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

LEGO Star Wars 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City – the first Master Builder Series set [Review]

LEGO has been producing large models in the Ultimate Collector Series of LEGO Star Wars sets since 2000, which was only the second year of the LEGO Star Wars theme. But on October 1st, 2018, LEGO will be releasing 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City, the first in a new “Master Builder Series” focused more on playsets based on locations than on large vehicles like the 7,500-piece 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon. This first set in the series includes 2,812 pieces with 18 minifigs and will retail for $349.99 in the US ($399.99 in Canada | £299.99 in the UK), and it’s available early to LEGO VIP Program members today.

LEGO tells The Brothers Brick that the new Master Builder Series branding will be applied to “complex” sets that include “many play features and functions, interior details as well as a range of minifigures.” Let’s dig in and find out if the set lives up to that description.

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Star Wars 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City

The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth

A man built a thing. He had a name, in those long-before times when salmon ran in the streams like silver clouds in the moonlight and people went about their business in great cities gleaming with glass as yet unmelted by fires from the sky. His name was Patrick B. The thing he built was built from bricks and told a story. A story about a man and his child a boy. That story was first told by a man named Cormac McCarthy in a book called The Road. A book is a thing made of trees but you cant eat it like you can bark and leaves and the little stems that try to push their way toward the darkened sky at the end of the months of snow. This thing this story these bricks by the man Patrick show the man and the boy as they walk long miles along long roads to the sea. It is a thing to behold. A thing you cant look away from.

The Road

Jarek finally gets around to the X-wing, and it was absolutely worth the wait

We’ve been featuring the excellent LEGO models of Polish builder Jarek for more than ten years. While Jarek builds across many LEGO themes, he is perhaps best known for his highly detailed LEGO Star Wars vehicles, from the sleek A-wing back in 2008 and a 2-meter-long Imperial Star Destroyer to Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced just a few months ago. And yet, Jarek has never before built the iconic X-wing starfighter — until now.

T-65 X-Wing

The Incom T-65 X-wing is a particularly challenging craft to render in LEGO due to its harsh angles and distinctive details. As one of the most recognizable vehicles in the Star Wars universe, as well as a frequent subject of official LEGO sets, like the recent 75218 X-wing Starfighter. As a result, even casual fans tend to catch even the smallest inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

See more of what might be the best LEGO X-wing ever

An explosion of complex life in the early Paleozoic

Great museums like the American Museum of Natural History in New York City include educational displays that span the entire history of life on earth, from samples of banded iron (chemical evidence of early lifeforms such as stromatolites) to dioramas of creatures from the Cambrian half a billion years ago to the Holocene today. But you don’t have to travel to a museum in a far-off city to see great tableaus that illustrate early life on our planet — just check out this colorful scene built in LEGO by Luis Peña. Luis’s scene features an ammonite and sea jelly bobbing along in the warm current above a trilobite scrabbling along the ocean floor. Luis has included pearl-gold pieces in the ammonite’s shell, capturing the pearlescent look of the extinct creature’s nacre.

Paleozoic Creatures

LEGO GAT-X105 Strike Gundam with AQM/E-X04 Gunbarrel Striker

The LEGO Ideas Voltron set has made me nostalgic for all the Giant Robot TV shows I watched as a kid back in Japan, not least of which was the fantastic Gundam. Two Rabbits shares my love of all things big and stompy, and demonstrates that passion with a series of really excellent Mobile Suits, kitted out with extra gear like the AQM/E-X04 Gunbarrel Striker pack with Strike Gundam from the SEED series. Beyond the rocket engines and weapons pods, the highly detailed frame itself is worth a closer look, with great shaping on the legs and torso, topped with the iconic Gundam head.

gunbarrel_striker

From the Wing series, the XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero features gorgeous angel wings and completely different detail on the mecha frame.

wing_zero_v2

LEGO Star Wars 75221 Imperial Landing Craft [Review]

The Imperial Landing Craft was added to the Star Wars canon with the 1997 “Special Edition” re-release of Star Wars: A New Hope. The recent release of 75221 Imperial Landing Craft marks the second time LEGO has produced a version of this vehicle, despite very limited screen time — the first 7659 Imperial Landing Craft was released in 2007. This latest LEGO Sentinel-class landing craft set includes 636 pieces and 5 minifigs (counting Artoo) and retails for $89.99 in the US ($109.99 in Canada | £79.99 in the UK).

Read the full review of LEGO Star Wars 75221 Imperial Landing Craft

Parts pack bonanza with heavily discounted BrickHeadz on Amazon.com [News]

Whether you like LEGO BrickHeadz or not, there’s no denying that they make excellent sources of small parts for your own LEGO creations, often in unusual colors or with unique printed elements. If you’re more of a collector than a builder, BrickHeadz are also a solid investment, since sold-out BrickHeadz are going for two to three times their original price on the secondary market. Regardless of your motivation, LEGO that’s as much as 46% off is hard to pass up!

Without further ado, here are the LEGO BrickHeadz sets currently on heavy discount on Amazon.com. Note that some of the lower-priced items like Thanos and Gamora (at rock-bottom prices of only $5.38 each) can only be purchased as part of orders over $25, but it’s pretty easy to get over that price threshold, so just add them to your cart and keep shopping.





See the rest of the LEGO BrickHeadz on sale now, including Harry Potter, Star Wars, and more

LEGO Harry Potter 71043 Hogwarts Castle, 2nd-largest LEGO set ever released [Review]

At 6,020 pieces, the new microscale 71043 Hogwarts Castle is the LEGO set with the second-highest part count ever, exceeded only by last year’s 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon at 7,541 pieces. This massive Hogwarts is part of the new wave of LEGO Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts sets, including the minifig-scale 75954 Hogwarts Great Hall. In what is sure also to be one of our longest LEGO set reviews ever, we’re immersing ourselves in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World as we take a close look at this massive set, which retails for $399.99 and will be available on September 1st (August 15 for LEGO VIP Program members).

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Harry Potter 71043 Hogwarts Castle

Recreating the Han Solo movie train heist scene with LEGO Star Wars sets [Feature]

The first wave of LEGO Star Wars sets often appear weeks or even months before the corresponding Star Wars movie’s release, often leaving LEGO fans wondering how accurate the LEGO sets are compared with the “real” vehicles in the movie. On opening day for Solo: A Star Wars Story, we looked back at the first wave of LEGO Star Wars sets from Solo and compared them to the movie we’d just seen the night before. Now, with the release of the second wave of LEGO Star Wars Solo sets on August 1, months after the movie’s release, we’re taking a look at the LEGO sets we’ve just reviewed from another angle, focused instead on how the three latest sets work together.

As we’ve noted in our reviews over the last few days, all three of the new LEGO Star Wars sets from Solo: A Star Wars Story feature vehicles and characters from the train heist scene in the first half of the movie, in which Tobias Beckett’s gang uses an Imperial AT-Hauler to try stealing coaxium hypermatter fuel from an Imperial Conveyex Transport on the planet of Vandor. During their attempted robbery, they face Imperial range troopers guarding the train as well as Enfys Nest’s Cloud-Riders on swoop bikes.

Read more about how the latest LEGO Star Wars sets compare to Solo: A Star Wars Story

LEGO sales & deals on Amazon for August 8, 2018 [News]

We hope everyone has been able to pick up something they want from the August 2018 wave of new LEGO sets. But with every new wave of LEGO sets there are discounts on older sets. The LEGO Store will likely not be discounting these sets for quite some time, but there are some gems among the sets on discount from Amazon.com right now. As always, a portion of the sale goes to support the reviews, event sponsorship, contests, and more that The Brothers Brick gives back to the LEGO building community.

LEGO sets 35% off or more





See more LEGO sets 25% off and more

LEGO 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport from Solo: A Star Wars Story [Review]

The current wave of LEGO Star Wars sets from Solo: A Star Wars Story all depict vehicles from the train heist scene. 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport is the fast-moving armored train that Tobias Beckett’s gang tries to steal coaxium from aboard their stolen Imperial AT-Hauler while harassed by Enfys Nest’s marauders. The LEGO set is available now, retailing for $89.99 ($109.99 in Canada | £79.99 in the UK), with 622 pieces and 5 minifigures.

Read our hands-on review of 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport from Solo: A Star Wars Story

Sumo is the greatest sport on earth

I’ve explained elsewhere why sumo (traditional Japanese wrestling) is the greatest sport on earth — it’s fast, complex, and incredibly exciting. I won an apple in my first sumo bout at age three, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Cindy Su apparently agrees with me, because she built this wonderful rikishi (or wrestler — sumo is the name of the sport, not the name of the wrestlers). She layers various round tiles to bulk up the underlying BrickHeadz form, and gives this mountain of a man a stand complete with a Japanese flag to pose on. He has huge arms to shove opponents out of the ring, with an expressive face that seems to say he’s relieved to have just finished a winning bout.

相撲力士(sumo rikishi /りきし)

Interestingly, many of the top wrestlers these days are foreign-born, from countries like Mongolia and Georgia. As someone who spent 15 years getting called gaijin (foreigner, with connotations of “outsider”) in my own home country, I’ve taken a perverse pleasure in rooting for the foreigners in recent sumo tournaments. Of course, sumo wrestlers aren’t born quite so big. They bulk up by eating a special stew called chankonabe, which Cindy has also faithfully created for this rikishi to enjoy.

相撲力士(sumo rikishi /りきし)