One of my favorite escapes from reality is Mystery Science Theater 3000. People riffing on bad movies just makes the world seem less bleak, somehow. The best part, though, is that my wife Jennifer is also a big fan. She’s usually more of a “build a LEGO set” person than a “make something new out of LEGO” person, but I was able to tempt her into collaborating on a LEGO Art style mosaic of the latest MST3k head-honcho: Kinga Forrester. (As portrayed by a Felicia Day.)
The techniques we used were very similar to the ones I helped develop for my Wonder Woman collaboration. We bought a couple of LEGO art sets (Beatles and Warhol this time.) We used the LEGO Art Remix site to create several prototype images. We threw away our first few attempts, and combined at least three different versions of instructions for the final image. And then hand-built all the fine details anyway. Continue reading →
When we reviewed 31199 Marvel Studios Iron Man from the first wave of the new LEGO Art mosaic sets a few months ago, we talked about LEGO’s long history with mosaics, going all the way back to 1955. Despite being a considerably different build experience from the typical LEGO set, mosaics have enduring popularity, and LEGO is determined to keep up with that market, as the second wave of Art mosaic sets has already been revealed. Two new sets are launching January 1, 2021, from the Wizarding World and Disney franchises. Today we’re looking at the first of those sets, 31201 Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests, which will retail for US $119.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £114.99 and includes 4,249 pieces. The set includes pieces to build the crests for any one of the four Hogwarts houses, and four copies of the set can be combined to build a giant Hogwarts School crest.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Today we’re getting our first look at the second wave of LEGO Art sets, thanks to European toy retailer Van Der Meulen. Expected to debut in January 2021, the pair of new sets are 31201 Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests and 31202 Disney’s Mickey Mouse. The sets follow on the heels of the first wave of LEGO Art sets which were released in September featuring Star Wars, The Beatles, Andy Warhol, and Iron Man (which we reviewed). Like those sets, the two new mosaics include the pieces for multiple designs. The Harry Potter set has 4,249 pieces and can build each of the four Hogwarts house crests, though only one at a time. Brickset reports that four copies of the set can also be combined to create the Hogwarts crest, though we don’t have any images of that at this time. Similarly, the Mickey Mouse set has two options for either building Mickey or Minnie and we presume they can also be combined in some way. This set contains 2,658 pieces.
There’s no word on the price yet. The previous four sets each cost $120 USD and contained around 3,250 pieces, so we’ll have to see if the new sets keep the same price point with the Hogwarts one having considerably more pieces and the Disney one a lot fewer.
A little while ago, Alyse Middleton and I (Chris Doyle) shared the process behind our Wonder Woman LEGO Art mosaic. We didn’t have the time (or parts) to finish our vision then, but as promised we’ve returned to share the completed project – a 48 x 144 stud tribute to Lynda Carter. Consuming over 7000 pieces, (6,912 of them 1×1 round plate/tile), this has the same form-factor as the giant Darth Vader and Iron Man “Ultimate” builds.
Recently TBB’s Chris Doyle shared with us his journey of creating a custom LEGO Art mosaic. One of the tools Chris used, LEGO Art Remix, was an essential step towards getting to the finished product. We took some time to talk to Creator Deb Banerji about the project. With his background in Computer Science, Deb coded the foundation of the LEGO Art Remix tool in about 5 hours, though he’s spent a bit more time refining it since then. I’ve had some hands-on time with it from the first release and to its current final form, and it’s only gotten better. The latest results output close to a finished mosaic design that you can immediately start building within minutes if you had the parts on hand.
Once a year, my long-distance partner Alyse Middleton and I, Chris Doyle, try to take a week of vacation together. With the realities of life in the USA in 2020 limiting the potential destinations, this time we opted for a “Quarencation” at my place. Kind of a bummer, but staying here kept us within easy reach of my LEGO workspace…and that paid out some nifty results. We were able to take an idea we had been kicking around all the way from concept to physical model. Working in the style of the new LEGO Art sets, we created a mosaic of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.
I’d built a number of mosaics in the past, so I had a few ideas on how we could approach making a new one. And while that experience was helpful, we ended up taking a very different route to reach our goal. Come along with us on our journey of highs, lows, seemingly endless moments of “I guess we’re starting over again“, and, yes, eventual triumph.
August has arrived and that means new LEGO sets! LEGO has launched 108 new sets and items available today. In addition to new sets like the Nintendo NES and Super Mario lineup, Ideas Grand Piano, Star Wars 501st Battle Pack and LEGO Art, fans in the US and Canada can finally celebrate the summer arrival of Harry Potter, Creator 3-in-1, City, and Ninjago waves that you’ve waited so patiently for. Nearly every LEGO theme has some new sets–it can be a lot to process!– so we have your complete guide right here detailing each and every new set and item. [EDIT: It appears that LEGO may have delayed the US & Canada release of some of these sets until September. We’ve asked for clarification.]
LEGO is also offering two free gifts-with-purchases at the start of August. The first is 30385 Super Mushroom Surprise, free with purchases of LEGO Super Mario sets more than US $40 through August 16th or while supplies last.
LEGO has revealed an entirely new product line of mosaic sets featuring pop culture portraits called LEGO Art. The four initial sets revealed include Iron Man, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, and Star Wars Sith. Each of the adult-targeted sets contains an average of 3,250 pieces, a new brick separator, several new elements, an exclusive signature tile, and instructions and extra parts to build 3 or 4 different designs per set. Each set comes with a curated building soundtrack, and as an added bonus, three copies of either the Iron Man or Star Wars sets can be combined to make an “ultimate piece” triple the size of a single portrait.
Each LEGO Art set comes in a box the size of a pizza and will retail for US $119.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £114.99. The Iron Man portrait will be available globally (including the US) exclusively from LEGO on August 1st. The other three portraits will be available globally from LEGO and various retailers starting August 1st, except in the US which will have to wait a month until September 1st.