A man built a thing. He had a name, in those long-before times when salmon ran in the streams like silver clouds in the moonlight and people went about their business in great cities gleaming with glass as yet unmelted by fires from the sky. His name was Patrick B. The thing he built was built from bricks and told a story. A story about a man and his child a boy. That story was first told by a man named Cormac McCarthy in a book called The Road. A book is a thing made of trees but you cant eat it like you can bark and leaves and the little stems that try to push their way toward the darkened sky at the end of the months of snow. This thing this story these bricks by the man Patrick show the man and the boy as they walk long miles along long roads to the sea. It is a thing to behold. A thing you cant look away from.
This months’ promotional set from the LEGO Shop is 40291 Creative Personalities, featuring the 19th-century Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. The set takes the form of a storybook and includes 307 pieces with two minifigs and is available for free with all purchases over $99 from June 4th through the 20th (or until supplies run out).
LEGO sent us a copy of the set ahead of its release, so let’s take a closer look.
This digital build by Bert Van Raemdonck uses many pieces in colors that LEGO doesn’t actually produce, but does anyone even care? This recreation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl captures all the emotions of the fairytale, as deep as they are. It reminds us not to take the good in our lives for granted, and also gives us hope even in the most hopeless times.
The build focuses on presentation and composition to carry its message, rather than complicated techniques. The combination of light and shadows in a snowy setting work in harmony with the emotions of the original story.
SEBASTIAN-Z has created a series of vignettes inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and they are beautiful. Sadly missing the Ghost of Christmas Past, the builder says “I haven’t decided what to do for that one yet but wanted to upload these before Christmas”. The series starts with a glimpse into Scrooge’s office with it’s fine wooden furnishings, gold accented books and coins littering the floor:
Next, Marley’s ghost appears to Scrooge before whisking him away. The walls of the drawing room are cleverly constructed from LEGO wooden crates, giving them a lovely paneled effect:
Then we have Bob Cratchit’s family feast in his kitchen, shortly before Marley’s ghost tells Scrooge about Tiny Tim’s grave fate:
In the next image, we have Tiny Tim and the Cratchit’s with a clearer view of the kitchen. I like how the builder has created the wooden floors and mis-shapen walls:
Finally, we have The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come showing Scrooge his own fate if he does not change his wicked ways. I was delighted when I stumbled upon this wonderful series. It reminds me of Dickens’ “Carol Philosophy”, and there is nothing like this story to remind me of the true nature of Christmas, and I look forward to the conclusion.
It’s been many years since I last attempted to conquer Herman Melville’s masterpiece Moby Dick, and it haunts me to this day. And when I spy that inscrutable thing again on a shelf, to the last page I shall grapple with it. Japanese builder aurore&aube (aurore&aube) has conquered the white whale in LEGO form, with Moby Dick ascending from the deep to harry Captain Ahab and the Pequod. Using wedges and curved slopes, the builder has captured the essential shape of the sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus. The red interior of his open maw is a lovely touch.
Moby Dick is one of those novels that requires real commitment to get through, with its lengthy diversions and deep symbolism, but rewards careful reading and sticks with you for decades afterward. It also makes for great LEGO inspiration, as Ryan Rubino’s white whale battling a giant squid from back in 2009 certainly proves. Letranger Absurde enters the fray with Captain Ahab entangled by the line from his own harpoon, hauled to his doom in the dark deeps of the sea. The sperm whale itself steals the spotlight in this build, with what appears to be a surfboard for a tongue, but don’t miss the excellent sea floor, complete with conch shell, brain coral, and even a treasure chest.
To round off our exploration of the rich LEGO repertoire of Letranger Absurde, here is a charming representation of Victorian dandy Algernon Moncrieff, from Oscar Wilde’s farcical play The Importance of Being Earnest. With larger character builds, it’s less common for builders to take the trouble to construct an entire scene, but this one comes fully furnished for the period (the Vermeer painting is an especially nice touch), while the casual posing and puff of brick-built smoke breathe life into the whole thing.
From the builder: “I’m quite fond of this one. Leaving aside the fact that it’s an update to my very first character build and based on the very first play I’ve ever read and fell in love with, I feel that I’ve accomplished some things here: making a detailed scene for my large scale figs that doesn’t feel like a cheap prop and managing a pretty natural pose (most of my previous chars just felt too wooden). I’ve also experimented a bit with photography; despite the loss in clarity and quality, I think the natural low light makes the scene feel more natural.”
This week we’ve been exploring the works of versatile Romanian builder Letranger Absurde, whose love for antique objects and certain comedy horror movies appeared to collide in this LEGO version of the Necronomicon. Hail to the King, baby!
From the builder: “This is both a tribute to the comedy wonder that is The Evil Dead, and to Mihai Marius Mihu, the builder from my country whose work made me realize for the first time there’s more to LEGO than collecting sets. Klaatu Verata Necktie!”
Our second find from the hoard of Letranger Absurde is this cunningly crafted microscale homage to the book that first introduced the world to the concept of the alien invasion story, H. G. Well’s The War of the Worlds.
From the builder: “I’ve always been a fan of H. G. Wells’ fiction (one of the very first builds was a Time Machine / Star Wars crossover; it’s a complete mess, but that’s a different story!). So building this was always on my list. The dumbbell choice of part in Iron Builder was just the inspiration I needed to finally go ahead with it. I chose to take a more personal approach to the scene and not base it directly on any adaptation, but still wanted to keep a rather retro aesthetic for the tripod… unfortunately I’ve only had enough parts to make one.”
I grew up with Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. hI got my copy when I was very small, and that Christmas I got one of the Wild Things, too. The one with the long red hair. It was an amazing Christmas. This book has SUCH a place in my childhood, and was one of my favorites.
Max Pointner gives us this wonderful tribute to such an amazing book, right from its pages.
While Shakepeare’s comedies are sometimes considered his lesser works, hats off to The Bard on this occasion for sending my double entendre meter into overdrive while considering possible titles for this post. Thanks in part to Tim Lydy and his vivid recreations of Bottom the Ass and Titania queen of the fairies, from the ever-popular A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Dave Kaleta (davekaleta) has been working on this beauty for quite some time in preparation for a collaborative display at BrickWorld. It is a very elegant piece of work. The sleekness of the balloon and the integration of the words into the structure of the envelope are both awesome. I want one of these hanging from the ceiling in my LEGO room!