A brick celebration of sci-fi designer Syd Mead 1933-2019

Syd Mead, the designer behind the iconic look of Blade Runner amongst other movies, has died aged 86. Chances are, if you’re into sci-fi and LEGO then you’ll have tried to recreate one of his famous designs — The USS Sulaco from Aliens, the light-cycles from Tron, Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, or this, the famous Police Spinner from Blade Runner.

Blade Runner Spinner

This rain-soaked version of the film’s signature vehicle by Tyler Clites is one of the best of the many LEGO depictions we’ve seen over the years, brilliantly capturing the car’s signature lines. Another, more recent, version which sticks in the mind is this by Keiichi Kamei, showing the Spinner touching down in the lower levels of the city…


Away from the dystopian streets of Blade Runner, Mead also designed another of our favourite sci-fi craft — the variable-geometry drop ship from Aliens. This design inspired Daniel Schlumpp to put together a UCS-style model complete with unfolding missile pods and a ramp for the personnel carrier held in its belly…

Lego UCS Aliens Dropship

The USS Sulaco, the Colonial Marines’ spaceship, is so iconic a design it can even survive “chibi-fication” and remain immediately recognisable. Here it is, in LEGO Microfighter form, complete with a Ripley minifigure, in this fun build by halfbeak

Chibi LEGO USS Sulaco Aliens

Mead’s movie designs weren’t all gloomy and grey — his work on the light cycles for Tron gave us a bold and colourful vision of our possible cyber future. Many LEGO builders have looked to Tron for inspiration, but perhaps Joe Perez captured the sleek digital adventure of it all the best…

Vintage Tron Light Cycle

In short, Syd Mead’s influence on sci-fi movies, and on the wider world of design, was immense. The unique looks he created for vehicles, spaceships, and entire cities went on to influence the design of their real-life equivalents. Mead memorably described science-fiction as “reality ahead of schedule”.

Whilst Syd Mead’s talents will be missed, we’re sure LEGO builders will continue to be inspired by his creations and his example.