Even though I grew up in Japan, my family never owned a game console, and I didn’t really play Nintendo games until I worked for Nintendo of America (its US headquarters are near Seattle, right next door to Microsoft) back in the GameCube and Game Boy Advance era, barely over a decade ago. Nevertheless, I’m still a fan of Mario and all his many compatriots, and love seeing Nintendo characters built from LEGO. Two builders have (presumably) separately built Mario and Bowser, so a post highlighting them together seemed appropriate.
First up, Portuguese builder Tiago Catarino presents several iconic Super Mario Bros. elements, not least of which is a great studs-out, 8-bit Mario himself.
But Mario will need to beware the boss at the end of the level, since American David Pickett has built this highly detailed Bowser, full of great little details like feathers for his flaming red hair.
David also has a video you can watch to learn how to build Bowser yourself.
The winner of our informal monthly TBB cover photo contest is Italian builder Andrea Lattanzio with this fully-stocked “dream garage” that is sure to have all our petrol-headed readers salivating. You can even learn the story being his amazing creation in Issue 35 of Brickjournal, out now.
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When I first saw this mecha on Flickr, I thought that Izzo had returned after an 8-year hiatus. While that’s sadly not the case, I don’t think I could give a higher compliment to a mecha builder. Instead, this stellar mecha was built by Filipino builder Lu Sim.
Lu writes that the mecha itself was built around the idea for the rail gun, constructed from 16L train tracks. Nevertheless, he does no disservice to the mecha itself, with excellent color blocking and interesting details on the feet and head in particular.
When I left Japan in 1989, I don’t think I’d ever seen any Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food — though Indian food was certainly popular (and a reliable choice for us vegetarians). Moko has built a kebab stand, though, and writes about it as though they’re on every street corner — as they certainly are in London and Berlin. How Japan has changed in the past quarter century, apparently!
Moko says that kebab shops are most often on the first floor of multistory buildings, but that he was most interested in building the rotating gyro meet, the sauces on the counter, and the sign, so he just built those and moved on. Despite the lack of an upper story, it’s a lovely little shop. One’s eye is inevitably drawn to the excellent lettering on the large sign, but my favorite detail is the striped green awning.
This week Hong Kong hosted its gigantic annual fan convention Ani-Com, an event that makes San Diego Comic Con look like a book club meeting at a Starbucks. Local builder Alanboar Cheung was a finalist in the show’s LEGO building contest, with this delightful and very stylish “Dream House”:
This thing is packed to overflowing with awesome details – the closeups are definitely worth a look.
This event always produces some stellar MOCs, but information is a bit hard to come by. We’ll show you more of them as they come across our radars.
Fresh from his win in our Bricknado contest and rapidly becoming on of my favorite brick sculptors, simplybrickingit has put together this wonderfully engaging and kinetic pair of Jive dancers. Such is the interaction between these two figures that – according to the builder – they cannot stand up alone, but counterbalance one another when connected at the hand.
It’s Seafair Fleet Week here in Seattle, and the annual “Parade of Ships” went past my downtown office window this afternoon. Inspired by all those big boats on Elliott Bay, I went looking for a nice set of cool LEGO ships, and quickly found these beauties by Rancorbait.
First up, the “Nova” Medium Assault Cruiser incorporates great brick-built striping and a sporty red fin.
The “Eclipse” Heavy Assault Cruiser is very obviously part of the same fleet, with a consistent design aesthetic, though the Eclipse is a bit larger and has significantly more greebles. The bridge overhanging the white section is an excellent touch.
Finally, though it’s a different scale and certainly isn’t part of the same fleet, I can’t help but love this big red “Warthog” gunship. There are just so many non-right angles all over this thing!
Contrary to what many casual observers may think, building small is the true challenge for a skilled LEGO builder. Letranger Absurde (aka vitroleum) shows he’s up to that challenge, though, with this wonderfully tiny Rapa Nui replete with Moai overseeing the arrival of a European sailing vessel.
The Moai themselves are the “Nice Parts Usage” standout in this little creation, using the new blaster guns as the famous stone statues.
Space is dangerous. Getting there maybe even more so, what with riding a controlled explosion to overcome gravity and all. In the United States, the majority of the space flight innovations came from NASA with a significant amount of help early on from the Air Force and German aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun.
Max Schellenberg gives us an intro to modern space travel with this brilliant microscale version of a Falcon 9 landing in the Atlantic Ocean. This is adorable and I love it.
Now, there are a number of private companies developing new technology: Boeing and Lockheed Martin regularly launch the Delta IV rockets under United Launch Alliance; Boeing is developing their CST-100 crew capsule. Sierra Nevada has their Dreamchaser. Jeff Bezos has Blue Origin, for tourist space flight, launching out of Texas.
And Elon Musk has SpaceX.
Off all of these, I get the most giddy about SpaceX. Because the first foray into reusable equipment with the Shuttle program still required going and fishing the boosters out of the Atlantic, along with the orbiter returning safely to earth. SpaceX has developed their Falcon 9, capable of launching a payload into space, and having the booster return to a fixed point. Namely, their “autonomous spaceport drone ships,” the Just Read the Instructions and Of Course I Still Love You. They’ve recently leased one of the former launch complexes on Cape Canaveral Air Force Base and converted into a landing facility as well.
That is amazing.
Evidently, selling earth-like vacuum cleaners is a dangerous, adventurous business. Sebastiaan (Alien Cat) returns to us from real-life adventures to present the little Alien Cat’s terribly hazardous profession selling vacuum cleaners across the known universe.
Business is clearly doing well, if this sporty read number is any indication:
Clearly his driving skills haven’t improved. That, or he failed to account for changes in gravity and atmosphere from one planet to another.
I’m particularly fond of this lovely little star ship called Tia Maria.