Tonight the LEGO Store in London’s Leicester Square hosted the midnight launch event for the stunning new UCS Millennium Falcon – the largest LEGO set ever made. Fans queued outside for hours to be amongst the first to purchase the new set, and the atmosphere as the doors opened was something akin to the air of hysteria which might accompany an iPhone launch. The patient fans were welcomed inside at midnight by a pair of Imperial Stormtroopers and the unforgettable opening fanfare of John Williams’ score.
Those first in line were greeted in-store with rounds of applause from the gathered LEGO staff, and a wall of brown cardboard boxes – perhaps visually uninspiring, but a reassuring signal regarding stock availability for those further back in the queue.
Happy purchasers saw their sets signed by designers from the LEGO Star Wars team. Even those who had waited longest in line said they’d had a good time, genuinely delighted as they wheeled their massive sets off into the darkness. The entire event was a testament to the continued power of Star Wars, and the enduring appeal of a really, really big box of bricks.
Director of Lego Star Wars Design Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, left, and Design Manager of Lego Star Wars Michael Lee Stockwell
Prior to the midnight opening, the Brothers Brick joined other members of the press to meet with the lead designers for LEGO Star Wars – Jens Kronvold Frederiksen and Micheal Lee Stockwell. They shared some of the challenges of building such a large model, and their thoughts behind some of its features…
Click to read the interview with the set designers
The “Piece of Peace” LEGO exhibition is traveling show that recreates UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Sites with LEGO bricks. The exhibition originated in Japan and today consists of 43 reconstructed World Heritage sites representing landmarks in 34 countries. Singapore is the fourth country to host the exhibition, after Japan 14 years ago and Hong Kong and Taiwan back in 2014.
The exhibit originated in Japan in 2003, and TBB covered the Japanese Piece of Peace exhibit back in 2006. In 2017, the show opened in Singapore. To commemorate ASEAN’s 50th anniversary, 8 local builders contributed to 7 new replicas of World Heritage Sites in ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries.
Click to see photos of the exhibition and an interview with the builders
Today we’re sitting down to talk to a rising Russian superstar builder, Timofey Tkachev. He has been in the online LEGO community for quite a few years, but the past two years have seen his spectacular creations gain increasing traction. Each of Timofey’s new builds improves upon those before it, but even with a sizable Flickr following and regular activity in the Russian LEGO User Group RFFL, there are many who haven’t yet discovered his work. Time to find out more about him!
LEGO memes are in abundance, but not many of them surface more often that the idea that stepping on a LEGO brick is painful. One of the best-known iterations of this meme is a comic that’s been making the rounds on the internet for years featuring a brick-general giving training to other brick-soldiers gathered around a plan of attack diagramming the human foot.
If you’re a fan of LEGO, chances are good that you’ve seen it at some point in time and probably even had it shared with you more than once. But did you ever stop to think, who created this? Well, perhaps I’m more inquisitive than most, but that’s what piqued my interest. So let me share with you the journey of discovery that I took…
The Brothers Brick enjoyed LEGO Space: Building The Future — the book of wonderful sci-fi creations from rockstar Space builders Tim Goddard and Peter Reid. When the guys got in touch to say they’d penned and illustrated a new tale set in the LEGO Space universe, we got very excited. Even more so when they asked if we’d like to host the tale as exclusive downloadable content for our readers.
Click here to download a free PDF copy of LEGO Space: ICE Titan.
We picked up with the guys to find out more about the creation of this new chapter in the LEGO Space saga…
Click to read our interview with some of the creative team
While in Billund earlier this month, we had an opportunity to chat with LEGO designer Carl Merriam. Carl is still an active AFOL within the LEGO community, although he is now a professional LEGO set designer. Most recently, Carl Merriam co-designed 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V and has been working on LEGO Boost that has just been released for pre-order.
We sat down with Carl at LEGO headquarters to chat about how he became a LEGO designer, along with some of the LEGO projects he’s worked on since joining the company.
Read the full review with LEGO set designer Carl Merriam
The Brothers Brick were fortunate enough to spend some time talking with LEGO Designer Jens Kronvold Frederiksen who is the Design director for Star Wars theme, and Jakob who is a LEGO graphic designer within the Star Wars theme. Jens has designed sets for the Star Wars theme for 18 out of the 19 years he has been working for LEGO—an unusual situation, he admits, but one he is very happy with. Right at the beginning back in 1998, when Jens heard that LEGO and Star Wars were going to be collaborating, he felt it was a perfect combination of a fantasy universe with sets and vehicles that would work well with LEGO along with a strong storyline about good versus evil.
Jens Kronvold Frederiksen is famous for designing the UCS Millenium Falcon, a product he created back in 2006. Designing the biggest LEGO set at that time under the Star Wars theme was very exciting for him. It is no wonder it remains on his short list of favourite sets, along with the Death Star, which is a set he considers a ‘family build’ (when an adult can help a younger fan to build a complex final creation). He has a hand in lots of sets now as Design Director, but explains that although he oversees the designs, he can’t help but continue to build and get involved with the model designers.
The Brothers Brick were at the LEGO Idea House in Billund, Denmark yesterday speaking with LEGO designers from the Star Wars, Ideas, Boost, Creator Expert and Architecture teams, along with the TT Games team behind LEGO Worlds.
Star Wars Creative Director Jens has spent 18 out of the 19 years he has worked for LEGO dedicated to the Star Wars theme. You will be able to hear about Jens’ “dark side” moments of saying “no” to certain set ideas, plus his opinions on stickers, UCS sets, and much more.
Carl Merriam, one of the co-designers of the new LEGO Ideas Saturn V set, gives an entertaining view of the new LEGO Boost theme. We had a chance to play with Vernie the expressive robot and Frankie the harmonica playing cat. Frankie loves cuddles and will purr or squawk depending on your cat carrying technique.
The LEGO Ideas team in Billund, Denmark revealed the first images and box art for the next Ideas set 21310 Old Fishing Store earlier today, and The Brothers Brick was on location at LEGO headquarters to meet the team behind this set. The set was revealed in a small restaurant in Billund as part of the LEGO Fan Media Days that TBB is currently attending. LEGO graphic designer Mark Tranter, fan designer Robert Bontenbal, and LEGO designer Adam Grabowski were on hand to talk through some details.
Click here to read the interview!
For long-time Star Wars fans, perhaps the most exciting thing to emerge from the current batch of LEGO Star Wars sets inspired by the Rebels animated TV series is the new Grand Admiral Thrawn minifigure, released as part of the 75170 The Phantom set, which depicts the modified Trade Federation shuttle that replaces the first Phantom part way through season 3.
Grand Admiral Thrawn himself was created by sci-fi author Timothy Zahn in Heir to the Empire, the first book in Zahn’s epic Thrawn Trilogy. TBB spoke with Timothy Zahn at Emerald City Comicon recently, and got his first impressions of the Thrawn minifig, which we’ll share later in our review.
Read the full review after the jump!
Our continuing adventures led us to track down and interrogate Amado Canlas Pinlac (aka AC Pin). Amado was born in Angeles City in the Philippines, and works in the Information Technology field with previous employment with overseas airlines. He has called East Brunswick, New Jersey home for the last fifteen years, where he lives with his wife Marleth and their three sons, Milton, Marlowe and Myreon. Amado credits the support of his wife for being where he is today!
TBB: Can you tell us how you got into LEGO?
AC: First and foremost I’ve been a Star Wars fan/geek way before LEGO introduced the SW line, as I collected the Star Wars action figures, vehicles, and sets. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who’ve known me over the years that I love to build Star Wars dioramas. In fact I’ve done Action Figure dioramas and was affiliated with various SW fan sites which featured them before I even started with LEGO. One of the problems/drawbacks that I’ve had to contend with the Action Figure dioramas was there was very little or none of the re-usability factor. Around that time, when I was growing disinterested with Action Figures, LEGO started producing the first SW sets.
This week we headed up to our great neighbor to the north to track down Tim Schwalfenberg. Tim lives in Canada, is 21 years old and is currently studying Materials Engineering at his local university. He also likes to publicly smash his LEGO builds too, but more about that later.
TBB: Hi Tim! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with the Brick?
Tim: Sure! I have found LEGO to be a great creative outlet when I need a break from all my calculus or physics courses. While I’ve been building almost as long as I can remember, it wasn’t until my first year of university that I started to look at LEGO with the intention of making anything beyond the rainbow-warrior spaceships of my earlier years. Through a combination of some inspiring creations I stumbled upon through MOCpages and finding myself with too much free time on my hands, I decided that to try out this LEGO thing more seriously. Thousands of pieces and hundreds of creations later the LEGO hobby has become an incredibly important part of my life. The itch to build has become a constant companion that is easily rewarded by long hours tinkering away on a table-scrap covered table.