It’s hard to improve on the builder’s own title of “Panic in paradise!”, but when I first saw this beautiful and terrifying little scene by Marcel V., I immediately thought of the Hawaiian goddess Pele, simultaneously destroying as she creates new land. While I’m personally not a huge fan of loose bricks for water, the tiny houses and lush forest, along with the fiery volcano itself, more than make up for my aversion to unattached LEGO.
I was born within walking distance of Ogikubo Station in Tokyo, and by the age of ten or eleven, I was using the subway system to get around the city to take foreign tourists to see the sights, earning myself a bit of extra LEGO money. Australian LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught and his team of builders spent more than two hundred hours building this complete Tokyo subway system map from 31,000 LEGO bricks, showing all thirteen lines in their distinctive colors (my favorite line is the Chuo line in orange). The mosaic measures 4.6 meters (over 15 feet) wide and 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) tall, dwarfing the rather tall bloke standing nearby.
I always feel a deep sympathy for moths stuck indoors at night, attempting to flutter straight somewhere but instead circling a nearby electric light they mistake for the far-off moon or stars. LEGO lepidoptery enthusiast Revan has constructed a gorgeous white moth alighting on a patch of ground, complete with sprigs of grass enlarged to great proportions. Revan has captured the big black eyes and stubby little legs of these adorable fuzzy night-time creatures.
Next time you see a moth trapped indoors, be gentle and help it, won’t you?
For anybody who’s wanted to have one of the planets or moons in the Star Wars universe to decorate their home or garden — because, who doesn’t want a patch of Nar Shaddaa, am I right? — Kit Bricksto has solved the problem with an ingenious little build. Available to galactic residents everywhere from Corellia to Ryloth*, the Grow Your Own Planet line of celestial objects in garden pots brings you a little piece of a planet (or moon) far, far away. The Rebel trooper minifig with a dripping watering can is a lovely touch, as is the pair of life-size pruning scissors lying nearby, but my favorite detail is the waterfall flowing from the larger pot into the smaller pot.
* Product not available on Alderaan, Jedha, Scarif, or the Hosnian System. Not recommended for residents of Mustafar.
After more than a decade of hit-or-miss Harry Potter movies, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them quite as much as I did. One of my favorite early scenes is the niffler popping around New York stealing every jewel in sight and secreting them away in his infinite, Doraemon-like pouch. Tyler Halliwell takes a break from his usual macabre fare to bring us an adorable, life-size LEGO niffler, replete with coins and treasures.
The creature looks quite pleased with himself, though his fur appears to be a bit ruffled after being chased and cornered by Newt Scamander. 50 points to whatever house Tyler belongs to for the brick-built LEGO wall and floor.
For those of us who are fans of cars we’ll never own, the LEGO Speed Champions sets have provided a rather more affordable way to collect Ferraris, Porsches, McLarens, and more. Absent from LEGO’s eclectic mix of supercars has been the Bugatti. While the inimitable Veyron might have been more to the liking of many fans, Bugatti retired the Veyron toward the end of 2014, just before the release of the new LEGO Speed Champions line. Perhaps better late than never, its even faster successor the 75878 Bugatti Chiron was just released on LEGO.com, and should be available more widely on March 1st.
The LEGO Bugatti Chiron includes 183 parts and one minifigure for $14.99.
Galaktek continues his long-running series of mechanically inclined animals with a turtle named Toby on an interstellar mission to the newly discovered planets of the Trappist-1 system a mere 39 light years from Earth. The builder says, “Unfortunately, when the NASA contract asked for an “amphibious” rover, they may not have considered how a turtle would look at it…” With wheels that fold into the rover’s body, and a color scheme reminiscent of the LEGO Ideas set 21306 The Beatles Yellow Submarine, it looks like Toby is in for a groovy spacey adventure.
Did you see the LEGO LC-130 Hercules we sent to Antartica at the end of last year? Did you want your own rocket-powered ski-plane? Over the last couple of months, TBB’s own Ralph Savelsberg worked with Dan Siskind and his team at Brickmania to turn Ralph’s model of this iconic aircraft into a custom LEGO kit you can buy.
Ralph is awesome, Brickmania is awesome, science is awesome, airplanes are awesome — we couldn’t be happier that one of our team’s designs is being turned into a Brickmania kit!
Students at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, including LEGO builder Rinse, had an opportunity to present a prototype satellite design to the European Space Agency (ESA) at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. With a LEGO builder among them, the student team used bricks as their design medium for constructing their 3D prototype. The LEGO model has a hexagonal shape, and the solar arrays don’t require any additional support to remain extended horizontally.
I once built an 11th century Romanesque castle from LEGO for a university humanities course. How have you used LEGO in your own higher education?
What, you thought I’d just go with “It’s a trap!”? That’d just be lazy. (Also, repetitive.) Admiral Ackbar may not have had the most memorable line in The Force Awakens, but his presence at the Resistance base marked another point in the movie that reminded us we were watching a true Star Wars film again. Master character builder Eero Okkonen captures the essence of the Mon Calamari admiral with a variety of slopes, vehicle fenders, reins, and other sundry bits.
A few pieces of brown lend subtle texture to what would otherwise be a mass of dark red. His expressive eyes are built from a black 2×2 boat stud layered over a round 2×2 yellow tile.
If you don’t have a couple hundred thousand dollars to spend on your own 1963 Porsche 911, you can always build one in LEGO. Michael Jasper has built a lovely 911 in black, reflecting all the iconic bulges and curves of the original. Much of the car’s sides are built studs forward, while the curves on the fully detailed underside are built studs down.
How do we know so much about the car’s interior structure? Because Michael has posted this (literal) cut-away view highlighting the complex techniques he used to achieve the vintage vehicle’s shaping.
When we last checked in with Tim Schwalfenberg, he’d just completed his massive LEGO diorama of The Last of Us. While considerably smaller, this crumbling statue of a horse and rider — both their heads knocked off ages ago — is no less atmospheric. Although Tim considers this a small build, it still feels like a monumental sculpture that evokes the glory of a long-gone era. The brown sign also adds an air of mystery — what does it mean? Is this in the distant past or a terrifying future?