One of the world’s oldest cultures, China has given the world everything from fireworks to pasta. The culture and history of the “Middle Kingdom” continue to inspire LEGO builders all across the globe.
When we featured Cindy Su’s compelling Zhongli Quan figure, she clued us in that he was the first of the legendary Eight Immortals from Chinese mythology that she would build. Now we are enthralled all over again with this lovely He Xaingu figure who is here with her lotus flower to improve our mental and physical health. Her uplifting presence and her healing powers are much appreciated right about now.
Friends sets offer a much more feminine color pallet than your standard LEGO fare and Cindy demonstrates just how lovely that can be. Whether building a car fender, hot air balloon or, in this case, a lotus flower, these parts are proving to be an integral addition to anyone’s LEGO collection. We will patiently await the arrival of Cindy’s other six Immortals from Chinese mythology. In the meantime you can learn more.
Nearly ten years ago, working in China allowed me the opportunity to visit Hong Kong for the very first time. The primary focus of my trip was to visit LEGO fan event Bricks Adventure 2011 at City University, and I was floored by both the hospitality and building skills of the city’s LEGO enthusiasts. I was equally impressed by the beauty of the city itself, so much so that I made two more trips to Hong Kong in the coming months. Therefore, when I saw this artful LEGO depiction of the city built by Hong Kong native Eric Mok, it triggered a wave of happy memories. Eric captures a view of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, set inside a gold-trimmed sea scallop — it’s a lovely nod to Hong Kong’s nickname as the “Pearl of the Orient.”
LEGO has revealed two new sets to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year: 80104 Lion Dance and 80105 Chinese New Year Temple Fair. Both sets feature an incredible amount of new prints, recoloring of pieces and a significant amount of minifigures which all combine into a large festival setting. So today we have your first look at the sets and minifigures along with a video for each.
Honoring LEGO’s commitment to offer regional exclusives sets worldwide, the two new LEGO Chinese Traditional Festival models will launch in China and the Asia Pacific region starting December 26, 2019 with global availability beginning January 10, 2020.
Chinese builder Qian Yj has been producing beautiful architectural models for a few years now, many of which can be found in the TBB archives, including the hexagonal Tianfeng Pagoda and the Sichuan home. The builder’s latest creation is a mammoth tribute to the Wuliang Hall of the sprawling 400-building Xiantong Temple complex in China. “Wuliang” translates to “infinite” or “immeasurable” but we think it measures up quite magnificently.
A prolific LEGO builder who’s graced our pages before, Ted Andes has presented a creation I resonate with at the moment, Winter. I’m typing this from Victoria, Australia, where the frosts and bleak days have been many. This beautiful vignette, a small capture of a snowy morning on the edge of a siheyuan. I can almost feel the stillness in the air.
Andes’ parts use is always exceptional, though not just in obscure part usage. His harness on basic parts to get the maximum effect is outstanding. The bare tree is made from roughly thirteen different pieces, twisted into some outstanding, gnarled forms. See if you can spot them all — can you see any I’ve missed? The river and its edging is also another highlight for me. The 4L trans-light blue bars surrounding some fish is a nice touch, giving the impression of icy cold, rushing water. Having the land predominantly in two colours has also worked elegantly, while the simple touches of trans-clear near the edge of the river have brought it closer to the reality of the camping trips I’ve taken in winter.
In the Chinese city of Wuhan, you can find the 51.4 m Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼). The current iteration of the tower was completed in 1985, but the tower has existed in various forms since at least the year 223. Chinese LEGO fan Smoker Nie(聂汉卿) has built a beautiful replica of the tower, which took a painstaking eight months to design and 1,400 hours to build. It consists of 163,100 pieces and stands at a massive height of 158 cm (≈5.2 ft). This is made all the more impressive by the fact that this is only his second LEGO model. (His first was the Aiwan Ting Pavilion.)
Following the court case against LEPIN in November 2018, the Chinese counterfeiters are back in the news again and, this time, the police are involved. On Tuesday, April 23rd police raided the Shenzhen plant belonging to the notorious manufacturer of imitation LEGO products. Shanghai police orchestrated the raid, which led to four arrests including the leader of LEPIN’s parent company, Meizhi. According to a post on the Shanghai police’s Weibo account, over 200 million RMB (nearly 30 million USD) of LEPIN products were confiscated. This included more than 630,000 finished sets, 200,000 boxes, 200,000 instruction leaflets and manuals, and over 90 production molds.
There has always been something very special about LEGO Seasonal sets. It’s not just the subject matter of the sets, but also their unusual designs and formats that look nothing like regular retail LEGO themes. In 2019, LEGO will be making holidays even more special with a stunning lineup of Chinese Lunar New Year LEGO sets. Although these might be only available in China and the rest of the Asia Pacific region, there’s still an excellent way to take part in these celebrations — the new LEGO BrickHeadz 40354 Dragon Dance Guy brings a festive holiday mood in a very funny format.
Hong Kong’s bustling urban atmosphere is exciting, but sometimes it’s nice to take some time out to relax and enjoy nature. It’s worth hopping on the MTR bound for Lantau Island, where you can visit the quaint fishing village of Tai O. Alanboar Cheung has captured the spirit of Tai O in LEGO-form, right down to the green mountainous landscape behind it. He has included the town’s famous stilted homes, a dragon boat, and the squat-looking sampan boats. One of the sampan even features a traditional Tai O water wedding.
This head-on shot of the display is great for honing in on all the tiny details. Techniques like forced perspective and layering also help maintain the illusion of depth. Take me to Tai O!
LEGO announces region specific sets for the China and Asia Pacific Markets that’s slated to be released from January 1st, 2019 onwards. At the moment, two sets showing events from the festivities related during the Lunar New Year’s celebration are featured. The two sets are scenes celebrating the family dinner on the Eve of Chinese New Year, and the famous Dragon Dance. According to Niels B. Christiansen, Chief Executive Officer of the LEGO Group, this is the first time LEGO has made sets for a specific country or region.
When it comes to building historic Chinese architecture from LEGO bricks, it can prove challenging to capture the sweeping curves of rooftops and ornate details. While we’ve seen builders employ a variety of techniques for this, with his model of the Aiwan Ting Pavilion, Chinese builder Smoker Nie has managed to pull off both the shape and the details in an especially eye-pleasing manner. Aiwan Pavilion is located on Mount Yuelu in the Chinese province of Hunan.
Smoker’s building is an excellent likeness, both inside and out. According to the builder, 12350 LEGO bricks were used in its construction.