Category Archives: Feature

The Brothers Brick is not just about showcasing the best  fan builds and bringing you the latest LEGO News, we also love to investigate, interview and discuss!  These featured articles are all interesting articles that you can look back and enjoy reading.

2020 LEGO Advent Calendars, Day 4

Happy holidays to all of our fellow LEGO builders! As is tradition, we at The Brothers Brick will be opening our advent calendars as we count down to Christmas. We’ll also be sharing commentary on each one, which will be both insightful and hilarious!

LEGO Advent Calendar

This year we have new Harry Potter, Star Wars, City and Friends advent calendars to open. We will be sharing images of the new calendars every day through Christmas. Let’s see what there is to open on Day 4!

Click to see the LEGO Advent Calendars Day 4

2020 LEGO Advent Calendars, Day 3

Happy holidays to all of our fellow LEGO builders! As is tradition, we at The Brothers Brick will be opening our advent calendars as we count down to Christmas. We’ll also be sharing commentary on each one, which will be both insightful and hilarious!

LEGO Advent Calendar

This year we have new Harry Potter, Star Wars, City and Friends advent calendars to open! We will be sharing images of the new calendars every day through Christmas. Let’s see what there is to open on Day 3!

Click to see the LEGO Advent Calendars Day 3

Create your own mosaic masterpiece with Lego Art Remix [Review & Interview]

Recently TBB’s Chris Doyle shared with us his journey of creating a custom LEGO Art mosaic. One of the tools Chris used, LEGO Art Remix, was an essential step towards getting to the finished product. We took some time to talk to Creator Deb Banerji about the project. With his background in Computer Science, Deb coded the foundation of the LEGO Art Remix tool in about 5 hours, though he’s spent a bit more time refining it since then. I’ve had some hands-on time with it from the first release and to its current final form, and it’s only gotten better. The latest results output close to a finished mosaic design that you can immediately start building within minutes if you had the parts on hand.

Click to read the review and interview with Deb

Idea to actual: How we made some Wonder Woman LEGO Art [Feature]

Once a year, my long-distance partner Alyse Middleton and I, Chris Doyle, try to take a week of vacation together. With the realities of life in the USA in 2020 limiting the potential destinations, this time we opted for a “Quarencation” at my place. Kind of a bummer, but staying here kept us within easy reach of my LEGO workspace…and that paid out some nifty results. We were able to take an idea we had been kicking around all the way from concept to physical model. Working in the style of the new LEGO Art sets, we created a mosaic of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman - LEGO Art Style

I’d built a number of mosaics in the past, so I had a few ideas on how we could approach making a new one. And while that experience was helpful, we ended up taking a very different route to reach our goal. Come along with us on our journey of highs, lows, seemingly endless moments of “I guess we’re starting over again“, and, yes, eventual triumph.

Continue reading

Is the LEGO 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) more than just a 1-UP of 1980’s Super Mario nostalgia? [Review & Video]

It’s important to understand as you read this review of the new LEGO 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System that I never owned an NES myself as a kid back in the 80’s. But I wanted one. After all, it felt like nearly every one of my friends in the neighborhood in Japan where I lived had a Famicom, or later the true NES launched in 1985. As I went over to my friends’ houses and played Super Mario and the very first Legend of Zelda, I so very desperately wanted one! But I never did, partly because I was told that I had enough toys in the form of all the LEGO underfoot in my bedroom. Now, I can buy my own (US $229.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £209.99) and build it for myself from LEGO, which seems even better. Does this marriage of my favorite little plastic bricks with the big plastic brick of my dreams live up to 35 years of pent-up expectations? Let’s find out…

Read our hands-on review of LEGO 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System

A fascinating article on the UX design of LEGO control panels [Feature]

Even before I became a UX designer, I’ve always been fascinated by the user interfaces designed for television and motion pictures. Compare the chunky, muted panels in the original Star Trek show with the sleek curves and touch screens of The Next Generation, and you realize that someone, probably an entire team of people, was responsible for designing every button and screen display blinking away in the background.

George Cave, an interaction technologist and design engineer, has written a very insightful article on the history of UI design in LEGO control panels.

Movies like Star Wars and Alien, restricted by available technologies and the capabilities of “modern” screens and monitors, did a pretty amazing job of bringing pivotal scenes to life, like the simple lines of Luke’s targeting computer in the trench run, and the giant display at the center of the Rebels command center, which showed in no small way, just how close they came to total annihilation.

When it comes to LEGO control panels, the small space creates an even bigger challenge for UX designers, who use design principles like color, proximity, and size to create subtle relationships between physical controls like dials, buttons, and switches, and the visual display of information those physical controls affect.

Crawling with Classic Space nostalgia

Are you shopping for a rover that can handle rough terrain? (Aren’t we all?) Then Blake Foster has all the answers you seek with this LEGO All-Terrain Classic Space Tank or AT-CST. It makes excellent use of this bubble windscreen as well as this Bionicle shell. If that is giving you just a touch of deja vu, that is because Blake recently used the same parts with this Grumpy Gnat. Blake seems to specialize in spacecraft that tickle the ol’ LEGO nostalgia bone. Check out our archives to see what I mean.

AT-CST

What’s that element? Plate with a triangular shaped bar [Feature]

LEGO Train-heads, yes, you’re probably beaming ear-to-ear with pride that you are well aware and know the use of this particular piece. For the rest of you who’s wondering, it’s not too late to extend this little mystery a little longer, take a guess on HOW exactly it’s used in train sets? Still pondering and wondering? Let’s cut to the chase, you’re here to get answers. Read right on to find out.

Click to find the answers you’re looking for

Pride & LEGO: LGBTQ+ LEGO fans in their own words [Feature]

Happy Pride Week! Today we continue our celebration of diversity within our LEGO community by shining a light on some previously unheard voices. In my last article, I spoke of what it’s like being an LGBTQ+ LEGO fan from my perspective. As I mentioned then, I am not the representative of the LGBTQ+ LEGO Community nor do I want to be. What makes us great is that we all bring different experiences to the table. One of the biggest online groups for LGBTQ+ LEGO fans and their allies is undoubtedly GayFOLs. A thriving online community on Facebook, GayFOLs is currently home to over 850 members form all over the world. I asked its founder, Bruce H., to tell us a bit about his experience and how and why GayFOLs came to be. I also reached out to members to hear what their experiences have been like in the hobby. Below are their stories, lightly edited for flow.

A LEGO Pride Parade from LEGOLAND in Westchester, NY

Read on to hear the stories of LGBTQ+ LEGO fans in their own words

Pride, visibility and LEGO Masters: My experience as an LGBTQ+ LEGO fan [Feature]

Happy Pride week! While we usually celebrate Pride all month in June, this particular Pride Month has been quite fraught and politically difficult. For the last several weeks, many LGBTQ+ people have postponed their month-long celebrations of Pride to make room for other marginalized voices, namely Black Lives Matter. I think that’s important and I stand by this stance myself. So now it’s time for us to join our voices with the national conversation.

Disclaimer: For this story I am speaking from my own experience as an LGBTQ+ LEGO fan that has risen to a bit of prominence in the LEGO world due to being on LEGO Masters. I don’t claim to speak for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole or even for the whole LGBTQ+ LEGO community. All I know is what I have experienced, heard and observed in my time with this hobby and this is what I share with you now.

Read more about my experience as a LGBTQ LEGO fan

Hands-on with 43179 Mickey & Minnie Mouse Buildable Characters, the latest LEGO Disney set for adult collectors [Review]

Large-scale display pieces catering to the nostalgic adult fan have long been a mainstay of Disney merchandise. Whilst some LEGO Disney sets have flirted with the memorabilia audience before now (notably 71044 Disney Train and Station and 21317 Steamboat Willie) the latest Disney set — 43179 Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Buildable Characters — has its sights set firmly on the hearts (and wallets) of adult Disney collectors and enthusiasts. The set contains 1,739 pieces and features the iconic couple as large-scale figures, clad in their signature outfits, and with a range of accessories. It will be available from July 1st, retailing for US $179.99CAN $229.99UK £169.99.

Let’s see how LEGO’s tribute to Hollywood’s most famous power couple stacks up…

Click to read the full review

LEGO reveals 7 new Star Wars sets for late summer 2020 including Galaxy’s Edge and upcoming 2020 advent calendar [News]

LEGO has revealed seven new Star Wars sets based on everything across the galaxy including the films, television shows, a visual dictionary, and even Disney’s theme park land, Galaxy’s Edge. The sets include two brand new ships, multiple desirable minifigures, a few refreshed models, and the 2020 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar. (Spoiler alert: we’ve included photos of the Advent behind the jump at the far end of this article.)

The seven new sets join four other upcoming LEGO Star Wars models already announced earlier this year, including 75288 AT-AT, 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers, 75292 The Razor Crest and 75317 The Mandalorian & The Child BrickHeadz. All these new sets should be available globally starting Sept. 1st.

Click to take a closer look at each new LEGO Star Wars set.