Every year since 2009, Creations for Charity has sold custom creations donated by generous builders to raise funds and purchase LEGO sets for underprivileged kids during the holiday season. In 2016, they sold more than 100 creations and raised $13,877, which in turn helped them purchase and donate LEGO sets in nine cities in the US, Canada, Brazil, Hungary and Australia. You can see the massive amounts of sets they donated in the photo below.
TBB’s own Nannan Zhang founded Creations for Charity, which notably became a non-profit this year. This means future donations will be tax deductible, hopefully ensuring that such a worthwhile cause within the LEGO community continues for many holiday seasons to come.
With global population growth is seems obvious that Santa Claus has had to introduce automated processes to the North Pole workshops. How else could he and his team cope with the sheer volume of gifts needing wrapped? However, at some point the Elves will surely begin to question the introduction of new machinery — it’s putting Elvish jobs at risk. What’s next in Santa’s never-ending quest for efficiency and cost-reduction? Outsourcing to cheap Penguin labour at the South Pole?
Every year I build a small LEGO display model as part of our decorations. This is 2016’s effort. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you have a very happy Christmas.
This festive microscale build all came from finding a white LEGO lever loose in a drawer and thinking the round end would make a nice bobble on a Santa hat. It snowballed from there, so to speak — once I got Mr Claus built he really needed some Elves. And then they needed some surrounding scenery. Next year, I think there might be a whole North Pole village at this scale…
This is obviously a stripped-back, simple build, but I think it’s interesting that it would have been impossible to do until relatively recently without cutting bricks. The white lever sits inside Santa’s hat, but it would be too long to dangle fully in there if it weren’t for the availability of the “Apollo stud” (1×1 round plates with holes) in yellow and white which make up Santa’s head.
The Brothers Brick comes across so much LEGO-related news each week that we’ve decided to package up all the interesting stories we’ve written and the content that’s grabbed our attention into a Weekly Brick Report for your reading enjoyment. Some weeks there will be lots of links to share; other weeks there will be hardly any stories out there–that’s the fickle nature of the news. But these are some headlines worth sharing.
So without further adieu, here’s this week’s Brick Report:
REVIEWS: TBB’s hands got tired this week between building this massive modular and feeling out a full case of minifig bags.
TBB NEWS: We have the news you want (LEGO Gingerbread houses at the White House! Win a Death Star!) and the news you don’t (UK LEGO prices are going up, up, up!).
There are only a few days left until Christmas, so anything that saves you time is a good thing. Thankfully, 14-year-old Sanjay Seshan and his 12-year-old brother Arvind built the Holiday Card Plott3r to help in all your Christmas card needs.
Built and powered by LEGO Mindstorms, the plotter can churn out cards decorated with trees, snowflakes and even Santa’s signature. The creation prints the designs using a dot-matrix and even includes a second contraption that slides out an envelope ready for your beautiful, new card.
Better yet, the project files are all online to be used or improved. That is really in the Christmas spirit! Now we just need a machine that licks and applies stamps and drops the cards off at the post office.
I have no idea if Mitsuru Nikaido‘s mechanoid LEGO reindeer is really atomic-powered, but it would seem appropriate. How else would a robotic ungulate have the sort of power and endurance to traverse the world with heavy sacks of gifts in tow?
The posing of the reindeer robot (reinbot?) is excellent, as is the level of greebly detail suggesting working gubbins and machinery. Don’t miss the use of minifig gun parts to create the antlers. It’s easy to overlook the sleigh alongside the mechanical beast — but that would be a shame, as it’s a great little build, managing to look futuristic, functional, and festive all at the same time.
When the Christmas presents absolutely positively definitely need to get there on time, you need Chak hei Mok‘s Festive LEGO Tumbler. No blizzard or broken bridge, or Joker ambush or GCPD roadblock is going to stop Batman delivering the Yuletide cheer. However, I doubt DC’s greatest hero is going to be hugely impressed with whichever kid asked for a Captain America shield…
If this delightful Christmasy offering is anything to go by, the Holiday Season in Nick Sweetman‘s household looks like a lot of fun or a lot of trouble. Dad has help risking life and limb hanging decorations around the fireplace. Mom sorts through the upturned box of trinkets while getting frustrated with the family dog. Little Timmy with the awesome Blacktron T-Shirt battles the cats to prevent them from demolishing the precariously balanced tree. And all the while, Tiffany seems more interested in her personal recreation time with her gadgets. Reminds me of my house growing up – nothing like decorating the house to get into the Christmas spirit. Let’s hope it’s a safe one!
Each year during the holiday season, the White House transforms into a veritable forest of glittering Christmas trees with festive decorations as far as the eye can see. But this year, the highlight of the White House holiday décor began in Enfield, Connecticut, with seven LEGO Master Builders.
They were fast at work like Santa’s elves, designing and building 56 unique gingerbread-style houses representing each U.S. state and territory. The team also created two massive gingerbread men and a first-of-its-kind 18-foot long interlocking brick-built paper chain. 500 hours and more than 200,000 pieces later, the LEGO-built decorations are on display in the White House State Dining Room.
The LEGO gingerbread houses were built “studs out” in order to reduce the weight on each tree while still maintaining detailed exteriors customized to each U.S. territory and state. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
In this exclusive interview with The Brothers Brick, Amanda Santoro, Senior Manager of Brand Relations for LEGO Systems, tells us more about building a display for the White House which has been seen by nearly 70,000 people this holiday season.
The Brothers Brick: From the Winter Village product line to advent calendars, Lego has become a holiday tradition in many homes. How did the opportunity arise to create such an impressive display for “The People’s House”?
Amanda Santoro: We were contacted by the amazing events group that works directly with the White House to develop the holiday décor theme. There were some exciting discussions about potential opportunities and ultimately, we were asked to provide the decorations for the State Dining Room.
56 LEGO-built gingerbread houses representing each U.S. territory and state adorn the trees in the White House State Dining Room, along with two massive “ginger-friends” and an interlocking brick-built paper chain. (ALEX WONG/Getty Images)
We all know Jordanian builder Firas Abu-Jaber as a great car builder, but for me, the star of the show this time is the great Christmas tree in the trunk. The perfect cone shape and the vibrant colours of the decoration make for great eye candy. And the photo’s angle just adds to all of that. This LEGO creation captures both the holiday spirit and the aesthetic of classic cars perfectly (the red colour of the car helps a lot!).
The builder also provides a photo of the pickup truck in a very festive environment, being surrounded by gifts and Christmas icons:
Christmas is coming soon! It’s time to set up your decorations, and if you’re like me, that includes your LEGO Holiday Village. This year, LEGO sent us a copy of 10254 Winter Holiday Train, available now. This great addition to your Holiday Village retails for $99.99 USD, and has 734 pieces.
Click here to read more about the Holiday Train!
German builder Robert Heim has recreated the classic king nutcracker in LEGO, complete with gold crown, upturned mustache, and a mouth that opens with a lever on his back. But my favorite detail in Robert’s creation is the trio of pieces lying next to the tall nutcracker — perfect use of a LEGO globe and brown minifig head.