You ever have one of those days when you mention something in idle conversation, and suddenly every site you visit online is advertising a related product to you? I have, and it’s downright creepy. But you just know retailers are looking for even more invasive ways of getting their products in front of you. And, unfortunately, I think we may be getting a glimpse of that future right here. Taking inspiration from pixel artist Kenze Wee’s Cyberpunk vending machines, LEGO builder lokiloki29 has created a futuristic drone that combines convenience with an unsettling feeling of “buy or die”.
Built at miniland scale, this creation looks completely plausible. The variety of products on display do look tempting, and Ninjago-sourced logos are right in line with the aesthetic. Cheery red domes and curves create the impression of a friendly gumball machine. My favorite detail, though, is minifig hammers as feet. Those dainty pads makes this whole thing seem cuter somehow. Maybe I will get myself a little treat from this scuttling nightmare that followed me home.
…and that’s how they get you, I guess.
We love when someone does something cool with a specialised “one-shot” part — the sort of piece most folks imagine only has a single specific use. Here’s a great example of thinking outside the box from Kelvin Low, who has taken the arcade cabinet from the Jay Avatar Arcade Pod and turned it into the body of a chunky-looking mechanoid. This thing has all the pointy guns and menacing gippers you might expect, and its “face” is excellent. But most of all, it’s a creation where the unusual parts-usage enhances the model rather than hinders it. The arcade cabinet stickers give this a vibrant exciting look, and an undeniable cyberpunk feel. This reminded me of the graffiti-enhanced killer robots described in KW Jeter’s 1989 novel Farewell Horizontal. (Now there’s an old-school cyberpunk reference for you!)
When I saw this amazing vertical city by Sebastian Bachórzewski, my first thought was, “What a neat microscale building,” followed almost immediately by “HOLY crap! That is minifig scale.” To say that there was a lot going on here would be an understatement. Between the many residential and commercial units piled high, to the floating vehicles coming and going at various levels, to the street scenes along all four sides of the base, this Favela is home to many faded, bitten, random, unwanted and surplus LEGO elements, cobbled together in some surprising ways.
Check out more of this stellar stacked city
What do you do when you are eagerly awaiting the release of a video game, and the wait is killing you? If you’re like Jan T. and are drooling over screenshots of RPG (role-playing game) Cyberpunk 2077, you draw inspiration from your obsession and channel it into a LEGO model. Jan’s No-Tell Motel offers an atmosphere that is simultaneously gritty and colorful; dilapidated city streets and patches of rusty metal contrast nicely with the teal upper floor and purple & green graffiti. There are also plenty of excellent details to spot, including thugs & junkies, grass peaking through the concrete, a balcony supported by a Technic shock absorber, and a Technic piston acting as a flower pot. Here, the world can go to Hell and still look beautiful.
I’m always fascinated by how skilled LEGO builders can create interesting backgrounds for their models using simple pieces. Builder why.not? has made this awesome cyberpunk scene of a figure staring down a robotic eye, but then filled out the background to truly make the scene immersive. One wall cleverly uses the holes in Technic plates to make a Matrix-like cascade of lights, while the other uses minifigure stands and turntable bases to create an interesting texture. And finally, the presentation with careful lighting is as important to this creation as the build itself, and it all comes together marvelously.
It looks like the classic chopper is never going out of style, as demonstrated by this futuristic looking bike with swooping handlebars by Eero Okkonen. I love the way that the wings on the rider’s boots are picked up as a detail on the back of the bike. One missable detail is the red bumper part used to support the rider as he’s leaning into those sharp turns.
I don’t know about you, but I am also getting a definite Akira vibe with those big red angled parts at the front and back of the bike. And speaking of red parts, the macaroni pipes give those boots quite the look.
If you like this model, be sure to check out some other creations by Eero recently featured here on TBB.
A good LEGO speederbike looks futuristic and “swooshable”, but the very best also carry with them a functional design — a sense of realism allowing you to suspend disbelief in the same way the bike suspends the normal rules of gravity. This beautiful model by GoIPlaysWithLego certainly looks the part, with hints of a Tron-style future in its colour scheme and curves, but it also has that elusive realistic look. The trans-blue steering fins at the front, the whips used as power cables, the shaped panelling around the cockpit seat — all add to the functional feel. And as for that black spike element underneath — I’ve no idea what it does, but I don’t doubt that without it this bike would be unable to fly.
On a more prosaic note, the model’s stand continues the impressive design, enhancing the presentation without distracting attention from the central subject.
It seems as though building a scene set in the year 2049 is the thing to do these days, no doubt in part because of the new Bladerunner film. However, this scene by Eddy Plu depicting Tokyo in the year 2049 has some great elements that set it apart from the crowd. Usually when building LEGO scenes, builders tend to focus on the background, and rarely is there anything in the foreground. But here, the Eddy has added some leaves and other objects to the foreground, giving the scene a higher degree of depth and making it much more interesting to admire.
Also, don’t overlook the cracked and uneven street, which makes it seem like either an explosion or an earthquake has happened in the future, and the nice curve the sidewalk and buildings situated on it seems to follow suit in looking precarious.
With sets like 70620 Ninjago City and 70657 Ninjago City Docks, The LEGO Ninjago Movie brought a cyber-punk aesthetic to official LEGO sets, which in cool factor is only eclipsed by the post-apocalyptic aesthetic of the new LEGO sets from The LEGO Movie 2. While LEGO fans have certainly been building cyberpunk creations for many years, even more builders have embraced this aesthetic, inspiring numerous custom LEGO models, including our own Ninjago City collaborative display at BrickCon, featuring over 60 custom city blocks. Sebastian Bachórzewski is an incredibly talented builder who builds in everything from medieval to post-apoc style. His latest large-scale model is “Layers City,” featuring a slice cut from a teeming metropolis full of colorful characters.
Take a closer look at Layers City
William Gibson’s seminal sci-fi novel Neuromancer helped set the cyberpunk standard for urban cityscapes with its depiction of The Sprawl — a vast built-up area stretching the full length of the Eastern Seaboard of the US. Whilst Didier Burtin doesn’t mention Neuromancer with regards his latest model, this microscale LEGO creation immediately made me think of Gibson’s work. The architecture and the presence of some small-scale aerial vehicles also brings to mind Syd Mead’s vision of the cities of the future from Blade Runner. Whatever your particular favourite flavour of cyberpunk, you’re sure to find something you like in this model…
The city is gloriously detailed, rewarding a closer look with a wealth of textured detail, the product of smart parts choices and interesting combinations. Too often futuristic LEGO cities offer a homogenous architecture, but this offers a rich variety of building style, looking like it evolved over time in a messy clash of planning, business, and everyday living — much as a real world city does.
The model is all the more impressive for its tight footprint. All the glorious details in the images above are found within a small square of construction — a great advertisement for the effectiveness of microscale building in being able to conjure up epic vistas…
When it comes to post-apocalyptic LEGO creations, there is a vast selection of sub-genres that builders are inspired by, from cyber-punk, to wasteland survival, to monster/zombie/alien-infested worlds… and so many more. This scene by LegoFin. is set in a world where massive flooding and pollution have forced survivors to carve out a life among the crumbling remains of cities.
Aside from some very well-textured and very broken walls, I especially like the use of black bars throughout the structure for re-bar. This creates an even greater sense of danger and hostility in the environment. One missable detail is that the entire outpost is supported by a few small supports precariously balanced over the water. Then there’s all those utilitarian details like the radio tower, weather vane, and solar panels that complete the scene very nicely.
CD PROJEKT RED’s upcoming RPG Cyberpunk 2077 is one of my most anticipated video games. I carefully examined the screenshots revealed on the official site and found a good close-up of one of the handguns in the game. It was clear and showed all the details I needed to make a LEGO replica of it, so I created my build of the Militech 9mm Pistol to show my excitement for Cyberpunk 2077.
The LEGO Militech 9mm Pistol features a moving trigger, removable magazine, and sliding bolt. These functions are demonstrated in this video, which also compares the LEGO pistol to the reference screenshots I used to build it.