Check out this LEGO dragon Joss Woodyard has built. Cute, isn’t he? His name is Pit, and I love his flowery tail and scaly body made from pink rock pieces. But he’s more than just a loveable li’l guy! (Pit, that is – though I’m sure Joss is lovely too!). The reason he’s called Pit is he’s named after the pitaya fruit, which is also a source of design cues. Those black dots on his white underbelly? That’s the seeds you find in these fruits! The green dorsal fins? They’re the leaves! It’s a really clever way of taking inspiration from something completely unrelated. Unrelated? Well, not quite – the other name for a pitaya is a dragon fruit. What a great idea!
In this year of the dragon, Joss is building one of these each month – and if his previous creature creations are anything to go by, he’ll definitely be featuring on our pages again!
Hot off the heels of featuring in many of our end-of-year lists, Maxx Davidson gets off to a cracking start with his first LEGO build of 2024. Or should that be a… Croaking start? With the latest Iron Forge seed part, he’s crafted one of the cutest amphibians out there: the red-eyed tree frog. Said seed part is the minifigure helmet, and there are actually two variants used here. Both designs have been around for a long time, albeit in decidedly modern colours! The classic spaceman helmet in orange makes up the frog’s toes. Meanwhile, the flowers use a colour variation that’s barely a couple of years old – the ‘newer’ crash helmet in coral pink. I say newer – that part is now 30 years old! (Holy heck, that part is 30 years old?! Where does the time go…)
While he’s certainly no Radagast the Brown, this nature-loving LEGO wizard by greenarj is clearly best friends with all the birds and beasts of the land. I adore all the plant pieces integrated into the enchanter’s cloak and hat, sporting nearly every color of green in the brick palette. His gnarled dark gray staff is an exceptional conglomeration of tubing, bars, clips, and minifig utensils. But let’s not forget all the effort put into this verdant vagabond’s entourage. The owl, bird, squirrel, fox, and bunny are all wonderful pieces on their own. The sheer number of ingenious connections and part uses among these five tiny beasties is astounding, but my favorite has got to be the tuft of fur on the fox’s chest made from Master Wu’s beard.
We continue our look at 2024’s Creator 3-in-1 sets with the largest one announced so far, LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31150 Wild Safari Animals. Realistic animal models are a Creator tradition, even going back to the precursor Designer Sets – that’s 20 years! Let’s tour this 780-piece set, which will be available January 1st and retail for US $64.99 | CAN $84.99 | UK £59.99. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the flamingo.
Read on for our full review
The male peacock is one of the prettiest animals in the entire animal kingdom. Sorry, ladies but that bro is has got it going on! Even the LEGO frogs know it; just look at them, basking in his magnificance and glory. This bit of cross-species love is brought to you by gGh0st who is competing in the Iron Builder competition. The seed part is the watering can and they’ve used twenty-five of them here. I’m sure there’s a watering can pun I could have used here but I’m just too in awe of this pretty peacock to think of it. Let me know in the comments if you have some because otherwise my watering can is dry.
The Lamprima Adolphinae, AKA the Sawtooth Stag Beetle, is something you were not even thinking about less than a minute ago but, now that it’s here, you have to admit is pretty amazing. That is the magic of a LEGO builder like Lokiloki29; one minute life is business as usual and the next you’re marveling a strange beetle. Loki squared times 29 tells us that the Sawtooth Stag Beetle is native to New Guinea and uses its formidable mandibles for fighting. Logic states, and it should go without saying, that while in New Guinea, you shouldn’t get into fisticuffs with it while at a sports pub or something but, judging from the comments we see around here from time to time, logic has left some of you ages ago and you’d relish the opportunity to pick a fight with anything and everything offering even the slightest whiff of provocation. Prove me wrong, you weirdos!
I love insects and spiders. Really, I do. Tops on my LEGO wishlist is the new 21342 Ideas Insect Collection but boy, does looking at insect photos make my skin crawl! I’m scratching as I type and that is a testament to how realistic this new flea creation by Mitsuru Nikaito is. “Associative itching” is a real thing and, according to the science-y types at the University of Pennsylvania, itchy associations crosses species because primates get it, too. It’s a sensation so good, I decided to pass it along to you all. Let me know in the comments if you’re feeling it too and, if you love creepy-crawlers, check out our insects archives for more skin-crawling goodness.
Sometimes, good art requires patience. You may have a painting like Monet’s composed of thousands of little dots, or you might make Rubik’s cube mosaics. Or you’re Dicken Liu, and have turned a selection of LEGO bars and hinges into a beautiful black panther bust. I cannot imagine how long this must have taken to line everything up! We’ve seen similar builds in more two-dimensional mosaic form, but this is the first I can remember being a free-standing model. There’s all sorts of parts hidden within, including snakes, brooms, laser rifles, fishing rods, handlebars and more. And while I can appreciate the time this design must have taken, am I the only one who kinda wants to crush it to see how it deforms…?
LEGO builder Dad’s Bricks (Joe) clearly knows a thing or three about natural beauty. While females aren’t without their charm, in the birding world, it’s often the males that are known for their beauty regimen. And what a beauty this one is! Either this fellah is well integrated into the garden flora or he’s part of the lovely garden with flowers blooming from his plumage. Joe (can I call you Joe?) has demonstrated plenty of artistry and masterful build techniques. I can get lost in the intricate textures and colors on display here. As it turns out, this isn’t Dad’s (can I call you Dad or is that awkward?) first go at the beauty parlor. A leisurely perusal through our Dad’s Bricks (Joe) archives proves repeatedly that he can find stunning beauty in LEGO bricks.
My wife and I are re-reading The Lord of the Rings together after having done so 22 years ago before the first Peter Jackson movie was released. By sheer coincidence, on the same day we read the chapter about the Battle of Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King, Kiwi builder Pieter Dennison shared the conclusion of a months-long project to recreate a Mûmak or Oliphaunt of the Haradrim in LEGO, based on how they appear in the movies.
Pieter’s build features all the iconic details of the enormous beast, from its four tusks (built from a series of 2×2 round bricks presumably strung on something like flex-tube), each with spikes on the end, to the war tower on the monstrous beast’s back. A closer look at the war tower shows just how huge this LEGO build really is, with about a score of minifigs riding into battle against the Rohirrim and men of Gondor.
If you want to see this in person, you can see it at the Christchurch Brick Show this July. And don’t miss all the other LEGO Oliphaunts we’ve featured over the years (also proving that this quote is the only one I ever use to write about this creature).
The broad range of wonderful LEGO creations built for events like the annual BioCup often spark odd memories of my own life experiences. This beautiful Anomalocaris by Care Creations reminded me of Stephen Jay Gould’s 1989 book Wonderful Life, which first introduced me to the panoply of fantastic lifeforms that emerged during the Cambrian Explosion over half a billion years ago. The book changed my view of how life emerged and evolved on our planet, as well as how scientific understanding itself evolves — both mind-blowing to a young missionary kid. One of the strengths of Bionicle is the system’s ability to reproduce organic shapes, enabling talented builders to create much more than Toa.
I love the minifigure hands on the ends of Anomalocaris’ tentacles, as well as all the smaller creatures the builder has included to give the impression of the early arthropod in its natural habitat.
If you enjoyed this ancient sea creature as much as I did, you’ll love these other Cambrian creatures, as well as this beautiful LEGO ammonite (though of course ammonites emerged about a hundred million years later).
Well really, there’s just as much life within this LEGO pond, built by Jannis Mavrostomos, as there is “on” it. The composition is lovely, and an interesting perspective that you don’t often see – including both above and below the waterline in an elegant way. I love the seamless transition and how it all blends together, and of course, the animals are fantastic. Both the mallard and the pike are easily recognizable, but I think I’m most impressed by the use of the cylindrical hinge element with heart tiles and hands to create the smaller fish.
While you’re here, check out more builds by Jannis, as well as loads of other exceptional animal creations.