What is the opposite of “jump the shark?”

January 19, 2013

My friends Liz, Bibhash, John and I came up with the opposite of “jump the shark” this morning (Saturday, January 19, 2013) at brunch.  It is “reveal the robot,” a reference to Ninjago, Season 1, Episode 7, “Tick Tock.”  Whereas “jump the shark” is the point at which a great television show goes downhill, “reveal the robot” describes the point at which a regular show becomes great.  Example of usage: Ninjago totally revealed the robot in the the episode “Tick Tock.”

On a side note, Ninjago is worth watching.  Watch it in order, and you’ll probably agree. Lego really knows what they are doing, and whoever gave the green light to Ninjago (Lego theme, as well as the television show) was a genius.


How do you organize your Lego collection?

October 25, 2010

You just totally opened up a cän of wörms so big, that it needed umlauts!  I spent months of my life washing, organizing and finding the proper containers for our family Lego collection, and here are the results of all of my husband’s and my trial and error.  I’m not saying our methodology is perfect.  Far from it, but I tried to use stuff we already had around the house, stuff that would fit in the space we had, as well as divide everything for maximum ease of building.  Warning – our system makes deconstruction organizing incredibly time consuming and it is a project unto itself, but as a family, we decided buildability was our priority.  And man, we can build.

Our Miniland, Summer 2010


  • Container store Clear Storage Boxes –  My “lg” is the regular sweater box, my “med lg” is the men’s shoe box, my “med” is the regular shoe box, and my “sm” is the accessory box.
  • The Keter Cantilever Tool Box.  It’s a 27-bin organizer and it’s delightful!!!!!  I would recommend it for nearly any kind of storage, and it’s especially good for Lego because it opens up so nicely! Loved it so much, I bought TWO.  I’m not kidding.  Love it!
  • Snapware – Medium snap ‘n stack with 6 sectional dividers – Fabulous – love these!  And, they are so useful for everything.  We used these when we wanted to take Lego and other toys/crafts/drawing supplies out to a friend’s house or restaurant, also.
  • Madesmart modular trays – white small bin pack – I don’t know if they still sell white, but the black/graphite ones work just as well!
  • Misc Sterilite bins and old Lego education bins
  • If you’re looking for a more high design look, check out these acrylic boxes from Containables.  I didn’t use any of these, but if I had to do it over again, I might.  They look great!

This is what it all looks like put together:

It will never be this “put away” again.

Here’s the break down:

Clear Storage Boxes and similar


  • LG containers (1 container per type):
    1x bricks
    2x bricks – 2×4 and smaller
    Ramps, slants and roofs
    Wheels, wheel hubs and misc wheel stuff
    Base plates
    Windshields, windows, doors, hatches, ladders and stairs
    Odds #2 – boat/pirate, castle, soccer, UFO/Space odds
  • Med Lg containers (1 container per type):
    Hulls, truck fronts, skis and turbos
    Larger plates (smaller than baseplates, larger than 2x plates)
    Train Tracks
    2x Plates
    Odds #1 – All  other odds not in Odds #2
  • Med containers (1 container per type)
    Slanted Plates
    Technic Beams
    1x Plates
    NXT Electrical
    2x Bricks (2×6 and larger)
  • Sm Containers (1 container per type)
    Minifig Accessories

Keter Tool Box  (27 bins – 12 small, 15 large) – too much to catalog.  Here are some pictures:

  • Keter 1

This one is more on the decorative side, with pips, printed tiles, curves, corners, chairs, fences, direction changers, etc.

  • Keter 2

This one is more technical, with Technic pieces, bushings, connectors, axle extenders, axles, etc.

  • Snapware: (mostly Technic stuff)

Mostly Technic stuff

  • Madesmart stuff – miscellaneous stuff – I keep a special container of 1×1 plates, even though they are also in my 1x plate box because often I need a lot of them at once for sculptural work.

Miscellaneous stuff – oh, I have a lot more foliage, but it’s being used in Miniland right now.

All of the crazy Bionicle stuff we have is just in a big box in the closet.

What should I get for a Lego fanatic that has way too many Legos?

August 21, 2010

Your fanatic probably already has a brick separator (There is a $5.95 one that is not as complete as the $8.95 one), but if she doesn’t, buy her at least two, as they are worth their weight in gold to any Lego fan.  They also make a good gift to Lego fanatic parents, as well.  For a more advanced Lego fan (older than 8 or so), Brick Journal (Vol. 1 or Vol. 2) is a wonderful magazine.  I personally found The Unofficial Lego Builder’s Guide very helpful (but I am far from an expert).

For younger children(4-10, maybe?), Cool Cars and Trucks by Sean Kenney is a great read.  It is worth watching the author’s videos on Amazon and looking at his site, as he has achieved the very rare “Lego Certified Professional” title (there are only 11 in the world!).  I really loved The Lego Book from DK, and my son loves it, too.  It’s a beautiful slip-covered book (more for grown-ups, but has tons of pictures) about the history of Lego, with a second book just about minifigures.  Also, a nice photobook of your fanatic’s creations is a thoughtful gift, too.

NYC day camp?

July 15, 2010

I absolutely love Robofun / Vision Education and Media.  They run camps and after school programs for ages 6-10 in Lego robotics, video game programming and animation/claymation.  The subject matter is fascinating and great for kids who are into such things, but this place really excels because of its staff.  I’ve talked to a lot of camp personnel in my day, and Robofun personnel are the most engaged (I like everyone there a great deal, but Maria and Isaac stand out to me the most for their caring and going above and beyond for the kids).  The people there LOVE what they are doing and their passion and enthusiasm really rubs off on the kids.  I cannot say enough good things about the place.

What’s the cheapest Legoland US offer you’ve found?

June 29, 2010

Oh man!  It’s this one.  It’s a buy one day to get 5 days of entry.  Just in case the link doesn’t work right, go to Legoland.com, click on the US, and click “Buy” under “Exclusive Online Offers” and you’ll see it.  It’s the “5 for 1” offer at the bottom.  Way cheaper than anything else I’ve found, as long as you’re going to be there for a few days.  Read the fine print – it has be used up by 12/31/10.  I’m telling you, it’s a complete BARGAIN!

Where should I buy Legos in Manhattan?

June 14, 2010

Oh!  How I have asked myself that very question so many times!  As much as I dislike Toys R Us, they had a pretty good per-piece brick store back in the day, but it is gone (and has been for a while).  However, there is light in the darkness!  The new Lego store opens Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 8 a.m. in Rockefeller center (620 Fifth Ave).  The grand opening celebration will take place 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  My big fear is that it will not be big enough and will have enough options in its per-piece section (I am making the assumption there will be a per-piece section).  We’ll see…

Why shouldn’t I buy bulk Legos on eBay?

April 5, 2010

You should not buy bulk Legos on eBay because they will most likely be filthy.

Broken and filthy baseplate

Broken and filthy baseplate

Some of them might also be broken.  You may receive many different sets in a bulk pack, but none of them will be complete.

You may ask how I know all this.  It is because my husband bought our son 50 lbs of Legos on eBay.  I hand-washed about 40 of those 50 lbs and got a legal, binding agreement from him to never, ever buy anything used on eBay again.

And, no, you cannot put Legos in the washing machine or dishwasher to clean them.   Most of the pieces are too small and might get stuck and/or break your machine, and there are far too many crevices on a Lego for a machine like that to be effective.

You have been warned.  You’re welcome.

Alert: Big Lego Sale at Kmart!

March 29, 2010

Kmart is having a “Buy 2 Get One Free” sale on Lego building sets until April 3, 2010.  Their selection is not great, but if they’ve got what you’re looking for, the prices are pretty good to begin with.  Use the code “springtoy50” for an extra $5 off on the website.  The coupon is only good through April 3, 2010 as well!  I just used it, and it works!!!

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