About Bre Burns

Bre is an Oregon native who came to Seattle with her partner, Jessie, in 2015. She briefly worked for the LEGO Group as a Brick Specialist before she left to pursue her dream of being a Zookeeper. Now she works at Woodland Park Zoo, but LEGO continues to be a huge part of her life. She and her partner are active members of SEALUG, FabuLUG and SquatchLUG, and enjoy building creations big and small that span across many themes, under the name Renegade Bricks. Bre is also the Theme Coordinator for Technic/Mindstorms and a member of the Senior Staff for BrickCon.

Posts by Bre Burns

Fun at the fair with Creator 3-in-1 31119 Ferris Wheel [Review]

Over the years we’ve seen a decent amount of fairground and amusement-style sets. We’re always enthralled with moving creations and what says fun more than the fair? In particular, the best sets have been those in the unofficial fairgrounds subtheme within the Creator Expert line. Such models like the roller coaster, carousels (yes, plural!), and Ferris wheel are sure to make anyone smile! We can’t wait to see if another massive set joins the party, but in the meantime, we’ll explore an “all-in-one” day at the fair with LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31119 Ferris Wheel. This set consists of 1,002 parts and the instructions to complete a swing ride, bumper cars, and of course, an 8-seat Ferris wheel. The set is currently available in Europe and will hit stores in North America beginning August 1 for US $79.99 | CAN $109.99 | UK £79.99.

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.

Click to read the full review

Inspiring colorful creativity with LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31122 Fish Tank [Review]

The summer wave of LEGO sets are turning out to be a big hit, including this round of Creator 3-in-1’s. So far we’ve covered two others in the series, and now we turn our attention to the most colorful of the bunch, LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31122 Fish Tank. The set contains 352 pieces and features not only instructions to build a fish tank, but also those for an art easel with macaw painting and a treasure chest with accessories. It was just launched on June 1st in Europe and will be available August 1st in North America priced at US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99Join us as we take a deeper dive into this bright, playful kit.

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.

Read the full review

On the wild side with LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31121 Crocodile [Review]

Recently LEGO revealed the latest wave of Creator 3-in-1 sets. Right from the get-go this series looks to be pretty awesome, and now it’s time to see if they live up to the pictures! Per tradition, the line is showcasing at least one animal-focused kit, LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31121 Crocodile. The set contains 454 pieces and features not only instructions to build a crocodile, but also those for a snake or frog as well. It will be available June 1st in Europe, and August 1st in North America with a pricing of US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99. Come along as we sneak a closer peek at this toothy critter.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Click to explore the full review!

A tambour drawer conceals hidden treasure [Video]

The simple yet mesmerizing features of a roll-top desk have always been interesting to me. I’m not sure why we’ve found creating round shapes out of smaller straight ones so amusing, but nevertheless we can’t help ourselves. More intriguing still is the tambour desk or drawer. Named such for the typical design of wooden slats glued to stretched canvas, opening one drawer reveals two! And it’s even cooler in LEGO form. This version by Jason Allemann couldn’t be better executed – at first glance it doesn’t seem all that exciting…

But how do you open the top? Don’t let the treasure-chest look fool you – it doesn’t lift it like a lid. Just pull the front drawer and you have access to both top and bottom compartments! See? Mesmerizing.

Thankfully, the tag-team duo of JK Brickworks loves to show how they build things, and often post instructions too! While you’re here, check out more of their LEGO creations!

Blissfully busy are brilliant blue barn swallows

Say that ten times fast! I’m just keeping you on your toes, like these busy little creatures. If you’ve ever worked on a farm or ranch, you know the job can be hard work. Barn swallows, named such because they often nest in barns, are no slouches! These beautiful birds, recreated here in LEGO by Bricolé, spend countless hours building their mud nests and raising up to 10 babies (in two clutches) a year! They’re always in a hurry and even eat while on the go! They earn their spot in the barn by scooping up tons of pesky flying insects.

As wonderful of a color it is (and as great as it looks here), LEGO “earth blue” or “dark blue” doesn’t quite do the bird justice. In real life it’s pretty stunning. That said, I love the movement in this build – especially the windswept vibe of the “grass” as the wings swoosh past. The katanas for the swallowtail are also a nice touch.

While you’re here, don’t miss out on all the other incredible animal builds we’ve featured!

“Higitus figitus migitus mum! Prestidigitonium!”

If you do not recognize this character at all, you need to watch the Disney classic Sword in the Stone, stat. It’s certainly one of the best Disney films ever, and I think Rickard Stensby must agree! One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Merlin casts a spell where he packs the contents of his entire house into a traveling bag. In true Disney fashion, he sings his spell, “Higitus Figitus.” Arguably, the better line is “Hockety, pockety, wokety, wack,” but I digress. Rickard perfectly sculpts the scene in LEGO, from the shrinking belongings floating into the bag, down to the rickety wooden floorboards. Merlin himself is unmistakable with his blue outfit, glasses, and an overly long beard.

Merlin

Top marks for perfectly recreating the body pose, as well as the use of bananas and droid heads for fingers.

Merlin

This one had me feeling all the nostalgia. How about you? Click here to see more Disney builds. We also have more from Rickard too!

The mysterious black nautilus

Currently, our study of the nautilus suggests their shells are traditionally white and dark orange. But then again, we understand less about our ocean depths than we do about the moon’s surface. For all we know, there are beautiful black nautiluses residing in the murky depths beyond our reach. If there are, I hope they look like this one built in LEGO form by Moko. Sleek and mysterious. The unique curvature is made using the crane jaw element from recent space-themed sets. Not only does the swirl look cool, but the design made by the axles in the Technic brick holes does as well.

Nautilus

Curious where the baseplate came from? This particular base only came in the 2009 Pirates set, 6241 Loot Island. While you’re here, stick around for some more animal builds, as well as other creations made by Moko.

The Hogwarts Entrance Hall to rule all entrance halls

Have you ever had that friend who you try to act all cool around, but who’s definitely much cooler and more talented than you? Well, I have a few, actually, but when it comes to LEGO Harry Potter, there is only one true master. Eric Law has awed and inspired many times over with his dazzling and ginormous recreations of the Wizarding World. This time, he brings us an exceptional model of the Hogwarts Entrance Hall. There is so much going on here, it’s a little shocking. Dare you to take the time to count all the frames!

“But wait, Bre! Do the stairs actually move?” You bet your Firebolt they do! Here is a short snippet GIF, but you should definitely check out the full video on Eric’s Instagram page.

Can’t get enough Harry Potter builds? We have you covered!

That one frog from the poster!

One of the most famous frogs in the world is the red-eyed tree frog. This gloriously rainbow-colored amphibian has graced many a poster. In fact, I had the one with them stacked on top of each other hanging on my own wall growing up. What I didn’t realize at the time was that those cute little ones definitely aren’t babies… Anyway, Joffre Zheng continues the admiration with this roughly-lifesize LEGO sculpture. Simple but adorable. Fun fact: their vibrant colors are mostly for attracting mates, but also safety. They try to keep the colorful parts of their body hidden while they rest on leaves. Then when a predator comes, they open their eyes and flash those legs to startle the would-be killer.

Red-eyed tree frog

Another fun fact: the scientific name for this rainforest creature is Agalychnis callidryas, and the species part of that name derives from Greek words meaning “beautiful tree nymph”. Fitting, right?

You can check out more cool animal builds in our archives, as well as more creations by Joffre.

Pollinator from another planet

Far away, on some advanced planet, there are probably cyborg animals. I mean, the likelihood of Earth-like creatures seems reasonably high. And cyborgs aren’t just made from our imagination. Look at prosthetics — medical advancements are headed there more and more. Matt Goldberg gives us a glimpse of that with his latest LEGO build. This bee has circuitry! While the trans-blue Insectoid wings call attention, there are other great features too, like the marbled Bionicle Mohtrek mask used in the abdomen. My favorites are on the head, where skates are used for mandibles and minifigure hands attached to sausages form the antennae. Also, let’s not forget that colorful flower, cleverly built with purple Bionicle Pakari masks.

Alien Pollination

We try to keep it light here at TBB. But on a somber note, did you know our bees are in trouble? Without bees and other pollinators, we’d starve. We’re not going to be able to develop cyborg bees anytime soon, and even if we could, the real thing deserves our help. Please take a moment to learn what you can do, and check out these sites for more information on bees and their impact. Every act helps – even small and easy ones like planting a little bee garden and providing a refreshing bee bath.

Not so hermit, hermit crabs

You’ve probably heard the term “hermit” describing someone who lives alone and avoids others. Hermit crabs get their name from the fact that they protect themselves by living and hiding inside abandoned mollusk shells. But what you might be surprised to discover is that these guys aren’t shut-ins. Like the two featured in this excellent LEGO build by Djokson, they enjoy some company! While they do prefer to have their own shell, they’ll even gather together in large colonies. In regard to this creation, it’s a fantastic use of the Duplo pipe elements. I’m also a fan of the large figure armor for the shells!

Hermits, together

Another interesting fact: hermit crabs will graduate shells as they get bigger. When they outgrow a shell, they’ll hunt for a larger one to slip into, just like we do with clothes. And just like us, their choice of attire can sometimes be odd or questionable. Even LEGO! The unfortunate part is that this usually involves human trash.

While you’re here, definitely take a moment to check out some of Djokson’s other work!

Up, up and away, in a rocket to the moon

If you’re looking for a masterclass in clever parts usage, LEGO designer Markus Rollbühler might be one of the best professors out there. This rocket, which uses 101 parts, is a prime example. Besides the fact that it’s very cute and looks neat as heck, it’s more than that. With such few parts, you have to make an impact. The best details include a fencing foil to cap off the nose, a trophy for the nozzle, and a beard and carrot combo for the flames. Let’s also not forget the clamshells, helmets, and chef’s hat playing peekaboo in the exhaust cloud.

101 Bricks: Liftoff!

If you need another example of Markus’s talent, look no further than 71741 Ninjago City Gardens. That’s right! He designed that too! But while you’re here, why not also check out more of Markus’ awesome “non-work-related” builds, in addition to some more cool rockets and spaceships?