Category Archives: People

LEGO fandom is a worldwide phenomenon, a vast community. Whether you consider yourself an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), ALE (Adult LEGO Enthusiast), some other crazy acronym, a parent of a young builder, or even just a casual fan who appreciates all the amazing models LEGO builders create, there’s more to LEGO than just the models themselves. Here at The Brothers Brick, we bring you the stories behind the models, with interviews, builder profiles, and more.

Week of Wonders: Letranger Absurde [Friday]

To round off our exploration of the rich LEGO repertoire of Letranger Absurde, here is a charming representation of Victorian dandy Algernon Moncrieff, from Oscar Wilde’s farcical play The Importance of Being Earnest. With larger character builds, it’s less common for builders to take the trouble to construct an entire scene, but this one comes fully furnished for the period (the Vermeer painting is an especially nice touch), while the casual posing and puff of brick-built smoke breathe life into the whole thing.

From the builder: “I’m quite fond of this one. Leaving aside the fact that it’s an update to my very first character build and based on the very first play I’ve ever read and fell in love with, I feel that I’ve accomplished some things here: making a detailed scene for my large scale figs that doesn’t feel like a cheap prop and managing a pretty natural pose (most of my previous chars just felt too wooden). I’ve also experimented a bit with photography; despite the loss in clarity and quality, I think the natural low light makes the scene feel more natural.”

Week of Wonders: Letranger Absurde [Thursday]

This week we’ve been exploring the works of versatile Romanian builder Letranger Absurde, whose love for antique objects and certain comedy horror movies appeared to collide in this LEGO version of the Necronomicon. Hail to the King, baby!

From the builder: “This is both a tribute to the comedy wonder that is The Evil Dead, and to Mihai Marius Mihu, the builder from my country whose work made me realize for the first time there’s more to LEGO than collecting sets. Klaatu Verata Necktie!”

Week of Wonders: Letranger Absurde [Wednesday]

Our next featured creation from Iron Builder veteran and history lover Letranger Absurde features lots of yummy dark brown and one particular example of nice part usage (can you spot it?).

From the builder: “This was built as a request; perfect opportunity for me to build an Arthurian themed MOC since I’ve always wanted to do one. The sword’s pretty much the same from the Witcher build I’ve done previously.”

Week of Wonders: Letranger Absurde [Tuesday]

Our second find from the hoard of Letranger Absurde is this cunningly crafted microscale homage to the book that first introduced the world to the concept of the alien invasion story, H. G. Well’s The War of the Worlds.

From the builder: “I’ve always been a fan of H. G. Wells’ fiction (one of the very first builds was a Time Machine / Star Wars crossover; it’s a complete mess, but that’s a different story!). So building this was always on my list. The dumbbell choice of part in Iron Builder was just the inspiration I needed to finally go ahead with it. I chose to take a more personal approach to the scene and not base it directly on any adaptation, but still wanted to keep a rather retro aesthetic for the tripod… unfortunately I’ve only had enough parts to make one.”

Week of Wonders: Letranger Absurde [Monday]

Welcome to Week of Wonders, a new irregular feature in which we spotlight previously overlooked creations by a particular builder that we admire. Each day we will highlight a different build, enhanced with exclusive commentary and insights from the builder themselves.

For this first WoW, we’ll be unearthing a hoard of treasures by prolific builder and TBB regular Letranger Absurde. And in the wake of the most recent wave of Star Wars mania, it seemed appropriate to begin with this perfect movie mashup. Somehow it just works. Spooky!

The Wonderful Jedi Master of Oz

From the builder: “I built this one for a mixed theme contest. Initially I wanted to use Jar Jar for the scarecrow (the only reason this build exists). But then I figured it would be out of place among Original Trilogy characters and replaced him with Han. The fun part is that this build was born from the idea of using Jar Jar as the brainless scarecrow and he didn’t even make the final cut; a fitting fate for such a wonderful character I suppose.”

Beautiful LEGO: Wild! [Review]

Beautiful LEGO: Wild! is the third title in a series of best-selling coffee table books by Mike Doyle. Like its predecessors Beautiful LEGO and Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, this edition features a carefully curated collection of LEGO creations by some of the community’s top builders.

Compared to its hefty hard-backed cousin DARK, this slimmer book is more reminiscent of the original Beautiful LEGO. Like DARK, its builder profiles are kept to a minimum and the focus is squarely on the photographs. Otherwise the format is the same, with images organized into categories and carefully labelled with info such as title, builder, year and part count.

To differentiate each new volume from the last, Mike has chosen to assign them over-arching themes. And while DARK was ambiguous enough to allow for a pretty diverse range of builds, WILD is necessarily more constrained to subject matter in some way related to plants, animals or nature. And since it doesn’t feature any of the nature-themed builds already used in the first two books, sections like the ones on bugs and dragons end up relying on some slightly less polished builds than readers of the earlier books might be used to seeing.

Continue reading

Do you want to blog for The Brothers Brick? We’re recruiting! [News]

Have you ever wanted to tell the whole world about the awesome LEGO model you just saw? Are you the person your family and friends look to on Facebook or Twitter for the latest LEGO news and the best LEGO creations? If you have a passion for LEGO and want to share it with the world, The Brothers Brick might be the place for you.


As a TBB Contributor, you’ll get to highlight the news you find, your favorite LEGO models from other builders, and even whatever you build yourself. We’ll expect you to write 3-4 new posts each week. That sounds easier than it actually is. Want to know what life is like at The Brothers Brick? Watch this video…

To help make sure that you’re successful as a new Contributor, here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Adult LEGO builder (AFOL) aged 18 or older.
  • Established track record in the AFOL community, whether on Flickr, a LEGO fan forum, or somewhere else.
  • Good communicator and writer, as evidenced in comments and forum/group discussions.
  • Previous blogging experience a strong plus.

TBB Contributor positions are unpaid — all joking about secure compounds and million-dollar yachts aside, The Brothers Brick is run by a bunch of passionate volunteers who blog about LEGO in their spare time. All money the site earns through the support of our loyal readers goes toward server and bandwidth costs, purchasing products to review, sponsoring contests and fan events like BrickCon, and helping out the LEGO fan community wherever we can.

Even though it’s a volunteer role, being a TBB Contributor provides a genuine opportunity to participate in one of the top hobby sites in the world. If you don’t have prior blogging experience, you’ll have the opportunity to learn or improve on tangible professional skills such as writing for the web, headline writing, search engine optimization, and social media strategy.

To apply, fill out the form on our TBB recruiting page. Questions? Ask us here in the comments.

P.S. We are not a cult!

Military aircraft builders at Brickfair Virginia

Most of my fellow Brothers are already getting geared-up for BrickCon in October, but at that time of year, sadly, I can get away from work only barely long enough to attend Steam in the UK; a trip to the US is not in the cards. However, in the last few weeks I was in the US for a holiday which included attending Brickfair Virginia. I haven’t yet been home long enough to find the time to go over all the pictures that I’ve taken, let alone to find the owners of the models in them on-line, but will hopefully get around to that in the next few weeks. For now I want to share some of my experiences and to give a shout-out to the military builders I have been hanging out with, specifically Aleksander Stein, Evan Melick, Matt Hacker and Corvin Stichert. This year they displayed a collaborative airfield layout full of excellent minifig scale (near-future) military aircraft, helicopters and ground support equipment.

Brickton Air Force Base Collaborative Display - BrickFair VA 2015

The event consisted of three set-up days, which were for registered attendees only. There were a lot of organised activities, including games and talks about build techniques, as well as two talks by the guys from Beyond The Brick about their youtube podcasts. I was too busy chatting to other builders while all of this went on, but I did catch an excellent talk by Gary Brooks (whose Battle of Waterloo was featured here a few weeks ago) about building landscapes, that taught me a few new tricks. The set-up days were followed by two public days, during which we all got to display our models to an appreciative audience. I know some exhibitors dread these, and they can get very busy, but I enjoyed talking to the audience and demonstrating the folding wings and undercarriage of my Wildcat fighter.

Brickton Air Force Base Collaborative Display - BrickFair VA 2015

The fun didn’t end at Brickfair. Since all of us share an interest in military history and technology, the next day we hit the road (and thanks to the satnav, DC rush hour traffic on the way back) to visit the USMC Museum in Quantico. This had a little LEGO twist: its shop features an impressive model of the USMC Memorial by Nathan Sawaya, which was the perfect backdrop for a group photograph.

BrickFair 2015 - Lego Military Models Goes On A Road Trip

I know that there must be a fair few people among you who have never actually been to any sort of LEGO convention or event. I was like you for a long time. Building with LEGO was something I did on my own. Later I started sharing models online, which added a welcome social component. However, as I found out when I joined Brickish in the UK and started attending events, nothing beats face-to-face meetings with fellow enthusiasts and being able to see their builds in real life. I’d like to thank Magnus Lauglo for inviting me to brickfair several years ago and for offering me a place to crash this year too. Congratulations to our very own Simon for winning four (!) Brickee awards, including best aircraft. Thanks guys, I had a ball.

BrickNerd returns to our screens with Episode 301

TBB friend Tommy Williamson, aka the BrickNerd, has just posted a new episode of his YouTube show about all things LEGO. And we’re really excited to see him back after such a long break! In this episode Tommy reveals his new studio, digs into a dino-themed BrickLoot box (with a special surprise), checks out Chroble’s minifig display shelves, and reviews the LEGO Helicarrier.

Regular TBB readers may remember we did our own Helicarrier review a while back, featuring a “flight test” that was (sadly) completely fake. Well Tommy not only called us out for being such cowards, but he even decided to one-up us and do a real flight test! Watch his video to see the result.

Horrified by this slur on our good name and reputation, The Brothers Brick have responded with an official rebuttal of Tommy’s completely valid and very reasonable accusations. Because we’re jerks.

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.


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).


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. 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!