Everyone loves a good throwback to the ’80s or ’90s, and these days people are opting for analog musical devices over digital. What better build encapsulates these trends than Jonas Kramm’s boom box LEGO model?
All of the details on this build are done exactly right – from the dials to the tape deck. The speakers, as well as the switches, are composed mostly of yellow 9V track switches with black minifigure hands for extra detailing. The majority of the model comprises teal bricks and tiling; some yellow 1×2 slopes also form a stylish border around the box’s perimeter. Kramm even includes a couple of brick-built mix-tapes ready to be played. Overall this build really brings me back to the days before iPhones, iPods, and wireless internet, back when all we had was FM-AM radio and maybe some tapes to play around with.
LEGO is cool. Puppets are cool. Dragons are cool. Put them all together like Jonas Kramm did? You get something so cool it’s icy. And yet…somehow super hot. Built for the Iron Builder contest, this feisty creature was inspired by the 9V Train track switch element, but I think the coolest bit of NPU (“Nice Part Usage”) has to the the Minifigure Headdresses used to form the dragon’s mouth.
You can see the puppetry in action in Jonas’ Flickr post. And when you’re done there, check out some other cool LEGO puppets that we’ve featured. Maybe you’ll be inspired enough to build your own!
You can just feel your five senses firing at the same time by looking at Jonas Kramm‘s Micro Scale Fairground Series. The self-professed LEGO obsessive from Germany shrinks down the joy of amusement park rides into mechanical MOCSs that bring the fun indoors. His addition of a concession stand offering french fries, a hot dog, and popsicle also complete the experience. Let’s face it, we could all use a trip to an amusement park after the roller coaster year of 2020. So, for now, we’ll settle for the these three (l to r): Acku’s Adventure Ride, Guitar Top Spin, and Sunshine Ferris Wheel.
Without a doubt, Jonas’ Barb’s Disappearing was my favorite build from 2019. He consistently takes the parts we love from sets like the tree supports from Stranger Things and uses them to elevate his creations. In the case of his Fairground Series, or even Painting a Peacock each creation is an accurate portrayal of their real life counterparts. Each ride hides the mechanics inside the base. It might as well be a feat of magic in the way it all works through the simple turn of a crank. Each ride’s fluid movement is an upgrade from the similar LEGO Ideas Space Rocket Ride (40335). Watch these amusement rides in motion in the video below.
It takes a talented builder to take a very specialized LEGO part, like a train switch, and turn it into something totally different. Of course, we all know Jonas Kramm is a talented builder, so it should come as no surprise that he managed to make a train switch into a painting of a peacock. It is unquestionably the best peacock head I have ever seen done in LEGO form, and perhaps the best bird head, too. The bumps on the switch make perfect nostrils, and it also works well as the eyes on the tail. But Jonas did not stop there: he also used the part for the lantern flame, and the drawer pulls. Not to mention the Jurassic World gyrosphere for the lantern glass and the green snake for paint. It’s a great composition of a great composition, for sure!
Like Jonas’ builds? Then check out some more. And don’t miss the Iron Builder action, where the train switch is the seed part.
Forty, that is the amount of LEGO 9V Track Switches used by Jonas Kramm in this creation. I am not going to point all of them out to you, but some of them deserve a special mention. You can look for the rest yourself. He used two in the tuk-tuk, which by itself is a charming build. He used one as the scale pointer. My favorite use has to be the sign of the elderly couple where they are used as minimalist faces.
Besides all the excellent applications of the seed part, this LEGO creation has a lot more to offer. There are a lot of hair pieces used as cabbages. At least one cactus girl lost her limbs to represent cucumber or zucchini. And quite some ball joints to represent turnips. Last but not least is the garlic made from ice cream scoops drying inside the little house. I love it when a builder adds little details like these to places in their creation that are hardly visible.
Making human-featured builds out of LEGO is a challenging task, but Jonas Kramm knows just how to go about it. The trick, as is often the case, is NPU or “Nice Part Usage.” For example, the nose is made from a baby dinosaur. And the fingers from minifigure arms. And the pupils from tiny hammers. And let’s not forget that glorious yellow tresses and beard, resplendent with 2 bananas and over a dozen 9V Train track switch elements. Even the display stand is finely decorated with a twisting branch pattern made from animal horns and claws. Every part of this creation is alive with great details and clever tricks.
The train switch is the seed part in the latest round of Iron Builder and is leading to some great builds. But don’t think Jonas needs any specific goad to create great builds. I mean, just check out the other great builds we’ve featured.
Sometimes the simplest builds are the best. Jonas Kramm is a talented and versatile LEGO artist who consistently delivers excellent creations, big and small. He is currently doing a vignette series, and this one is my recent favorite. There are so many cute details packed into a little space. The rabbit hutch, birdhouse, gnome, and picket fence are all so cleverly crafted. In particular, using skis for fence boards is a brilliant idea. Alongside the satisfyingly white-trimmed shed, it all fits perfectly.
While you’re here, you can check out all of Jonas’ latest builds in our archives. (Including the first three vignettes in this series.)
When I was a kid I fondly remember the Playmobil houses my friends used to own. You couldn’t build anything from them but they were packed with small little details, which I loved! I always wondered if LEGO would ever produce something of that sort. LEGO never did but Jonas Kramm sure did! Let’s get started!
Click here to start a tour…
When I first saw this I thought it captured “cold” perfectly. Cool colors and just the right amount of snow and ice in the right places. But this LEGO castle, built by Jonas Kramm, goes beyond that. What’s impressive to me are the angles, shaping, and use of so many different elements to achieve the look. For example, he fit a Technic pulley wheel into the new Minions eye element to create a unique window, and dark brown scabbards are used for trim detail. Additionally, there are a number of pieces making up the icicles and snowdrifts. Most notable are the minifigure accessories used on top of the lamp posts and under the eaves of the front door. A couple of my favorite parts are the fiber optic cable for icy flowing water and the hidden parrot. Find them? Zoom in to take a closer look!
Jonas has been very busy lately! Take a look at more of his work in our archives.
These days, the lap of luxury presents itself in the form of Bugattis and Lamborghinis. But back in the day, what was the best vehicle gold and jewels could buy? A tricked out carriage of course! This royal ride, courtesy of LEGO builder Jonas Kramm, screams opulence. You couldn’t cram any more pearl gold elements in there if you tried. At least, without it looking too gaudy… Okay, maybe it is just a wee bit gaudy, but it’s also awesome! Pairing with the dark brown and pink is magical. There is superb, deliberate element usage and shaping all around. Using tassels on the horse’s heads is one of my favorite parts, as well as the use of the ring to make the lattice window look round. The funkier ideas are neat too, like the Cheshire Cat’s tail for a harness and his head topping the standard, as well as the large figure shin guard for a tree trunk (and excellent idea borrowed from 70620 Ninjago City).
You can find more of Jonas’s brilliant work in our archives.
I really like LEGO creations that tell a story, and Road to the Fruit Festival by Jonas Kramm has enough self-contained world-building to inspire the imagination. These tiny fruit merchants offer next day delivery, provided you live very, very close. Are these tiny people with human-sized mounts and wares? Or are we looking at some seriously up-scaled produce?
Each build has clever building techniques and part usage to discover. The road-marking statues have Rancor claws for legs. There are minifigure neck ruffles as parts of flowers, and large figure shoulder armor in the wheelbarrow.
But I’m also a sucker for well built LEGO snails, and this one is a beauty. It was the first build in this set, and was apparently so much fun to make that the rest of the scene came to life around it. Those minifigure hairpieces make for perfect berries, and the dark red dome brick make for a tempting pair of cherries. And that snail is darn spiffy, too. I like the cupcake eyes and muted color choices. The Clikitis leaf for the slime trail is a nice visual touch, too. And the Minifigure shark arms for petals in the flower…the closer you look, there more there is to enjoy here.
This isn’t the first amazing creation of Jonas’ we’ve featured, and it’s a good bet that it won’t be the last. I just hope the future includes even more snails.
One of the magical aspects of Harry Potter and especially Hogwarts Castle is that ordinarily static things move. Pictures that in my house just hang there, with the people and things in them remaining frozen in time, always the same, in a wizarding house would be full of moving and talking, and even sentient, figures. And while we do have moving staircases in the Muggle world (we call them escalators), they don’t typically abruptly change their destinations; not so in Hogwarts, not so. The trouble is, we have not seen a single good moving staircase or moving picture in any official Harry Potter set. Fortunately for us, Jonas Kramm has filled the void with a brilliant build depicting both. There are innumerable gilt frames filled with magical chaps and dames, plus one of those moving staircases that so befuddled a young Potter and his pals in their early days of school. The moving functions are elegantly integrated and perfectly executed.
See the stairs and pictures move below