The LEGO Botanical Collection has been a huge success, with loads of adult fans scooping those sets off shelves to decorate their homes and offices in a fun and cheerful way. The LEGO Ideas Insect Collection was also a hit, giving a bit of variety to these similar types of adult-oriented sets. It only made sense that the company would try to branch out into some of the more elegant representatives from the animal kingdom. Speaking of “kingdom” they picked an excellent candidate with the LEGO Icons 10331 Kingfisher. Join us as we swoop in for a closer look at this 834-piece set, available February 1st, and retailing for US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £44.99.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Traveling the yellow brick road from the savannah to the windowsill, we arrive at a home for some flowers and winged creatures. Today we take a look at LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31149 Flowers in Watering Can. This set caused us to sit back and reflect a bit on the nature of 3-in-1 sets and if more thought is going in to the secondary models than used to – and if so, is it working? Here’s our review of this 420-piece set, which is available now from LEGO.com for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99.
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.
With all the winged beasts transformed into sets for the LEGO Harry Potter line, let’s hope that the creatures of Lord of the Rings can get the same treatment soon. And the place to start would certainly be with a minifig-scale Great Eagle, just like this one built by Shaun Sheepa. The texturing here is a real treat! quarter-round tiles, rock textures, and even this fairly awkward wing piece all come together to give the Eagle quite the plethora of plumage. And the magmatically-colored base pops nicely underneath the brown bird, while reminding the viewer of the “peak” of the tale’s drama around Mount Doom. Just hold on, Gandalf. Frodo and Sam have got to be there somewhere….
It’s taken a few attempts, but spring seems to have finally sprung here in Finland. In any case, the birds are a-singing every morning, which puts me in the mood for LEGO builds like Louis Barbedor (Loysnuva)’s. He’s a cute little fella, isn’t he? The bird, that is. I’m afraid I don’t know Louis well enough to say either way. I like the construction of the body – it’s very nicely rounded off with some newer curved slopes and wedges. The branches are a nice touch too; presumably their main function is to support those spindly legs, but it works so nicely as a stand for this little tweeter.
Creating a brick-built character can be quite a challenge. Not for Oliver Becker though. He created a bird-like animal out of LEGO bricks that looks like it is straight from a Pixar movie. One of the things that strikes me the most is how this big headed beast manages to stand on those thin long legs without tipping over. Especially when you take into consideration the age of the finger hinge parts used to create the legs. They tend to lose friction or one of their teeth over the years. All of these challenges don’t bother Oliver as he managed to make one stellar creation.
I’ve earned a reputation in my LEGO circles for introducing fellow builders to a certain indie video game through one of my creations. And while I was building to express my love of Stardew Valley, NikiFilik is all about the equally-excellent Untitled Goose Game with their latest construction. This may look like a standard water fowl to the uninitiated, but the nameless goose was instantly recognizable to me from its head shape, simple color palette, and malicious gaze. The use of the plane fuselage for the bill is spectacular, as is the complex network of white slopes and wedge plates to nail the bust’s overall shape. Villagers beware, this bird is out for blood!
With so much ornate detail, I don’t even care if this LEGO automaton peacock by Obsessionist can’t fly. I particularly love the marriage of LEGO Technic parts with regular blocks, frequently utilizing the connection of “stud into Technic hole”. This technique means that we would normally see a lot anti studs from the top of the ornithological ornithopter, but the adept use of blue boat skids help to solidify the base color here and smooth out any rough edges. These smooth bits contrast all the fringe in pearl gold, including all the wing and tail feathers repurposed from Bionicle and Ninjago weaponry, showcasing the excellent replication of nature via machinery.
I think the face of this bird is particularly stunning on its own. Each piece chosen here feeds into a theme of minimization: all bars and beams attempting to keep the creature light but also functional. It all channels some strong “Erector Set” vibes for the build: a design choice LEGO has strayed from in recent Technic offerings, but that works well when applied here.
Seeing nature transformed into plastic bricks can be an amazing experience, and Maxx Davidson shows us just how it’s done with this 1:1 recreation of a Yellow Crowned Amazon. This green and yellow parrot has some gorgeous curves to it’s body, and some beautiful plumage to boot. I admit, though, that it was the 1×1 round bricks and “jumper stand” handles that form the talons that first caught my eye. It’s a neat solution that successfully mimics the real biology’s textures.
Like what you see here? Well there are a lot more realistically sized creations in our archives!
I’m sure I read a piece of wisdom on this website a few years ago that read: “for a great LEGO creation, you don’t need a lot of pieces – you just need a lot of one piece”. Having had a look through Azurekingfisher‘s photostream, I wonder if they might have said it themselves. They are clearly a big fan of the classic leaf element, which sees a lot of use in their collection. It’s done everything from mosaics to planets. Another frequent use is as avian feathers, often with spectacular results – none more so than this stunning bird! I love creations like this that use the inherent mechanical properties of LEGO parts to creative effect. Since the plastic is quite thin in places on this bit of foliage, it can be gently flexed into a curve, at odds with LEGO’s inherent grid-based nature. In this case, the part repetition also makes it visually appealing. Especially in pink! I’m not sure if it’s based on a particular type of bird – to me, it’s reminiscent of a phoenix. Which, for a build this majestic, is entirely appropriate!
This LEGO sculpture from Patrick Biggs speaks to me, even if I’m not quite sure what it’s saying. Titled She flies with her own wings, Patrick also adds this bit of lore in their photo description: “As spring soars into summer, if you look just right, you may spot this fabled spirit as it brings the rose bushes to bloom.” The stark contrast between the greenery and red blooms certainly makes the artic white of the bird seem like a spectral image. The wide range of LEGO elements in play rewards a closer look; I spotted wings from the Legends of Chima, tails from Hero Factory, and even a white minifigure life preserver ring around the eye.
If you found this build inspiring, check out our archives for more avian goodness.
I have a real soft spot for birds, especially those built out of LEGO. Matt Goldberg has come up with a beauty of a build that is sure to ruffle a few feathers! Speaking of feathers, these are quite tricky to depict in LEGO due to their unique texture — they’re sort of like fluffy scales. Matt has used a plethora of parts to pull off the plumage here, from Hero Factory armour to minifigure arms. The tail feathers are the most spectacular of the lot, mainly using tentacle and horn pieces to great effect. Also present in the tail – and the wings, for that matter – are flexible pieces from 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech. It’s a smart use of these pieces that I’ve only seen used in a small handful of builds. Not only that, it’s functional as well; you might be forgiven for thinking this bird can’t surely stand up on those two tiny legs, and, well, it can’t. The tail serves to conceal the structure to hold this phenomenal pheasant to the equally well-presented base. Very cunning!