About Dan

Dan Rubin has been an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) since he became an adult. He joined the larger AFOL community on LUGNET in 2003, and that was also the year in which he attended his first BrickFest. Dan largely builds space MOCs, so it should come as no surprise that he is also the Main Admin of the forums at Classic-Space.com. He is also the creator of the Galactic Inquisition space theme. Dan has been a member of the LEGO Ambassador program since the third cycle of the program. Read more about the program here. You can check out Dan's LEGO creations on Flickr.

Posts by Dan

LDraw to sue Bricklink for Copyright Infringement [April Fools]

[Edit] Well, April first is over, and for those who didn’t pick up on it, yes, this was an April Fools Day prank. Folks from the Ldraw steering committee got in touch asking for help spreading their prank, and I was happy to be involved. I thought that this joke had an important purpose, to draw community attention to the recent bricklink TOS change, which attempts to claim ownership to a great deal of community work. For those who aren’t aware, every time you see a rendering of a brick on bricklink, that came from LDraw, and the 3D model was created by a Lego fan for use by all. The photos are contributed by members (usually store keepers), part names are part of our hobby culture, and of course the numbers are molded onto the bricks. Those aspects created by community members were meant to help everyone equally, and I think Bricklink management should think long and hard about what sort of message this move sends to the community.

As for my personal character, I was putting on a greedy persona to help drive the message home. Also, as a warning, it’s a road I’d hate to see the Lego community go down. Yes, I’m a lawyer, my day job involves helping the government recover money lost from banks that failed in the financial crisis. I’ve been a perennial volunteer/organizer at Lego fan events since BrickFest 2005, and if you ask around, you’ll find many Lego fans to whom I’ve offered free legal advice. The Lego fan community is a fantastic and tight knit group of people, and I don’t want to see it torn apart.

With the politics out of the way, please enjoy our regularly scheduled posts about fantastic creations!

Big news today, as LDraw has announced they’re suing Bricklink for copyright infringement. As The Brothers Brick’s resident attorney, I just have to say how excited I am. For years, the Lego fan community has flourished under a system of community spirit, with large projects being built together under Creative Commons (whether stated or not). It’s great to see that we’re finally moving towards a litigious atmosphere, where everyone jumps to claim rights to anything under the sun. We don’t all live in the Danish socialist utopia, some of us have bills to pay.

Read the full press release below, then click on over to LDraw to donate to the cause. I’ll be offering them my legal services, provided enough is donated to cover my fees.

LDraw sues Bricklink for copyright infringement

LDraw.org, a system of free software tools for modeling Lego creations
in 3D on a computer, is preparing to file a lawsuit against Bricklink
Limited, for copyright violation. BrickLink.com is a
venue for individuals and businesses from all around the world to buy
and sell new, used and vintage LEGO. LDraw.org is furthermore sueing
for trademark infringement, unfair trade practices and more, seeking
damages for willful infringement.

LDraw.org, known for its parts
library of over 5000 virtual representations of LEGO bricks, which is
under continuous maintenance and extension by the LDraw community since
1997, might have decided not to file a legal objection to the use of
images rendered from its library in the year 2000 when Bricklink
started business, but the organization isn’t ready to simply roll over
on the intellectual property front, either.

The LDraw Steering
Committee (SteerCo) decided to take legal action after Bricklink
Limited rolled out new Terms of Service in September 2013. Bricklink
appears to also be claiming the exclusive rights to the common naming
system for LEGO pieces, through threatening legal action to competitors
claiming: “you are using our unique numbering and naming systems for
the LEGO pieces”.

“It is evident that the online community of LEGO
fans supplied much of the data and images and continue to do so to this
day and that in the early days of Bricklink many names, numbering
systems and even images came from co-existing sites such as LUGNET,
Peeron or in our case LDraw” said Willy Tschager, member of the LDraw
Steering Committee.

The committee set up policies on third parties
capitalising on the considerable volunteer time, effort, and ingenuity
represented by the part library and the LDraw System, which give the
users almost total freedom in the usage of rendered images. “One thing
is making cash with the efforts of others, but claiming it is yours is
a total different story and we are going to demand to delete their
image and text contributions to the database which have been drawn from
LDraw”, Tschager said.

In addition the LDraw Steering Committee is
looking out for angel investors to back the lawsuit financially.
Donation can be made to Peeron.com as hosts of LDraw.org (a Paypal
Donation Button can be found in the top left-hand corner of LDraw’s
homepage). However paying tribute to the fact that LDraw.org is a
completely volunteer organization the SteerCo prefers workmanship
contribution, such as part authoring, parts reviewing, writing programs
or tutorials over financial return.

Sometimes Less is More, Others More is More

For an example of the first, check out this photo by frame*. A few rocks, a custom minifig, and that’s it. The composition, however, is very nicely put together. The minifig pose looks well thought out, while the white space and depth of field of the image make for something interesting to view.

mickey mouse and his friends

As a counterpoint, please check out this creation by Pippo Zane. I spotted this weeks ago, when it was first posted, and never managed to find time to post it. It should not be overlooked, though, as every crevice of this large diorama is crammed with interesting detail. My favorite detail is the twisted column (both of them, really), but that’s just one of many spots of detail that draw the eye. The display is large enough to draw the eye into detail and make the viewer forget the scale of the entire piece.

The Gun Club

Steampunkikoma? Steampunk Prospector Bot

I’m not always a fan of steampunk creations, but I love this build by Ted Andes (Ted @ndes). There are a lot of nifty little details on this build, and they’re largely intentional. I especially like the big glass eye, and the glass old style gauges on the side. The builder’s description of the symbiotic relationship with the wind-up cowboy is also a nice touch, and the perfect bit of steampunk absurdity.


LEGO Unveils New 75059 UCS Sandcrawler [NEWS]

Apparently, while I was laid low by the flu this weekend, LEGO went ahead and unveiled the latest in the Star Wars UCS line. They also revealed that, starting with this set, UCS sets will have different and distinct packaging from other sets in the Star Wars line. It looks like they’ve done their best to cram this thing full of play features, which helps justify the hefty price of $300 USD. Read the full release from LEGO below, along with photos and the designer video.


75059 Sandcrawler™

Ages 14+ 3,296 Pieces

US $299.99 – CA $349.99 – DE 299.99€ – UK £249.99 – DK 2,799.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Collect a true icon of the classic Star Wars™ universe – the mighty Sandcrawler™!

Recreate unforgettable scenes from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope with this amazing LEGO® incarnation of the Jawas’ desert-going vehicle, the Sandcrawler™. Turn the knob at the rear and steer the Sandcrawler into position, lower the front ramp and offload the droids using the 2 working cranes. Luke Skywalker™ and his Uncle, Owen Lars, are sure to be impressed with the selection on offer: there’s R2-D2, an R1-series Droid, an R2 unit, R5-D4™, a Treadwell Droid™, Gonk Droid™ and even C-3PO™. When the sale is complete, lift the side panels and top to reveal more great features inside, like the engine, storage bay, cockpit and more. There’s even a speeder bike for when the Jawas need to venture outside. Includes 7 minifigures: Luke Skywalker™, Uncle Owen, C-3PO™ and 4 Jawas™, plus R2-D2™, R2 unit, an R1-series Droid™, Gonk Droid™, R5-D4™ and a Treadwell Droid™.

Travel the dunes with the LEGO® Star Wars™ Sandcrawler™ with working cranes, detailed interior, 7 minifigures, 5 droids and lots more!

• Includes 7 minifigures: Luke Skywalker™, Uncle Owen, C-3PO™ and 4 Jawas™, plus R2-D2™, R2 unit, an R1-series Droid™, Gonk Droid™, R5-D4™ and a Treadwell Droid™

• Features 8 tracks with steering function, lowering front ramp, opening side flaps, removable top, working cranes, speeder bike, opening hatch for easy access to the boxes, attachable handles for lifting boxes, and a detailed interior including engine bay, storage bay and cockpit

• Also includes stock for old droids and droid parts

• Weapons include a lightsaber for Luke Skywalker™

• Sell droids to Luke and his Uncle

• Keep your droids well maintained

• Pretend to suck R2-D2™ up into the Sandcrawler™ – just like in the movie!

• Own your own iconic vehicle from the classic Star Wars™ universe

• Relive classic moments from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope

• Measures over 9” (24cm) high, 18” (48cm) long and 6” (16cm) wide

Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning
May 2014 via shop.LEGO.com, LEGO® Stores or via phone

Elysium Data Heist Diorama

I’m pretty sure that this diorama by Daniel Garcia Rodado (AlterEvo) and (AL13N163NA) is the first I’ve seen inspired by the movie Elysium. Regardless of what you think of the plot or script of the movie, it had some stunning visuals, and some really cool tech. I like how this display is made up of a series of vignettes, disconnected but bound together. I also think that the builders did a great job of representing the exo-skeleton worn by Matt Damon’s character, at minifig scale.

Target: John Carlyle

LEGO 70810 MetalBeard’s Seacow set unveiled at ToyFair [News]

A new LEGO Movie set 70810 MetalBeard’s Seacow has been officially unveiled at ToyFair in New York City. Looks like there’s a different version of MetalBeard in this set from the previous set, which works for me. I must say, I’m pretty excited about this set (though not as much as I am about Benny’s Classic Spaceship, of course).

[EDIT] This set is now available to LEGO VIP members (a free rewards program) at LEGO Shop at Home.

Here’s the press release and photos:

70810 IN_MA.indd

70810 MetalBeard’s Sea Cow

Ages 14+ 2,741 Pieces

US $249.99 – CA $299.99 – DE 249.99€ – UK £169.99 – DK 2,199.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Help our heroes escape the Micro Managers on MetalBeard’s Sea Cow!

Shiver me timbers, the Micro Managers are approaching our heroes and MetalBeard aboard his wacky Sea Cow ship. Climb the mast to keep a look-out. Fire the powerful shooting cannons from the side of the ship to repel the Micro Managers. And watch out – one has flick missiles and the other can shoot a net! Raise the anchors, spin the rear propellers and steer the ship to safety with the mini version of MetalBeard at the wheel. Includes 4 minifigures: Benny, Emmet, Vitruvius and Wyldstyle, and 2 figures: MetalBeard and QueasyKitty.

Battle 2 Micro Managers with The LEGO® Movie MetalBeard’s Sea Cow with mini version of MetalBeard, 4 minifigures and cow with wings!

• Includes 4 minifigures: Benny, Emmet, Vitruvius and Wyldstyle, and 2 figures: MetalBeard and QueasyKitty

• MetalBeard’s Sea Cow features chimney, 2 anchors, 4 back propellers, 2 huge side turbines, lanterns, 2 gold keys, 2 bottles, bottle with printed ship, box with 4 black coals, hammer, wrench, shovel, gold crowbar and a barrel with 2 rammers. Plus cannon and ammunition deck with 6 cannons and 2 boxes with cannon ammunition (12 pieces), and boiler room with 2 flint guns, 2 flint pistols and 2 swords. Also features captain’s room with treasure chest containing 6 gold coins, 2 red jewels and 2 green jewels, 2 blueprints, 2 maps, globe, sextant, ink vial and quill, and a portrait of MetalBeard

• Also includes a cow with wings!

• The large Micro Manager features fold-up wings with hidden flick missiles, 2 claws and fold-down satellite dish

• The small Micro Manager features a net shooter

• Weapons include 2 flint guns, 2 flint pistols and 2 swords

• Steer the ship with the mini MetalBeard with sword and treasure chest

• Fire the cannons on both sides of the ship to fend off attackers

• Take off the funnel to access the cannon and ammunition deck

• Open the top to access the captain’s cabin and check out the maps, treasure chest, MetalBeard portrait and more!

• Open the doors to the boiler room to access the weapons

• Turn the exhaust to raise and lower the anchors

• Rotate the giant side turbines

• Place a minifigure on the fore mast to operate the mounted guns

• Keep a look-out from the crow’s nest

• Get the fire going below the huge funnel

• Make the rear propellers spin and speed away

• Watch The LEGO® Movie to see all your favorite characters in action

• MetalBeard’s Sea Cow measures over 22” (58cm) high, 24” (61cm) long and 7” (19cm) wide

• The Micro Manager (large) measures over 3” (9cm) high, 4” (12cm) long and 4” (12cm) wide

• The Micro Manager (small) measures over 1” (5cm) high, 2” (6cm) long and 1” (5cm) wide

• Mini MetalBeard measures over 4” (11cm) high, 5” (13cm) deep, and 5” (13cm) wide

• Double-decker couch measures over 3” (8cm) high, 3” (10cm) wide and less than 1” (2cm) long

Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning
March 2014 via shop.LEGO.com, LEGO® Stores or via phone

Here’s the full set of photos: