Waking up on a tropical island has become a familiar premise to many LEGO fans familiar with Bionicle. Awesomenessborn brings us an odd tribal figure on a small sandy landscape dominated by a stone head statue. It may not look like the colourful mechanical warriors of Bionicle, but instead it resembles the prototype figures from the theme’s development phase. Originally nicknamed Bone-Heads of Voodoo Island, the figures looked more innocent and less war-like, which the builder captures very well. The proportions of the figure’s body, with its thin waist and protruding stomach are reminiscent of earlier Bionicle sets.
The statue on the other hand, is terrifying compared to the figure. Overgrown with plants and vines, it resembles a weathered skull that contrasts the smooth raised baseplate from an old pirate set which is used as the small landscape. To complete the foreboding mystery of this world, there are also some spiders on top of the statue. One can even spot a nasty surprise crawling out its mouth…
This elven archer by Dmitry would be at home on any Lord of the Rings fan’s mantelpiece. The clean and minimalist approach to the facial features makes the ornate armor all the more impressive. I particularly like the use of Ninjago Spinner blades as wrapped hair braids, and the grill tiles for a flattop makes me chuckle. (As did that golden banana as part of the tunic.) But I’m certainly not laughing at the great shaping in grey achieved by cheese slopes and curved brick, or at that elegant display stand.
This build has a different look from most LEGO figures we see at this scale, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
Now that LEGO has released a line of Super Mario sets, I’m sure we’re not far from a massive uptick in the number of Mario-related custom builds. Anticipating them is Koen Zwanenburg, who has designed a series of cuddly characters from the games. I’m a bad child of the ’80s and don’t know all of them, but I can recognize Mario and Luigi, as well as Peach, Bowser, and Yoshi. Aficionados can no doubt name them all at just a glance since Koen has done an excellent job of capturing the essence of each with just a few parts. I love the jumper plates for mustaches on the brothers, but my favorite detail is the plates with teeth as Bowser’s toes. But they’re all great. Or should I say super?
This is not the first set of cute and cuddly creations by Koen; check out some adorable animals and delightful Christmas characters!
There is perhaps no builder more skilled at crafting interesting and unique figures out of LEGO than Eero Okkonen. One glance at the TBB archives will demonstrate that. But the most recent creation to grace our screens is my favorite of the lot, due to her graceful pose, captured mid-frolic, and elegant shaping. The use of the spider net from a Hobbit set with some boat sliders makes a perfect top, with the soft edges of the fabric causing the Magadril of Dandelions to look more alive and less LEGO-ish than most of Eero’s builds. And since her eyes are up there, it’s worth highlighting how perfect minifigure hands are for eyes. If I were single and a brick-built LEGO creation myself, I’d gladly tiptoe through some tulips, or dandelions, with her. If only she didn’t have that midriff tattoo since my mother would never approve of her…
Francisco Goya’s disturbing Black Paintings — in particular “Witches’ Sabbath” or “The Great He-Goat” in the Prado Museum in Madrid today — have inspired Joss Woodyard‘s latest entry in the ongoing BioCup contest. The Satanic figure is surrounded by gloom, lit by a circle of candles, wearing a shaggy cloak made of black wings. The yellow lever base is terrifyingly perfect for the slit-eyed gaze of the Dark Lord, while minifig arms provide the split lip of the beast’s muzzle. In its left arm, the Devil carries what appears to be a swaddled child, perhaps a sacrificial victim.
In addition to naturally organic shapes from Bionicle and Hero Factory, Joss softens the shapes further with tires and strings. All of this makes the He-Goat’s exposed rib-cage all the more horrifying, built from insect or spider legs. I can nearly hear the chitinous rustling as he lurches toward you in the dark…
Move over R2-D2, I have a new favourite droid in the Star Wars galaxy now. If you haven’t already watched Season 1 of The Mandalorian, what are you waiting for? Don’t come back here till you’re done, ok? The IG-11 is full of surprises and I could swear that the only reason I needed the Kleenex to wipe that tear off my eye was because of a dusty home and nothing else, really indeed! Build better bricks captured the best of IG-11 with a mixed bag of almost LEGO odd parts like ingots and barrels, just like how the actual IG-11 seems to be made up of random bits of metal.
Master of brick-built characters Eero Okkonen has shaped this fanciful LEGO samurai, and true to his typical style, has kitted it out with splendid parts usages from top to bottom. While there are many clever building techniques that are worth highlighting, such as the lever bases around the flag on his chest, or the offset cascade of car slopes for the front of the red kusazuri (or skirt armor), in my opinion, the best technique is a very simple one that serves both form and function. The front of the Samurai’s feet are made with two red cheese slopes around a black lamp holder, and the color different would be a problem in most applications. But here it perfectly mimics the split-toed tabi (or socks) of traditional Japanese garb.
You can read more about the samurai and how Eero designed it on his website, Cyclopic Bricks.
LEGO recently introduced the Monkey Kid theme, bringing the legend of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, to a wider audience. Builder Red has created a truly regal version of Sun Wukong that’s full of character and clever building. The gold accents in the crown are nice, and the cloth pants and dark blue armor are snazzy. But the real star of the show is those toes. How cute are they? Okay, maybe the really impressive thing is that cocky expression. A tilted bit of shoulder armor adds just the right touch of grumpiness to complement those deep-set eyes.
If you’re curious as to how this creation came about, Red has an Instragram post that goes into the details of the build process. And when you’re done there, you can check out the other builds of theirs that we’ve featured in the past.
LEGO’s Bionicle lore runs deep, encompassing a complex world history from its inception to the heroes we all recognize as the various Toa. Even the theme’s origin story is fascinating, as David Robertson recounts in Brick by Brick the Bionicle theme was originally envisioned as a metaphor for battling cancer, with the bio-heroes (cancer-fighting drugs) being delivered to the world (body) in pill-like canisters. Builder Anthony Wilson is participating in a fan-run challenge to create the Toa Helryx, which the lore names as the first Toa in the Bionicle world.
No sets or images were ever produced of this Toa, but Anthony has sculpted this regal figure from the few descriptions. The brick-built mask, so central to Bionicle characters, is crafted from multiple elements, most notably the silver Nexo Knights shield, whose ribbed edges look marvelously organic here. Another great detail is the giant mace Helryx wields, which is tipped with a Technic differential.
What’s even more difficult than creating just the perfect LEGO minifigure for your creation? Crafting the perfect character in a small scale without using minifigures. Well, ok, this build by Marion Weintraut actually uses a lot of minifigure pieces, just not how you’re “supposed” to. The long-running comic strip hero Lucky Luke and his horse Jolly Jumper are wonderfully gangly and full of cartoon whimsy. From the perfectly placed hollow studs for Jolly’s nostrils, to the small slope for Luke’s bandana and the minifigure pirate hook for his cigarette, there are so many techniques to love here.
Although, while I’m always a fan of unorthodox techniques, I do detect a slight twitch in my eye at the way the minifigure arms are connected for Jolly’s tail. Let’s both pretend we didn’t see that, and enjoy the rest of this splendid creation.
In Aztec-culture Mictlantecuhtli was the god of death. In Tino Poutiainen‘s LEGO version, he’s…well, still a god of death, I suppose. Perched atop a grey stepped pyramid, this deity has got to be giving that little golden LEGO microfig the major heebie-jeebies. I really like the figure’s bright colors and innovative posing. There’s clever part usage to appreciate, too, like the blue minifigure hoop-blade weapons for bracelets, dark tan Technic rod skirt, and the silver Technic ball ends for earrings. I also dig that brick-built skull.
And yes, I think I’ve identified a new trend. This is the third creation I’ve written about recently with that “Technic gears for teeth” thing. I’m going to have to give it a try myself.
Large-scale display pieces catering to the nostalgic adult fan have long been a mainstay of Disney merchandise. Whilst some LEGO Disney sets have flirted with the memorabilia audience before now (notably 71044 Disney Train and Station and 21317 Steamboat Willie) the latest Disney set — 43179 Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Buildable Characters — has its sights set firmly on the hearts (and wallets) of adult Disney collectors and enthusiasts. The set contains 1,739 pieces and features the iconic couple as large-scale figures, clad in their signature outfits, and with a range of accessories. It will be available from July 1st, retailing for US $179.99 – CAN $229.99 – UK £169.99.
Let’s see how LEGO’s tribute to Hollywood’s most famous power couple stacks up…
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