Even after six years, I still get requests for instructions to build the large Totoro that was part of my 2010 homage to the work of Japanese animator Hiyao Miyazaki. Sadly, that model is too large and complex to offer instructions, so instead here is a building guide for the medium Totoro that accompanied him. Of course, you don’t have to build him in the original medium blue; you can make him any color you like (or that your LEGO collection allows). I imagine this would make a lovely desk ornament for yourself, or gift for the anime-slash-LEGO fan in your life.
Click here to see an embiggened copy.
The climatic scene when Kusanagi fights the huge think tank in the science fiction film The Ghost in the Shell is one of the most iconic, indelible scenes in animé history. Cole Blaq has built the impressive 6-legged Think Tank (Fuchikoma) from this scene in LEGO with all the intimidating features of the original. The white getaway car peeks out form underneath the huge mecha, helping to emphasise its scale. The mecha itself has some lovely smooth, shapely legs, but my favourite area is definitely the ‘head’ with the impressive weapons system.
One of the other great details are the manipulator arms made from clips, pneumatic t-pieces and minifigures hands. In the film, these arms grab Kusanagi and begin to crush her skull before Batou shows up and destroys the tank with some heavy weaponry. Phew.
This is actually an updated version of Cole’s Think Tank. Back in 2013, we blogged Cole’s custom Kusanagi minifigure standing with the Think Tank from Ghost in the Shell. After some newly released LEGO parts and redevelopment, this Think Tank is a whole new level of awesome.
There was a time in the 80s when the tale of huge transformable jet-mechas, intertwined with love stories which transcended galaxies, was almost real to some of us. Robotech (for those of us in the western part of the world) or Macross (in its original incarnation from Japan) is a series of science fiction mecha anime that’s rated highly enough to still be in many lists of the top 50 anime series of all time.
As a fan of the series, builder Stick Kim takes us back in time by capturing a particular scene where our hero saves the girl while piloting his mech. This fantastic miniature LEGO version of the VF-1S Valkyrie is piloted by Hikaru Ichijyo (Rick Hunter) and cradled in his palms is Lynn MinMay — a beauty who sings, and is his love interest and a key character throughout the series.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film produced, written, and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The film’s protagonist Kiki is a trainee witch who has a black cat called Jiji as her best friend, and CK HO has built a fantastically cute LEGO version of Jiji the cat. Like most cats, Jiji has a lot of personality, but the English-dubbed version of the film showed Jiji with a cynical and sarcastic attitude as opposed to cautious and conscientious in the original Japanese.
We loved Jiji so much here at TBB that we asked CK to make some instructions and he very kindly obliged to allow us all to have a best friend called Jiji.
Click here to build your own Jiji!
Fans of Bravest Warriors rejoice! After vanishing for two and half years, this wacky space animation from the mind that created Adventure Time is now back from the dead, with a third season beginning today on Cartoon Hangover. And because LEGO makes everything 9000% sexier, here is a building guide for Catbug to get you in the mood.
(Click here for enlarged version)
Unless you’re just tragically unhip or have been living under a rock, on Mars, then you’ll no doubt have heard of the critically acclaimed, Emmy winning, noodly limbed, gender stereotype breaking, cult followed, totally mathematical, pop culture phenomenon that is Adventure Time.
It’s now been 10 years since the original pilot aired, and with almost 250 episodes under its belt (including a new 8-part special Islands coming next month) the show remains as popular as ever, thanks to its groundbreaking style, the diversity of its characters, and massive merchandising empire. And now it is finally a LEGO set, 21308 Adventure Time. Not bad for a cartoon inspired by D&D and videogames!
Read our full review of this set
You may not be familiar with the 1998 animated television series Cowboy Bebop but that will not stop you admiring this spaceship built by Haeum Daddy. Cowboy Bebop was set in the year 2071, and follows the lives of a crew of bounty hunting cowboys travelling on their spaceship Bebop. This LEGO version of protagonist Spike Spiegel’s racing craft the Swordfish II is like an Ultimate Collector Series edition with all the greebled details and a stand. The smooth aerodynamic lines of the wings and the front of the ship are maintained with the use of curved slops and wedges …this ship is fast and swooshable.
The power all comes from the incredibly detailed engine and exhaust portion of the ship; definitely worth a closer look. So many great dark grey LEGO parts have been packed into this area that the bulbous shape of the animated ship is emulated despite being formed from lots of smaller pieces.
The Southern Air Temple was a location in the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and the childhood home of the main protaganist in the series, Aang. Micah Beideman has built a LEGO version of the Southern Air Temple, capturing the impressive collection of blue roofed buildings and the tall tower dominating the centre of the white temple. The lower buildings have been built at a nice depth and varying heights to give the model a real ‘temple in the sky’ feel with their steep winding paths. I also like the use of the transparent 1×2 bricks, built up to form the clouds that encircle the temple.
I am not a follower of RWBY but this build, by Ordo, is apparently a homage to the show. While I can’t comment on the accuracy of the build to the show, I can say that this scene is top-notch in and of itself.
The trailing blood drops against the white snow and the contrast of the dead tree are very striking. The mystery of the red figure and the creepiness of the creature all make for a very memorable scene. I’m not going to get this one out of my head for awhile.
Korean builder Haeundaddy has designed and built probably the best LEGO version of Shotaro Kaneda’s bike from Akira that I have seen. This larger scale bike is shapely, detailed and full of the smooth lines that characterise this famous red bike. The specially designed base is a nice touch as a model of this calibre needs something a little special to rest upon.
The details are fantastic, from the sports seat to the handlebar area, and Haeundaddy has taken the time to capture his work with some excellent photography.
Click through to see more of this excellent anime bike
More than ten years ago, we featured a LEGO model inspired by the Pejite gunship from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Well, here’s another one. Proving once again that inspiration is a close cousin of creative innovation, Nate Rehm-Daly takes us even further from the original source material. Now, instead of being dark red, it’s a combination of blue and neutral tones. And the sleek anime space style has been replaced by something more akin to dieselpulp. But the result stands on its own. That canopy combination is outstanding, and the poseable blue parts are sweet play features. I’d love to see a swarm of these dive down from the clouds.
This pair of Anime-inspired flyers by halfbeak were originally created for a contest over in the Flickr speeder bike group. Their design is fiendishly simple yet refreshingly unconventional, and is made possible by clever use of some older LEGO parts including Alpha Team canopies, Exoforce figures, and a variety of repurposed and recut LEGO stickers.
I like the forward-leaning posture of the riders – it conveys a sense that these speeders were built solely for racing, to compared to the more relaxed seating position of a typical LEGO speeder bike.