The marriage of LEGO and Nintendo that occurred in the last year has been a gift to nerdy builders everywhere. The Super Nintendo set blew our collective minds, and the Mario sets have given builders of all ages a fun new way to interact with the classic characters. Though the game is a cool idea for the Mario sets, the printed pieces and newer molds that LEGO provides in this line give builders a chance to do what they do best and build their own versions. Enter Bruce Lowell and his model of Bowser. At a larger scale than the official LEGO version, this build of the classic bad guy gives more definition and form to his legs and arms. The claws look awesome, and the spiked straps on his arm are an awesome detail. While the official LEGO Bowser’s proportions are a bit cartoonish, this version gives the character a more realistic feel. This is especially true in the face, which Bruce has molded with more depth and detail, abandoning the printed mouth tile and opting for a working jaw instead.
Love it or hate it, LEGO occasionally changes up their color palette. Personally, I’m in favor of having more color options. Okay, maybe I’m still bitter about the replacement of “grey” with “bluish grey” back in 2004. But otherwise, I’m good with it. If nothing else, it gives builders a reason to go back and tweak previous creations with an updated look. Bruce Lowell, for example, has applied a new skin to his 2012 version of Mr. Potato Head.
While the older version’s body was perfectly adequate in dark tan, this new iteration uses medium nougat brick. This shade is a lot closer to the colors used by Playskool, and makes Bruce’s tribute even closer to the real thing. There are also improvements to the arms and hands, making use of new pieces like the 1×1 round tile with connection that was first introduced in 2015.
I never thought I’d be happy to see nougat on a potato. Live and learn.
These days it’s pretty impossible to escape exposure to a Disney product. They own the lion’s share of today’s biggest themes and properties. (Was that an oblique Lion King joke? You bet it was.) But, before they owned Marvel…and Star Wars…and everything else, Disney created their own in-house characters, too. Like Mickey Mouse. You’ve heard of him, right? Cool. But how about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit?
…Yeah, that one stumped me too. It turns out Oswald starred in 27 animated shorts back in 1927 or so. He made a return in 2010’s Epic Mickey video game. Still managed to fly under my radar, though. Luckily, Bruce Lowell didn’t overlook Oswald. And, as a result, we get an amazing LEGO recreation of this possibly-not-quite-iconic character. The expert use of rounded tiles recreates the distinctive facial styling. Even if you don’t know the character, you know this guy has to be part of the Mickey Mouse Club.
Bruce Lowell is a native of Los Angeles, which is one of the reasons he built this 1:200 scale LEGO model of Los Angeles City Hall. For Bruce, the model was a labor of love, having gone through multiple iterations since 2014. The finished product is richly detailed with architectural embellishments, a brick-built flag draped down the right side of the building, and dozens of tiny trees. Everything looks beautiful, and this is further enhanced by the natural background used in Bruce’s photography. In fact, I think it would make for a picture-perfect postcard.