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Dec 052013
 

My normal collecting mania is Star Trek, but lately I have been sticking to just getting LEGO stuff instead. Then of course Hasbro came out with the Kre-o Star Trek line and I had to have it all!

Look at all this cool stuff! (Some of which Target has on clearance…I almost wish I had waited. But maybe now I can get doubles of everything.)

 

Dec 042013
 

I am an admitted brickoholic.

This past month has been a whirlwind of LEGO buying and building. Started with the LEGO store’s annual VIP event. Which is an invitation only event that I have been going to for the past 3 years now (guess because I buy so much from them…if only there was a way to get credit for all the sets I buy from Toys R Us and Target too). In the past we were given a discount at the register, so this year I had planned on buying the two big sets I have wanted for the past year but never got.  So as November neared an end I never got my invite from LEGO. I gave the store a call and I was on their list so they told me when it was and to come on in they would have my invitation there for me. YEAH!

So off I went had a grand time and met some great folks from DelVaLUG and a very nice BrickLink dealer who is starting up a blog. Got me some great LEGO sets and had some fun.

Afterwards I hopped online and joined the online forums for both PennLUG and DelVaLUG. Maybe I will start going to meetings and get to hang out with other AFOLs and learn a few tricks on building. Right now my attention is geared more toward LEGO trains. I have been setting up my 9 volt track under our tree for years and I want to expand it.

I bought my first remote controlled (power functions) train this month too and set it up under the tree at work. So I will have to find a way to work out the battery operated trains into my new train world. But I don’t know if you can do good old fashioned steam locomotives or if it is just new-fangled trains that are big enough to house all the power functions gadgets.

Lego Adventure Vol 2 Also got a pretty cool book: The LEGO Adventure Book, Vol. 2: Spaceships, Pirates, Dragons & More! Now I need to make me a TRAGON. That’s a train dragon.

But wait the LEGO purchasing madness does not stop there. LEGO.com had a great black friday sale so I scooped up a bunch a storage boxes, a 2014 calendar, and a few sets. They should be arriving soon.

Yesterday, Target.com had a sale on LEGO sets so I grabbed a few there too. Now to find room for all of them and time to build them all!

Dec 032013
 

NO MIMOBOT FOR YOU!I have been soup nazi-ed by Mimoco. It started out because I asked for the difference from the sale price I paid on Friday for the advertised sale price on Monday, which was a thirteen dollar difference in the item I was getting. They refused to give me the price difference and quoting some little seen policy on their website (as if they could not have bent the policy this once) that flash sales were exempt from this price guarantee. OK.

Policies can be change or overridden on a case by case basis. So why not ask someone higher up the totem pole if they could make an exception. Nope we can’t. So you can’t walk down the hall and ask the person that made the policy for an exemption? Nope we can’t. Again, I say OK.

So I cancelled my pending order and was then immediately told I would not be allowed to place another order for that item at the lower price. WHAT!? So no soup for me, huh?

Apparently, their software (yeah, right) would catch it and not allow the order through. In other words the customer service rep (which this company only has one) would see my name on the order and manually cancel it before it ever went through. Thanks a bunch there Mimoco!

Yeah, I could have had my friend buy it for me at the lower cost, but I would rather give my money to a company that appreciates my business.

So instead of losing $13 (which would have meant a TON to me and is but a drop in the bucket to you), you have now lost $77 and the fees to refund it to my credit card. Again not a lot of money to you. But a nice sized chunk of my pay check!

When a customer that has been loyal in the past and has not only made purchases of a couple hundred dollars over the past several months, but has gone above and beyond by supporting your kickstarter project both monetarily and within social media….maybe just maybe you would like to have reconsidered your position and given the added discount. As you have not just hurt the current and future sales of the products, but and future word of mouth campaigning I may have done on your behalf.

I would have loved to have had my Klingon in my pocket protecting my data from alien forces and the evil Federation, but I have my complete set of Star Trek Mimobots and will be getting my Kickstarter BatteryBot and then I am completely done with you folks. Your lack of customer service (by never replying to me and for taking over a day to cancel the order and refund my money) has cost you a loyal fan.

No, I wasn’t expecting an email telling me my order was on the way and by the way here is the discount you requested, but I could have at least gotten one telling me sorry but we stand by the policy etc. It is the completely being ignored after being told in no uncertain terms to not even bother placing another order. Those two things combined are what has gotten under my skin and are more unforgivable than the loss of the money. Poor customer service will lose customers faster than over inflated prices any day.

While I won’t tell anyone NOT to buy your products (I will leave that up to them), I won’t go out of my way to spread the word about any of your products or projects ever again either.

Good-bye Mimoco.

 

Dec 022013
 

Luvocracy.com is a Pinterest-like shopping site that’s not all cracked up to be what it sells itself as.

Luvocracy

At first look at the site I cannot even figure out why anyone would shop there. The Pinterest-like layout is confusing and really only works if you aren’t really even shopping. So why not just stick with Pinterest to browse for item you might find interesting and then go buy it from the actual store yourself?

LuvocracyDon’t like the jump from full screen to 4 columns either. 

Luvocracy says it will find the best price on the web for you. Trust me it does not do this. One of the first things I looked up was at full price and I know where I can get the same LEGO set at a huge discount on another site.

Luvocracy LEGO set

You never know where exactly they are purchasing the items for you. That’s right they take your money then go and buy the item for you.

So say you wanted to buy the afore mentioned LEGO set. They take your money and buy it from a store they feel is on the up-and-up. Your card info is never given to that store, but you also lose out on any sales or other rewards that might be offered by the original store. LEGO.com has their VIP program. You get rewards points and they can add up to free LEGO sets. MANY MANY other stores do this as well.

Same Item Cheaper at TargetSame set $73 cheaper.

So Luvocracy says they will reward you too. But how and when?

You know they are making money off of your purchases some how and it is not always through affiliate links, but my guess is that has something to do with why they don’t actually show the cheapest prices across the net. For that you are better off using a shopping comparison site where you actually see the different prices and can make the choice yourself.

So back to my LEGO set. They say the scour the internet for a lower price and then charge you that price (plus tax and shipping of course). So why blindly pay $154.99 for the Star Wars Jabba’s Palace set (#9516) at Luvocracy and hope they will be honest and only charge you the, say, $95 (with shipping) from Target.com when they place the order for you? What rewards will Luvocracy give you that are better than then low price at the other site? Also right now Target is offering 20% off LEGO when you spend $100….would Luvocracy share that discount with you? Does Luvocracy use a RedCard to purchase and get free shipping and still charge you shipping?

I, personally, would prefer more transparency. Heck, I would prefer to just buy from another site instead of this odd Pinterest knock-off marketplace where you don’t know what your getting, how much you’re really playing, where it is coming from or when you will get it. Very odd that apparently hundreds (maybe even thousands) of consumers have jumped blindly onto this bandwagon. Not me.

 

Aug 212013
 
elysium
Elysium: Entertainment or Pure Propaganda? (via http://worldnewscurator.com)

Hollywood is often accused of being part of a ‘liberal media elite’, using its considerable power to promote a liberal political agenda. The idea of a liberal media bias is easy to understand – even if you don’t agree with it – when you’…


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Jul 312013
 

This set has been a long time coming. It was a fan made set presented to LEGO via the site CUUSOO. Where you can submit your sets and if they follow the guidelines and get enough support they can be made into a real LEGO set as is the case with the cool Delorean Time Machine set. Sadly I have to wait until tomorrow to actually buy it at LEGO.com though.

 

Back to the Future LEGO

 

Check out the original Back to the Future LEGO CUUSOO project to compare the fan model with the LEGO model.

The official announcement and news about the project are available over at the LEGO CUUSOO blog.

Jun 272013
 

If you live in PA and run down to Delaware to buy your diamonds from Robins Delaware Diamonds (no longer Ronbins Eighth & Walnut), you are a tax cheat.

If you buy online and aren’t charged sales tax for PA, you’re a tax cheat.

Yup, that’s right the Pennsylvania government wants you the average Joe to man up and pay your sales tax no matter where you buy your goods.

I first learned about this little sales tax issue when doing my taxes through Turbo Tax. The program will ask you for your unpaid state sales tax. I never knew this until this time. Today while looking up information on a taxable item for work (gift certificates are not taxable by the way) I landed on this page over at the PA Dept of Revenue‘s site: Use Tax for Individuals. Go ahead and pop over there and give it a read why don’t you.

Here is the basic info if you don’t want to rush to a government site (and I don’t blame you — big brother and all that)…

When sales tax is not charged by the seller on a taxable item or service, the consumer is required by law to report and remit use tax to the Department of Revenue.  Purchases made over the Internet, through toll-free numbers, from mail-order catalogs and from out-of-state locations are examples of purchases subject to use tax when sales tax is not paid.  The tax rate is the same as the sales tax, 6 percent state, plus 1 percent local tax for items purchased in, delivered to or used in Allegheny County or 2 percent local tax in Philadelphia.

Their site lists some very interesting examples of when and where you have to pay Use Tax (which is when you don’t pay sales tax on something you are using in PA). Here’s my example.

You pop down to Robins Delaware Diamonds because the radio told you they have TAX FREE shopping and buy your girl a diamond ring. She is living in and wearing that ring in PA. Guess what? You still owe the 6% sales tax to Pennsylvania as Use Tax. So there goes all your gas money for driving down to DE to get a ring and bring it back to PA.

You might ask, how in the world will PA ever know I bought my ring at Robins Delaware Diamonds? They may never know, but you will know that you were dishonest and owe the state some money. For me I just wish they would stop advertising on Philadelphia radio stations about going to Delaware to buy from them simply because it is tax free when in fact it is not (see above government resource).

Mar 142013
 

Join the Secret ServiceAttend The Red Carpet Premiere And Exclusive Screening in Hollywood, CA

Enroll Today for a Chance To Serve President Asher and his team!

 

WHO:             We want YOU to help protect the Red Carpet at the premiere of OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN.

 

WHAT:       In the film, The White House, code name “Olympus,” is under attack. The President, Vice President and Secretary of Defense are being held hostage, and unless we meet the demands of an extremist radical terrorist group, their lives remain in danger.

 

A task force of OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN special agents is being recruited to attend the World Premiere and work with our team of skilled professionals to deter any incursions at the event.

 

In order to apply for duty, visit http://www.olympusmovie.com/screening/

About OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN:

When the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning’s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger crisis.  Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) directs an all-star cast featuring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd and Rick Yune.  For more information visit the following media channels:

 

 

WHERE:         Hollywood, CA  Red Carpet Premiere & Exclusive Screening

 

WHEN:           Monday, March 18            5:00 PM PST

Mar 142013
 

I am seeing some well deserved names on these lists. BsoSpirit Announces Goldspirit Awards Nominees Awards To Be Handed Out At Gala on June 29th Voting Is Open For Film Music Fans to Vote at www.bsospirit.com The BSOSpirit Association, which along with the company Leitmotiv Music and Córdoba Province Government organizes the International Film Music [...]

Mar 142013
 

Perfect timing on this films re-release. SUNDANCE SELECTS TO RE-RELEASE NANNI MORETTI’S WE HAVE A POPE (HABEMUS PAPAM) Film Will Head to New York’s Lincoln Plaza and Have Major Digital Release New York, NY (March 14, 2013) – Sundance Selects announced today that the company is going to re-release director Nanni Moretti’s (Palme d’Or winner [...]

Feb 102013
 

Audiences can relive all the heat and passion in Miramax’s uplifting and iconic dance film, Strictly Ballroom, premiering on Blu-ray Disc this April from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.  From acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann (upcoming The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) comes the tale of a maverick dancer who chooses to risk it all by incorporating a new [...]