Category Archives: News

Stay current on the latest news and information about LEGO, from sales & deals to new set announcements. We also cover LEGO events and conventions all over the world.

Announcing winners of the TBB Server Downtime Contest [News]

Back in March, we had a bit of a frustrating time here at The Brothers Brick, with several days of intermittent server downtime due to a software configuration issue. To have a little fun, I kicked off a brief contest. We got a number of great entries from TBB fans, which you can see in the photo pool on Flickr. Unfortunately, I became gravely ill just as the contest was ending, and I’ve been struggling to catch up ever since — focusing first on my day job (no, TBB is not actually my day job), and only then on LEGO and TBB.

With thanks to all our incredibly patient readers and contest participants (and yes, I do have a few words for the impatient and self-entitled after the jump), I’m pleased to finally share the winners of the contest categories.

TBB is Down Again!

As a techie, it was hard not to love these colorful, accurate server racks by Leopold Mao. The plumes of smoke, mice gnawing the cables, and distraught sysadmin, combined with the trans-clear bricks inside the servers, are all excellent touches. This is my pick for the top category. Congratulations, Leopold!

Chain Challenge 8: TBB Servers

404 Page Not Found

We hope our readers don’t encounter this iconic webpage error too often. Blake Foster wins this category with this simple but brilliant idea — a double-sided 1×2 plate! If only…

404: Not Found

A Lemur Did It!

Our Lemur has gone AWOL recently, but he was a frenzy of activity back in March, and some of us suspect he may have had a little something to do with the downtime. Our winning entry in this category was drawn by Sayre Blake, who illustrated an amusing scene of A. Lemur eating mangoes & PBJ while swooshing a LEGO spaceship.

Guilty A. Lemur

We actually had a number of excellent entries in this category, so in addition to the three main prizes, I’d like to extend Honorable Mentions (with a small LEGO set as a prize) to “Server Error 223 – Hungry Lemur” by IamKritch and “A. Lemur is having some trouble pulling up TBB…” by Ashton6460.

Server Error 223 - Hungry Lemur A. Lemur is having some trouble pulling up TBB...

If you’re a winner, contact me on Flickr and I’ll get your contact information to send out your prize!

Yup, I have a rant. But I’ll spare most of you and save it for after the jump…

10 years of The Brothers Brick – a brief history [News]

Ten years ago today, I came home from work, opened my computer, and set up a personal blog I called “Dunechaser’s Blocklog.” That blog would eventually become The Brothers Brick.

A lot has changed in the past ten years — with my own involvement in the LEGO hobby, with this blog, and with the LEGO fan community more broadly. But today I’m going to share my experience here on The Brothers Brick.

I started the blog mainly as a journal of my own LEGO models, and my first true post was a write-up of minifig anatomy that included one of the minifigs I’d built recently — the character Cloud from Final Fantasy VII in the form he takes in Kingdom Hearts. I still quite like the fig today.

Cloud

Nobody at the time was paying much attention to minifigs, to the point that many of the minifigs I saw in other peoples’ creations were pretty boring. So, even though I enjoyed building larger models as much as the next builder, I decided to focus what I posted on my blog on minifigs. Within a couple of months, I began featuring the minifig-oriented work of other builders. One of my first posts exclusively focused on the work of another builder was — not surprisingly — about the talented builder Michael Jasper.

Summertime by Michael Jasper on Brickshelf

Soon, I was featuring the work of Japanese builders like Moko. I was born and raised in Japan, and I could read the blogs, forums, and other community interactions of a thriving Japanese LEGO builder community, so I started a separate blog called “Pan-Pacific Bricks” to highlight the work of Japanese builders and provide a bit more context for the work showing up on sites like Brickshelf.

Then I started getting comments. I had a couple of readers! In February 2006, Boing Boing picked up my “Blocklog” post about my Aztec gods, and traffic shot through the roof! A few of those thousands of people stuck around, and my readership grew.

Meanwhile, I was very active on LEGO fan forums like Classic-Castle Forums (C-C) and From Bricks to Bothans (FBTB), where I’d become friends with people whose online names were crazy things like “Plums Deify,” “porschecm2,” and “floodllama.”

As I expanded from my own minifigs to other people’s minifigs, LEGO models by Japanese builders, and then ultimately anything I liked, I realized I needed help. I contacted “floodllama” and asked him if he’d like to join “Dunechaser’s Blocklog.” Fortunately, he did, and in May 2006, I welcomed Josh Wedin to the blog. With another contributor on the team, even the name of the blog didn’t make any sense, so Josh and I decided to hold a contest for people to suggest a new name.

We ran the contest for a couple of weeks (our first of many) and we chose “The Brothers Brick” from more than a hundred suggestions. The winning suggestion came from C-C member “Peppermint Pig.” Josh and I chose the name because we liked the storytelling allusion to the Brothers Grimm and the fact that it accurately represented a couple of guys with a LEGO blog.

Since I invited Josh in May 2006 and we changed our name a few weeks later, our roster has included 20 people — among them a doctor, a lawyer, two university physicists, two Canadians, an Australian, a Swede, a Dutchman, and Keith Goldman.

At BrickCon 2014 last year, eight of us got together for a photo (courtesy Justin Pratt).

IMG_1210

Left to right: Andrew (me), Josh (the original TBB minion), Caylin, Chris, Iain (always a blur of activity), Carter, Nannan, and Simon

By late 2006, we were outgrowing Google’s free Blogpsot service, and we decided to move The Brothers Brick (and Pan-Pacific Bricks) to our own website. Brothers-Brick.com launched in December. We’ve made some improvements and changes to the site since then, but all the pieces were in place for the “TBB” that you all know today.

Along the way, the lives of our contributors have evolved — children born, degrees finished, new jobs, new careers, new responsibilities… Contributors have joined and left as real life responsibilities, interest in blogging about LEGO, and even interest in LEGO itself have waxed and waned. My life has been no different. Ten years years ago, I was a writer working for a small software company. Today, I’m the director of the planning and design group for a rapidly growing software company, and I even founded the company’s Seattle office, which now employs nearly 30 people. Obviously, that leaves much less time for LEGO and for TBB than working as a writer did 10 years ago. (Other contributors have had similar real-life journeys, and I have to admit that TBB hasn’t been getting the attention our readership deserves for the last year or two — something I’m hoping to change with some fairly significant changes soon.)

My own interest in LEGO has also changed. Gone are the days of pulling out small trays of minifig parts and whipping together a batch of figs to quickly photograph the next weekend for posting to Brickshelf and sharing on C-C or FBTB. I started attending BrickCon with Josh in 2006, and BrickCon 2015 will be my 14th LEGO event or convention. Each year, I try to up my game and build something bigger, better, and hopefully both. A couple of times, I’ve been rather surprised to receive an award — as my large Stalingrad diorama did at BrickCon last year, full of custom vehicles and minifigs.

Stalingrad: Operation Uranus

I’m sad to admit that I haven’t built anything of my own since BrickCon last year, though I’m looking forward to carving out some time for our Battle of Bricksburg American Civil War collaboration (more details soon).

Me!Ten years is a long time for a little LEGO blog — many have come and gone while we’ve plugged away featuring all the wonderful models built by LEGO builders all over the world. I’m not sure what the next decade will bring, but I’m looking forward to making that journey with all of you out there, both the hundreds of thousands of you who read our blog each month to see the work of the talented builders we feature, as well as all of my fellow builders themselves. Thank you.

So, what has your LEGO experience been over the past ten years? What are some of your favorite TBB memories? Share away in the comments!

Announcing the BRICKNADO² contest winners!

By now, viewers on the “Feast Coast” are already chomping through the premiere of SyFy’s new action mystery sci-fi horror romantic comedy thriller cameo-tastic travesty SHARKNADO 3. And while those of you further West warm up your chainsaws, it’s time for us to spill the beans guts and reveal the winners of the Brothers Brick BRICKNADO² building contest.

1st PLACE
“Under New Management” by mediumsnowman

2nd PLACE
“Easy Rider” by simplybrickingit

3rd PLACE
“Incoming!” by Mr. Brickman


We also have two honorable mentions: The Mick Fanning Premature Memorial award for biggest nod to a completely different shark movie goes to Томас Чижаускас for “Lincoln Hero”, and Sean Martin for “Hoff man, Hoff shark!”. Shame on you. Well done!

  

So congratulations and spoils to the winners. And buckets of chum for the losers. You were all great sports Andrew Avila, The Capitan, Chelsea Collings, jwarner1718, DaDudeDownDaStreet, Liwnik, DarthDee, Krzysztof Pusz, W. Navarre, Laurie Swicegood, Daniel Fortine, and Obby and Steve Guiness. Thanks to everybody for playing! And finally thanks to Arthur Gugick for the use of his inspirational White House model in our contest poster.

Well there it is, our dumbest idea since the last one. And now it is over.

Let us never speak of this again…

BrickUniverse Dallas FOL Conference November 13-15

The BrickUniverse Lego convention is taking place in Dallas this year on November 13-15 at the Irving Convention Center. This is a 3-day convention for where builders can exhibit their creations, participate in games, contests, raffles and interact with the public during the exhibition on the weekend. Registration is $60, but it can be free if you bring MOCs to display. Check out photos from their previous convention in Raleigh and visit the BrickUniverse website to learn more about the event.

Sean Kenney builds 7.25 foot tall Eiffel Tower out of Lego

Sean Kenney‘s latest Lego sculpture captures the magnificence of the Eiffel Tower in a giant model using 67,470 Lego bricks. At 7.25 feet tall, it’s even taller than the average NBA player! Check out the creation on MOCpages to see detail photos and behind-the-scenes shots of this iconic monument.

LEGO Ideas The Big Bang Theory 21302 [Review]

In November last year, LEGO announced two new ideas sets. By now the birds setby Tom Polsoun has already been in shops for months, but although we’ve previously seen pictures of The Big Bang Theory set, it is taking a bit longer to hit the shelves. It has finally been officially launched at the San Diego Comic Con earlier today.

The Big Bang Theory - Lounge

Several of us at The Brothers Brick are fans of the show, but being a physicist, I was the lucky guy granted the opportunity to review this. Having worked in both a physics and an engineering department of two universities, the characters from The Big Bang Theory are very recognisable. There may even be a bit of Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard in me. This is not my life story or a review of the TV show, however, so I will cut straight to the chase: the price is pretty steep for only 479 parts, so if minifigures aren’t your thing or you don’t like the show, this set is not for you.

The minifigures are the highlight of the set and probably the main reason why anybody would want this. All seven characters are instantly recognisable and come with new printed parts for the faces and clothing. The prints are highly detailed and look crisp, with Amy’s knitted vest and the tiny flowers on Bernadette’s skirt standing out in particular. The backs of the torsos are also printed. The upper and lower parts of the legs on Amy and Bernadette are molded in different colours, to represent skirts, with the obvious advantage that the figures look decent when seen from the back (in more ways than one).

The Big Bang Theory - Figs

As a bonus all the figures have reversible heads, with happy faces on one side and an alternate expression on the other. Bernadette’s is a particularly menacing angry look and Penny’s will also be instantly recognisable to any fan.
Continue reading

LEGO announces new giant Ninjago set: 70751 Temple of Airjitsu [News]

Primed to be unveiled in person this Friday at San Diego Comic Con, LEGO has given us the go-ahead to let our readers see the newest Ninjago set, 70751 Temple of Airjitsu. It’s very rare that LEGO makes minifig-scale sets this large in its non-licensed themes, with the exception of the Expert Creator sets like the modular series. At 2,028 pieces for $200 USD, this set is quite the heavyweight for LEGO’s kid-oriented theme. LEGO VIP members will be able to purchase the the Airjitsu Temple beginning Aug. 18.

70751_ProdThe official press release and more photos are below the jump. Continue reading

BrickCon 2015 Registration and Hotel Info [News]

Registration is open for BrickCon 2015, and the countdown helpfully reminds me I have 85 days to build something. BrickCon is taking place Oct. 1 – Oct. 4, 2015, in Seattle, Washington.

As a reminder, there’s a tiered approach to registering: the earlier the better. If you are participating in any games, you will need to sign up either at the time of registration (recommended) or prior to 9:00 am Friday morning.

1. Early Bird Registration is $60, and is available until Aug. 1.
2. Regular Registration is $75, available Aug. 1 – Sep. 18.
3. Late Registration is $100, after Sept. 18.
4. Door Registration is $120, during the event.

Hotel Info is now up on BrickCon‘s website. All prices below do not include additional charges such as occupancy taxes and parking. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Maxwell Hotel – $149
Quality Inn & Suites – $119
Hampton Inn & Suites – $159

Other hotels, as well as booking instructions for those above, can be found here.

Crazy Arms are a crazy cool idea

Regular readers of this blog will be no stranger to Guy Himber’s Crazy Bricks, which has been classing-up the world of figs for years now with top hats, skulls, and all manner of other unique accessories. But Guy’s latest offering, Crazy Arms, could be a game changer for mini-fig fans.

These patent pending replacement arms not only offer better poses for your figs, but also solve the problem of how hard it has always been to remove and re-insert the standard arms into the standard torso. How? Watch the video below to find out!

Crazy Arms will only be available through a Kickstarter project. So if you want to get your posable fleshy hands on some, you’d better back it before the end of the month!

LEGO Creator 10248 Ferrari F40 Announced [News]

LEGO has just announced the next large Creator vehicle, a Ferrari F40. This supercar follows in the line of popular models such as the still-currently available Volkswagen Camper Van and Mini Cooper, and the now-retired Volkswagen Beetle. 10248 Ferrari F40 has 1,158 pieces, and will retail for USD 89.99, EUR 89.99, GBP 69.99, and DKK 799.00, and will be available starting August 1. The official press release is below the jump.

10248_box3_in

Continue reading