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.
Here’s a bit of LEGO swag sure to liven up your LEGO room. These giant 1×1 round plate “studs” are actually wall hangers, perfect for coats, bags, or just bringing a bit of LEGO flair to your walls. While many of the LEGO-branded home decor items we see are aimed at a younger audience, I think these are pretty classy. Perfect replicas of their miniature counterparts, the three studs range in size from about 2 inches in diameter for the smallest, to nearly 4 inches for the largest. The set of 3 studs is priced at $9.99 USD.
The best part is that they don’t just come in the classic colors, either. There’s a pastel-toned set and a monochromatic set, too. All three will be available April 30, and are currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
And while you’re checking out LEGO on Amazon, don’t miss the Iron Man Hall of Armor, which just released April 1. The Avengers: Endgame set is already out of stock at many retailers (my local LEGO store was completely sold out today), and meanwhile Amazon not only has the set, but has it for 20% off. That makes it just $47.99 to jumpstart (or complete) your collection of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suits, since this set has 5!
It’s hard to believe, but trains are now more than 200 years old, going back to the early 1800s for the most rudimentary steam-powered rail engines. This model by Nikolaus Löwe shows one of the first such engines constructed, which hails from 1815 and was known as the “Steam Elephant” due to its large trunk-like smokestack mounted on the front. Nikolaus has done an excellent job recreating the lattice of ironwork with bars and clips surrounding the boiler. Interestingly, he’s chosen to photograph it on a brass model track, which although not LEGO does look mighty nice.
Never underestimate the power of a good color scheme. This gorgeous orange, teal, and white racer by Chris Perron is instantly eye-catching thanks to its bold shades. The car isn’t just all flash, though, as it’s designed as a futuristic mag-lev vehicle around a large rear ball, held in place with a pair of orange basketball hoops. The ball originally hails from Duplo, and it’s one of only a few elements to have successfully made the jump from Duplo to System sets. The use of 3×3 radar dish pairs for front “wheels” also works great (do mag-lev cars need wheels?).
Need more Klämtares, Kuggises, or Ivars for your LEGO collection? Look no further than IKEA, now in minature form thanks to cubo31. IKEA announced a new partnership with LEGO last year, and we still haven’t seen many details on what that is. But we can only hope that it will include an awesome micro model like this. This Micropolis module is loaded with accurate details, from the incredible brick-built logo to the carefully crafted curbs and even an underground garage. There’s just one inaccurate detail that bothers me, though: there are open parking spaces within sight of the front doors. I’ve never seen that at my IKEA.
Builder Corvus Auriac takes us to a magical place with this amazing render of a microscale castle. The towers are exquisitely detailed with just enough randomness to look real, while still feeling like an absolutely massive structure perched atop a rock. The dragon, named Beowulf, is one of the better microscale designs I’ve seen, actually have four legs like a proper dragon (and not a wyvern, which only has two). The frog for a head is perfect. As with all great microscale models, you’ll be rewarded by spending some time poring over the minuscule details to see what parts have been cleverly repurposed.
If there’s one fandom whose members rival LEGO fans for excitement and in-depth knowledge, it’s Disney fans. The monumental rush of pure nostalgia and child-like glee when the two are combined can hardly be overstated. Of course, LEGO has long produced a few sets here and there licensing the core Disney products (as opposed to Disney-owned franchises like Marvel or Star Wars, which rule the LEGO lineup each year). Traditionally, these Disney sets have generally targeted some of the youngest sectors of LEGO’s audience. However, in 2016 LEGO produced a special wave of the Collectible Minifigures theme focusing on beloved Disney characters. Now three years later, LEGO is returning for another go, with 71024 Collectible Minifigures Disney Series 2 with a target release date of May 1. As usual, we expect the sets to begin filtering into retail stores a bit early, so start keeping an eye out soon. LEGO hasn’t confirmed the price yet, but we expect it will match the $3.99 USD price of the first series. Like the first wave, Disney Series 2 includes 18 unique minifigures, and as with all Collectible Minifigures (CMFs), they’re packaged individually in blind packs. Click to read the full, hands-on review
When it comes to crafting scale LEGO car models, there are few better than builder Bricksonwheels. This amazing 1:11-scale Lancia Delta depicts the winning car from the Tour de Corse in 1992, and it’s marvelously detailed. The eye-catching decals were designed in collaboration with fellow builder JaapTechnic, and the slew of sponsor emblems and stripes bring the car to life.
The full name for this magnificent little hot hatch is a Lancia Delta HF Integrale EVO, and the LEGO version uses about 1,700 pieces. It’s got a full interior, including an accurate roll-cage, and all four doors open, along with the rear gate and hood. The builder created this slick overlay to show off all the goodness inside.
This dart of a LEGO car by GunnBuilding is a reimagining from the original heyday of the automobile, when people first realized that racing steel machines with wheels was great fun. The tiny single-seater is strapped together with a tenuousness befitting its early origins, the curved slopes of the hood held closed by rubber bands and numerous other elements held on by only the merest clutch. The result, however, is brilliant, and this car looks as speedy as it does classy.
Of all the things we’ve seen built from LEGO over the years, individual organs have to come near the end of the list. Proving that they are, in fact, on the list though, is this cheery two-dimensional stomach by ForlornEmpire. There’s actually a lot of complex building involved in creating this digestive system, with skillful SNOT-work required to position the various curved slopes making the wavy edges.
The great desert of Jakku conceals the remnants of the Empire’s defeat, the great hulk that used to be the Imperial Star Destroyer Inflictor. We’ve seen this setting in LEGO before, but this new take by kofi looks magnificent. The smooth sand dunes created with tan tiles and curved slopes give the Inflictor heft, making you feel as though it really buried itself into the ground as it crashed.
You don’t need a huge pile of pieces or a deep wallet to be able to create something beautiful with LEGO. This bottlenose dolphin by Ken Ito (暁工房) is a perfect example of how just a few pieces can bring a scene to life. The dolphin consists of fewer than 20 pieces, and the base employs only simple, common elements. But there’s more motion evoked with them than you’ll find in many models that are much larger.
Ken’s gorilla is another perfect specimen, utilizing simple pieces to craft the animal’s shape. The head and face are particularly impressive, which really consist of only three slopes, but there’s no mistaking this noble creature’s gaze.
This charming scene of interplanetary science is brought to us by Sad Brick. It’s a simple LEGO scene of an astronaut placing a sensor on a newly discovered world, but it’s charming as can be. The greebly goodness of the sensor encased in a clear canister, with a wire strung to an outboard relay is perfect brick-built technobabble, while the arrays of flora in three colors makes the scene come to life. The use of the Collectible Minifigure Plant Monster helmet for large leaves is something I actually haven’t seen often.