Tag Archives: Dan Ko

Rodent problems don’t last long when this beast is around.

This purple pest-catcher by LEGO builder Dan Ko is an excellent example of repurposing pieces for unexpected uses. This wolfen beast’s snout is crafted from a purple minifigure motorcycle, and his tufts of fur are leaves. The result is a ferocious-looking beast that’s happy to keep the city streets free of vermin, who are clever little brick-built creatures themselves.

The Rat Catcher

Motley pirate crew without a parrot

I love a good motley crew, especially when it is made out of LEGO. This can be straight-up minifigures or brick build characters. In this case Dan Ko created a pirate crew. They had a ship, but they wrecked it. Apparently, they left the steering to a mosquito, which to be fair doesn’t sound like a very smart idea. These guys are a fest for the eye and there are quite a few bricks used in smart ways. Let’s take a closer look. We have a mouse, a rat, a hedgehog, and a mosquito and every one of them has a very cute snout.

The Crew

The hedgehog is sporting a technic ball joint for a nose and wind-up keys for its spikes. This is not your everyday hedgehog. This is a well-groomed hedgehog who permed its spikes. The rat has a microphone nose and shovel legs. I am not sure if the shovel and the cheese slopes are kept in place thanks to gravity or friction, but it is really original. For the mouse, Dan Ko incorporated a lipstick nose, which to me is the most creative. Last but definitely not least is the ski stick nose used on the mosquito. All these guys need now is a new ship and maybe a foul-mouthed parrot.

Happy Bat Day to you

The best part about being friends with us Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOLs) is the custom gifts. To celebrate a friend’s birthday, Dan Ko crafted this tribute to The Dark Knight, and what a gift it is. This stunning statue depicts Batman leaping from a Gotham City gargoyle and into action. The Caped Crusader is perfectly captured here, with an impressively effective cowl construction and a video game controller ingeniously repurposed for his chest emblem. And the gargoyle head itself has so much character that I almost want to see a mad scientist bring it to life. (As if Batman didn’t have enough to worry about…)

A Bat Day

This butcher stand brings home the bacon

Dan Ko has packed a lot of detail into this 12×12 vignette of a medieval butcher’s stand. Inverting the tiles in the awning lets the anti-studs add a pop of texture, and the use of a few 1×1 round plates amongst the round tiles on the ground help give a sense of rough and uneven cobblestone. But the most interesting technique is the way the minifigure roller skates are holding the bars in the underside crevices of the 10×2 brick being used as the butcher’s workspace. It’s details like that which can pack a small build with a smorgasbord of visual intrigue.

Super Fresh Meat

Joust waiting around in the summer heat

Something that’s great about LEGO and it’s many unique pieces is the wonderful geometry when they come together. Builder Dan Ko demonstrates this beautifully with these four knights waiting for their turn in the joust. Each of these knights have their own distinct armor and look, and it’s all so satisfying to see. The first knight, from left to right, is mostly curves, their neck craning forward. The second knight is tall and lanky, though their big shield more than covers them, something that’ll help in the competition. The third knight has scale armor, providing more than enough protection and maneuverability over their opponents. The fourth and last knight reminds me of a clockwork figure with that gear for their pauldron and the round textured brick of their arm. If you stand with the knights in their gradient line maybe they’ll tell you stories of their grand exploits and adventures.

Before the Joust

This video game tribute switches up the way pieces can be linked.

Dan Ko delivers a tribute to the Legend of Zelda franchise with this Iron Builder entry, featuring Link battling an octorok as they both emerge from the controller of a Nintendo Switch. The Iron Builder seed part of the bigfig hands in bright green are put to excellent use as part of Link’s body and trademark hat. And the printed tiles used for the octorok’s eyes are so spot-on, that I’d believe that creature was from an officially licensed set. Dare I dream of such a thing?

The legend has it...

Bubbles always bounces back

No matter how many times they get hit, the Powerpuff girls always get back up. But the three girls made from sugar, spice, and a splash of Chemical X are not the only ones. Their arch-nemesis Mojo Jojo also took quite a few hits, and always seemed to turn up. Iron builder Dan Ko knocks another one out of the park with this whimsical scene featuring the youngest and sweetest Powerpuff girl, Bubbles, and her old pal Mojo. The seed part here is the big green fig hand circling Mojo’s eyes, and peeking out on either side of his headband.

Can't burst my Bubbles

A hands-on approach to caterpillars

This huge LEGO caterpillar is constructed with giant minifig hands by builder Dan Ko for an Iron Builder challenge. Dan cleverly uses the bright green hand pieces for the many legs of the towering insect. The caterpillar possesses a wonderful color palette with those pastel pieces at every segment. Red leaves frame the caterpillar’s face, giving it bushy eyebrows and a great beard. The antennae test the air as the caterpillar rears up to intimidate the hunter. Nearby plant life watches the scene indifferently, not really a care in the colorful world. What’s cool about this build is the ingenuity it demonstrates with a part limitation. The giant minifig hands are the parts to work with, and Dan found a creative way of using them. The caterpillar is awesome, and I hope it can be friends with the hunter instead of enemies.

The Hunt Is On

Attack of the corn-fist aliens!

I’m not sure which is funnier; the fact that this LEGO alien seems to be built using like a dozen Hulk fists or his head seems to be made from a corncob. Either way, Dan Ko is at it again with another entry for Iron Builder. This corny alien is chock full of hilarious personality. If you have been following Iron Builder or The Brothers Brick in general this is propably not even the weirdest thing you’ve seen today. That’s what we do; bring you the wild and weird so you don’t have to.

No G(uiller)MO

An unexpected parts use

I love it when the Iron Builder contest rolls into town – every year we see creations that push the creative boundaries of the LEGO brick. That said, I must confess that it creeps up on me every time, much like Gandalf rocking up to Hobbiton ahead of an unexpected journey. This very event is the subject of Dan Ko‘s latest entry into his Iron Builder round, using a green minifigure hand as the seed part. They are used here at a tiny scale to convey the rolling hills and bushes of the Shire from JRR Tolkien’s Hobbit books. This is a clever enough use, but an opposing pair is also used upturned for the Baggins’ hobbit-hole. The miniature Gandalf is the cherry on the cake – the Grey Wizard is made from just three pieces! Another six (including an ingenious use of a slingshot) make up his horse and cart. The whole scene is a masterclass in microscale building!

An Expected Journey

We’re shell-shocked by this handy build

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles famously waged battle against the evil Foot Clan. Well, Dan Ko is here to remind us that the best weapon against the foot is a hand. The Iron Builder competition is back underway, with the seed part being the bright light green big fig hands in both left and right. Dan has ingeniously used at least seven of them to build Raphael, and there’s another bunch of them making up the ooze leaking from the sewer. The result is some impressive NPU (Ninja Parts Usage).

Care for a slice?

Tiny tall tales

Working with a limited number of LEGO pieces can be a real challenge, but builder Dan Ko rises to meet it with this tiny but awesome build! Building with as few pieces as possible really pushes you to get creative on how to represent your subject, and Dan shows us the way with all the clever parts usage. For example, minifigure skater helmets make up Alice’s shoulders while mugs make up her hair. Orange leaves stand in for the Mad Hatter’s hair sticking out from under his hat. I love the use of shuttle bay doors for the book’s pages! Minifigure hands make up Rapunzel’s flowing hair, which acts as a bookmark of sorts for the open book. And there’s particularly crafty usage of the transparent handle as the heel of the glass slipper. Go ahead, take a closer look and see what wonders you’ll find among these tales!

Once Upon A Time