About Iain

Iain Heath is an avid builder specializing in the "Bricks of Character" style, which he helped define. He has been using LEGO to parody popular culture since 2007, when he created the now infamous Stephen Hawking model. He is a SeaLUG member and regular theme coordinator at BrickCon. For five years he also ran a blog called The Living Brick, that showcased the best character-based LEGO creations from around the world. You can find his irreverent body of work on Flickr.

Posts by Iain

You gotta kiss a lot of princesses to find your frog

LEGO’s BrickHeadz sets seem to have triggered an avalanche of increasingly clever custom versions of late, and it’s all we can do just to keep up with these adorably super-deformed critters. Meanwhile in a parallel dimension, the significantly uglier REJECTZ line continues to grow… The male superheroes from my first collection desperately needed girlfriends, so I decided to give Disney Princesses the REJECTZ treatment. Sorry.

…so pretttttty.

Rebellions are built on the hope... of beating your high score

As his final entry for a building contest run by German fan site Imperium Der Steine, builder Ben Tritschler has crafted something extraordinary: a working Rogue One themed pinball machine! It features elements from many scenes in the movie, such as Jedha, Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar,
the Battle of Scarif and the final Star Destroyer “ballet”.

In some ways the choice of a pinball machine makes perfect sense; these were everywhere right before the original Star Wars movie A New Hope came out (since video games were still relatively new back then) and Rogue One takes place shortly before the events of A New Hope.

Ben demonstrates the play features of his machine in the video above. With it’s working plunger and flippers, this thing looks like more fun than bulls-eyeing womp rats in a T-16 (whoops, wrong movie). Just keep your fingers moving, or the balls will be slipping past you faster than star systems through Tarkin’s fingers (ok, I’ll stop now).

Please ensure your dignity is stowed safely under the seat in front of you

The plot continues to thicken – and United Airline’s hole continues to deepen – over last Sunday’s incident aboard a plane in Chicago. And now the satirical commentary is starting to emerge. But no current event is really newsworthy until it’s been parodied using LEGO bricks, and our friends over at BrickMania have wasted no time in designing a custom minifigure to make this possible:

To quote the product description on their website: “Today’s travelers are ready for any adventure that comes their way. They have no fear of being stranded by weather, undersized seats, ridiculous baggage fees, TSA pat downs, or even re-accommodation by bullyboy airline employees. Grab your boarding pass and fly the unfriendly skies with Brickmania’s Frequent Flyer – Re-Accommodated Edition – Minifigure!”

Now is the perfect time to pick up your Frequent Flyer Re-Accomodated minifig, not only because of all that money you saved dumping United stock, but more importantly because BrickMania is donating a portion of the proceeds from this product to Traveller’s Aid International.

GONK, the power droid that just keeps going and going [Instructions]

Given his passion for recreating vintage Star Wars play sets in LEGO, it’s not a huge surprise to see French builder Eric Druon try his hand at recreating some classic Star Wars action figures too. And what better place to start than the beloved GONK power droid (especially given LEGO’s rather disappointing attempts to date). Over the years GONKs of various shapes, sizes and colors have been spotted shambling through the background in almost every corner of the Star Wars franchise, from the original movie trilogy to more recent animated shows and video games. But for his interpretation Eric has – not surprisingly – drawn inspiration from a 1st series 1977 Kenner action figure, which was modelled after the very first GONK ever to appear on screen, a rather snazzy blue number spotted at the Lars homestead.

As an added treat, Eric has also produced a short instructional video showing you how to build your very own little GONK! I for one plan to build an army of these. Especially since my original childhood GONK figure is now long gone (or possibly lost in a box somewhere in my garage).

Take the gold, take it!

With a career spanning four decades, Hayao Miyazaki holds a hallowed place in the crowded world of anime. Maybe that’s why it’s impossible to go to any convention without tripping over Miyazaki cosplayers or wander through any store in Japan without stumbling across a Miyazaki aisle. But 15 years after it’s release, his Oscar-winning film Spirited Away remains his best selling and most popular work – and holds a special place in many a fan’s heart. The movie’s character No-Face (カオナシ) has become particularly iconic, and DOGOD Brick Designs brings us this beautiful LEGO interpration of the mysterious monosyllabic spirit:

Unlike a much cruder version of No-Face that yours truly built back in 2010, this version actually features a hinged action revealing No-face’s terrifying mouth, complete with recently consumed frog spirit! Which is also highly reminiscent of the motorized No-Face piggy bank that is currently at the top of my shopping list.

Ah… Ah…

LEGO her Eggo, or she’ll send you to the Upside Down

Fan conventions are a good gauge for which new movies and shows have wormed their way into the public consciousness. And from what I just witnessed at Emerald City Comic Con, the character Eleven from the hit Netflix series Stranger Things seems to represent the current zeitgeist. Eleven cosplayers were everywhere – both male, female, and even feline! A giant version of the Eleven pop vinyl was stationed outside the Funko booth. And Eleven actress Millie Bobby Brown even showed up to snag a copy for herself. Logic therefore dictated that this should be the subject of my latest pop culture LEGO creation:

To give the model a little more authenticity, I created custom stickers to decorate the waffles and Eggo boxes. I am also working on a presentation of the model for BrickCan that mimics the lightly-Photoshopped scene below in which Eleven demonstrates her paranormal control over toastable breakfast products:

Now dust off your calculator watches, BMX bikes and 1st edition Dungeon Master’s guides, because season two of the nostalgia-ramic sci-fi show drops this Halloween!

TBB cover photo: April 2017

We love LEGO’s new Brickheadz and all the ingenuity that fans are putting into creating custom Brickheadz based on their favorite characters. Like this Sailor Moon and friends by ckb ckd, which we’ve chosen as our new TBB cover photo. These adorable sparkly eyes will be staring back at you for the entire month of April! A cuteness overload is almost guaranteed.

Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and send us your photo today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group.

Keep up with the Brothers Brick by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter or Pinterest. And for occasional extra goodies, follow us on Flickr or subscribe to us on YouTube.

Party girls don’t get hurt

As the craze for building custom Brickheadz continues to work its way inexorably through every corner of popular culture, a few gems are popping up. Here Johnnie “Brick” Xavier has recreated young dancer Maddie Ziegler as she appeared in the 2014 music video for Sia’s breakout hit Chandelier.

The unconventional style of the Australian singer required an unconventional video, and this visceral performance by then the 11-year old Zielger delivered: 1.5 billion views later it is now one of YouTube’s most watched videos. While sticking to the Brickheadz pattern, Johnnie’s LEGO rendition is immediately recognizable, helped by the addition of a prop and pose lifted perfectly from the video itself. All that’s missing is a Brickheadz version of Sia herself – her back turned toward us, naturally.

The perfect cherry on top

Taiwanese builder Mike Dung has a singular talent for recreating the elaborate costumes of female characters from the rich world of Far Eastern animation and videogames. But the addition of a background in his latest work is an additional treat. Despite her innocent appearance, Yuyuko is actually the final boss monster in the game Perfect Cherry Blossom from the Touhou Project series. When she casts a spell, a colorful fan appears behind her, which Mike decided to recreate as a mosaic utilizing the rich palette of LEGO hues at his disposal.

A brief history of LEGO Stephen Hawking

My little LEGO model of scientist Stephen Hawking just turned 10 years old, which led me to reflect upon the history of this peculiar creation and the path that my life took as a result of creating it. And to mark the occasion, last week I took this LEGO version of the Professor on a special trip to follow in his namesake’s footsteps!

Ten years ago I was just beginning to experiment with building my own creations (or “MOCs” as we LEGO fans like to call them). I had a limited bricks, limited experience, limited skill, and no real direction. Then Stephen Hawking announced his plans to experience zero gravity aboard the infamous Vomet Comet airplane, which inspired me to model him as a “miniland” scale LEGO figure.

I was pleased with the result, and having it featured here on The Brothers Brick was a pleasant surprise. But an even bigger surprise came when the creation was picked up by pop culture websites and went “viral”.

It was at that moment that I had my LEGO epiphany… Firstly, that characters seemed like an under-exploited genre of LEGO building, one that seemed like a more interesting challenge to me than say vehicles or buildings. Secondly, that there was a much larger audience – beyond the core fan community – for LEGO creations based on pop culture.

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Game, set and match

Builder Martin Harris took a break from his usual Star Wars fayre to build something requested by a family member. The result is this charming minifig scale tennis court. There are so many neat little touches here – the choice of pink for the playing surface, the brick-built line markings, the ball in motion (thanks to a few transparent pieces) and use of older fence pieces to create the net. The inclusion of lights, bleachers and a cast of minifigs brings the whole scene to life.