BrickArms was featured in the current February 2010 issue of Wired Magazine as part of an article that highlight some of the successes of small scale production and manufacturing. You may be surprised to find out that Will, owner of BrickArms, now makes more income on a slow BrickArms day than he did before as a software engineer. You can read the feature on Eurobricks or click on the magazine cover below for the full article.
BrickArms just posted new transparent weapons packs on their site. The packs are available in red, blue, green and clear. You get 34 for $25. I saw the transparent weapons flying of their table at BrickCon, so I would expect these to go fairly quickly.
According to BrickArms spokesman, the ever enigmatic badger, these are color matched to LEGO’s transparent pieces.
Edit: I’ve just been told that they added Chrome Weapons Packs yesterday. The chrome weapons are very sweet. I picked up a couple at BrickCon.
Why yes, that is a BrickArms Cricket Bat and M1 Carbine.
Thanks to the generous folks at BrickArms, we’ll be giving away a bunch of these to those of you who contribute to Zombie Apocafest 2009 at BrickCon 2009 later this week. Each Zombie Defense Pack will include a prototype cricket bat and M1 carbine, along with other great stuff that remains Top Secret.
The cricket bats in particular will be in short supply outside these packs, and there will be a limited number of packs, so be sure to build something awesome.
Just a note, these are pre-production prototypes and are not available at this time. They will change slightly and there is no guarantee that each of these items will make the cut. Also, some of these have been announced before, so fans of BrickArms will recognize a few of the items in these pictures.
A common criticism of ApocaLEGO creations is that they’re all shades of brown or gray — believable colors for many apocalyptic scenarios, but not necessarily for the zombie apocalypse. With that in mind, I’ve added a few more colorful creations to my fleet of zombie-hunting vehicles.
The big red vehicle is an apocafied version of my S&S/TATRA Wildland Ultra XT fire engine, while the light blue car should be familiar to fans of a certain boy wizard.
The requisite back story for the blue car:
A trio of intrepid survivors convert an old Ford Anglia into a zombie defense platform — complete with Browning M2 .50 Caliber machine gun and M134 Minigun requisitioned from an abandoned Army base. The flamethrower is apparently homemade.
Of course, these particular survivors have a few extra tricks up their sleeves. Other survivors say that the color of the fire from their flame thrower "just ain’t right." They can also be heard to exclaim "Incendio Cranium!" as they charge into a horde of zombies.
I had so much fun with the little pink Vespa leading the charge that I had to build her a gang of zombie-hunting comrades.
Our past reviews have taken somewhat of a purist approach — using nothing but items from one custom accessory creator. But I believe that the accessories LEGO fans have created to work with LEGO are best when they’re used together, so that’s how I approached the minifigs in these photos.
You’ll also see accessories from vendors we’ve reviewed more recently:
I’d never seen any of Arealight’s items in person, but I hadn’t been impressed with the quality of the resin-cast stuff I’d seen from other customizers. When my batch of Arealight accessories arrived in the mail, though, I couldn’t have been more pleased.
True, some of Arealight’s accessories don’t have the same tolerance as official LEGO elements — the hair doesn’t fit quite as perfectly and the headlight tends to fall off my Roman Holiday Vespa unless I twist the clear piece just right. There are also minor imperfections that differ from item to item.
Surprisingly, I’m willing to dismiss these quality issues because they just give the accessories a charming, handmade feel.
And because Arealight creates accessories unlike all others — Ithorian heads, Mandalorian armor, Vespa scooters, wavy capes, and more — I haven’t had so much fun building custom minifigs in a very long time.
For more photos, see my full photoset of Arealight accessories on Flickr.
One reason we didn’t do the full review of 2009 BrickArms accessories we’d promised is that the quality of Will Chapman‘s prototypes has improved so much that many of the released items don’t differ substantially from the preview versions we’ve already highlighted here.
That’s a great thing, but it makes a review seem a bit redundant.
Nevertheless, the latest BrickArms weapons include the wonderfully designed Lewis gun and Bazooka, as well as the much-anticipated MGL and combat shotgun. The quality and playability are nothing less than we’ve come to expect from BrickArms.
History buffs are sure to be pleased by the Browning Automatic Rifle.
See lots more photos of past, current, and future BrickArms accessories in the full photoset on Flickr.
Amazing Armory by HAZEL
Custom accessory creator HAZEL is fairly new to the LEGO scene, first posting custom samurai on Flickr less than a year ago.
It wasn’t until he posted a batch of minifigs decked out in armor and weapons inspired by Gears of War that the customization community really took notice. There was clearly demand for these items, and HAZEL soon had a Bricklink store up and running.
Unfortunately, HAZEL disappeared from the online world just around the time I thought I’d buy a few items to review for the blog. With a string of negative feedback on Bricklink, I looked elsewhere, and ended up buying my HAZEL accessories from Custom Minifig Shop in the UK. Prices were about the same as directly from HAZEL, and shipping to the US was also reasonable.
Why is all this relevant to my review? Because it’s important to remember that you’re often buying from a single individual with a side business, not a big corporation.
The custom accessories themselves appear to be resin-cast like Arealight’s. The texture isn’t perfectly smooth, nor the black a perfect match with LEGO, making these ideal candidates for further customization through painting. Having no talent in that area, I prefer my own accessories ready to use. Still, HAZEL’s accessories are great fun and a nice match for mecha pilots, post-apocalyptic survivors, and other sci-fi characters.
Minifig World Stands
Unlike the weapons, headgear, and other accessories we’ve reviewed so far, Minifig World produces display stands for minifigs.
The stands have two studs for your little plastic friend’s feet, as well as holes on the underside for stackability.
Minifig World stands are excellent for showing off your minifigs, like that super-rare chrome-gold C-3PO.
BrickArms has just introduced the first wave of 2009 custom minifigure guns and accessories for sale in four different colors matching LEGO’s palette. Check out all 14 new items at brickarms.com!
We’ll be doing a full review of these new items shortly. In the meantime, you can read more about the 2009 BrickArms accessories and see pictures of prototype versions in our preview of the 2009 Brickarms Bazooka, MGL, Lewis gun, and more.
At the BrickFest convention last weekend, BrickArms announces a new batch of prototypes of anticipated custom minifigure weapons and accessories. This is no joke, because what you see in the photos from The Enigma that is Badger and Ranger of Awesomeness are all real.
(Below): buildable ammo chain and MG42 and PPSh
(Below): Buzzgun and Flame gun
These items will be mass produced in a variety of colors, including transparent colors. The exact release date has not been determined, but according to BrickArms spokesperson Badger, “fans of BrickArms can expect these accessories to join the BrickArms family sooner than later!”
As usual, you can expect the highest quality custom accessories from BrickArms and 100% compatibility with LEGO products. The energy pistol and needle gun prototypes have different colored sections for added detail, while the full-production versions will be available in single colors.
Visit the BrickArms Forums to discuss these and other accessories and see what else is coming in 2009!
We weren’t going to dignify this attack on BrickArms by posting it here, but we have been getting a flood of emails concerning it. So, here it is.
In the December 4th edition of the UK-based SUN, this article appeared.
Article Scan by Andrew Summersgill
The full text is as follows:
A RANGE of Lego-style fighting figures — including an al-Qaeda terrorist — has been slammed by religious leaders.
The masked follower of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden comes with a rocket launcher, assault rifle and grenades.
Mohammed Shaffiq, of Muslim organisation The Ramadhan Foundation, branded the toy “absolutely disgusting”.
He said: “It is glorifying terrorism — the makers should be ashamed.
“We should be coming together to unite against terrorism, but how is that possible when children are playing with toys like this?”
The £9.50 two-inch figures are customised from Lego toys by makers BrickArms, who hope for a Christmas hit.
They also include a Nazi major, bearing the chilling SS insignia, and a stormtrooper brandishing two grenade launchers.
Edie Friedman, director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, said: “These distasteful toys are something we could all well do without, especially when there is so much tension around.”
LEGO UK today issued a statement saying it is not associated with the toys being sold by BrickArms which have been customised without its knowledge or permission.
It continued: “BrickArms is not licensed by LEGO UK to customise LEGO figures and has no links to the LEGO brand.
“LEGO UK is committed to developing toys which enrich childhood by encouraging imaginative and creative play – and does not endorse products that do not fit with this philosophy.”
“We do not sell an ‘Osama bin Laden’ miniature figure. We sell a generic bad guy minifigure with a Ninja scarf head wrap, the same minifigure that we have been selling for over a year now, with no associated ‘outrage.'”
“It does not represent anything; it is simply a bandit — a bad guy for the good guys to battle. Attempt to assign it a ‘personality’ only serves to create controversy that does not exist.”
The article has sparked much indignation throughout the Lego Fan community. The overwhelming majority supports Will and BrickArms.
I personally believe that this spurious attack, by a disreputable tabloid, was merely to stir up trouble. Their pathetic attack on one of our own is aggravating, to say the least.
The Brothers Brick has an extremely positive and long-standing relationship with Will. He and his family are wonderful people. We firmly stand with him, his family, and his associates. Go BrickArms!
Here is our final installment of the incredible prototypes that we drooled over at BrickCon.
Being primarily a Castle fan, I was most excited by the Long Sword and Rapier:
Another historical weapon that should be popular with the Pirate fans is the bayonet, attached via an extremely versatile U-clip:
I also fell in love with the Sawed-Off Shotgun and the miniscule Derringer:
I know Andrew has already shown off the Derringer. But it’s so darn cute, I had to do it again!
Last, but not least, is another weapon that is close to my heart. The long-awaited Paintbal Marker: