The prototypical LEGO piece is the 2×4 rectangular brick. It has ninety-degree angles on every side, and using it, together with most other LEGO bricks, one can build things with lots of right angles. Unless you are Thorsten Bonsch, that is, and you are building off the grid, setting your scene at a cool forty-five degree angle. The greebled elements that comprise the science fiction setting, all the pipes and valves and whatnot, are a lovely backdrop to an epic showdown between Tetsuo, a character from Akira, and one of the authorities trying to stop him. I hope Tetsuo can avoid those rockets firing at him!
There is nothing that fancy going on in the sloped section, though I do enjoy the ubiquitous fence piece making an appearance; it is just a masterfully arranged assortment of textured elements and repetitive piping. The cumulative effect of it, however, is brilliant. But the platform is what catches my eye. The yellow and black striping is excellent, and the various subtle offsets of the grey surface are gorgeous. Now, I don’t know much about Akira, but if this creation is anything to go by, it must be awesome!
If the right copyright holders ever found a way to collaborate, any movie featuring this legendary trio would probably be an instant blockbuster hit. The Gundam RX-78-2, Voltron, and Optimus Prime all in a single scene saving the world is what Tom Vanhaelen teases us with. I found it quite delightful how Voltron was sized down tremendously from its official LEGO Ideas Voltron set using some of the printed parts and looks like a medium-sized model of its larger cousin.
Ted Andes says his latest LEGO spaceship was partly modelled on the Cosmo-class starfighters of anime series Space Battleship Yamato. Regardless of the original inspiration, this is an excellent model, packed full of interesting angles, nice integration of Technic panels along with the regular bricks, and strong colour blocking. The white and orange add a pleasing burst of colour against the military-grey styling, and the restrained use of stickers works well, adding touches of detail without distracting the eye from the overall shape.
If you have been following the Brothers Brick for a while, you are probably familiar with the figure-building madman known as Eero Okkonen, who is known to often produce his masterful figure builds on a weekly basis or faster. This time Eero brings us a creation that he built a while back, but only recently shared online. It is a part of a series of Japanese video-game inspired characters we have been following on the Brothers Brick for a while now.
The build is faithful to the series, using the striking colour scheme and Clickits strings as laser blades on the amazing space axe. On the other hand, it is unique and a clear improvement on previous installments. There are so many exotic pieces used in unique ways that I can not even begin to cover, but what stands out most is the wildly flowing hair made of balloon panels in earth orange.
It would take a hard heart not to be moved by Kendall Brown‘s adorable digital LEGO Totoro and Satsuki. As with his Elf and Narwhal and Wizard of Oz characters, which we recently featured, it’s a perfect example of how to build in the BrickHeadz theme. In this case it’s the selection of cartoon tile eyes, perfectly spaced, which captures Totoro’s quizzical expression and lifts the build to another level. Mix in all those extra touches like the flicks in Satsuki’s hair, Totoro’s tummy fur, and atmospheric Photoshop rain and you have a fitting tribute to one of the greatest animated films of all time.
If you’re a fan of Hayao Miyazaki films, then this LEGO creation inspired by the 2001 release Spirited Away by Chris Xenyo will be instantly recognizable. These little fuzzy-looking critters, known as soot sprites, or Susuwatari are formed from soot, and they can lift things much heavier than themselves. Without a job to keep them busy, they sometimes revert back to soot.
Even though the model is fairly simple, the attention to detail, from the spiny look (made from black levers) to the thin and spindly arms and legs (made from flexible tubing) is very accurate to its on-screen inspiration. Even the background which includes the tiny tunnels where the Susuwatari makes their homes, and the wooden platform that borders their path to the furnace, make this scene jump straight out of the movie.
We have seen many top-notch character builds from Eero Okkonen over the years, including his recent recreation of the Finnish band Circle, and it seems Eero has nailed the human form in bricks so well that he can pump them out with an (ironically) inhuman speed, with each better than the last!
The builder often takes inspiration from Japanese videogames and cartoons and his latest creation, RADIANT EXERT IV is no different. While there is no specific source material that Eero has tried to recreate, the bulky armour, bunny-ear ribbon in her hair and a miniskirt are unmistakably Japanese. There is a strange yet perfectly balanced mix of bulk and elegance, with eye-catching details like a sword with a laser blade made of Clickits string and wings on her boots.
The LEGO Ideas Voltron set has made me nostalgic for all the Giant Robot TV shows I watched as a kid back in Japan, not least of which was the fantastic Gundam. Two Rabbits shares my love of all things big and stompy, and demonstrates that passion with a series of really excellent Mobile Suits, kitted out with extra gear like the AQM/E-X04 Gunbarrel Striker pack with Strike Gundam from the SEED series. Beyond the rocket engines and weapons pods, the highly detailed frame itself is worth a closer look, with great shaping on the legs and torso, topped with the iconic Gundam head.
From the Wing series, the XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero features gorgeous angel wings and completely different detail on the mecha frame.
LEGO’s Voltron-themed Ideas set has generated a lot of excitement amongst LEGO and Voltron fans alike (check out our full review of 21311 Voltron). But as a fan of the show myself, I found the set something of a disappointment. LEGO decided to only focus on the show’s ships, not its characters (there aren’t even any minifigs in the set). It is also based on the original 80’s version rather than the wildly popular new Netflix reboot. To address this glaring oversight, I decided to craft my own LEGO tribute to the show that explores different kinds of ships …relationships!
While one segment of the Voltron fan base enjoys its large mecha and explosive battle sequences, another group prefer to engage in shipping. For the uneducated, shipping is the act of expressing, arguing or obsessing — often via fan art — over which characters you would like to see become romantically involved. Each “ship” even comes with its own Hollywood celebrity couple style name, for example, Lotor + Allura = Lotura.
Cute and deadly: Djokson’s Petunia the Pummeler Pixie ticks both boxes. This little creation reveals some inspirational part usage, particularly in the way it reimagines the old banded cones, often used as wind socks in LEGO airport sets, as the pixie’s striped stockings. Piling on more kawaii details in the form of a sweet LEGO Friends bow on her top and a Clikits heart in her pigtails completes the wonderfully destructive candy aesthetic.
While the piece count for this Dragon Ball Z creation by Moko might not numerically match Vegeta’s most famous quote, our enthusiasm level for this LEGO rendition of his Great Ape form certainly does. The face is a knockout, with a great use of minifigure arms to define the eyes and a strategic use of anti-studs to add texture to the ears and nostrils. The rest of the model is full of subtly impressive techniques, like the dinosaur tails to add definition to the shoulder’s edges, the tail made out of tires, and the inverted and slightly angled pectorals.
Be sure to visit Moko’s blog for additional photos of this phenomenal creation.
Arale Norimaki is a fictional character from the Dr. Slump manga series, created by Akira Toriyama. Arale is a robot girl who is strong, energetic and a bit naive. This playful model by LEGO 7 — which also features two Gatchan, or Gajira Norimaki — is a wonderful tribute to these unique characters, who make an occasional appearance on the popular anime Dragon Ball from the same creator.
One of my favorite details is the use of a white rubber band wrapped around Arale’s ankles as a rumpled sock. The simple construction of her gloved hands, made from only 6 parts each is another nice touch. On the Gatchan, an inverted yellow chair forms a bib for this critter who is known to eat just about anything.
LEGO 7 has tweaked the model just a bit to give us a very dynamic and especially playful scene.