About Andrew

Andrew Becraft is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Brothers Brick. He's been building with LEGO for more than 40 years, and writing about LEGO here on TBB since 2005. He's also the co-author, together with TBB Senior Editor Chris Malloy, of the DK book Ultimate LEGO Star Wars. Andrew is an active member of the online LEGO community, as well as his local LEGO users group, SEALUG. Andrew is also a regular attendee of BrickCon, where he organizes a collaborative display for readers of The Brothes Brick nearly every year. You can check out Andrew's own LEGO creations on Flickr. Read Andrew's non-LEGO writing on his personal blog, Andrew-Becraft.com. Andrew lives in Seattle with his wife and dogs, and by day leads software design and planning teams.

Posts by Andrew

Updates to the Brothers-Brick.com Privacy Policy for the EU GDPR

You’ve probably seen dozens of emails and dozens of pop-ups about updated privacy policies from just about every website you’ve ever visited over the past few weeks, and Brothers-Brick.com is no different. Ever since our founding in 2005, The Brothers Brick has been committed to our readers’ online privacy and security. Like nearly all websites that share content for free, Brothers-Brick.com relies on advertising to cover the costs of server infrastructure, products for review, event travel, and so on. As a result, we have always relied on a variety of advertising partners and technologies to operate the website. TBB’s commitment to your privacy and security remains unchanged. Similarly, how The Brothers Brick uses your personally identifiable information is not changing as a result of the new Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is coming into effect on May 25th, 2018.

Read more about TBB and the EU GDPR

TBB Weekly Brick Report: LEGO news roundup for May 20, 2018 [News]

This was the biggest week of LEGO news of the past several months, with hands-on coverage from LEGO’s Fall Preview event in New York City as well as numerous product announcements — with more yet to come! This is our weekly Brick Report for the third week of May 2018.

TBB FEATURES & REVIEWS: In case you missed it among all the news coverage this week, we have a hands-on review of the latest LEGO Ninjago Movie set.

  • Review of 70657 Ninjago City Docks – A new dock scene joins one of our favorite LEGO sets of 2017. Read our review to see how it stacks up against 70620 Ninjago City.
  • Bre’s Classic Space pinball machine – If you’re into LEGO (and you probably are if you’re reading this), by now one of your friends or relatives has probably shared a link to one of the many articles about this working LEGO pinball machine on your Facebook timeline. In case you missed it here on TBB last week, here’s our original coverage of TBB contributor Bre Burns’ amazing Technic creation.
  • 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon back in stock – The largest LEGO set of all time is back in stock, and you can help support TBB’s coverage of events in places like New York and Billund by clicking through from TBB when purchasing your LEGO!

TBB COVERAGE FROM LEGO’S FALL PREVIEW EVENT IN NYC: LEGO’s selection of sets unveiled at Toy Fair 2018 back in February was more limited than in years past, but LEGO invited TBB to a special Fall Preview event. Don’t miss all the new products we were able to play with!

See all of the LEGO news from TBB and beyond

Apollo–Soyuz Test Project ushers in a new era of détente

In July 1975, American Astronauts and Soviet Cosmonauts met in low Earth orbit, shook hands, exchanged gifts, and conducted joint scientific experiments as they docked their spacecraft together for over 40 hours. Luis Peña has recreated this historic spaceflight in LEGO, complete with an Astronaut conducted an EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity). Like the designers of the wonderful LEGO Saturn V set, Luis has overcome the inherent challenges of building conical and spherical shapes in LEGO, with the Apollo Command/Service Module in gray and the Soyuz 7K-TM in iconic sand green.

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project LEGO Model 1:32 scale

Take a closer look at these amazing LEGO spacecraft

Working LEGO pinball machine built from 15,000 bricks features Benny in all his Classic Space glory [Exclusive Feature]

Pinball machines bring out the kid in all of us, hanging out in an arcade losing quarters and setting high scores. And the Classic Space era of LEGO sets appeals to so many of us who got our first LEGO sets back in the 70’s through 90’s. The Brothers Brick contributor Bre Burns hits it out of the nostalgia ballpark with a fully functional LEGO pinball machine called “Benny’s Spaceship Adventure.” She spent several months perfecting the design with over 15,000 LEGO bricks, including LEGO Mindstorms NXT programmable bricks to make sounds and count your high score.

Bre has kindly shared loads of details about her LEGO masterpiece, which stands over two and a half feet tall, exclusively with The Brothers Brick. Let’s pull back that ball launcher, flick those flippers, and learn more about this amazing LEGO creation!

But first, let’s take a look at the pinball machine in action as Bre shares its working features and tells us a little bit about the design process in our latest TBB video.

Learn more about Benny’s Spaceship Adventure, with more exclusive photos and details!

Darth Vader BrickHeadz is a larger-than-life character

As rumors of future LEGO BrickHeadz characters swirl around on the Internet, LEGO builders still have the freedom to build their own designs free of influence from potential official versions. We’ve featured Tan Kok Mun excellent and adorable BrickHeadz Boba Fett previously, but we had to do a double-take when we saw this Darth Vader.

tkm-DarkVaderBrickHeadz-01

At first glance, this looks like a regular-sized LEGO BrickHeadz Dark Lord of the Sith, but if you look closer you’ll see that it’s double-sized — everything from the 1×1 printed eye tiles to the studs and number tile on the display stand are brick-built at 2x scale! The extra detail on Darth Vader’s mask gives this away as a larger-than-normal BrickHeadz.

tkm-DarkVaderBrickHeadz-03

We’re mesmerized watching Luke dodge Vader in this Death Star trench run kinetic sculpture [Video]

We recently featured a World War I dogfight kinetic sculpture by Jason from JK Brickworks. In his video, Jason promised to share variations on the theme, and he’s done so with this fantastic trench run scene from A New Hope. The little starfighters and greebly Death Star surface are excellent in their own right, but the movement takes this LEGO creation to the next level.

Trench Run

The video shows Luke’s X-wing evading Darth Vader’s TIE fighter, with turbolaser turrets swinging back and forth as well. Jason also takes the kinetic sculpture apart to explain how he added the extra motion for the turbolaser emplacements.

May the Fourth 2018 LEGO Star Wars sales and deals + 75181 UCS Y-wing and BB-8 promo sets now available [News]

The LEGO Shop‘s sales & deals for May the Fourth 2018 are now online, revealing plenty to make the credits burn a hole in every LEGO Star Wars fan’s pockets. As we noted in our review of 75181 UCS Y-wing Starfighter earlier today, the new UCS set’s launch is the centerpiece for the May the Fourth event. Similarly, all LEGO Star Wars purchases over $75 qualify for a free 40288 BB-8 polybag to go with your R2-D2 from last year. VIP Black Card holders (those who’ve purchased a UCS Millennium Falcon) can use a special code LEGO sent via email to get a Y-wing blueprint with purchases over $35.

See all the info about May the Fourth LEGO Star Wars sales & deals

LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series 75181 Y-wing Starfighter [Review]

Each year, LEGO releases at least one new LEGO Star Wars set in its long-running Ultimate Collector Series line of large-scale sets. Last year saw the release of the monumental 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon (the largest LEGO set ever released at 7,541 pieces) as well as the excellent 75144 UCS Snowspeeder. This year’s UCS release is 75181 Y-wing Starfighter, built from 1,967 pieces, retailing for $199.99 starting on May the Fourth or “Star Wars Day” 2018.

Of course, this is not the first UCS Y-wing that LEGO has released — 10134 Y-wing Attack Starfighter was released fourteen years ago, way back in 2004. We’ll take a closer look at how this latest UCS Y-wing stacks up against the first one in our hands-on review.

Read our hands-on review of 75181 UCS Y-wing Starfighter

Snag rare Citizen Brick products for CB Day on May 5th [News]

Our friends over at Citizen Brick are hosting their annual “CB Day” event this Saturday, May 5th. The Citizen Brick team sells off its inventory of one-off, non-production pieces to whomever can get online and grab them the quickest. The first batch of new stuff goes online at 9:00 AM CST, with more pieces available every two hours until 3:00 PM CST. Protip: Submit each order as you find a cool item, and the CB team will consolidate all your orders at the end of the day.

Full disclosure: Citizen Brick is an advertising partner of The Brothers Brick. However, our advertisers have no influence over The Brothers Brick’s news coverage.

LEGO Star Wars set designers discuss 75181 UCS Y-wing Starfighter [Video]

The new LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series 75181 Y-wing Starfighter launches on May the Fourth this Friday, and we’ll be bringing you our hands-on review at midnight GMT on May 4th, so check back later this week for our own review. In the meantime, LEGO has released a really great video in which model designer Jordan David Scott and graphic designer Madison O’Neil discuss how they approached the design process, their own background as LEGO Star Wars fans, and more.

The video provides great insights into the LEGO set designer role, rather than just focusing on the set’s play features. We’ll be covering the play features (and more) in our review, so the video provides a wonderful view into the interesting people behind our favorite LEGO sets.

LEGO Star Wars 75208 Yoda’s Hut from The Empire Strikes Back [Review]

Although most of the spring wave of LEGO Star Wars sets have been focused on Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Classic Trilogy hasn’t been forgotten. LEGO returns to Dagobah with 75208 Yoda’s Hut. The set includes three minifigures with 229 LEGO pieces, and retails for $29.99 in the US.

We’ve focused a lot of our reviews lately on large sets like 75212 Kessel Run Millennium Falcon and the forthcoming UCS Y-wing (look for our review later this week), so it’s nice to take a bit of a break with a smaller LEGO Star Wars set. Let’s dig in!

Read our full review of 75208 Yoda’s Hut

LEGO Star Wars 40288 BB-8 May the Fourth free promo set [Review and Mod Instructions]

May the Fourth or “Star Wars Day” is right around the corner, and LEGO has sent us an early copy of the free promotional set, 40288 BB-8. The set will be available May 4th through 6th (or until supplies run out) with LEGO Star Wars purchases over $75. We’ll bring you more details on the May the Fourth sales and deals later this week, so check back soon for more updates.

This buildable character joins the large-scale 75187 BB-8 released in 2017, and is about the same size as last year’s buildable R2-D2, so let’s dig in and see how this new droid compares.

Read our full review of the buildable BB-8 promo set