Tuesday 10 January 2017

Pokemon 20th Anniversary Edition Nanoblock Review

It is not new by now that I have clumsy hands and some problem with spatial processing. That's right, I am one of those who can't assemble an IKEA furniture or Lego set accurately. Hands up if you can identify with me! 

Usually I will:

1. Get excited about an assembled product

2. Purchase a set for myself

3. Unpack the set

5. Sort out the parts

6. Attempt to assemble the set

7. Think that I have assembled the product

8.  Realised I have made a mistake or I have a missing part

9. Attempt to backtrack and/or look for the missing part

10. Sit in a corner of my house and weep at the unfinished product

BUT, but things are kind of different now. If you are following me on my Instagram (@sgtoydude) or this blog, you would realise that I have experimented with MOCs Lego sets and dabbled in bootleg brick sets. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I believe I am now ready for greater things. Or rather smaller things. Much smaller things. I am now ready for Nanoblock! Or at least I think I am.

Anyway, I received the Pokemon 20th Anniversary Edition Nanoblock as Christmas present and I would like to review it!

Before I do so, here is a friendly advice on your first Nanoblock set:

A. Identify a stable surface to work on your Nanoblock set. Please, please do not build your sets on a bed. They are called Nanoblocks because they are really tiny!

B. Open the set to empty the content of an instruction manual and 2-3 packets of bricks. There may be more packets of bricks if the set is bigger or more complex. Try not to throw away the packaging as I found the visual reference extremely helpful.

C. Open each packet of bricks and sort them accordingly. Ok, just to be specific, sort them by shape and colour. We usually sort the bricks so it makes the assembly process efficient.


Sorted Nanoblocks


D. Like cooking, you don't dump all the ingredients at one go. So when you are following the instructions, it is effective to just select what you need for each step and focus on those. 

Pick out the bricks by steps


E. Take time to review each step of your build so you don't have to remove layers of bricks to correct a mistake. It is extremely frustrating to backtrack and correct a mistake with bricks so tiny.

F. Adjust the bricks to the right position. Unlike Lego, Nanoblock bricks have a tendency to slide along the groove. It's hard to visualise that so basically just make sure each piece of brick is tightly secured at the right position.

G. Don't panic if you find that you have many leftover bricks. As someone who started with Lego, I panicked when I saw the leftover bricks. Self-doubt will creep in and you need to stifle that voice. The toy company is just being thoughtful because it is no secret that tiny stuff go missing!





This is where things get interesting. In the instructions, you are told to set aside bricks so you can log onto a website and key in the codes for a secret Mew building instruction! I am sure we can google for that but it was fun to manually visit the site and input the codes. 



The beauty of the anniversary edition is in its faithful replication of the original Pokemon game sprites! Yes, they are rough on the edges and monotonous in the colour department but that's what fuels the nostalgia! I also appreciate the secret instruction gimmick because getting a special legendary Pokemon usually involves an external source apart from the game purchased.

I think by now you are also curious about how Nanoblock fares against Lego. Other than the tiny bricks, the assembly process for Step 1 is very tedious as it requires precision of alignment to add a layer of bricks over the foundational layer. The bricks tend to get moved around a lot due to the brick design and building process. You simply can't apply brute force to keep everything together. Some of the parts, like Pikachu's ears and tail, are fragile in its connection as they are connected very narrowly to achieve that slim and proportionate shape. They are certainly meant for display and not moved around during play.

Overall, I am very pleased by the amount of engagement available from such tiny sets. They are not too difficult but it is clear that they are targetted at mature brick builders.  What's better for me is the little space required for display. Connect with me to share your opinions and I certainly love to connect with other Nanoblock collectors. :)



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