New Nanoblocks

Just in case you were wondering, I haven’t given up on my hobbies.  I am still pursuing them just as they pursue me.

Case in point are the latest additions to my Nanoblocks collection.  While casually browsing through my local Toys R Us (I don’t know how to make that inverted R–probably copyright anyway) I found these two kits on sale.  Since I was gearing up for the Tour de France (Congratulations Chris Froome) it seemed like fate was telling me to buy them.

I am pretty happy with the purchases, but need to figure out where they are going to go once I build them.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, my display space has been co-opted for another use.

I will post pictures when I get them assembled.

Hello Kitty

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As I reported in my last post, I was given a nanoblock kit that was purchased at Dollarama.  Today was the day I decided to make it.  I undertook this task as I had quite a few free minutes.  It took hardly any time at all.

At 110 pieces, this is among the smallest kits I have built.  A quick perusal of the instructions revealed it to be a rather straightforward build.

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Here’s what comes inside the kit

 

I am not a huge Hello Kitty fan, but I like that there are many different things you can build.  The product should appeal to many people and since there are a large number of Hello Kitty fans, it only makes sense.

It seemed to have turned out well and there were quite a few leftover pieces to go into a future build.

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leftovers

As usual….nanoblocks rock!

Nanoblocks at the Dollar Store

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Can you believe it? Nanoblocks at the dollar store?

I was rather sceptical myself, I thought that it might be untrue, but here is the photographic evidence. After getting them, I was curious as to how they ended up at the dollar store.  Maybe they were fake?  Maybe the package had a misprint?  I have checked the package out and everything seems legit….if you spot something let me know?

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That would be pretty cool if I could get a bunch of sets for cheap at the dollar store and build something else. We will have to see.  I checked my Dollarama, but there weren’t any there.  I asked the person who bought them for me, but she said they only had that model and only at that particular Dollarama.

I don’t know what to make of it, but I am curious. I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Nanoblocks VS Microblocks: Tokyo SkyTree

I finally finished the Nanoblock version of the Tokyo SkyTree.  In doing so, I thought a comparison between the Microblock version and the Nanoblock version would make a good post.  My only question was how should I organize it.  I also decided to put together a rough video so you could see them both side by side.

The Video

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This fragile part took a very long time.

What took me so long…..

Well, the basic truth is that it was hard.  There were some fiddly pieces that proved rather frustrating.  The creators (Kawada) indicated that the difficulty level on this build was a 5.  I thought that they were joking….but they weren’t.  A couple of times, I just had to get up and walk away.  I even considered crazy gluing the thing together.

Size and Shape

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The Microblock version is much bigger than the Nanoblock version.  The Microblock Skytree is much mroe symmetrical and relies on more standard pieces.  The Nanoblock Skytree is not linearly symmetrical and relies on incorporating a couple of really tough pieces.  These include a round, slightly angled piece that must have originally been used in their Leaning Tower of Pisa model and another piece whose shape I am unable to describe–luckily I am including a photograph.

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Construction

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Difficult lower sections

Both had their difficulty when constructing the lower portion of the tower.  The Nanoblock version was a bit more fragile and required more than one sitting to get it done.  At one point, I finally got the base together and decided to leave it for a month, hoping that the pieces would somehow meld together strongly in my absence.  Somehow it worked…or else I might have gone for the crazy glue.

Price

I can’t really comment on this because the Nanoblock version was bought in Japan for about $30 and brought to me whereas the Microblock version was a birthday present.  I suspect that on those terms the Microblock version costs more.  However, considering their availability in Canada, Nanoblocks cost more.  I am not even sure you can get this one in Canada.  I will have to check.

Looks

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The blue interior of the Microblock version

The Microblock version has the nice interior blue effect–achieved by stacking a large number of clear blue square tiles together.  The Nanoblock version seems to be somewhat closer to the original–but you can be the judge of that.  I base that on its use of round tube like structures to replicate the original.

Other thoughts

Both look good and are interesting builds.  In Japan, you can buy a base that lights up and will produce a different effect.  Additionally, there is a deluxe version (read expensive) available which seems really cool.

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This looks awesome–and expensive.

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I would love to hear your comments or questions.

Nanoblocks Shinkansen

keitatsu and shinkansen 009I haven’t written about nanoblocks lately, but I haven’t given up on them.  I was fortunate enough to receive a couple of sets from Japan and I thought you would like to see them.

The first is the shinkansen. Since I love trains and Japanese trains in particular, this person thought that this was a natural gift.  I agree one hundred percent.keitatsu and shinkansen 011

The parts came in quite a few separate bags, and rather than spend a lot of time sorting them, I just hoped I wouldn’t lose any pieces while building.  There weren’t any special pieces exactly, but there were some nice translucent brown pieces–there were a couple of leftovers, so I will probably find some use for them someday.keitatsu and shinkansen 019

The train turned out alright, though I don’t think it was brilliant.   The shinkansen is a smooth aerodynamic train, and that really wasn’t represented by these blocks.  It is unfortunate.  Perhaps the next version will include some smooth top pieces.

I enjoyed building it, but I would keitatsu and shinkansen 016have liked a bit better of a resemblance.  Perhaps I am just being too picky.

There were a handful of leftover or spare parts.  And of course, I have to put the decal on the train–I just thought I had better wait on that.  The room needs some dusting before I tackle that project.

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These are the leftover parts. Quite colourful aren’t they?

The State of my Hobbies (part one)

 
 
I don’t want to jinx it, but it certainly seems like spring is underway.  The snow is almost gone and things are looking up.  The only question for this blog is to address the hobbies.  We will call this part one–because I am sure I will miss something.

Darts

This is going well.  I have progressed well and I have several playoff games upcoming.  I have most enjoyed my darts season and will definitely continue it.  My biggest obstacle is that I don’t have my board up yet.  I am wavering between installation methods, causing a complete lack of home progress.

Nanoblocks/Loz blocks

There are a few kits I have my eyes on, but I haven’t stepped up and got them yet.  My display space is pretty much taken up.  Until I do some reorganizing, this may stay on hold.  Of course this would change if Toys R Us carried more of these kits.  I am much more likely to buy on impulse when I am out than when I am surfing the web.

Trains

I have lots of train projects on the go, just nothing completed.  I had big plans for this weekend before illness caused me to slow down–don’t worry, I’ve just got a cold and don’t have the energy to concentrate on stuff.  Even writing this short blog requires frequent rests.

Reading

I have decided to try reading some harder books.  What I mean by that is I am trying to read some more challenging books.  I am on pace to read about 60 books this year.  I decided that I would try and read some Pulitzer or Man Booker prize winners.  It would be great if I could read them all, and I might make that a goal next year.  The current book I am reading is Ghost Written by David Mitchell.  It is very well done and I recommend that anyone looking for a good book to read it.

Puzzles

I still do the crossword puzzle every day, but the one I am doing is only challenging because they have a lot of geographical clues and modern music clues that I have no idea about.  I can usually solve it, but I get frustrated at some of the “cheap” clues they give.  I haven’t done any Sudoku puzzles lately, nor any logic puzzles.  Maybe spring will reawaken these pursuits.

Writing

I am hoping to do more of this.  I still harbour the dream of being novelist/writer.  What I have learned is that it really depends on me and my discipline.  Of course I could say that about a lot of things.  I won’t let go of this dream.

Blogging

This is something I enjoy a lot.  The truth is, I haven’t written as much as I would have liked.  My students seem to enjoy my English teaching blog.  Unfortunately, I have to spend a bit of time reminding them to read it on Facebook. I will need to find ways to attract more people to this blog.  Maybe I will have to write about more controversial topics…..or Justin Bieber.

Gardening Landscaping

Though this may be a hobby for some, it really means work for me.  I have at least a week or two before I need to start on this, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to start getting the supplies.  I cut the grass far less than I had to shovel snow, so this really isn’t a problem.

LOZ Tokyo Skytree…Unboxing and Comparing

 
 
I received an interesting gift today.  It was the LOZ “Micro Blocks” version of the Tokyo Skytree.  There are several things I should say.

First off, I have been calling them Micro Blocks, mostly because that is how they are listed on Amazon.  However, nowhere on the box is that written.  I guess I should call them LOZ Blocks.

I liked the way the box opened.  It opened like a book.  This seems quite comfortable and more useful than the standard Nanoblock box.  It isn’t a big thing, but we usually appreciate the little things.

Someone is sending me the Nanoblock Tokyo Skytree, and when that happens, I will build it and do a side by side comparison.  Until that day, you just have to make do with my impressions of the kit.  Of course, if you want to see it, please click on the link to my YouTube video below.  I unbox the Skytree and compare some of the blocks.  I should probably do a more in depth comparison, but this should be useful in the meantime.

The kit has some uniquely shaped pieces that I am interested in.  I hope there are extra ones so I can combine them with my stash of leftover Nanoblock pieces.  Yes, they are compatible.  That was one of the first things I checked.  This will definitely be a plus for the creative people out there.  I expect there are already some fantastic creations out there.

 
 
I haven’t worked with the pieces yet, but they seem quite similar in style and quality to Nanoblocks.  Once I put this together, I will have a better idea.