About Chris (TBB Managing Editor)

Chris Malloy (porschecm2) has been a LEGO fan nearly all his life, having started with System bricks at age 3. He is the co-author of Ultimate LEGO Star Wars, and his creations have been featured in several books and The LEGO Movie. He also helped develop the first LEGO Minecraft set, 21102 Minecraft Micro World: The Forest, which has gone on to inspire a whole theme of sets. He's been active in the online community since 2002, and regularly attends LEGO fan conventions such as BrickCon and BrickCan. He enjoys building in a wide range of themes, but keeps returning to Castle, Space, and Pirates. Check out his LEGO creations and photography here.

Posts by Chris (TBB Managing Editor)

A brick-built feline friend for you

There’s nothing that can replace a real, cuddly feline friend, but this adorable life-size LEGO cat by Felix Jaensch is a pretty good contender, at least as far as the realm of inanimate objects goes. While the majority of the build employs the classic studs-up style using mostly basic bricks that’s familiar to LEGOLAND visitors the world over, the result is excellent shaping of the cat’s smooth curves. The grey tuxedo coloring also adds a lot of interest to the build, breaking up the shape. Plus, I’m just a sucker for life-size builds. I’d totally have this in my office—wouldn’t you?

Cat

BrickCon 2021 celebrates 20 years with hybrid in-person and online convention [News]

Seattle’s BrickCon 2021 planning is underway as the longest-running LEGO fan convention celebrates its 20th year. Like most conventions, BrickCon moved to a completely virtual model for 2020, but this year the AFOL convention, occurring in Seattle Oct. 1-3, 2021, is planned to use a hybrid model with in-person registration limited to the first 400 adult fans, as well as many activities and games available for those who wish to attend virtually. Tickets will be available via BrickCon.org starting Aug. 1. Tickets to the adult fan in-person convention are $85 and grant access to the full 3-day convention, games, prizes, a goodie bag, and more. Tickets to the hybrid virtual convention will cost $25. Starting Sept. 1, public tickets for Saturday and Sunday will also be available.

The Brothers Brick is proud to be a sponsor of BrickCon. Read the full press release from BrickCon below.

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LEGO reveals new 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van for 2021 [News]

Today LEGO unveils yet another Creator Expert vehicle set, 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van. The new model comes to replace the recently discontinued 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, which stayed on store shelves for more than nine years becoming one of the longest-living LEGO sets ever. Just like the real VW campers, the new LEGO version of T2 reveals the evolution of the icon, both of the style and the building techniques. Volkswagen T2 Camper Van consists of 2,207 pieces (almost twice as many as came with the T1 Camper), and will cost US $179.99 | CAN $249.99 | UK £149.99. The set goes on sale on August 1 from LEGO stores and on LEGO.com.

Click here to take a closer look at the new Volkswagen T2 Camper Van

A duel for the ages

This epic showdown of martial prowess comes to us from Markus Rollbühler, and it’s chock full of drama, action, and enough clever parts usages to keep your eyes busy for a long while. There are so many to love, but don’t miss the minifigure armor for the torso on the left character, or the big figure arms used as legs on the right character, or even little things like the rounded end of Harry Potter wands for knobs on the dresser in the background.

Broken Peace

In fact, we love this build so much we’ve made it our social media cover image this month! Be sure to check out how your image could be featured for a full month.

Welcome to Circuit City

Have you ever looked at a circuit board and thought it looked a little like a futuristic cityscape? LEGO builder Adam Betts has run with that idea for this awesome microscale city, which he says is based on the idea that cities, like circuit boards, are highly interconnected and optimized for efficiency. Look closely and you’ll see that the left side of the city starts out with ambiguous structures that mimic circuitry, but then slowly move into more recognizable skyscrapers to the right, complete with a zeppelin and bustling seaport. Or is it a serial port?

Circuit City

It’s a Viking life for me

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been playing so much Valheim for the past few months that you’re going around muttering things like “the bees are happy” in your sleep. So naturally, when I saw this LEGO longhouse by Jake Hansen, I immediately thought of the game. Jake doesn’t mention that this was built with Valheim in mind, but it’s a beautifully simple Norse scene regardless. There are lots of great details but I think the best one here might be the wooden doors with handles made of bucket handles.

Mourning the passing of David Frank [News]

There’s never an easy way to share the news of the loss of a friend. On June 2, David Frank passed away after an unexpected medical emergency, leaving us shocked and heartbroken. David was not only a marvelously talented LEGO builder whose work we’ve featured many times, but also a personal friend to several of us here at TBB here in the Seattle area. David leaves behind his wife and three children.

No words can ever do justice to someone’s life, but if there’s one word that anyone who met David would use to describe him, it’s “kind.” Although he had the physique of a bodybuilder, David was softspoken and had one of those personalities that sticks in your mind as modest, utterly sincere, and simply filled with the child-like joy of sharing a hobby. I first met David about 10 years ago in the BrickCon exhibition hall when he walked in to start setting up one of his castle creations. We struck up a conversation as he started to unpack his boxes, and he told me he was still new to building his own creations rather than sets, and not to expect much of his builds. He then proceeded to set up what was not only the biggest LEGO castle I’d ever seen in person, but also incredibly detailed, a sprawling layout filled with dragons and knights. David’s building skills only grew from there, and he frequently built massive dioramas of locations from his wife Claire’s novels along with other things he was passionate about, like Starcraft. Many LUG meetings and hangouts later we even discussed auditioning for LEGO Masters as a team. But as incredible as David’s LEGO skills were, it was never his priority. David’s family always came first, and he loved sharing the company of friends even more than he loved building. David, you will be sorely missed.

See more of David’s creations that we’ve featured on TBB, or check out his flickr.

LEGO Harry Potter 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets [Review]

Harry Potter has been at school for a long, long time. Even in LEGO minifigure form, he started at Hogwarts way back in 2001. That means that 2021 marks the 20th Anniversary of Harry’s LEGO journey, and this year LEGO is celebrating by branding the Harry Potter sets with a special logo and including exclusive gold versions of key characters in the sets. Today we’re looking at the biggest set from the new wave, 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets. Set in Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts, the set includes 11 minifigures, including several characters who have never appeared in minifigure form before: Professor Aurora Sinistra, Colin Creevy, and Justin Finch-Fletchley. On sale now, the set contains 1,176 pieces including 11 minifigures and will retail for US $129.99 | CAN $169.99 | UK £129.99.

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.

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First LEGO set from Marvel Studios “What If...?” revealed; 76194 Tony Stark’s Sakaarian Iron Man [News]

Thanks to Amazon, we’re getting a look at the first set based on Marvel’s upcoming alternate-universe animated show What If…? that’s set to air on Disney+ starting in August. 76194 Tony Stark’s Sakaarin Iron Man features a strange version of what appears to be the Hulkbuster armor cobbled together from Sakaarian scrap. Sakaar is the junk planet that Thor, Loki, and Hulk were stranded on in Thor: Ragnarok. The 369-piece set includes Valkyrie and The Watcher, along with Tony Stark sporting an alternate-universe Metallica shirt with an easter-egg throwback for fans of classic LEGO themes such as Exploriens. There’s no word yet on the specific release date or price.

Click to see more pictures

Writing The Secret Life of LEGO Bricks with Daniel Konstanski [Interview]

Last fall, LEGO held a vote to let fans pick the topic of its next adult-focused book. The Secret Life of LEGO Bricks, written by Daniel Konstanski, emerged victorious and has been available for pre-order via the crowdsourced publishing platform Unbound ever since. The book will not be available via normal distribution after the Unbound campaign, so with just one week remaining for pre-orders, we caught up with Daniel to find out what he’s been up to for the last nine months working on this book. Of course, we haven’t read the book yet, so we wanted to know a bit of what to expect from the finished book. Daniel says he’s been allowed full access to The LEGO Company’s archives—an unprecedented level of access—and has been delving through more than 600 pages of transcripts from interviews he conducted with LEGO employees.

He was able to share with us some exclusive sneak peeks, such as the dinosaur tribe that almost made it into the Legends of Chima theme. The Secret Life of LEGO Bricks will be published in 2022, though only available to those who backed the project on Unbound by May 31, 2021.

Click to read the full interview

LEGO reveals 40516 Everyone Is Awesome with 11 monochrome minifigures as a Pride flag [News]

LEGO is celebrating diversity by revealing a new product that features 11 monochrome minifigures arranged as a Pride flag. 40516 Everyone Is Awesome was designed by LEGO’s Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton and draws its name from the catchy tune in The LEGO Movie. Ashton says, “I wanted to create a model that symbolises inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love.” The company plans to for the set to be available in time for Pride Month in June. With 346 pieces and 11 minifigures, the set will be available June 1 for US $34.99 | CAN $44.99 | UK £30.

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LEGO Marvel Spider-Man 76178 Daily Bugle revealed with 25 minifigures, including Blade, Punisher & Daredevil [News]

Today LEGO has taken the wraps off the biggest Spider-Man set to date, 76178 Daily Bugle. This massive 3,772-piece set features the headquarters of Spider-Man nemesis (and Peter Parker’s boss) J. Jonah Jameson’s newspaper, the Daily Bugle. The high-rise features a full interior with offices and lots of superhero action, but the set’s real draw is likely to be the minifigures, with a small army included. Altogether, there are 25 minifigures included, including several new superheroes that haven’t appeared in minifigure form before, such as Blade, Punisher, Daredevil, Black Cat, and Firestar. The Daily Bugle will be available for LEGO VIP members starting May 26, with a general release on June 1. It will retail for US $299.99 | CAN $399.99 | UK £274.99.

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