Builder Koen Van Der Biest is a master of the brick built figure. His subjects are many and include a range of well-known video game and cartoon characters. This time he goes meta-LEGO with this collection of charming Fabuland characters. I’m a huge fan of Fabuland and these recreations are spot on from Walter Walrus’ anchor to the cat’s cute bow. The faces are nicely rendered and perfectly capture the original characters’ personalities.
I, for one, would love to see LEGO bring this theme back. Maybe revamped with a collaboration with Nintendo for some future Animal Crossing sets? I would be first in line!
You may recall a prior post featuring Dale Harris and his Neo-Fabuland concept. It was Boris’s Post Office, an adorable little scene, and while it may have looked like big, clunky Fabuland pieces designed for littler hands, it was actually meticulously constructed out of “regular” LEGO bricks. Back then he alluded to the fact that it was merely a small module that would eventually be part of a much larger layout. Well, feast your eyes on Edward’s Island! The aforementioned Barty’s Post Office is there about centered on the island but that is accompanied by a whole assortment of adorable Fabuland denizens and their primary-colored buildings.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
It turns out Fabuland has a good boy in charge of fire safety. Markus Rollbühler presents Barty and his shiny red Fire Brigade Bulldog Mech. This is part of Markus’ ongoing campaign to build one mech a week for a year, which is what we call job security at the Brothers Brick. So long as he keeps cranking out quality builds, we’ll have something to write about. No blazing fire (and incidentally no rug either) is safe from Barty’s watchful patrol. Even if he does ruin your one-of-a-kind Persian Fine Serapi Handmade Wool Area Rug, how can you stay mad at Barty when he has a face like that? With him it’s either nice rugs or unwavering fire safety. Make your choice.
Fabuland…pfffft, that was sooo 1980’s! If you want to get with the times you need to get with Neo-Fabuland. But before we do, let’s explain what Fabuland was about. It was a line of LEGO sets first introduced in 1979 that was aimed to fill a gap between DUPLO and “regular” LEGO and featured anthropomorphic animals with names like Roger Raccoon and Freddy Fox. Fabuland sets had a primary color scheme, were simple to construct, and often topped out at under a hundred pieces. Now along comes Dale Harris with this Neo-Fabuland idea called “Boris’ Post Office”.
The most impressive aspect I think is Dale’s ability to replicate the look of big clunky plastic pieces by using lots of not-so-clunky little pieces. What looks like a large one-piece roof assembly are actually lots of these elements in red. These round corner tiles help replicate the signature Fabuland whimsical look over the attic windows. He also incorporated all the pieces from the original Boris Bulldog and mailbox set. It turns out this isn’t Dale’s first go with this Neo-Fabuland idea. Be on the lookout for more as he intends this to be just a small part of a much larger layout. Incidentally, the official Fabuland line ended in 1989, the same year this post’s title became synonymous with early internet users.
Fabuland holds a beautiful place of reminisce for me and somehow Pete Strege seems to have encompassed that feeling in an incredible new LEGO creation. Billy Goat’s Steamboat is an incredible display of fine colour choice, confined motorisation and great shaping without compromising stability. The dark blue of the cabin walls and hull are framed nicely with white, while the rest of the colour wheel comes to life with a combination of dark azure and yellow. Though please don’t be fooled, take a closer look. Weaved throughout the yellow are trace amounts of bright light orange, which adds some real warmth to the model, as subtle as it may be. There is also a sublime amount of blue pinstriping, which tops off the build high up, with two blue half barrel containers.
Come and check out more of this beautiful steamboat
The bright colours, cartoony style of pieces and cute anthropomorphic animal characters of Fabuland make for a perfect nostalgic base to build on. And boy do LEGO fans build on it! Here at The Brothers Brick, we have featured over the years fabuland Star Wars, pirates, The Hobbit and even Black Fantasy and Apocalyptic Fabuland. Zilmrud brings another theme to the collection with his over-the-top futuristic military creations sporting the cute characters in completely inappropriate settings. What would Ole Kirk Kristiansen say!
The builder combines cute DUPLO and Fabuland elements with an excessive amount of weaponry, with civilians in the background cheering the armed Fabuland forces. There are many iconic pieces included in the build, like original fabuland doors, windows and even benches! Of course it can hardly be a Fabuland creation without the figures and the bulldog fireman in the tank actually looks like a strangely appropriate choice… The below photo of a bunny mech stealing eggs is especially timely. The style of this one is more tailored to the bunny Fabuland figure than the theme as a whole, but still captures both the feeling of the original theme and what we are used to in mecha. The “chicken’s” nest is particularly inspired, using a DUPLO cupcake cup containing small shrub pieces as the nest’s material.
Whatever happened to Fabuland – the 1980s animal-character driven play theme from LEGO – appears to be Dutch builder Sebastiaan Arts‘ raison d’être in creating his last habitat in the world. In one of the strangest takes on the post-apocalyptic theme, the various animal-headed Fabuland characters have holed up in the Last Resort, a towering orange residential complex.
See more of this LEGO Space / Fabuland mashup
While it is generally accepted that cheetahs are the fasted land animal, you may not know that the fastest ‘air’ animal is Bonnie Bunny in her superspeeder. Yes Bonnie Bunny may have enjoyed camping in her caravan and playing in the playground in official LEGO sets, but her true adrenaline-junkie nature has been exposed by Pico van Grootveld. The adorable speeder is fits Bonnie Bunny perfectly with some cheery spring yellow parts and nice sticker application.
The Fabuland creatures always scream cuteness but there’s nothing better than crossing Fabuland and some of the other LEGO themes. If you liked this Fauland/Star Wars hybrid then you will also enjoy a Fabuland-themed Millenium Falcon or this fabby Tie Fighter.
Of all the awesome and hilarious mashups LEGO builders have brought us over the years, my favorite just might be the Fabuland/Star Wars mashup by Terovision, whose Fabuland Millennium Falcon we featured last year. In this latest scene, police bulldog flies a blue and yellow TIE fighter Inspektor Dogge chases down Clive Crocodile, who looks to be making a worthy escape on a jet-powered hover-board of some sort. The icing on the cake of this brightly hued treat is the hand-drawn backdrop.
Hello kiddies, it’s time to tune in to some fabulous retro Terovision. Doctor Dog is performing the final external pre-flight examination of the infamous Fabuland Freighter – the fastest ship in the whole of LEGOLAND. Flagship of the Fabuland Freight Service, I hear it made the Billund Run in less than 12 parsnips.
Together with Lionel Lion at the helm, this duo is responsible for transporting envelopes and brown packages all over Fabuland. Their trusty ship has compartments for small cargo and specially designed clamps in the front to haul bigger things like mail boxes.
Terovision decided to build this ship because of a love for both Star Wars and Fabuland. A fun and original mashup, the builder appears to have blended as many Fabuland pieces as possible seamlessly with System elements. Extra points have to be awarded for the extra effort that went in to creating the cut-out background!
Paul Hetherington (Brickbaron) is the master of incorporating moving elements into dioramas. His Fabuland Fun Fair display shows a colorful theme-park featuring dozens of Fabuland characters and a slew of animated carnival attractions. The YouTube video below is a must-see.
Gabriel Thompson (qi_tah) places Fabuland animal characters in a setting from The Hobbit in this whimsical mashup diorama. It features a beautifully designed and functional windmill and interiors to the hole houses. Check out Flickr for more photos and work-in-progress shots.