If you like LEGO and chunky transforming robots, there is definitely more to these first-responders by Sam.C (S2 Toys Studios) than meets the eye. (See what I did there?) Both Autobots feature angled faces and anime-inspired helmet details that look like they transformed right out of a comic book, or 1980s-something Saturday morning cartoon.
Aside from the amazing pose-ability and blocky limbs, my favorite hard-to-spot part is the light gray 1×1 round plate with ball joint (most commonly found in yellow as the hands of the brick-built LEGO System figures) used here for the perfect connection in many of the bots’ joints.
In order to fully appreciate this next creation, we’re going to have to define a couple of terms. The first is chibi. That’s a Japanese slang term that describes an art style where characters are drawn as small, chubby figures with exaggerated features. The second is Sisyphus. In Greek mythology, he was a king who was punished by the gods for his wicked ways. He is forced to push a giant boulder up an even bigger hill, only to have it roll back down every time it nears the top. At first glance, these two terms don’t seem to have a lot do to with each other. Leave it to Sheo to unify them into a really cute image of eternal torture. In this version, Sisyphus doesn’t have a boulder to push; instead, his over-sized chibi head is the enormous weight that has to be moved upwards.
Creative use of various arches and curved slopes creates an anguished, yet adorable, visage. The use of a curved brick for the leg gives a great sense of that upward pushing. I also like the detail of the 2×2 round tile for his belly, and let’s not ignore the build of the mountain either. The rocks are built out in all directions, with a combination of slopes, plates, and tiles giving some lively texture to the backdrop.
We first saw Desert Batman from the flashback scenes in Batman vs Superman, and fans can’t get enough of it. This chibi style version (also known as super-deformed) by Choi Dambaek captures him like he’s about to make someone’s day a lot worse. I love how this tiny build has enough articulation at the arms and knee joints to give life to the character poses.
As a big fan of classic gaming, I was thrilled to see Mike Dung’s adorable chibi trio of LEGO Nintendo characters. Mario and Link are here, as is the LCD handheld gaming legend that is Mr. Game & Watch. I love that Mario and Link’s tiny bodies are poseable, and the sculpting of their facial features is spot-on. Despite being monochromatic, Mr. Game & Watch looks quite animated! After seeing these figures, I could play a few rounds of Super Smash Brothers.
When it comes to Japanese art, one of the most iconic pieces produced during the late Edo period was Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” This masterpiece helped to inspire the character of Hatsusika Hokusai, found in the free-to-play role-playing-game (RPG) Fate/Grand Order. Mike Dung has made two versions of this character, including a cute chibi figure. In the chibi-build, Mike’s brick-built wave is instantly recognizable and beautiful representation of Hokusai’s artwork. The wave in the other model is cleverly built with several trans-light blue garage door pieces.
Builder LegoWyrm takes inspiration from Hatsune Miku, a humaniod anime persona. LegoWyrm gives it a Spanish flavour with a red themed outfit, and upped the cutness factor by shrinking the character to a chibi sized version. It works gleefully well, with the dress piece arrangement and the pose held together by the unique use of elements for the feet.
Dwalin Forkbeard‘s latest is a brilliant little pocket-battleship called the Yamamoto. This is an unusual scale for this kind of chibi-style building and I love the level of detail it has allowed the builder to include — particularly good work around the bridge and the funnel. Top off a cute and cool model with excellent presentation like this and you’ve got a cracking LEGO creation.
I misread the name of this model at first and got all excited, thinking this was a rendition of Space Battleship Yamato. Although I love what Dwalin’s done here, I demand he now produce a version of that craft in the same style.
Mike Dung has created a troop of supercute chibi schoolgirls. A relatively simple frame structure and face design manages to support distinctly different characters thanks to great use of color, and some fantastic hairdo designs. Brilliant stuff Mike.
For the anime aficionados among you, these characters are from Love Live! School Idol Project (ラブライブ), a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by three companies. The project revolves around a group of fictional school girls who become idols in order to save their school from shutting down.
If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own chibi menagerie, Chungpo Cheng has got just the thing for you. We’ve got practically an entire zoo here. Or, at least if the zoo focused on animals from Africa, but you get the picture. Each one has such character!
What I find particularly fantastic is that should you need to study for your African mammal anatomy test, we’ve got you covered. Check out the rib cage and internal organs on this hippo! Just fantastic.
You can further explore the whole safari on flickr. Which is your favorite?
The March wave of LEGO sets brings us lots of new sets, including the new Elves Dragons and Speed Champions we’ve already reviewed. But it has a more cartoonish face too, by the name of Mighty Micros. This new line brings to LEGO Superheroes (of both Marvel and DC persuasion) the chibi-fied look that’s now familiar to LEGO Star Wars fans through the popular Star Wars Microfighters line. Today I’m taking a look at two of these new Superheroes sets, provided to us courtesy of LEGO. Both 76063 Mighty Micros: The Flash vs. Captain Cold and 76065 Mighty Micros: Captain America vs. Red Skull retails for $9.99 USD.
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Boba-1980 wanted a way to show off his LEGO Star Wars Microfighter X-Wing, Millennium Falcon, and TIE Interceptor, so he built this scene of a Rebel base under attack. The whole model has a great chibi vibe, perfectly blending minifigs and microscale just like the official microfighter sets.
Star Wars microfighters — although being a fine source of minifigures — aren’t always the best in terms of both collecting value and building experience, mostly because of their size and scale. We all know: if you’re looking for aesthetically pleasing models, you should go in for sophisticated UCS-sets. I have been sharing this opinion, but only til last night when my eye was caught by a couple of CHIBI (cute-huggable-idiotic-baby-inspired) spaceships by Kim Do-hyun.
Building large Star Wars ships in such a peculiar scale and style is an advanced challenge in itself. However, Kim nailed it — and not at the expense of elaborate greebling. All the dished and tiles on Millennium Falcon are pretty familiar and look absolutely cute. At the same time, the Imperial Shuttle is genius in its simplicity. It’s just a couple of regular and curved slopes and a wedge at the nose that make the shuttle so recognizable. A slight disproportion in the size of its parts gives the model its totally adorable look.
I just want to take both ships in my hands, embrace them softly and never let them fly away. Full stop. Sorry, ewoks, you’re not my favorite any longer.