It’s December 21 now in the Mayan heartland, and the apocalypse seems to have passed us by. (For the record, historians and archaeologists agree that the Maya never actually predicted the end of the world today.) What better way to celebrate than with a roundup of the best post-apocalyptic LEGO creations we’ve featured here over the years!
To give you a sense of how the genre has evolved over the years, I’m listing them in chronological order.
First up, Adrian Drake‘s “Forest Sentinel” was debuted at BrickFest in 2006 and remains one of my favorites to this day.
Tyler Clites spent the better part of 2007 building post-apocalyptic LEGO models, popularizing the brown-and-gray aesthetic that remained in effect for the next several years.
Brian Kescenovitz combined Nannan’s Black Fantasy theme with a post-apocalyptic diorama in “Ephram’s Garden” back in 2008.
Contests often spur a series of related LEGO creations, and there have been many post-apoc LEGO contests over the years. The same contest that inspired Brian’s Black Fantasy diorama inspired “Howl of Lamentations Unending” by Justin Vaughn.
A second contest later in 2008 spurred tiberium_blue to build this stunning “Lionsgate Bridge.”
For the same contest, Tyler Clites returned to ApocaLEGO with a lot more color in “Decontamination Site Delta 22.”
Proving that 2008 was indeed the year of post-apoc, we organized Zombie Apocafest 2008 at BrickCon in Seattle — with over thirty contributors, the first major post-apoc collaborative display at a LEGO convention (the first of an unending stream since then). We followed up in 2009 with Zombie Apocafest 2009, and then put a bullet in its infected brain.
Justin Vaughn closed out 2008 with his innovative “Bunker 282.”
I’m not sure how the VW van and Cessna ended up embedded in the hill in Kevin Fedde‘s “Desert Haven,” but they both lend some wonderful visual interest to a complex diorama in a field full of, well, mostly flat ApocaLEGO.
Real-world snowstorms dubbed “Snowmageddon” and “Snowpocalypse” inspired another ApocaLEGO contest in February 2010, and Catsy rose to the challenge with his bird’s-eye-view, forced-perspective diorama.
Brian / Âtin also uses forced perspective to illustrate both distance and a much larger scene than in the average post-apocalyptic diorama, with “Alas, Los Angeles.”
By 2011, we’d all gotten a little sick of the stereotypical ApocaLEGO memes (as demonstrated by how rarely we blogged them anymore), so Dillon‘s swamp-based structure, with its lack of overt action and vague sense of imminent doom came as a refreshing surprise. He followed up this past summer with a large-scale underground scene (part of another post-apoc collaborative display at a LEGO con).
Finally, Julien Andries and Eturior recently collaborated on “Floodtown.” Like Dillon’s building in the swamp, the angled buildings and green water, as well as the ships and boats, are a welcome difference from the traditional post-apoc diorama.
It’ll be interesting to see what other new innovations LEGO builders bring to what I’m confident is a theme that will only end with the actual end of the world.