Tag Archives: History

If it looks like Galidor and quacks like Galidor....

Gali-what? For the uninitiated, Galidor was a line of quirky buildable action figures released by LEGO back in 2002. Galidor coined and subsequently destroyed the word “glinching,” which was used to refer to the interchangeability of the various body parts. LEGO had great expectations for Galidor and invested a great deal of money in promoting the product, which included a tie-in TV show, video games and promotional McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. Despite LEGO’s efforts, Galidor was a huge commercial failure and has been a running joke in the LEGO fan community every since. Between all the laughter, there has been very little in the way of discussion of what Galidor could have been….until now. Ryan Howerter brings us this great model of Jens, but look closely…

Jens

Read more about Ryan’s Galidor model

Half a century later: Keeping the dream alive

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Though silenced half a century ago, the voice of this legendary American civil rights activist and leader rings thunderous today; his thoughts still quoted in speeches; the reach of his legacy reflected in thousands of public roads, buildings and spaces across the US that now bear his name. (I am actually writing this from King County, Washington.)

My simple tribute: King’s likeness (taken from a memorial plaque in Berlin) recreated with LEGO parts pushed together but not attached. Despite the progress we’ve made, it seems sometimes that the pieces are there but not all connected…

Wonderful BrickHeadz of truly awful people

One of the things I really love about the LEGO building community is how LEGO artists can undermine conventions and subvert expectations. We’ve long maintained the viewpoint here at The Brothers Brick that LEGO is indeed art. Art can be fun, art can be funny, art can be uncomfortable, and yes, art can definitely be political — Nobel Prize for Literature winner Toni Morrison says, “All good art is political! There is none that isn’t. And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying, ‘We love the status quo.'” So it’s always interesting to see LEGO artists take on unexpected, difficult, and even uncomfortable subjects. And there is nothing more discomfiting than seeing our favorite LEGO BrickHeadz style applied by Swedish LEGO artist O Wingård to two of the most terrible people in human history — General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin and Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler.

But discomfort should provoke thought, and thought should provoke discussion, and discussion can (but doesn’t always) result in progress. If LEGO is art and all good art is political, then good LEGO creations are (by the transitive property of equality) inherently political. If you’re a decent human being, these adorable BrickHeadz should make you deeply uncomfortable. What does that say about art? About the human condition?

An actual LEGO locomotive that distributed LEGO bricks

A Köf or Klienlokomotive literally means a “small locomotive”and, in the 1980s,  LEGO utilised a yellow Köf at their German LEGO distribution center in Hohenweststedt.  As a huge fan of the classics, builder Faust Chang has built a scaled replica model of the Hohenweststedt train,  with details right down into the dashboard and engines. I’m sure for train fans and aficionados alike, it’s pretty cool to know that there’s a tiny train out there that once was run and operated by LEGO.  Sadly in 2002 the Köf was sold by LEGO and  was painted red by its new owners.

Click to see more details

A tavern in colonial times

The Green Dragon Tavern in Boston inspired  Jonas Wide to create his own colonial tavern set in the fictional continent of Celestia. It is a place where the latest scientific ideas are discussed and treks to uncharted territories are planned. A few techniques add a layer of complexity to an otherwise straightforward rectangular building such as the offset windows and the use of the gold bars on the quoins.

The Gilded Cup

Preserving Hong Kong’s heritage; State Theatre captured in 40,000 bricks

The State Theatre (皇都戲院) is a former cinema in the North Point area of Hong Kong. It is currently in a poor state of repair and faces demolition, despite being a Graded building and part of Hong Kong’s heritage. Originally known as the Empire Theatre, it was renamed the State Theatre in 1959 and was a cultural hub in post-war Hong Kong. Alan Boar and Mythbot collaborated to build this historic building in LEGO as a way to raise awareness of its plight, encouraging support for the preservation of Hong Kong’s historic buildings.

LEGO STATE Theatre

Don’t miss all the  street levels details like the Classic Tram , Leyland Truck, food vendor, as well as a hubbub of pedestrian activity.

Soldiering on amongst the trees of Ardennes in 1945

The Battle of the Bulge was the German’s last offensive of World War II. Although it initially caught Allied forces off guard, especially in the heavily wooded Ardennes region, it proved to be a major disaster for Germany that hastened its inevitable demise. Dunedain98 has build a wintry scene from this battle that depicts American soldiers preparing to attack an StuG III Assault Gun alongside a derelict, battle-damaged home.

Ardennes - 1945

A view closer down to the action from minifigure eye-level really shows off the atmosphere with the snow-laden trees and the offensive anticipation in the air. Continue reading

A tale of pirates, hidden treasure, English sailors and Spanish conquistadors

Life on the Caribbean island of San Escobar is anything but peaceful. The conquering Spaniards have a strategic fort while some English sailors have just arrived on HMS Falcon in time for afternoon tea. On the other side of the island,  a pirate ship approaches looking for hidden treasure! This huge and impressive diorama by Ciamosław Ciamek has everything required to tell a great story; a pirate ship, English sailors, Spanish soldiers, hidden treasure and a monastery full of moonshine-brewing monks. What could possibly go wrong?

01 Mission - San Escobar, 1715

A  closer look at the monastery shows off its nicely designed red sloping tiled roofs, an impressive dome and the main façade that was inspired by La Estancia Jesuítica Santa Catalina in Argentina.

25 Mission - San Escobar, 1715

There are lots more close-up views to enjoy in the builder’s San Escobar album of images.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Soyuz flight with a stunning minifig-scale version of the legendary spacecraft

Japanese builder KEI ABE isn’t just an expert on the history of early space exploration, but also nails the construction of Russian Soyuz spacecraft in LEGO bricks. He started this amazing set back in March, and now a whole fleet of Soyuz ships is ready for countless space missions.

Minifig-scale LEGO Soyuz-0

Continue reading

Around the World in 26 LEGO scenes

It’s time to go on a journey around the World with Denmark-based builder Lasse Vestergård, who has built a huge scenic sculpture complete with handy globe to help keep you on the right track.  Around the central globe are two circular stages each showing scenes from different countries. There are 26 countries in total, including Denmark, Greenland, UK, Italy, Spain, Israel, Australia and lots more in between. Each country has a few minifigures that represent part of the history,  heritage and culture. There are lots of fun minifigures to spot, such as a mermaid in Denmark, footballer in Germany, Leprechaun in Ireland, Medusa in Greece, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in Israel, Shakespeare in the UK, and so on.

LEGO Around the World

See more details of this geographic sculpture

Step inside a typical Malaysian heritage house

Heritage houses are wonderful older styled buildings with a typical façade that can be found dotted around many locations in Malaysia. Vincent Kiew has created a beautiful LEGO heritage house complete with detailed interior. I love the façade with its wooden louvre shutters and architectural decorations above the arched windows. The use of a mix of white and older yellowed white bricks really adds to the ‘antiquated’ appearance. The same slightly worn down appearance is provided by the mix of colours in the main left hand side of the house with light grey, white and the odd sand green brick as an aesthetic colour scheme.

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Vincent has created a detailed interior for the house, complete with kitchen, living room, bedroom, study, toilet and more. The build is an accurate representation of a typical house and is structurally sound despite being made of LEGO.

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It’s worthwhile taking a closer look at all the fantastic interior details that have been added. Most of the interior decorations and furniture are made of wood or stone with some lovely artistic details.

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If you liked Vincent’s heritage house, you may also enjoy his LEGO recreation of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown that we featured last month.

The Manhattan project’s Trinity test

No, it’s not the tagline of a new superhero blockbuster, it’s Brian Kescenovitz‘s LEGO version of the day in July 1945 when humans created the world’s largest synthetic firework display ever seen, proving conclusively the destructive truth behind Einstein’s famous formula: Mass times the speed of light squared really does equal a whole lot of kinetic energy.

Trinity test

Brian’s chef-hatted mushroom cloud looks just like one of the old photographs of this event. The stunning lighting effect was achieved using a tight-beam flashlight shining straight down and shooting with a long 1.6 second exposure. I love how the miniature New Mexico mountains and blurred objects in the foreground give this micro-scale fulmination a real sense of magnitude.

Disclaimer: Playing with nuclear weapons is really a very silly idea.