Yearly Archives: 2008

Get well soon, tadashistate’s girlfriend!

Tadashistate‘s girlfriend is sick. So he built this lovely little heart for her. Boys, take note! And get well soon, whoever you are!

Casual camping

William Wards Shasta Cavavan

Bill Ward has made a very cool compact caravan. It’s based on a Shasta Teardrop Travel Trailer. While the doors are a little hard to find I suspect most of us could whip up a little variant of this to show off in a display.

EDIT We liked this one so much that Andrew blogged it too:

Details like the vent on the roof and Bill’s choice of the old-style door are excellent. The trailer is being pulled by the SUV from 7635 4WD with Horse Trailericon.

LEGO Designers want our input on future play themes

FINAL UPDATE: Thanks for all the suggestions, readers! We’ve passed on your ideas to LEGO. Look for other opportunities to submit ideas to The LEGO Group through The Brothers Brick’s LEGO Ambassadors in the future.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: LEGO tells us that they didn’t intend for this discussion to take place in public, since that enables their competitors to watch the discussion and steal all your great ideas! So, we’re locking comments, removing the ones posted so far (85!) and asking all of you to use the Contact Form at the end of this post to submit your comments instead.

You don’t need to re-submit your suggestions if you had already left them as a comment; we’ve saved all the comments so far.


LEGO Designers have asked the LEGO Ambassadors to help brainstorm ideas on future play themes. Here is the original message:

My name is Phil McCormick; I am a Senior Designer at the LEGO Group working within a small concept group specializing in new theme generation.

We are looking for new LEGO set opportunities within the Play Themes line-up. Play Themes are sets involving characters and stories, where the minifigure always plays a key role. The big theme this year is Power Miners. Some sets from the past include: Agents, Aqua Raiders, Exoforce, and Mars Mission. Usually the stories are conflict-based (good vs. bad) and revolve around treasures or missions. The stories that accompany Play Theme sets help spark the imaginations of our target group: boys aged 7-9.

Currently we are in an “insight phase,” gathering inspiration for the next big Play Themes opportunity and we would really like your input. We hope to involve you as much as possible for the next few months as we take in the ideas. Please submit ideas for themes as detailed below. Limit your words to a few sentences; we encourage you to submit pictures, drawings, MOCs, to accompany each story. Feel free to involve your greater fan community at this point–the more ideas the better.

Things we do look for:
-Simple, well understood themes (Usually, placing a “twist” on a known universe works well).
-Unique Model expression, or play experience to accompany the set.

Things we do not look for:
-Castle, or IP (Star Wars/ Indiana Jones/ Sponge Bob/ etc…). They each have devoted project teams which are separate from us.

The deadline for submissions is Jan 12, 2009; but we do encourage you to post earlier. Thanks and we look forward to your input!

Create a new, never-before-seen, LEGO Play Theme! (Place words and images under the following categories)

Theme Name (something short and catchy):

Characters (who is good and bad guys?):

Conflict (why do they fight, and what do they fight over?):

Setting (where does the story take place?):

Background Info (if relevant):

Please use the Contact Form below to submit your suggestions, using the format requested above:

Before you click Submit!

  • We won’t be able to pass on your suggestions if they don’t follow the format described above.
  • LEGO cannot use suggestions based on IP (intellectual property) owned by other companies, such as Halo, Lord of the Rings, or Pirates of the Caribbean. is two years old today! [Editorial]

The Brothers Brick turned three a few months ago, but today is our second anniversary on

And what a difference a second year on our own domain has made!

2008 stats 2007 stats
  • 5,973,090 page views
  • 2,006,339 visits
  • 820,532 unique visitors
  • 119,524 unique keywords from search engines
  • 36,382 spam comments
  • 12,307 real comments
  • 4,824 unique referring sites
  • 1,086,362 page views
  • 337,158 visits
  • 131,046 unique visitors
  • 15,062 unique keywords from search engines
  • 26,198 spam comments
  • 2,325 real comments
  • 1,567 unique referring sites

There are readers in 196 countries and regions around the world:

Notable additions since last year include Mongolia and Madagascar. Next year, we’re hoping to find readers in North Korea, Turkmenistan, and central Africa.

Here are a few of my favorite lists, based on statistics from this past year:

Top Countries Top Keywords Referring Sites
  1. USA
  2. UK
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. Germany
  6. The Netherlands
  7. France
  8. Japan
  9. Poland
  10. Italy
  1. lego blog
  2. 2009 lego sets
  3. lego power miners
  4. lego agents
  5. lego castle advent calendar
  6. ramm lego
  7. lego wall-e
  8. lego pirates 2009
  9. lego
  10. brickarms
  1. Search engines
  2. StumbleUpon
  3. Flickr
  4. Gizmodo
  5. Digg
  6. BB Gadgets
  7. Brickset
  8. Eurobricks
  10. The old blog
  11. Fark

With a couple of exceptions, our most popular posts in the past year have been news items:

  1. Ed Diment finishes HMS Hood — in 20-foot-long minifig scale!
  2. Zombie Apocafest 2008: Children, avert your eyes!
  3. Rocko summons the worm
  4. LEGO Star Wars 10188 Death Star pics reveal interior and 21+ minifigs
  5. 10193 Medieval Market Village to be released in 2009
  6. First pictures of 2009 LEGO sets
  7. Pixar animator Angus MacLane builds best LEGO Wall-E yet
  8. First pictures of 2009 LEGO Power Miners sets
  9. Possible 2009 LEGO sets
  10. First pictures of 4999 Vestas Windmill set

Most importantly, 2008 has been the year during which you the readers of The Brothers Brick have come together as an online community to nominate your own Ambassadors to The LEGO Group.

Finally, here are some links to historical posts for readers who care:

Here’s to many more years of creativity and community! We hope you’ll stick with The Brothers Brick for the ride. It’s going to be fun.

A box of train

Box of train

As part of my Wild West Train project I’ve been trying to vary the presentation as well as produce useful instructions for each stage. The final stage let me try a new experiment: packaging the ‘train set’ in its own satin lined wooden box. Fabric is kind of difficult to render without special tools so I decided to go for satin as the easiest.

And of course there are instructions for each part of the train: loco, passenger wagon, lumber wagon, boxcar and caboose.

Sea to snow to sky

For the LUGNuts All But Four (anything but a four-wheeled vehicle) building challenge, Nathan Proudlove has built quite the collection.

Insert requisite Monty Python reference here:

My favorite is this snowcat:

But this simple little biplane is also very cool:

Check out the LUGNuts thread on Flickr for more entries by Nathan and others than I could possibly blog!

Dark night hold tight

Bundalings takes inspiration from indie rockers Eisley for Bionicle Building Contest 51 — a “bat with butterfly wings”:

Check out more pictures on Brickshelf (and download “Marvelous Things” from Eisley - Room Noises - Marvelous Things, if you like).

Via BioniBlog.

Entry form now open for the Colossal Castle Contest VI [News] was having a few technical difficulties, but they’ve now been resolved and the Colossal Castle Contest VI entry form is now open.

Not to discourage anybody from entering, but my money’s on Tom Snellen:

If you’ve built something for the contest, don’t forget to read the rules and submit your entry.

The Weighted Companion Cube cannot speak...

…but I think we’re legally obligated at this point to blog all LEGO creations inspired by Valve’s Portal.

Victor Vitale‘s contribution to the genre includes the best Portal gun yet:

Previous Portal love on The Brothers Brick:

But c’mon people — where are your LEGO Left 4 Dead creations? Get buildin’!

By the power of Grayskull!

Orion Pax takes us to Eternia with his latest creation — Castle Grayskull from He Man and the Masters of the Universe:

Of course, what Castle Grayskull would be complete without its defenders? Here’s the whole Masters of the Universe lineup, from He-Man himself to Mekaneck:

And Skeletor’s evil crew:

Sami Swoi vignette

Marcin (Hippotam) makes a vignette from the Polish comedy called Sami Swoi featuring two neighbors fighting by the fence where Pawlak cuts his own shirts and Kargul breaks his own pots. What I love about the scene are the incredible and realistic details such as the fence, the roof, and I’m always a sucker for brick walls made with tiles.

First LEGOLAND Park in East Asia announced [News]

LEGO announces East Asia’s first LEGOLAND Park to be built in Iskandar Malaysia:

Johor Bahru, 13 December 2008 – Iskandar Investment Berhad (“IIB”) today signed a landmark agreement with Merlin Entertainments (“Merlin”), the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, to build East Asia’s first LEGOLAND Park in Iskandar Malaysia.

This exciting RM750m joint venture – LEGOLAND Malaysia – is expected to be opened to the public in 2013 – and will be located in the northeast corner of Medini Iskandar Malaysia (“Medini”), a 2,300 acre international mixed-use development in the heart of Nusajaya, on land being developed by Global Capital and Development Sdn Bhd. Merlin Entertainments will design and operate the Park, and will become a 20% shareholder, whilst a consortium led by IIB will own the balance. The LEGOLAND Park will be the centrepiece of a 145 acre integrated complex, with a Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 5.5m square feet that will include a unique lifestyle retail centre, offices, hotels, serviced apartments and residential units. This integrated complex, which will be substantially complete by 2013, will have a Gross Development Value of over RM3.5bn.

LEGOLAND Malaysia will be similar to the company’s four other hugely popular and successful LEGOLAND Parks – LEGOLAND Billund, LEGOLAND Windsor, LEGOLAND Deutschland, and LEGOLAND California.

Targeted at families with children between the ages of 2 to 12 years, LEGOLAND Parks are based on the universally popular LEGO® construction toy range. They offer families the opportunity to let their imaginations run free, and be immersed in LEGO® experiences with a unique mix of kid-powered rides, building challenges, spectacular LEGO® models, interactive attractions, family-friendly coasters and shows that pull the audience into the action. LEGOLAND Malaysia will feature more than 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions on the day it opens.

“IIB selected LEGOLAND as the partner for its first international theme park in Iskandar after many months of discussions and engagements with various operators and potential brand partners,” said IIB’s Managing Director Arlida Ariff.

“Given the significant increase in the number of themed tourism offerings expected in the Asia Pacific region over the next 20 year period, IIB felt that the product offering in Iskandar Malaysia had to be unique and focused.”

“Based on this rationale, IIB chose Merlin Entertainments/LEGOLAND because it provides educational entertainment that will attract families with young children to Iskandar Malaysia as a vacation destination,” said Arlida, adding that families with young children were a fast growing demographic group in South East Asia.

Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, commenting for KIRKBI Invest A/S – owners of the LEGO® toy company, and shareholders in Merlin Entertainments – said, “LEGOLAND is the ultimate experience of LEGO® values and potential. We therefore welcome this cooperation between Merlin Entertainments and Iskandar Investment Berhad to bring the LEGOLAND experience to East Asia, and we are confident that LEGOLAND Malaysia will be extremely successful.”

IIB believes that Iskandar Malaysia will benefit strongly from the presence of several key tourism catalysts into the area. Theme parks have a proven record of attracting a large volume of new visitors, as well as increasing the length of stay and expenditure by regular visitors – thus creating a strong multiplier for the local economy. Theme parks also create a vast number of jobs both during the construction phase, and once they open. Current estimates are that almost 5,000 jobs would be required, both directly and indirectly, during the various phases of the project.

The LEGO® brand is well recognised among Asian families, the very group that Iskandar Malaysia is targeting as its core tourist base. LEGO® is a strong brand in Malaysia and this is why IIB expects a strong following for LEGOLAND Malaysia from local Malaysian and Johor families.

“The Comprehensive Development Plan for Iskandar Malaysia identified the Tourism sector as one of the nine key economic pillars of the Region,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Mokhtar, Chairman of IIB and Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

“At the end of 2006, we commenced a study to evaluate the feasibility of establishing an International Destination Resort anchored by a theme park in Iskandar Malaysia to further develop and deepen the Tourism sector.”

“We are pleased that such efforts have borne fruit and culminated in this signing of an agreement between Merlin and IIB, that will attract more tourists from neighbouring countries and the Asia-Pacific region into Iskandar. This is a significant first step in developing Iskandar Malaysia as an international tourist destination. We expect further visitor attractions to be developed in the coming years,” he said.

John Jakobsen, Managing Director of LEGOLAND Parks, said that he was looking forward to the rollout of East Asia’s first LEGOLAND Park, saying, “We love the location of Iskandar Malaysia and are delighted by our partnership with IIB. The LEGOLAND Malaysia Park will build upon the success of our other internationally recognised LEGOLAND Parks in Europe and North America, and we have no doubt that once open it will become the ultimate destination in the region for families with young children.”

Concluding, Merlin Entertainments’ Chief Executive, Nick Varney said: “We are very excited by this development which underlines our continued confidence in the market despite the current global economic situation. Our strong belief is that while not recession proof, quality branded attractions such as ours are recession resilient. Even when times are hard people will choose to get away from the ‘gloom’, and have fun together with family and friends. However they will choose destinations which offer real value for money and which they know will not disappoint. LEGOLAND Parks offer just that sort of reassurance and quality.”