“If you must know more, his name is Beorn. He is very strong, and he is a skin-changer.” So Gandalf the Grey describes their host to Bilbo and the band of Dwarves, when Beorn takes them in and offers them shelter. Mountain Hobbit and Cole Blood collaborated on this LEGO version of Beorn’s house — a wonderfully rough stone cottage topped with an impressive thatched roof. The surrounding landscaping is nicely done, with a collection of livestock which reflects the descriptions of Beorn’s home in The Hobbit. But it’s the building which dominates the scene, pulling the eye in to feast on the details — the stonework, the triangular windows, and that roof. It’s good to see a scene featuring Beorn which concentrates on his domestic arrangements and the gentler side of his nature, rather than focusing on him in rampant bear form.
LEGO Spacer Blake Foster only just launched an impressive cargo hauler decked out in Classic Space livery, and now the cargo fleet sees a cute expansion with this smaller craft — a jump shuttle packed with oddball character. There’s an impressive depth of functional-looking greebling packed into the light grey sections of the ship, and I particularly like those front legs — obviously useful in helping push this little spaceship free from gravity’s tethers. The angles on the blue hull section are excellent, and the unusual design is all tied in nicely around the trans-yellow bubble cockpit. Blake calls this the Cargo Critter, because of its bug-like appearance — a perfect nickname for a perfectly-formed spacecraft.
The musically-inclined among us are probably struggling with the restrictions of social distancing. I have zero skill in that area, but I know that even the best internet streaming suffers from audio latency and lag. It’s got to be tough to make sweet music with your friends when everything is a half-beat out of sync or worse. But all is not lost! Adam Dodge offers a possible solution to harmonizing with their LEGO creation, One-Man Band.
Built for the Music to our ears! contest on LEGO Ideas, this peppy fellow has everything he needs to record that hot new demo track. The arms, neck, harmonica, and drum mallet are all articulated. Apparently so is the mustache. Because of important reasons, I’m sure.
I enjoy this character’s expressive face, and, yes, that includes the croissant mustache. I also like the use of quarter-circle tiles for ears and the 1×2 plate with pin for the nose. I do worry about how much money he’s going to be able to make from busking in today’s world. He might do better starting his own YouTube channel or something.
I don’t play video games, since I was that poor, deprived kid whose parents never bought him a system, and I didn’t have friends who played them, either. I played with LEGO bricks instead. That being said, I do have nostalgia for certain video games, having watched others play them at certain times of my life. Take Contra, for example. A few guys on my high school cross country team used to play that game in the wrestling coach’s office after practice, cursing up a storm and generally having a good time. Seeing this old TV and console with that logo across the screen built by qian yj brought me back to those halcyon days of youth. With a crowd pressed into the small room, we’d watch bandanna-and-aviator-wearing elder statesmen of the team gleefully shoot pixelated villains.
The curve of the small screen is great, a far cry from the giant flat screens of today. And the antennas, the corded controllers, the cartridge… ah, memories. The small details look spot on. It took me several views, in fact, and a careful zoom, to be sure that the console was made from LEGO and not just the real deal with brick-built accessories. Does it make it play better if the LEGO cartridge is taken out and blown upon? Probably.
Hot on the tails of their DOTS success, LEGO has revealed the SPOTS line of accessories for boys ages 6-12. In advance of the theme’s release on April 1st, The Brothers Brick obtained an advance copy to share our impressions of the boys’ extension of the creative tile theme.
Our reviewer got his grubby little hands all over these new sets. Will he deem them totally badass or do they just blow chunks? Maybe a little of both? Read on to find out.
LEGO has revealed SPOTS, a new extension of the DOTS product line targeted at boys. The initial wave of the 2D tile-based crafting theme features armbands, expressive emoji picture holders, a flaming skull pencil pot, and the first in a series of “Extra SPOTS” emoji booster packs surrounding space exploration. Prices vary from US $4.99 to $19.99 with availability beginning April 1st.
The creation of SPOTS is partially due to feedback on LEGO’s successful DOTS product line for exclusively targeting girls with bright colors, pastel packaging and glitter. The SPOTS theme again features building with 1×1 tiles (square, round, and quarter-circle tiles), but this time uses more black, white, red and blue colors along with unique prints of bugs, fire, road signs, grotesque emojis and space artifacts that more easily align with boys’ interests.
Most of us are at home right now, but if you are in a position to fill your time with some LEGO building, there are 19 new sets and items to choose from for April. The biggest set launching today is the new LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay followed by pre-orders for the Technic Fast & Furious Dodge Charger.
LEGO is also offering two seasonal gifts-with-purchase, an exclusive Easter Egg with purchases more than US $50, and a smaller yellow Easter Bunny polybag with purchases more than US $30. Both gifts-with-purchase will be available through April 14th while supplies last, and yes, you can get both on a single order.
If you think about it, the Super Mario universe is one of the only places where you want to go down the tubes. I mean, other than a water slide, where else can you find something fun at the end of a “plumbing” pipe? Perhaps this extra large (64×64 stud) pixleated pipe, built by H.Y. Leung, contains all the extra coins Mario could dream of.
And don’t worry, he’s not going to be stuck in mid-air forever. This pipe contains an equally large mechanism inside to move him up and down.
If you’d like to see more of H.Y. Leung’s builds, be sure to check out our previous articles highlighting them.
Sometimes it feels like every spaceship I see out there in the LEGO building community is either a single-seat starfighter or a giant capital ship. Sometimes the fighters are tiny, sometimes they themselves are giant, and some of the capital ships are minifig scale and others are microscale. But wouldn’t it be nice to see something else with more frequency? Like, what about the civilian ships, or even the military support vessels? Someone has to move the supplies from Planet A to Planet B, right? Well, thankfully we have Blake Foster, who has made us a small, minifig scale Neo-Classic Space (NCS) cargo shuttle. Called the Blue Lobster because it grips two containers at a time in its mechanical claws and it’s blue, it is the ship you hire for small jobs, when you don’t want to spend an entire nation’s GDP to move a few crates.
The coherent color scheme is perhaps my favorite aspect of NCS ships, and the Blue Lobster does not disappoint, with the obligatory yellow canopy and the blue and grey body. The grey greebles are perfect, using my favorite greeble element, the piston bar, and the Nexo Knights droid torso to great effect around the engines. I also love those crates; each is a work of art in itself, with some fascinating geometry making them work. Now, I need to move in a month or two, and I think my family’s belongings could fit in those crates (if we were minifigures, that is); maybe I should ask Blake if this cosmic crustacean is up for hire.
Early last year, I wrote an article about a pair of LEGO meerkats and mentioned the species’ vigilance and protectiveness. And it’s true, these little guys are one of the most family-oriented animals in the world. It’s the job of every member to take a fearless rotation as babysitter or sentry, and when there’s danger they act as one “mob” to defend themselves. Quite impressive! When I saw this build by Felix Jaensch, I swore I had seen it before. But maybe that’s just because he’s such an incredible artist of lifelike LEGO art.
We have all known that person at some point. The one who says something and all you can do is silently give them that judging gaze. Sometimes they’re even a friend. And you love them, but man are they weird. This build by Gregory Coquelz, inspired by the writings of author China Miéville, perfectly captures that moment. Maybe it’s the slurping in the middle of a very serious Dungeons and Dragons quest. Whatever thought bubbles you give the scene, the characters and their outfits tell a great story.
You can see more of Gregory’s work by visiting our archives.