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)

Really, it’s just a classic invasion scenario

It seems like the old ways aren’t quite forgotten yet, and they’re not about to go quietly, either. In this diorama by Carter Witz, an alliance of Lion Knights, Royal Knights, and Forestmen are invading a modern City hamlet. It looks like the classic army has embraced some new tech, though, as one of the Forestmen rides a new-style horse, and both sides of the clash are built with excellent modern techniques.

Attack of the Classics!

In fact, don’t let the amusing storyline cause you to overlook the details in this build, which is rife with complex approaches to achieve its polished look. From the carrot tops embedded in the building’s wall to the upside-down teeth above the windows, Carter spared no expense to make the scene come to life.

Attack of the Classics!

A roving rover

It’s not clear whether LEGO builder Shannon Sproule‘s roving habitat is meant for use on a distant planet or the apocalyptic future of our own, but this repurposed APC looks like it’s seen it all. Shannon says it used to have a turret, but that’s now been replaced with a hab module and comms equipment. The vehicle is battered and worn, with Shannon doing a great job with the weathering thanks to introducing some brighter colors like dark orange and coral. The simple digital background also gives the presentation that sense of place, which goes a long way in telling the APC’s story.

Hibernia: Traverse rover

Microscale Mata Nui

After writing about LEGO for nearly a decade, it’s rare that I see a mashup that’s new, let alone one that’s done excellently. But this build by Mansur Soeleman brought me that rare delight in the form of a Bionicle creation made of system pieces and done in microscale. The lush green island is Kini Nui, the temple at the heart of Mata Nui in the Bionicle universe, and it evokes the verdant foliage of the island’s jungle well. The build is loaded with brand new elements which I’m excited to see put to such great use, such as the white 1x8x3 slopes for the four pillars on the temple.

Kini Nui

Side note: I’m feeling an urge to play Halo now, for some reason…

Get a little brick in your bite with this LEGO sushi

A regular on our pages, LEGO builder Eero Okkonen brings us this delicious-looking spread of sushi, made entirely from brick. From the windscreen used as an ultrathin slice of salmon for nigiri, to the Ninjago sail used as a napkin, everything looks spot on. My favorite feature, though, is how the studs on the white plates work perfectly to imitate the lumpy texture of the vinegared rice.

Sushi

The beauty that lies beneath the plank

This gorgeous LEGO diorama by Stephan Gofers shows us the ocean’s full depth, from the vivid coral reefs below the waves, to the sleek 3-master sailing on its surface. The pirate crew has captured a hapless guard, forcing him to walk the plank. In no short order, he’ll be admiring the fantastic marine life from a much closer vantage point, and since he’s not wearing handcuffs, we can assume he’ll swim safely to shore to become a new castaway.

Pirates a Go-Go

While the colorful reef draws the eye first, the ship itself is a lovely model, eschewing LEGO’s pre-made ship hull elements and instead opting for a planked-look made of brown tiles and curved slopes. The furled sails made of curved white slopes also look excellent. Continue reading

New LEGO Star Wars busts revealed: 75276 Stormtrooper and 75277 Boba Fett [News]

LEGO continues to pursue the adult market with its range of Star Wars sets, and today we’re getting a look at two more unique display pieces, 75276 Stormtrooper and 75277 Boba Fett. The pair of busts was revealed by retailer Toysanta earlier today, and each features upscale box art in a style that’s new to the LEGO Star Wars lineup, with the character’s name displayed prominently across the top. Both sets celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, which was released in 1980, and feature the anniversary logo on the box.

There’s no word yet on when to expect these to hit stores or their official pricing, though Toysanta’s prices seem to indicate they’ll retail for around $70-$80 USD. Of course, this isn’t the first time LEGO has produced character busts from Star Wars. Recently the company has launched two similar (though smaller) sets, each available in a limited market. The 75227 Darth Vader Bust was available only to Target Red Card holders, while 77901 Sith Trooper Bust was only given away to randomly selected attendees at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. We don’t know yet what the availability for these sets will be, but we hope that LEGO does the right thing and makes them widely available. Going way back, the much larger 10018 Darth Maul bust from 2001 was among the first LEGO Star Wars sets targeted at adult fans.

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Our wrap-up of LEGO at Toy Fair New York 2020 [News]

After a whirlwind of reporting over the last two days, we’ve completed our coverage of LEGO at Toy Fair New York 2020, North America’s largest toy trade show. While LEGO’s public presence was smaller than its been in years past, we got to look at quite a few new sets, and go hands-on with others that we’d only seen in official photos previously. Because the show is a trade show, it’s not open to the public. But we know you’re all itching to learn what the experience was like this year, so here’s a quick recap of our experience covering LEGO news at Toy Fair New York 2020.

Toy Fair New York is held each year at the colossal Javits Center in the heart of Manhattan, where the show lays claim to all 1.8 million square feet the center has to offer. Continue reading

First look at LEGO Dots with the exclusive Creativity Box [Review]

LEGO’s new Dots line is the company’s latest attempt to gain a foothold in the tween girl jewelry market. (See the LEGO Dots announcement here.) Most LEGO fans are probably familiar with the company’s previous venture into this market with the Clickits theme, which had dozens of sets from 2003-2006. And while that theme’s success in its target market is open for debate, it’s rarely a theme that elicits positive responses from adult fans, thanks to one fatal flaw: Clickits is barely compatible with traditional LEGO. Certainly, some enterprising fans have put bits to great use, but it’s largely its own system. Thankfully, LEGO appears to have learned a lesson from that experiment and its new line of tween jewelry is solidly grounded in the bricks and plates that we all know and love. Or, perhaps more accurately, the tiles. The titular “dots” are the plethora of good old fashioned 1×1 tiles included in every set.

In advance of the theme’s release on March 1, LEGO sent us what they’re calling a Creativity Box. It is not a retail product and is instead intended to showcase the variety of parts Dots sets will include. So let’s dive in and take a quick look at some of Dots’ offerings. Continue reading

LEGO Ideas approves 2 new sets in latest review: Medieval Blacksmith and Winnie the Pooh [News]

The crowdsourcing platform LEGO Ideas this morning announced the results of their latest review, selecting the Medieval Blacksmith and Winnie the Pooh projects to become official LEGO sets. This review covered projects that reached 10,000 votes during mid-2019, with 10 projects qualifying during that period.

Of the 10 qualifying submissions, which ranged from a UCS-scale Space Shuttle Atlantis to a diorama of The Office, the LEGO Ideas team selected these two projects to be produced as official LEGO sets. LEGO doesn’t guarantee any projects will be selected during the review process. The projects can be rejected for any number of reasons, including sales projections, ability to withstand LEGO’s rigorous set design process, or conflicts with an upcoming LEGO set already in development for another theme.

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Your doom approaches (slowly)

They say bad news travels fast, but you’re the enemy of this battle turtle by Jayfa, then your bad day might take a while to arrive. This little four-legged LEGO mech is delightfully tank-like, just like its real-life armored inspiration, but unlike fleshy reptiles it’s got a big artillery piece letting it lob shells instead of just hiding in one. The ring of inverted 1×2 slopes (likely attached to a piece of flex tubing) is something we don’t often see on mechs, but gives this cold beast a great organic curvature. And of course, I have to mention the Bionicle shoulder plate for the head, which looks almost made for the purpose.

T-84 155mm Heavy Artillery Unit

This LEGO hair will give you whiplash

TBB regular Letranger Absurde is a master character sculptor, and this latest model of a cocktail waitress just gives us one more reason why we love their work. Letranger says the hair was the inspiration for this build, and it works oh-so-perfectly. Made of dozens of curled minifigure whips, the server’s tangled hair brings her to life. There are some other gems of inspiration though: the purple bows from the Friends line make a fantastic highlight to the dress, but it’s the use of minifigure neck ruffles for the frilled edges of her gloves that really take the cake for me.

Your Order, Sir?

LEGO announces new Fast & Furious license coming to Technic [News]

Today, LEGO announced a new licensing partnership with Universal Studios to create sets based on the mega-hit Fast & Furious franchise. With more than $6-billion in box-office revenue from the franchise already, Fast & Furious 9 is slated to hit theaters May 22. LEGO plans to release a tie-in set a month earlier on April 27, which will be a Technic kit with an age rating of 10+. LEGO has yet to confirm any further details about the set.

Jill Wilfert, Vice President of Inbound & Entertainment Licensing at the LEGO Group, had this to say about the partnership: “The LEGO Technic brand with its authenticity and attention to detail and the action packed Fast & Furious franchise are a great match. Both franchises are known for creativity and cool cars so we are really excited to work with Universal on this awesome product that both LEGO Technic and Fast & Furious fans are going to love to build!”