The LEGO Nintendo/ Mario craze has started thanks to the recent releases to plunder our wallets dry. Full disclosure, the person writing this article has never (ever) had the chance to play Super Mario during his younger years, but surely knows of how famous he is thanks to popular culture permeating all forms of media. First things first, this is a superb representation of Mario mid-flight by Lee Chi Wing (city son) that I’m familiar with, especially with the level of flexibility engineered into a brick-built character.
Let’s take a trip to the fictional island of Sodor, home of the Rev. Wilbert Awdry’s Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends series of classic children’s tales. If your day trip includes a railway excursion on the branch line from from Knapford to Ffarquhar, you might encounter the titular hero of the stories: Thomas himself. He’s never looked better than in this LEGO version by city son. The cheery little engine’s face is nicely done, with those big Mixel eye tiles a perfect choice. The colourful livery of the original character is captured well, and I particularly like the use of lifebuoys for the front-facing windows and that brick-built 1 on the side. There’s even an accompanying minifigure version of The Fat Controller, or “Sir Topham Hatt” as he was called in the US. All this model needs is a voiceover from Ringo Starr and we’re sorted.
Each year, talented LEGO builder City Son reveals a new focal creation. This time he was inspired by something special to so many: music. Not just music, but the inherent emotional beauty of it. It’s something that many can relate to. Personally, ever since I was a child, my dad would play all kinds of different music and quiz me on the titles and artists until I had them memorized. As I grew, I learned to play a few different instruments, and when I hit high school, the saying, “music breathes the words we cannot speak,” was my mantra. Indeed, it got me through tough times, and I still cherish it every day. And it’s true; music does speak. It speaks a language so powerful that it’s universal across all ages and races, no matter their tastes or connection to it. This colorful piece embodies the emotion of music. The dimension, liveliness and expertly crafted instruments speak for themselves. But I am most impressed with the expression of pure bliss upon the face of the headphone-clad woman. It takes a truly brilliant builder to bring LEGO to life in this way, and he couldn’t have done it better.
With their exaggerated features and over-the-top antics, clowns can inadvertently scare children and more than a few adults, rather than entertain them. Couple this with the notion that, prone to depression, alcoholism and criminal misconduct, real-life clowns can sometimes be an unsavory lot. If that doesn’t give you just a touch of Coulrophobia already then leave it to Stephen King to hammer that fear into the rest of us when he wrote It in 1986. Tim Curry first frightened television viewers in 1990 when he gave Pennywise the Clown a savage, sneering malevolence and a Bronx accent in ABC’s two-part miniseries. In 2017 a new generation of moviegoers were scared out of their wits when Bill Skarsgård portrayed a redesigned Pennywise with a childlike curiosity and a seething maliciousness. Now, just in time for It: Chapter 2, City Son recreates Pennywise’s likeness in LEGO.
His signature red balloon and string seems to be the only non-LEGO elements here, but red puff balls adorn his Shakespearean outfit while what we commonly call “cheese slopes” comprise his Elizabethan ruffle collar. The whole getup sort of implies he’s been doing this evil clown gig far longer than any of us has been alive. A closer look at his mug shows that a hot dog makes up his sinister smile while several horns in red and white and a flower denote his make-up design.
If you haven’t seen the movies or read the book, I don’t want to spoil much for you, but you can file this next bit under good general advice and not so much a spoiled plot point: if a clown tries to lure you into a sewer with him, it is probably best you don’t go. And now you know.
Travel deep into the jungle and pay a visit to its denizens with City Son‘s stunning LEGO wildlife model. Tigers, parrots, a mandrill, and even a skunk inhabit this overgrown temple.
Figural modeling has always fascinated me. I am always blown away by builders who can create organic models that really capture the essence of living creatures. This is a prime example of how to do it right. Each animal on its own would be a model worthy of notice. Combine them together with some beautiful scenery and you have something truly spectacular.
Most people may not think so, but LEGO builders really are artists in their own right. The medium that they choose to express themselves in is simply tiny bricks instead of the traditional tools of oil and canvas that we see more often. The traditional approach of interlocking these bricks is the expected aspect of it, but a more unusual approach is the loose placement of bricks, such as this spread by city son.
This design is a breath of fresh air to the overdose that the Millennium Falcon is getting recently due to the largest set ever being released by the folks over at Billund (plus a couple of major contests inspired by the venerable freighter). What stands out with this piece of art is the colorful, celebratory effect showcasing the Falcon in flight. It almost looks like a splash of rainbow paint in pop-art style.
While architecture skyline builds are a popular way to capture some of the landmark structures of a city, city son has created this fantastic mountainous sculpture of Hong Kong’s landmarks. At the base we have the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with its glass façade, surrounded by Golden Bauhinia Square. Dominating the scene is the Big Buddha with the Ngong Ping 360 cable car and Peak Tram exiting the mountainside, all of which are located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong’s largest outlying island.
What a great way to capture some of the highs of Hong Kong, although Big Buddha doesn’t look impressed with the cable car exiting his head!