Monthly Archives: February 2012

Rod Gillies’ Steampunk Submarine Boat

This transatlantic steamer sails deep under the oceans, unlike the more sedate ocean-liners of old. The Atlantica is Rod Gillies’ (aka 2 Much Caffeine) take on a dimension oft overlooked by steampunk fans in their enthusiasm for dirigibles and floating rocks. Taking some design hints from Captain Nemo’s famous Nautilus in Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Atlantica has a charming shape and quite clever parts usages.

Her Majesty's Submersible Atlantica

New Custom Parts Roundup [News]

We recently have received news about a number of new custom items so it seemed appropriate to cover them together.

First off, I was sent a package of some new items from Brick-Warriors. The new items are high quality and fit well, as did the last batch that we reviewed. The new items represent a fun cross-section of genres. Naturally I’m a big fan of the Medieval/Fantasy pieces, but the modern weapons are very nicely done too. Check out the set in my photostream for more pictures.

Warrior Da Bomb

Three Warriors Modern Soldier Front

Secondly, Brickarms has released four new variants of the M-16. While I haven’t had a chance to see them in person yet, I have to say that the M110 is my favorite. But they all look good and Brickarms quality has always been high. I was also remiss in reporting the awesome Castle prototypes that Will announced at BrickCon back in October. You can check those out in my photostream as well. They are incredible and I only hope that they become production pieces at some point.

M16 Variants & M110

Lastly, there have been some new items over at Brickforge that slipped in under our radar. Their Shock Trooper armor is now available in Dark Tan and Azure Blue (with Alien Defense Unit logos). The Shock Trooper helmets, Tactical Vests and Tactical Helmets are available in those colors as well. Pretty cool stuff!

5th Installment of Blast from the Past Lego Commercials [News]

Advance just released their latest classic LEGO commercials! Town fans get twice the love this time, with two commercials, and the third features Belville. Each of them has their points of interest but my favorite this time is the one for the City Precinct. Gotta love controversy!

LEGO SYSTEM 1993 City Central Precinct

This was shot in Los Angeles and features a storyline that generated a lot of Grand Theft Auto-type controversy. It features a thief called Max who steals a car and is pursued through the city by police. In the end he escapes and we see the police precinct set from above. There were no CGI effects here – everything was built from scratch.

LEGO SYSTEM Belville 1994

Belville was an early attempt from LEGO to move into the girls’ market and is still available today. This spot is a somewhat surreal girls’ fantasy universe with lots of horses and mum and dad are still perfect sweethearts. The only time you see a boy is when the girl pushes him out of the picture.


This was done before we had 3D graphics so we used 2D animation. The spot features two ‘live’ animated figures while the rest are static mini-figs. At 00:10 and 00:16 we see the chopper in the air without any hands holding it – something that wouldn’t be legal today.

10224 Town Hall officially unveiled – due out March 2012 [News]

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly five years since 10182 Cafe Corner was released. The latest LEGO Exclusive addition to the modular building series takes the structure’s scale to a new level, with the 2,766-piece 10224 Town Hall, due out next month.

10224 Town Hall (1)

See all the photos in my photoset on Flickr.

10224 Town Hall

Ages 14+. 2,766 pieces.
US $199.99 CA $249.99 DE 179.99 € UK 149.99 £ DK 1499 DKK
Keep the wheels of commerce turning with the authentic Town Hall!

This classic 3-storey town hall building is the latest addition to the LEGO® Modular Buildings series. This highly-detailed model features large entrance-way columns and coat of arms, a tall bell tower with clock and a large skylight giving a view inside the building. On the ground floor, the large hall, tax office and auditorium are perfect for servicing the town’s citizens. Take the working elevator up to the secretary and mayor’s offices on the second floor, furnished eloquently with desks, chairs, paintings and even a frog sculpture. There’s even a balcony for addressing the town’s citizens. On the third floor, a spacious meeting room features a large conference table, chairs, globe and plants. Includes 8 minifigures: mayor, secretary, bride and groom, press woman, janitor and 2 children.

  • Includes 8 minifigures: mayor, secretary, bride and groom, press woman, janitor and 2 children
  • Features painting, desks, chairs, sculpture, lamp, conference table, globe, plants and bench
  • Functioning elevator with space for 2 minifigures and ladder access to roof
  • Bell tower features bench and maintenance ladder
  • Roof features skylight with view inside the building
  • Measures 10” (25.5 cm) wide and 20” (50 cm) high
  • Address the citizens from the balcony!
  • Combine with other LEGO® Modular buildings like the 10218 Pet Shop and 10211 Grand Emporium!

LEGO Minecraft Micro World set officially unveiled, includes Micro Mobs [News]

There’s been a lot of speculation about the first LEGO CUUSOO set, so the official announcement is a welcome relief. The set is due out this summer.

LEGO Minecraft (1)

The set splits into four sections.

LEGO Minecraft (5)

See all the photos in my photoset on Flickr.

Here’s the official press release:

LEGO® Minecraft™ Micro World details unveiled, available for pre-order

BILLUND, Denmark – The LEGO Group and Mojang have released purchase details and pictures of the LEGO® Minecraft™ Micro World today.

The new set, which was the first to receive 10,000 votes of support from users on the global LEGO CUUSOO idea collection platform, will be available for purchase in summer 2012, but can be pre-ordered from today, exclusively through Mojang retail partner for $34.99 €34.99 at The sets will also be sold in select LEGO brand retail stores and the LEGO online shop from summer 2012.

“LEGO Minecraft Micro World is designed to celebrate the essence of the LEGO concept and the Minecraft gaming experience,” said Paal Smith-Meyer, Head of the LEGO New Business Group. Each set features four cubic modular vignettes that can be connected to recreate the Minecraft experience in LEGO bricks. One Minecraft block is represented as one 1×1 LEGO plate with a tile on top — not a perfect cube, but the best approximation at the chosen scale.

LEGO Minecraft Micro World includes two of Minecraft’s most iconic characters, Steve and a Creeper, represented as “Micro Mobs.” The model presents a standard for building a Minecraft world that can be configured any way the builder likes.

The surface of the modules comes off to reveal mines and hidden resources beneath. Fans can build their own landscapes, stack cubes on top of each other, to build the world of Minecraft as they wish.
The product was developed in collaboration with four LEGO fans: Chris Malloy, Michael Thomas, Kyle Tingey, and Bjarne Panduro Tveskov. These fans developed concepts alongside LEGO designers and helped shape the product into its final version.

Upon seeing the physical model the first time, Mojang founder Markus “Notch” Persson exclaimed: “Woohoo!”

LEGO CUUSOO is a website where LEGO fans can submit their ideas for new LEGO products and collect votes to make their ideas become a reality. They can also vote for other users’ ideas. It can be found at

Ideas that are supported by 10,000 votes have a chance of being selected to become part of the LEGO Group’s product portfolio. Consumers who have their ideas chosen will earn 1% of the total net sales of the product.

Mojang will donate the 1% proceeds from LEGO CUUSOO to charity.

For more on the co-creation process for LEGO Minecraft Micro World, see the LEGO CUUSOO blog at

Special congratulations to TBB’s own Chris Malloy for his involvement in the launch of the first global LEGO CUUSOO project!

Let the inevitable discussion ensue.

Pete Reid’s Anodyne Systems M364 – some assembly required

With lots of friends on Flickr pursuing a broad variety of geeky pursuits other than LEGO, actual LEGO models that look like their real-world inspirations sometimes slip past. Peter Reid‘s series of turtle robots are certainly adorable, but putting one of them in a disassembled state on what appears to be a plastic sprue is positively mind-blowing. Even the tools are brick-built.

Assembly required

Thanks to Ed Diment for making sure we corrected this miss.

FBTB covers Toy Fair 2012 in NYC – LEGO LOTR, Star Wars, Monster Fighters [News]

While we were distracted by images of the 2012 LEGO Avengers sets that Marvel released, our friends over at FBTB were busily covering all the news from Toy Fair 2012 in New York.

Leading the way, we finally have detailed photos of the LEGO Lord of the Rings sets (full coverage). I’m particularly excited by the new articulated horses.

Toy Fair 2012 - The Lord of the Rings - 9472 Attack on Weathertop - 01

Helm’s Deep looks like a great set for Castle builders and LOTR fans alike.

Toy Fair 2012 - The Lord of the Rings - 9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep - 01

The LEGO Star Wars license was renewed for another 10 years, with lots of new sets this year. I’m liking the new Jabba’s Palace (full coverage).

Toy Fair 2012 - Star Wars - 9516 Jabba's Palace - 06

The brand-new “Monster Fighters” theme harkens back to the LEGO Studios sets of a decade ago, with some interesting new figs (full coverage).

Toy Fair 2012 - Monster Fighters - 9468 Vampire Castle - 03

More photos to pore over in the FBTB photostream, and write-ups on

Seeking Inspiration

There’s brilliant stained-glass work…and there’s stained glass that just goes beyond. And that’s what Colin (Cuahchic) has done. There are so many beautiful little details in this, but I just can’t stop looking at the stained glass motif. I could, I suppose, talk about the carved statue on the altar, or the stone fences, or that amazing floor.

But that would require not looking at the stained glass.

Blacktron Battleship

This impressive Blacktron spaceship by Vid Legradic hearkens back to the nostalgic themes of the early 90’s. It looks delightfully swooshable, and makes me want to create a huge space-battle against the Space Police, just like when I was a kid. Not to be overlooked, though, is the ship’s great design with a unique shape and the integration of that odd transparent panel.