Monthly Archives: July 2008

Snyderman’s alien cat

This “bionically enhanced alien cat” by Brickshelf user synderman doesn’t look like a friendly household pet, but it sure can be something to unleash on your enemies. With deadly jaws and sharp claws, this beast isn’t one to be messed with. I love how the builder captured the curvatures of the feline body in this excellent creation.

Fanging it on two wheels

Yamaha Bike by Camine

Well birthdays are lovely and all but we do have a blog to run here and pretty LEGO models to show. I spotted this beauty on Brickshelf today and was highly impressed by Camine’s fine work. There have been a bunch of good motorcycles for minifigs posted before but this is the best Japanese style bike I can remember seeing.

More LEGO Sport City details and behind-the-scenes photos from HKLUG

We recently highlighted HKLUG’s LEGO Sport City display, with huge models of the venues we’ll be seeing in the Beijing Olympics next month.

Thanks to LEGO Ambassador and HKLUG member Tsang Yiu Keung (better known as Chiukeung), we have lots more information on the models, including behind-the-scenes photos.

Chiukeung gives a sense of just how large the display is:

Venues recreated in LEGO include the National Stadium (nicknamed “The Bird’s Nest”), National Aquatics Center (“Swimming Cube”), and Olympic Village.

The finished display is certainly impressive, but the behind-the-scenes photos reveal the true scale and impressive techniques that went into the LEGO Sport City.

The iconic National Stadium was designed by Ming, an architect by trade. It took him over 100 hours to complete, and is 128×154 studs in size (that’s about 40″ x 48″). The outer shell includes thousands of hinge plates.

The National Aquatics Center was built by Vincent Cheung over the course of 120 hours, and has a three-tier design with a cell-like structure in the transparent blue walls.

The Swimming Cube is illuminated with a fluorescent lamp inside, and measures 148 by 148 studs, or 46″ on each side.

Chiukeung built the Olympic Village, which is 160 x 224 studs (50″ x 70″). Chiukeung spent 100 hours on the project.

There’s lots more to see (56 pictures in all) in the HKLUG LEGO Sport City photoset on Flickr, including the Equestrian stadium by Hudson, Greek temple by Wai Kee, and various Chinese and European buildings by Andy. The mosaic was built by Hot, who also coordinated the entire project.

If you’re in Hong Kong, you can see this LEGO display for yourself at Grand Century Place between now and August 31, 2008.

Thanks again to HKLUG and Chiukeung for the behind-the-scenes info and photos!

LEGO Star Wars Clone Wars sets and the Toys R Us Midnight Sale

iconiconFor those curious to know what went on at the Toys R Us Midnight Sale last night, I took a ride to my local store to check out the frontline action. The Midnight Sale, hosted by participating Toys R Us stores, celebrates the release of new Star Wars Clone Wars toys, such as action figures, LEGO Star Wars sets, and other miscellaneous Clone Wars items.

Participants at the event received the limited edition holographic General Grievous action figure and Clone Wars poster for their purchases.

iconiconThe picture below was taken last night at my local store near Dallas, and you can see how many people showed up. Inside the store was a marked section dedicated to all the brand new merchandise, and I’m excited to see that the LEGO Clone Wars sets dominated about a third of the space.

Almost half of the shopping carts I saw contained LEGO products. However, to my chagrin, Toys R Us has marked up prices on all of these new LEGO sets by $5-10. In the end I used coupons to purchase two Republic Gunshipsicon, definitely one of the must-have LEGO sets of the year.

If you missed this event, good news is that you didn’t miss too much.

iconiconJust today LEGO Shop at Home has listed all of the new Clone Wars sets fresh for sale. Don’t forget that your order qualifies for a free gold brick keychain with purchases over $75 until the end of July.

Here’s the full list of LEGO Star Wars Clone Wars sets available from the LEGO Shop:


The Brothers Brick turns 3 today! [Editorial]

Today marks the third anniversary of The Brothers Brick!

I believe that 2007-2008 was the year that The Brothers Brick truly became more than just another LEGO blog. All of you out there make this a community, with LEGO Ambassadors representing the tens of thousands of you who visit the site.

The LEGO fan community has seen its shares of ups and downs over this past year. We rallied together during the Great Brickshelf Crisis of 2007, and we’ve avoided much of the fragmentation I feared at the time. In addition to blogs and other online venues like The Brothers Brick, fans can now get their LEGO fix in print from BrickJournal and listen to the LAMLradio podcast on their MP3 players.

We’ve also been fortunate to add two contributors over this past year. Nannan Zhang has brought much-appreciated energy, while we look forward to columns from Keith Goldman. Thanks to Nannan, our event coverage expanded beyond my posts about BrickCon last October to include his news and highlights from BrickWorld in June.

And then there were the fads and bandwagons, proving that with great power comes great responsibility.

Looking to the future, and giving back

Advertising sucks. We added ads to pay the bills, but now we have enough traffic and so many of you are making your LEGO purchases through us (thank you!) that this is the right time to increase our transparency by sharing what we’ll be doing with the extra income.

We’ll be rolling everything beyond what pays the bills back into the LEGO fan community. It really is as simple as that. Specifically, you’ll see more frequent contests (with good prizes), giveaways (online and at conventions), and maybe even “scholarships” for LEGO fans who might not otherwise be able to attend important LEGO conventions.

All about you, by the numbers

Despite my inability to perform basic arithmetic (“100% more of zero is still zero,” as someone gently pointed out recently in response to one of our taglines), I always like sharing numbers about all of you readers out there.

  • 1,059,789 visits
  • 3,377,860 page views
  • 411,634 unique visitors
  • 1,200 new posts
  • 45,419 spam comments

Although we’ve had visitors from 181 countries (literally Afghanistan to Zimbabwe), most of our readers are from countries where English is the predominant language.

I’ve always listed the top 10 countries, but you might find the top 30 more interesting:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. Netherlands
  6. Germany
  7. Japan
  8. France
  9. Poland
  10. Spain
  1. Italy
  2. Sweden
  3. Denmark
  4. Belgium
  5. Hungary
  6. Portugal
  7. Finland
  8. Singapore
  9. Taiwan
  10. Brazil
  1. Norway
  2. Mexico
  3. New Zealand
  4. Austria
  5. Ireland
  6. Switzerland
  7. Malaysia
  8. Russia
  9. Hong Kong
  10. South Africa

So, what are all of your out there most interested in? And what sites are you coming from?

Top Keywords* Top Categories Referring Sites
  1. LEGO blog
  2. LEGO Agents
  3. LEGO 2008
  4. ApocaLEGO
  5. LEGO Green Grocer
  6. LEGO 7628
  7. LEGO
  8. BrickForge
  9. LEGO 7036
  10. LEGO Castle 2008
  1. Star Wars
  2. Steampunk
  3. Castle
  4. ApocaLEGO
  5. Indiana Jones
  6. Mecha
  7. Military
  8. Minifigs
  9. Building Techniques
  10. Video Games
  1. StumbleUpon
  2. Flickr
  3. The old blog
  4. Gizmodo
  5. BB Gadgets
  8. idleworm
  9. Neatorama

* Excluding variations on “The Brothers Brick”.

The top ten referring sites are only the tip of the iceberg:

Of seventy million blogs that Technorati tracks, we’re in the top ten thousand, or 0.0143%. Wow!

Our most popular posts run the gamut from the very best (and sometimes weirdest) LEGO creations of the past year, along with the up-to-the-minute news you’ve come to expect from us:

  1. Rocko summons the worm
  2. LEGO Star Wars 10188 Death Star pics reveal interior and 21+ minifigs
  3. More 2008 LEGO Castle, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars set pictures
  4. Stephen Hawking by Ochre Jelly
  5. The crazy steampunk machine
  6. Toy Fair 2008 reveals late 2008 LEGO sets
  7. Pixar animator Angus MacLane builds best LEGO Wall-E yet
  8. Nice skull
  9. First images of 4999 Vestas Windmill set
  10. Papercraft Star Wars Minifigs

Finally, stuff for the historically minded:

Pigs on the Wing winners announced

Hi all,

After heavily delayed judging thanks to the slackness of one of the judges (sorry!) the full list of winners of PotW have finally been announced. Going backwards by class we find… drumroll…

  • Class 3 winner: Crocodile Rock by Ean H
    Crocodile Rock by Ean H
  • Class 2 winner: Arctic Cave Race by Chrispockster
    Arctic Cave Race by Chrispockster
  • Class 1 winner: RedTRCTR by Polywen
    Polywen's RedTRCTR

While the special judges choice winners are as follows:

  • Brickforge pick: Holstein’s Hope by Graviton
  • Chris’ pick: Unclear on the Concept by BecTodd
  • My pick: RedTRCTR by Polywen

And I can now debut an old MOC… the special prize for my pick is the all new Petri Racer

Petri Racer prize caveracer

And I think it is time to bury the caveracing fad once and for all.

Pause Magazine covers the US opening of the LEGO Discovery Center

Pause magazine has some great coverage of the opening of the LEGO Discovery Center in Chicago. From the pictures I’ve seen of the Berlin centre this one looks to be even better and we can all hope that more of these will be rolled out (Australia… please!!!).

Incidentally I suspect most of you wouldn’t realise that Pause magazine was one of the very first AFOL resources way back in 19965 or so. It’s great for me to be able to refer to their LEGO coverage from my own little platform.

YSA interviews Nick Dean

We ought to blog more interviews, and I’m glad Jacob from Young Spacers Association took the time to interview one of the more talented TFOLs (teen fan of LEGO), Nick Dean, who is associated with creating and building the RAMM theme (examples). While there exists multiple popular fan-created subthemes, RAMM has generated controversy among builders with Nick limiting those who can build RAMM. Some denounce it as highflown elitism while others claim it as a necessary gesture to preserve the integrity and quality of a unique subtheme. Find out more in this interesting interview and see from a builder’s perspective on defining oneself through subthemes.

Apocalypse outpost

Flickr user -Pendragon- built one cool classic post-apocalypse diorama for the Picking up the Pieces Contest. Depicted is a group of survivors fortifying a rummaged building. What makes this creation stand out is the equally sized rock mountain, since natural landmarks are rarely contrasted equally with buildings in the post-apoc theme.