About Chris Doyle

Chris has been involved in many parts of the LEGO community for over twenty years, and has been building most of his life. A love of transparent bricks and pop culture combine in most of his creations, which tend to be pretty large scale. His website, Reasonably Clever, featured one of the longest running brick-based webcomics, as well as one of the first LEGO-themed avatar creators. His photographs and creations have appeared in several books.

Posts by Chris Doyle

LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71742 Overlord Dragon [Review]

Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday that Ninjago was the new theme on the block. Somehow, though, we’ve reached it’s tenth anniversary! The Legacy sub-theme is LEGO’s way of bringing back older sets with updated builds and features, but Ninjago Legacy 71742 Overlord Dragon is a little different. This is the first time that the Overlord Dragon has appeared in a LEGO set, making this return to Ninjago Season 2 extra special. It’s available now for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £27.99, but is it a fitting tribute to 10 years of Ninjago history? Read on and see!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Click to read the full hands-on review

LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71737 X-1 Ninja Charger [Review]

Ninjago is celebrating it’s 10th year, and LEGO has released several new offerings in the Legacy theme updating favorite sets from the past. The Ninjago Legacy 71737: X-1 Ninja Charger hails from the long-ago Season 3, but is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £44.99. This set qualifies for double VIP points through January 31st, and it’s bigger and bolder than its initial version. But is bigger and bolder actually a good thing here? We take a close look at twists and turns as we race to a conclusion. Come along for the ride!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Click to read the full hands-on review

LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle [Review]

The LEGO Ninjago theme has been around for ten years. Hard to believe, right? In that time, there have been a ton of cool and interesting sets, and LEGO has been bringing back some of the best in their Ninjago Legacy theme. We had the chance to take a look at one of the January 2021 0fferings, Ninjago Legacy 71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle.  This set is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £54.99.  The 840 parts span four exclusive minifigures and the Titian Mech. But is it a “battle” that can interest more than die-hard fans? Read on and see!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Click to read the full hands-on review

LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71735 Tournament of Elements [Review]

Can you believe that Ninjago has been around for ten years? That’s a lot of Spinjitzu under the bridge. It’s enough to make one feel just a bit nostalgic.  Happily, the Ninjago Legacy theme lets fans revisit sets and events from previous seasons. LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71735 Tournament of Elements returns to season four with seven minifigures and an updated combat arena. This 283  piece set will be available starting January 1st for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £27.99.  Is there enough here to be of interest the wider LEGO audience? Read on and judge for yourself!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Click to read the full hands-on review

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’. Keep them doggies rollin’.

Classic Space the Next Generation returns in the AT-TCC – All Terrain Troop and Cargo Crawler by Boba-1980. The color and shapes of this fan theme harken back to the days of Mars Mission, but the with all the upgrades you expect from a sequel. I really enjoy the utility of this vehicle – the tires and treads should take you just about anywhere you need to go. There’s room for six passengers, and there’s plenty of cargo space in the two removable pods. My favorite feature, though, is the clever nose design made from two 6×10 windscreens.

AT-TCC - All Terrain Troop and Cargo Crawler

Even if the orange and black of CS.NextGen isn’t for you, there’s a chance you’d be interested in the blue and yellow of Neo-Classic Space. There’s room for everyone out in the vastness of the universe, after all.

Will budget cutbacks lead to more small-scale warfare?

The governments of the world spend a lot of money on military hardware. Maybe they should look to Aaron Newman for ways to save some funds. I mean, LEGO is expensive, but it’s not THAT expensive. And these micro-machines look pretty capable to me. Aaron has shared three quality builds, each with clever scale reductions. Standout details include the guns on the battleship made from modified 1×1 round plate, the curved sand-green slopes on the wings of the plane, and the modified cone in the tank’s barrel. If you’d like to build your own, Aaron has made the instructions available for free.

Military Micros Series

LEGO may not produce official military sets, but that hasn’t stopped the fan community from building their own. Our military archives feature some great builds ranging from the historic to the fantastic. (As well as reviewing the sets that LEGO sort-of-but-not-quite let slip through the cracks.)

Back to the future, sort of.

Usually when LEGO fans think of Vic Vipers, they think of NoVVember – but this new design by The Brick Artisan shows that a good theme isn’t confined to a singe month. The LL-551 Viper is full of sweet sci-fi details like twin laser cannons and integrated shielding. On the building side of things, there are all sorts of clever choices like using minifigure metal detectors as part of the hull. There’s also a wealth of quality greebling and great details like using the gap between arched bricks to house some tubing. This is one sweet ride that can help carry us over until next November.

LL-551 Viper

The colors and logos also identify the LL-551 as part of the NeoClassic Space theme. Isn’t it nice when the future is clearly such a bright and shining place?

LEGO Chinese Festival 80106 Story of Nian [Review]

In Chinese mythology, the Nian is a monster who emerges at the end of the year to terrorize villages. Luckily, it’s a cowardly beast. Red lanterns and robes, combined with a healthy dose of explosive fireworks, are enough to drive it away for another year.  LEGO brings this myth to life in LEGO 80106 Story of Nian, part of their Chinese Spring Festival theme. This set was announced back in November at the 3rd China International Import Exhibition, and will be available to buy on January 10th, 2021.  Containing 1067 pieces and retailing for US $79.99 | CAN $109.99 | UK £59.99, this set has six minifigures, a village playset, and the Nian itself. That sounds pretty cool, but can it appeal to a wide audience? Let’s take close look and see just what all the fuss is about!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Click to read the full hands-on review

LEGO Chinese Festival 80107 Spring Lantern Festival [Review]

I think we can all agree that 2020 was a rough year. Here at the tail end of things, it feels like I’m constantly on the lookout for cheerful things.  Luckily, there are few distractions sweeter to me than looking over a brand new LEGO set. And when that set ties into a fresh and hopeful outlook for 2021? So much the better! LEGO 80107 Spring Lantern Festival was announced at the 3rd China International Import Exhibition, and will be available to buy on January 10th, 2021.  It’s not technically a New Years themed set, as the Spring Lantern Festival occurs, oddly enough, in the spring. (But just work with me, here.) This set set is part of the Chinese Festival theme, includes 1793 pieces, and will retail for US $119.99 | CAN $159.99 | UK £89.99. It has eight minifigures, two modular Festival areas, and even a light up Ox Lantern statue. Sound fun? Read on and see for yourself!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Click to read the full hands-on review

Feeling blue? So are these monkeys.

The Temple of Twin Monkeys by Caleb Saw has nice part usage, but also a hefty dollop of mystery. For example, just what are these twin guardians protecting? (My guess is the legendary great lost shipment of Blue Food Dye #2.) The use of grill tiles for fingers works really well, and I like how their use as toes melds into the pedestals. The repeated use of 2×2 dome-bottom bricks for mouth adds uniformity and a touch of sculptural feel to idols, too, while the eyes are some excellently used train wheels. The temple itself has some great details in the curved stonework at the base, and the lines and leafy overgrowth give things a sense of age and neglect. If you came across this temple, would you explore it? Or would it be better not to monkey around?

Temple of Twin Monkeys

For what it’s worth, there is an animal called a blue monkey, but they’re not quite this vibrant. Personally, I’d like to see more creative takes like this so we can buff up our LEGO monkey archives. So go get to building!

This tiny spaceship has your back(pack)

The use of minifigure accessories in spaceship builds is nothing new, but LEGO designer Chris Perron takes it to a new meta level by building a snazzy micro-fighter that uses retro Blacktron 2 jetpacks as key elements. The nice part usage doesn’t stop there, though. Check out the droid leg as a tail fin, and the white ingot and classic solar panel in the nose.

Nebula Navigator

If you like this little guy, be sure to check out Chris’ other spotlighted builds. My personal favorite is the giant Aquanauts Shark. What’s yours?

I’ll never be your beast of burden. Well, okay, maybe just this once.

Here at The Brothers Brick, we love a good Bantha build. Luis Peña shares a really cool one – rife with plenty of clever techniques. The fur is made of a combination of quarter-circle tiles and rock elements, with ribbed 2×2 round brick for the legs. The horns are achieved by stacking tan 1×2 modified rounded plate, covered with more quarter-circle tile and topped with Wampa horns. The best detail, though, has to be the great use of a yellow rubber-band for the mouth. It gives this creature just a hint of a cheery smile, and I like that.

LEGO Bantha

I’d love to see a mash-up of some of the techniques used here (particularly those sweet horns) with some of the other Banthas we’ve spotlighted. Maybe some adventurous soul is already hard at work at a UCS scale version. Well, we can dream, anyway.