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February 08, 2006
Anime Inspired LEGO
North America's LEGO has, until now, been culturally neutral, or at best, stereotypical. Sometime last year LEGO released EXOFORCE, which comes complete with spiky-haired mini-figures (with Japanese names, of course) and stickers of Chinese characters, like "Tiger." LEGO's version of Gundam building sets -- better known to super-geeks as "Tech" -- is meant to appeal to all those adult males who can't “let go of their LEGO” (or their Gundam action figures).
EXOFORCE isn't actually for kids, ages 7+ -- although they all know the cartoon. This is LEGO's first product with modern weaponry, that actually lights up. If you do buy it (for your neice, right?), remind her that this won't be welcome at school (guns not allowed). One seven-year-old actually complained that "Hiraku looks too angry to be having fun." That's because LEGO was smart enough to use the faces of its real target market; behind those tinted glasses is the adult-sized rage that it took LEGO 25 years too late to come up with this series. Still, reviews from the LEGO-enthusiast community have been mixed, "Can hentai be far behind?"
LEGO fanatics have always been using the building blocks to make their futuristic fantasies more tangible. Check out this gallery from LEGO expert-builders site. It'll bring any LEGO enthusiasts to their knees.