The year 2021 was challenging in many ways, to say the least. However, LEGO builders also took on new challenges like never before, channeling their creativity in new and delightful ways. The year brought us thousands of fascinating models, from tiny dioramas to the largest collaborative projects. The Brothers Brick team has taken a look back over the last 12 months and pulled together our selection of the best LEGO creations of 2021 for our sixth annual LEGO Creation of the Year award.
Take a look at the fantastic models we’ve shortlisted, and stay tuned for the announcement of our LEGO Creation of the Year 2021 on New Year’s Eve!
For our Creation of the Year nominees, we look at a broad swath of genres and styles to find the best of the best. Let’s start with one of the most popular, architecture. Medieval architecture is where a lot of builders really shine, with impressive imitations of wood, stone, and even some more sophisticated weathering techniques. But it was Ralf Langer who turned it up to 11. His jaw-dropping super realistic medieval Tudor-style buildings introduce dozens of fantastic building solutions, creating one particularly dark medieval street. Do spare some time to catch all the best bits of A light in the dark.
Medieval streets are the perfect setting for fairy tales. But no fairy tale is complete without a fierce dragon. Wes Talbott‘s take on dragons’ design left us speechless: who knew you don’t need a ton of pieces in dark green or dark blue for an outstanding model? Instead, Wes seems to use all the colors he has in inventory for an amazing creature. And, of course, it’s not just a masterclass in color, but also the out-of-this-world texture of the dragon’s scales. This is how you turn a mythical creature into a charismatic antagonist of your magic story.
Magic was definitely in the air this whole year. As for Rickard Stensby, his story caught Disney’s classic Merlin in the middle of a magic act. I wish I could focus on the character itself, but it’s the wooden floor that made me fall in love with the build. Despite seeming quite simple, the creation features a few excellent creative part applications; just take a closer look at the wizard’s fingers!
After winning the TBB’s LEGO Creation of the Year award for 2020, Koen Zwanengburg doesn’t think to stop. This year he impressed us with yet another Egyptian-themed creation. This time it’s a LEGO bust of Nefertiti. Once again, the palette is on point, with perfect combinations of muted colors for an authentic look. Do not hesitate to take a closer look; this sculpture features full details “in the round”.
As we shift away from fairy tales and historical artifacts, it’s time for some heavy engineering. Jack Carleson didn’t waste time this year, completing an amazingly-detailed copy of the world’s largest commercial aircraft, Emirates Airbus A380. The model took Jack more than 10 months to complete, and we think it is worth every piece. The 100-pound monstrosity features a full interior with several floors and a bunch of funny passengers in their seats.
Another record-breaking LEGO model of 2021 came from the building desk of Rocco Buttliere. Honestly speaking, I have no idea how large Rocco’s desk is, but his 114,000-brick-large diorama of 1st-century Jerusalem must be taking a ton of space! With over 500 hours of design time and 400 hours of build time, the diorama is a sight to behold. I wish our initial article could have featured all the close-up shots, as there are hundreds of tiny elements to discover.
This year Jan Woznica looked up into the night sky more than anyone else. This is the only way I can explain how he came up with the most fantastic series of mini-builds called Tales of the Space Age. Whether you are an avid LEGO builder or a fan of classic sci-fi stories, these compositions won’t leave you indifferent. No matter how many times I look at them, I’m stunned at how Jan created such depth with just a handful of pieces. If this isn’t LEGO art, I don’t know what it is!
We hope you agree this is an impressive selection of LEGO models, all deserving of being shortlisted as the best of the year. Look out for the announcement of our LEGO Creation of the Year 2021 on New Year’s Eve!