About Andrew Becraft (TBB Editor-in-Chief)

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 Becraft (TBB Editor-in-Chief)

LEGO Star Wars Koensayr BTL-S8 K-Wing assault starfighter built from 2,000 pieces packs a wallop! [Exclusive Builder Interview]

It’s been less than 24 hours since the TBB team discovered the amazing social media web-site called “Brick Shelf”, and we’ve already found a number of brick geniuses churning out amazing model after amazing model. One such LEGO master goes by Dune Chaser, and has shared several fantastic LEGO Star Wars models that rival the best official LEGO set designs. His latest creation is inspired by the Expanded Universe heavy assault starfighter fielded by the New Republic, the Koensayr BTL-S8 K-Wing. Dunechaser’s incredible design leans into the design aesthetic of classic LEGO Star Wars sets, featuring plenty of visible studs, and large stickered parts reused from iconic sets like the original UCS X-wing.

See more of this fantastic custom LEGO Star Wars model

LEGO Star Wars Diorama Collection 75330 Dagobah Jedi Training [Review]

LEGO recently announced its new Star Wars sub-theme for adult builders, the Diorama Collection, featuring three iconic scenes from the Original Trilogy. We’ve got our hands on the sets ahead of their release on April 26th, and we’re taking a closer look now at 75330 Dagobah Jedi Training, which includes exactly 1,000 pieces plus three minifigures, and will retail for US $79.99 | CAN $109.99 | UK £69.99. How does a set designed for adults in 2022 compare to the fairly recent, “Ages 7-12” 75208 Yoda’s Hut from 2018?

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.

Read our full hands-on review of the new LEGO Star Wars Diorama Collection 75330 Dagobah Jedi Training

LEGO Star Wars 75326 Boba Fett’s Throne Room from The Book of Boba Fett [Review]

Teased at the end of the previous season of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett recently wrapped up its limited run on Disney+. While not all limited Star Wars TV series get the LEGO Star Wars treatment, LEGO recently announced two LEGO Star Wars sets from The Book of Boba Fett. The first sets are already starting to show up in the wild, and we recently picked up 75326 Boba Fett’s Throne Room from one of the large warehouse stores. Scheduled for release on March 1st, the set includes 732 pieces with 7 minifigs and will retail for US $99.99 | CAN $129.99 | UK £89.99 and is available for pre-order from LEGO.com now.

If you’re interested in a review of this LEGO Star Wars set, we’ll be assuming you’ve already seen the TV series. Minor spoilers ahead!

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Star Wars 75326 Boba Fett’s Throne Room

LEGO bust of Nefertiti captures ageless beauty

Although Koen Zwanengburg may not be as prolific as some builders, he makes up for it in sheer quality and talent, winning TBB’s LEGO Creation of the Year award for 2020 with his 16,000 LEGO brick mask of King Tut, for example. Koen follows up that Egyptian-themed LEGO creation with a depiction of the woman most modern scholars believe was Tutankhamen’s mother, Queen Nefertiti, the wife of the “heretic king” Akhenaten.

Nefertiti

Koen has recreated the famous bust of Nefertiti sculpted by Thutmose, discovered in the artist’s ancient workshop in Amarna by German archaeologists in 1912 (and controversially still housed in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin rather than in its home country of Egypt).

See more details of this amazing LEGO sculpture of Nefertiti

LEGO Star Wars 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter features Bo-Katan Kryz & Gar Saxon [Review]

In addition to all the LEGO sets from The Mandalorian, LEGO is also releasing a pair of LEGO Star Wars sets from The Clone Wars. We’ve already reviewed the smallest set in the summer 2021 wave, 75310 Duel on Mandalore, so today we’re taking a look at 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter, featuring a vehicle and characters seen in both The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series. The set includes 544 pieces with three minifigs and is available now for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £49.99.

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.

Read our full review of LEGO Star Wars 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter

LEGO Star Wars 75319 The Armorer’s Mandalorian Forge – Mando gets his signet [Review]

LEGO continues to expand its range of sets based on the Disney+ TV series The Mandalorian, with several LEGO Star Wars Mandalorian sets launching this summer. Joining the previously announced sets, 75319 The Armorer’s Mandalorian Forge includes 258 pieces with three minifigures and will retail for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £27.99 beginning September 1, with preorders available now.

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.

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Star Wars 75319 The Armorer’s Mandalorian Forge

Conquistadors clash with Aztecs in a night of fear and greed

Sometimes, imagined history can be as colorful as the real thing (which I typically find more surprising than fiction). Talented historical builder Josiah Durand is no stranger to the Aztec and early colonial period of history — we’ve featured his ruined pyramid of Tenochtitlan and Mesoamerican ballgame scenes previously. But in his latest scene inspired by Pre-Columbian civilizations, Josiah imagines what might have happened if a smaller group of Spanish Conquistadors had attempted to wrest riches from the Aztecs decades before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Things do not appear to be going well for the Spaniards…

La Noche Triste

Josiah incorporates elements from the Aztec Warrior minifig in the Series 21 Collectible Minifigures, mixing the pieces so each warrior is unique. Behind the minifigs, microscale palaces and temples provide a forced-perspective background, with a mountain range behind them. Beneath, transparent bricks arranged on their sides serve as a highly textured water surface. But my favorite detail is the pair of Aztec statues on the lift side of the scene, with distinct noses and feathered crowns. Titled “La Noche Triste” (“the sad night”), I’m personally rooting for the indigenous Aztecs, and won’t be especially sad if the invading Conquistadors meet a sticky end atop those distant pyramids.

LEGO Star Wars 75310 Duel on Mandalore features Ahsoka vs. Maul [Review]

LEGO’s summer 2021 wave of Star Wars sets has been taking us back to the Clone Wars and early Empire eras, with sets like 75314 Bad Batch Attack Shuttle from the new animated series and the set we’re reviewing today, 75310 Duel on Mandalore from the final season of The Clone Wars released on Disney+ last year. This set 147 pieces with two minifigs, and will hit stores on August 1st for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99.

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.

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Star Wars 75310 Duel on Mandalore

Journey to Mount Kōya along the path of the gods

I’m watching the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics right now feeling nostalgic both for my hometown and for my trip back to Japan two summers ago before the pandemic, when I spent several days in Kyoto as well as Tokyo, Matsumoto, and Kobe. Just south of Kyoto stands Mount Kōya, where Kōbō Daishi (Kūkai) founded the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism in the 9th century. My father became good friends with the head monk of Kōya-san during our time in Japan, and the temples and pathways there hold a special place in my family’s hearts. Inspired by the Japanese manga Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara, LEGO builder Ted Andes has captured a Buddhist pilgrim pausing at a Shinto shrine in the Okunoin graveyard where Kōbō Daishi is buried.

Way of the Kami 惟神の道

What’s truly wonderful about this scene is that it captures the unique Buddhist-Shinto syncretism that permeates Japanese spirituality, wherein Shinto (literally the “Way of the Gods”) beliefs are practices alongside Buddhism brought from China. In Ted’s LEGO scene, a shrine to a local Shinto deity and the god’s sacred stone — complete with a straw rope with lightning-bolt paper — stand amidst Buddhist graves on a sacred Buddhist mountainside. Well-researched, gorgeously detailed scenes like this are a welcome contrast from the generically “Asian” scenes far too many western builders toss together for build challenges and contests.

As part of the same Summer Joust contest, Ted also shared this atmospheric scene inspired by the same Manga. The same pilgrim from the scene above walks through a bamboo grove at night as ghost tendrils and a spectral hand threaten our protagonist. Rather than relying on LEGO’s bright green bamboo pieces, Ted has recreated the tall stalks using dark tan candles, with just a few leaves entering the frame near the top. This sort of scene is exactly why little kids like me growing up in Japan were afraid of bamboo groves at night!

Mushi-Shi 蟲師

LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series 75309 Republic Gunship [Review]

Ever since it won the three-way fan vote over the TIE bomber and Nebulon-B medical frigate, LEGO has been teasing the next Ultimate Collector Series for almost 18 months, with a virtual press event we attended several months ago (where the design team showed off the cockpit canopy) and a social media tease as recently as yesterday. But today, LEGO is finally officially unveiling the UCS 75309 Republic Gunship, which will be released on August 1st. The set includes 3,292 pieces with two minifigures, and will retail for US $349.99 | CAN $479.99 | UK £329.99. Coming in hot from an orbital drop, we have your first look here on The Brothers Brick.

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.

Read our hands on review of the new LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series 75309 Republic Gunship

LEGO Star Wars 75314 The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle [Review]

During the final season of The Clone Wars that aired on Disney+ last year, one episode featured Clone Force 99, also known as the “Bad Batch.” Through that backdoor pilot, this group of misfit clone troopers got their own Disney+ series, with inevitable LEGO Star Wars tie-ins. The first (and so far only) LEGO set based on the TV show is 75314 The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle, which includes 969 pieces with five minifigures for US $99.99 | CAN $139.99 | UK £89.99. The set is available for pre-order now, and will be released on August 1st.

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.

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Star Wars 75314 The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle

Celebrate Pride with LEGO 40516 Everyone Is Awesome [Review]

Over the past several years, the LEGO Group has significantly enhanced its messages of diversity and inclusion across its corporate policies, advertising, social media, and even in related media like The LEGO Movie franchise. The LEGO hobbyist community includes amazing, wonderful people from all over the world, of every sexual orientation and gender identity. Seeing someone like ourselves represented through our favorite building toy truly matters, but until the announcement of 40516 Everyone is Awesome today, LEGO hasn’t released a LEGO set that fully embraces and celebrates the company’s myriad LGBTQ+ fans and employees, including people of color. Featuring 11 colorful minifigures with a rainbow backdrop built from 346 pieces, the set will be available on the first day of Pride Month 2021, June 1, for US $34.99 | CAN $44.49 | UK £30.

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.

Read our hands-on review of LEGO 40516 Everyone Is Awesome