Monthly Archives: November 2012

Last chance to buy from Creations for Charity!

As you’re doing your holiday shopping, please think about buying something from Creations for Charity to help the kids. There is only 1 week left in this year’s fundraiser and all the items from the store are reduced to minimum price. Over $6,000 have been raised so far. If for some reason you’ve been holding out on buying a creation, now’s the time to act!

1 week left!

LEGO Shop Black Friday 2012 deals start at midnight EST / 9 PM PST thru 11/26

“Brick Friday” is back at the LEGO Shop Online. The sale starts at midnight EST / 9 PM PST tonight and lasts through November 26 (aka “Cyber Monday”).

  • Free shipping on orders over $49.
  • Free exclusive holiday set on orders over $99.
  • 10% off all orders over $149.

In addition, LEGO has discounted over sixty products between 5% and 50%. Highlights include this year’s LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar at 50% off.

The other items discounted by 50% are:

Highlights from items discounted by 20% include:

Link for U.S. readers

10% OFF + FREE Shipping + Exclusive Holiday Set.  Valid 11.23.12 - 11.26.12

Link for Canadian readers

10% OFF + FREE Shipping + Exclusive Holiday Set.  Valid 11.23.12 - 11.26.12

Link for U.K. readers

10% OFF, FREE Delivery, and Exclusive Christmas Set.  Valid 23.11.12 - 26.11.12

Very cool catch-up trains

I’ve got a little time this evening so figured I might as well post some old things from my bloglist.

First up is Caleb Randolph’s Swedish Class B. As though packing in the details wasn’t enough, Caleb has gone where others fear tread and added sound. As for the model itself: I’m particularly impressed by the running gear (the bars that move hypnotically on the wheels) as it’s nice and thin.

Swedish Class B

Secondly there is Cale Leiphart’s “K4s”. This pair of beauties are SNOTtastic in their details, in particular using panels to obtain a nice thin board next to the boiler (the big round bit).


And last but not least is Peter Norman’s (swoofty) Hiawatha Beaver tail wagon. In case you’ve never noticed I do like me some streamline moderne design.

Hiawatha Beaver Tail Parlor Observation

Bring LEGO Stephen Hawking home for the holidays

Speaking of the inimitable Mr. Iain Heath of The Living Brick, it’s been nearly six years since his Miniland Stephen Hawking began taking the Internet by storm. Iain’s latest experiment in cloning little plastic cosmologists has been successful, and you can own your own LEGO Stephen Hawking with The Standard Model.

Iain surprised me with a copy of his custom set yesterday, so here’s a quick review. (No photos of my own, since the whole point of a custom kit made by a fan is the parts list and their personal design.)

One of the reasons Iain’s LEGO version of Professor Hawking has stayed viral for so long is that it evokes the man himself so well. I had the privilege of hearing Stephen Hawking give a lecture on M-theory here in Seattle this summer, and Iain has captured the nuance’s of his appearance wonderfully, from the angle of his head to the computer he uses to communicate.

The instructions are clear and easy to follow, printed on nice glossy paper. It’s always interesting building someone else’s design, since it gives you a view into their thinking process. Iain’s model is full of one-stud connections and bricks attached at odd angles — this isn’t a model to give your six-year-old to play with on the floor.

At $39.99, you’re not buying this model to use the parts in your own LEGO creations. Iain has only produced a limited run of 100, and you’d be buying it because you think it’s awesome (like I do) — or because you know it’d make a perfect gift for that LEGO fan who has everything. “The Standard Model” will make an excellent display model on the desk or mantle of any fan of the universe, Stephen Hawking, and little plastic bricks.

You can pick up your own copy of The Standard Model from If you can’t find the link later, just remember (which’ll take you to Amazon).

UPDATE: Iain is running a bit of a Black Friday sale of his own. Enter the promo code “BROBRICK” at checkout and you’ll get $10 off. Combined with free shipping from Amazon, that makes this a pretty sweet deal for a custom LEGO kit. The sale starts at 6 AM PST on Wednesday (Nov 21) and runs through midnight on Sunday.

Please don’t eat the Truckster

This one’s a year old, but we missed it last year and Iain just blogged it over on The Living Brick, so I say it’s fair game. Joe Klang (-derjoe-) built the Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon’s Vacation.


I’d seen all the other National Lampoon vacation movies, but somehow managed to avoid the first one until recently. This is a beautifully rendered LEGO version of a very ugly car, but for those who’ve seen the movie, that black bundle on the roof is a wonderful touch…

Vintage LEGO machine gun made from wood

Bruno Todd has an amazing collection of vintage LEGO toys from before the era of interlocking plastic bricks in his L Gauge Museum photostream. Longtime LEGO fans have probably seen the iconic wooden duck, but have you ever seen a wooden LEGO machine gun?

Lego Machine Gun

For a trip into LEGO’s past, check out the rest of Michael’s photos on Flickr.

You can see the L Gauge Museum’s collection of wooden LEGO trains at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum now through mid-January.

LEGO stop-motion animation tips & tricks from BrotherhoodWorkshop

You might think that stop-motion animation is just a matter of taking lots of sequential photos, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Kevin Ulrich shares his experience creating the popular Hobbit and Lord of the Rings shorts we’ve featured here over the past few months.

Like all movies and TV, I would argue myself that what actually makes the BrotherhoodWorkshop shorts so great is excellent writing. Can’t wait to see what they post next!

A house from Lille-Fives

I don’t often blog “modular houses” as I find them a little dime-a-dozen. However Richard “lafabrick” enticed me to break this habit as he has made such an impressive reproduction of a house in the Fives to Lille neighbourhood in France. This house is so cleverly made it’s probably the first (and likely the only) time I’ve ever allowed four examples of techniques from a single model into the LEGO Techniques group.

MOC House's Lille-Fives Front 2