At LEGO World in Utrecht last autumn, Ruben Ras presented a large Doctor Who diorama titled “Daleks in the Bricktorian Era.” Ruben recently posted close-up pictures of some of the sections, including this excellent scrapyard with an enormous steam engine. The blue TARDIS and engine dominate the scene, but there are lots of great details, like the wooden details on the stone platform, the small crane, and the bird atop the tower.
For myself, the wonder of being a licensed theme builder is the fact that everything I create is not only something new, but never before possible. With the release of the LEGO Doctor Who set we finally have official minifigures of our favorite Doctors, and it’s now possible to build our own adventures for the famous time traveler.
Not only that, but with LEGO we can create cranium-exploding crossovers. So while the epic sight of the 11th Doctor marveling over the appearance of a Xenomorph may never happen on TV, it can surely happen in LEGO. And we’re all the better for it – well, until the Alien starts attacking that is.
Given that another company had the license for Doctor Who building sets at the time, I was both shocked and overjoyed when the LEGO Ideas team announced that 21304 Doctor Who would be released in January 2016.
UPDATE (Dec 1, 2015): LEGO has released 21304 Doctor Who early!
LEGO sent The Brothers Brick an early copy, and I’m pleased to bring you this full photo review.
Unlike many of you out there who grew up watching Doctor Who on the BBC or PBS, I never had the opportunity in Japan. It was with fresh eyes that I first started watching Doctor Who in 2005, with Christopher Eccleston’s 9th Doctor. Since then, I’ve caught many classic storylines, particularly during the 50th Anniversary celebrations two years ago. I’ve become enough of a Whovian that I even picked up some of those non-LEGO Doctor Who figures when I visited New Zealand, and snapped them up when they started showing up as stocking stuffers here in the States. Now with an official LEGO set, the subject matter alone is exciting, but how’s the actual set?
Australian LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught and his workshop team have built a life-sized replica of the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Images of the LEGO TARDIS on Bondi Beach in Sydney started circulating on the web yesterday, but you can see it in person at the Zing Pop Culture Store in Macquarie Park through the 18th this month, and then at the Doctor Who Festival in Sydney on the 21st and 22nd of November.
We reached out to Ryan and the BBC to uncover some details and exclusive photos not shared elsewhere. Ryan tells us that his team of 5 builders spent 45 hours just to design the LEGO TARDIS, and then 206 man hours to build it. Everyone is sworn to secrecy on the part count, since the BBC will be holding a contest to guess the number of LEGO pieces used to build it — suffice to say it’s a fairly insane number of dark blue LEGO all in one place! Built to exacting specifications provided by the BBC archives, it stands 316 bricks high (303 cm or nearly 10 feet tall).
The front of the TARDIS features a brick-built notice and fully functional door, which will enable Peter Capaldi himself to emerge from the LEGO TARDIS at the Doctor Who Festival later this month.
The light on top works, and Ryan’s team even built a matching Sonic Screwdriver.
To enable the BBC to transport the LEGO TARDIS to various events, it incorporates an internal steel frame. As to other secret details, Ryan tells us, “It may in fact be bigger on the inside, it certainly felt like it when we were building it!
UPDATE: Ryan has added some more photos to his Flickr photostream, including this great photo of the team behind this epic build.
While the majority of us were recovering from BrickCon this past weekend, LEGO slipped a set announcement out. LEGO Ideas has revealed the final design for 21304 Doctor Who, featuring The Eleventh Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor, Clara, a Weeping Angel, and two Daleks.
The set will be released in time for Christmas on December 1, and will cost $59.99.
AndrewClark2’s Doctor Who and Companions was too great for just one Doctor, who we decided to include two! You can buy yours December 1st, in time for the Doctor Who Christmas Special, for a recommended retail price of USD $59.99 / EUR €59,99. You might want to keep an eye on that Weeping Angel though….
Here is the official product description:
Construct a stunningly detailed LEGO® version of the iconic TARDIS® and role-play the Doctor’s time-travel adventures! Created by fan-designer Andrew Clark and selected by LEGO Ideas members, this set is based on the BBC’s popular and long-running television series about a Time Lord – the Doctor – exploring the universe in a blue police box. Due to trans-dimensional engineering, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside and this cool multifunctional set includes the console room that houses all the flight controls. Regenerate the Doctor and defeat the evil Daleks™ and a Weeping Angel with the help of his extraordinary companion Clara. Then close the doors of the TARDIS and launch into another dimension! Includes 4 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: the Eleventh Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald and a Weeping Angel, plus 2 Daleks™.
EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! This LEGO version of Doctor Who’s infamous villains, the Daleks, looks creepily accurate. I almost thought creator Matt De Lanoy’s version was made of cardboard, plastic, and a toilet plunger, like the show’s originals. Don’t forget that official Doctor Who LEGO is now a thing you can buy, with the Doctor making an appearance in LEGO Dimensions!
LEGO Doctor Who and Wall-E sets have just been announced! LEGO Ideas has just released the results of the 2nd half 2014 review. LEGO Ideas is a crowd-sourcing platform for fan-designed sets. If a set gains 10,000 votes, LEGO will examine the ideas to potentially create a set. LEGO has just announced that both Doctor Who and Wall-E have passed the approval process, and the designs will now be further refined by master set designers at LEGO before being sold as official LEGO sets.
Transdimensional engineering allows the TARDIS to have a deceptively large inside. Letranger Absurde (vitreolum) has cleverly used forced perspective to build what appears to be an impossibly big TARDIS interior:
Though the rest of the build is equally clever as the camera angle, including the great Doctor Who figure, the TARDIS itself, the doors and I really like the simple but effective sewer gate.
Adam Dodge traverses the intersection of awesome LEGO model and useful real-world object with this pair of Doctor Who-inspired bookends. I suspect many a Whovian will be drooling over Adam’s excellent creation.
Shelly Timson is the creator of this work of art. She wanted to build a Tardis for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the iconic show, Doctor Who (just ten days away as of this writing!). She asked Rob Deakin, founder of the studio Inside the Brick, if she could use the studio’s supply of Dark Blue bricks. Over four thousand bricks and three weeks later this lovely Tardis emerged. The TARDIS, along with other creations, is on display at the Studio in Fairfield, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia.
Check out the Flickr Set for more pictures and detail. Flickr comments have been disabled on all the pictures except for this one. If you want to tell Rob how awesome this build is, I’m sure he will be passing the comments on back to the builder.