Most adult builders looked at the little goblin figures from LEGO’s Elves theme with some distaste. I suspect this was due to the bright colors and limited elements that make them up. I know I felt that way. They are difficult to fit into a build, even a fantasy one, because they are too cartoonish to be taken seriously. Given the right setting, though, perhaps they could be useful. Take, for instance, this build by John Snyder. Bright colors, like lime green grass and a purple wagon roof, tie the goblins and their garish hues into the overall build. The layout itself is unique, with large brick-built tomes bookending the multi-level scene. Plus, as always with a Snyder build, there are play functions. The small dwarf-elf (or dwelf, as the cover implies) is in trouble, about to fall through a trapdoor into the subterranean lair of the goblins. Could anything be worse than being captured by those almost-useless rainbow-colored creatures?
Have your co-workers or classmates been goofing off or gone on vacation too long and you’re ready to play some pranks on them when they return? How about replacing all their desk tools with LEGO versions, like these nifty replicas by Chungpo Cheng? With a glue stick, hole punch, and pen, Chungpo has all the things a teacher or accountant could want (don’t ask what an accountant uses a glue stick for).
And in case that’s not enough, try out these scissors, eraser, pencil sharpener, and retractable box cutter. Although each build is simple technically, they all look the part perfectly. There are even pencil shavings in the sharpener box!
Soccer fans (or football fans as they’re called everywhere else) will get a kick out of the newest Creator Expert set, 10272 Old Trafford-Manchester United, a massive 3,898-piece model based on the Old Trafford soccer stadium in Greater Manchester, England, which serves as the home of Manchester United F.C.and over 76,000 of their closest friends. The 1:600 replica model is rated for 16+, clearly targeting an adult market, and is available now directly from LEGO for US $299 | CAD $349 | UK £249.99 for V.I.P. members — just in time for the stadium’s 110th anniversary this February.
In 2019, The Brothers Brick team reviewed a total of 68 sets of all piece counts and sizes. The signature sets of the year included those from familiar themes like LEGO Star Wars and Creator Expert. We also looked at a few other non-retail sets such as the Bricklink fan designed sets and even a Brickmania custom kit – did they make the cut?
Using view counts as a frame of reference, we’ve pulled together our most popular set reviews of 2019 that you, the fans, voted for with your clicks. Is there one set that stood out for you that you can clearly remember? Or are you rooting for a particular favourite of yours? Without further delay, let’s dive right into the list.
When talented stars collide, masterpieces arise. I hate to be so cliche, but it is what it is. This artwork is the result of a collaborative effort between Grant Davis, Eli Willsea, and Micah Biedeman. It was the product of hanging out in Grant’s home last year, 3 weeks worth of cumulative effort, and somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 LEGO bricks (who’s got time to count when you’re oozing with inspiration and art?). Both Grant and Eli should need no introduction, as neither are new to the world of making large scale builds and focusing on a single aspect of wonder. In 2018, they walked away with The Brothers Brick Creation of the Year award, and now they’re back with another stunning creation.
If you like LEGO and chunky transforming robots, there is definitely more to these first-responders by Sam.C (S2 Toys Studios) than meets the eye. (See what I did there?) Both Autobots feature angled faces and anime-inspired helmet details that look like they transformed right out of a comic book, or 1980s-something Saturday morning cartoon.
Aside from the amazing pose-ability and blocky limbs, my favorite hard-to-spot part is the light gray 1×1 round plate with ball joint (most commonly found in yellow as the hands of the brick-built LEGO System figures) used here for the perfect connection in many of the bots’ joints.
In addition to the amazing LEGO models created by builders all over the world, The Brothers Brick brings you the best of LEGO news and reviews. This is our weekly Brick Report for the third week of January 2020.
LEGO reveals a field of dreams with the new Old Trafford – Manchester United set. Keep reading our Brick Report to get all the details.
TBB NEWS AND FEATURES: This week we received some behind-the-scenes interviews about the upcoming LEGO Masters TV show, took a look at the early history of LEGO Education and reviewed three sets including the Chinese New Year Lion Dance!
TBB LEGO MASTERS INTERVIEWS:
- Making LEGO Masters: Exclusive interview with executive producer Anthony Dominici – The Brothers Brick visited the LEGO Masters set and spoke with executive producer Anthony Dominici about how to make an exciting and feel-good reality TV show while keeping track of 3.3 million bricks.
- Judging LEGO Masters: Exclusive interview with LEGO designers Jamie Berard and Amy Corbett – The Brothers Brick visited the LEGO Masters set and spoke with Jamie Berard and Amy Corbett about making the leap from LEGO designers to reality TV judges.
- Hosting LEGO Masters: An interview with actor and entertainer Will Arnett – The Brothers Brick visited the LEGO Masters set and spoke with Will Arnett about hosting the upcoming show and if he wants to return for Season 2.
- LEGO 80104 Chinese New Year Lion Dance [Review] – There’s a lot of cultural history and meaning behind the lion dance, especially for celebrations during the Chinese New Year. Read our in-depth review to learn more about this set and if it’s one worth adding to your collection.
- Meet the happy couple – LEGO BrickHeadz 40383 & 40384 – Bride and Groom [Review] – Will the new LEGO BrickHeadz Bride & Groom get your heart pumping? Read our hands-on review.
- A new lease on learning with LEGO Education set 45678 SPIKE Prime [Review] – Take a deep dive with us into a review of LEGO Education’s new release, 45678 SPIKE Prime!
OTHER NEWS: There were quite a few other interesting LEGO news articles from around the web this week. Here are the best of the rest:
- Lego sets its sights on a growing market: Stressed-out adults, Washington Post – The world’s largest toymaker is pitching its bricks as a form of mindfulness.
- How LEGO Is Training The Scientists And Problem Solvers Of The Future, Forbes – The FIRST LEGO League provides an opportunity for teams of children, based throughout the United States and in 49 other countries, to use LEGO to solve STEM-related problems.
- LEGO House shutters it’s fine dining restaurant, LEGO House – Management has made the decision to close the fine-dining restaurant, LE GOURMET.
Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy — famous and much-loved, and yet somehow always relegated to the second-division of Disney characters behind Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Sure, the Disney Empire is The-House-The-Mouse-Built, but personally I’ll take Donald’s edgier attitude over Mickey’s slightly bland wholesomeness any day of the week. As for Goofy, he’s a classic clown, good for causing chaos and taking a painful pratfall — he’s always been one of my favourite of the Disney gang. Along with Pluto, Mickey’s pet dog, these are the latest Disney-themed releases in the BrickHeadz line of blocky figures. This new pair of sets will allow Disney fans to put together a wider BrickHeadz family of their favourite characters alongside the previously released Mickey & Minnie.
What did we think of this latest addition to the BrickHeadz range? Check out our full review…
Some LEGO builds look like they are made from tiny studded pieces of plastic. That’s appropriate, because that is what they are. However, some builds are done so sleekly that nary a stud is showing, save for representation of a specific detail. These builds cause the viewer to do a double take, and this author has been known to utter a muffled “holy bleep, that’s LEGO” from time to time when seeing them. This truck by Dennis Bosman is one such build. It’s a refrigerated Volvo F12 truck, branded for the Stie’s Termo Transport company from Norway. It is way too big for minifigs (it’s 1:13 scale, as opposed to roughly 1:25-1:42 for minifigs, depending on the relevant dimensions), and scaling it that way allowed Bosman to include mind-boggling details. The cab lifts open to reveal a fully equipped engine, the cab is plushly furnished, the trailers are studded both inside and out, and even the refrigeration units on the trailers have motors inside them.
This morning Yahoo revealed the first LEGO set from Marvel’s upcoming Black Widow movie, 76162 Black Widow’s Helicopter Chase. The set features a Chinook-style helicopter, motorcycle and three minifigures of Black Widow, Yelena Belova, and Taskmaster. LEGO appears to be doing a staggered rollout of the 271-piece set, with Yahoo reporting it will be available at Target starting March 1 and Disney parks in April, ahead of the film’s May 1 release date. The set will retail for $29.99 USD.
Chinese New Year is little more than a week away and, according to the Chinese zodiac, we are entering the Year of the Rat. When it comes to heavenly rodents, Ian Hoy has another cute critter in mind. Of course, I’m talking about the guinea pig! This little guy is beautifully sculpted with angled and curved slopes to capture the adorable chunkiness of domestic itty-bitty piggies. The facial expression is priceless. As for that bit of yellow in his hands, if you thought it might be a morsel of cheese, you would be sadly mistaken. It’s actually yuanbao, a gold ingot that was used as a form of currency in China from the Qin Dynasty through the Qing Dynasty. I wouldn’t mind dropping a few yuanbao myself if it meant this little fellow could join the colorful cast of zodiac animals.
Way back in April of last year, LEGO Education announced the launch of 45678 SPIKE Prime, a new Scratch-based tool in classroom programming. After some delay from the original August 2019 release, it’s now available for purchase and we’ve been fortunate enough to receive a copy to review. We’re excited to see what we learn about this fascinating new set! LEGO Education 45678 SPIKE Prime is available now from the LEGO Education shop for $329.95 USD.
Additionally, with the 40th anniversary of LEGO Education this week, we’re also sharing loads of cool information about the history of the department and its contributions to STEAM learning (Covered over multiple articles). It’s not every day we get to dive deep into a set from a division of the company that has been mildly separated and not intended for general distribution. This division of LEGO is really getting into its stride lately, and the future holds exciting things!