comparison as the basis for the build. Like any CMF Series, the included characters range from the outlandish to the every day, with diverse themes represented through fun parts combinations, cool accessories, and a display base. We’ll see if any shoppers during the fundraiser like the idea as much as I do.

    Thanks for taking the time to check out this wonderful charity and my small contribution to it. Be sure to visit the Creations for Charity Website throughout the next month, as new donations are added constantly (all of mine should be live by Monday morning)! Last year, I believe the organization raised over $10,000 to give to buy Lego for Toys for Tots. Here’s hoping we can crest $11,000 this year.

    Oh, and for fun, I thought I’d mention this...



    DESCRIPTION: “LEGO is now the #1 toy producer in the world, and many other brands and products want to challenge it for a piece of that building-block market. Fortunately, LEGO combines both classic and licensed properties to maintain its dominance in the retail sector and remains unscathed by the competition. This display captures the failing onslaught of "clone brands" against LEGO, as original LEGO properties such as Castle King, Pirate, Monster Fighter, Spaceman, Ninjago Jay, and The LEGO Movie’s Emmet, fend off the “clone” competition (from a variety of knock off brands). For good measure, LEGO licensed friends Harry Potter, Batman, and a kitbashed Alien Jedi have joined the fight in defending the Lego brand as well.”

    BACKGROUND: While I love Kre-O, combining LEGO with Super Hero Squad, and even throwing Mega Bloks into the mix, some AFOL’s are dyed-in-the-wool, LEGO-only enthusiasts. I understand them; I get it; it’s just not my style. This model was a complete shout-out to that part of the fandom, an ode to the online community’s overall attitude toward the many different attempts by other companies to take a chunk of LEGO’s well-earned revenue. Frankly, given my own affinity for some of these alternate brands, I felt somewhat hypocritical creating this build. Plus, the great irony of donating it would be that the very buyers for whom it was made would be the very buyers who would not want all the clone-brand figures it includes. Those factors in play (no pun intended), I decided to store this one for the time being, but I love it.

    Thanks again for reading!

    By C.J. Stunkard

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