Yearly Archives: 2014

Top 10 LEGO reviews of 2014 from The Brothers Brick

At the Brothers Brick, we regularly review the latest and most interesting LEGO sets and, this year, a movie too! With the new year already having started in some parts of the world, it is time for me to present the Top Ten LEGO reviews of 2014.

  1. Lego 21116 Minecraft Crafting Box 8-in-1 [Review]
    LEGO Minecraft 21116 Crafting Box
    Our very own Chris was involved in the design of the first Minecraft set, which made him the obvious choice for reviewing the first new minifig scale Minecraft set. He wasn’t overly impressed, but that has not stopped the review from being our most popular of the year. The world loves Minecraft.
  2. Lego Ideas Exo Suit out today [Review & Giveaway]
    LEGO Ideas sets are featured pretty heavily in our Top Ten and the Exo Suit is one of the more original ideas to come out of it and one very much anticipated by adult fans of LEGO (as opposed to mere fans of pop culture). Peter Reid’s design looked a bit too flimsy to work as a set, but somehow the set designers pulled it off, whilst maintaining the overall greebly look. As an added bonus, we had a copy of the set to give away to one of our readers.
  3. The Tumbler LEGO Set Review (76023)
    What can I say? Batman gets the coolest gadgets!
  4. LEGO Ideas Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Review
    The pleasure of reviewing this was all mine. It’s another Ideas set, based on one of the funniest movies from the eighties. The end result is a cool car with some very useful parts.
  5. Lego Simpsons House 71006 [Review]
    Opinions on this set are divided among fans (does LEGO really want to be associated with this dysfunctional family?), but Nannan liked it; lots of neat details, parts and play features at a decent price per part.
  6. 70816 Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! [Review]
    Most of us at the Brothers Brick are old enough to have fond memories of Classic Space sets. Benny’s spaceship, from the LEGO Movie, ticked all the right boxes for Dan.
    The LEGO Movie: Blue Spaceman
  7. Full of sly humor, the LEGO movie is a must-watch for all Lego fans -especially adults [Review]
    I know that many of us were apprehensive about a movie about LEGO, expecting it to be a bit rubbish. However, Andrew liked it and I have yet to meet a LEGO fan who didn’t.
  8. Lego Star Wars 75060 Slave-I [Review]
    Depending on your view, the Slave I is either one of the coolest or one of the weirdest spaceships from the Star Wars franchise. Previous LEGO sets of this ship were relatively small, but even though the new version is also intended for minifigs, it is much bigger and far more detailed.
  9. Lego Ideas 21110 research institute [Review]
    LEGO sets have been criticised for enforcing gender stereotypes. I’m not sure whether the Research Institute is a successful LEGO Ideas set because of this, but Caylin certainly enjoyed seeing female minifigs in “real” life jobs that are fascinating, engaging, and fun.
  10. 10242: Mini Cooper [Review]
    Last, but certainly not least in my book, is the Mini Cooper. In the last few years, car fans have been spoiled with excellent sets of classic cars and the Mini Cooper is no exception. It’s also full of very useful (dark green) parts

All in all, I think these are pretty neat sets. Of course, we do tend to pick those that we think you’ll like. In fact, we are already poring over lists and images of sets that will be released next year, so that we can keep the reviews coming. Happy New Year, everyone.

The mysterious and precarious cottage of Malcumus Erlond

We’ve highlighted the stellar LEGO Castle creations of César Soares (three times already this month, in fact!), but each one stands out as beautiful and unique in its own right. César’s latest building stands not atop a mound of highly textured landscaping but an incredibly thin spire.

Malcumus Erlond Cottage

The builds themselves deserve the attention and praise we’ve given them, but César also presents each with an enigmatic story told with carefully placed minifigs going about their little minifig lives.

Gobbs the Brutalizer isn’t here to be your friend

Djordje found this fellow lurking down in the dungeons and I think that is where he should stay. He really looks like he has earned his nickname but I really like the choice of colors on this character. The black clothes make the orange skin really stand out and the purple mohawk makes for a nice splash of color. The construction of the face on this guy is rather special as well. The tooth/claw pieces as detail bits around the eyes give this creature some real character.

Gobbs the Brutalizer

LEGO Vespa – Lean, Clean, Stylish and Smart.

Lucie Filteau built this model as a Christmas present for her brother-in-law, who owns a Vespa. Lucie has done a great job capturing the iconic look and feel of a vintage Vespa. Her choice of scale is spot-on as those complex slopes accurately mimic the clean lines of actual vintage Vespas and make this build really believable. I have to say that I’m rather jealous of her brother-in-law!

Vespa1

Mini LEGO Technic chainsaw looks ready to cut down fake plastic trees

František Hajdekr has built an adorable little Technic chainsaw with both a working chain and a piston that pumps up and down.

Lego Technic Chainsaw (MOC)

You can see the chainsaw in action in this video.

Even more adorable is this teeny tiny dump truck. Squeee!!!

Small Vintage Lego Lorry (My Own Creation)

If you haven’t checked out František’s photostream on Flickr, do so now — you won’t be disappointed, with everything from cute little vehicles to beefy motorcycles.

Ask A Lemur – Minifigs, Conventions and Scale

Greetings, My Friends!

Lemur StretchI’m so happy to speak with you again. This week has flown by and it was all very fun and exciting! Though, to be honest, I’m quite worn out from all the activity. As fun as it has been, it will be nice to get back to normal life. How are your holidays going? I hope very well and tasty. I swear that I must weigh all of twelve pounds now! It’s so hard to turn down all the bits and such laying about. And the wrapping paper! Oh, so very yummy. I’m still stuffed.

I finally got the office cleaned up and everything back in its place, which is refreshing. We had a bit of a holiday bash last night and it took its toll on the facilities. The worst were the reindeer hoof-prints all over the ceiling. I hope we don’t invite them again next year. You can’t really comprehend the phrase “There arose such a clatter” until you’ve heard Simon and eight tiny reindeer singing bawdy drinking songs until all hours of the night.

Anyway, enough about me! On to your questions!

Is the Lemur going to any conventions? What conventions will be graced by The Brothers Brick contributors?:
I plan to attend as many conventions as I can this year. Conventions are a ton of fun! I don’t know which conventions each of the contributors plans to attend but I’m sure most of them plan to attend at least one. Ralph tends to represent us at various British and European conventions, though he has attended some conventions on the east coast of the US in the past. I know Simon attends as many North American conventions as he can. There is usually a large contingent of contributors at BrickCon and BrickWorld. Keep an ear to the ground as your favorite conventions come nearer and we may have more information as to who will be appearing at which venue. If you see me at a Con, please feel free to say hello. Conventions can be overwhelming and it would be nice to see some friendly faces!

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A peaceful setting for an epic adventure

Master castler David Frank has turned out this beautiful diorama. I absolutely love the scale of it; so often LEGO creations are—by necessity, no doubt—scaled down, so that houses are shed-sized and castles are the size of houses. Not so here, with this lovely dwelling sprawling across a delightful garden scene. David built the model to celebrate the publishing of his wife, Clair’s, fantasy novel, “To Whatever End (Echoes of Imara Book 1), and this house is that of the story’s protagonists.

Plants are people too

Reinforcing my opinion that Mixel eyeballs were 2014’s most exciting new LEGO element, Nick Sweetman has started chronicling the life of Nigel, a sentient potted plant with a taste for junk food (and possibly human flesh).

Unfortunately Nigel has just rushed into marriage …which I have no doubt will turn out to be a total disaster! We look forward to seeing his ongoing adventures. And finding out how adorable and numerous his offspring will be.

 

Mighty morphin’ masked motorcyclist

Say hello to Kamen Rider, from the successful 70’s Japanese TV franchise of the same name. This build is the work of Japanese pop-culture aficionado Moko. If it looks strangely familiar, that may be because Kamen Rider was the inspiration for a certain 90’s American knock-off called the Power Rangers (which, confusingly, spawned a spin-off called Masked Rider that aped the original show).

I love this piece not only because of its perfectly proportioned stud-less design, but because it’s just the latest in a long line of explorations of the masked rider by this builder, going back as far as 2006. Though with this latest interpretation, I think it’s fair to say he’s finally nailed it!

  

Playable Go board built from LEGO

As a small child back in Japan, I used Go pieces to create serpentine roads across tatami floors for my little Tomica cars, but my family left Japan before I ever played a proper game. I still get nostalgic whenever I see Go games. Joe Miller built this fully functional 9×9 Go set completely from LEGO, using some rather complicated techniques to place the black lines on the board.

9x9 Go Board

The lines themselves are the tops of 1×2 half-panels wedged into full (3-brick high) panels, combined with some serious sideways and upside-down (SNOT) construction.

9x9 Go Board Construction

Solar-powered greebles for darkest December nights

This time of year in the northern hemisphere can be a bit depressing, especially as far north as it is here at TBB headquarters (poor Lemur…). Peteris Strogis sheds some light on this dark time with this futuristic, solar-powered vehicle. Every greeble seems to have a purpose, and the rear tires built from track treads are inspired.

Solar Panel Driver