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 UCS-style 75308 R2-D2 [Review]

The annual May the 4th “Star Wars Day” merchandising event is coming up next week, with new products becoming available starting May 1st. The recently announced LEGO Star Wars 75308 R2-D2 joins that list, with 2,314 pieces and a price of US $199.99 | CAN $269.99 | UK £179.99. How does this version compare to the first large-scale Artoo (10225) from 2012? Is it worth picking up next week? Read our hands-on review to learn more.

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 75308 R2-D2

LEGO Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith – the Black Falcons return to LEGO Castle [Review]

LEGO has continued to diversify the products that it sources and launches via its LEGO Ideas platform, which for many years has been perceived as focusing on licensed themes like Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, Voltron, and so on. But increasingly, LEGO has approved wholly original designs, such as 21310 Old Fishing Store. Yesterday, LEGO officially revealed 21325 Medieval Blacksmith, an original design by LEGO fan designer Clemens Fiedler. The set includes 2,164 pieces with 4 minifigures, and will become available on February 1st, 2020 at a price of US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £134.99..

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 Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith

The Brothers Brick’s top 10 most popular LEGO news articles of 2020 [News]

As we saw in our list of top 10 LEGO set reviews of 2020, big sets and brand new product launches generated a lot of excitement among LEGO builders and collectors in 2020. The same is certainly true about the first looks that we got of many of those same sets that we reviewed hands on closer to each product’s launch. Licensed themes like Star Wars and Harry Potter continued to dominate the LEGO news cycle, but our list also includes several completely original products.

See which news generated the most views in 2020

LEGO Star Wars 75299 Trouble on Tatooine from Disney’s The Mandalorian [Review]

The second season of The Mandalorian just wrapped up a couple weeks ago on Disney+, and LEGO continues to drip-feed LEGO Star Wars sets based on scenes from the show. Hitting stores on January 1st, 2021, 75299 Trouble on Tatooine provides a fairly low-cost (US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £27.99), spoiler-free way to pick up Mando and the Child in minifig form, with a few key pieces of equipment and scenery from season 2.

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick 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 75299 Trouble on Tatooine from Disney’s The Mandalorian

LEGO 10281 Bonsai Tree from the Botanical Collection [Review]

LEGO has a bit of an unwarranted reputation among the general public as a medium that doesn’t lend itself easily to organic shapes. Hobbyist LEGO builders have been disabusing others of this misperception for many years by sharing LEGO builds inspired by the natural world. LEGO’s in-house designers are certainly capable of creating official LEGO sets full of flora and fauna, as LEGO designer Nicolas Vás proves with the new 10281 Bonsai Tree from the new Botanical Collection. The set includes 878 pieces and will be available on January 1st, 2021 (US $49.99 | CAN $TBD | UK £44.99).

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 10281 Bonsai Tree

LEGO Modular Buildings Collection 10278 Police Station [Review]

With last year’s 10270 Bookshop, LEGO returned to a more traditional style of architecture than the 1950’s style of the previous couple of years. With this year’s 10278 Police Station, LEGO continues a classic look that would not feel out of place on the streets of New York or London. The new Modular set includes 2,923 pieces with five minifigures, and will be available starting January 1st, 2021 ($199.99 US | $269.99 CAD | UK pricing TBD).

The theme of the set is not without controversy and some strong reactions from within the LEGO fan community. We’ll address this later in the review, but ask our readers up front to be respectful of differing opinions in the comments.

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 10278 Police Station

LEGO Star Wars 75301 Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing Fighter & 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter [Review]

With Ultimate Collector Series and recent 4+ sets for younger builders aside, LEGO Star Wars starfighters like X-wings and TIE fighters have maintained a consistent trajectory of higher and higher part counts (with correspondingly greater levels of detail) over the past 20 years. The latest LEGO Star Wars sets move the part count in the opposite direction, with 75301 Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing Fighter including 474 pieces with four minifigs (US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £44.99) and 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter including 432 plus three figures (US $39.99 | CAN $49.99 | UK £34.99). We’ll compare these January 2021 starfighters with the 2018 LEGO X-wing and 2018 TIE Fighter.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with early copies of these sets for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Star Wars 75301 Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing Fighter & 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter

LEGO Star Wars 75292 The Razor Crest from The Mandalorian [Review]

The highly anticipated second season of The Mandalorian launches today on Disney+, so now seems as good a time as any to take a closer look at the Razor Crest, which was finally released on August 31st after selling out almost immediately nearly six months earlier via preorders. The set is now back in stock online (US $129.99 | CAN $159.99 | UK £119.99), built from 1,023 pieces and featuring the Mandalorian himself, Greef Karga, IG-11, a Scout Trooper, and the Child.

Read our full review of LEGO Star Wars 75292 The Razor Crest from The Mandalorian

Citizen Brick’s custom LEGO minifigure elements for Halloween 2020 [Review]

In addition to excellent custom minifig parts and minifigs inspired by the likes of the Beastie Boys and Bob Ross, our friends at Citizen Brick have begun producing their own injection-molded items. For Halloween 2020 the CB team have released a bevy of creepy custom minifig parts for you to mix and match with your LEGO.

We’ve said before that what’s so awesome about Citizen Brick products is that they’re the sort of thing that LEGO themselves will likely never release, while remaining compatible with LEGO. This makes custom parts produces like Citizen Brick distinct from knockoffs and clone brands that compete with LEGO and are often of inferior quality. Because CB has earned our respect with printing quality that’s indistinguishable from LEGO’s own, it’s exciting to see them branch out to custom parts, allowing LEGO fans to go beyond the confines of the staid bricks from Billund. Let’s take a look at what the mad scientists of Chicago have cooked up.

Read our full hands-on review of this year’s Citizen Brick Halloween release

LEGO Star Wars 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina – largest Master Builder Series set ever at 3,000 pieces & 20 minifigs [Review]

If you watched Star Wars beginning with Episode IV: A New Hope as many of us born in the decades before the Prequel Trilogy did, the first planet in a “Galaxy Far, Far Away” you ever saw on screen was Tatooine. But the enormous universe that Luke Skywalker and Ben Kenobi lived in truly came alive only when they first stepped into the cantina in the Mos Eisley Spaceport — “This place can be a little rough,” Old Ben warned Luke. LEGO’s latest set in its Master Builder Series takes us deep into that “wretched hive of scum and villainy” with 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina. It’s rare that I acknowledge up front in a review how excited I was personally about a forthcoming LEGO set. But I am, because my favorite planet in the Star Wars universe is still Tatooine, and my favorite place on the planet is Chalmun’s Cantina. Does it live up to my nearly life-long expectations? How does it compare to previous incarnations of this iconic watering hole?

75290 Mos Eisley Cantina is built from 3,187 LEGO pieces, and the product description states that it includes 21 minifigures “plus” R2-D2 the droid (a point we’ll return to later in this review). The set retails from the LEGO Shop for US $349.99 | CAN $449.99 | UK £319.99 and is available to LEGO VIP Program members beginning on September 16, with general availability on October 1st.

Let’s strap a blaster to our hip, leave the droids to park the landspeeder, and step inside…

Read our hands-on review of LEGO Star Wars 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina

LEGO Halo fan spends 5 years designing & building 7-foot UNSC heavy frigate from 25,000 bricks [Exclusive]

For the past several years, my friend Steve Witt has been collecting the necessary LEGO bricks and fiddling with his design to produce a 7-foot-long (2.1 meter) recreation of a Paris-class UNSC heavy frigate from the Halo video game universe that he’s dubbed the Katara. After following his work-in-progress photos on Facebook and Flickr for five years, I’m very pleased to share this closer look at the finished ship, exclusive to The Brothers Brick.

We’ll take a closer look at the details and share some of the build’s history in a moment, but let’s pause and take in just how massive a LEGO ship 7 feet long really is, with this photo of the builder working on it.

See detailed photos and learn more about this massive Halo ship

LEGO Star Wars 75294 Bespin Duel now available [News]

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of its release, and LEGO is honoring the occasion with 75294 Bespin Duel available exclusively from the LEGO Shop and Target ($39.99 USD | $49.99 CAD from the LEGO Shop and $39.99 USD from Target). The set includes 295 pieces, with minifigures of Luke Skywalker and his dear dad Darth Vader, and will be available on August 27th, 2020.

Two years ago, LEGO’s first “Master Builder” set 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City included a scaled-down version of this same scene, but this version is more detailed and includes a stand with a commemorative plaque.

Unfortunately, this LEGO Star Wars set will only be available in the US and Canada. The set was originally designed as the exclusive set for Star Wars Celebration, originally scheduled for August 27th-30th. With the cancellation of nearly all in-person events in North America due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this set is being made available online, but only in the United States and Canada.