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Tandem Bricks: 1987(?) through 2001(?) - (Read 3,715 Times)
 
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The Hegemon
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The Bloks Forum Send email to orrex11@gmail.com Send PM


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Post Icon Posted: Dec 16th, 2009 at 09:03 pm

Tandem Bricks

SET#SET NAMEPIECESFIGURESYEARINSTRUCTIONS?
?Pre-School 15 Piece Bucket
15
0
1987
No
?Pre-School 30 Piece Bucket
30
0
1987
No
?Pre-School 60 Piece Bucket
60
0
1987
No
?Pre-School 73 Piece Bucket
73
0
1987
No
?Standard 150 Piece Bucket
150
0
1987
No
?Standard 300 Piece Bucket
300
0
1987
No
?Standard 500 Piece Bucket
500
0
1987
No
?Standard 365 Piece Bucket
365
0
1987
No
?42 Pre-School "Extra Bricks"
42
0
1987
No
?112 Pre-School "Extra Bricks"
112
0
1987
No
?Zoo Animals
?
0
1987
No
?Dinosaur Assortment
?
0
1987
No




« Last Edited by The Hegemon Dec 16th, 2009 at 09:11 pm »
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The Hegemon
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 16th, 2009 at 09:12 pm

Intelli-Blox
SET #SET NAMEPIECESFIGURESYEAR
140901Battle at Weathertop9822001
140903Buckleberry Ferry Escape11622001
140904Orc Attack at Amon Hen7922001
140911Isengard Caverns18732001
140913Encounter at the Prancing Pony Inn22532001
?The Mines of Moria36142001
?Trollshaw Forest Clearing852N/A
?Uruk-Hai Breeding Chamber1803N/A
?Bag End1803N/A
?Basic Block Bucket2507N/A
?RivendellN/A5N/A
?Fortress of IsengardN/A6N/A


The only series released under the Intelli-blox name was a line of licensed sets produced for Peter Jackson's film The Fellowship of the Ring. The license was held by Playmates (curiously titilating name for a manufacturer of children's action figures), and the blocks themselves were produced by Tandem bricks, a brand seldom seen and little available in North America. The Intelli-blox line therefore represents an oddly concentric product: a property licensed to a brand owned by a company that contracts brick production through a separate manufacturer!

All in all, the LotR sets were a mixed bag. The quality of the plastic and consistency of the colors were quite good, and numerous specialized pieces add nice detail to one's constructions, but more on this below.

The sets all included at least two figures on a base about the size of a 2x4 brick and containing a voice-recording on a computer chip. The voices could be activated by placing the figure into one of several special slots in the Mines of Moria playset, but to be honest I found the voices garbled and difficult to understand. Further, the figures are only semi-posable, with moving arms and heads. To be frank, it seems that Playmates sacrificed playability for the sake of electronic novelty, and in the end it appears to have helped to doom the line.

From the beginning the sets were a questionable piece:price value, with the small sets costing between $10 and $20 and the aforementioned Mines set originally retailing for $79.99! It's possible that the electronic components inflated the price, but if so then this was a poor marketing strategy indeed. Worse, the scale of the figures was larger than a standard minifig, and the accessories (swords, shields, bows, etc.) were too thin to fit in a minifig's hands. As a result, few of the architectural elements and none of the weapons were well suited for use in conventional minifig-scale constructions.

Some of the nicer elements include: sculpted trees and shrubs (which are, actually, not far removed from minifig scale and could easily be incorporated); extra-wide 2x2 round bricks, for making columns; statues of robed figures and of paired raptors; a heavy vault door; rocks (analagous to those seen Mega Bloks' Dragons line); and the windows mentioned above.

The last six entries in the listing appear not to have been released and I've been unable to track down the set numbers. However, from the instruction booklet that came with The Mines of Moria, it's clear that other sets were planned for production. The booklet included a listing of the phrases that the various figures could utter, and some of the named figures were identified as coming from sets not yet released. From this I conclude that the line was canceled mid-stride, likely owing to dismal sales at pretty much every store that carried them.

The line was discontinued after the initial release of six sets.
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