Cooking up something special with bananas

The LEGO banana element is not necessarily the most useful piece, right? It has only one connection point, at one end, and no matter what you do with it, it still looks like a banana. That has not stopped LEGO from using it all over the place, whether that be gold bananas in Ninjago sets, grey ones in Mixels, or white, teal, and dark blue from various Chinese festival sets; but it still looks like a banana. But when I was taking my almost-two-year-old to the bathroom the other day, I realized that the handles on the faucet looked remarkably banana-like, with the same curve and general shape. So that got me thinking: could I make a kitchen that used a banana sink? In my own collection, I have only yellow and gold bananas, so it had to be a gold sink, but brass is coming back in, right? Or was it in, and now it’s back out again?

The Nocturnal Kitchen

The rest of the kitchen came together around the sink, scaled to that. It’s loosely based off of the kitchens from my last two houses in layout, though the dishwasher should be to the right of the sink for better accuracy. It ended up using almost all my dark brown tiles and bricks and plates (as well as slopes!) for the cabinets, so I’m glad I did not go bigger, and if you look closely at the sand green walls, you’ll see that they are largely made of 1×2 plates. I am not looking forward to taking this one apart. The ceiling came last, but I knew I needed one, since I wanted an immersive shot, and those always look more convincing with the ceiling and a controlled light source. So I made it studded, to replicate the horrible textured ceilings that so many houses have (including my own), and made the light for the photograph come through the ceiling fixture, with a little reflecting in from the window and the banana moon (which would have been better in white, admittedly). I’m fairly pleased with the build, though I do think the floor is ugly, and so does my wife, but that’s the tiles I had in abundance, so that’s what I used. Maybe we’ll remodel it someday.

If you like this build, you’ll probably like this collection of LEGO kitchen builds. And don’t forget to tune in to the Iron Forge competition, where the banana is the seed part.

I am once again asking you to click the “like” button

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the US’s 46th president this week and while that was a pivotal moment, it wasn’t all about “Uncle Joe”. Bernie Sanders was in attendance and, regardless of where you stand politically, you can’t help but chuckle at the flood of memes that came out in quick succession. All of them feature Bernie Sanders in this specific pose with his loafers, coat and mittens, photoshopped sitting everywhere from the moon to the set of Game of Thrones to among the cast of The Breakfast Club. Our Brothers Brick alumni Iain Heath has his finger on the pulse of what is hot at the moment and quickly bangs out this LEGO tribute to the Vermont senator. Despite your valued and insightful opinions on the matter, Iain isn’t afraid to go there. And if it’ll get a few laughs and likes, neither are we.

This is where I hid the bodies

Other than having a dark sense of humor, why would I title an article about this LEGO gas station in such a way? The service station has a well-worn feel. There’s a couple of motorcycles and the patrons there seem friendly enough. But when you take a close look at this creation by Dan the Fan you begin to see several minifig torsos used in creative ways. There are two in gray holding up the shell sign and four in dark gray acting as the base for the water tower. Several more upside-down torsos comprise the trim design of the building while another two in red make up part of the gas pump. My favorite use of the minifig torso however is in the road sign, partially comprising the shape of Texas. Can you spot other uses for the minifig torso? (Other than the ones obviously used as minifig torsos.)

Need some o'l?

The Ambassador of Grnx brings some odd parts usage

LEGO revealed their DOTS line and some folks reasoned it would be great for their little sisters but not for the likes of them. Vince Toulouse illustrates the error of their ways with this Ambassador of Grnx wearing a DOTS band as a sash. His staff makes use of Clickits connectors, another line some of youse thought was only appropriate for little sis. As if that wasn’t enough, Vince brings in another limited appeal line with the use of flame bits from the short-lived Ben 10 sets. It just goes to show that on the surface, some sets have limited appeal but in the hands of a builder like Vince, there is no limit to what can be used.

Ambassador of Grnx

The tower of Barad-d’aww

How small can the dark lord get? This teeny, tiny tower of Barad-dûr from The Lord of the Rings was constructed by LEGO builder Hubba Blöoba, and it’s got all the right notes despite its diminutive size. A pair of grey bananas make the two spikes that ring the all-seeing eye, while clips and slopes make up the jagged tower itself. The atmospheric clouds elevate this little vignette further and give it an appropriate sense of foreboding.

#6: Barad-dûr

From the Star Wars expanded universe comes the Outrider

We all love the Millennium Falcon and other ships from the Star Wars franchise but it’s neat when someone pays attention to the ships that were later inserted into the background in one special edition or another. My case in point, this LEGO YT-2400 Outrider built by Aido Kessler. It resembles the Millennium Falcon a bit in the sense that it’s saucer-shaped, has circular exhaust ports and pushes the whole asymmetrical cockpit motif to the Nth degree. From there this odd ship exudes its own personality. I love the complex curves along the leading edge as well as the turret cannon. Aido tells us this model comprises of more than four-thousand pieces and weighs eleven pounds (5kg). In some instances this heavy creation was pushed to a breaking point; a literal breaking point and needed to be restructured several times.

YT-2400

The end result is breathtaking and we’re glad he was up for the difficult task. This rear view showcases some added light functions that makes this model truly a sight to behold.

YT-2400

LEGO Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith – the Black Falcons return to LEGO Castle [Review]

LEGO has continued to diversify the products that it sources and launches via its LEGO Ideas platform, which for many years has been perceived as focusing on licensed themes like Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, Voltron, and so on. But increasingly, LEGO has approved wholly original designs, such as 21310 Old Fishing Store. Yesterday, LEGO officially revealed 21325 Medieval Blacksmith, an original design by LEGO fan designer Clemens Fiedler. The set includes 2,164 pieces with 4 minifigures, and will become available on February 1st, 2020 at a price of US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £134.99..

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith

477 mini plastic parts to make the iconic Mini Cooper

George Panteleon brings us a car we’ve seen before. It’s the classic Mini. LEGO released the mini cooper set a couple of years ago. George’s rendition may or may not be a different version of the mini car. I couldn’t tell you because I am no expert when it comes to cars. I do know that I really like his rendition of the mini. LEGO released 4 sand colors (red, purple, green and blue) and then decided to not use them all that often. George proves that that is a shame by using sand green to make this lovely build. There are a lot of nice little details on this build. The car grill is made of the back side of the masonry bricks, the microphone utensil gets turned into direction indicator lights and the bar holder with handle gets turned into a side way mirror. Best thing about this has to be that you can actually open the doors and even pop the hood. I say job well done!

Classic MINI

Big Ninjago style in a little model

The Ninjago City modular sets are large, there’s no doubt about it. In fact, the latest set in the series, Ninjago City Gardens is one of the 10 largest LEGO sets ever released. When you line up the three sets together they take up quite a lot of space. Well, that’s not an issue with Adeel Zubair, who has built the latest city block in amazingly accurate details.

NINJAGO City Gardens

The inverted brown flower stem makes great tree roots, and the hot dog makes a perfect bridge. One more detail that I love, is the teal corner tiles used for those fancy sloped parts used in the control tower.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Adeel has shrunk the entire series of Ninjago City blocks.

Mini Modulars: NINJAGO City

Castro Theatre, the heart of Eureka Valley

One of my favorite things about San Francisco is its architecture. Though shops have closed and the streets are nearly empty, some of the city’s most vibrant buildings still stand. Just off Market Street, you’ll find the Castro Theatre, whose majesty has been translated into LEGO by Jonathan Lopes. Since 1922, the Castro Theatre has hosted everything from queer cinema to silent film festivals at the center of San Francisco’s vibrant arts scene and historic LGBTQ+ district. Like in Jonathan’s model, you can’t miss its iconic neon signage and stunning Spanish-Baroque facade.

Castro Theater

Click here for an in-depth look at the Castro Theatre!

Tiny cars are big in Japan

Over the years Japanese car manufacturers have produced some iconic performance cars, such as the Impreza WRX, the Datsun 240Z or the Toyota AE86. However, unsurprisingly, most of their products are of a rather more practical nature. Few more so than so-called Kei cars or keijidōsha (軽自動車). This literally means light automobile.

Daihatsu Move Canbus Kei car

They are a special class of tiny cars, restricted to a width of 1.48 m, a length of 3.4 m and a height of 2 m (4.9 ft, 11.2 ft and 6.6 ft, respectively). Their engine displacement is at most 660 cc (40 cubic inches). For comparison, this is roughly the same as the displacement of a single cylinder of, say, a V8 Ford Mustang. So, why would you want one? Well, they’re relatively cheap to buy and run and owners pay less road tax. And more importantly, in densely populates cities such as Tokyo, owners need to prove that have a parking space before they can register a car, but Kei cars are exempt. Consequently, about one in every three cars sold in Japan is a Kei car. They are exercises in maximising interior space within limited external dimensions. So they do tend to be small boxes on wheels. However, as these two examples show, some manufacturers do spend some effort on the styling.

Honda N-Box Slash Kei car

The Daihatsu Move Canbus is aimed at a very particular demographic: single women in their thirties. Fewer Japanese people are getting married and apparently this is a sizeable group. In Japan, unmarried women also often still live with their parents, so the car should be practical (with good access, through its sliding doors) and yet cute. The Honda N-Box Slash represents the edgier corner of the Kei-car universe. It’s very boxy, seats four people and has a dinky engine, but its styling is a little bit sportier, with an up-swept beltline near the rear windows and the handles for the rear doors hidden in the C-pillar. I hesitate to think what the marketeers were thinking when they came up with the names, though. I guess English names sound cool to Japanese customers, even if they make little sense.

Your guide to LEGO Gift With Purchase (GWP) offers for Week 3 January 2021 [News]

LEGO Gift With Purchase (GWP) offers can be quite overwhelming if you’re not on top of things. Here’s a list of GWP eligibility based on item, price and region (the US|CAN|UK) based on today’s availability, 20 Jan 2021.  If you plan your purchases carefully, you’ll be eligible for 4 GWPs for US and Canada, leveraging the capability to stack the promotions.

Click to see Gift With Purchase details for US, Canada and UK