Announcing the Terms of Service [Editorial]

Somewhere during our tremendous growth over the last couple of years, I feel that The Brothers Brick has taken a bit of a wrong turn. Yes, there are things we could do better, but no, I’m not saying that we’ve done anything wrong.

Rather, our audience has shifted from the people we first began blogging for — adult fans of LEGO like ourselves — to a vast silent majority and an active minority of apparently younger LEGO fans. Let me say this once and for all: The Brothers Brick is written by and for adults, as well as for those who are capable of behaving like adults.

As I said last week in my editorial about not posting leaked poor-quality photos, I want our contributors and readers to lead the LEGO fan community toward a more mature, constructive, informed level of discourse.

Over this past week, I’ve been more than a little disappointed in some of the comments our posts have received. I expect more from our readers than vitriolic furor over our straightforward coverage of the LEGO fan community’s reactions to the inauguration of a new president. And particularly confusing (and hurtful) have been those comments assuming that The Brothers Brick is our “job” — when in fact each of us gives up our spare time to do this. For free.

I frequently get home from my real job at near 8:00 in the evening, and then I spend the next three hours poring through my RSS feeds, answering your e-mail, checking forums, and blogging what I find. And that’s just weeknights; I probably spend more time per day on weekends. It’s hard work, even when I only find one or two things that are “blogworthy” in a day.

Still, we do this because we like to, not because we’re obligated to.

I never wanted to codify any rules about how I expected Brothers Brick readers to behave, but with intervention seeming like it’s necessary more and more frequently, I’m today announcing the Terms of Service.

As a legal document, the Terms of Service page is long, so here’s a summary of the most important points:

  • You must be 13 years old to use the interactive features on
  • Don’t be a jerk. Play nice.
  • We don’t guarantee availability of now or in the future.
  • We reserve the right to take whatever action is necessary to keep The Brothers Brick a civil, safe place for all our readers.
  • We reserve the right to change our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy at any time.
  • The Terms of Service now encompasses our existing Privacy Policy.

The Terms of Service are not up for discussion, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments on this post. Let us know what you think, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

86 comments on “Announcing the Terms of Service [Editorial]

  1. Wes

    Again, I have to say this is a good call. Sadly enough it is often true that the finest discourse is that which is most severely restricted.

  2. Lego Monster

    As one of the silent majority I say good on you. For the vocal minority, please learn to have a calm and measured approach, no one is going to take your views very seriously on an internet blog about Lego. Lego (PLAY WELL).

  3. Fedde

    Well done Andrew, I for one appreciate the time and effort you put into this site, and happily spend time here, and well rewarded by what I find. Again congratulations mate.

  4. Exxos

    I’m often a jerk even though I never mean to be – I guess that is why my parents and teachers always told me to never speak for any reason. Heh. I try to always simply express things from my point of view as well as I can.

    I have a strong bias against people under the age of 24, they have to prove their competence and maturity to me, so I was looking at 13 and wondering about that. I would think 16 would be the minimum, as it is at least the most common entry level for adulthood in the world if 18 is not considered.

    “We don’t guarantee availability of now or in the future.”

    By being up right now, you are guaranteeing availability now. It might not be available in the future, but when the future becomes now, if the site is up, then it will be available now. But if in the future it goes away, those nows will not be our nows now but those nows then. Though then may soon be now. So availability is guaranteed when there is guarantee of availability in the form of the site being available. There are known unknowns and unknown knowns, this is either and/or neither at once.

    Am I a jerk if I am just trying to be funny like that? Probably.

  5. Complainer

    “I frequently get home from my real job at near 8:00 in the evening, and then I spend the next three hours poring through my RSS feeds, answering your e-mail, checking forums, and blogging what I find.”

    Well then Adrew, how come all you find is Nnenn and Legohaulic? Oh poor, poor writer, you have to do it for free while all the other blogs are obviously paid to write, and have plenty of free time to do this… Wait, do I see ads at TBB?
    On more serious note, you sound pretty tired of blogging, Andrew. I’m sorry to hear this. I wish you could take a break to find the joy of blogging again.

    All the best,

    Your somewhat disappointed reader

  6. Andrew Post author

    Just because you see advertising doesn’t mean that we’re somehow “paid” to do what we do. The advertising barely covers the $2000 a year that this blog costs to run. Anything left over goes right back to our readers (contests and giveaways aren’t free either).

    I suspect I’ll be able to live off of TBB revenues in about, oh, 2075.

  7. Gambort

    I for one am distressed about your disappointment, Complainer. Perhaps you could send us articles you’d like to read and we can blog them for you to ensure that you are never disappointed again.

  8. Complainer

    Perhaps if you looked beyond the eminent work of just your two favourite builders, it would turn out to be what everybody would like to read? I think this is the very point it’s all about.

  9. Gambort

    I think we may have a few figures which disagree with your ideas. Are you bitter that you’ve never been blogged? If you send me a link to something decent I’ll do you a special favour and put you on the front page.

  10. minifig

    I have to admit that I rarely dip into the comments here nowadays, but this post led me to take a look at some of the ones related to the inauguration, and, well, I can totally understand why you felt this step was necessary.

    For a long time, I used to complain that blogs without comments weren’t blogs at all, but nowadays I’m beginning to wonder what comments really bring to the table. There are a lot of people out there who use comments as an opportunity to hurl out thoughtless, inane rubbish and then take great offence when someone doesn’t like it. Discussion is a wonderful thing, but it only works when people can be thoughtful and civil and for a lot of commenters this seems to be something they are incapable of.

    I think the point I really want to make though, Andrew, is that I hugely appreciate the work you and your co-writers do on this blog. I have a good idea of what it involves, and I also know it’s not something I’d be prepared to commit to. I’m really grateful that you do put that time in.

    You have contributed an inordinate amount to the AFOL community. Lego are growing to be more appreciative of their adult fans and I think TBB has played a large part in that. Please keep up the good work, and try and ignore the buffoons, they know not what they do.

  11. UnhappyReader

    Gambort > I’ve been blogged at TBB, more than once, sorry to disappoint you. I hope this will make you give my arguments a more serious and deeper thought, rather than try to figure out who I am. This is my last comment here, as I don’t mean to cause more trouble. I just have an unpleasant impression, that all you’ve said so far was only meant to mock and subsequentially ignore me. I’d rather hear you dealing with the issues I’ve brought up than making it personal.

  12. zachmoe

    I would just like to say thank you to Andrew and company for all the hard work you all do.

    In regards to Complainer/ UnHappyreader/ Anonymous’ comments, as well as others, I’m gonna call BS. Just did a quick count of the DEC ’08 posts…2 that reference Tyler and 3 for Nnenn (and one of those was the IATTAR roundup photo), out of 99. So about 5% combined. And there were other builders that month that had more than 3 MOCs featured.

    Look, the bottom line is, Tyler and Nnenn’s MOCs are great, and they deserved to be blogged. There is a lot that they both build that doesn’t get blogged; the thing is, they are both extremely prolific. As such, of course they are going to get blogged more. Maybe some people’s page has a Nnenn / Tyler filter enabled…or that’s just what they choose to see. I can tell you though that I have read some fantastic interviews and have seen a myriad of awesome stuff from plenty of others.

    Of course some awesome creations by some people are going to be missed…even with the amount of active bloggers on this site, stuff is going to fall through the cracks. If you really think it deserves to be blogged, take a proactive approach and contact the staff via the “Contact Us” link. Not that hard.

  13. Pingback: Tim’s blogging standards | The Brothers Brick | LEGO Blog

  14. Gambort

    Hi all,

    I made a big mistake confusing anonymous and UnhappyReader and was rude as a result. More here.

    Very sorry to UnhappyReader.


    PS. Although I stand by my preference for people to use their name or widely known nickname.

  15. nolnet

    I can’t believe it.

    Complainers and UnhappyReaders, you guys behave like… how can I put this in words? You behave like persons who get entertainment for free, daily, lots of it, and then complain about that entertainment not being diversified enough. You have the nerv to call the entertainers lazy, bored and even ask them to stop giving the entertainment?!

    This is sassy, shameless and downright abusive!

    Andrew, Josh, Nannan, Tim, Nathan, Linus, Keith: I know you don’t need me or anyone else to point out the ludicrousness of those comments, but I guess it’s not the wrong time to speak my mind.

    I really, really appreciate and respect the work you put into this. The quality of TBB is outstanding compared to millions of other blogs. It’s an absolute highlight and important contribution to the whole Lego community. I stumpled upon the AFOL community in 2006 and checked out various forms of fan sites, brickfilms and whatnot since then. But it wasn’t until I found TBB in late 2007 that I finally thought “I wanna be part of this”, dusted off my old collection and started building again.

    Sure I don’t like everything that gets posted here. Of cause not, I have my own taste and that can’t possibly match the tastes of seven other guys. But I can see the quality in every post, the efford to write a witty inscriptions and the overall diligence that went into this site.

    I’m an adult. And as someone who was actually socialized offline, I deeply appreciate(d) the civilized manners around here. Really, it’s sad that Andrew had to put up those terms of service now.

    Dear Brothers Brick, thank you for this blog. Keep it up. The vast majority certainly cares!


  16. Mark Stafford (Nabii)

    Over the last two years I’ve been accused of pushing a fascist agenda with Agents, encouraging children to join in the destruction of Earths resources because of Power Miners, having colonial aspirations with Mars Mission and just being plain too violent with Exo-Force. Of course all of these comments are always aimed at ‘TLG’, never a thought from those making them that it’s just another workplace like many others, made up of individuals, no, it’s a big faceless evil pushing agendas on behalf of their ‘enemies’.
    It’s just taken a bit of time for these strange people who believe LEGO is ‘that’ important it effects everything else in the world to start showing up on BB.
    BB is the first place me and many other LEGO employees look to each day for the cream of the AFOL MOCs, thanks to Andrew and the others for making it so cool. Don’t let the weirdo’s get to you, it’s not worth it. Besides it’s funny to see them rail against things like ‘socialism’ on a blog devoted to a toy developed in a Socialist nation. (Pay my 40percent tax and happy about it – healthcare universal, schools all free up to degree level – living the Viking dream!) M.

  17. Onkl


    I just wanted to give you a big, fat “ACKNOWLEDGED”. Brothers-Brick is a must for me once a day and so far I have not been disapointed by anything TBB delivers.. It’s a great blog and I hope you will be able to continue in the same manor you have done for quite some time now. All I can really say is:”Keep up your good work and thank you”


  18. bmwlego

    As a frequent visitor to both TBB and another major LEGO portal, I applaud TBB for noticing a change in the discourse in the comments section here. This other site is filled with middle school students obsesses with 1 particular LEGO licensed theme and littered with comments that are not worthy of being read by an adult or teen with a mature mindset. This site stands out for not being so junior-ish and actually attracts decent, insightful comments and is a pleasure to read. If TBB were to become filled with the same style of comments from this other website I would stop reading the comments here.

  19. BJR

    If you seriously want to make it better keep anything political out of TBB. Done, neither side, don’t care how important it is. If it is political it will only cause problems.

  20. minifig

    @BJR The trouble with that is what counts as political? There are a *lot* of things that can cause controversy and upset people, and I don’t think TBB should need to be afraid of that work merely because people can’t maintain a level of decorum when commenting.

    Your solution seems very heavy-handed and would mean a lot of interesting work doesn’t get the coverage it deserves.

  21. nolnet

    I agree with minifig. It’s not on TBB to ignore or leave out MOCs that are related to politics, religion or any other topic that is more or less likely to provoke trouble. It’s our duty as readers to not behave like idiots and keep a level of civility to our comments, regardless of our political opinion.

  22. Jude


    Don’t let the jerks get to you. This is your house and therefore your rules. I would prefer that TBB be a pleasure for you. Over the years, people and places in the AFOL online community have come and gone, a lot of them have gone because of the crap that you are now facing.

    So I suggest that you do what you feel is best for you. Let everything else will sort itself out as a result.

    To everyone else, as I have been given the priviledge to express an opinion, I figured I would give you a little food for thought…



  23. A Most Serious AFOL

    I am impressed at the level of seriousness and maturity that has taken place in this discussion.

    Lego Roolz!

  24. Will Thomas

    @ Nolnet: agreed. There’s not a thing wrong with bloggging MOCs that talk about the day and age we live in, it’s just the comments by overzealous kids who thinks everyone wants to know their political views. @ Gambort: if I go on a rampage like “complainer”, can I get a TBB feature? :D

  25. Dave Kaufman - Techlife

    Community strength = Site strength.
    Lifehacker’s discussions are better than their original posts very often.

    TBB has stated their case to strengthen their community.

    Content of posts would naturally follow the TOS. We don’t see much (if any) Duplo coverage here, for example.

    News, interviews, design ideas, and a great community are why I visit. I have become a bigger fan and a better builder for it. Thanks!

  26. Dave & Stacy


    First let me say thank you to you and the whole BB team for running this site. As a person who used to run a variety of websites for a variety of hobbies/pursuits/clubs/etc I fully understand what a thankless job it really is. Too often your hard work and devotion goes unrecognized and even ridiculed. I want you to know that Stacy and I think you guys do a fantastic job covering all the encompasses the AFoL community. For that, you are nothing short of awesome in our book.

    Next, don’t let the complainers get you down. They are merely mad that their building abilities are not BB worthy. You guys pick the creme de la creme…and that’s what keeps us all coming back. That’s what makes BB the ‘gold standard’ by which all other LEGO blogs are measured. It also makes it that much cooler when a person eventually ‘has their day’ and gets a BB mention. For me…it was like making the front page of Rolling Stone…in the LEGO world. So thanks. Keep the quality top shelf.

    Finally, to those who can’t handle political, religious, ‘insert offensive content here’, etc. My only comment is that you aren’t forced to read every BB article. The world is not fair and you aren’t going to like everything you see or hear in the world. I know I don’t. But being a mature adult means being able to encounter those things and have the maturity and composure to ignore them. Flying off the handle and cursing BB and their staff only makes you look like a spoiled child.

    *soapbox on*

    Unfortunately our youth are being programmed with this attitude that they are the ‘chosen ones’ and that ‘everybody wins’ and that ‘the world is here to serve them’. As a counter-culture 28 year-old who works a corporate day job…I can tell you that those attitudes do not fly. You are not the most important person in the world nor does every other person bow at your feet to make you happy. It’s give and take. If you don’t like it, you move on and find somewhere that you fit. I’m not promoting ‘falling in line’ with any regime here. Merely saying that you can stand up and be an individual and still be a mature adult at the same time. In fact…people respect that more. Earn the respect from the community. It’s how I get away with spiked blue hair in a very ‘old school’ corporate environment.

    *soapbox off*

    Leg Godt…

  27. Bruce

    @Andrew – You think time is tight now? Just wait till you have kids, man. :)

    BTW, can I correctly infer that you guarantee the availability of the BB in the past?

    @Mark – You’re not a fascist? Well, heck, you think you know a guy … Very cool that LEGO employees check out BB every day. I’d love to get that kind of visibility for my little efforts.

  28. Josh

    I just want to chime in here and say Thank You to our readers. Honestly, I’ve had a hard time not listening to the negative comments by a small, but outspoken, minority. I knew that there were people out there that liked what we do (we can’t be hated by all of our 7,000 daily visitors), but I was having trouble remembering that.

    The Adult Lego Community is great place to play. You are awesome.

    I blog with all the guys here on TBB because its fun, but you all make it even more so! Thank you very much!

  29. Nick Dean

    I find it a little obnoxious and condescending that you guys patronize and satirize those who only come here expecting the best and voice their disappointment. It’s not that hard to say, “Yeah, we’ll try to blog other builders more often.”

    I’m a big fan of TBB, and a fan of Legohaulic and Nnenn, but I’m also a fan of the lesser known builders who bring something new and creative to the table, and I like to see them get the attention they work for.

    -Nick Dean

  30. Hawk

    I have to say, I stand by and support this decision entirely. Thank you all for taking a step against the idiocy and general bullishness that seems to be constantly encroaching against our community. Huge fan of the blog, of course, now and always. Go Brothers-Brick!

    Play well!

  31. Shmails

    First, this is the first site I check in the morning and the last before I go to sleep. Not a day goes by that something blogged here doesn’t inspire me to start thinking of something new to build (mostly in my head).

    Secondly, as stated many times in this conversation, you guys do a great job of finding the best of the best to post here. If that comes from a handful of people, then I know who to look for for inspiration and new techniques.

    Thirdly, there is a growing phrase that is driving me crazy on these blogs: “In my opinion”. As if this one statement allows an individual to say whatever they feel like with no consequences. This is a blog, if you post a comment, it is your opinion. Do not be shocked if something said under the umbrella of that statement is offensive to others. Be even less surprised when people who care about the opposite point of view attack back.

    I believe the most important phrase is “constructive criticism”. Say what you want, but try to turn it to the positive. No one creates a lego moc to cause an argument, and those that see political agenda and religious undertones are usually projecting them.

    So, I fully support your TOS, as well as your blogging and commenting styles. This is your site, the best blog in town, and nothing that great goes without a few who feel they must hate on it. Keep it up, and thanks for everything!

  32. Arterial Blockage

    Well, I was going to get up here and spout words of wisdom and wonder about how this site is free and people shouldn’t complain. It seems though that everybody else already has. Oh well, that’s alright with me.

    You made the right decision. Now I can start reading the comment section again. Keep up the awesome blogging.

    Arterial Blockage

  33. Dez

    I want to complain about the low level of intelligence in some of your readers. I mean seriously guys, make them more smarterer.

    Yes, the above was sarcasm. I support TBB and what they do for the community. Those who don’t are free to…uh…not read it?

  34. Fred

    I think it’s gizmodo that has a neat new “warning” method.

    They disenvowel you for going too far off topic as a public warning. Basically they just run the post through a simple script that pulls all the vowels out of the post. It lets the poster and everyone else know that they are out of bounds and you are keeping an eye on it. Of course this requires time on your part but, I’m all for some level of taking down the garbage.. even if it means hitting some of my posts which can -from time to time- wander off track.

    Along with everyone else.. job well done.

    Remember: It’s the freakin’ internet.. Civil survival in this wild world requires people to be nice anonymously. Enormous request.

  35. Perry

    About a year ago, I discovered this site. It’s a daily routine for me to come over here, and see what all the guys with a million times my building skills have produced. I never left a comment, hell, I only recently discovered that it was possible.

    Ok, now here is what I want. I want a blog that gives me an overview of everything that was built that day, anywhere on earth. I want the blog to make an overview of those MOC’s, ordered to what I like most, and I want it to leave out all the things I’m not interested in. Next to that, I want to get access to building instructions for all featured MOC’s, access to the necessary bricks to build MOC’s of my own, and a cup of coffee every time I stop by.

    What do you think? Is this going to happen?

    This site is responsible for the fact that I’ve been building things with Lego, after having closed the storage box for the last time, 25 years ago. THIS site. In the year I’ve been coming here, I have never seen anything that made me question the moral standards of the people who keep up this site. I have seen things I didn’t really like, or couldn’t really appreciate, but then again, I’ve got a mouse with a scroll button, and man, can that thing move through the content of these pages if necessary.

    There’s things I would differently, if this were my blog. But the fact is, it’s not my Blog. I come here, look at everything all these people create, and I am gratefull someone takes the effort to provide this blog for everyone to visit. And as I’m an adult with, if I can say so myself, a healthy dose of common sense, I realise this blog isn’t written for me alone. So I take it as it comes. Apparently not everybody is able to do that.

    I really like this blog, and I would like to thank the people who put their time and effort in keeping this site running. I’msure these people are able to place the criticisms in context.

    So, and now I’m off to the silent majority again.

  36. Binky

    I’ve been a reader since before it was Brothers Brick, and I’ve known Andrew for years. Long ago I had an idea to bring the best of the LEGO fan world together, but I didn’t put the work into it that could’ve made it work. (ILENN is dead, especially now that I work for TLG.)

    Andrew and his brother bloggers have created a place that is far more than what I’d hoped to achieve. It’s taken a lot of effort and I’m sure is thankless at times. But it’s become one of the more frequented LEGO blogs, to my knowledge, and is certainly my favorite. I usually send around the BIONICLE, Racers and TECHNIC related entries to my co-workers, who love to see the best of the best made by their fans.

    As I’ve seen on other communities, once you pass a threshold, you start having to deal with more than just your immediate “family” of readers. I applaud Andrew (and Tim’s) posts and actions to keep this place friendly.

  37. quincy

    Man, I love this site. Please don’t fall victim to haters who post here. Understand there’s a ton more of us who just want to read what you have to say, or see what you think is interesting. Please hang in there! Your quality is top notch, along with your taste in quality work. Cheers!

  38. Tim David

    I have one query with regards to the under 13 rule, I understand from Tim that is is because of some knee jerk US internet law, but what happens if you post a MOC by someone under 13, they can’t even reply on here about it? That sucks!
    And if you need more time for the rest of your life, get Keith to do some blogging! ;-)
    Keep up the good work


  39. Lich Barrister

    It’s heartening to see how philosophical we all can be, especially about the nature of criticism and altruism. This site, simply put, has all the hallmarks of a labour of love and devotion. I can’t claim that it’s the first thing I check, but it’s in my top three – and it’s the #1 amateur site that I hit after my fave news and arts sites.

    The nature of criticism’s a tricky thing. I’m a teacher, and I attended a webcast lecture on descriptive feedback yesterday that has surprising parallels to this. Briefly, descriptive feedback is what we give each other to improve and learn, and evaluative feedback is that stuff with a number or a grade on it. Assignments can have both, but as soon as there’s a grade on it there’s less learning.

    No one’s grading here, obviously, but simply saying that “this is wrong” or “there’s too much of [Builder Name Here] on this site” isn’t really that helpful. (Apologies to anyone with the name “Builder Name Here” if they exist, no harm was intended.)

    One of the suggestions from this session was to talk about a few strengths and offer one suggestion for improvement, so I’ll try that here (though the strengths have been said before). One of the great things about this site is that it is a community, with people ready to take useful criticism and willing to offer it to each other. Another strength is the literate standards for this site – I’ve never felt that my (rare) editorial notes to the site have been resented, and I’ve been impressed by the insightful essays about the nature of our shared passion.

    One suggestion, then, if I may: Is there a place for a “Brothers Brick Junior” as an affiliated site? I’ve noticed that a fair number of AFoLs here have youngsters and may be looking for a site that speaks to their youth, and others. Given the numbers of contacts from which the editors have mentioned that they glean, though, and the assumption that Child Fans of LEGO likely outnumber AFoLs, it would be Sisyphean to insist that BB expand their sources.

    To further this suggestion: what about something like a feature on a building technique of the month (easy, medium, advanced) which CFoLs are to employ in a build competition? These would be judged by some volunteers, and the best examples would be doled out over the next few weeks. Comments would be offered by the judges, and fans could offer emailed comments to the site – and then the best comments could be added. The concept of commentary in this fashion’s like that of letters to the editor in a comic book – you get to read what effective commentary looks like and hopefully learn how to be a productive member of the TFoL and AFoL community.

    I realize that there’s an intended age for this community, and I agree that it’s necessary. But… we can’t assume that CFoLs will suddenly develop commentary skills once they cross over to 13, either.

  40. Fredoichi

    Hey Andrew, Brothers Brick is a great thing and running a blog like this one, is a time-consuming effort and you just can’t please everyone of your readers no matter what you do.

    I must say this though, I’m quite an active guy online. Like a lot of you, when it comes to staying on top of things concerned Lego, my RSS reader feeds me big time. There’s alot of great builds I see on a daily bases and most guys have seen each others stuff before it even lands on TBB.

    But I do think you are often missing out on the lesser known out there who build fantastic stuff with the brick. Sometimes more surprising and maybe more interesting than the better known. And even photographed well. When it comes to blogging builds there’s a lot of recurring names here. I often think, “man, did you guys even see this or that one?!” I know it’s all about making choices…

    The way this blog is setup is like a couple of articles a day. Some builds, some news and something else. Why not make and add something like an automated section ‘picks/builds of the day’ kinda thing? Where you just cover 5 items/builds just by showing thumbnails (link) and name. Just let the images speak…this way you can cover more people, builds and variety in a smaller manner.

    Now being covered on TBB is not the most important thing in the world. It’s not why we try to make cool stuff, it’s all about fun, but in a community this good it’s always nice to get some recognition.

    Just a thought and keep it up!

  41. Nannan

    As someone who don’t usually read most comments (I just blog), I went down this list of replies and felt the need to say thank you to all of our supportive audiences. Without you guys, I’m sure we wouldn’t have the interest to maintain the blog.

  42. Alan Post

    I’ve been reading your site for some time, but have never commented before. I’m sorry you need to do this, but I fully support you making your website a civil and intelligent place.

    Since I haven’t said it before, I really appreciate the effort you put into this site. It is one of two LEGO blogs I read, and I come here for you commentary and impression of the models you review.

  43. Ramone

    Andrew, I just wanted to say thank you (and to Nnenn, and co.) for putting forth such extraordinary efforts on this blog. Not only do I frequently perused the images, but I’ve also benefited from information posted here, having purchased Pirates sets from Toys R Us before they sold out at our local store, and more urgently–I was one of the lucky few to get the Lego Castle Advent Calendar thanks to BB’s posts.

    In recent days I’ve come to feel ashamed of a comment I made on the Obama art figure. I feel stupid for taking the troll bait and responding to another comment that was already off-topic. I acted in haste, when I knew better to just let it pass. Please accept my apology for further derailing the focus of the blog–to admire, appreciate, and discuss The Brick. I take responsibility for acting like a fool serious. And while I can’t promise to curtail my opinion, I CAN be more thoughtful about how I will respond. I encourage all commentors here to do the same.

    Thanks again.

  44. Tim David

    Re: the 13 years thing, I actually read the ToS 8-)
    It says ” The Website is available only to individuals who are at least 13 years old.”
    Thats not actually true. You might want to reword it.

  45. Josh

    Now this is more like it. Thank you everyone.

    @Lich Barrister – Thank you for your comment., I appreciated it. Your suggestion for a Junior TBB is a good one. That is definitely a niche that could be filled by such a site as you describe. You are right that we can’t expect 12 year olds to magically become mature and literate when they turn 13 (my daughter turned 13 this week, so I have first-hand experience ;) ).

    However there are a lot of issues involved. The main one is time. We simply don’t have it. Keeping TBB relevant is a huge undertaking. I know I’m not ready to take on a sister site.

    A second issue is regulations that govern sites for minors under 13. There is a lot involved, regarding gathering of information and such. That is actually the biggest reason that we disallow anyone under 13.

    Could it be done? Sure. Would it serve a valuable function? Absolutely. Is TBB going to do it? Probably not. At least I don’t see us doing that in the foreseeable future.

    Again, thanks for your comment. It was a pleasure to read!

    @Frediochi – You are right. We do miss stuff. I think its inevitable. I’m constantly running across things that I missed last week, last month, or years ago. Sometimes I post them, sometimes not. There is definitely a timing issue involved. And you are correct, we have to make choices. I resolved last year to actively hunt for people who were posting outside of my “normal” sphere. I think I’ve achieved some success at that, but it needs to continue. We will always have room to improve. I’m glad that you recognize that.

    Your idea of an automated list of builds is interesting. I don’t know that I could ever trust an automated system like that though. We currently have a good list of contributors that Andrew and I exercise very little control over, but at least they each have a defined reason why they posted each item.

    Thanks for your comment!

    @Ramone – I just wanted to clarify one thing. It pops up a lot. Nnenn and Nannan are not the same person. Nnenn is a builder of spacecraft. Nannan is a contributor on TBB. Just wanted to clear that up. Thanks!

  46. Chuck

    I think what a lot of you forget is that it is not an obligation to blog every single blogworthy MOC. If you feel that those MOCs should be blogged, then start a blog and post them there. However, don’t complain that they are not being given attention here. TBB, like any other blog, exists to publish people’s opinions. If you have a different opinion, so be it, but don’t get angry at the bloggers if you don’t see some amazing creation blogged. I would advise, instead of complaining here, shoot one of them an e-mail, and maybe it will be blogged.

  47. Bryan

    I want what Perry wants and especially that cup of coffee with my TBB :)

    Thanks TBB for whatchya do to both inspire and confound especially with complicated snot and greeblage and also always paying attention to presentation. Beyond brick-building, I’m thinking of upgrading my presentation equipment and methodology. By the way, reference to some how-tos on that topic are always very appreciated. Some things I’ve seen recently through TBB where people have been experimenting with different lighting has especially piqued my interest in the photography aspect. Again thanks for my favorite blog – in my downtime following the various online avenues which you are so good and pointing to is always enjoyable. No complaints here at all.

  48. Curtis

    What if TBB did a weekly recap of notable MOC’s? I’m sure you get suggestions for many that are worth blogging, but for one reason or another don’t get blogged. Say you organized those MOC’s into one weekly post that isn’t devoted to a single person or MOC but instead a collection of builders and MOC’s. Maybe just small thumbnails, no descriptions or commentaries, just the photos under some sort of ‘weekly recap’ banner. It’s just a suggestion that would allow more to be shown, take it or leave it. I’m mostly happy with how things are done around here.

  49. Peter

    Hey Andrew, Tim, Nannan, et al,

    Just wanted to drop a big Thank You. I’ve never met any of you in real life, though I hope to, and I wanted you to know I really enjoy the work you put into this thing.

    As nnenn’s biggest fanboi, I don’t think you blog any one builder too much. Thanks for keeping it real. And to that Dave of Dave and Stacy guy: dude, right on!

    Pay your dues, kids. Only then will you earn my respect.

  50. AaronSneary / ColourSchemer

    There are comments? There are arguments in the comments? Heck, how’d you guys hide this from me so long, I could have been verbally abusing the noobs and whiners.

    Oh, yea, I know why I didn’t see the comments. Your content rocks so hard, it’s more than enough entertainment when I have click time.

    Keep serving up awesome posts, remember your fans and delete your ney-sayers. They can bad-mouth you elsewhere!

    Thanks again for an awesome site.

  51. DARKspawn

    It is the nature of the internet that those who disapprove are the most vocal and the most likely to comment. The rest of us 6996 daily visitors (to use the stats from Josh’s post above) are thrilled to be here. What puzzles me is that if the haters feel so strongly about opinions expressed by The Brothers Brick staff why do they come back and visit at all? Very Troll-like behaviour in my opinion.

    I don’t usually engage in commentary on TBB, but I am a frequent visitor & have had the honour of my creations being featured many times (possibly even almost as much as poor Tyler & nnenn) on this site, something I am quite proud of. I consider myself part of the TBB community & am extremely thankful for the efforts of its contributors. As a member of the “not so silent” majority, be sure that for every vocal hater there are several hundred avid, yet silent, readers. Thanks guys.

    However I feel I have to make the observation that coverage of politically motivated MOCs have only recently started appearing on TBB. All of which (to my memory) have been American. I don’t doubt that the majority of your visitors are American, but I would like to point out that many of us aren’t. Although the Troll-like comments were amusing to begin with, they quickly got old, and to be honest, a little worrying.

    Also, the choice of creations covered appeared (to me, an outsider) to be completely in support of the American Democrat party. This doesn’t bother me at all on a personal level, like most of the world’s population, I was happy to see the back of the Bush administration (omg I expressed a political opinion! just remember I am an Australian & it doesn’t count anyway). Again, this is cool, however you have to expect backlash. You Americans seem incredibly divided in political views, whereas in Australia political commentary is taken with a grain of salt, it appears that some of you yanks really get your backs up about it. Although I can’t help to think that in most cases we’re hearing the poster’s parents talking, rather than a well thought out political opinion.

    Thanks agin, Brothers, your site is a constant source of inspiration for me
    /end rant

  52. Josh

    Thanks for the comment, Aaron! Regarding the recent posting of political MOCs…I would like to point out that the views and statements of the contributors are not the official views of the blog. If they were, this would be one extremely confused and schizophrenic blog! :D

    Officially, the blog has no official political views. But I bet most of the contributors do! As for myself, I don’t fit with either political party. In the rare times that I do get into political discussions the person I’m talking to always thinks I’m on the “other” side. Republicans think I’m a Democrat and the Democrats think I’m a Republican. Even the Libertarians don’t like me. I’m also too much of a capitalist for the Socialists. I call myself an Independent, but that really means nothing. Guess I’m screwed. ;)

    As for Australian political MOCs, you are going to have to bring that up with Tim. He’s our down-under correspondent.

  53. Marc Nelson Jr.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this is the world’s best LEGO blog.

    I could care less which builders you highlight – I only care that you highlight excellent MOCs (which you do!). Just like in any other field, excellence is not evenly distributed throughout the population, so it makes sense that some builders are posted about more than others.

    I completely respect that you (mostly Andrew) post things with a political point of view. It’s not my point of view, but I like your honesty and the I appreciate the chance to see a different point of view.

    The only negative comment I’ve ever had about TBB concerned the leak policy and, well, you did ask us for our opinions…

    Anyway, keep up the great posts and I’ll keep reading!

  54. BJR

    I know my comments that “zero politics” sounds heavy handed but what I have noticed is when politics, religion and sports are discussed common sense and maturity for many go out the window.

    If you want to post those things then be heavy handed with the comments that are out of control and those that are immature will move on to the next place they can troll.

    Or shut the comments off for something on those topics.

    Frankly, it is TBB’s house, whatever rules and policies they create I will follow and support even if I disagree, because it is there house.

    Well done to those here, I do enjoy reading.

  55. greenglo

    TBB may want to look into both registered comments and comment rating.

    These allow for:
    1. Easy reporting of people breaking the rules.
    2. The ability to ban and make people accountable for their comments.
    3. The ability for the users to rate comments, so that idiotic comments slowly fade away or become invisible.

    The way the comment system is set up now puts almost all the responsibility on the bloggers who are already very busy. Anonymous commenting on many major blogs have been removed.

    As a web developer I know it sucks to redo your site, but I feel it is a necessary change to keep people responsible to your rules and fully realize your vision.

    My favourite example is

    And the best lego blog in the world is brothers-brick!

  56. m055

    Lets face it there is an overall message that comes across on this site…drugs anyone!?…seriously this blog is like crack. Amazingly great. How can you complain about free opiates? Recognize the hours it takes to cut and measure the purest and best. “This is not your father’s blog?”…its not your childrens blog, those kids need fresh air and exercise. When your old and stiff…then…start your own blog, cause we still won’t care for you opinions. LOL. Jk.

    This site is great! Thanks for your dedication and the time you take everyday. It’s so obvious that the bloggers on here are of a higher calibur; if not the best lego bloggers out there. That even TLG garners you guys respect and also that of iyour readers…two recent examples would be the survey that came through this site not to long ago and also the opportunity we all had to give our own ideas for new lego sets.((readers applause)). You guys are great…hope to meet some of you in Chicago!

  57. Andrew Post author

    Thanks for all the kind comments everyone. I’m just catching up after rather a rough day at work, so I really appreciate this show of support from the generally “silent majority.”

    Josh has already hit several important points, but I also wanted to respond to some of the great ideas suggested so far.

    A kid-friendly younger sibling of The Brothers Brick is a smashing idea. Unfortunately, the legal complications of running a site for kids under 13 are prohibitive, and we simply don’t have the time for a second site. Fascinating LEGO Model of the Day and The NXT Step are both specifically run in a kid-friendly way, so there are alternatives for parents who want to let their kids interact on a LEGO blog.

    Yes, I’ve been considering moving to a comment model that requires registration. It’s actually not a huge change, so I’ll likely roll that out with the next WordPress upgrade I do.

  58. Blackbeard

    I run a number of Web sites, and I make a living doing it (barely). I was astonished to read that Brothers Brick is a labor of love, because there’s clearly tremendous labor here. Personally, I find running the sites I run nothing short of exhausting and to run a site without it being a livelihood is quite amazing.

    You guys (I assume you’re brothers, no I haven’t had time to read it all) are doing a wonderful job. I often check in here during the work day for a few minutes of cheering up.

    Thanks for creating a great site, I hope you keep it up. No matter what, though, know you’re appreciated.

    — Black

    P.S. Also know that readers can often be jackasses. I can’t count the number of nasty letters I’ve gotten (including a few death threats — seriously). Many readers are cool, but there are a few who, as a buddy of mine would say, are full-goose bozo-nutters.

  59. Olog

    I <3 TBB, otherwise I wouldn’t be checking it every day four times.
    Let the haters be haters, there’s no use trying to convince them. If people are capable of holding a grudge or being insulted by a post made on a Lego blog, then it’s clear they’ve got no reason being here.

  60. Josh

    @Blackbeard – Thanks for the comments. Its good to hear from someone who knows what goes into sites like this.

    Just letting you know a little background. We aren’t brothers. The name of the blog came from a naming contest, soon after Andrew asked me to join him. Its a reference to the Brothers Grim. They told stories to entertain and inform. We try to do the same thing in a Lego setting. The other contributors came in at various times. We also have a handful of behind-the-scenes/secret honorary brothers and one honorary sister. They act as a sort of ad hoc advisory board. ;)

    Our contributors are scattered all over the Western United States, Australia, and Sweden.

  61. Nathan Wells

    A REALLY interesting twist would be that we were actually all brothers, but we didn’t know it. *Dun dun DUHN* ;)

    Yeah, that’s all I have to contribute – my excuse it that spring classes started today!

    But, really, thank you all for your support. It’s nice to hear the “silent majority” pipe up, you should do it more often!

  62. AwesomeStar

    Being 14 (and a wee bit) I just scrape the pass, but I fully agree with Andrew. I spent half an hour trawling through the stupid comments of that Obama/Bush MOC you blogged and I got sadder with each one. Lego is a fun way to express yourself, or make art, or simply just to play and have a laugh. It isn’t there to write bad comments about. Bringing politics into Lego is dangerous, sure, but it really shouldn’t be that people comment dumb things about it, while thinking about politics instead of the art, the Lego.

    So thank you, Andrew. Here here.

  63. Bruce

    I want to complain about the high level of intelligence in some of your readers. I mean seriously guys, they use words like Sisyphean and even spell them correctly. I’m not smarterer enough for this blog. I want comments like “Gr8!!!!!!! That MOC rulzzz!!!” It’s especially good if people use all caps. Maybe I’ll go start my own blog.

  64. Robbiew

    I have never posted before. As one of the silent majority, I want to say thankyou for running such a wonderful site.

  65. Erik

    Ive been following your blog for about over a year now and its one of my daily inspirational inputs. I truly apreciate the effort you put into this since there is no way I would have the time to search for all theese great Mocs on my own. So a big thank you for all your effort.


  66. Optimystic

    Exxos-While I am not in any way offended by your comment, I do think that 16-‘s should be allowed to register or post comments, some of us are able to be mature, for instance not giving in to peer pressure and abadoning lego when all of our friends do, something which happens a lot in the 11-14 age group. I personally think that we can be mature, or at least be given the chance.

  67. Lenny

    Dear Brothers-Brick Staff,
    I wanted to make a note thanking you guys for everything you do. BB is updating regularly, and is a regular part of my day. Recently I changed jobs from one that allowed me time to interact with the LEGO community to one that did not. Although I love my new job, I hate being separated and I hate not knowing what is going on. Brothers Brick allows me to keep tabs on the latest and the greatest LEGO Mocs, and to keep a connection to my favorite hobby, even if I don’t have the time to build and participate like I used to.

    Furthermore, so many of my friends are featured on BB, that it allows me to keep a little up to date on what is happening in their lives. I know blogs like this are time consuming, and sometimes seem unrewarding. I want you guys to know how much I appreciate the work you do, and that I will continue to be a big fan for a long time to come.

    Once again: THANK YOU!

    -Lenny Hoffman
    lenny dot hoffman at gmail dot com

  68. Josh

    @Optimystic – You are allowed to register and comment. It is only minors under the age of 13 that are not.

    @Lenny – Hey Lenny! Its great to hear from you. I’ve wondered if you had been lurking anywhere. I miss seeing you around on CC. Glad to know that you are still alive and kickin’!

  69. Optimystic

    Josh-I know that 13 ‘s are allow to post comments/register, I was just replying to Exxos’s comment.

    And also guys don’t let the minority who complain get to you, most of them probably don’t know what it’s like to run a blog of this status.

  70. kakam

    Hey, hey TBB, I appreciate that you guys go through all this work to keep this blog up and running. I for one am glad that this is one of the few places where everyone (for the most part….) is friendly to outsiders and to those who don’t quite understand all the Acronyms.

    To all of you, Thank you, and a huge thank you to TBB’s dedicated bloggers!

  71. Rong Yiren

    A big thanks to the guys who run this site. I love TBB! I check in several times a day just to see if anything new has been posted. I certainly appreciate the times my MOCs have been blogged and I definitely love seeing all the other MOCs that show up on these pages. TBB is a major source of motivation and inspiration for me. Keep up the awesome job! : )

  72. Lino M

    I’m sorry it took a negative situation to have to come to this but I applaud the staff at TBB to come to this decision. It is clear by doing this that they strive to bring it back to what this is supposed to be about…and that’s highlighting Lego related news, showcasing some of the best Lego creations this planet has to offer and bringing light to extremely talented builders whom I (and the Lego community at large) would have never known about. I was shocked and appalled at reading some of the short-sighted, narrow minded comments (having nothing at all to do with Lego) that lead to this decision. Keep up the great work you guys and keep showcasing TOP NOTCH work and don’t give in to pressure and ridicule from the haters. (Haters, you want to be showcased on here more, then step up your game…oh, and a good personality goes a long way). Note that even with my unique name, I have registered using my real name and my well known flickr handle. This means I am and always will be mature enough to own up to all comments I may leave. Keep up the good work. Good luck and good night.

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