Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paradise Mango Pepsi Next!

Pepsi Next
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Earlier this year I wrote about Pepsi Next, the new flavor of Pepsi that sort of tasted like Coca Cola. I enjoyed the drink when I wrote about it and continued to purchase it up pretty much every time I went to the store. I had hoped that Pepsi Next would catch on with the general public and sell well enough to have it either stick around full time or make an appearance each and every summer.

What I did not expect was to start finding alternative flavors of Pepsi Next mere months after its initial release. Paradise Mango feels like a strange offshoot flavor that should have happened next year, sometime after Pepsi Next achieved a better firmhold on the soda market and solidified itself as a long term player in the game. Instead we are getting Pepsi Next: Paradise Mango rightthefucknow ...  my theory is that Pepsi panicked and thinks the world is coming to an end this December. Better to release Paradise Mango now... just in case.


Pepsi Next
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The name of the game is Mango flavored Pepsi Cola... Pepsi Cola Next.... Mango flavored Pepsi Next Cola. To say that this flavor is a little on the 'busy' side is a bit of an understatement. Paradise Mango has like seventeen different things all going on at the same time and somehow, it still manages to work.

Do not even attempt to understand it. What we are looking at defies all logic. A limited edition flavor of a soda that is probably already a limited edition. It should not be any good, yet Paradise Mango is totally worth checking out. It reminds me of a long defunct flavor of Dr. Pepper called 'berries and cream'. One of those offshoot brands that by all rights 'aught to make you vomit into the toilet ... only it doesn't. It is actually somehow better than the original flavor.

Next time you are at the store be sure to give Pepsi Next: Paradise Mango a look. The months of Summer are very quickly starting to come to a close. Before much longer we'll be smack dab in the middle of fall with winter quickly closing in on us. It's best to celebrate all things Summer while we still can. Paradise Mango is a fantastic flavor of soda that seems right at home here in late July and early August!


Pepsi Next


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Twenty Four

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On the twenty fourth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Yoda! And not just any Yoda figure, but one dressed up as Santa Claus! This my friends is clearly the best figure in the set, bar none. Everything about him is just fantastic, from the fact that he actually is smaller than the other Lego figures, to his head mold (which is a type of rubber as opposed to hard plastic). I really love the way he is dressed in a Santa suit, complete with packages and everything.

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For every ship that I could not quite identify. To every item that seemed kind of crappy. It was all totally worth it just for these two toys. What I have here is something that I will set out every holiday season and get enjoyment out of. If you have kids, they are going to love these last two items. So much so that it really does make the rest of the set sort of suck in comparison. Sure it had lots of cool Star Wars related toys but noplace near the amount of Christmas flavor that it should have had. I wish more of the set would have featured items like this. It would have made everything feel so much more... special.

Anyhow, this will wrap up the first annual Christmas in July coverage here at the website. I hope you guys enjoyed all these quick little posts throughout the month. I will be returning to some more 'traditional' Summer posts for the time being but before long... it will be time to start with the 2012 Halloween Countdown and the annual 'Two Months of Halloween' coverage!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Twenty Three

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On the twenty third day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

A Christmas Tree! At times it has been easy to forget that technically this Advent Calendar is supposed to have a Christmas theme based around it. This tree is only one of two items in the set that really relate to the holiday... and I absolutely love it. While I am not sure what I will be doing with the rest of the figures and ships (currently they are all labeled and ziplocked) I can guarantee you that this Lego Christmas Tree will come out each and every year and go on display someplace in my house. I absolutely love it.

This also means that we are one day away from opening up the final gift of the 2011 Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar! The suspense was sort of ruined by the front of the box... we already know what it will be. But that does not mean it will be any more epic! Yoda dressed up in a Santa suit!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Twenty Two

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On the twenty second day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

An A-Wing ship! Yet another ship that I did not recognize, which is kind of a bummer this close to the end of the calendar and especially after yesterdays gift of the Millenium Falcon. To put this into perspective if this actually was December, Christmas would be three days from now. We should be getting Han Solo or something really awesome. Instead, this kind of crappy looking A-Wing is here. Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

Christmas in July -- Day Twenty One

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On the twenty first day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

The Millenium Falcon! Now the only thing you'll be wishing for was a Lego Han Solo figure to go along with it (which sadly does not make an appearance in the 2011 Advent Calendar). Some of the other ships in this set are a little hard to recognize but as soon as I opened up the box marked "21" ... I knew that I was putting together the Millenium Falcon!

Christmas in July -- Day Twenty

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On the twentieth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Tie Fighter! So... you guys remember when I said the Mouse Droid was the worst figure in the set? Turns out I lied. This Tie Fighter takes the cake for being the stupidest thing included in the set. Not because Tie Fighters are not awesome (they are) but because of how small and how few parts this one took to build. You are looking at a grand total of five pieces for this one. The two black squares, two colored lights (one clear and one blue) and the square body piece. That is it. There have been larger ships in this set that have had more leftover pieces than this one had actual pieces!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Ninteen

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On the nineteenth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Tie Pilot! Now our Clone Pilot for Day Sixteen has someone to argue with. Probably over who gets the better of the two guns from Day Seventeen's weapon rack. Besides being really hard to photograph (the shiny black helmet kept reflecting light and I could never quite get the photograph to come into focus) I must say... this is kind of a boring looking figure. Instead of generic Tie Pilot #8745 they maybe could have included Darth Vader or Darth Maul or someone whose name starts with the word "Darth".

Christmas in July -- Day Eighteen

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On the eighteenth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Y-Wing Bomber! Yet another ship, this time a Y-Wing Bomber. Like the one that Anakin Skywalker drove in Star Wars: Episode Two. You'll notice that mine has extra pieces sticking out all over it. Such as a second clear cockpit on top, some extra white wedges on the side, and those gray circles I put on the front of the ships thrusters. It seems like a waste to not use up all of the parts that come in the days packages. I have not quite figured out why but some days include no extra parts yet others, such as this Y-Wing, seemingly come with enough extra crap to build an entire second ship.

Christmas in July -- Day Seventeen

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On the seventeenth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Generic Weapons Rack! Sort of filler material but sort of not. We have two sets of guns, one for yesterdays Clone Pilot and the other ends up going to a figure we'll get to in a couple days. The green light sabre very obviously goes to a certain Yoda figure that was teased on the front of the box. And the binoculars are there probably for the X-Wing Pilot. It is not the most interesting of things but every Lego figure needs to have proper weapons.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Sixteen

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On the sixteenth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Clone Pilot! One of the few Lego figures that having multiples of is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are into Lego Star Wars figures chances are you'll already have a handful of these laying around someplace. Well, here is another one to add to the collection.

I would also like to point out the very creepy fact that under that helmet the Lego figure has no face. It is not even flesh colored, just a straight up flat black Lego head. Lifeless and void of any features. And ummm... turns out that is really all I have to say about this Clone Pilot.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Fifteen

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On the fifteenth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

A Republican Attack Gunship! Which apparently I photographed backwards. Like I said I am a Star Wars fan but nothing in this set is labeled (I had to look all that information up myself) and the directions for how to put things together are not very clear. Unless you really know your Star Wars, I would venture to bet that most people just make stuff up when assembling these things like what I did.

With all of that in mind, I quite enjoyed putting this one together. Even if it turned out a little wrong. Though I am still confused as to what exactly the binoculars on the top of the ship are supposed to represent. I think I'll end up taking those off and give them to Chewbacca.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Fourteen

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On the fourteenth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

A Mouse Droid! What we have here is officially the worst item in the 2011 Advent Calendar. Nothing more than simple filler material that Lego included to help pad out the set. Its such a shame that they chose to  include throw away gifts like this one. Fourteen days into the calendar would have been an opportune time to  start including a couple more Christmas themed items. No such luck. Instead we get the stupid Mouse Droid that is guaranteed to be lost an hour putting it together. Maybe tomorrows gift will make up for this junk...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Thirteen

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On the thirteenth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

R2-Q5! I have a feeling that if you did a poll amongst casual Star Wars fans as to there favorite characters, that R2-D2 would rank up towards the top. I have yet to meet someone who did not like that little droid and as you can see... this is clearly not R2-D2. Instead we have R2-Q5, who you will probably remember from... umm... well I'm not really sure what we are supposed to remember R2-Q5 from.

I think it is sort of a missed opportunity here. The obvious choice would have been to include R2-D2, maybe even stick a Christmas wreath on him or something. R2-Q5 is not a bad edition to the 2011 Advent Calendar (we'll get to that one in a couple days) but I would have much preferred R2-D2.

Christmas in July -- Day Twelve

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On the twelfth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Snowspeeder! I like this little ship quite a bit, mostly because of the gigantic guns on the side of it. Though I think I must have put this ship apart wrong, because it does not sit level. One of my biggest complains about this set is the directions are really kind of vague on how exactly things are supposed to go together. About half the time when I sit back and look at the end results, I'm pretty sure I've not quite put something together right.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Eleven

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On the eleventh day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

A Battle Droid from Star Wars: Episode One! Say what you will about that film (and trust me many people do) but for all of its flaws I did not think the Battle Droids were one of them. Like everything else in Episode One, they felt a little on the kiddish side but I enjoyed them all the same.

I thought they way they spoke was quite amusing and the fact that they are a completely expendable character allowed George Lucas to blow them to bits and always have another Battle Droid to take its place on screen. I am quite pleased to see one show up in the 2011 Advent Calendar. Rodger, Rodger!

Christmas in July -- Day Ten

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On the tenth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Imperial Shuttle! Not a bad little ship, but ten days into this the only complaint I am starting to have with this set is that it sort of lacks a Christmas theme to it. Remember, our ultimate goal here is to snag ourselves a Yoda figure dressed up as Santa Claus. While I appreciate the wide variety of ship (and Chewbacca!) at some point it would have been interesting to randomly find an Ewok dressed up as an elf.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Nine

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On the ninth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

An X-Wing ship! Cool stuff. What I like about this one is its size... some of the other ships are just far to small. This one is about twice the size of everything else in the set. Making it the perfect display size. I know that Lego intends these calendars to be given to children as gifts but they have to expect at least some crossover into the adult collector (especially with Star Wars attached to it) and this ship is perfect for anyone who is a little bit older than the suggested age, as it will look fantastic sitting on a nerd shelf someplace in your house.

Christmas in July -- Day Eight

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On the eight day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Rebel Pilot! Score! It is another minifigure! As much as I enjoy building the little space crafts that have been coming in this set I do have to admit anytime I open up a door and see the parts for one of the actual figures looking back at me... it is way more exciting.

I remember getting themed sets like these when I was a kid and whatever it was you built would tend to be torn apart in a couple days and mixed in with all your other Legos. While on the other hand, these figures will always look the way they are supposed to. So no matter what happens to the rest of this calendar, you'll always own a little Lego X-Wing Pilot!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Seven

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On the seventh day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

... a random barrel full of weapons and a crossbow? Wait a minute... this is no ordinary barrel full of wrenches and crossbows, this belongs to CHEWBACCA!!!!

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Yep, we have our first instance of two different days items directly tying into one another. After a slow start, seven days into the calendar Lego is starting to bring out the big guns. Literally. Included in day number seven's festive box of death is a crossbow, an ax, a oversized wrench, and a barrel to stick everything in.

Sort of filler material because they honestly could have given us all of this stuff with the Chewbacca figure as apart of the #6 gift. But it is fun to have two different days gifts directly correlate with one another like this. So it all sort of works out in the end. Besides, anything related to Chewbacca is an instant win.

Christmas in July -- Day Six

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On the sixth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calender gave to me...

Chewbacca! After a slow start I think it is safe to say that the Advent Calender is starting to pick up speed.Out of all the many different Star Wars characters, I think it is safe to say that Chewbacca is my favorite. I was quite pleased when I opened up the sixth door and found him sealed in a little plastic bag.

After putting him together (which was really only three pieces. Legs, body, and that big head piece with the attached body fur) ... I was a tad bit disappointed with the build quality on this figure. The details are not really that defined, you cannot even see his eyes. His arms only extend up about half way, due to the oversized  body fur piece. And he is not very sturdy. But hey.... its still CHEWBACCA! Despite all of that, he'll still be one of my favorite Lego figures from this set.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Five

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On the fifth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Slave I! Yes that is correct, day number five has given us Boba Fett's ship! Or at least it is supposed to be Boba Fett's ship. This particular piece gave me probably the most issues of anything I put together in this set. I'm still sort of pissed off looking at it now.

Normally I would not care but this is Slave I we are talking about here. Boba Fett's ship deserves better than how I have built it here but it is not entirely my fault. For starters there was like five extra parts included with this set. And I refused to not use each and every one of them. 

Then the instructions basically chose not to include the entire middle section or bottom half of the ship. Leaving me to just sort of guess how things are supposed to go together. I gave it the old college try and sadly this was the best I could do.

Still does not look correct. Poor ship. Boba Fett, will you ever forgive me?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Four

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On the fourth day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

 A Spider Drone! If nothing else I approve of the vaguely insectian theme that we have going on thus far.  Though it seems to me that it would have made more sense to start the set out with some of the more recognizable characters or ships and save the Spider Drones and strangely concocted chairs for later on in the calendar.

For those wondering, items such as these come completely disassembled and sealed into a little plastic bag. When you open up the cardboard door the back side of it has a little picture with some general instructions on how to put everything together.

Key word here is general. Often times it seems Lego enjoys leaving things to your own interpretation. Either leaving you to figure out large sections on your own or giving you extra pieces so that even when you are finished, you second guess your work. You see that extra antenna sticking out of the bottom? I'm not 100% sure if it is supposed to go there but... well Lego included two of them in the package and I'll be damned if you pass up the opportunity to stick extra antenna on any Lego design.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Three

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On the third day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Mechano Chair! I would not have had any clue that this chair actually belongs to yesterdays Gunray figure had I not looked it up. My first thought is that it was some sort of really badass looking robot spider. Which in all honesty is way more interesting than a chair.

So let's pretend that it is a badass robot spider. One that I will keep assembled from now until the end of time. I imagine that if I was eight years old again this would have been one of my favorite toys to come out of the 2011 Lego Advent Calendar. His name would have been Roy. Roy could have been my pocket pal, whom I sneaked to school in my lunchbox and eventually got taken away because I couldn't resist the temptation to play with him during the middle of class.

Poor Roy would have then been forced to live out the rest of his robot spider life stuck in some asshole teacher's desk. Forgotten and alone. Not this time. This time Roy, whether you consider him a robot, a spider, a chair, or all three will sit proudly on my computer desk from now until the end of time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day Two

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On the second day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Nute Gunray. Our very first Lego Minifigure! You'll recognize Nute from Star Wars: Episode One, if you have had the misfortune of watching that film recently. Otherwise you'll be able to appreciate this figure for the awesome looking headpiece and generally pissed off expression.

Lego doe a fantastic job with these minifigures, always making sure they are both detailed enough to nail the look and feel of the character yet simplistic enough to still fit within the Lego universe. You'll see a few different figures spread throughout the month and while they do not provide the same level of interactivity as the ships do. They are by far my favorite parts of this set.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Christmas in July -- Day One

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On the first day of Christmas in July the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar gave to me...

Republic Cruiser! The first of many different kinds of ships, of which we will be seeing all different kinds of variations throughout the month. For a first day gift it does not really make all that much of an impression. It might have been wiser to open the set up with something a bit more recognizable within the Star Wars universe, maybe even give away one of the Lego Minifigures would have been the way to go.

Still does not stop it from being fun to put together. Which it was, despite the directions not being crystal clear on exactly what piece goes wear. Speaking of which, not pictured is the three extra pieces that were included but did not actually go to anything. Another theme that will run all throughout the Advent Calendar will be just that, extra pieces. Enough of them to build a very strange looking extra ship.

I guess Lego knows damn well that no matter how cool some of the later ships will end up looking, ultimately every kid will get bored with them and take them apart and mix them up with all the thousands of other Lego pieces they own. Might as well give them enough extra pieces throughout the month to play with to at least make sure this Republic Cruiser stays together long enough to have Christmas dinner with Yoda, before getting smashed up against a wall.