A Baltic blizzard blasts from this Bionicle build

A cold front has clearly influenced this build entitled Valtias, The Blizzard Tyrant by Dave Foreman. Although dominated by Bionicle parts, Dave has also used cold, icy parts from Chima and Hero factory to complete his build. The character started as a head using the Frost Beast mask from set 44011 Frost Beast and then borrows some armour and weapons from 8982 Strakk. A lot of frosty imagination has been used to complete this chilling tyrant. I particularly like the explosive blast of jagged shards extruding from his central chest and those sharp trans-blue claws on his hands and feet, that resemble built-in crampons.

Valtias, The Blizzard Tyrant

Just don’t expect this tyrant to wash his hair – Dave admits that his huge chest has resulted in a rather limited shoulder movement. Despite the limited shoulder movement, Blizzard is still able to deftly hold those axes and is certainly not limited in charisma, as you can see from this ‘Joker-like’ pose.

Valtias, The Blizzard Tyrant

Classy castle in a creaky casket

Marcel V. has built a wonderful microscale LEGO castle in a box. The fortress itself has hints of Disney in its soaring spires and color scheme, but for me it’s the classy brown and gold of the casket which elevate this model into something special. The silky lining within the box lid — achieved with a nice pattern of curved slopes — is excellent. It’s so good when a microscale creation is more than “just” a tiny version of something else. Here, the micro-ness fits with the setting to conjure up something altogether more magical.

The casket

I had a go at building a LEGO kingdom in a box myself a couple of years back. However, Marcel’s brick-built box is much cooler than the slightly scabby wooden chest I used for mine!

LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: 41230 Batgirl Batjet Chase and 41231 Harley Quinn to the rescue [Review]

Let’s mix up The LEGO Batman Movie reviews a bit and bring in something new and exciting: the LEGO DC Super Hero Girls line. LEGO sent us a few of the sets, and we’re pleased to bring you reviews of 41230 Batgirl Batjet Chase (206 pieces; $24.99 USD) and 41231 Harley Quinn to the rescue (217 pieces; $29.99 USD), both available now.

Click here to read the review!

2016 LEGO Advent Calendars: Day 7

Welcome to Day 7 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 7!

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