Dutch builder Vladimir van Hoek has created a fully functional pinball machine from LEGO, inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The table includes scenes from all three books and movies, from Hobbiton above the ball shooter to Mount Doom in the opposite corner. Every element of the pinball machine is built from LEGO, including the targets, lanes, and flippers. Official minifigures from the Lord of the Rings sets add character to the scenes, but the microscale buildings and landscaping are excellent in their own right.
Wire loop games are a common sight at carnivals. Sad Brick has combined this classic childhood staple with another, namely LEGO. Sitting on top of a very clean base is the loop itself with the hoop taking centre stage as a very clever little build. It even uses the official LEGO rope and winch as the wire. Next to that for a little added flair is a bit of circuitry, mostly for show, that makes good use of gold chrome pieces and transparent pieces.
With the latest round of Iron Builder underway, expect to see a flurry of LEGO creations featuring the Friends balloon piece, as we noted a few days ago with the lovely LEGO lotus blossom. Contestant Grant Davis is cranking out something new just about every day — and sometimes more than one new creation a day. One of my favorites so far is this Whack-a-Mole machine. The ill-fated victims of whackage peeking with their single eyes out of their holes are also the tips of the bulbous balloon piece, and I just love their adorable little hats.
While I’m not sure I’d ever pick a golden scorpion as the steed for my guardian angel, I can appreciate the beauty of this character crafted by Sean and Steph Mayo. Sean shares that this lovely creature comes from a online, forum-based LEGO role-playing game over at Eurobricks. The Golden Empress scorpion is a player’s Guardian Angel.
Last month we featured a stunning maze made out of LEGO. But the design of that creation was stationary, leaving only one way out. In contrast, the walls of Jake Lee‘s LEGO labyrinth shift and move, which means the tiny maze runner inside has to constantly adjust and find a new escape route.
Jake’s maze is made up of 15 unique, moveable squares and one stationary “temple” square that serves as the maze’s starting point. The outside pieces can be moved around and worked like a puzzle. The ultimate goal? Preventing dead ends and finding a path to freedom. Just so you know it can be done, one solution to this maze is pictured below, but the builder claims there may be more than one way to solve this LEGO puzzle. Can you find another solution?
To be fair, this maze does have an exit, assuming, of course, the rat (or minifig) can find it. Kevin Moyer took the simple LEGO building technique of pressing tiles in between the studs on a baseplate and created something quite extraordinary. The slightly rounded edges of the tiles make this microscale maze look ancient and worn down by time.
Of course, the best thing about this build is trying to solve the maze. See if you can find the path to the exit. But don’t start at the end like I always do, because that is cheating.
Those who are familiar with the new Kaladesh Inventions cards from Magic the Gathering should recognize this spectacular creation right away. For everyone else, it’s a rare version of the Sword of Feast and Famine that, if you find one, is basically like finding a crisp $100 bill. Builder Alysa Kirkpatrick used tons of curved LEGO pieces to replicate the delicate filigree of the sword and attached plenty of greenery to the hilt. The resulting effect is lovely and spot on to the original art.
How awesome would it be to show up to a Dungeons and Dragons game with this massive 20-sided die made from LEGO? It might not fit in your dice bag, but hauling this thing around would be totally worth it just to see the look on your friends’ faces as this behemoth clunks across the table. Builder Chris Maddison says this build was inspired by Critical Role, a web series where a bunch of voice actors play D&D. I think I may have found another show to binge watch. Thanks, Chris.
LEGO’s newest Ideas set, 21305 Maze, is available starting today. Jason Allemann, the Maze’s creator, has long been known known for helping out fellow fans by providing instructions to many of his models, and this time around, Jason has put together a special Maze website which hosts instructions several alternate maze layouts, and inspiration for even more. Jason has even created a motorized miniature golf-inspired maze (video below).
We got our hands on the Maze last month and had fun reviewing it, but we wanted to know what its creator had to say. Jason was kind enough to speak with us about the Maze, his design process, and how to create a successful LEGO Ideas project.
Hot on the heels of Jonas’s pinball machine comes another amazing Lord of the Rings themed game. But this time it’s tabletop football! (Or as we call it in my house, foosball). Balbo, a long-time builder of Lord of the Rings themed LEGO creations, says that he was inspired by the Iron Builder to make a tabletop game of his own. If you look closely, you’ll see that each player is a different character from the film and that the “turf” has mosaics of Bag End, the Black Gate, and the Eye of Sauron.
My only concerns with this awesome build would be its durability (foosball games can get pretty heated and I’d hate to see LEGO pieces flying across the room) and the amount of space between characters (especially over the Eye) which could lead to frequent dead balls. But still, I’d love nothing more than seeing Lord Elrond slip a soccer ball past Saruman to end the War of the Ring.
You can check out the rest of Balbo’s awesome LEGO creations on Flickr.
While cruising through the myriad of new LEGO uploads on Flickr, I spotted this beautiful but deadly looking starfighter from Adam Dodge.
The high-contrast color scheme quickly caught my attention. But then, I read the name Switchblade. It is aptly titled because this craft can open and close much like its namesake.
The builder describes how the poseable wings provided quite an engineering challenge to fasten on securely. It must have been an intriguing task. It looks great in the final product and the flexibility really makes this starfighter stand out.
This creation was build for the long running Starfighter Telephone Game. The point of the game is to build a spaceship off of the design of the previous person in the line. I think Adam did a great job incorporating some of the style and flair of John Matz’ earlier starfighter (on the left below).
One of the many cool things I didn’t list in my report on Steam 2013 was mechabrick.
It was started by British AFOL Ben Jarvis that combines three of his passions: Lego, robots and wargaming. Ben has launched a kick-starter project to get it under way. If successful, this should enable the launch of the first mechabrick kit, which will consist of all the parts you need to turn four minifigs into kick-ass mecha (with friggin’ big guns, of course) and four boards that are to be combined to form the play board. The kit will also contain stickers to customise the mecha, as well as dice and a rulebook. Mechabrick is more than just a war game with mecha, however. An essential and fun part of the game will be building the scenery and obstacles on the game board with our favourite plastic bricks. Ben built a rather impressive example for the show.
At the event I had the opportunity to handle two of the prototypes and they looked (and felt) promising. I’m sure that plenty of you, like Ben, are fans of Lego, robots and wargaming. Check out the pictures in the flickr group and the project page. If you like what you see, you can pledge your support.