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

Sir, we thought you were here to protect us...

For over four months, the citizens of Hong Kong have been protesting a proposed bill that relinquishes some of Hong Kong’s autonomy and places the city-state under more direct influence of mainland China. More than 2 million peaceful demonstrators have been met with increasingly violent responses from the Hong Kong Police Force, who have bolstered their ranks with mainland Chinese forces and decried the protests as riots, shooting thousands of canisters of tear gas at the civilian crowds. LEGO builder Wing Lee, a Hong Kong citizen, has created this poignant vignette of a demonstrator and a riot-gear equipped policeman.

Sir, we thought you were here to protect us.

The two figures stand atop a five-petal orchid, the symbol of Hong Kong, while the color fades from the city’s traditional red and white motif beneath the armored officer. The world is watching this time, and may democracy prevail.

Announcing the TBB Banquet brick-built food collab for BrickCon 2019 [News]

Do you like brick-built brunches? Studded snacks? How about AFOL appetizers and MOC munchies? Then you’ll want to attend the TBB Banquet! This year’s TBB reader collaboration at the BrickCon LEGO convention is all about life-size LEGO food. We’re spreading a magnificent feast made of our favorite bricks, and we want your help. The theme is simple: build something to eat and make it life-size. There’s just one twist: we’re featuring all these food items on real dishes and plates!

If you’re planning to attend Seattle’s BrickCon this year as a fully registered AFOL attendee, join us in laying out our parts-pack potluck! We know the title says banquet, but that’s just because we liked the alliteration with our name. Really, we’re not quite that pretentious, and our LEGO lunch is likely to be a lot more laid back. We’ve got a lovely-looking lobster (built by the inimitable Ty Keltner), but we expect the food to range from casserole to croissant. Want to bring potato chips and Coke? Great!

We’ve even got a potluck signup list, so you can sign up your SNOT-covered snacks ahead of time, and see what others are bringing! (Note: you’ll still need to register your MOC with BrickCon.)

Click here to sign up for the Potluck. (A name is all that is required to sign up. Email is optional.)

We’ll have some real plates, bowls, and glasses available to present your MOCs, but if you’ve got a special dish in mind or a MOC that requires a very specific size or type of dish, you’ll want to bring your own. As always with our reader-collab themes, don’t get too caught up in the details. As long as your model is about life-size, we’ll make it work and it will look great.

Now let’s take a closer look at a few of the models we’ve already got, brought to you by Ty. Continue reading

This Le Mans racer is alternately awesome

Real Le Mans racecars are carefully built and strategized to maximize efficiency and performance over the grueling 24-hour race. So it’s fitting that LEGO builder Milan has chosen to build this sweet Le Mans racer with a key restriction. He’s used only the elements from the LEGO set 42093 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. That’s especially impressive because the Corvette is about the same size, yet features a radically different shape.

Milan has lots of experience with building custom creations using only the parts from one set, though (AKA alternates). In addition to being an expert Technic builder, alternates are his signature style. He also frequently provides instructions, meaning if you own the Corvette set, you can follow Milan’s guide to build a Le Mans racer of your own.

Looks like Voldemort learned Diminuendo!

It appears that He Who Must Not Be Named has few more unusual spells to use, and he’s got the heroes of Hogwarts down on their luck. These tiny characters by LEGO builder gonkius are the perfect representations of their larger selves. How many pieces do you need to build a great character, after all? It looks like the answer is about seven, and they couldn’t be cuter! The use of the rollerskate wheel for Harry’s glasses is particularly inspired.

And just in case you’re still struggling to figure them out, from left are Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Harry, and Hedwig. Honestly, I’m kind of wishing the official LEGO microscale Hogwarts Castle had used these!

A new day dawns on Mars

Bringing a bit of far-future tech to the exploration of Mars, this Red Morn One drop shuttle by Rat Dude is a gorgeous take on a LEGO microscale spaceship. Alternating with smooth curves and intricate details, the carrier hauls a huge habitat to the Martian surface.

Red Morn One in Action

The ship is loaded with great textures, but one of my favorites is the old-school Bionicle feet, which actually made their first appearances on the first generation of Bionicle characters back in 2001. Appearing here in tan, they frame the engine thrusters and make a great repeating pattern with the landspeeder engines on top.

Red Morn One and Drop Container

What’s grey and green and shaped like a rover?

The answer is this awesome LEGO Classic Space-inspired vehicle by Alec Hole. Boasting an incredible 32 wheels across 8 axles, this monster moon buggy is one of the greebliest vehicles I’ve seen recently. (If you don’t know what greebles are, be sure to check out our glossary.) Alec says he was inspired by a similar-looking vehicle by Piotr Turecki, which was built using a 1980s palette of LEGO elements. All I can say is, I would have killed to have this thing as a kid.

Rover inspired by Piotr Turecki’s Surface Explorer

LEGO Shop Online now selling full cases of Disney Collectible Minifigures [News]

The LEGO Shop Online has now added complete cases of 60 collectible minifigures for sale, marking the first time we can recall the online store selling complete boxes rather than individual figures. Right now, Disney Series 2 is the only series available for purchase in full cases. It remains to be seen if full cases will be available for future series like the recently revealed Collectible Minifigures Series 19, or if this is simply LEGO attempting to move extra stock of the Disney series.

The cases are priced at US $239.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £179.40, which is roughly the same price as buying 60 individual figures, but ensures you get an unopened case. While purchasing a full case isn’t for everyone, it is the easiest way to ensure you get a full set of minifigures. For those who don’t need a full 60 figures, splitting a case with a friend or two is also a great option. We found that our review case Disney Series 2 had two complete sets of figures, with almost a third complete set. Be sure to read our full review of the Disney Series 2 Collectible Minifigures for the rest of the details on this series.

Complete cases can also be purchased from third-party sellers on Amazon or eBay.

All aboard the new 3,000-piece Disneyland LEGO set, 71044 Disney Train and Station [Review]

Revealed today, LEGO is returning to Disneyland with a brand new set, 71044 Disney Train and Station. LEGO’s history with Disney goes back a long way, but few sets have focused on Disney itself rather than its franchises. Of course the first was the gigantic 71040 Disney Castle from 2016. Now the Disney Train and Castle takes us once again to the magical kingdom with one of Walt’s most beloved attractions. Based on the C. K. Holliday steam locomotive on the Disneyland Railroad in the original California park, the train is motorized with LEGO Powered Up! components. Including the train, track, and station, the set has 2,925 pieces and 5 exclusive minifgures, with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Chip and Dale, and Goofy. It will retail for USA $329.99 | CAN $379.99 | UK £299.99 and will be available starting August 21 for LEGO VIP members, with general availability on Sept. 1.


Click to read the full, hands-on review

LEGO continues the BrickHeadz theme with 40351 Ghost this Halloween [News]

LEGO seems to be slowing its BrickHeadz release cycle, but it’s not done creating the cute brick-built characters just yet. LEGO has just published images of the newest set in the line, 40351 Ghost. Presumably a Halloween seasonal item following in the vein of similar sets for the past several years, we expect the Ghost to cost $10 USD and be released sometime in the next month or two. The Ghost will be BrickHeadz number 83, and it includes 136 pieces.

Click to see more, including previews of 3 more upcoming LEGO BrickHeadz

A castle for your princess

When I first saw this diorama titled Molly’s Castle, I actually thought it was microscale due to the overall silhouette. But then I spotted some minifigures high atop the turrets, and mounted knights wending their way through the forest. Built by Jon & Catherine Stead over just six days, this LEGO diorama features a rare tan castle in a verdant setting, with plenty of details to ogle. Measuring nearly 4 feet in length and 17 inches tall, you won’t lack for adventure here.

Molly's Castle MOC - 2

Click to see more of the castle diorama

An enigmatic maze

Sometimes you don’t need a wide breadth of pieces to build a great LEGO model. You just need a large quantity of a handful of elements. That seems to be the case with this eye-catching maze by Dutch builder Erik Eti Smit. Using a repeating pattern of tan arches, curved slopes, and striking red slopes, Erik has crafted a stunning maze for some hapless dwarves.

Doolburg

Click to see more of the maze and dwarves

LEGO reveals 21318 Ideas Treehouse, featuring 3,000 pieces and foliage for 2 seasons [News]

Today LEGO is officially taking the wraps off the latest set originating from its crowd-sourcing platform, LEGO Ideas. 21318 Treehouse is the largest Ideas set yet, with a whopping 3,036 pieces. It stands more than 14 inches tall and features leaves in two colors to build either summer or fall versions. First announced last fall, the treehouse features three cabins and four minifigures. Be sure to check out our full, hands-on review of it that we published earlier today, and continue reading below to see all the official images and information.

Despite the enormous part count, the set will retail for US $199.99 CAN $269.99 | UK £179.99. It’s slated to be available in LEGO stores and the LEGO Shop Online tomorrow, July 24, though LEGO did accidentally sell the set briefly to very excited–and surprised–fans last week at San Diego Comic Con, before pulling it from shelves.

Click to see more of the LEGO Ideas Tree House