I’m a 90’s kid. Early 2000s LEGO shaped my childhood, with Bionicle, Racers, Harry Potter, and Star Wars. However, one theme was grounded enough to offer a haven from all the crazy. Orient Expedition was the short-lived sequel/reboot to the popular Adventurers theme from the late 1990s. The theme follows Johnny Thunder and his team of explorers in seeking the lost treasure of Marco Polo. Similarly, Lord Sam Sinister also sought the treasure, but chose to try and steal it instead finding it on his own. GunnBuilding reimagines the 7417 Temple of Mount Everest playset, where the heroes and villains have a showdown on top of the world’s tallest peak.
Norlego takes us on an LEGO Adventure with everyone’s favorite non-licensed LEGO adventurer Johnny Thunder! In some creations, the minifigures are the last things that get added to bring the scene to life. My guess is that in this creation, the minifigures were created first and inspired the rest of the build. All the usual suspects are there. We have Johnny, Pippin Reed, Dr. Kilroy, and wherever Johnny goes his nemesis Sam Sinister follows. Also, there are Slyboots, Mike and Harry Cane. This time they are portrayed in a more realistic skin tone rather than yellow.
Norlego built an irregularly shaped base with lots of angles and exposed studs, perfectly mimicking the desert lands of Egypt. What would an oasis be without some lush palm trees? These are made beautifully. The use of the prickly bush for the dead leaves at the base of the palm tree is a really nice touch. The colour of the swordleaf indicates whether a leaf is dead, doing fine or a baby leaf. Or maybe I am just looking into it too much? Last but not least I think the table deserves some love. It is made out of triangle road signs. The seams between the road signs make the table look fold-able which would really be handy when going on an adventure.
Want see more Johnny Thunder creations? Check out these articles.
GunnBuilding made a creation inspired by one of the sets I regret not getting as a kid. It’s the 5978: Sphinx Secret Surprise and it is done in micro scale. The set is instantly recognizable. With the grey Sphinx statute, the black tent, an Anubis statue and the classic desert car. There are obelisks, a fire place, a palm tree and this micro model even comes with a raised base plate, just like the original set. The Sphinx supports a classic minifig smile which seems more than fitting since the statue in the set supported quite a simple face too.
Johnny Thunder is a theme that always had my interest. He was LEGO’s Indiana Jones before they started producing licensed sets. Johnny has seen it all. From Egypt to the jungle straight to Dino Island. He even went on an Orient Expedition. Ruben Ras shows us an update for LEGO set Sphinx Secret Surprise. Ruben’s rendition of this set is instantly recognizable. Everything is there! The Sphinx, the tent, the desert car, and the obelisk covered in brick-built (!) hieroglyphs. As if that were not enough he even swapped the raised base plate for a brick-built base. Of course, this ‘set’ comes with all the main characters: Baron von Barron, Dr. Charles Lightning, Johnny Thunder, Lord Sam Sinister, Miss Gail Storm, Pharaoh Hotep, and a skeleton mummy. Every single character got an update. The best thing about this has to be that not a single sticker was used.
Having a Johnny Thunder figure in your creation always is a big plus! Valerius Maximus however made a lovely LEGO temple to go along with his Johnny Thunder and Pippin Reed figures. There are also two chameleons hiding in the creation, as well as a few odd parts using camouflage to blend in with the surrounding. Can you spot the army helmet? Valerius Maximus also used not just the flower stem with 3 leaves but also the sprue part, which I always greatly appreciate.
When LEGO created their in-house Indiana Jones character, they gave him the same characteristics as the original: rugged good looks, iconic hat, and a predilection for grave robbing. Indy always insisted that relics belonged in his university’s museum, as opposed to remaining with the peoples from whom he stole them, or at very least in the territories of origin (the Sankara stones being an exception, since his mission was to restore the stones); not that he succeeded often, since the Ark and the Grail eluded him. But nothing eluded Johnny Thunder. He got all of his relics, and not just his own, as WerferOfFlammen shows us. While the build is not very technical, the display is jaw-dropping, and hugely satisfying. Every LEGO collectible is there, from the Infinity Stones to the Elves keys, from the Atlantis rings to the Ninjago Time Blades. That’s not all, of course, as everything is there. Everything. And Johnny Thunder doesn’t put anything in a museum, just his personal study.