About Chris

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

LEGO Ideas 21349 Tuxedo Cat [Review]

Have you ever wanted to own a cat, but didn’t want to clean the litter box or pay for vet visits? The latest set from the LEGO Ideas crowdsourcing platform has got you covered, as 21349 Tuxedo Cat is the perfect feline friend who will always stay where you put it and rarely scratch up your couch. The project was first submitted to Ideas by fan Damian Andres (AKA The Yellow Brick) way back at the end of 2020 as a sculpture of his cat, a Siamese-Birman mix named Miro. The official set shifts the color scheme to a Tuxedo and makes a fair number of changes to the construction, but keeps the overall scale and pose the same as Damian’s submission. The Ideas model boasts 1,710 pieces, and includes pieces to swap out for yellow or blue eyes, along with an alternate lower lip to give the cat a different expression. It will be available starting June 1 for US $99.99 | CAN $129.99 UK £89.99.

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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It’s a brickdemic!

Recently while playing around with the new triple clip bars and the Ninjago aeroblade centers I made a dodecahedron, intending some microscale scifi purpose for it. However, everyone I showed it to immediately pointed out the resemblance to a certain pathogen, so I decided to run with it and create a LEGO Covid-19 virus. I inverted the clips from my original inward-facing orientation to create the distinctive spike proteins and then used radar dishes to fill in the virus’s membrane envelope. For a quick 20-minute build, I’m pretty happy with the results, even if it is a bit creepy.

The virus

Here’s a look at the underlying structure of the dodecahedron if you want to build one yourself. The basic structure uses just two element types.

Covid 19 Breakdown

This incredible 50,000-piece LEGO Halloween house is where all the cool monsters party

I hear there’s a monster party tonight at 13 Dead End Drive. That’s the address of this massive old Victorian haunt created by Ty Keltner over the course of nine months. It features a large mansion with surrounding grounds populated by hundreds of your favorite Halloween monsters. Sitting on a whopping 24 large gray baseplates, the model’s footprint is 7 ½ feet by 5 feet – that is just shy of 40 square feet of Lego, with somewhere between 50 and 100 thousand bricks, definitely making this the biggest LEGO Halloween party we’re invited to this year!

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Dazzle me with your Battleship skills

LEGO builder João Eínon has been working on a series of Italian battleship models and his latest creation of the Andrea Doria in dazzle camouflage is absolutely stunning. The camouflage pattern is what caught my eye first, as it’s entirely brick-built and takes this scale model of the WWI and WWII battleship to a whole new level. It’s difficult enough to get decent shaping on a ship’s hull, but all the more so while building in an abstract pattern.

Andrea Doria rear view

But as impressive as the dazzle camo is, the rest of the ship’s details are also worth examining. Despite this model’s small scale, all of the turrets are faithfully recreated, and João’s ability to integrate interesting patterns gets more of a workout with the distinct red and white bow striping, a hallmark of Italy’s warships during WWII.

Andrea Doria details

A peek behind the Wall: building a 200,000-piece LEGO Game of Thrones diorama [Guest Feature]

LEGO builder extraordinaire Anu Pehrson joins us to give an inside perspective on how she built this enormous 200,000-piece minifigure-scale diorama of the Wall from Game of Thrones. If you’re not familiar with Anu, she likes to build big. If you happen to be in Denmark soon, check out her huge model of the Greyjoy Stronghold, which has been showcased in the LEGO House for the past year. She previously gave us a behind-the-scenes look at her 20,000-piece rice plantation diorama from The LEGO Ninjago Movie, but now she’s gone ten times bigger. So read on as Anu walks us through the entire process of building the Wall from early concepts to finished model.


Building the Wall

As builders, most of us are inspired by things we encounter in our everyday lives, travels, and other interests such as books, music, etc. I immensely enjoyed reading Game of Thrones and was inspired with several ideas for building. The Wall was an obvious choice but a very daunting task and would require me to get several tens of thousands of white parts. I started the process of collecting parts specifically for this project in 2012. Nine years later, I finally started building in 2021, and it has taken me over two years to finish it. The model is 5 x 5 feet and approximately 4.5 feet tall, and in the end, I used close to 200,000 pieces.

My thought process here was that the Wall would be the central grounding factor, with several structures added to both the south side of the Wall and the area beyond the wall to the north as described in the books/show.

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LEGO Disney 43222 The Disney Castle: new and improved? [Review]

When it comes to Disney’s theme parks, there’s nothing more iconic than the fairytale castle that sits at the center of each magical land. In 2016 LEGO released its biggest Disney set ever, 71040 Disney Castle, which portrayed Cinderella’s white and dark blue castle that sits at the heart of Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. But in 2020 Disney repainted the castle to celebrate the park’s 50th anniversary (or 70th anniversary of the release of Cinderella, depending on which Disney source you reference), updating the fairytale fixture with peach-colored walls, darker stonework, and more gold accents. LEGO retired the 2016 castle last year, but won’t leave Disney fans without a flagship set for long, as they’re now releasing a new version with an updated design and colors that match the real-world landmark. 43222 The Disney Castle has 4,837 pieces (about 750 more than the original) and eight minifigures. It will retail for US $399.99 | CAN $519.99 | UK £344.99 and will release globally on July 4th, 2023.

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.

Let’s dive in and see how this updated castle fares compared to the original.

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LEGO Icons 10320 Eldorado Fortress: Searching for Pirate gold [Review]

The Pirates line was a seminal theme for LEGO, introducing hoards of new elements and many things we take for granted now, such as unique faces beyond the classic smiley head. One of the largest and most sought-after sets from the original theme was 6276 Eldorado Fortress, a colonial-style base of operations for the blue-coated Imperial Guards. 10320 Eldorado Fortress is a remake of that iconic set taking advantage of 34 years of advancement in parts and techniques since the original. LEGO has avoided straight re-releases in recent years (with some notable exceptions), opting instead to tribute classics for the company’s 90th anniversary in 2022, with 10497 Galaxy Explorer as a modern upgrade to the original set, while 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle pays homage to a whole generation of Castle. Although the anniversary has passed, I am excited that LEGO has continued that nostalgia trend, turning its eye now to my personal favorite theme, Pirates. With 2,509 pieces, the new Eldorado Fortress nearly quintuples the original set’s 506 parts, though thankfully the price increases by a lesser margin, as the original was $66 in 1989 (about $161 in today’s dollars). The new set will retail for US $214.99 | CAN $279.99 | UK £189.99 when it’s available starting July 4 for VIP members (general availability will follow on July 7).

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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LEGO Ideas 21341 Hocus Pocus brings Disney’s famous witches to the brick [News]

Today LEGO has finally revealed the next upcoming Ideas set will be 21341 Hocus Pocus. Last August LEGO revealed that Belgian Fan Designer Amber Veyt‘s Hocus Pocus – Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage submission would become an official set after reaching the requisite 10k votes to be considered in October 2021. The new set will feature the Sanderson Sister’s Cottage, which opens to show the museum and witches’ home inside. Six minifigures will be included: the three Sanderson Sisters, Max, Danni, and Allison, along with Thackery Binx as a black cat. The set will contain 2,316 pieces and is slated to be available for LEGO VIP members starting July 1, with general availability following on July 4. It will retail for US $229.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £229.99.

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A LEGO Star Wars creation that’s nicely Tie’D up

I still recall getting my first LEGO Star Wars sets in 1999, and I think back to how simple Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced was in 7150 TIE Fighter & Y-wing with just 409 pieces between the two ships. So I’m in awe when I see incredible versions like this TIE-D by Sy Lyphics, which packs a whopping 1,573 pieces into a minifigure-scale recreation of one of the more awesome TIE variants. The sculpting on the bubble fuselage is particularly adept, with those triangular grey roadsigns looking purpose-made for the job.

Tie Defender

This one isn’t just a looker on the outside, though. Sy has created a fully functional cockpit, an incredible achievement considering the difficulty of creating a brick-built sphere that’s hollow.

Tie Defender

This build’s a grind

Castles are nice, but there’s something I love about a tranquil domestic scene of medieval life, and what encapsulates that better than a stone mill and miller’s cottage? This lovely little diorama is the work of ZCerberus, and although the stonework is nice, and the round mill is great, some of favorite techniques here are more subtle. First, there’s the mixing of brown and dark red for the roof tiles, a subtle swap that helps give a lived-in nature. Similarly, the mixed olive green and dark tan for the ground makes a wonderfully earthy tone. And secondly is something so foundational it took me a minute to even realize it: this diorama has two bases, thanks to a black slab beneath the sculpted landscape. Usually, LEGO dioramas have one or the other, but I really love the presentation here.

MilgrathsMill

LEGO 40634 Icons of Play revealed featuring female soccer superstars [News]

Thanks to retailer Rakuten.jp, a new LEGO set featuring female soccer superstars has been revealed. 40634 Icons of Play includes 15 minifigures and a variety of soccer stadium elements and features famed footballers Megan Rapinoe, Yuki Nagasato, Asisat Oshoala, and Sam Kerr. According to the retailer, the set has 899 pieces and will be available June 6. The pricing has yet to be confirmed but it is expected to retail for US $99.99 | CAN $TBD | UK £89.99.

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LEGO Technic 42158 NASA Mars Rover Perseverance officially revealed as latest real-life space set [News]

Today LEGO has officially revealed the latest set based on real-life spacecraft with the LEGO Technic 42158 NASA Mars Rover Perseverance, a 1,132-piece model of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab’s newest red planet vehicle, including its flying companion, the Ingenuity Helicopter. The 12.5-inch long model (32cm) features all-new wheel elements with working steering and articulated suspension, as well as with a moveable arm. Although the model is not motorized, there is a companion augmented reality (AR) app that can show the model on a Mars-like surface and allow users to check the weather on Mars or learn other facts about the fourth planet from the sun. The set will be available starting June 1 for US $99.99 | CAN $129.99 | UK £84.99.

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