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)

Check out the toothy grin on this LEGO bot

Sometimes you see a LEGO part and you think “now what will I ever do with that?” I’ve always loved the greebly, mechanical look of the ripcord housing element, but for the life of me I’ve never found a use for it. That’s not a problem for Cezium, though, who whipped together this brilliant digital model with two whole rows of them for the teeth–er, excuse me, railgun housings on this sentry bot. This just goes to prove that old LEGO building axiom: all pieces are useful if you have a sufficient quantity of them.

Dragonslayer

LEGO Ninjago Avatar Arcade Pods: 71714 Kai, 71715 Jay, and 71716 Lloyd [Review]

Each year LEGO’s homebrewed Ninjago theme finds a new setting for its cast of pseudo-ninja heroes, ranging from sky pirates to medieval fantasy. The theme has always reveled in a no-holds-barred approach to mixing and matching ancient bladed weapons, advanced technology, and outrageous antagonists. The 2020 lineup’s twist is a cyberpunk aesthetic set in a digital world via a videogame. All of the Ninjago heroes find themselves dueling in the cyber realms via their avatars, bringing a Ready Player One-like plotline to LEGO’s most successful in-house theme. Today we’re looking at a trio of small sets that serve as the entry points to theme both for the consumers and the characters in the world. These arcade cabinet boxes are the transformation portals wherein Kai, Jay, and Lloyd are transformed into their digital avatars. 71714 Kai Avatar – Arcade Pod (US $9.99 | CAN $13.99 | UK £8.99), 71715 Jay Avatar – Arcade Pod (US $9.99 | CAN $13.99 | UK £8.99), and 71716 Lloyd Avatar – Arcade Pod (US $9.99 | CAN $13.99 | UK £8.99) will be available starting January 1. They contain about 50 pieces each.

Click to read the full review

Only 2 weeks to Bricks LA 2020, Southern California’s premier LEGO convention, Jan 11-12 [News]

Bricks LA is Southern California’s premier LEGO convention, open to the public January 11-12. Builders from around the country will gather at the Pasadena Convention Center to showcase more than 13,000 square feet of amazing creations to eager LEGO fans of all ages. Vendors will be selling vintage LEGO sets, LEGO-themed jewelry, custom gifts, and more. Tickets are only $5, with kids under 5 free, and are available online.

Bricks LA also offers a special experience for adult LEGO fans, beginning January 10. Participants will enjoy LEGO-related games, panels, prizes, and more, as well as be able to display their custom creations for the public. For more information, click here.


The Brothers Brick is proud to be a sponsor of Bricks LA. 

Home for the holidays

LEGO builder Deborah Higdon brings us this cheery home vignette to wish us a merry Christmas. Like all the best things about the holidays, it’s simple yet crafted with great thoughtfulness and care. From the shingled tile roof to the clean siding, working porch lights, and the delicate railings wrapped in garland, each aspect of this house is a masterwork of details working together to create a realistic house.

2019 - lego "merry christmas to you" houseBut Deborah didn’t just stop at the outside; after all, what’s Christmas without a comfy interior? The tree has been removed in this photo so that we can see extra interior details, but don’t worry, it’s definitely there. Check out Deborah’s album for more details.

2019 - lego "merry christmas to you" house

LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71026 DC Super Heroes: Getting back to the comics [Review]

LEGO’s latest wave of Collectible Minifigures theme is about to arrive, and this time it’s heading to the world of superheroes. Following September’s Series 19 lineup of classic characters, 71026 DC Super Heroes features a cast of famous (and not-so-famous) comic book characters from DC. The Collectible Minifigure, or CMF, line is no stranger to superheroes, having featured many superheroes and supervillains in The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie series, but this is the first time LEGO is pulling inspiration for blind pack superheroes directly from their original sources: comic books. Expected to release in near the end of December, they will retail for US $4.99 | CAN $4.99 | UK £3.49. The DC Super Heroes series consists of 16 characters, several of which are appearing in LEGO form for the first time. Be sure to also check out our DC Super Heroes Minifigures Feel Guide.

Click to read the full, hands-on review

A smorgasbord of patterns

LEGO builder Peter Ilmrud takes us on a journey to very well appointed baths somewhere along the Mediterranean seaside. Although the model is adorned with all a trove of repeating patterns, the first one to draw the eye is the inlaid tiling in the new coral color, making use of the Friends marine life creatures, which come packaged together in a variety of Friends sets. The tablecloth is also worth noting, with its ornate pattern drawn from Bruce Wayne’s manor. And how many of you recognize the perfume bottle on the table — or for that matter, its light green color?

This is the LEGO Baby Yoda you’ve been looking for

Baby Yoda has been taking the internet by storm since its oh-so-cute appearance in Disney’s new Star Wars show The Mandalorian, and LEGO builders are getting in on the game too. In fact, we’ve already featured not one but two versions of the green alien infant by Miro Dudas and hachiroku24, and both even have instructions for you to build your own. However, this latest digital version by L-DI-EGO is a much larger scale and is captures the adorably large eyes and trusting expression better than ever. The as-yet-unnamed little guy comes complete with big expressive ears and a voluminous robe made of dark tan, with exposed studs for texturing.

Baby Yoda (or wathever the species is)

And before you ask, no, the builder has not provided instructions for this guy. You’ll just have to reverse engineer it all on your own, but here’s a hint: the lower lip and forehead are made of shoulder armor bits.

LEGO reveals 8 new Marvel sets from Avengers and Spider-Man [News]

As we near the year’s end, LEGO is taking the wraps off all its upcoming 2020 lines, and today we’re getting our first look at eight of the new Marvel sets. Spanning both the Avengers and Spider-Man franchises, the sets include several regular film tie-ins, as well as a new line of mini-mechs for the heroes and villains in the same light-hearted vein as LEGO’s Mighty Micros vehicles. The sets should be available on or slightly before January 1.

Check out all the new sets below, and don’t miss the other new LEGO sets for 2020:

Click to see all the new Marvel sets

Real rebels recycle and reuse

The grungy aesthetic of the Star Wars original trilogy showed a worn-down, lived-in universe where a scrappy Rebellion used whatever they could find to fight the mighty Empire. It’s clear that the iconic ships like the X-wings, Y-wings, and especially the Millennium Falcon are all hand-me-downs. But surely the Rebellion would have used whatever they could lay their hands on, even if it was 30-year-old tech like this Naboo Royal N-1 Starfighter. LEGO builder Hypolite Bricks has crafted this detailed diorama of the Rebel’s Yavin 4 base as they as they attempt to return the classic fighter to flying shape. Look closely at the ship, as it’s not merely the official set but an impressive custom model with lots of details, including missing panels.

Repurposed N-1 Naboo Starfighter

The builder notes that they were inspired by the N-1’s appearance in the recent trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, where it appears fleetingly along with seemingly every other ship in the Star Wars canon.

LEGO Black Friday doorbusters brings 30% off big sets like Disney Train and Saturn V [News]

LEGO’s Black Friday doorbusters are starting, giving 20% to 30% off a variety of sets, including some large favorites that are among our best-reviewed sets. These kinds of deals often have limited quantities, so it’s best to be quick on the draw if you spot something you’d like. We’ve reviewed many of these sets, so you can always take a quick peek at what we thought of the set if you’re on the fence.

Click to see the deals

How good is the LEGO Batman 40433 1989 Batmobile set that comes free with the giant Batmobile? [Review]

A few weeks ago, LEGO revealed the latest Ultimate Collector Series-style Batmobile, 76139 1989 Batmobile, which will be available for the first time on Nov. 29, Black Friday (US $249.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £219.99). Shoppers who brave the crowds between Nov. 29 and Dec. 5 to purchase the giant 3,306-piece version of Tim Burton’s Batmobile will also get a free Gift With Purchase (GWP) set in the form of a smaller, minifigure-scale model of the same iconic car. 40433 1989 Batmobile has 366 pieces and features a similar rotating stand and info placard.

While any free LEGO is good LEGO, gift with purchase sets range from uninspired afterthoughts to enticingly fantastic. So how does the mini 1989 Batmobile stack up? Spoiler alert: it’s very, very good. In fact, the most disappointing thing about it is that it is a gift with purchase, which means you can’t easily get multiples without laying out some serious cash to get multiple copies of the big set.

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LEGO reveals Speed Champions 76896 Nissan GT-R Nismo [News]

The January 2020 wave of LEGO Speed Champions has picked up yet another new licensing partnership for LEGO with the addition of acclaimed Japanese automaker Nissan. Today at a special press event in Japan, LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen unveiled the latest Speed Champions set as 76896 Nissan GT-R Nismo. The set will have 298 pieces and retails for $19.99 USD. It has an official launch date of Jan. 1, 2020, but will likely be available starting Dec. 26 along with the majority of the rest of the January sets.

The set follows the announcements of several more Speed Champions sets in 2020, including vehicles from Ferrari and Audi, Lamborghini, and Jaguar. Check them out, along with the rest of the 2020 sets, and then get a closer look at the GT-R below.

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