Who hasn’t taken LEGO to school in their lunchbox before? Simon Liu received a cool Build your city of Tomorrow lunchbox as part of LEGO Canada’s celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. Simon was then inspired to build his futuristic version of Toronto inside the lunchbox! I love that future microscale Toronto features plenty of greenery throughout the city, including on the roofs of skyscrapers, but the highlight for me is the little tube transportation system. However, I don’t know how much luck Simon’s going to have transporting his miniature city in the lunchbox without losing the top of the CN Tower.
As we reported from Toy Fair in February, the April 2017 LEGO Architecture releases include a redesigned Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (21035). The new LEGO Guggenheim includes 744 pieces and retails for $79.99.
This latest Guggenheim is a new edition of an earlier LEGO Architecture set released in 2009. We’ll compare the two versions later in this review.
Microscale architecture builder Rocco Buttliere has achieved a remarkable feat of LEGO engineering with his 40,000+ piece model of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Like the actual suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, Rocco’s beautiful and highly detailed LEGO rendition crosses its 6 foot long central span suspended by a combination of red string, Technic bushings, LEGO flexible hoses, and non-LEGO metal wire.
Rocco’s LEGO model even includes the buildings and landscaping of the Presidio in Golden Gate Park.
See more photos of Rocco’s incredible LEGO Golden Gate Bridge on Flickr.
Our continuing adventures led us to track down and interrogate Amado Canlas Pinlac (aka AC Pin). Amado was born in Angeles City in the Philippines, and works in the Information Technology field with previous employment with overseas airlines. He has called East Brunswick, New Jersey home for the last fifteen years, where he lives with his wife Marleth and their three sons, Milton, Marlowe and Myreon. Amado credits the support of his wife for being where he is today!
TBB: Can you tell us how you got into LEGO?
AC: First and foremost I’ve been a Star Wars fan/geek way before LEGO introduced the SW line, as I collected the Star Wars action figures, vehicles, and sets. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who’ve known me over the years that I love to build Star Wars dioramas. In fact I’ve done Action Figure dioramas and was affiliated with various SW fan sites which featured them before I even started with LEGO. One of the problems/drawbacks that I’ve had to contend with the Action Figure dioramas was there was very little or none of the re-usability factor. Around that time, when I was growing disinterested with Action Figures, LEGO started producing the first SW sets.
You will not find Hardy Nilsson Arena in real life as this building comes directly from the creative mind of Nybohov Creation Ltd. Hardy Nilsson is a retired Swedish ice hockey player and coach, and this fantastic microscale arena has been named after him. The shaping of the building is both unusual and eye-catching. Both the curvaceous walls and wavy corners of the roof are beautifully designed. The colour scheme gives a 70s retro feel that I love. How easy would this arena be to spot in a busy city?
As with all microscale scenes, the ingenuity of parts use is often found in the small details. The builder demonstrates a lovely array of microscale flora in the landscape with at least four different types of tree. The billboard lights made from telephone handsets look perfect, while the microscale traffic in the streets surrounding the arena really set the scene.
Mini Modular’s are brilliant when you can’t afford the full-sized thing. Clearly inspired by the new LEGO House under construction in Billund, Chris Wight has created a perfect addition with his LEGO House 2. I love the blocky layered design and the brilliant choice of colors. Little details like the air-conditioning unit on the roof and the simple tiled sidewalk with perfect mini trees all serve to round out the creation and give it a lived-in feel.
It looks great sitting between the Mini Modular Fire Station and Cafe Corner:
India’s most famous piece of architecture is also the world’s most famous mausoleum and the final resting place of Mumtaz Mahal, a 17th-century empress consort. Builder Brick Point brings us a lovely microscale LEGO rendition complete with the tomb and its surrounding grounds, including the long reflecting pool in front.
And if you want to see how the builder created this, they’ve made an excellent 55-second time-lapse video of the construction showing the process layer by layer.
The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the late 1700s and saw a shift from manufacturing within people’s homes, using hand tools or basic machines, to powered machinery, factories, and mass production. Factories and steam locomotives were signature developments of the times. Toltomeja has used both of these icons of the industrial revolution in his LEGO diorama. There’s a large factory with tall chimneys emitting clouds of smoke (the part used is the cloth spider’s net) and a steam train loaded with coal. The bridge and the factory are very nicely put together, but it was the brick-built lettering and the little horses and carts that really caught my eye.
The steam locomotive is cleverly built at this scale, using a telephone handset as the coupling rod connecting the drive wheels, while a few treasure chests become the open wagons containing coal.
Residents of Birmingham, Alabama will surely recognize this creation by Wesley Higgins. It’s the McWane Science Center, a real-life building in Birmingham that’s been transformed into a place where minifig families can spend an afternoon learning about science.
The focal point of this LEGO creation is the Science Center’s iconic mosaic-like rotunda. But Wesley’s version includes the entire building including furnished interiors and even a parking garage. Wesley says it took 12 months to complete the LEGO McWane Science Center and he spent a lot of time working on it while simultaneously watching television with his family.
If you happen to be in the Birmingham area, you can see Wesley’s creation in real life! It’s currently on display at the McWane Science Center and there’s even a contest to guess the total number of bricks in the creation. Pretty neat, right?
Through decades of planning and cultivation, Singapore has earned the name of a “Garden City”. Within 277 square miles a population of 5.7 million resides, one of the top 3 major global financial centers. Singaporean local Gavin Foo showcases the core of this economic hub with a skyline built entirely from LEGO bricks. This jungle of towering concrete structures hosts the banking and finance industry, whilst along the Singapore river is the place to head for a cold beer at the end of a hard day’s work.
The Château de Chenonceau is a historic building in the Loire Valley in France, spanning the River Cher. The current château was built in the early 1500s on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the river. While not the original owners, the château was acquired by the Menier family, who are famous for their signature chocolates, and they still own the château to this day. Isaac Snyder has managed to capture the architectural essence of this beautiful, grand building in LEGO microscale.
The complex collection of varying roofs that depict the chapel and library areas at that Northeast end of the château are very nicely built, but my favourite section is definitely the multiple archways with the flowing river below.
A Federal Constitutional Court building might not sound the most obvious inspiration for a LEGO creation. But the resulting microscale creation from Pascal Schmidt is just lovely. Designed by Paul Baumgarten, the original German building was one of the first truly modern court building, avoiding the traditional use of oppressive architecture designed to intimidate and impress. Pascal has perfectly captured the lighter, airy, Modernist feel of the structure. And those trees — fantastic.