Like Zoltar, ask this guy a question or make a wish, and you’ll actually receive answers. Well, maybe not the best answers, but how many fortunes lay it out straight? You won’t be able to fault Teun de Wijs once you watch the video of this extraordinary LEGO build. This mechanical fortune teller doesn’t just move his arms and bend over the crystal ball. Oh, no, my friends, this guy is the real deal. Inside his box is an ingenious mechanical randomizer. You heard that right, folks. An internal block with four answers will spin and be stopped at random, like a coin flip. It’s up to the powers of the universe to provide an answer to your question. Like a Magic 8 Ball, they may not be the most helpful answers, but beggars can be choosers. Don’t question the man with the epic batarang mustache, he’s just the messenger. And careful what you wish for, because we all know how that turned out in the Tom Hanks movie, Big.
Scratching your head trying to figure out what I’m talking about? Click below to watch the video of the automaton in action!
We recently featured a pinball machine with a modular play field. I’m not sure why there is a sudden uptick in pinball builds, but I am totally on board! Bring them on, pin-wizards! I have to say, you may have a tough time competing with this one, created by Nachapon Lego. I’ve seen a few multi-tiered LEGO machines, but this is probably executed the best. The physics behind pinball can be complicated. The size of the field coupled with the size and weight of the ball, plus the angles of the obstacles, all make for a tricky design process. Then you bring LEGO into the mix and the constraints take on another level of difficulty.
The Star Wars theme will be popular for many of you, but if that’s not your thing, the builder made a sister-table. The obstacles are the same, but this one has a creative and colorful adventure motif as a tribute to the vast possibilities of LEGO. The game-play video below will have you wishing you could have a go at it yourself! I particularly like the ball-saving that can be done by kicking it back to the main level once it drains.
If you haven’t already, definitely take a peak at some of our other featured pinball articles! You’ll find my own Classic Space pinball machine, along with a few others that will get you excited about making one too!
Some of you may already know I’m a little obsessed with pinball. I just can’t help being enthralled with the awesome engineering that lies within a pinball machine. It’s like an obstacle course for your mind, but tangible. And nothing makes me more giddy than one made from LEGO. This little machine, built by Dawid Marasek, may look simple, but it has a great asset: it’s modular.
These little LEGO fellers are cute as all heck! In true JK Brickworks fashion, builder duo Jason Allemann and Kristal give us not one, or two, but four critters with entirely different movements. It’s a bit maddening that they make it look so gosh darn easy. These simple mechanisms come together in a fun and unique display of kinetic magic.
Of course, standing still in the picture above doesn’t do them justice. But as soon as you see them move, you’ll be captivated. Click the link below to watch the full video!
As soon as I saw this picture, I knew the build had to be from Dan Schlumpp. There are loads of dino nerds out there, and plenty LEGO dino nerds, but few have tackled movement so well. Dan has created several iterations of these prehistoric animatronic creatures. Each time he continues to perfect his skill. It’s not just the movement, it’s also the complexity of the specific dinosaur he’s trying to emulate. Wrapping organic-looking armored plating around a finite mechanical frame isn’t easy. But I’d have to say this heavy-footed Triceratops is my favorite thus far. That head is excellent!
Of course, you have to watch it walk to appreciate the build fully. The gaps in the body are necessary for the ability to create realistic movement. That movement is what makes the gaps forgivable, though, because that hip and tail swing is awesome! They really bring this creature to life.
Alright, alright! I know it’s a pun only a dad could love, but I can’t help myself. This adorable little LEGO sewing machine, built by Vaionaut, is both clever and crafty. I’m a fan of the dress slopes used to make the body look sleek. I also like the Fencer’s foil used as the needle.
Of course, what would an old-fashioned sewing machine be without its mechanics? I’m a sucker for moving parts. The function is pretty simple, but it sure does make it look cool!
This music box, built by Peter Carmichael, is currently one of my favorite LEGO creations. Its smooth edges, customizable cylinder, and colorful “comb” are all gravitating. As my very tactile partner would say, it’s one of those things you want to “see with your hands.”
If you think about it, the Super Mario universe is one of the only places where you want to go down the tubes. I mean, other than a water slide, where else can you find something fun at the end of a “plumbing” pipe? Perhaps this extra large (64×64 stud) pixleated pipe, built by H.Y. Leung, contains all the extra coins Mario could dream of.
And don’t worry, he’s not going to be stuck in mid-air forever. This pipe contains an equally large mechanism inside to move him up and down.
If you’d like to see more of H.Y. Leung’s builds, be sure to check out our previous articles highlighting them.
I had such high hopes for Darth Maul. Everything from his double lightsaber, to his black hooded cloak, to his red and black tattooed face, exuded seething menace. However, just as quickly as he was introduced, he was sliced in half at the waist by Obi-Wan. He was fighting like a boss right up to that point but then it was like he forgot his super-jitsu skills for a minute there. Just like Boba Fett’s unceremonious demise, I was rather disappointed in how Darth Maul went down and imagined him piecing himself together again to seek unholy revenge on those Jedi do-gooders (and it seems those running Lucasfilm/Disney agreed). Apparently Jarema had a similar notion for the fallen Sith Lord that takes an even more menacing stance.
Here we see a shirtless Darth Maul flexing his Deltoids, his snarling face like some kind of voodoo tomato. His bottom half is a horrific mechanical six-legged spider body with each leg terminating in a sword blade. A complex network of chains seem to fuse his upper and lower body together. The end result is madness, which incidentally is what the builder calls this piece.
What’s a city layout without the staple vehicles: police, fire, ambulance, bus, delivery, mail, garbage? You gotta have them all! LEGO has released a few generic garbage/recycling trucks, but none of them are this cool. At first glance this build by Scott Hasse looks a bit like an average set. But up close it’s pretty nifty. Rather than the typical manual dump action displayed in the City line, you get a truck that works much more like the ones you see on the street in real life.
A simple turn of the knobs not only grabs and dumps the bins, but also compacts the refuse into the dump collection in the back. The whole thing is really smooth and works like a charm! An if you had a fleet, you could put tiles on the sides to indicate garbage vs. recycling or compost. Would anyone else besides me get hours of entertainment from playing with this thing? My next step would be to motorize it!
Not many have figured out that Santa’s portly figure is dreadfully important to making sure he stays firmly in his sleigh at the speeds he needs to cover the world in a single night. A slight miscalculation on dietary needs lands him in trouble. Jason Allemann never ceases to amaze me with his elegant and magical mechanical LEGO builds. They’re often very simple but always hit a home run by capturing just the right details to make to hypnotize. This build has a playful theme with Santa Claus on a sleigh pulled by four reindeer that sway from side to side above a tiny village. It shouldn’t be too hard to spot Rudolph among his other mates and Santa hanging on for deer life.
I’m a major fan of both creations that move and animals, so when I saw this I knew I had to write about it! These beautiful little “long-necks” actually have the same lumbering movements as their real-life counterparts! They even swing their tails and bend their necks! These lovely mechanics are the work of Daniel Schlumpp. He put a ton of thought into the design of the mechanical components, and it definitely paid off!