Entering a new decade has left me feeling nostalgic for my youth and, since I group up in the ’90s, I was amused when I saw Qian Yj’s LEGO version of an early cellphone. Back then, such phones were such phones were nicknamed bricks due to their tremendous size. This particular model is about as close to a 1:1 replica as you can get, as illustrated by this image of Qian Yj holding the brick in-hand. His replica looks spot-on, from the numbered buttons to the thick antenna protruding from the top. Lime green tiles form the screen and are a perfect choice given the then-state-of-the-art LCD technology.
We’ll soon return you to your regularly scheduled Baby Yoda or Star Wars spaceship or whatever you folks are demanding more of but first I wanted to show you this cute near life-sized rat built by Keiichi Kamei. The rats that occasionally invade my backyard are a bit bigger than this but his stance, his little ears, his bare tail and even his hands are all pretty spot on. I’d be more agreeable to sharing some cheese with them if they weren’t so invasive in real life.
This is not quite instructions but you can sort of reverse engineer your own with the help of this photo. Neat, right? We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
Most builders seem to gravitate towards the unusual when crafting their LEGO creations, from fantastic castles to spaceships, perfectly maintained and bustling historic downtowns, or superheroes. We all know those things don’t exist. But sometimes a builder builds something mundane, commonplace, and knocks it out of the park. Take this watch by Andreas Lenander. I think the results tock, er, speak for themselves, but I especially love the presentation with the brick-built box and the delightful band that looks properly wearable.
Built for a challenge over at New Elementary, the hands are neatly crafted with a new Batman accessory, though as a result the watch can only ever tell times that have the hands at 90 degrees from each other. Not that a LEGO watch actually tells time, of course, unless we are talking about the line of watches that TLG has released as gear. Rounded 1×2 plates with holes make the band seem supple, and the 4×4 round tile looks like a watch face when inverted, with a little line for 12 and 6 o’clock. This is an ordinary object, perhaps, but the build is extraordinary.
Love LEGO watches? Check out this Rolex from a while back.
Here’s a build worth taking note of — a 19th century workplace, in 1:1 scale by Russian LEGO builder Nikita Sukhodolov. We get an open ledger on a blotter, a pair of glasses, an inkwell and pen, and a candle to shed some light on it all. All the individual elements are well-built, but some standout features include the melting wax at the top of the candle and the simple-yet-perfect shaping of the spectacles. The ribbon-strip bookmark is nicely done too. I can imagine a whole series of 1:1 scale “workplaces” like this, taken from different technological eras as we progress from handwritten ledgers to desktop computers, tablets, and beyond.
As usual, the good folks over at New Elementary are up to hijinks related to new and interesting LEGO pieces, with a stable of talented builders exploring some of the ways fans can use the parts. One such recent exploration was undertaken by Pistash and involved a variety of new coral-colored elements. He’s taken the color exploration quite literally, turning the bubblegum-colored bits into a squirt of paint, complete with a cool mosaic on the side of the container. Fittingly, the splash at the bottom is a large 14-tooth splat gear.
Do you like brick-built brunches? Studded snacks? How about AFOL appetizers and MOC munchies? Then you’ll want to attend the TBB Banquet! This year’s TBB reader collaboration at the BrickCon LEGO convention is all about life-size LEGO food. We’re spreading a magnificent feast made of our favorite bricks, and we want your help. The theme is simple: build something to eat and make it life-size. There’s just one twist: we’re featuring all these food items on real dishes and plates!
If you’re planning to attend Seattle’s BrickCon this year as a fully registered AFOL attendee, join us in laying out our parts-pack potluck! We know the title says banquet, but that’s just because we liked the alliteration with our name. Really, we’re not quite that pretentious, and our LEGO lunch is likely to be a lot more laid back. We’ve got a lovely-looking lobster (built by the inimitable Ty Keltner), but we expect the food to range from casserole to croissant. Want to bring potato chips and Coke? Great!
We’ve even got a potluck signup list, so you can sign up your SNOT-covered snacks ahead of time, and see what others are bringing! (Note: you’ll still need to register your MOC with BrickCon.)
Click here to sign up for the Potluck. (A name is all that is required to sign up. Email is optional.)
We’ll have some real plates, bowls, and glasses available to present your MOCs, but if you’ve got a special dish in mind or a MOC that requires a very specific size or type of dish, you’ll want to bring your own. As always with our reader-collab themes, don’t get too caught up in the details. As long as your model is about life-size, we’ll make it work and it will look great.
Now let’s take a closer look at a few of the models we’ve already got, brought to you by Ty. Continue reading
While most people would agree that the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a whole, is vastly superior to the competing DC product, the same cannot be said of the television properties, where the CW’s “Arrowverse” shows have been both successful and watchable. A minor character first introduced in Arrow, Atom (a.k.a. Ray Palmer), gets more screen time in the spin-off Legends of Tomorrow, and his shrinking suit is built in wearable (by a normal-sized human) scale LEGO by Brickatecture moc industries. Like the MCU’s Ant-Man, Atom can vary his size by using highly advanced technology contained in his suit, giving him the ability to get into tiny spaces or to grow huge, though it should be noted that Atom was first published in the comics in 1961 and Ant-Man didn’t debut until…1962. The suit in Legends of Tomorrow also allows Ray to fly and shoot energy bolts from his hands, and probably other things as well, so it ends up being something of a cross between Ant-Man and Iron Man.
Now, I won’t pretend to be able to identify the technical parts of the suit, but it looks great with its dark blue and red color scheme, and the connectors formed of pin connectors and Mixel joints give the thing a splash of contrast and flexibility to be worn. I don’t know how sturdy it is, but it definitely looks like it would be fun to wear around at a convention for a while, at least until you wanted to sit down. This is not the first bit of wearable LEGO superhero swag that Brickatecture moc industries has built; check out his Infinity Gauntlet, Star-Lord mask, and Venom mask here!
Whether you’re preparing a business report or hiding your coworker’s office supplies in the vending machine like Jim, this arrangement of MSIndustries‘ corporate essentials is all you need to have a productive day. This really is an incredible set of creations, and I’m truly impressed by the attention to detail. The staples, ink stamp, even the pencil shavings in the bottom of the pencil sharpener. It’s all here!
We’ve seen excellent Walkman-themed LEGO models in the past, but this one by H.Y. Leung is an absolute cracker. The cassettes are beautifully put together, and the parts choice and shaping on the headphones are particularly good. The buttons on the tape player’s side are relatively simple, but accurate to the original piece of hardware. And, whilst the cable doesn’t appear to be “purist” LEGO building, its messy tangle adds immensely to the build.
Readers from eastern Europe will instantly recognize this adorable critter from the Czech cartoon Krtek (which means “little mole” in Czech). Having read books and seen cartoons of Krtek’s adventures throughout my childhood, I never thought to see the character built out of LEGO. But when I saw this perfect recreation by Eero Okkonen, I went full “aww-mode”.
The pose on the image is so iconic that one would hardly notice this is LEGO, were it not for a jagged edge here and there. Curved pieces capture the character’s shape very well, but my favourite parts are the red nose and the three long hairs on the mole’s head. As a master character builder, Eero has explored many different source materials and themes, but none quite as iconic as this one. Thanks for the nostalgia trip, Eero!
If you love strategy games, it is likely that you enjoy chess, one of the oldest strategy games out there. When I was in high school, a group of friends and I got together to play chess every Friday, but I must admit that I showed up mostly for the Twizzlers and chips and salsa. Judging by his excellent LEGO rendition of a chessboard, Chris Maddison seems like the kind of guy who would have shown up to show people up with skillful moves and clever endgame strategies.
This is a very handsome and elegant board and set of pieces, with virtually no studs showing except for the eyes and throats of the knights. The anti-studs at the top of the rooks look great, but my favorite piece is the king, with a simple yet effective cross atop his crown. The SNOT (studs not on top) board looks perfect for playing; I could easily see myself being checkmated in three moves on it. Perhaps it is time for me to dust off my old chess set and start playing again; or better yet, I could build myself one like Chris.
If you’ve spent any time in arcades, you’ve likely been tempted by those crane games where you can win a handful of candy (or sometimes bigger prizes). H.Y. Leung has taken that temptation to the extreme by making their own working version from LEGO bricks.
The base of this build is 80×64 studs (roughly 64×51 centimeters); pretty close to 1:1 scale to a real-world crane game. The arm design comes from LEGO set 42043, the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245, with a modified claw. The first control on the left side rotates the arm left and right, moving it through a 200-degree arc. The next three switches handle positioning of the boom and outrigger and opening and closing the claw. To the right of the controls is a slot that accepts tokens, and a switch to activate a pneumatically-controlled horizontal security bar, intended to keep people from reaching up and into the game when it’s not in use.
This claw-machine creation incorporates just a touch of non-LEGO parts in the custom plexiglass, external air compressor, and edible treats. I personally would have liked to see this machine filled with LEGO parts, but I suspect bulk candy is a lot cheaper to refill it with.
Speaking of arcade games, the colors are inspired by the prize machine in the mobile game Crossy Road. Not familiar with that machine? Happily, H.Y. has also recreated a LEGO version to add some context. I like the inversion of the red/yellow styling between the two games.