Matthew Hocker has been on the LEGO scene for quite a while now and has had his builds featured right here on TBB. What you may not know is that he has an extended love and appreciation of collecting LEGO ephemera. The term is derived from the Greek word ephemeros, which means “lasting only one day, short-lived.” An ephemera collection consists of the paper materials that frequently get thrown away or lost because of their short-term usefulness or popularity, such as letters of correspondence, sales literature (brochures, pamphlets, catalogues, etc), postcards, ticket stubs, etc. Matt’s love for his LEGO collection enhances his appreciation of the hobby and its vast history.
Matt in 2014 together with the wooden duck in Idea House
Matthew has contributed digitized literature and write-ups to Brick Model Railroader and digital contributions to the library section of Brickset. His research skills and appreciation for a collection of this nature stems from his day-to-day role as a librarian.
Our curiosity got the better of us, and we ended up having a long conversation with Matthew, learning a lot about what he does and why he does it. Here’s an insight into Matthew and his collection.
A portion of Matt’s collection of Brochures
Read our full interview with LEGO collector Matthew Hocker
This year’s big build by Brick to the Past is called ‘The Jacobite Risings: The Fight for Britain’s Throne’. The risings took place between 1689 and 1746, mostly in Scotland as supporters of the Stuart dynasty attempted to restore them to the throne. They were effectively Britain’s last civil wars.
The model is around 16 square metres in size, sitting on the equivalent of 105 48 stud baseplates. It has a mountain in its centre that reaches about 1m high. It was built by the Brick to the Past (BTTP) team, Dan Harris, James Pegrum, Simon Pickard, Tim Goddard and Steve Snasdell, and took around 10 months to complete.
See more detailed photos of this massive build and read our interview with Brick to the Past
This iconic photo of two top-billing Hollywood stars holding their minifigs has been making the rounds in the LEGO-sphere, re-shared and re-surfacing regularly over the past couple of years. Our curiosity got the better of us… Was it a conspiracy from the LEGO Group? Was it a tease of an upcoming X-Files theme? So much mystery from this single photo. So many questions. We know the TRUTH IS OUT THERE, so we decided to do some digging.
Click to read more on our very own investigation
This year’s season of LEGO shows in the UK saw a massive collaborative moonbase display, from some of the UK’s best-known and most talented builders. The model was absolutely enormous, 2.5m square, featuring a huge tower and multiple compartments. It was built with more than 50,000 bricks…
The moonbase plays host to an impressive collection of landing pads, with Neo-Classic spaceships and rovers of all shapes and sizes…
But below the lunar surface, there is even more action going on, with dozens of cutaway compartments and corridors, stuffed with lighting effects, motorised elements, and cool building techniques…
Brothers Brick caught up with Jason Briscoe, one of the collaboration’s organisers, to find out more…
DK has just released Ultimate LEGO Star Wars, a completely new large-format reference book written by The Brothers Brick’s Senior Editor Chris Malloy and Editor-in-Chief Andrew Becraft.
The authors will be holding panel discussions and signings over the coming weeks, including at BrickCon 2017 later this week in Seattle, and we’re pleased to bring our readers the very first interview with the authors.
Tonight the LEGO Store in London’s Leicester Square hosted the midnight launch event for the stunning new 75192 Ultimate Collectors Series 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.