Monthly Archives: April 2010

ChromeBricks releases new metallic colors [News]

ChromeBricks, the supplier of quality chromed Lego elements, recently released new colors including metallic silver, metallic gold, and antique brass.

To show the quality of the new metallic colors, I built a vignette integrating metallic silver parts from both LEGO and ChromeBricks. I bet you can’t tell which parts are official and which ones are custom. Indeed, the new metallic colors are a perfect match to LEGO’s palette. In addition, the metallic colors are much more affordable than their chrome versions.

The antique brass color creates a realistic battle look. Now you can make companions for the upcoming Atlantis Naga Warrior.

You can see our previous review of ChromeBricks here.

LEGO: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender [Book Excerpt]

LEGO A Love Story by Jonathan BenderBack in October 2008, I had the pleasure of spending some time with writer Jonathan Bender during BrickCon, who at the time was working on a book about adult fans of LEGO. A year and a half later, LEGO: A Love Story is out from Wiley.

I’ll let one of our other contributors do a more formal book review, but Jonathan’s book is that rare story about a hobby that’s actually about a whole lot more. It’s about how a deceptively simple children’s toy brings people together, as has become painfully self-evident over this past week, but it’s also as much about growing up yourself.

The Brothers Brick is pleased to bring our readers an excerpt from this new book.

I never expected to come face-to-face with my worst nightmare at LEGO headquarters, but there it is: a snarling red dragon — the namesake of the roller coaster at LEGOLAND. A 3-D model of the LEGO dragon is dissected into parts on the designer Jette Skovgaard Jensen’s computer monitor.

“That’s only the second roller coaster I’ve been on in my life. I’m a chicken,” I tell Jette as she walks me through how the model was built.

“I’m chicken too. I can’t look. But the challenge of something when it’s for LEGOLAND — we have to think about the whole family, like how to make it cool for a twelve – year-old and not too scary for a three-year-old,” says Jette. I ignore that I’m more than ten times the age she is trying not to scare.

She has the trendy glasses and spiky red hair of a designer in the 3-D Model Center. We’re at her desk inside Havremarken, the LEGO offices adjacent to the manufacturing plant. The building immediately makes me think of a Google campus, with employees on scooters whizzing by basketball hoops and table tennis tables in the hallways. The environment is certainly creative. A massively over-scaled red LEGO fire truck sits between cubicles, and nearly every employee’s workspace is decorated with a LEGO set or minifig.

I’m trying to get a sense of who the people are behind the brick creations I’ve been surrounded with for the past several days. Jette is a second-generation LEGO employee. She grew up in Billund, while her dad worked as a technician on the electronics and structural supports for the models that her mom glued.

“When I was a kid, I remember coming in the doors, it was very open. I thought I might leave Billund, but I was afraid. And here it was also easy to get a job once you are inside the company,” says Jette.

Download Chapter 16, “A Guest in LEGO’s House” right here to read the rest. For even more, LEGO: A Love Story is out now.

And yes, Nathan Sawaya built the book cover.

Firefox Star Racer

Apparently I’m having a rough time kick-starting myself back into blogging. The first thing I posted today had been posted by one of the other Brothers Brick. Therefore, I’m posting something of my own, that I managed to finally photograph recently. None of the others can possibly have beaten me to this one.

I started building this way back in December, with the intent of sending it to a buddy. For some reason, I couldn’t help but take it in a comical direction. Once I had the idea of building something facelike on the front of the cockpit area, I couldn’t resist the temptation.

I used to absolutely hate LEGO orange. I’ve been making an active effort to use it lately, and it’s really starting to grow on me. Even the worst color can come alive (or be dulled to be less offensive) when combined with the right other colors.

Firefox Star Racer

Checkmate

I play a lot of board games, and while chess isn’t at the top of my rotation, I still appreciate a nice set. This little set by akunthita looks like the perfect thing to bring on a flight or road trip to a Lego convention.

I think its the presence of drawers to store the pieces that really makes this thing for me. The pieces are expressive enough to get the point across, especially given their small dimensions. Of course, with a Lego chess set, there’s no risk of the pieces falling over when you hit a bump.

LEGO Mini Chess Set

LEGO Rock Band

As we’ve held off blogging for the last week to celebrate the late nnenn’s work I’m sure we all have a backlog of stuff to post. So please excuse the high density of cool LEGO models on your screen.

Dave Shaddix Rock Band

Dave Shaddix’s March Out Of The Darkness may be a work-in-progress but this photo is certainly ‘done’ enough for me to blog it here. I’m not going to claim this has never been done as I know someone will dig out an old link to something from 1997 but I will say an action posed larger fig diorama like this is a highly unusual concept and one I can fully appreciate when it’s done this well. Perhaps Dave would like to provide us with the music.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair! | Rapunzel’s tower in LEGO

Jordan Schwartz (Sir Nadroj) built a very bright interpretation of Rapunzel’s tower. The technique of stacking concentric rings to create a conical tower is very clever, and the effect is one of a kind. The creation looks deceptively smaller than its actual size, which is actually 3 feet tall.

Take note of the color combo of the tiles at the base of the tower. It is a mix of tan, dark tan, and light yellow!