Do you ever find yourself looking at a shop and wondering how it’s still standing? How is it that among all the fancy branded stores, these little guys continue chugging along? It has to be the people like Hoang H Dang‘s grandfather who keep these small businesses alive. No matter what country, it’s little shops like these that are the lifeblood of communities. Even if the walls are cracked and the electricty is sketchy, the magic is in the connections shopkeepers share with their patrons. This LEGO build is a lovely tribute to the nostagia of that little Vietnamese store. And this article goes out to all the small businesses that are still chugging along, even through these rough times.
My wife calls me a hobbit because I like spending time in the great indoors. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy getting out for some fresh air and delightful scenery, but inside the house is where it’s at for me. It comes as no surprise, then, that I enjoy interior LEGO builds, too. Take this one by Hoang H Dang, for example. It’s a home all ready for the Tết Holiday. The warm colors, the charming furniture, the trees indoors…I mean, with trees indoors, why ever go outside, right? Sure, the walls are a bit decrepit, but that’s to be expected when it is the 1990s in Vietnam, and the buildings haven’t been repaired since the colonial days. Perhaps if one of the larger pictures on the walls were moved over the cracks, it would hide the exposed masonry. That’s what I would do in my own house, at least.
Of course, this is a LEGO model and not the real thing, so everything is where it is intended to be. Plus, there are some elements in this build that are fantastic in their usage. The upside-down DUPLO crates as tables in the back are brilliant, and a DUPLO swirl element forms the top of the vase for the tree on the right. And there is still more DUPLO with the purple Winnie the Pooh arch as a TV stand. Gosh, I love DUPLO elements used in regular System builds. I also love the eclectic mix of trophies and dolls on the shelves, along with the Mirror of Erised as a family picture on the wall. And then there are the rock star Friends, too. And yet, despite all of the odd places the parts are gathered from, it makes a beautiful home, perfect for celebrating the Lunar New Year with family in Vietnam.
You can find plenty of good seafood in Vietnam, but you need a way to catch your meal. What better way to do so than on the deck of this colorful squid fishing boat built by Hoang Dang? Practicality meets beauty thanks to the body’s bold blue, yellow and red color scheme, and additional ornamentation like lanterns and rigging used as clotheslines suggest this is a lively vessel.