Adult male fans of LEGO were probably not the target audience for the erstwhile Elves theme, but I loved it. A major part of that was the plethora of recolors of existing pieces, finally released in bright purples, pinks, and blues, as well as the hairpieces, which are great for fantasy-inspired builds. But often overlooked in my own collection are the cute little animals. Fortunately I have a three-year-old daughter, who does everything except overlook the cute little animals, so they are strewn about and squirreled away throughout my LEGO room. And when it came time to build a series of mechs for Mechtober (I know, eyeroll, another sci-fi-themed LEGO month), I could not help but be drawn to incorporating the little baby dragons in some heavy-duty mechanical suits.
I had a lot of fun building this “Heavy Lifter” suit, using as many greebles as possible while still maintaining a coherent look. I wanted thick arms and sturdy legs to convey the sense that this thing could so some serious lifting, like peak Arnold in the gym. I feel like I succeeded, and the whole thing is remarkably sturdy, especially for being largely bar-in-hole and clip-on-bar connections. It might not be the best mech out there, but it is the best mech I have ever made, and that cute, colorful little dragon juxtaposed with the drab grey industrial atmosphere is fun. But maybe you disagree, and think cute animals piloting heavy machinery is the scariest thing this side of stepping on LEGO bricks in the middle of the night…
LEGO is cool. Puppets are cool. Dragons are cool. Put them all together like Jonas Kramm did? You get something so cool it’s icy. And yet…somehow super hot. Built for the Iron Builder contest, this feisty creature was inspired by the 9V Train track switch element, but I think the coolest bit of NPU (“Nice Part Usage”) has to the the Minifigure Headdresses used to form the dragon’s mouth.
You can see the puppetry in action in Jonas’ Flickr post. And when you’re done there, check out some other cool LEGO puppets that we’ve featured. Maybe you’ll be inspired enough to build your own!
This elegant LEGO dragon by builder Mitch Phillips is inspired by the red dragons from East Asian mythology that are said to bring good luck and happiness. I think it’s working, as this build makes me happy indeed. I love the elegant curves and the fact that many of the dragon’s scales are made from minifigure flippers. The red fins are complemented by orange Technic teeth as a different texture of scaling. Blue colors in the robot arms fingers and large fins mirror the crown of three-leaf plates in the head.
A closer look at that head reveals the intricate build in the eyes–highlighted by the use of the “One Ring” from the Lord of the Rings theme to add a touch of chromed bling. This dragon is fierce, but also a thing of beauty.
The summer 2020 wave of LEGO Ninjago sets are just around the corner. We’re kicking off our series of hands-on reviews with LEGO 71718 Ninjago: Wu’s Battle Dragon, 321 pieces of ninja-goodness. One of the smaller sets in this wave, it is expected to retail for $19.99 in the US when it launches June 1st. Ninjago completists are going to want to pick this one up for the exclusive Hero Wu minifigure, but what if you’re not deep into Ninjago lore? Is this set worth your time if you’re just looking for a fun build or useful parts? Read on and see!
Whenever LEGO releases another wave of the Collectible Minifigures theme, I always look forward to what builders will come up with to contextualize them. Usually we’ll get some some cool vignettes, but occasionally we’ll get some great companion builds as well. The Super Warrior from Series 20 certainly inspired Stu Pace. Taking cues from the figure’s design and style, the Hyperzord Ultra-Rex is completely ready to fight off some giant, rubbery monsters!
Beyond just looking cool, the dragon has some fun part usage, too. Check out the microphones that make up the missiles, and the tassle for chin whiskers. There’s even a roller skate as part of that huge arm gun.
Whatever this knock-off Power Rangers show is called, I’m ready to binge watch it.
The recent trend in the LEGO-sphere community has all been about magical floating compression structures, better known as a tensegrity – a portmanteau of “tensional integrity”. The fad started with a very rudimentary build on a Reddit and soon spawned many more creative iterations. We pick a few of the more outstanding ones that we’ve seen that has impressed us. A couple of them come with build videos and instruction guides for you to build your very own.
One of the hottest LEGO fads right now is tensegrity sculptures. These builds use tricky physics to create models with sections suspended in mid-air with no obvious means of support. I’ve seen a lot of different approaches, but captainsmog has come up with one of the best. Invocation features a giant flying dragon, suspended in the air by taut lengths of LEGO chain. There’s no Photoshop trickery here. It’s just science. But I’m willing to admit there’s just a bit of magic, too.
Even if there wasn’t mind-bending suspension going on, this would be a great build to look at. The dragon’s belly is constructed of minifigure arms, creating an eerie organic feel to that armor. And the invocation platform is pretty swanky, too. I like the use of minifigure beards to create different versions of drippy candle wax, and the use of glow-in-the-dark tile for lines of mystic power is inspired. There are even tiny little touches, like the candle flames all blowing outward from the downdraft from the dragon’s wings. I love that attention to detail.
Ahead of Brickvention this year, LEGO Certified ProfessionalRyan “The Brickman” McNaught, challenged his team of builders to build whatever they wanted. Team member Mark jumped at the opportunity and built this magnificent scene dominated by a giant dragon. And while the dragon is the first thing you’ll notice, this creation really presents the story of a knight, Sir Warick. Or at least the final chapter in his story. I promise you he’s there, just look at the end of the beautiful spout of fiery dragon breath.
When it comes to making superb creatures out of buildable figure parts, no builder is better than Jayfa. From dragons to dinosaurs, monsters to men, Jayfa can build them all and make them look amazing. This latest creation is no exception. Called the Oracle Dragon, it has glow-in-the-dark antlers, spines, and eyes, along with the coolest mustache since Lando Calrissian. It was inspired by a stop-motion puppet, and does a great job of capturing the look. With the posability of the joints, one could feasibly use the LEGO model for stop-motion movies, as well. That’d be cool.
The wing elements from Legends of Chima look great as the tufts on the tail, and I love the translucent pieces on the underbelly of the beast. In fact, the whole color scheme is fantastic, including the splash of red on the back of the head. The antlers make interesting use of minifigure hands and flex tube for their unique shape (but don’t tell the purists, because I think the flex tube has been cut!). The best part of it all, though, is that face. I’m going to have to study the face to copy it for a dragon of my own down the line, because it is incredible, so simple yet so expressive. Curious what the eyes and antlers look like glowing? Here it is:
I love dragons. One glance through my own Flickr stream would show you that. I grew up reading books about dragons, watching movies about dragons, collecting pictures and sculptures of dragons, playing with dragon toys, and even writing stories about dragons. Some dragons are evil, others are good. This dragon by Jessica Farrell looks more like the evil variety, e.g. Smaug from The Hobbit, Fafnir from the legends of Sigurd, or the wyrm from Beowulf. Why do I think so? Well, judging from the picture, it is the type that gathers gold, guards it jealously, and gets attacked by resplendent knights. Plus, it is spiky and red and black, and everyone knows that spiky red and black characters are evil (hello, Darth Maul).
What I love about Jessica’s dragon is the size and setting. This is a large beast, probably fat from eating all those brave knights and the kings who once possessed that gold. The articulation in the tail and neck makes for a very natural pose, despite the hard and mostly rectangular nature of LEGO. The giant columns are also lovely, with the curved slopes making for good round shapes. That glittering golden bed, though, draws the eye like nothing else can. It looks like just about every gold piece, whether that is pearl gold, flat dark gold, metallic gold, or chrome gold, went into this dragon’s hoard (I’m not seeing any pearl light gold or speckle black-gold, but maybe I just missed them). This dragon has stolen crowns, as one might expect, but also satellite parts, the One Ring, and even Aquaman’s buckle! Plus everything else that’s gold. Jessica says that the model consists of precisely 7,416 LEGO elements, and it seems like half of them are gold. The dragon would know for sure how many, since they know down to the smallest coin what their hoard contains.
Builder Patrick Biggs strikes again with another super-technical creation: “The Brothers.” This two-headed, dual-tailed dragon is enough to strike even the bravest of knights full of fear. The way Patrick designed the dragon is equally awe-inspiring.
I find the way the builder united both Bionicle-esque pieces with normal studded parts on the legs and tail of the dragon to be truly innovative. Additionally, the crazy amount of joints across the entire dragon allow for an large amount of potential poses, allowing for stories to take flight. I could easily see one of the heads breathing fire across a village while the other roars, announcing doom across the land.
So I have been building again. This one was quite a stress-free build, inspired by my other recent dragon, Dragon Unit LL-32167. I was struck by a moment of inspiration about a month ago and realized that I have a yellow 24-toothed gear that would work perfectly in the dragon’s neck. The thought process continued with the idea that if I build a dragon using no light gray and (almost) no blue, I could keep the previous one assembled for a longer time. This means that everyone visiting my tiny local LEGO shows/conventions may have a chance at seeing the two mecha dragons side-by-side. I name this awesome construction worker mecha dragon Workhorse.