M.C. Escher’s “Hand with Reflecting Sphere” rendered in LEGO

While I share a certain ambivalence about LEGO renders with the Grumpy Old Man contingent of TBB contributors, I have to admit that I’m increasingly impressed with the high quality we’ve begun seeing from “virtual” builders. One of my recent favorites is this LEGO-ized version of M.C. Escher’s print “Hand with Reflecting Sphere” by Gabriele Zannotti. Gabriele used Mecabricks to build the scene, and Blender for the final 3D rendering. Spend some time looking at all the details reflected in that sphere…

Hand With Reflecting Sphere

Kinetic sculpture of Sisyphus built from LEGO

We’ve come to expect great things from Jason Allemann, a talented builder who combines strong LEGO engineering skills with a great artistic flair. Back in 2013, we featured his post-apocalyptic Strandbeest and last month jaws all over the world hit the floor with his working combination safe. Jason’s latest build takes its inspiration from Greek mythology, with the cursed Sisyphus rolling that awful rock up the hill throughout eternity.

Sisyphus Kinetic Sculpture

In addition to the main model, the base itself includes brick-built bas relief sculptures.

Sisyphus Kinetic Sculpture - Details

You can see the model’s moving features, along with comments from the builder himself, in this video Jason made:

The Shinigami Ryuk from Death Note manga

In the Death Note manga series by Tsugumi Ohba, the character Ryuk is a shinigami or “death god” who meddles in human affairs by giving a young man named Light a notebook that enables him to kill anybody at will. While not particularly my style of manga, I can certainly appreciate this LEGO bust of Ryuk by Ilia. Ryuk’s hair and wings (?) blend into the dark background Ilia uses, making his eyes and teeth jump out even more. The character’s iconic apple makes another contrasting splash of color.

Ryuk from Death Note by Combee on Flickr

More LEGO Black Friday sales from Amazon [News]

The cheap brick just keeps coming, with more Black Friday LEGO sales from both the LEGO Shop and Amazon.com. Here are a few more I hadn’t noticed when I wrote my earlier LEGO sales & deals on Amazon roundup.

60080 Spaceport is $20 off, bringing it below a hundred bucks.

60080 Spaceport

75101 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter from The Force Awakens is 20% off, at $55.99.

75101 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter

Click here to see more LEGO sales & deals

LEGO Shop sales & deals for Black Friday 2015 [News]

Not to be outdone by the LEGO discounts on Amazon, the LEGO Shop online has more than a hundred items on sale starting at midnight Eastern (9 PM PDT) tonight through next Monday. Shipping is free on all orders (not just over $75), and you get a free gingerbread house on all orders over $99.

40139 Gingerbread House

LEGO sent me an early copy of this set, and it’s adorable, with 277 parts, including more cupcakes than I can count and plenty of “brick bricks” and cute printed 1×1 tiles.

You can help support The Brothers Brick by clicking through one of the banners below, or any of the links and images farther down in this post:

For US readers

FREE Exclusive Holiday Train with purchases of $99 or more!

For Canadian readers

FREE Exclusive Holiday Set + Limited Time Sale Items!*

Highlights of the various sets on sale at the LEGO Shop include:

All LEGO Dimensions items and add-ons are 25-30% off, including the $99.99 Starter Pack, which is $30 off at 69.99 USD, which is twice as good as the Amazon deal from a few weeks ago.

The Ghost is 20% off at 71.99 USD (a bit more than Amazon.com at $66.31, but you get VIP points).

Mammoth’s Frozen Stronghold is 40% off, at 35.99 USD.

Click here to see more LEGO sales & deals

Han Solo’s “cocky” weapon of choice

Star Wars is clearly a hot topic at the moment and Rhys Knight has created his LEGO weapon of choice, Han Solo’s DL-44 Blaster.


The BlasTech Industries DL-44 heavy blaster pistol was a powerful sidearm from the time of the Galactic Civil War. It was the weapon of choice for Han Solo and the Rebel Alliance and also wielded by Luke Skywalker throughout The Empire Strikes Back.

Rhys’ 1:1 model has a raised scope, and he shared with TBB that as the model is primarily black, he wanted there to be a clear separation.  He notes that the ‘fiddly’ aspect of the build was the rear of the telescopic sight as it had to be circular, but also flare out.  The trigger guard is actually upside down, and is attached to the grip via Part 60470 (1×2 plate with double clips) and attached to the power cell via a simple slot for the guard.

Best part for me — it cocks!

Brickmania Black Friday / Small Business Saturday sales [News]

Another great LEGO-centered small business we love to support here at TBB is Brickmania, led by talented designer and all-around great guy Dan Siskind.

Dan and his team in Minneapolis have posted daily deals all week this week, leading up to the massively discounted Fokker Dr.1 — The iconic Red Baron’s tri-plane from from World War I. It’s discounted from $195 to $95 starting at midnight tonight.

Brickmania Fokker Dr.1 custom kit

Brickmania has been releasing a new custom kit at the rate of about one a week for months now, and I’ve been eyeing this gorgeous M3A1 Scout Car for the last few weeks.

Brickmania M3A1 Scout Car custom kit

Like other BrickArms resellers (including Citizen Brick and GI Brick), Brickmania is also a great place to stock up on the types of custom accessories that LEGO will likely never produce.

Citizen Brick deals for Black Friday / Small Business Saturday [News]

Our good friends over at Citizen Brick have just announced their Black Friday deals, centered on a batch of new custom minifig packs and a pretty sweet “Xmas Fun-Pak” you can get by spending $75 or more.

Citizen Brick Xmas Fun-Pak

Joe and his team are releasing a number of new products on Friday, starting with this three-pack cleverly titled “Bowling Buddies.”

Citizen Brick Bowling Buddies custom minifigs

And don’t miss “Pity Enthusiast.”

Citizen Brick Pity Enthusiast custom minifig

I’ve never regretted a single purchase I’ve ever made from Citizen Brick, and the CB team are some of the nicest people in the LEGO vendor community I’ve had the pleasure to meet. While you load up on all those discounted bricks on Black Friday, consider spending some of your LEGO budget to help support this innovative, boundary-pushing small business as well.

Supplies are limited (I’ve missed some pretty awesome new items myself in the past), so take a nap after that turkey dinner and set an alarm for midnight Central Time so you can get shopping!

Deathshead’s war machine of the new order

Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of my favorite games of 2014, with its crazy yet immersive alternate World War II timeline. SHARPSPEED built one of antagonist Deathshead’s dog-like war machines, the Panzerhund. The LEGO version looks just as vicious and armored as the mechanized hounds roaming an alternate 1960s Berlin.

It’s a mech dinosaur in classic space – What else do you need?

The only thing cooler than a mech is a dinosaur mech, and the only thing cooler than that is a dinosaur mech in space. Christopher Bassett may have struck gold with this. It’s called the “T-Rex JumpJet in classic space colors”, and as far as names go that’s exactly what it is. There’s also another version of this that isn’t in space colors, but I think the simple additions here really add a lot.

T-Rex JumpJet in "classic"classic space colours

(Also notice the little blaster in the right hand. Awwwwwww.)