We recently had the opportunity to talk with Pacurar Andrei, also known as Vitreolum (Letranger Absurde). Pacurar lives in Romania and builds in a wide range of styles and genres. His work is highly regarded and his build, Room with a View, made our short-list of the year’s best creations. Please walk with us as we explore the mind of a builder!
TBB: How did you get into the LEGO hobby and what inspires you to build?
Pacurar Andrei: I got into the hobby when I decided to sell my childhood collection. They were all mixed together in two large bags, so I had to sort and build everything… by the time I was done with this I ended up buying sets instead of selling. Everything inspires me, from someone else’s build to things that surround me. Sometimes just looking at a certain part will be enough. Or just an idea that suddenly pops in my head. Although my biggest source of inspiration has always been movies, games and literature. The challenge is whether I can translate it into bricks.
Apparently Batman drives a Chevrolet, as LEGO and Chevrolet have teamed up to build a life-sized version of 70905 The Batmobile complete with Chevy bowtie emblem, and it is exactly as awesomely black (and very dark grey) as the Dark Knight might hope.
This huge “Speedwagon” from upcoming The LEGO Batman Movie was unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was built as a life-sized, 1-1 scale replica of the LEGO Batmobile, much like the Star Wars X-wing from a few years ago.
LEGO’s latest set in the Creator theme is 31065 Park Street Townhouse, which was recently released in both the UK and the US. This set contains 566 pieces and retails at UK: £44.99 / US: $49.99 / EU: €49.99. The main build is the townhouse, but there are alternative instructions for a city café and a suburban home. The set comes with 2 minifigures, a moped, and the parts to build a little blue bird and a white dog. This type of Creator set is often called a “mini modular” and interestingly one of the images at the back of the first instruction booklet shows this set linked with 31050 Corner Deli to form a mini street scene. Other examples of so-called mini modulars include 31026 Bike Shop & Café or 31036 Toy and Grocery Shop, both of which are now retired.
Read the full review of 31065 Park Street Townhouse
As we announced just a few weeks ago, The Brothers Brick is giving away one copy of the massive LEGO Star Wars set 75159 Death Star. Enter to win from this link, or by clicking the Contests section on our Facebook page. The winner will also receive an awesome TBB logo T-shirt, stickers, and some really sweet A. Lemur buttons.
The Brothers Brick publishes so many stories that we’re giving you the best of LEGO news and reviews. This is our Weekly Brick Report for the second week of January.
TBB NEWS & REVIEWS: This week we took a deep dive into the minds of some amazing builders (Batman and Bionicle!) and even shared some instructions for a cute bug.
OTHER NEWS: There was a massive amount of LEGO news from other places around the web this week. Here are a few items we noticed and thought you might enjoy.
- Full-size tractor built from 800,000 bricks, CLAAS – France’s first museum of agriculture, the Musée du Compa, has a full-scale CLAAS tractor, and it looks like LEGO set 42054 CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC (20% off at the moment), right down to those beautiful red hubcaps!
- LEGO Boost earns WIRED’s Top 10 Best of CES, WIRED – LEGO’s newly unveiled Boost robotics system racked up the awards at CES in Las Vegas last week. (Also read TBB’s hands-on with LEGO Boost).
- NINJAGO World grand opens at LEGOLAND Florida, Inside the Magic – Do you wanna be a ninja? Well, now is your chance, at LEGOLAND Florida’s new themed world.
- LEGO CITY Undercover game unveiled, LEGO YouTube – Join the chase! This existing game just got the blockbuster treatment, up-scaled for major videogame platforms.
- Why does stepping on a Lego brick hurt so darn much?, CNET – Stepping on a LEGO brick feels like being shot by a knife soaked in bullet-ant venom. But why? Science explains!
- The LEGO imitation HALO Mega Bloks game that never came to be, Destructoid – Take a look at this test footage from the abandoned Mega Bloks HALO videogame.
- LEGO- inspired wedding cake built from tasty bricks, Huffington Post – If Lego is your true love and you’re also getting married this year, we’ve found the perfect cake for you.
That’s your Brick Report. See you next week!
Here at The Brothers Brick, we tend to specialize in certain kinds of news, LEGO creations, and reviews, but thanks to our partnerships with other LEGO websites, we’re able to bring you more kinds of content. Please enjoy this excellent interview that originally appeared on New Elementary.
To conclude our farewell to LEGO® BIONICLE® “Generation 2”, we have an interview with three members of the team. This was actually recorded prior to the announcement that the theme would be ending, but of course these guys continue to make Constraction figures with The LEGO Group, so whilst BIONICLE is dead (or perhaps merely dormant), the elements live on!
We recently had the opportunity to talk with Paul Hetherington and take a tour inside his head to see how he invents such fantastic creations. Our readers will recognize him as the builder of our Creation of the Year 2016, Gotham Theater Showdown, but his creations span a much greater range in subject and technique than many people may realize. Let’s get to know Paul, shall we?
TBB: Can you give us a little background on how you got into the LEGO hobby and what inspires you to build?
Paul: I’ve been into the LEGO hobby since before you could reasonably use the word “classic” to describe old space and castle sets. I bought my first set as an adult in 1991, which was the Space M-Tron Pulsar Charger. Little did I know back then that I had just taken the first step on an epic journey — one that would introduce me to so many amazing people, and have my LEGO creations be recognized around the world. Because back in 1991, as far as I knew, I was the only crazy adult who bought LEGO sets.
There are so many things that inspire me to build. My first creations were just built for my own enjoyment, as there was no way to share them. Then when the internet came along, all of a sudden a local LEGO club formed which I joined. From that point I had a reason to build. The first years of creating were mainly spent recreating local buildings, trains and hot rods for train shows and museums. I found I really enjoyed doing research to ensure that my creations were historically accurate and to scale. I soon became inspired to add some fantasy elements into my creations. I discovered Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and the works of Antoni Gaudi. Theme parks, Mardi Gras floats, and parades were also a great source of inspiration.
More recently, I had the pleasure to work with the artist Douglas Coupland on an installation and came to the realization that Lego has a place in the Art world. I find the Surrealists, especially Dali, and Pop Art, and Comic book art to be particularly inspiring. In recent years my creations have had more of an artistic twist and I see myself going more in that direction. Architecture will always be at the heart of what I do and is usually the catalyst for my creations.
The Brothers Brick publishes so many stories that we’re giving you the best of LEGO news and reviews. This is our Weekly Brick Report for the first week of 2017 (and the new year is off to a great start).
TBB NEWS: Holy moly, Batman, there was an avalanche of news this week. From the unveiling of Boost at CES to sending a plane to the South Pole, we have all you need to know right here, including the winners of TBB’s Builder and Creation of the year!
REVIEWS & INSTRUCTIONS: TBB had its hands full creating mascot instructions and reviewing a new set from Star Wars: Rogue One.
As we approach The LEGO Batman Movie‘s February release, LEGO is launching scores of sets to accompany its first feature film of the year and we’ve been covering them as quickly as we can. Today we’re bringing you two more mini sets, 30522 Batman in the Phantom Zone, and 30523 The Joker Training Battle. Both are minifigure scale, unlike the microscale sets we covered recently of The Mini Batmobile and Batwing. Both are expected to retail for $4.99 USD.
30522 Batman in the Phantom Zone, 59 pieces
Click to read the full review of both sets
Earlier this week we brought you the news about the newly unveiled LEGO Boost robotics system, an entry-level System-based building and coding toolkit designed to make it easier for kids to get into programming and robotics. We also think LEGO Boost has the potential to bring the more complex creations of adult LEGO builders to life, so we’ve been curious to learn more. I’m in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), so I was able to swing by the LEGO booth to talk tech with LEGO Boost engineers and designers.
That’s me on the left, with Lasse Lauesen, the lead computer engineer on the Boost project. LEGO Boost is being designed and developed by the same team behind LEGO Mindstorms, with collaboration from Playthemes designers like lead designer Simon Kent and well-known fan builder turned LEGO designer Carl Merriam.
What struck me first about all the LEGO Boost models on the tables at CES was the color scheme. The primary color scheme of dark azure (the same color as the gorgeous 10252 Volkswagen Beetle) contrasts beautifully with the orange and white, with plenty of bricks also in black and greys. Designer Simon Kent told me that the team chose these colors very consciously as a gender-neutral palette. And I agree — it’s a fairly strong departure from the aggressive black, red, and white of Mindstorms EV3, without swinging the pendulum all the way toward “baby” colors.
Read our full hands-on coverage from CES
Each year, we are stunned by the creativity that stems from builders like you, constantly pushing LEGO to explore new techniques, themes and concepts through LEGO IDEAS. 2016 was quite the busy year for IDEAS, and the year ahead should be equally as exciting with the next deadline coming soon for LEGO to review projects that reach the 10,000 vote goal.
NEW LEGO IDEAS SETS: Looking back, 2016 was an exciting milestone year with four IDEAS sets that launched, introducing a two yellow iconic vehicles, a labyrinth and brick-built cartoon characters:
RETIRED LEGO IDEAS SETS: We also sadly saw four iconic IDEAS sets get retired from production by LEGO. We hope you were able to grab these while they were available since they are incredible sets, though you can still find them on Amazon:
But there’s more to look forward to, with some amazing projects approved for 2017, which you can check out below. Continue reading
This week at the CES technology convention in Las Vegas, LEGO unveiled Boost, an entry-level building and coding toolkit to help bring your creations to life. More simple than Mindstorms, LEGO Boost (17101) is like its little brother but cooler and easier to get to know. The Brothers Brick is at CES and we’ll bring you hands-on coverage soon, but in the meantime, here are the basics.