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The Great Shake Giveaway

Have you ever wanted a website that covers recipes, creative application, all things you need to know about parenting and kids, nerd-ness or even up-to-date stories about world news and controversial issues? Well, Holy Crap! Website, thy name is The Shake. Run by Australia's most influential parenting bloggers, The Shake is an internet 'go to'. And lucky enough for us, they heart nanoblock so much they're giving away some sweet swag in their "Great Shake Giveaway"!

What do you need to do? Head on over to the giveaway and give them some reasons to send the prizes your way... in 25 words or less. Well then, what are you waiting for?

TJ Lefebvre
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Interview with a nanoblock™ Artist!

Happy Friday all! We'd like to introduce you to a talented custom nanoblock™ model maker, known on the Internet as StealthEagle. We are consistently impressed with the level of imagination and ingenuity that she shows, so we thought it only fair to pass on this nanoblock™ artist! You can see all of StealthEagle's designs over on her Facebook page, Straight Out of the Line. We asked her a few questions about her designs, check them out!

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What was your first experience with nanoblock? How did you come across it?

Before I finished my shopping in a department store, I have been always making an effort to look at the toys section to see what toys are trending. But on that day, I stumbled upon this interesting shelf with a displaying box full of models.

The nanoblock™ section was small, and it wasn’t placed in the aisle where the building blocks toys were. Each model were sealed in pretty looking black sealable bags, except for “Sight to see” series, that was really intriguing since many building block companies have been packing their kits into cardboard boxes.

What converted me to nanoblock™ was simply the birds; I got a very soft spot for feathered creatures, and I have been studying Ornithology as a hobby to satisfy my curiosity. Whatever happened later was history.

When did you start your custom making? How? Do you remember the models you had?

I don’t exactly remember when, probably sometime in August 2012, the very first model I built was a plane made with bright red blocks. 

I did was what most people would do; stacked blocks together till the model looked recognisable, but only with 1 type of block.

What's your favourite design custom design? Most complex?

That pair of hands, the story of how I managed to do it and managed to win something still baffles me till this day. 

How did you come up with the idea of the hand (that won the nanoblock™ award)? 

It was completely random.  I was trying to get some works out for the Nanoblock Award just to try my luck despite knowing there were builders who were much better than me. Suddenly, the idea of creating a hand (later became a pair of hands) slipped into my mind when I was looking at past entries by previous participants.

What inspires you? I notice that there's a lovely amount of pop culture rhetoric in your creations.

Anything that I have read, watched, played, listened or imagined; there is no specific source of inspiration of where most of my works are from, that is why my creations never stick to a certain genre or style. I can do a Minecraft cow one day, and then tomorrow it may be something about Doctor Who (no relation with moo-ing the Doctor Who theme).

How many nanoblock models do you think you've built?

About 26 models, I know that is little…haha.

Out of all your reviews, which is the most spectacularly design nanoblock?

It is a hard decision as each series designed and released by Kawada is unique, so each fan has his/her favourite, for me I picked the Sengoku Military Commander Series as the most spectacular.

It is rare to see any companies like Kawada to release any models based on Japan’s cultural history as its niche area has always been about popular icons and places. To capture the details of the samurai helmet into nanoblock™ form without butchering the aesthetics requires a lot of trial and error on how you stack the blocks.

 

 

TJ Lefebvre
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Newsletters, magpies and a nanoblock™ giveaway!

This week we sent out our inaugural newsletter, fell in love with a new fan-made nanoblock™ model and started a competition with the ever-cool Everguide.

Featuring Pat Coppel of Make Designed Objects, we talked about his store, design icon and favourite product. We also show-cased the new nanoblock™ models in 2013 ranging from our little lion to the Great Pyramid of Giza available to peruse on our website. We also ran a pretty-great competition that had its three winners in the first fifteen minutes of mailout! Don't want to miss out again? Head to our homepage to sign up.

This week, one of our Facebook fans, Christine, designed a new nanoblock™ bird - the magpie! We love it very much. Have you ever made your own? Share it with us on our wall.
And lastly, but far from least, the ever-cool Everguide is featuring and giving away some most excellent nanoblock™ loot. You need to answer just one question to go in the running to win one of three nanoblock™ prize packs. If you missed out on our newsletter competition, you should definitely try your luck here.
Have a fabulous weekend, all!
TJ Lefebvre
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Interview with Pat Coppel of Make Designed Objects

Make Designed Objects is a gorgeous store that has been in Carlton for 10 years. With an aesthetic eye for well-designed products, Pat Coppel has garnered a lot of respect in the community for design. The store is beautifully adorned with rooms that could shame feng-shui. If you get a spare moment in Melbourne, you should totally go and check it out.
Here's a few things Pat had to share.

When did you open the store? 10 years ago this past Friday. 3rd of May, 2003.
How did you come up with the idea for Make Designed Objects? I had a very long relationship with retail and design, so I decided to put the two together. In retrospect it’s surprising that it took me as long as it did.
What's your aesthetic? Good design. There are a number of variants, a product might be environmentally friendly, humorous... I suppose I look for design intelligence. 
Do you have a design icon? Japanese Architect Todao Ando. When it comes to the language of buildings he can say in one word what most people try to say in ten thousand.
Favourite product? The Fink water jug by Robert Foster. Generally there are only 6 kinds available, however we have collaborated with F!nk Design resulting in 19 different customised variations available only through Make Designed Objects. We talk with Rob and Gretel at Fink about new product possibilities on a regular basis. The four seasons vases are also the result of those discussions.
TJ Lefebvre
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nanoblock™ Creations at Kidstuff

The first week of NSW holidays is through and Kidstuff Brighton has had some fun collaborators come in contribute some cute creations.

Have you had a chance to get in to the participating stores? Why, you might ask, would I do this? Well, there are 3 nanoblock™ prize packs to be won worth $80 each! We think this is a pretty excellent incentive. All you need to do is build a creation from the free parts in store and post it on the Kidstuff "Create and Win" Facebook page or, alternatively, e-mail it to competitions@kidstuff.com.au!

The stores are Kidstuff Mosman (774 Military Rd), Kidstuff Woollahra (126A Queen St) and Kidstuff Brighton (14 Church St). 

Entries close this Sunday, April 28th!


TJ Lefebvre
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Competition Kick-Off at Kidstuff


It has begun! All Kidstuff lovers (and visitors) have a chance to win one of three $80 nanoblock prize-packs! Why, you might ask, are we doing this? Well, in NSW it's school holidays, and everyone needs some pretty sweet things to do over the holidays. But we couldn't deprive Victoria of a chance at the prizes, so even more exciting than going back to school - is the chance to win something, which makes going back to school SO MUCH more AWESOME.
What do you have to do? Easy!
1. Head into one of the participating Kidstuff stores (Woollahra, Mosman and Brighton)
2. Go straight to the building pit located inside
3. Use the loose bricks to build a new and exciting nanoblock creation
4. Take a photo of it
5. Upload that photo to the Kidstuff Facebook competition page or send it to competitions@kidstuff.com.au
The competition has started and ends at midnight on the 28th of April.
See you at Kidstuff!
TJ Lefebvre
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nanoblock™ and Kidstuff join forces for the April School Holidays

This April school holidays, find nanoblock™ freeplay troughs exclusively in Kidstuff stores. Enter the competition through the Kidstuff facebook page for your chance to win one of THREE awesome nanoblock™ prizepacks!

More details coming soon, stay tuned!


TJ Lefebvre
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The nanoblock Stop-Motion Edition

One of the most entertaining parts of building a nanoblock™ model is the way that it evolves before your eyes. A fantastic way to capture this excitement is to capture it on film, and what better way to view it than in step-by-step motion?!

Stop-motion animation is a series of photos that can be knitted into a video (and can be relatively easy to made). Here is an example of a nanoblock™ Guitar in all its stop-motion glory:


You're ready to create your own? Let's get started!
You Will Need:
  1. A nanoblock™ model (and the instructions).
  2. One or two desk lamps to light your 'stage' well.
  3. A camera (preferably a digital one with manual focus).
  4. A light blank background prime for taking photos.
  5. A way to make your camera stay in one place (tripod, table sand Blu tack, whatever you can find).
Remember: 
  1. The camera focus should not change.
  2. The white balance shouldn't change either. (Keep it on manual settings).
  3. The camera should not be moved at all while it's taking photos.
Let's Get Started:
  1. Take a photo of your scene blank scene and start to move the nanoblock™ pieces into the photo space bit by bit to show the construction with detail.
  2. Make sure to keep the model-in-progress as still as possible.
  3. Import your images into a photo stitching software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker (simple instructions here).
  4. Finish the film with your own personal touches (like soundtrack, credits, information, title screen and even narrative)!
So, how'd you go? Send us your videos to info@nanoblock.com.au, or post them on facebook.com/nanoblockAustralia! We'd love to see what you got up to!

Great online sources for further reading:

Create a Stop Motion Animation by WikiHow

TJ Lefebvre
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New nanoblock™ models!

It's been a crazy beginning to 2013 with 20 new nanoblock™ models coming to Australia and adding to the greatly expanding Australian nanoblock™ collection.

Below are the highlights of the new Critters and Sights to See models. Want them now? Head to the nanoblock™ store or find the closest retailer to you!


Critter Series



Sights to See Series


TJ Lefebvre
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This Weekend: Melbourne Design Market and nanoblock™

Melbournites! Come along to Federation Square this Sunday for the Melbourne Design Market! We'll be there from the word, 'Go'!

There'll be special discounts for all nanoblock™-loving market-goers! We'll have our full range available for purchase at the market, it's the best way to get your Christmas shopping done for those 'hard-to-buy-for' friends, family and colleagues. Our nanoblock™ Critters and Musical Instruments ranges are also great as stocking filler! And for $9.95? You really can't go wrong. #trufax

Just what are we saying here? We would love to see you there and for you to partake in some nanoblock™ goodness.

Come and find us (and check out our instagram feed for a magic word that will get you a sweet deal!)


TJ Lefebvre
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