First look at LEGO Dots with the exclusive Creativity Box [Review]

LEGO’s new Dots line is the company’s latest attempt to gain a foothold in the tween girl jewelry market. (See the LEGO Dots announcement here.) Most LEGO fans are probably familiar with the company’s previous venture into this market with the Clickits theme, which had dozens of sets from 2003-2006. And while that theme’s success in its target market is open for debate, it’s rarely a theme that elicits positive responses from adult fans, thanks to one fatal flaw: Clickits is barely compatible with traditional LEGO. Certainly, some enterprising fans have put bits to great use, but it’s largely its own system. Thankfully, LEGO appears to have learned a lesson from that experiment and its new line of tween jewelry is solidly grounded in the bricks and plates that we all know and love. Or, perhaps more accurately, the tiles. The titular “dots” are the plethora of good old fashioned 1×1 tiles included in every set.

In advance of the theme’s release on March 1, LEGO sent us what they’re calling a Creativity Box. It is not a retail product and is instead intended to showcase the variety of parts Dots sets will include. So let’s dive in and take a quick look at some of Dots’ offerings. Continue reading

A colourful fleet of fighters

There’s a fine balance in creative endeavours between finding a groove and getting stuck in a rut. There’s no doubt which side of the scale Ted Andes is on with his latest run of LEGO starfighters. Whilst there’s a common shaping and techniques involved in the production of his Corsair models, the variety of styling applied to the variants make for quite a fleet. First up, there’s a red and white beauty, which showcases the use of the Technic panel parts alongside the cockpit…

Corsair

Ted has put together a whole range of these craft, each a skilful combination of Hero Factory armour, Bionicle pieces, and regular LEGO parts. These are models I’d love to see “in the brick” — I’m sure they’d make for an impressive formation flypast.

When will my LEGO life begin?

Lost somewhere in all the hysteria that is Frozen, Disney has put out several other surprisingly good animated movies within recent memory, such as Moana and Tangled. Sure, these aren’t the classics of my youth, or the gilded treasures of Disney past, but they are enjoyably watchable when I sit down with my kids. Tangled, in particular, stands out, if for no other reason than the absurdly long hair of the protagonist, Rapunzel. 1soko brings the tower that serves as the abducted princess’s prison to life beautifully in LEGO form.

Keep reading to get a closer look at the roof

Got a Mustang but want a Charger? Just mod it

LEGO car master Firas Abu-Jaber offers us two-for-one with his latest creation: first-up, delivering a 1968 Dodge Charger using only the pieces from the 10265 LEGO Ford Mustang set, and then putting together a sleek black and chrome version of the same design. Both cars are excellent, with the sleek lines given more than a hint of brutish power with the prominent engine blocks poking from the bonnet. Personally I prefer the mean and moody look of the black and chrome, although I’d happily have either sitting in my driveway. But seriously Firas, restricting yourself to a parts selection designed to create a particular make and model, but building a different make and model?!? If the results weren’t so good, I’d suggest that’s borderline masochism!

LEGO 1968 Dodge Charger R/T

I was just in the neighborhood when...

When I reviewed the official LEGO Old Trafford- Manchester United set I had surmised (maybe wrongfully) that only non-American sports fans would be into it. What I like…scratch that…what I love more than being right about anything is when a LEGO set sparks the imagination of a new builder. Suwon’s Blue Star is one such builder. When I say new, I mean there isn’t a single photo in their Flickr stream older than February 11th. What we are witnessing, dear reader is a builder who has clearly been inspired by the recent Manchester United set and, like a sleeper agent suddenly brought to life, has found a profound purpose. Not only have they masterfully rendered a micro version of the famous stadium but its entire surrounding Old Trafford neighborhood as well.

Manchester United With Old Trafford (Micro Ver.)

Read on to see more of this builder’s micro stadiums

A-roving a-roving a-roving I’ll go with a set of balloon tires

Across the moons of the outer systems, thin dusty soil causes problems for surface vehicles. Without big chunky tires, your fancy new rover isn’t going anywhere. LEGO builder Frost has put together a flashy moon rover with the requisite balloon tires but also bedecked in an eye-popping color scheme. The tires are a beefy joy, tiles attached to caterpillar tracks wound around standard wheels. This design allows for a multi-layered multi-colored look, perfectly matching the bold styling of the rest of the vehicle. The curved stripes over the bonnet are nicely done, as is the front grille and the integration of the angled windscreen and roll-cage parts around the rear. The fin sticking from the rear is easy to miss amidst all the color, but is a great use of a parts separator — lovely stuff.

Brightly coloured LEGO moon rover

Titan tip-toes to war

This camo-clad mecha from Marco Marozzi is a beast. A powerful frame, with broad shoulders, chunky thighs, and an intimidating growl fixed in its dog-like “face.” However, beyond the beefy proportions, there are lots to enjoy — functional-looking gears and greebles, a carefully-composed contrasting color scheme, and smart use of custom stickers to create the ripped camo effect. The absolute highlight has to be those feet, though — I love the way this hefty figure manages to look poised and somehow elegant, balanced on its tripod toes. It’s almost like it’s tip-toeing its way through a minefield, trying to get to the battlefront proper.

LEGO mech mechanoid robot

Go into the wild on the magic bus

In honour of Chris McCandless’ 52nd birthday earlier this week, 2019 TBB LEGO Builder of the Year Andrea Lattanzio build a stunning recreation of the “Magic Bus” from the end of McCandless’ life, as documented in the book and film Into the Wild. This creation is a fitting tribute. The landscape looks like the clearing on the rugged Stampede Trail, featuring various elements representing rocks, plants, and mushrooms. My favourites are the tree built out of brown stud shooters and the grey homemaker hairpiece as a large rock. Framed inside its wild Alaskan surroundings, is the bus itself. The design is spot on and includes clever use of a dish with a spider web pattern as old and aged headlights and a stack of 3×3 dishes as the bus’s grill.

Into the Wild and the Magic Bus

A chicken walker worth clucking about

LEGO mecha builders draw their inspiration from all across popular culture sources, like movies, anime, and especially video games. While mecha has very deep roots in Japanese culture, and in the writings of Jules Verne, and H.G.Wells, the 1984 BattleTech (originally Battle Droids) could be considered one of the original mecha franchise to inspire modern LEGO creators to build machines piloted by humans. And that is where Kevin Hansen turned for inspiration when building this model.

Battletech (Mechwarrior) Uziel Combo

Built using a variety of curved white parts, the mech is very accurate to its source material, and this is one walker you do not want stepping on your picnic. Besides cannons on each arm, there is a missile battery mounted behind the pilot’s compartment that will make it rain fire.

This one isn’t quite on the level

In spring 2010 the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) received a commission to bring “a new residential typology” to Manhattan. They delivered 35 stories of twisty goodness in VIA 57 West. The tetrahedral shape is a pretty far cry from a typical blocky facade you might expect to see.

Builder Nicolas Carlier rendered this unique shape in LEGO, and did a solid job of not being constrained by typical building styles. Long runs of plate ascend at unexpected angles, propped up by tiles and cheese wedges. The interior’s plaza makes good use of modified 1×1 round plate and 1×1 cones to fill out the greenery.

VIA 57 WEST

Just like the real building, this model has a very different feeling when viewed from the other side. Even in LEGO form, you still get a good feel for how the residential needs of the building are being met. A beautiful building still needs to be functional, after all.

VIA 57 WEST

Two young friends, exploring the world together

I deeply admire those who can take a LEGO build and create a story using beautiful photography. That’s exactly what Orient R Minesky has done with this pair of adventurous school girls. The builds themselves are well done, but their interaction with non-LEGO items brings them to life. The collection includes several great shots, and we wanted to share a few of our favorites. Here they’re spending a beautiful day taking pictures in the park.

Shiki-Aya_014

Click to see more of the series

TBB Weekly Brick Report: LEGO news roundup for January 15, 2020

In addition to the amazing LEGO models created by builders all over the world, The Brothers Brick brings you the best of LEGO news and reviews. This is our weekly Brick Report for the second week of February 2020.

LEGO Ideas announces the two newly selected sets. Keep reading our Brick Report to get all the details.


TBB NEWS, REVIEWS & FEATURES: This week we said goodbye to the first team on LEGO Masters, learned to build a Mario Mystery Block and got a peek at the two recently approved LEGO Ideas sets.

  • Building this Super Mario block is no mystery! [Instructions] – Want to learn how to build a LEGO version of a Mario Bros mystery cube? Look no further than this tutorial by Tiago Catarino!
  • Leaving LEGO Masters: An interview with contestants Kara and Jessie about the first two episodes [Feature] – We sat down with LEGO Masters contestants Kara and Jessie to learn what they learned from their time on the show.
  • LEGO Ideas approves 2 new sets in latest review: Medieval Blacksmith and Winnie the Pooh – The results are in for the latest LEGO Ideas project review, and LEGO will be producing sets based on 2 projects. Congratulations to LEGO fans Ben Alder and Clemens Fiedler!

  • OTHER NEWS: There were quite a few other interesting LEGO news articles from around the web this week. Here are the best of the rest: