Posts by Norm Harper

LEGO 40603 Wintertime Carriage Ride and 40604 Christmas Décor Set [Review]

It’s the holiday season, and the mall is total chaos. But your kids need to find those latest Friends and Ninjago sets under the tree. Well, LEGO has a holiday present for you because they’re offering up two holiday themed gifts with purchase to make the shopping worth it. 40603 Wintertime Carriage Ride and 40604 Christmas Décor Set will be available this December with qualifying purchases. Let’s unwrap things a little early and have a sneak peak at these sets.

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.

Don’t open until Christmas? Nah, click right now.

Honey, I Shrunk the Grayskull

When I was 4 years-old, my Castle Grayskull playset felt gigantic in my hands, but when I found it packed away in the garage in my teens, I was surprised by how small it felt. Grantmasters has triggered that memory with a miniscule Grayskull so small that the in-scale Battle Cat and Panthor are mostly just a collection of minifigure hands. But the hands aren’t the only creatively used minifigure parts. A ring of minifigure legs make up the top of the tallest tower, and the castle’s namesake skull is making use of some arms. It’s some NPU that totally has the power.

Sorcery and Diminution!

I can’t see the trees for the forestman.

There have been a couple of official sets that turn the iconic LEGO minifigure into giant, brick-built models. This has, of course, inspired builders to craft their own jumbo versions of their favorite minifigs. And Casey McCoy has hit a bullseye with this take on the classic Forestman Archer. The original figure’s printing has been recreated in amazing detail, from the neck frill to the belt buckle. And the bow and arrow combo and feathered cap take me right back to the LEGO Castle adventures of my youth. The only downside is, this particular forestman won’t have much luck hiding in the woods from the Black Knights. Then again, he might cause the Black Knights to go looking for a hiding spot themselves…

Jumbo Forestman - 1

The school day is saved thanks to this stationary spacecraft

Who among us hasn’t spent time daydreaming and doodling during those particularly boring days in school? It’s a fair bet that Maxx Davidson certainly did, because this school supply spaceship is a perfect homage to those classroom fantasies. The notebook paper wings are loaded up with pencil missiles and highlighter engines. The push pin lasers mounted to the rulers help keep boredom at bay. And the whole thing is structured around a pencil case cockpit with a LEGO built zipper that we grade as an A+. The pilot is even sitting on an eraser seat!

The Bic Viper

A solitary outpost on a foreboding moon

I love when a futuristic LEGO build treats space as a hostile environment, and this lunar station by Dan O’Connor is a prime example. With lots of unique window areas, you get the impression these explorers are trying to see as much of the alien landscape as they can, while knowing they’re resigned to only going outside on rare occasions. Thankfully, they’ve got a few space suits and even a droid to assist in any outside-the-airlock activities.

Space Base Overview

See more views of this space base diorama

Fangs for the memories

Part of the fun of Halloween for me was always the cheap plastic trinkets; pumpkin buckets, spider rings, and especially the vampire teeth. But Josephine Monterosso has put those dollar store dentures to shame with this set of blood sucking biters. A pair of Dots bracelets make a perfect base for Dracula’s gums, and the resulting creation is perfect for anyone practicing to become a dentist of the undead.

Vampire Chompers

Home is where you hang your hat…or sometimes it just is the hat.

The Iron Builder competition has already taken us on a LEGO tropical vacation. But Duncan Lindbo is upping the ante with a natural beach setting for this hermit crab build that uses 8 of the required red Technic Rotor Blades. But this crab isn’t content with your everyday shell. He’s making his home in a brick-built replica of the Rebel pilot helmet from Star Wars. Makes you wonder what’s on that note in the bottle. Perhaps the plans to a secret weapon the Empire is about to bring online?

Message in a bottle

Anywhere is home when your house floats.

Inspired by the houseboats of Amsterdam, Jonas Kramm has crafted a cozy minifigure scale houseboat perfect for living a life on a canal. This watercraft comes packed with all the comforts of home, including a bed, a small kitchen, and a fully equipped bathroom. Feeling cramped inside? Just step out onto the rooftop patio and enjoy the string of party lights as you sip a cocktail on the bench built for two. Need to stock up? Pull into port and use the bicycle to hit the nearest grocer. And don’t worry, a set of solar panels on the roof will keep your home running even when you’re out at sea.

Canal Houseboat - LEGO Ideas Project

This 1:1 scale gun is no laughing matter

When it comes to life-size prop recreations built from LEGO, Nick Jensen might be the reigning champion. His latest work is the revolver wielded by Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker. This is the perfect weapon for going bat hunting, with a movable trigger and a perfectly purple grip. But my favorite part is the “Bang” flag coming out of the barrel. Thanks to a clever sandwiching of a LEGO net between some tiles and plates, the flag can actually wave. As in, wave bye-bye to the Batman…

The Joker’s revolver

A build from the past gives us a glimpse of the future.

The world of The Wheel of Time book series is both the ancient past and the far-off future. So, it’s fitting that this build by Vladimir van Hoek from ten years ago (long predating the recent Amazon Prime TV series) is just now getting shared with us in the present. The microscale scene of the Field of Merrilor depicts a high-tech castle and neighboring village, in a world where vehicles are powered by primitive sails and advanced jet propulsion. I love the way foliage peeks out from beneath the vignette framework, and the way the reddish brown grill bricks have been laid on their sides to create the rows in the farmland. This idyllic scene is definitely a place I’d like to visit someday…or perhaps I’ve already been?

Futuron Palace

Nothing’s hipper than see-thru slippers

Thomas W had planned a different build for his contribution to a fairy tale collaboration but had to shift gears at the last minute. The result is a happy ending worthy of a fairy tale. This vignette, with its impressive tomes and frog-occupied wishing well, sets the imagination racing with all kinds of storybook adventures. But the real work of art is that glass slipper. There’s a limited number of bricks available in the trans-clear color, but Thomas transformed them into something special anyway, as easy as turning a frog into a prince.

Once Upon A Time

Welcome to the Lone Star Trek State

As a San Antonian born and bred, I can say with absolute certainty that some Texans would absolutely make their state pride their identity, even in deep space. And Umbra-Manis has brilliantly captured that sense of pride with this SHIPtember digital creation, the RTSS Chiltepin. This ship would be worthy of our attention even without the Texas flags. Look at all the interesting textures, from the use of Artoo legs and hinge-less hinge bricks along the upper portion of the hull to the use of the underside of jumper plates on the cargo containers. And those recessed circular portions along the top are fantastic. But the inclusion of the flags, and the space-based Republic of Texas backstory, does so much storytelling that makes this a next-level creation. It’s easy to imagine a crew mess stocked with Big Red, Blue Bell ice cream, and Whataburger. I wonder how it refuels, though. Are there Buc-ee’s in space?

RTSS Chiltepin - Main