Prepare to meet thy (map) maker!

Some of the best LEGO builds are the ones that not only have a story behind them, but that subvert expectations somewhat. Now I’m not talking about all the Nice Parts Use (NPU) in Eli Willsea‘s little vignette – although it is absolutely chock full of it. A wrench is used as a very sturdy-looking door handle, doors make for an elegant staircase, and candles mimic scrolls on shelves made out of Duplo elements. The bucket handles shoved into lever bases for the bookstand are cool too. This creation is titled “Madeline the Map Maker”, but is that really all she is? Look how brooding this place is… The dark red evokes something a little sinister to me. And it’s not helped by Madeline’s black robes. Perhaps we should be wary of where these maps might lead us!

Madeline the Map Maker

Welcome, foolish mortals, to this detailed Haunted Mansion

Can’t make it to Disneyland any time soon? While this eerily detailed LEGO replica of the Haunted Mansion ride by legocellus doesn’t come with the smell of churros wafting over New Orleans Square, it does come crowd-free, which feels like a fair trade. Our tour starts outside the stately old manor. Enter if you dare!

The Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion- UCS MOC

You don’t need a Ghost Host to step inside and see more . . .

Playing with perspective in LEGO “painting”

Here at The Brothers Brick, we love when LEGO builders play with depth and space through forced perspective. For his build “Stairway to Memories,” forestArcher creates a clever trompe l’oeil effect with a framed shadowbox that houses yet another framed image within. Layers upon layers of depth, rendered flat as a painting. I appreciate the added detail of a gold ring hidden behind the potted plant, seen only in reflection. forestArcher credits TBB favorite W. Navarre as an inspiration for using forced perspective, and with this creation he proves an apt pupil.

Stairway to memories

forestArcher built his stairway illusion for the Summer Joust competition. Check out some of our other favorite entries in this castle-themed building tradition.

The cutest cherry bomb this side of the Mushroom Kingdom

When you think about it, the Super Mario world has a lot of role reversal in it. Suddenly, humble plumbers are superheroes, mushrooms become a deadly nuisance, and cherry bombs are made to look so harmless you could almost describe them as cute. Make no mistake, those wide eyes are those of an explosive killer: the Bob-omb, as recreated here by Łukasz Alagierski. The bulk of it uses a technique known as the Lowell Sphere, with a few additions to recreate the features of this cold-blooded killer. The cherry on top of this cherry bomb is the fuse, made by twisting LEGO string into a rope!

bob-omb

Rock Raiders return in epic Onyxx Expedition Diorama

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Rock Raiders, a theme that for many adult fans of LEGO is always worth celebrating thanks to the evocative subterranean setting, cool colors (teal!), and wonderful vehicle designs. LegoMathijs still carries a torch for the theme and his latest project takes us deep beneath the planet Onyxx with a truly massive celebration of the Rock Raiders theme.

02_Planet_ONYXX_Expedition

LegoMathijs’ diorama is pure, high-grade nostalgia, incorporating many elements unique to the Rock Raiders theme and working mostly with parts and techniques of the late ’90s, minus the BURPs (big ugly rock parts). With dozens of minifigures, an array of vehicles, and a motherload of crystals, the scene shows the promise on the package of Rock Raiders sets writ large.

Drill down with us for a closer look!

Behold, the Ancient Navigators!

TBB alum Mansur Soeleman transports us to a faraway galaxy with this intriguing, visually striking LEGO depiction of the inner sanctum of a cadre of alien shipbuilders. The Star Wars Factions RPG provides inspiration for the scene, but the otherworldly costumes and architecture evoke a sense of mystery that would feel at home in any far-flung space opera. Each of the “Ancient Shipwrights” wears a distinct outfit that wouldn’t feel out of place in the Dune universe, though you can spot a Guavian Death Gang mask from The Force Awakens in the leader’s elaborate headdress. Beyond the figures, the antistud floor (regular plates turned upside down) adds an interesting texture to the scene. And while the holo hovering above their heads obviously isn’t LEGO, it certainly adds to the effect. (To get the full experience, see the scene animated here.)

The Ancient Shipwrights - The founder of Haelos Star Yards, a shipbuilding corporation

LEGO reveals set inspired by LEGO Masters US Season 4 Winners [News]

Introducing LEGO 41838 Travel Moments inspired by LEGO Masters US Season 4 winners, Christopher and Robert, and their World Wonderliner. This duo took home a cash prize, the LEGO Masters trophy, and the unique honor of having their final, winning build be the inspiration for a real LEGO set. Designed so groups of up to 5 people can build it together, this display set is made to showcase travel adventures, with plenty of clips for photos and tiles to mark important geographic locations. With 1,231 pieces, LEGO 41838 Travel Moments is available for pre-order now at US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £129.99, shipping on August 1.

Check out more images from the set and to read LEGO’s press release

LEGO Ideas 21350 Jaws: You’re gonna build a pretty big boat [Review]

DA-DUM, DA-DUM, DA-DUM…  no two notes are more iconic, or stressful, and the creature that those notes invoke is as classic as they come. Jaws, the original summer blockbuster movie, has an outsized share of iconic elements, scenes, and lines, and with the 50th anniversary of the book this year and the movie next year, it’s perhaps no surprise that we’re getting a LEGO rendition of one of those classic scenes. LEGO Ideas 21350 Jaws contains 1,497 pieces and 3 minifigures, and will be available August 6th for US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £129.99. LEGO Insiders will have early access starting August 3rd. Let’s dive in… ehhhh maybe we’ll stay on the beach for this one.

Read on for our full review!

LEGO Caravanserai offers a treasure trove of techniques in tan

“Unwanted Company at the Caravanserai,” the latest diorama from Kit Nugent, is the rare LEGO build that is truly immersive, transporting the observer into a brick-built world. The craftsmanship is stunning. Working mostly with tan elements, Kit orchestrates every seam and shadow in service to the medieval Islamic architectural style. The interior facades are dense with detail, especially the screens made from over 200 densely-arranged candles, and the Modulex bricks that circle the lower walls.  The inner brick-work, revealed in the cut-away, is just as ornate, featuring a complex jigsawing of System bricks with a smattering of smaller Modulex. The glimpse of a nearby domed building under a blue sky seals the sense of immersion.

Unwanted Company at the Caravanserai

The architecture alone makes this a build to celebrate, but Kit is just as deliberate with the story told through minifigures and accessories.  He captures a frozen moment as travelers in the caravanserai trade look and reach for weapons as a shadowy figure enters. No doubt blood will soon be spilt on that lovely mosaic floor. Let’s just hope the goat is spared.

Beautiful build of a terrible lizard with horrible hands

The first fossil remains of Deinocheirus were a pair of massive forelimbs with long fingers which earned it its name, literally “horrible hand.” These mysterious claws and the surrounding speculation captured the imagination of LEGO character artisan Eero Okkonen as a child. It wasn’t until the 2010s that scientists were able to find enough remains to piece together the rest of the duck-billed omnivore. It’s this version of the dinosaur that Eero recreated in LEGO for round 3 of the Bio-Cup. The model expertly blends Constraction and System parts for organic shaping. The colors, especially in the head, are splendid – a far cry from the dull shades of 20th century dinosaur depictions. I especially admire the dorsal ridge along the back, mixing tail pieces, 2×2 round bricks, and cables. Eero rounds out the build with some great pre-historic flora and, keeping on trend, an adorable crab built around an Atlantean headpiece.

Deinocheirus

Forbidden Exodia is about to explodia

In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, Exodia the Forbidden One offers a shoot-the-moon combo that is catnip to a certain type of gamer: collect all 5 pieces of Exodia and you win. Builder mc tung previously gave us a brick-built Yugi and his prime card lineup, and now he presents the combo creature that won Yugi his first game.

Lego Yu-Gi-Oh Exodia

mc tung mixes warm gold parts from constraction sets (like the torso, taken from Legends of Chima buildable figures) for the body, with nice System sculpting to recreate the Egyptian-themed head. Rubber tires make excellent shackles for the Forbidden One. Apart, each limb is impressive enough, but fully assembled, it’s game over, man. Game over.

Lego Yu-Gi-Oh Exodia

Always the optimist, Apex Legends’ Pathfinder is psyched to exist in LEGO form

Featuring a sweet Dick Tracy-style noir outfit, Pathfinder from Apex Legends comes to life in LEGO thanks to the work of Eric Tsai. There’s quite a bit of expert character craft here, especially in the recreation of this MRVN unit’s signature abilities: a sweet grappling hook on the left arm and a zipline gun on the right. I adore how the bot’s myopic noggin is put together, as well as the smiley face on his chest replaced with a mustachioed 1×1 tile.

LEGO Pathfinder [Apex Legends]