Living the high life

Heikki Mattila is on a roll. This excellent high-rise bedroom scene comes hot on the heels of a fabulous LEGO sauna. It’s a follow-up model to Heikki’s cool sitting room we featured previously, with a similar city skyline visible through the window. But it’s no less impressive for sticking with a theme. The bed with its cushions and attendant tables is nicely-built, and the abstract wall art looks fabulous. I also like the plant and the way it stands out against the microscale cityscape beyond the glass. However, it’s the imaginative use of a reversed baseplate as the bed’s headboard which makes the scene for me.

Bedroom

An Avalonian home and gardens spills over the border

In the peaceful rural setting of Avalonia, there is a grand old house called Königsfeld Manor. Life in the village of Avalonia is normally peaceful, but this spring a visit from an old friend brings worrisome tidings. This diorama by Patrick Massey is the perfect antidote to the current wintry conditions in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a lot to admire in this scene with its engaging mix of landscaping and architecture. My favourite part is definitely the overspill of landscape beyond the black border, I think this may be the first time I have seen this technique used so effectively.

Königsfeld Manor

The main house has some lovely architectural details and surprisingly it appears to be built on stilts; perhaps the monsoon season brings flood water. The decorative roof ridges are not the usual village design so I wonder if there’s a more sinister character living here. There’s another small building under construction with just a wooden frame on show at the moment. Perhaps it’s a storage barn or a granny flat to stop granny hassling those who live in the main house… ‘Have you seen my glasses?’, ‘Can you pass me the scroll?’, ‘These carrots are undercooked!’…

manor4

You think it’s ugly now? Wait until the sun goes down

The Gamma Dragon by Mitch is, on the surface, just an absolutely huge blue dragon with a ridiculous amount of older Bionicle pieces used throughout.

Gamma Dragon2

But, when the lights go down, the abundance of pieces from 8935: Nocturn light up thanks to their glow in the dark properties.

Gamma DragonThe head, though, is from one of my personal favourite sets, 8922: Gadunka. I’d been meaning to turn that set into a mech since I got it back in 2007, but I can’t bear to take it apart.

LEGO names new CEO and creates LEGO Brand Group [News]

LEGO is shaking up their box of bricks and appointing a new toymaker in chief.

Long credited as the man who saved LEGO in 2004, CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp will be replaced by Bali Padda, LEGO’s current chief operations officer, on January 1. Padda is British and will be the first non-Dane to lead the company. He has been with LEGO 14 years, starting in Enfield, Connecticut, and has in the past mentioned his desire for greater market expansion throughout the world, focusing on Asia.

Bali Padda will become the new CEO Jan. 1
Bali Padda will become the new CEO Jan. 1

Before you think that Knudstorp is off to take a well-deserved vacation, LEGO also announced the formation of a new parent-like LEGO Brand Group that he will head, as well as being named chairman of LEGO’s board of directors. The new group’s purpose is to increase brand cohesion and efficiency across all products, not just the interlocking bricks, and to pursue further partnership opportunities beyond its theme parks, Hollywood movies, television shows and video games. The new parent group will also serve as a way for the Kristiansen clan, Denmark’s richest family and private owners of LEGO, to become more personally active in all brand efforts.

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, left, with Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, fourth generation owner of the LEGO Group.
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, left, with Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, fourth generation owner of the LEGO Group.

Oddly enough, this reorganization leaves the new LEGO CEO with fewer responsibilities and more time to focus on plastic bricks and sets. It remains to be seen what kind of impact this move will have on the LEGO fan community, but 2017 is shaping up to be quite an interesting year.

Press releases after the break.

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French artist Mat Green is back with more giant metal minifigure sculptures, and they’re jaw-dropping [Interview]

In June, French artist Mat Green amazed us with a pair of life-size LEGO minifigures made of steel. Those figures, named Hugo and Pablo, were a classic minifigure and a punk rock LEGO skeleton. Mat has now finished his next project — more classics you’ll surely recognize, the pirate Sparrow and his parrot Jacquot. We spoke with Mat about his work translating these iconic LEGO figures to life-size metal sculptures.

lego-metal-sparrow-2
jacquot-perroquet-lego-metal-11

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2016 LEGO Advent Calendars: Day 6

Welcome to Day 6 of your digital LEGO Advent Calendar! Each day, we’re revealing the day’s calendar model for the LEGO Friends, City, and Star Wars Advent Calendars. We know some of you want to be spoiler free, so you’ll need to “open” the day’s post to see the models by clicking below!

And if you want to build your own LEGO Advent Calendar, you can win big prizes by building tiny creations in TBB’s Create a Calendar Contest.

Click here to see Day 6

Banana-flavored fighter doesn’t slip up

Pico can Grootveld‘s latest LEGO starfighter combines a striking design with an eye-popping color scheme. The presentation is excellent, with the banana-bright yellow bursting off the black and white backdrop. But it’s the building details that catch the eye, inviting a zoomed-in view to see some of the lovely touches and techniques up close. Don’t miss the tapered cockpit, the pin-joints used as gun housings, and the judicious use of stickers for added depth and texture.

VV / EQUINOX - nnovvember 2016

Crafting the first experimental TIE Fighter

Every piece of tech in the Star Wars universe must have started with a plan and a team of engineers to realize the vision. Inthert shows this interesting idea for a vignette with a LEGO scene showing Sienar Fleet Systems engineers constructing the first TIE Fighter. Like on the builder’s previous sectioned X-Wing, rubber bands as exposed wires make the TIE look realistic.

Sienar Fleet Systems - Exprimental project: TIE

Roads are for amateurs

The Dakar is a cross-country off-road rally race which is held annually in South America (but named after its former finish line in Africa). It requires a specially designed car which can endure tough terrain and unpredictable weather. If you’re interested, why not take a Ferrari? The F40 may be best known for its smooth lines and road handling, but with the right modifications, it might be the car to beat off the beaten path. This modification of an official LEGO set by LegoMarat has enough suspension, steering, lights, and rollbars to rival any sport-utility vehicle. I can only imagine what the paint job will look like afterwards.

Ferrari F40 Dakar

Chugging through the starry skies

LEGO Vic Vipers tend toward the sharp and angular, with sleek lines and sharp corners. Each design must meet strict requirements epitomized by the late Nate “nnenn” Nielsen. Not so with this bulbous affair by Tyler Clites. Tyler’s Vic Viper has enormous, rounded engines — with frying pans as intake vanes, no less — and stubby little wings, with bright, childish colors. But it’s no less a legitimate Vic Viper than Nick Trotta’s Serrated Night.

Vic Viper: Arini

Amazon announces Golden Brick LEGO contest, discounts The SHIELD Helicarrier by $50 [News]

Amazon.com is running a contest through Dec. 10 which challenges fans to find a Golden LEGO Brick on the site’s LEGO product pages. When you find one, you can click it to be entered in the prize drawing, and you can read the full rules below. (You must be a US resident to enter the contest.)

Golden Brick Contest

And if you’re looking for an extra reason to go browse Amazon today, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier has been discounted by $50, bringing the massive 2,996-piece set to $299.99. This is the best discount on this set we’ve seen yet, and if you’re still hesitating, check out our review of the SHIELD Helicarrier, but don’t wait too long — the sale ends today. And don’t forget that lots of other LEGO sets are currently on sale, including steep discounts on many of The Force Awakens sets.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier, $299.99

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2016 LEGO Advent Calendars: Day 5

Welcome to Day 5 of your digital LEGO Advent Calendar! Each day, we’re revealing the day’s calendar model for the LEGO Friends, City, and Star Wars Advent Calendars. We know some of you want to be spoiler free, so you’ll need to “open” the day’s post to see the models by clicking below!

And if you want to build your own LEGO Advent Calendar, you can win big prizes by building tiny creations in TBB’s Create a Calendar Contest.

Click here to see Day 5!