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 Marvel Superheroes 76262 Captain America’s Shield now available for pre-order [News]

LEGO has just launched the product page for a new lifesize version of the iconic shield carried by Captain America. 76262 Captain America’s Shield will go on sale August 1st for US $199.99 | CAN $259.99 | UK £179.99, although it’s available for pre-order starting today.

The set includes 3128 pieces and a Captain America minifig. The shield’s face appears to be made mostly from plates and wedges (Sadly, LEGO has not yet begun producing vibranium bricks). The video provided features a 360-degree spin and thus reveals that the backside of the model is a complex network of plates and Technic beams but alas the shield cannot be held or worn as part of a costume without some custom rigging.

Porco Rosso takes the lead in his Savoia S.21 seaplane

I’ve lost count of how many LEGO versions of Porco Rosso’s iconic seaplane we’ve featured here on TBB, going way back to Uspez Morbo’s Savoia S.21 I wrote about in 2008. And yet I enjoy every version we’ve highlighted, not least this fantastic microscale version by Marcin Otreba, complete with stand and tiny Adriatic seascape. A miniature Porco pilot may try to steal the show here, but the details I love most are the little contrails emerging from the engine exhaust and the rounded cowling on the seaplane’s bow.

Savoia S.21

Across the fields of Pelennor, Gandalf rides to Minas Tirith

The city of Minas Tirith in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (especially as depicted in Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations) is a fairly popular subject for LEGO microscale builders. But Joe (jnj_bricks) takes his LEGO build to the next level — or seven levels, if you count all the rings in the city — by creating a multilayered scene that places Gandalf astride Shadowfax in the foreground, the Tower of Guard in the middle distance, and the White Mountains against grim clouds in the distance. It’s often tempting to photograph your LEGO models from a high three-quarters view to show off all its details. While Joe has certainly built plenty of detail into his White City, he avoids that temptation by placing the viewer at Gandalf’s level in the foreground, looking up toward the city, with the Citadel of Gondor and Tower of Ecthelion reaching toward the lowering sky. The overall effect is magical.

Gandalf rides to Minas Tirith

If you’ve enjoyed Joe’s forced perspective LEGO version of Minas Tirith, be sure to check out an even more detailed microscale LEGO Minas Tirith by Koen that we featured nearly 5 years ago.

Nobody tosses a dwarf, and Gimli’s LEGO helmet is no toss-up either

This LEGO version of Gimli’s helmet by Marcin Otreba from The Lord of the Rings gave us no real choice — it was too awesome for us to pass up! Pearl-gold lattice pieces decorate the brow and chin guards, evoking the dwarvish designs on the helmet as seen in the Peter Jackson movie series. Sitting on a display stand, Marcin’s fan design would fit right in with the official LEGO Star Wars helmets collection.

Gimli's Helmet

Marcin follows up his fantastic Mouth of Sauron, and we’re hoping that this latest LEGO helmet is just the next in a larger series of helmets and busts from the world of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Not exactly a LEGO Rivendell...

Titled “Temptation” and haunted by an enormous black monster, Ben Cossy‘s latest LEGO diorama feels like it’s set in an alternate Middle Earth where our heroes face down their worst desires made manifest, rather than struggling quietly against the thrall of the One Ring. Ben shares that he’s glad to build something in the fantasy/castle theme that doesn’t require quite so much green (or gray, for that matter). The autumnal color palette of the trees contrasts beautifully with the white architecture.


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How a handful of LEGO minifigs can support the medics and other Ukrainian heroes on the frontlines of Russia’s invasion [Feature]

As dawn broke across Ukraine on February 24th this year, the Russian Federation launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine. In my day job, I’ve been working with software development teams in Ukraine for nearly 15 years, mainly in Kharkiv, barely 30 miles (less than 50 km) from the Russian border. In the first hours of the invasion, I messaged an old group-chat from my previous job saying, “Stay safe, my friends.” My former colleagues began waking up to air raid sirens, rocket attacks, and fighter jets roaring over their heads, and I watched their online status turn from yellow to green as they began sending brief replies saying they were safe so far.

Brickmania Ghost of Kyiv Mig-29 fighter jet kit

Brickmania “Ghost of Kyiv” custom Mig-29 fighter jet kit

Through colleagues like these in Kharkiv, Odesa, and the capital Kyiv, as well as ex-pats here in the US, I’ve grown to love the Ukrainian people and their independent spirit. Ukrainians have been fighting for freedom and democracy ever since declaring independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. That fight became much more visceral in 2014, when a democratic “Revolution of Dignity” overthrew a corrupt, oligarchic and pro-Russian government. Russia’s Vladimir Putin immediately responded by annexing Ukraine’s Crimea region and began a proxy war to take over the industrial Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. This led not just to atrocities like the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 that year, but an ongoing Russia-backed insurgency against the democratic government in Kiev — for many in Ukraine, the Russian invasion began in 2014, not on February 24, 2022. But since February, through the Russian army’s mass killings of civilians in Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, and elsewhere; ethnic cleansing of over 2 million Ukrainians to Russia; and ongoing indiscriminate rocket attacks and air raids against civilian targets like schools and shopping centers throughout Ukraine today, the full-scale invasion this year has proven that Russia intends to commit terrorism and ultimately genocide against the nation of Ukraine and its people. In the 5 months since the Russian invasion, most of my old team relocated to western Ukraine, though nobody in the country is safe from Russian rocket attacks and bombing. Some staff from my old company chose to stay behind in Kharkiv, and at least one has even laid down his life defending his city and his nation.

Read more about how the LEGO fan community has stepped up to help Ukraine

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.


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