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.

Count down to SHIPtember

It’s almost time for one of the craziest build theme months: SHIPtember.
SHIPtember 2015

Starting September 1st, builders have exactly one month to build a S.H.I.P or Seriously Huge Investment in Parts (or Time for some of the people with larger collections). Each SHIP build must be 100 studs or more (in any orientation). Though for people with school or other ‘real life matters’ there’s PRE-SHIPtember which allows you to start earlier, but you’re bound to the same one month rule.

Last year there were over 100 SHIPs that were built:
SHIPtember 2014 Poster

So start clearing off your social calenders, clean up your build areas, make those bricklink orders (or don’t if you’re confident) and get ready for some SHIPs!

… Though in previous years, there’s quite the anxious bunch that want to get started and have to wait weeks before September rolls around … feel free to take a stab at the Brick Separator challenge:
Separator Anxiety
Rules are simple, just build something with those pesky brick separators! I know that’ll keep me busy till SHIPtember….

Last chance to get in on the Crazy Arms Kickstarter [News]

Guy Himber’s Crazy Arms Kickstarter project hit funding over the weekend, and deliveries are expected by the end of the year. This one looks particularly useful. If you want in on the Kickstarter rewards yourself, you have about 12 more hours to support the project.

Crazy Arms on Kickstarter

I’ve always enjoyed Guy’s various custom projects, and this particular one has the approval of Abraham Lincoln on a velociraptor (my war-like Honest Abe is using one of Guy’s older straight-arm prototypes, and is wearing one of his stovepipe hats).

Abraham Lincoln on a Velociraptor

Ask A Lemur – Monorail, MOCs, and Renders

lemur face & tailHi there!

I, uh, owe everyone an apology. You see, I got into some bit of trouble at the TBB compound. I found this room, right, and it was nice and warm and had the BEST multicolored vines. It turns out those were important? Andrew called them “cables.” Chris found me chewing on them for a snack. I had to go into hiding after that, cause Iain apparently missed something called Downton Abbey? I don’t know what that is, but apparently it’s extremely important.

I’ve been helpin’ around now that they’re less mad at me. I’ve been told that I will not be included in Ralph’s upcoming experiments, so that’s nice. I am not allowed to go anywhere near any of the vehicles, boats, planes, bicycles, or anything form of transportation. Simon said I was grounded.

Since it’s been so long since I’ve gotten to snack on some fanmail, I went a little overboard!

Continue reading

Series 14 Monster Collectible Minifigures are almost here [News]

LEGO has finally released nice, high resolution images of the newest line of the highly-popular Collectible Minifigures, due out in September. They’re technically Series 14, though the LEGO Movie and Simpsons series were unnumbered, making this actually the 17th wave (not counting the rare Olympic series). This time around, the whole line is monster themed, with characters ranging from ghoulish to naughty, and should be widely available just in time for lots of great Halloween creations this year.

Zombie Pirate

Zombie Pirate
 

“Yo ho ho and a barrel o’ brains!”
The Zombie Pirate was getting sick and tired of seeing all of these young whippersnapper pirates mess things up, so he’s come back to show them how things used to be done back in the good old days. Not surprisingly for a several-hundred-year-old sea dog, he’s kind of old-fashioned. He still prefers to strand his prisoners on deserted islands instead of making them walk the plank, and he only plunders gold, not fancy-pants modern treasures like silks and spices.
As a zombie, he isn’t particularly big on personal hygiene. His hook is rusty, his captain’s coat is falling apart, and his wooden leg has a bad case of termites. No one is entirely sure whether he has a beard, or just a particularly impressive collection of moss and lichens on his chin. In good news, he doesn’t smell much worse than the average pirate, and if he falls in the water, he’s more likely to bite the sharks than the other way around!

See the rest of the series after the jump, and click on the pictures for a full description of each character. Continue reading

In theaters and on demand now: A LEGO Brickumentary [News]

After much anticipation and waiting by LEGO fans, Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson’s film A LEGO Brickumentary finally hits select movie theaters in the US today. And for those of us not fortunate enough to live near one of those theaters, it’s also available on iTunes and on demand now!


We had the opportunity to see the documentary last year at the Seattle Film Festival, and you can read our own review. On the whole we loved it – apparently more than some movie critics who have recently described it as a 90-minute ad for the LEGO company. In its defense, the film was not paid for by LEGO, and spends more time outside the hallowed halls of Billund than it does inside them. We think any true LEGO fan will enjoy the breadth of topics it covers, the playful and heartwarming presentation, and excellent brick animation by our friends over at BrickNerd Studios.

And if you look pay attention, you may even spot a few of us in the film ;-)

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.