Monthly Archives: January 2010

Announcing “Big in Japan” – collaborative display for TBB readers at BrickCon 2010

A LEGO zombie apocalypse is so last year (and the year before that). We’re pleased to announce that the collaborative display that The Brothers Brick will be coordinating this fall at BrickCon in Seattle will be inspired by the rich history and culture of Japan.

LEGO Hayao Miyazaki Totori, Mei, and Satsuki

Like these wonderful characters from Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro by Iain Heath (Ochre Jelly) — elements of the “Miyazakitopia” section Iain is planning for the display — we’ll welcome creations spanning many different eras and building styles. Part of the fun of a collaborative display is figuring out how to fit it all together once all the builders and their creations arrive at the convention!

LEGO Jizou | お地蔵様From the epic Battle of Sekigahara to Godzilla battling Mothra in retro-future Tokyo, both reality and fiction from the Land of the Rising Sun provide plenty of inspiration for great LEGO creations.

Many of my earliest posted LEGO creations were inspired by the legends and history of land where I was born, and I’m personally looking forward to building again from that cultural heritage.

LEGO DekotoraThis is the earliest we’ve announced a collaborative display — for good reason. We hope that Big in Japan will inspire some truly different LEGO creations (like Proudlove‘s dekotora), alongside the iconic samurai and mecha we expect. From sketching designs to buying the parts you need on Bricklink, planning substantial contributions to the display may take the next eight or nine months.

As in years past, we’ll have prizes and giveaways, though we’re still working out the details about what those might be. In the meantime, break out those Kurosawa DVDs, crack open some Natsume Soseki novels, and start building!

BrickArms featured in Wired Magazine

BrickArms was featured in the current February 2010 issue of Wired Magazine as part of an article that highlight some of the successes of small scale production and manufacturing. You may be surprised to find out that Will, owner of BrickArms, now makes more income on a slow BrickArms day than he did before as a software engineer. You can read the feature on Eurobricks or click on the magazine cover below for the full article.

Proudlove’s Mistral II – what the Eiffel Tower dreams of being when it sleeps

We all have those dreams — flying around in our sleep. The ironwork supporting Nathan Proudlove‘s Mistral II steampunk aircraft carrier is inspired by Gustave Eiffel’s architectural masterpiece, topped with a lovely pavilion reminiscent of the Palais d’Industrie from the 1855 Paris World’s Fair.

LEGO Steampunk aircraft carrier

Naturally, the crow’s nest hangs down, and the flight deck is primed with five auto-gyro bombers. I’m not sure I’d want to be in a glass pavilion with gatling guns blazing away around me, but it sure is pretty…

See what we though of Nathan’s original Mistral way back in 2006.

LEGOLAND Florida scheduled to open in 2011 [News]

LEGOLAND logoIn slightly belated news (but for the sake of completeness), LEGOLAND operators Merlin Entertainment last week announced LEGOLAND Florida, scheduled to open in 2011.

The new park is replacing the defunct Cypress Gardens, located in Winter Haven, about an hour south of Orlando.

Here’s the official word:

Merlin has purchased the historical Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven Florida from property investment company Land South Group and will open LEGOLAND Florida on the site at the end of 2011. The deal to buy the 145-acre site includes the freehold on the current theme park and waterpark as well as an operating lease in perpetuity on the historic botanical gardens. Merlin plans a significant multi-million dollar investment over a number of years, up to and beyond opening, in what will be the biggest LEGOLAND to date. In line with the group’s “resort” strategy for its theme parks this is likely to include both accommodation and the addition of further branded attractions from the Merlin portfolio. This will build on the $100m invested over the last few years in improved infrastructure on the site.

Read the full press release on the Merlin site.

And don’t miss Thanel’s review of LEGOLAND California for adult visitors.

Jonathan Bender interviews GeekDad John Baichtal

2010 looks like it’s going to be a great year for LEGO literature, with at least two non-fiction books about the adult fan experience due to be published. I’ve had the pleasure of talking with both writers about our hobby and the “LEGO life,” so I was pleased to see one interviewing the other.

In journalist Jonathan Bender‘s interview with GeekDad John Baichtal, the two discuss writing about LEGO, being an AFOL parent, and more.

As a Geekdad, what’s it like to play with LEGO bricks with the next generation?

It was something of a reality check. I was expecting instant love, but there were stumbling blocks. First, the more complicated elements are hard for little kids to figure out…. Second, kids have so many toys and activities these days — interactive games like Wii or the Internet grab kids so much more readily than a bunch of bricks. Nevertheless, my son’s bedroom floor is covered in Lego bricks as I write this.

Read Jonathan’s full interview with John Baichtal on his blog, Brick Bender.

This biomechanical centipede will make scrap metal of your resistance

Joseph Kazmo, whom you may remember from his Star Wars advanced alts from way back, is finally building again after a lengthy building hiatus. This biomechanical centipede is the appetizer for a “mechanical fantasy theme that combines Medieval times with technology and wizardry.” I look forward to this theme with eager anticipation.