Bicycles and dreams ain’t damaged out here

Crazy swingin’ cool are the cats in the city
over the fence and down the ally, walking kitty.
Ol’ Dane Erland blows into a dented saxophone
a sweet melody under a bright lonesome moon
and conspires with a hep BrickNerd named Tommy.
In the back alley we share our hopes and dreams
with anyone who’ll listen, even a rat if you please,
if it’s not much trouble to spare some cheese.
Bicycles and dreams ain’t damaged out here,
they just got more character, more stories to tell.
In the ally, a fire escape doubles as a patio
where we lay down beat poems, can you dig it, Daddy-O?

Back Alley

LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71025 Series 19 Feel Guide [Review]

We recently brought you our in-depth review of the LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 19 (71025), and that may have helped you decide if you want to pick up a set of the characters. But as always, the 16 unique figures are randomly packed in blind bags. So how to ensure you a full set, short of buying a full case or paying a premium to have someone else do the searching? The key, of course, is to feel the bags before you purchase, and we’ve got our Feel Guide to help you do just that.

71025 Collectible Minifigures Series 1 are available from Sept. 1 at LEGO.com for USA $3.99 | CAN $4.99 | UK £2.99, as well as from third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

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Yes, she knows it’s a multipass. Anyway, we’re in love.

When you’re having a bad day, sometimes it’s nice to just sit down and watch a fun science fiction movie like The Fifth Element. There are great characters, an engaging story, and a universe that is willing to give us flying cars. Davdup brings that love of the vehicles into LEGO form with renditions of a police cruiser and Korben Dallas’ taxi. Slightly bigger than minifgure scale, these beauties feature smooth curves, complex angles, custom stickers, and build details straight from the movie.

IMG_5324-Modifier

The police car is a solid build (I love the grille tiles in the window) that accurately captures the utilitarian vehicle. Davdup has chosen to also include a window-delivered to-go order from McDonald’s, giving us a great callback to the movie. The interior is also pretty sweet, using a Technic pilot’s yoke for the steering wheel. Continue reading

Skulls could use more greebling in general

If you’ve read The Brothers Brick for awhile, you may have seen us reference the word “greebling” or “greebles”. The term was first used by special effects artists working on Star Wars and it describes all of the doodads and doohickeys on the surface of an object to help things like spaceships look more…well, spaceshipy. This effect is used heavily by LEGO builders, in fact, if you search Wikipedia for “greeble” you’ll find a photo of a LEGO creation. (Heck yeah!) Ethen T uses this effect, not for spaceships, but rather in a clever mosaic render of a LEGO skull. Subtle light gray, then dark gray parts rounds out the effect nicely and adds dimension to an otherwise flat-ish surface. This piece acts as a stark reminder that inside each of us is a disgusting skeleton hell-bent on scaring neighborhood kids! This is why I can’t wait for Halloween.

Lego Skeleton Face Greeble Mosaic

And be sure to check out our LEGO glossary for explanations of greebling and many other bits of LEGO terminology!

This convoy is armed and armored and ready for action

Building a properly scaled motor vehicle can be a challenge, considering the unnatural proportions of the LEGO minifigure. That challenge was undeniably met by Robson M who has not only built a pair of well-proportioned vehicles scaled to fit their LEGO occupants but also meet the additional challenge of making the convoy military armored vehicles. I was thoroughly impressed by the Humvee (on the left), and the Oshkosh M-ATV (on the right) based on the build alone, but when I looked up the reference material, I was even more impressed by so many amazing details captured in plastic.

Humvee & Oshkosh M-ATV

For the Humvee, I think my favorite detail, besides the front grill, is the round tile for the air intake on the front right fender. The Oshkosh features a roof-mounted armored turret with a gun, and there is plenty of room in the back for any extra gear needed. I bet there is even room for a case or two of MRE rations.

LEGO Star Wars UCS Imperial Star Destroyer and Winter Village Gingerbread House now available for VIPs [News]

Two new exclusive sets are now available for purchase to LEGO VIPs (free to join). The first is the massive Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer which comes with 4,784 pieces and two Imperial minifigures for US $699.99 | CAN $849.99 | UK £649.99. The second is the 2019 Winter Village set, 10267 Gingerbread House, which comes with 1,477 pieces and, two gingerbread minifigures for  US $99.99 | CAN $139.99 | UK £84.99.

Purchases of 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer also qualify for double VIP points for a short time through the 22nd, which means you’ll accumulate a hefty amount of points for more LEGO purchases or other swag in the future. These sets will likely go out of stock quickly ahead of the holidays. (Fair warning that the newly overhauled LEGO Shop Online may need a few moments to get both sets listed and available, so make sure you are logged into your LEGO VIP account before attempting to purchase.)

Devour the delicious LEGO 10267 Winter Village Gingerbread House [Review]

The Winter Village series is always highly anticipated, keeping LEGO fans on their toes regarding what the next set will be in the ever-growing storybook town. The series is celebrating eleven years of beloved Christmas scenes, the first of which was introduced in 2009. Now, fans of the theme can build the Winter Village Gingerbread House. Minus the re-release of the very first Winter Village Toy Shop in 2015, this is the tenth set in the series. It consists of 1477 pieces, the second-highest piece count in this series after the Winter Village Cottage (1490 pieces). Set 10267 Gingerbread House is priced at US $99.99 | CAN $139.99 | UK £89.99 and will be available on the 1st of October.

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Sea green boat is full of charm, and fishermen

When you live on a planet where 71% of its surface is covered in water, boats are a pretty common sight and an important part of many of the population’s livelihood. Considering this, it is no surprise that boats are such a popular subject with LEGO builders around the world. This digital model built by Edouard Clo is full of great details familiar to anyone who has spent time on a fishing boat. There are winches for pulling the days catch fore and aft, and a small dingy as well as racks of fishing poles, and car tires used to protect the hull when it comes in to dock. The model also features a very nicely curved hull, which can be almost as challenging as getting your sea-legs.

LEGO version of Florence’s Santa Maria del Fiore

Good LEGO microscale buildings manage to capture the essence of their subject, but the very best also trick the eye into looking much bigger than they really are. Rocco Buttliere showcases his skills once more, this time tackling the UNESCO-listed Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

LEGO Church Cathedral Architecture

The real thing took 140 years to complete and is a masterpiece of Italian Gothic. Rocco’s version is a masterpiece of microscale, standing maybe only 20 bricks high, but somehow feeling much larger. That’s a testament to the level of detail packed into the model, the result of studs-in and studs-out building, and a great selection of parts, including two types of turntable bases, grille tiles, tooth bricks, Technic pins, and lightsaber hilts. Match all that with a beautifully captured dome, and a smart colour scheme, and you end up with a LEGO church which is fully worth of your praise.

Built for speed and set the standard

1967 was the year Formula 1 changed forever, as the birth of the Lotus 49 set the bar not only as the car to beat, but also to replicate. Fifty-two years on, Pixeljunkie has presented us with a gorgeous homage to this feat of engineering mastery. Sporting the classic colour scheme and markings of driver Jim Clark, this brick rendition has some stunning custom chrome pins as well as some nicely employed stickers to really bring the realism to the fore. Working within the Minifig scale can be an obscure challenge that restricts an amount of detail. I feel Pixeljunkie has made some excellent compromises without straying too far from the source material.

Lotus 49

Looking at the rear of this beautiful build, we find a minifig hammer head used ingeniously as the gearbox. I’m not sure another piece could have been used so well in this application. I’m also a massive fan of the many uses builders find for the rubber tread attachments. Using them as wheel hubs on top those metallic silver dish rims, has really captured the era well.

Lotus 49

If this open-wheel beast inspires you, check out another of Pixeljunkie’s classic race machines, the Alfa Romeo P3.

LEGO launches “Rebuild the World” campaign to inspire creativity in kids around the globe [News]

LEGO launched a new initiative today called Rebuild the World, a campaign with the purpose to “help nurture the creative skills of the next generation.” The company has partnered with musician Mark Ronson, British designer and inventor Dominic Wilcox, and 19-year-old David Aguilar, who built a prosthetic arm out of LEGO to ultimately “nurture the creativity and problem solving-capabilities every child is born with.”

To mark the occasion, LEGO is hosting some events at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark and launched a series of videos that discuss how we can “Rebuild the World.” LEGO CEO Niels B. Christiansen and LEGO Brand Group Chairman Jørgen Vig Knudstorp also filmed a video explaining the initiative with a special message to AFOLs around the world.

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The Demon’s price seems reasonable — he only wants your soul

Demons stalk the night. Or at least they do in Jayfa‘s world. This LEGO Bionicle creation is a wonderfully dark and brooding character, put together using a prototype mask and custom-designed wing membranes. The pose is excellent, powerful and intimidating, and the colour scheme is spot-on — those splashes of trans-blue work brilliantly with the pearl gold against all the black. Inexperienced warlocks beware, this probably wasn’t the low-level denizen of the Netherworld you meant to summon…

LEGO Bionicle Winged Demon Balrog