Originally hitting store shelves in Europe in 2000, and then rolled out to North America in 2001, the LEGO Bionicle theme played a key role in hauling the company out of its financial woes of the late 1990s and helped to build the foundation of the all-conquering toy company LEGO has become. Aaron Newman pays tribute to the original lineup of figures released under the theme, but he’s done it with a twist — these are all built with classic System bricks. The six Toa Knight figures are nicely done, immediately recognisable to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the originals. Kopaka, the Toa of Ice, was always my favourite, and I love how Aaron has captured his iconic mask. The presentation of the models is spot-on too, well-photographed and then just a touch of special effects to give a hint of the elemental powers at play.
Thomas the Tank Engine has had enough of Sir Topham Hatt’s rule over the Island of Sodor, and builder Dvd showcases a well-beloved children’s hero that has literally gone off the rails.
This is absolutely terrifying, and would be the stuff of nightmares if it weren’t for the genius of how it’s put together. The builder utilized some of the smallest LEGO bricks stacked sideways to create the number “1” and the red border on Thomas’ sides. The finger joints on Thomas’ hands are also well built, allowing for this unhinged steam engine to rip up rails and potentially throw train cars.
The level of detail work on the legs and on the back of the body imply a specific mechanical look, as though for all these years the little blue engine we watched on TV had been hiding four limbs within his innocent body. If Dvd can make Thomas look this scary, I can’t imagine with what he would do with a bigger engine like Gordon or Henry.
Let’s face it, war is hell, especially on your feet. All that marching across rugged terrain can wreak havoc on even the most leathery of soles. Well, everyone who is anyone will be lining up to get their hands on the latest model in castle-busting siege engines by Tino Poutiainen, the Siege Giant (patent pending). Sporting the newest military miracle, the Trebuchoulder pads, this walking wall-wrecker will be no match for your enemies. Tino has put together a very expressive creation, from slumping shoulders to a tired and resigned expression on the giant’s face, made with only a few simple parts. I think my favorite part, besides that face, is the ram-headed club made from Tauntaun tusks.
And if you need more proof that the Siege Giant is the pinnacle of mobile combat, look no further than the smile on this soldier’s face. No blisters on these feet.
Halloween in space must be terrifying with these giant mechanical spiders crawling all over the place. I always knew Blacktron was the outlaw faction of LEGO space, but creepy spider mechs just might take it to a whole new level. Builder ZCerberus has carefully woven a design that’s spindly in all the right places, while still looking satisfyingly armored and menacing. And that trans-yellow X-pod canister for the cockpit is just the perfect touch.
If you are a manga warrior in a mech suit, you are judged by two things. How tattered your cape is, and how big your sword is. By these criteria, this hulking mech suit inspired by the manga/anime Berserk, and brought to brooding LEGO life by Marco De Bon is winning top marks. And with boots sculpted out of this layered shield part, he looks like he’s also ready to kick butt in the battle of the metal mech bands.
The hands are a perfect size, with my favorite detail part, the ingot piece, and the interior looks pretty comfortable as well.
Mathijs Dubbeldam had a goal: to build the world’s most accurate EVA Unit 02 from the anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion. The head in particular reads strikingly accurate to me, but I am also impressed with the iconic long limbs, lanky frame, and spot-on details right down to the fingernails.
What is the point in climbing into a cramped and odorous mech if you can’t swing a big spiked club like you were swatting flies? No point at all, according to Faber Mandragore. This mech suit for an Orc warboss packs a lot of punch in a compact frame. One of my favorite parts used in this stompy, spiky mech is the metal beard from, well, Metalbeard.
Japanese mecha builder Moko has been charming the world with his LEGO creations for more than a decade, but this latest character takes a darker turn. Moko’s “Hell Warrior” is an evil cyborg that uses mostly black Bionicle and Hero Factory (or “Constraction”) pieces, accentuated by an undead, half-hidden face built from several Krana masks. The overall effect is truly diabolical.
1984’s BattleTech brought the mech designs of Japanese anime crashing into Western table-top gaming. Two years later, MechWarrior expanded the universe into a wider role-playing game. These two games were responsible for introducing a whole generation to the glorious concept of giant mechanical walkers shooting at one another. Kale Frost has put together a cracking LEGO version of the Timber Wolf mech — the series’ signature design. The details are spot-on with the upper body slewing to the left on spindly legs whilst missiles burst into the air from the shoulder-mounted pods. All systems nominal.
A coffee delivery service is a great business idea. Especially if the mugs of boiling liquid come rushing towards you on servo-powered legs. Hmmm. Hang on. Perhaps that’s actually a rubbish business idea? Regardless, Markus Rollbühler‘s madcap vision of the Coffee Of The Future makes for a cracking LEGO creation. The legs and cup-holding limbs are gloriously detailed, packed full of functional-looking greebly bits, and the little splash of bright blue adds a lovely touch of colour amongst the light grey and silver. Brilliantly bonkers stuff.
Of all the possible uses for a LEGO tire, I think my favorite is masterfully demonstrated by Marco Marozzi, who uses them to flesh out his many mech creations. One example is this heavily armed mechanoid soldier, the tire forming the seal around his neck. As he looks to be examining the back of his hand thoughtfully, I have to wonder if either a butterfly has landed there, or he’s thinking about how hard the blood will be to wash out. This solder features a number of cleverly re-purposed minifig and vehicle accessories, like the snowshoe on the shoulder, and this tread for the feet. The use of several older dark gray elements that are off-color really gives the model a well-weathered look.
I have never played Overwatch, but I have purchased several of the LEGO sets based off the game just because they look cool. A little while back, though, I did a quick browse of the different characters to familiarize myself with the ones appearing in brick form. Apparently, there are different roles in the game, one of which is Tank. (This might be obvious to everyone but me, but I have never been a gamer.) Djokson has built a tank, not from the game itself, but inspired by it. Called the Siegebreaker, the mech looks more than capable of doing a lot of breaking, with big scoops up front, a big gun on the back, and additional armaments on the arms. Siegebreaker reminds me quite a bit of Bastion, but cooler.
The visual highlight is the large spring in the middle, giving it the appearance of rugged durability. I love the yellow color scheme; it makes it look almost like a cross between an excavator and Bumblebee from Transformers. The fact that Djokson used Constraction gun elements as part of the base makes it even cooler. Curious about what the sentry mode of the tank looks like? It has one, of course.