This past weekend, LEGO fans from all over the world converged on Skaerbaek, Denmark for the ultimate builder gathering (that also happens to be in LEGO HQ’s metaphorical backyard). Builder and LEGO designer Wes Talbott featured this fantastic horde of baddies at the Fan Weekend, about to pass through their nerco-powered portal to attack their sworn foe, the Moon Elves. The intricacies of the portal are spectacular, from the organics growing out of its side to the stone dragon heads sitting atop it. But my favorite part has got to be Wes’s integration of bones and skulls into the structure, using the 1×1 round plate with bar. The part really gives those skeletal minifig heads a jaunty slant, evoking the makeshift/natural/ritualistic nature of goblin magic. But don’t let the glowing green gateway distract you from the brilliantly-crafted army surrounding it. Specifically, that big, boney behemoth in the background is a masterclass in character creation and choice part usage.
There are so many bright pops of pigment in this goblin outpost LEGO scene by Carter Witz. Terrain of lime and yellowish green is dotted with golden flowers and trees sporting pink leaves, standing in stark contrast to the brilliant blue of the cascading waterfall and rich brown of the gobbos’ watchtower. The palette is incredibly immersive, reminding me heavily of the Elves theme from years ago. And amid the colorful scene, Carter sneaks in some terrific designs with the round concrete foundations of the outpost, the cute cave entrance on the left, and the craggy textures of exposed rocks utilizing studs in all directions. The use of slopes and exposed studs in trans-clear throughout the waterfall is a real triumph, too. I can almost hear the rushing water as it cascades down the goblins’ hill!
I love, love, love the big LEGO 75978 Diagon Alley. It got me through the first part of the pandemic. I do however have to admit that there is a big void in this set created by the missing Gringotts bank. The predecessor 10217 Diagon Alley did come with a Gringotts bank, but this one is of a much smaller scale compared to the buildings of the newer set. Stefan Johansson solved this problem for us. They created a larger-than-life Gringotts bank complete with a white marble facade, imposing columns, bronze doors, a track with little carts, underground vaults, and of course a dragon to protect all that gold. This build is ginormous. For the white facade, Stefan used a lot of white plates, instead of bricks, to create different patterns in the wall. You can hardly notice this from afar but this build is worthy of a quick zoom. There are a few parts that deserve a quick mention. The use of the hemisphere is quite clever. I’ll have to dig through my collection to see if I own it in that colour. Using the party hat in gold as a lightning rod is a very nice little touch that I might have to reuse at some point. This creation is filled with details and action features like the tracks. The carts actually work and the Goblins are just waiting to take you to your personal vault. Overall I love this build but I wouldn’t deposit my money there. It looks like they have a serious Niffler problem!