When you think about pandas, what characteristics come to mind? Cute, cuddly, fuzzy, playful, sleepy, chubby? If they could talk, what do think they would say? Seeing as they spend most of their waking hours eating, I’d say it’d involve food. And if a panda was able to operate a phone, he/she would almost certainly order vegetarian takeout ASAP. Ian Hou must feel the same because he built this adorable snacking panda out of LEGO for the world to enjoy. How could you not love that big round belly, sweet face, and adorable bow tie?
Brothers Brick regular Aido K. has built a LEGO mechanical bull but not the kind you ride at your local whiskey bar. In fact, you’d probably want to steer clear of this one. (See what I did there?) Aido has taken an animal that is chock full of rage, muscle and testosterone and mechanized it because apparently that’s what the world needs. All kidding aside, this creation is as magnificent as the real beast. The posturing, the horns, even the flared nostrils are a sight to behold. LEGO chains add texturing to the underbelly and I spy a few tires used in creative ways. My favorite part has got to be the tail comprised of feathered wings. The light brick illuminating the eyes is an added touch of brilliance. This bull joins a long line of mechanized animals we’ve enjoyed featuring over the years.
If you don’t really think about it, the nursery rhyme is harmless enough. But if you stop for a second to ponder, or maybe say it in a less sweet, sing-song tone, it becomes the stuff of nightmares. What if they really did come to bite in the middle of the night? And perhaps, as is the case with this poor fellow built by Water Snap, what if the bite mutates you? We’re not talking Spiderman here! I’m thinking more along the lines of The Metamorphosis, which the builder confirms in his description quoting protagonist Gregor Samsa. Yikes… But I digress. This giant LEGO bug employs some nice parts usage, and shaping. I particularly like the way it looks as if it’s sitting up in the bed, observing its altered limbs for the first time.
If you’d like to see more crawly critters, check out our insect archives.
As soon as I saw this picture, I knew the build had to be from Dan Schlumpp. There are loads of dino nerds out there, and plenty LEGO dino nerds, but few have tackled movement so well. Dan has created several iterations of these prehistoric animatronic creatures. Each time he continues to perfect his skill. It’s not just the movement, it’s also the complexity of the specific dinosaur he’s trying to emulate. Wrapping organic-looking armored plating around a finite mechanical frame isn’t easy. But I’d have to say this heavy-footed Triceratops is my favorite thus far. That head is excellent!
Of course, you have to watch it walk to appreciate the build fully. The gaps in the body are necessary for the ability to create realistic movement. That movement is what makes the gaps forgivable, though, because that hip and tail swing is awesome! They really bring this creature to life.
Using LEGO bricks to capture the organic curves of a well-known animal is no mean feat. It’s all too easy for observers to spot when the proportions of a limb or torso are incorrect. They might not be able to articulate exactly what’s wrong, but they’ll know something is just a little “off” about the whole thing. Vincent Kiew‘s showjumping horse, however, is spot-on — a triumph of poseability and shaping. The mane and tail, the ears, the curves outlining the horse’s musculature, are all excellent. But to deliver this in a model which looks good in so many different poses is testament to the builder’s skill. The jockey is as well put together as her mount, and looks comfortable in the saddle whether trotting, galloping, or jumping — the pair are putting on quite a show, as is Vincent.
When I was younger, my mom gave me a framed poster of a mother giraffe with her lips pressed against the head of her newborn calf. The title read, “The First Kiss” and while it always meant a lot to me, it means even more now that she has passed away. Needless to say, this lovely LEGO sculpture by Joe Perez has a special place in my heart. And as a model, it is very well done. I’m constantly saying organic shapes are not easy, and the body of a giraffe has to be one of the hardest. I love their positioning, the clips for the mother’s mane, and the brooms for both their tails.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Joe’s lovely builds, take a look at his majestic stag. Or perhaps you’ll find these beautiful birds of prey inspiring. And maybe if you want to get wacky, check out his prehistoric squirrel in this previous exhibition. (While not his, the sabre tooth cat is my favorite contribution.)
I’ve seen a lot of LEGO models, but I must admit that I never thought I would see one of a gay, polyamorous, gun toting redneck who keeps large tigers, but here we are. We were barely a week into our quarantine when a virus of another sort started invading the world’s TVs. Netflix’s Tiger King became an instant sensation as people lost themselves in a story about the goings on in the little known world of Joe Exotic aka The Tiger King. Add equally engaging side characters, large cats and a big dose of crazy and you have a hit on your hands. Joe Exotic minifigs have been popping up right and left, but this excellent brick built LEGO figure by SuckMyBrick deserves special notice.
This is such a fun grouping of figures, full of character and humor. The Joe Exotic figure captures him perfectly with his blonde mullet and cane. The giant eyes are hilarious and somehow fitting here and the gold earring is a great little touch. There is some great parts usage in the tiger’s face including the white croissant mouth and the minifigure pith helmets creating eyelids that give him some serious side-eye. It has a wonderfully crafted pose and a very telling facial expression. You can almost hear what he’s thinking. Seems to me this would make great fodder for a caption contest. Anyone want to give it a go?
I grew up in the state of Oregon, USA, where the beaver is our state animal. I also attended Oregon State University, where Benny the Beaver is our school mascot. So I guess I have a bias for these buck-toothed builders. When I saw this cute little guy, built by Miro Dudas, I had to write about it. Now, it’s not just because this animal is significant for me; it’s nicely done. The aspen tree looks great and using legs for paws gives it organic character. The most clever part: using leg hips for teeth!
A builder who goes by the name of DOGOD brick design has a dream. It’s a very specific one. It takes place back in his school days and he is studying at a fast-food restaurant. He listens to rock music and once his studies are done, his electric guitar is right there for when he wants to totally rock out! Apparently DOGOD is also a lion. That sounds like a few dreams I’ve had actually, minus the homework, but totally the rockin’ lion part. I approve of the pink and purple streaks in his mane.
Many people seem to have more time on their hands recently, with much of normal life disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And as a result, contests are popping up out of the woodwork to give LEGO builders some inspiration, whether it’s Reverse Engineering or Alphabet Starfighters. Included in that is one called Style It Up, where the rules dictate color choices and style rather than content. Since the first week’s challenge is to build something with only one color, jnj_bricks went straight to black. As in black panther. Now, if you have ever tried to photograph LEGO, you know it can be a challenge to get the lighting right. When your build is black, it gets about a billion times harder because it reflects everything. Yet this cat is perfectly captured mid-step, standing out against the black foliage.
A lot has gone into the panther, with teeny tiny parts giving it an organic shape. I see flippers, a mohawk, and a cap, to name a few. But minifig arms and gobs of horns for the grass add further details, and the scene as a whole is both dynamic and vibrant, despite being monochrome.
Feel inspired? There is still time to hop over and get some entries in.
Step aside Godzilla, there’s a new monster in town! And she brought offspring! This LEGO amphibian by alego alego is one the best I’ve seen. It has excellent shaping, and those helmets for eyelids are awesome! Green cherries were a great choice for toes, too. But the nifty parts usage doesn’t stop there! As your eyes wander around the scene, you can make out garage door elements and crates/containers giving texture to buildings, and 1×1 dark green round plates with holes attached to upright paintbrushes for tiny trees. Not to be forgotten, the 1×1 plate with a printed square is perfect for adding depth to the smaller buildings.
Check out more of this excellent builder’s work by visiting our archive.
Here’s a gentle reminder that there’s still beauty to be found in nature. Japanese builder Takamichi Irie shares a lovely LEGO rendition of a cicada. I really admire the fragile construction of the wings. Whips, bar holders, tubing, and minifigure hands combine in a delicate symphony of nice part usage.
Reading up on cicada’s life cycle, I’m reminded that many varieties spend most of their lives underground, only emerging once a year. Some don’t even appear for 13 years or more. There’s something familiar about that right now. Can’t quite put my finger on it, though.
If you like this bug, be sure to read our interview with Takamichi. This builder has been making amazing insects for a long time.