Every once in a while you need to shed light on a MOC. There are several options for this including light bricks, Power Functions and fiber optics from LEGO (for you purists), LifeLights for more complex (and expensive) options, and assorted other third party light up bricks. Liteup Blocks is a new option that brings light options to your MOC without breaking the bank.
Liteup Blocks come in a six colors and in both 2x3 and 2x4 sizes, and a 12x12 base coming soon. There are also flashing units, which cycle both color and pattern. Basic colors are red, green, blue, yellow and white. Although if there's a way of telling what color you have without turning it on I can't find it.
The basic brick is the scale of a standard 2x4 (or 2x3) brick plus two plates. Why this size vs just a single brick height is because of the batteries I'm guessing. I'd certainly like to see something similar in a single brick height, I think it would boost flexibility in building. The batteries are replaceable with a single screw on the side of the brick and it runs on two LR41 button cells. One interesting thing to note is the LED is actually pointing up in the brick, making the top far brighter than the side. This could be advantageous or a detriment, depending on what you're building, but it's nice to have an option different than the standard LEGO light brick. The quality is average (better than Megabloks anyway) with a little bit of flashing visible here and there and some roundness to the edges, but overall not too shabby.
The switch is recessed, making it easier to build into MOCs and hiding, but you'll have to get creative with some way to activate it. I found the switch to be just slightly too small and deep for my sausage-like appendages and had to resort to using a pen to turn them on.
Now a bit of bad news, the specs on the bricks are slightly off, as you can see in the picture. This is probably my biggest gripe about these, and unfortunate. They're just the slightest bit too tall, and a little fat on the battery side, which will limit their usability.
- Cheap, at only $2 each you can light up on a budget.
- Flexible, with multiple color and size options to choose from.
- Replaceable batteries.
- Recessed switch.
- Scale (brick + two plate) makes them somewhat difficult to work with.
- Recessed switch may be awkward to turn on with adult fingers.
- "Out of system", specs are everything in the LEGO universe. These bricks are bit tall and tad fat.
- The packaging. I know it's petty, but this looks like something you'd see hanging on a hook at a swap meet.
Overall, I'm impressed with Liteup Blocks, they're a great way to add some light and life to your MOCs at a very reasonable price. You'll just have to work around the problems of spec, size and possibly light direction. But more options are never a bad thing are they? Get your hands on some at www.liteupblock.com
I give them 3 out of 5 Nerdlys.