Category Archives: People

LEGO fandom is a worldwide phenomenon, a vast community. Whether you consider yourself an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), ALE (Adult LEGO Enthusiast), some other crazy acronym, a parent of a young builder, or even just a casual fan who appreciates all the amazing models LEGO builders create, there’s more to LEGO than just the models themselves. Here at The Brothers Brick, we bring you the stories behind the models, with interviews, builder profiles, and more.

Talented Italian LEGO builder Luca Di Lazzaro dies far too young [News]

The Brothers Brick is a website dedicated to sharing amazing LEGO builds, news, and reviews. We generally write about things that make us happy. But it is with deep sadness that we must share the passing of an incredibly talented builder, Luca Di Lazzaro. The Italian native was a Deputy Commander for the Carabinieri station in Remanzacco, and an avid bicyclist. Unfortunately, it was a bicycling accident that ended his life at the young age of only 45.

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We know Luca (pictured center) because of his presence in the Adult Fan of LEGO community. We have written many articles about his charming and wonderful creations, but we’d like to honor his memory by re-sharing a few of our favorites. You can click the links below to read those articles.

Cycling the Paris-Roubaix

Paris - Roubaix (sur le pave', la legende)

Mamma mia! Che bella città!

Finally here my little angle of Paradise..
Cast a coin into The Well of Desires

Here part two of my little angle of Paradise.. "The well of desires". I hope you like it

Udine, Italy’s Piazza San Giacomo in LEGO

Lego San Giacomo Square

If you don’t speak Italian, you can still read outside articles about Luca by pasting web addresses into Google Translate. If you’d just like to see more fantastic pictures of his work, check out his Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends. In the LEGO community he will be sorely missed.

Interview with Takamichi Irie, builder of LEGO House bugs and a motorized BB-8 [Feature]

A couple months ago, we had the opportunity to talk to one of our favorite builders, Takamichi Irie, about his work. He is most notably known for his use of minifigure parts to achieve life-like shapes in creations ranging from insects to household items. His excellent attention to detail gives his creatures character. Enough character, in fact, to have several of his bugs featured at the LEGO House in Denmark.

Takamichi’s builds have been featured several times on our site, such as his exceptional motorized BB-8, based on the character from the Star Wars franchise. After writing about his Dipodidae, we knew we needed to learn more about his creative process, and ask him about his life and inspiration. 

Tell us a bit about yourself! What got you started with LEGO? Was there a dark age, and if so, what brought you back?

I’m a student who studies Architecture and Landscape Design in Japan. When I’m asked about my passion for LEGO, I always say that I’ve been building with LEGO or Duplo since I was born, because I have an older bother. In my childhood, I asked my parents for only LEGO as birthday presents every year. But I couldn’t buy much LEGO for myself with my small pocket money when I was in junior high school. I only bought some of the small Star Wars sets for their minifigs at that time. That moment was my darkest age, and after that I started building and uploading my own creations on the internet.

Read the full interview with Takamichi Irie

Brickfair Virginia: fourteen builders from six countries collaborate to commemorate the Vietnam War [Feature]

Last year, after Brickfair Virginia 2017, over a few drinks Magnus Lauglo, Aleksander Stein and I had a discussion on what to bring for 2018. The three of us have been attending BrickFair for years and have often admired the large collaborative displays at the event, with builders creating something together. Because of this we figured it would be nice for us to collaborate too rather than bringing our own stand-alone models. We soon agreed to build scenes from the Vietnam War.

I suspect that most ideas that come out of conversations in bars lead nowhere and that is probably a good thing. However, earlier this year we found that we were still pretty excited about this idea and we found that more people wanted to get involved. Ultimately, eleven more builders contributed (in no particular order): Peter Dornbach, Stijn van der LaanMatt Hacker, Dean Roberts, Eínon, Evan Melick, Casey Mungle, Corvin, Yasser Mohran, Bret Harris and Brian Carter. Corvin, Aleksander and I are the only builders who don’t live in the US or Canada to regularly attend the Virginia event, but our Vietnam group turned out to be a pretty international crowd. We had builders who live in six different countries: the US, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Norway and the Netherlands.

We picked Vietnam as the subject because we all watched classic Vietnam War movies when growing up, it is largely novel for most of us and it is far less common for military builds than models from, say, WW2. We considered building a single collaborative battle diorama, but chose to build separate scenes instead. It is hard to find a single battle that is actually interesting to build, as there is usually just a lot of terrain involved and multiple copies of trees, bunkers or vehicles. Separate scenes have the advantage of allowing different builders to give the subject their own twist. I was excited to see what the other guys came up with. The Vietnam War offers a lot of scope for building interesting military hardware, but we could also show some of the history, including the aftermath. Given the wide range of different models on display, we nailed it.

See more details and a gallery of the builds

TBB’s Iain Heath featured on Seattle NBC station’s New Day Northwest [News]

The Brothers Brick doesn’t shy away from tackling difficult issues with the LEGO creations we feature, as “Builder-in-Residence” Iain Heath demonstrated recently with his “Homeless in Seattle” model of the Seattle skyline with the ground covered by tents pitched by people forced into homelessness by the housing crisis. Iain’s model struck a chord with the local community, and he was invited to showcase his model and discuss the issue on several TV shows, including the New Day Northwest program from NBC affiliate KING 5.

The segment is now online, and you can watch Iain discuss the LEGO hobby, several of his most iconic creations from over the years, and chat with host Margaret Larson about what TBB is all about.

Watch the TV segment and see behind-the-scenes photos

Working LEGO pinball machine built from 15,000 bricks features Benny in all his Classic Space glory [Exclusive Feature]

Pinball machines bring out the kid in all of us, hanging out in an arcade losing quarters and setting high scores. And the Classic Space era of LEGO sets appeals to so many of us who got our first LEGO sets back in the 70’s through 90’s. The Brothers Brick contributor Bre Burns hits it out of the nostalgia ballpark with a fully functional LEGO pinball machine called “Benny’s Spaceship Adventure.” She spent several months perfecting the design with over 15,000 LEGO bricks, including LEGO Mindstorms NXT programmable bricks to make sounds and count your high score.

Bre has kindly shared loads of details about her LEGO masterpiece, which stands over two and a half feet tall, exclusively with The Brothers Brick. Let’s pull back that ball launcher, flick those flippers, and learn more about this amazing LEGO creation!

But first, let’s take a look at the pinball machine in action as Bre shares its working features and tells us a little bit about the design process in our latest TBB video.

Learn more about Benny’s Spaceship Adventure, with more exclusive photos and details!

LEGO Star Wars set designers discuss 75181 UCS Y-wing Starfighter [Video]

The new LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series 75181 Y-wing Starfighter launches on May the Fourth this Friday, and we’ll be bringing you our hands-on review at midnight GMT on May 4th, so check back later this week for our own review. In the meantime, LEGO has released a really great video in which model designer Jordan David Scott and graphic designer Madison O’Neil discuss how they approached the design process, their own background as LEGO Star Wars fans, and more.

The video provides great insights into the LEGO set designer role, rather than just focusing on the set’s play features. We’ll be covering the play features (and more) in our review, so the video provides a wonderful view into the interesting people behind our favorite LEGO sets.

TBB Cover Photo, May 2018

As TBB’s cover photo for May, Łukasz Libuszewski’s awesome little roadster prepares us to cruise the highways and byways, looking for adventure. Each time you visit us on our social media pages, you will feel the call of the open road!

Vrroom!

Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and send us your photo today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group.

Keep up with the Brothers Brick by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter or Pinterest. And for occasional extra goodies, follow us on Flickr or subscribe to us on YouTube.

Behind the Scenes – Getting into the mind of builder Eli Wilsea [Video]

This scene was built by Eli Willsea (also known as ForlornEmpire) for a recent brick challenge. Brick competitions usually consist of using a seed piece of which various builders have to find clever ways to use it in their creations. The seed piece for this build is the Silver Goblet. See if you can spot how they were used in the theme.

Advanced Simulation

What’s great about this build is not only the level of detail it took to pull off this futuristic lab scene, but Eli took the time to share with The Brothers Brick an exclusive in-depth behind the scenes video on how it was built. He shares the thought process and analysis you won’t be able to grasp by just looking at a static photo. If you have aspirations towards doing a scene like this or even just want to enjoy hearing what goes on in a builders brainwave when constructing a complex scene, this is for you.

Did you enjoy the video? Would you like to share your creative build process with the world? We are always looking for interesting builds and videos to feature and discuss. Feel free let us know, and you could be the star of the next video!

Interview with Jeff Friesen of Cityscapes, The Brothers Brick’s Creation of the Year 2017 [Feature]

We singled out Jeff Friesen’s Cityscapes as our 2017 Creation of the Year. If you’ve missed it then, these are still very much worth a look, and even if you’ve seen them, they’re so mesmerising that you may find something you missed earlier on. It’s almost soothing and appealing to let your eyes wander around these intricate builds.

We could not resist reaching out to have a deeper discussion with Jeff to understand the mind of an artist that could create something so different and unique with the very same bricks all of us see and build with every day.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, e.g. where are you based, your LEGO history, and your work (LEGO/Photography and real life if it is different)?

I’m an award-winning photographer based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, which is on Vancouver Island. I have vivid memories of playing with LEGO from the age of 3 (that was in the early 1970s). I had a shoebox full of white and red bricks in the classic sizes, mostly 2 x 4s. Those bricks were used to make everything from aeroplanes to cities to double-decker car ferries for Matchbox racers. Recently, I was wondering why the brick selection was only red and white. After doing some research it appears the bricks must have been a hand-me-down set from the 1960s. Back then LEGO used to have basic building sets in just red and white.

The late 1970s brought with it the dual treasures of minifigures and Space LEGO. I essentially lived in a Space LEGO drama for a few years. Blue, trans-yellow, and grey were the primary colours of that era. As a child, the actual LEGO building is just the beginning of the fun, and then you get to play with what you’ve made. As an adult, I’ve replaced the play phase with photography.

It’s amazing how LEGO has been there through every stage of life, and now my daughter’s life.

Click here to continue reading our interview with Jeff Friesen

For the love of Star Wars: A focus on Douglas Khoo

You never know what you’re going to get when you ask the right questions. Recently, we had the chance to speak with Douglas Khoo about his work. Douglas is a talented builder who seldom showcases his builds online, but does what he does for the love of it. If the builder’s name rings a bell, that’s because he was part of the crew that was invited to create and build an exhibit for the UNESCO’s Piece of Peace exhibition that will travel the world.

Douglas created this magnificent collage of LEGO Star Wars ships with a silent tribute to the Dark Side. This montage only took Douglas about two hours to complete, and if you did not already notice, it’s inspired by a similar piece by artist Louis C. Hébert from the Bleublancrouge advertising agency from the Star Wars Identities Exhibition over at the Montreal Science Centre, back in 2012. The difference though is Douglas makes use of the negative space a lot more to give the Star Wars ships a showcase of their own and individuality. If you still don’t see Vader there, squint your eyes, take a step back and look again!

When asked about how big a fan he was, Douglas’s answer was – you’ve got to be kidding me. That’s when we were introduced to a showcase of his other masterpieces which all center around the beloved Star Wars theme. With each of these builds, Douglas adds his own twists of interpretation and re-imagination to the scene.

Continue reading to see Douglas’s re-imagined LEGO Star Wars creations

Ultimate LEGO Star Wars author events at Third Place Books in Seattle Feb 23 & 24 [News]

The Brothers Brick managing editors Chris Malloy and Andrew Becraft will be presenting insights and observations about 19 years of LEGO Star Wars at two events in Seattle later this week. On Friday, February 23 at 7:00 PM, the authors of Ultimate LEGO Star Wars will share a presentation and autograph books at the Seward Park location. Then, on Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 PM, they will do so at the Ravenna store.

Chris Malloy & Andrew Becraft present at Powell's Books Portland

The previous event at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon (pictured here) was well-attended, so be sure to arrive early for seating and copies of the book.

Chris Malloy & Andrew Becraft signing at Powell's Books Portland

For those of you lucky enough to be attending the sold-out Emerald City Comic-Con the first weekend in March, Chris and Andrew will also be doing a panel and signing in the Writers Block area on Sunday morning (March 1st at 10:45 AM).

Join the TT Games team as a LEGO Model Designer and play with LEGO and video games for a living [News]

Over the years, our friends at TT Games have asked us to help them find the best LEGO talent in the world. Based on the job postings we’ve shared, the company has hired several LEGO builders, including Carl Greatrix and the Arvo Brothers, who now design the models in the company’s video games. If you’d like your own shot at building with LEGO for a living, from gameplay puzzles to vehicles and buildings, this is your opportunity to work with the design team in TT Games’ UK office.

TT Games Logo

While the final product of your work will be digital, you’ll get to work on unique properties like Marvel and DC Super Hero games. This LEGO version of GLaDOS from Portal is a great example of the fantastic designs that LEGO Model Designers at TT Games produce.

LEGO GLaDOS

Read the full job description for the LEGO Model Designer opening at TT Games