I wrote a review here on The Brothers Brick of modern weapons from BrickArms last February, so I thought I’d do the same with my new collection of BrickForge products. BrickForge primarily sells historical and fantasy accessories, including Greek, medieval, and “Elven” armor, as well as unique hair and beards.
First up, Greek Hoplites and Norse warriors:
Next, a bunch of knights and dwarfs (or “dwarves,” if you prefer):
A wizard and Robin Hood:
Finally, “The Mysterious M” and some partially LEGO Nazis:
Click the individual pictures for descriptions that include which BrickForge products I used, and check out the full photoset, where I’ll be adding some minifigs I didn’t get to when I wrote this review.
As with the BrickArms weapons I’d bought before, the test for any “LEGO-compatible” accessories is how well they integrate with official LEGO elements. (And it’s going to be difficult not to compare BrickForge with BrickArms, since that’s my only other point of reference.) For me, this has to do with several factors:
- How well the colors match (or are distinct from) LEGO colors.
- How the custom pieces [i]feel[/i] to the touch.
- How well the custom pieces photograph alongside LEGO.
- The durability of the custom pieces.
BrickArms solves most of these challenges by using ABS (the same plastic as most LEGO) and only selling its products in black, the easiest color to match. A major difference about BrickForge is that it has far more products in many more colors. BrickForge accessories are durable, feel pretty much like “real” LEGO, and photograph well (as proven by Armothe, Kaminoan, and other customizers).
The only remaining potential problem, then, is their color. Here’s what I observed about the BrickForge colors when compared with LEGO colors:
- Black: 100% match with black LEGO.
- Bronze: Color unique to BrickForge, so no clashing issues. Really a beautiful color for the Greek accessories.
- Brown: Matches “old” brown nicely.
- Dark Gray: Good match with old dark gray, but slightly lighter.
- Dark Orange: Matches the dark orange LEGO hair color nicely. (Only available in beards.)
- Light Gray: Forgot to order an accessory in this color. :oops:
- Red: Good match with red LEGO (and red is apparently a hard color to match).
- Tan: 100% match to tan LEGO.
- Silver: Color unique to BrickForge, but close enough to some pearl silver colors (with a slight blue tinge) that you might not want to use both in the same minifig.
- White: 100% match to white LEGO.
So, in nearly every case, BrickForge produces accessories that match official LEGO elements well, and therefore BrickForge weapons do indeed meet all of my criteria for great “LEGO-compatible” products.
My one qualm is that some of the colors don’t seem 100% appropriate for the accessories that they’re available in (though perhaps I’m not thinking creatively enough). That’s just a matter of choice when you buy them, so a “problem” that’s easy enough to solve from the buyer side.
Ultimately, I think what makes BrickForge products so great is how they enable builders to extend LEGO in ways that using only official parts can’t (“Duh,” all the customizers say). The prime example of this is their Greek set. For $3.00, you get a helmet with a plume, a javelin, and a big round shield. Many builders have approximated these with the dragon helmets, regular spears, and other round shields, but the effect isn’t the same, and the BrickForge versions are so much more authentic.
Another of my favorite accessories is the beards. Available in 10 colors and two lengths, they’re much more realistic than the long white and gray (and non-production black) official beards. Perhaps we’ll see some new colors with the upcoming 7036 Dwarfs Mining set, but I doubt we’ll get new, shorter beard molds. BrickForge beards are the perfect solution.
Overall, I’m very happy with the selection and quality of BrickForge accessories, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next. Oh yeah, we already know: Livestock! :D