When it comes to mixed-media LEGO creations, we can all take a page from takamichi irie.
The papercraft body of this amphibian draws the eye, while the friendly smile and cherry-based toes showcase just what plastic can do. Inspired by a calendar page, this model brings joy to even the most dreary day.
The underside shows off more of the traditional “LEGO construction” in play. Clever use of minifigure posing stands attach the rear legs at an unusual angle, and rounded 1×2 modified plate gives the front legs articulation, too.
If you find this frog as adorable as I do, you’ll want to check out some of Takamichi’s other paper-LEGO hybrids, a crab and a bull. Or maybe explore the full range of his creations we’ve featured previously.
One of the most famous frogs in the world is the red-eyed tree frog. This gloriously rainbow-colored amphibian has graced many a poster. In fact, I had the one with them stacked on top of each other hanging on my own wall growing up. What I didn’t realize at the time was that those cute little ones definitely aren’t babies… Anyway, Joffre Zheng continues the admiration with this roughly-lifesize LEGO sculpture. Simple but adorable. Fun fact: their vibrant colors are mostly for attracting mates, but also safety. They try to keep the colorful parts of their body hidden while they rest on leaves. Then when a predator comes, they open their eyes and flash those legs to startle the would-be killer.
Another fun fact: the scientific name for this rainforest creature is Agalychnis callidryas, and the species part of that name derives from Greek words meaning “beautiful tree nymph”. Fitting, right?
You can check out more cool animal builds in our archives, as well as more creations by Joffre.
If you’ve been reading the Brothers Bricks for a few years, no doubt you’ll recognize the distinct style of LEGO characters created by Patrick Biggs. I always tend to come across them online in the same way: I’m browsing some social media platform and this fantastic LEGO model scrolls onto my screen. I think to myself, “this is amazing, who built it?” And then I read the caption and realize “Of course, it’s Patrick!”
While I’m sure he agonizes over parts selection and placement, his models have an effortless look to them; the organic feel makes me believe they naturally grew, rather than being pieced together by an intelligent designer. With this Elk, there are so many things to love about how it’s sculpted, but my favourite is the legs. The 1×1 round plates stuck in the sides of the technic connectors – while not an uncommon technique – perfectly imitates how joints are thicker than other parts of the leg. And the armor plates on the front of the hooves so perfectly represents that layer of overhanging thick fur, really bringing this woodland creature to life. I’ve long been a fan of Patrick’s work as a LEGO artist and his ability to adeptly mix system and Bionicle elements, and this is one sculpture, in particular, I’d love to find a place for on my mantle.
As a kid, I developed a mild obsession with prehistoric creatures, especially dinosaurs, and loved looking for fossils along limestone bluffs. I found a tiny trilobite or two, and a few segments of worms, but never anything cool like a chambered nautilus. That would have been awesome, since all the pictures of plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs had nautiloids, too. And then one day I discovered that animals of that sort still exist, and look almost the exact same as they did 200 million years ago. Mind blown! And then I see that Jonas Kramm built one out of LEGO bricks, and, as is usual for Jonas, the build is amazing. But he also did it with only 101 pieces. Mind blown again.
It’s a study in concise use of LEGO elements since there is no wiggle room to get complex and piece heavy; every element has to be carefully considered, like a DUPLO plant and a pearl of great price in the oyster. The colors are spot-on, and the cephalopod eye staring at me is perfect. My only complaint is that the shell of Jonas’ model does not exhibit a precise logarithmic growth spiral. Come on, Jonas! Why can’t you do the impossible with just 101 LEGO bricks?
I don’t know how many sleepless nights I’ve had while anxiously wishing someone would build a LEGO Mecha Heterocephalus-glaber. I know what you’re thinking; we’ve all been there, right? Thankfully, Mitsuru Nikaido answered our prayers and maybe now we can get some sleep for once. For those uninitiated with this creature’s scientific name, it is commonly called a naked mole-rat. (Tee-hee!) Mitsuru is no stranger to building weird mecha creatures of all kinds. Of all of youse, he’s probably the most qualified to build an awesome mech mole-rat, to be honest. Now, if I can’t sleep, it’ll be for other worrisome reasons like; do algorithms dream of electric murder? Why is my mom using the eggplant emoji? Is that Matt Gaetz behind the hamper?
Exceptional arthropod builder Takamichi Irie probably could’ve engineered a crab completely out of LEGO. He didn’t need to make a paper shell – but that wasn’t the point. Combining his love for LEGO creatures with his uncle’s passion for papercraft, he has formed an adorable crab.
Under that paper shell is the unique parts usage we’re used to. The hotdogs work well as legs, and the bulb elements (Bionicle eye) are perfect for the eyes. In addition and as usual, the arrangement of the pieces makes it look organic.
This artistry and attention to detail must run in the family because Takamichi has also gained inspiration from his late grandfather. The last time we featured one of his pieces, it was a mixed media bull also using papercraft. Check out it and his other work in our archives.
As a parent, I love spending time with my kids. Builder Felix Jaensch‘s “Orang-Utan with Child” creation is a beautiful tribute to those who play with LEGO with their kids.
There is so much that I love about this. Let’s start with colors: it’s incredible how accurate the orangutan is, with the parent having orange marking around the mouth and the child showing lighter colors. I’m equally stunned at the layering Felix did in replicating fur with bricks. It looks so real!
The tree itself is worth mentioning. Small color splotches help identify the tree as being in a weathered environment.
I hope to see more amazing builds like this from Felix this year!
Cats are majestic yet silly creatures, and generally, there are a few habits shared between big cats and their domestic counterparts. Among those habits is what I call the cat stretch, a pose that requires both front legs extended while the cat’s backend is elevated. LEGO builder nobu_tary expertly recreates this feline posture with some small LEGO elements in his kitty mini-build.
Very commonplace elements are utilized in this build; for instance, the front legs are minimally but accurately fashioned out of 1×1 cylinders with white cheese slopes serving as the paws, the cat’s head cleverly makes use of a few white 2×2 corner plates along with some tan 1×1 plates, cheese slopes, and semi-circle pieces. The rest of our furry friend’s body comprises of other slope pieces and tiles in tan as well as a tan cat tail piece. Surely this is a build that could be inspiring to both animal fans, and LEGO builders, pictured below is another brick-built feline build by nobu_tary.
I’ve seen giant LEGO pieces, and even upscaled fish and chickens, but I’ve never before seen a giant LEGO monkey, and this one from mybrickbuild has me tickled pink. The classic LEGO monkey was one of my favorite pieces in the original Pirates theme, this giant one makes me want to see a whole LEGO Pirates set built at this scale. It’s a digital render but it looks like it’s mostly buildable with real bricks, except for the 2×2 round bricks with Technic holes, which aren’t currently available in brown. The arms and curling tail are courtesy of the new curved 2×2 round piece that forms the trunk on the Bonsai Tree.
If you like seeing things made bigger with bricks, check out our upscaled LEGO archives!
When I first heard about Mitsuru Nikaido‘s LEGO mecha walrus, I pictured a cyberpunk Beatles nightmare. But when I looked at how well-built and detailed it was, I was only impressed.
What really sells this as a mecha walrus are the green eyes. They give off a ghostly computer-like glow that is creepy and makes the rest of the build look metallic. The tubing also helps, but without the eyes, I would have thought it was just a LEGO Technic-style sea mammal.
The skin even looks like armor plating! Well done, Mitsuru!
This group of life-sized koi fish by Ian Hou of DOGOD Brick Design has awed us before, but we had to return to it for this month’s cover photo. Not only is this model lifelike from looks alone, it also evokes a feeling of zen associated with koi ponds. Looking at Ian’s photography, these look so good on display, like true sculptures. I would love to have these adorn my home to put me at ease when I’m stressing about building. Hopefully, this cover photo will offer the same feeling of calm for our readers. Once you’ve taken in this work of art, check more of Ian’s creations here.
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Thank you for joining us again for another edition of The Brothers Brick’s nature documentary series, Planet Brick. Today we’ve spotted Joss Woodyard’s well-camouflaged Nettledrake. Made up of many LEGO pieces you’d traditionally think to use for plant life, this magnificent beast is naturally hidden. If you happen to come across one in the wild yourself, it’s best to observe from a distance and see it spread its wings and take flight. Don’t be drawn in by its pretty pink spots or tail. If you get too close, you might get stung by the vicious beast’s teeth or talons. Thanks for stopping by and discovering another beautiful creature inhabiting Planet Brick.