When you think of Christmas songs, chances are one of the top ten that comes to mind is “Little Drummer Boy”. While not everyone in the world celebrates Christmas, I’m sure many of you can appreciate the most recent LEGO kinetic sculpture built by Jason Allemann of the JK Brickworks duo. Before the thing even gets moving, it’s clear that the ox and sheep are adorable.
Once the crank starts turning the magic starts. The little trio are mesmerizing to watch. Builds with timing can seem so complicated on the surface, but as Jason often shows, the inner-workings aren’t all that complicated. Still, it’s hard not to be jealous of how easy he makes it look.
Like Zoltar, ask this guy a question or make a wish, and you’ll actually receive answers. Well, maybe not the best answers, but how many fortunes lay it out straight? You won’t be able to fault Teun de Wijs once you watch the video of this extraordinary LEGO build. This mechanical fortune teller doesn’t just move his arms and bend over the crystal ball. Oh, no, my friends, this guy is the real deal. Inside his box is an ingenious mechanical randomizer. You heard that right, folks. An internal block with four answers will spin and be stopped at random, like a coin flip. It’s up to the powers of the universe to provide an answer to your question. Like a Magic 8 Ball, they may not be the most helpful answers, but beggars can be choosers. Don’t question the man with the epic batarang mustache, he’s just the messenger. And careful what you wish for, because we all know how that turned out in the Tom Hanks movie, Big.
Scratching your head trying to figure out what I’m talking about? Click below to watch the video of the automaton in action!
Inspired. That’s all I can say about how I feel every time I see one of Jason Allemann‘s new creations. And maybe a little jealous at how talented he is. Recently, we wrote and article about his update to the LEGO Forma mechanics with a custom shark. This time he has taken a recently released official set, LEGO Creator 31088 Deep Sea Creatures, and brought it to life. It’s done so well that you would think the set was always intended for this purpose.
With the turn of the crank or an attached motor, the drive mechanism of this build gives the shark an appearance of organically gliding through water. The most impressive part (as always with Jason’s builds) is how smooth and seamless the motions are. Truly fluid! And as a bonus, this creation isn’t just for admiring from afar! He has kindly shared these (and many other) instructions on his website so that others can build it too!
If you don’t know already, I’m a little obsessed with pinball. I’m also a little obsessed with mechanical LEGO builds, kinetic sculptures, and automaton. So naturally, I was overly excited when I saw that one of my favorite builders, Teun de Wijs, has married a couple of my favorite things together! This legendary pinball game turned LEGO automaton is incredible.
The way Teun uses gearing and switches to make the lights blink and the pot-bellied man tilt the machine makes me jealous at his ingenuity. I do have to say that the hip thrusting is a little intense though…
If you like this build, you’ll love Teun’s other magical LEGO creations. They are a step above anything else I’ve seen! Also, if you like pinball and haven’t checked out my own 100% LEGO machine, Benny’s Spaceship Adventure, you should take a look!
Ever wondered how some of the classic magic tricks are done? Teun de Wijs might have some answers for you! This LEGO version of the “floating woman” illusion is a little technical marvel, and when seen from multiple angles, gives an idea of how such a trick might be done.
Microscale LEGO building is not just about building things on a small scale as the term suggests. Context can help a creation take on epic proportions with the use of a part or parts to provide a size comparison. Take this celestial automaton by Brian Kescenovitz made from a relatively small collection of elements. The micro-figure in the foreground, as well as the minimalist background, give this golden mechanical angel an impressive stature.
The multi-jointed legs have an insect-like feel, and the lack of a recognizable head or face lends even more otherworldliness to this guardian of the afterlife.
Automata built from LEGO always amaze and inspire me. Growing up, my favorite ballet was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, which I had the privilege to see performed by the Bolshoi Ballet at the height of their skill in the late 70’s when they toured Japan. Pixeljunkie has built a LEGO automata with a music box inside that plays the theme from the ballet while a minifigure dancer twirls around the top.
The video showcases the music box feature, as well as the way a group of dancers can also be attached to the mechanism to dance on the stage.