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.

TBB cover photo: April 2015 [April Fools]

This month’s winner of our informal TBB cover photo contest is Canadian builder Bertrand401, who built this cool futuristic troop carrier. As well as the overall angular design of the vehicle, I really love the addition of custom stickers, and the use of rare “old green” bricks for that full military effect.

Remember, you can keep up with The Brothers Brick (brought to you by Carls Jr) by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. And for occasional extra goodies, you can also follow us on Flickr or subscribe to us on YouTube. And keep those cover photo submissions coming!

Wanna get blogged on The Brothers Brick? Now you can pay to be! [April Fools]

Running a blog isn’t cheap! Servers, bandwidth and lemur kibble all cost money. And searching the Internet for great LEGO creations takes our contributors a considerable amount of time. So to kill two birds with one stone, The Brothers Brick (brought to you by Carls Jr) is happy to announce our new automated Pay-2-Play system.

Simply click the Pay-2-Play icon on the right and enter your payment details to get started. For only $5 you can have a single image of your MOC featured on The Brothers Brick (brought to you by Carls Jr) with a description of up to 100 words. Each additional image is another $2. And for $20 you can even have your creation featured on our website’s side bar for an entire week! We’re really excited about this new feature and hope it’ll allow us to keep bringing you the best LEGO news, reviews and contests.

Ask A Lemur – Sourcing LEGO, Old Grey vs New Grey & Gender Stereotypes

Greetings and High-Fives to all my good friends out there!

lemur thumbs up

It is I, A. Lemur, writing from The Brothers Brick’s compound! I’m here to answer all of your fabulous questions about anything and everything.

This last weekend, I attended Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle and I have to tell you, it blew my mind. So many new things! I got to attend with Andrew, Iain and Josh. Their invite kind of surprised me but I had a great time. Josh wanted signatures from all the celebrities and Andrew and Iain had a list of items they wanted as well. They had too many parties to attend or they would have stood in line themselves.

I was happy to do it and I got to meet all sorts of people in the lines. Some of them had the most interesting smells! The majority of the people thought I was “cosplaying”, whatever that means. I also saw a LOT of Super Heroes. That Spiderman guy really gets around. Seemed like every time I turned around, he was there. I think he was following me. Never saw him swing on any webs, even though I was watching. I probably missed it. The crowds were pretty packed and I had to be on my toes to keep from getting trod upon by stompy robots and such. That Doctor Who guy also was everywhere. He looked slightly different each time I saw him but I hear that happens, from time to time.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part! There was a Food Truck area along one of the nearby streets! When I wasn’t standing in line for Josh, standing in line for Andrew or standing in line for Iain, I was standing in line at the Food Trucks. They were so awesome!

Enough about me…on to your questions!

Where do I source the amount of LEGO needed to build these large displays I’m always seeing?

That is a great question. To begin with, let’s talk about large displays. Very few of the large displays or layouts that you see at conventions are built by one person. The majority are collaborations between multiple people, sometimes as few as two but often up to 15 or 20 people. This way one person doesn’t have to amass all the brick nor do they have to do all the work by themselves. Working with other builders is really the way to go if you have a large display in mind.

Regarding how to source brick, you can buy lots of sets but that is the most expensive way to do it. Buying sets is part of how you will build up your collection but it shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox. There are also LEGO Brand Stores scattered all over the world. If you have one nearby, they have a very important resource known as the Pick-A-Brick wall. They don’t stock every piece but they do have a quite a variety and you can buy them in bulk via large plastic “cups”. You can save a lot of money and acquire large amounts of specific pieces via “The Wall”, especially if you learn how to pack a cup properly.

It may not help with gathering specific pieces but you can build up your collection by keeping an eye out at local sales, Craigslist or by just word of mouth. There is a lot of second-hand LEGO sitting unused in attics and garages. You have to look for it, but it is out there.

Continue reading

LEGO 76042 SHIELD Helicarrier – Part 1 [Review]

If anything could ever compete with the mighty Star Wars movie franchise, it’s probably going to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And this trend may be playing out in the LEGO universe too, with an ever-growing line of super hero sets that is now joined by the 76042 SHIELD Helicarrier.

Like the 76023 Tumbler, it’s aimed at older builders and thus has limited play features. And while LEGO reserves the term Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) for its big Star Wars sets, the LEGO fan community has already started using it to describe these big super hero sets as well, for obvious reasons.


A big set deserves a big review! This review is split it into two parts. In Part 1, I focus on the ship itself, covering the build experience, structural design, and looks. In Part 2, I’ll be exploring the smaller details – including the new microfigs – and of course all the bundled minifigs. In both parts, I will also be exploring one very important question… Does it fly?

If video is not your thing, click below the fold for a written review (…but trust me, watch the video!).

Continue reading

Reverse Engineering Contest (REC IV)

Got builders block and need a break? Want a challenge? Or just want to test your building know how? Then I suggest you check out the fun little Reverse Engineering Contest. Unlike a lot of LEGO contest that ask you to create something, this one asks you to copy a build. They’re all small and deceptively simple, but once you actually sit down and start playing with it, it’s not always as easy as it seems.

This marks the first, of nine, weekly challenges:
REC Week 1

It starts off simple and gets progressively harder. So why not join in on the action? Stretch your building brain a bit with these building exercises – oh and don’t forget to read up on the rules on how you could win some prizes. Though this contest is one where the best reward is figuring out all the puzzles.

Oh who am I kidding, a Birds set, and most importantly: rare and useful pieces from contest runner Ryan H. (LDM) is a pretty great prize.

Ask A Lemur – Finding Blog-Worthy Builds, Discovering new techniques & The TBB Compound

Tonga sao, My Dear Friends!

Lemur is Snazzy

Here I am, once again, the lemur intern for The Brothers Brick! As you know, I’ve taken it upon myself to answer any and all of your questions regarding the LEGO fan community or The Brothers Brick itself. If there is anything that has been on your mind, please feel free to post it in the comments and I will do my best to answer it.

What crazy fun have you been up to this week? I’ve been so productive! The TBB library needed organized, so I took it upon myself to sort all the books. The library looked so pretty when I was done, with all the books arranged into groups by color. The contributors seemed less than enthusiastic but their moods are very unpredictable. I’m beginning to despair of ever making them happy. Nannan took me aside and explained that most libraries use some system called “Dewey Decimal”. I don’t know who this guy Dewey might be, but he seems to have created a monopoly of sorts. It’s really not fair. Anyway, while I was sorting the books, I stumbled upon Andrew’s antique pipe collection. They are great for blowing bubbles. Don’t I look handsome?

Enough about me. Now for the important part…your questions!

How do you find the images you do on flickr?
As far as Flickr goes, most of the contributors start looking in the LEGO group. If you want the most exposure, put your pictures there. After that they all have their favorite groups that they check out. Most of them also do a search for recent pictures tagged as “LEGO”.

If you want your pictures to be seen, simply building a good model isn’t enough. Good photography is a must, learning which groups to frequent is vital and figuring out what to tag your photos is very helpful.

Continue reading

Ask A Lemur – Role-play Projects, the “Super Jumper” Challenge & New Contributors

Greetings, Dear Readers! I’m back and I’ve missed you so much!

lemur cheer

It’s been quite a hectic month. I apologize for being off-line for so long. Several things happened to stop me from posting, all of which were beyond my control. First off, groceries and supplies were getting low, here in the TBB compound. Though she knew better, Caylin sent me on a supply run to Costco. They have such an incredible array of samples there! I tried all of them several times, to make sure the quality was good, you know. Just to be thorough, I also performed quality control tests on the playsets, mattresses, office furniture and TVs. You never know when that kind of information might be valuable. That took awhile. Plus they don’t accept paw prints as a valid form of identification. I think that’s discriminatory, but I digress.

After spending a couple of weeks on my supply run, I got back to the compound to find that Iain was performing server tests and needed me to crawl down the Jeffries tubes to check out some problem areas. I did it, but accidentally caused some “downtime”. It’s not my fault all the pretty colored wires look so tasty. Seriously. If you aren’t supposed to knaw on them, they should be more boring to look at.

Apparently this upset the bosses and my internet privileges were revoked. Fortunately I found were Andrew writes down all his passwords, so I’m back! I really have missed you all very, very much.

On to your questions…

What is your opinion on Lego Role-playing games such as GoH, LoR or LOM?

I think they are awesome! Anything that promotes building and strengthens the community is a great thing. For those who might not know, Guilds of Historica, Lands of Roawia, Lands of Mythron are fantasy-based role-playing projects that require the participant to build scenes to advance the storyline of their characters. There are other projects as well, including Space and Super Hero themed role plays. These projects are great for bringing together like-minded builders and encouraging creative story-telling and unique building.

They have a few downfalls, namely that it can be daunting to join, because so much has gone on and it is hard to get a grasp on the previous history of the project. Also the advanced level of building can be intimidating to newer builders. However, this shouldn’t stop those who are interested. Dive right in, it can really be a blast!

Continue reading

Thank you, come again – LEGO announces 71016 The Kwik-E-Mart

LEGO unveiled a second set from The Simpsons today, 71016 The Kwik-E-Mart, which will be available later this year.

71016_Prod

Click through for the full album.

As a child of the ’90s, The Simpsons was my favorite show, and naturally Lego was my favorite toy. My reaction to the combination of the two was ambivalence; as much as I still love Lego and hold nostalgia for the golden years of The Simpsons, their merging still feels somewhat unnatural, a feeling continuously reinforced by the uncanny valley nature of the bulbous cartoon heads on classic minifig bodies.

All that said, I’m excited for this set. I don’t believe Lego has ever tackled the inside of a convenience store before, and the set is chock full of nicely designed accessories and a plethora of printed and stickered details. But enough of my reaction based on a set of photos, here’s the press release;

71016 – The Kwik-E-Mart

Ages 12+. 2,179 pieces.
US $199.99 – CA $229.99 – DE 199.99€ – UK £169.99 – DK 1699.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Visit The Kwik-E-Mart—Springfield’s favorite convenience store!

Welcome to The Kwik-E-Mart—your one-stop shop for convenience foods at inconvenient prices! This highly detailed and iconic LEGO® version of The Simpsons™ store is packed with more rich, colorful details than a Mr. Burns birthday cake has candles! Walk under the huge Kwik-E-Mart sign and join Homer, Marge and Bart as they browse the aisles filled with beauty products, diapers, dog food, pastries, fruits, vegetables and more—including Krusty-O’s and Chef Lonelyheart’s Soup for One. Then head over to the refrigerated cases where you’ll find Buzz Cola, chocolate milk, various other drinks and snacks… and frozen Jasper! There’s also a Buzz Cola soda fountain, juice dispensers, coffee machine, arcade games, ATM and stacks of Powersauce boxes. At the counter, Apu is ready to tempt you with a variety of printed magazines, comic books, cards, tofu hot dogs, freshly expired donuts and his ever-popular hallucination-inducing Squishees. At the back, there’s a storage closet complete with rat and an exit. On the roof you’ll discover Apu’s secret vegetable garden, while outside this amazing model features bright-yellow walls, 2 phone booths, a stack of purple crates, and a dumpster area with ‘El Barto’ graffiti, opening door and an iconic blue dumpster that also opens. You can also remove the roof and open out the rear walls for easy access. This set also includes Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird), who loves nothing more than stealing cars and robbing the Kwik-E-Mart—but this time Chief Wiggum is hot on his tail in his police car. Capture this bandit and return peace to the town of Springfield and the amazing Kwik-E-Mart. This fantastic set includes 6 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Homer Simpson, Bart Simpson, Marge Simpson, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum and Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird).

  • Set includes 6 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Homer Simpson, Bart Simpson, Marge Simpson, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum and Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird)
  • Features opening rear walls, a removable roof with secret vegetable garden, Kwik-E-Mart signage, light-blue walls, dusty blue floors, turquoise welcome mat, shelves, refrigerated cases, counter, Buzz Cola soda fountain, juice dispensers, coffee machine, 2 arcade games, ATM, crates of Powersauce bars, surveillance cameras, rear storage closet with a rat, cheese, rat hole and an exit door.
  • Shelves feature beauty products, diapers, dog food, pastries, fruits, vegetables and more—including Krusty-O’s and Chef Lonelyheart’s Soup for One
  • Refrigerator cabinets feature a variety of beverages including cans of Buzz Cola… and frozen Jasper!
  • Counter features a cash register, magazine and card display, lottery machine, hot dog oven, donut display and a Squishee dispenser with 2 Squishees
  • Also includes Chief Wiggum’s police car featuring an opening trunk, removable roof and space for 3 minifigures
  • Accessory elements include Bart’s spray can, Marge’s shopping basket, Apu’s broom and Chief Wiggum’s cuffs and truncheon
  • Snake (a.k.a. Jailbird) is exclusive to this set for fall 2015
  • Removable roof features rare, dark-orange bricks
  • Lift off the roof and open out the rear walls for easy access
  • Drink a Squishee and get that sugar-high feeling!
  • Apprehend Snake before he robs again!
  • Stock up with overpriced convenience goods
  • Discover frozen Jasper!
  • Relax in Apu’s utopian vegetable garden
  • Have a donut…. mmm, dooonuts!
  • Kwik-E-Mart measures over 5″ (14cm) high, 14″ (38cm) wide and 10″ (27cm) deep
  • Police car measures over 2″ (6cm) high, 2″ (6cm) wide and 5″ (15cm) deep