LEGO Ideas Exo Suit out today [Review & Giveaway]

LEGO sent The Brothers Brick a copy of the new LEGO Ideas 21109 Exo Suit, which we’re going to give away to one of you out there reading this. Read the full review to find out how!

There have been a lot of great LEGO CUUSOO / LEGO Ideas sets that have come out, but before the Exo Suit they all had one thing in common: they were all based on someone else’s design (intellectual property or IP in licensing jargon). So it was a great to see Pete Reid‘s Exo Suit become the first original idea to be turned into a LEGO Ideas set.

Exo Suit Review/Raffle

The set comes in a typical small form LEGO Ideas box. I thought the designers did a great job on graphics and background art, which is very reminiscent of the classic space box art.

Exo Suit Review/Raffle

When you open up the set you’re presented with a fantastic instruction manual and 4 small bags of pieces, which include a total of 321 pieces. While it might not seem like a lot of pieces, the final build is surprisingly large.

Exo Suit Review/Raffle

The instruction booklet starts off with some info on Pete and Senior Set Designer Mark Stafford on how they collaborated on the set. It’s followed by a great background story that sets up the Exo Suit. I also liked how scattered throughout the instructions are little tid-bits of information about the Exo-Suit or the turtle, which just adds a bit of fun to the whole building.

Originally I had planned to go over the actual build process and point out interesting bits and details on the Exo Suit, but as I was actually building it, I decided not to ruin everyone’s fun — I would rather everyone experience it on their own. I will say that there are definitely some uncommon techniques that you would not find in your typical LEGO set. An example of which is placing a 1×1 round stud in the center of a 2×2 round plate (see picture).

Exo Suit Review/Raffle

The piece selection in this set is also a bit odd for a typical LEGO offering. There are a lot of ball-joint pieces that makes up the bulk of the frame, and a lot of tiny detailing elements that are attached to it, which makes up the rest of the set. But for a lot of builders this gives a great value: it is a small set with an incredible selection of specialized sci-fi “greeble” pieces.

But really, the stars of the set are the two Classic Space minifigures (with extra air tank) available in green for the first time:

Exo Suit Review/Raffle

The inclusion of these two figures, plus the low price point, and limited run will likely result in a very high demand set. Which is unfortunate as I would love to be able to buy a massive stockpile of these to get an army of Green Classic Space men, with enough left over pieces to build something really cool.

Read the review and enter for a chance to win this set →

Kaneda’s Bike Book Review

The Arvo Brothers published a book on their masterpiece recreation of Kaneda’s Bike from Akira. This is a unique Lego book dedicated entirely to describing one creation while including a full set of instructions. The book is available for €19.99 + shipping and is sold directly from the Arvo Brothers, whom you can reach by email at arvobrothers[at]hotmail.com. Below is my review of the book.

book_01


Pros:

  • Meticulous details documenting building techniques, parts selection, and references to the original model
  • Includes commentary on steps in the instruction manual for an in-depth building experience
  • Includes a parts list and sticker sheet


Cons:

  • Almost impossible to recreate the model due to lack of availability of the x-pod lids used on the wheels.

This is a well-written book centered on one of the Arvo Brothers’ most iconic and beloved Lego creations. It is obvious that a lot of work went into designing the model and producing the book. It is a good read for fans interested in the minutia of the design process of a top-tier fan model. For those wanting to recreate the model, there is a full set of clear-cut instructions with supporting commentary for an in-depth experience on the build process. However, you will be disappointed to find out that a key element of the model is out of production and nearly impossible to obtain on the aftermarket even if you have money. Because of this detail alone, I hesitate to recommend the book because the majority of its content is dedicated to the instruction set. However, if you are still curious about the design process, this is a publication that will not let down your expectations.

Comic book classix in brix

Probably better known to our European readers, Asterix the Gaul was a beloved French comic book series that started over half a century ago, and has since been translated into many languages and adapted to both animation and live action formats. It tells the story of the last remaining village in ancient Gaul to hold out against the invading Roman Empire, thanks to the leadership of the titular hero, Asterix.

Flick member IamKritch has faithfully recreated Asterix, his boulder-tossing sidekick Obelix, and Obelix’s faithful hound Dogmatix (aka Idéfix) out of LEGO. The use of mini-fig wings on Asterix’s helmet is ingénieux, while the use of joystick levers and grills for the eyes (instead of using a Sharpie, like I would have) is très puriste!

Off to a summer picnic in a VW Camper Van

One of the things I respect most in a LEGO builder is the ability to build well in multiple themes or genres. The Titanfall / World War II mashup we posted earlier this month couldn’t be more different from this tranquil scene that Kosmas Santosa posted today.

VW Camper - Front

I actually did a double-take when I saw this photo, since it so closely resembles the beautiful Volkswagen T1 Camper Van released a couple years ago, as well as the micro version available briefly as a freebie. But this one is perfectly scaled for minifigs. The chrome wheels and door handles really make the whole model pop.

Announcing the BRICKNADO building contest winners!

The Brothers Brick BRICKNADO building contest is now over. The contest was in celebration of the cinematic masterpiece Sharknado 2: The Second One, which for our US readers premieres on the SyFy channel tonight at 9pm (8pm Central).

Thank you to all the builders that were brave enough to take part – in the end we had 24 shark-tastic entries. With the chainsaws now put away, the sidewalks hosed down, and a tally of the fallen taken, The Brothers Brick are pleased to announce the winners:

1st PLACE
“I love New Yaaaargh!” by nolnet

2nd PLACE
“NYC Subway Sharknado!” by El Barto

3rd PLACE
“Sharknado!” by SuckMyBrick

We also have a couple of “honorable mentions” for some other entries that we loved too… So big shout-outs go to M<0><0>DSWIM for “Fin Rides the Sharknado!” and Uno Brick for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fisherman”.

  

While our three winners are now faced with the solemn task of making their prize choices, we’ll leave the rest of you to settle in behind the couch and brace yourselves for the coming storm…

LEGO chess set honors The Brothers Brick’s 9th Anniversary

Magma Guy has posted a really lovely chess set in honor of our 9th birthday! Built in Brothers Brick colors, the set really pops. I am a big fan of brick-built chess sets and the quality of this one is top-shelf. I especially like how the designs of the two sides are quite different but maintain a similar style. The board itself is simple yet elegant. The use of brown as a highlight really ties the green and white together as well. I would love to play a game or two, Magma Guy!

TBB chess

Angus MacLane’s Wall-E achieves 10K supporters on LEGO Ideas [News]

Earlier today, Angus MacLane‘s LEGO Wall-E model achieved 10,000 supporters on LEGO Ideas.

LEGO WALL•E 3.0

I’ve commented before about how way too many projects on LEGO CUUSOO/Ideas aren’t based on ideas associated in any way with the person who initiated the project. This one’s different. As long-time readers will recall from our interview with Angus MacLane back in 2008, Angus works at Pixar and was the Lead Animator for Wall-E. Given Angus’s close association with Pixar and the source material, I’m very hopeful that this wonderful model will end up as a future LEGO set.

Good luck during the review process, Angus!