You say LEGO mecha animals, all I hear is Mitsuru Nikaido. Few builders have such a remarkably consistent style across so many builds. Some of my favourites in this series are deep-sea creatures; something about the exoskeletal style just really works for marine life. The venerable sea turtle is latest to be added to the menagerie. The white shell really pops against the dark grey of the turtle’s mechanical innards. Some of Nikaido-san’s creatures feature white heads to draw the attention that way, but in this instance I think the grey is a better choice. It emphasises the difference between the hard shell and the soft tissue underneath. Well, as soft as a mechanical turtle can be, anyway.
I’m certain there’s a great joke in here somewhere about the abundance of Mitsuru Nikaido’s LEGO creature mechs and the mating habits of rabbits but damned if I can figure it out. While I may be tapped for jokes tonight, it makes me no less of a fan of this builder’s, by now, iconic color scheme and his amazing creatures both familiar and bizarre. Anyway, enjoy this cute bunny mech and check out our Mitsuru Nikaido archives to see what else this builder has miraculously sprouted. And if you have a better joke than what I’ve already stated then please let us know in the comments.
When I think about unique LEGO creations, I usually picture them in vibrant colors, considering just how many colors LEGO elements come in these days. But like fine art and photography, sometimes using a more limited palette, or choosing to go black and white can introduce interesting design constraints. Builder Mitsuru Nikaido is known for creating stunning mechanical models of animals from around the world, both past and present. but with this recent series, they are taking their LEGO creations into the future.
These two robot companions are full of interesting details like the two different sizes of ski sleds used for the feet, and the revolver used for the digits of the tall skinny fellow. But I think my favorite detail is the top half of the light gray turntable used for the shoulders, hips, and knees. There is another great robot in the series, which looks like it could be the next model from Boston Dynamics, but is surprisingly less creepy.
If you have nightmares about being chased by dinosaurs, then this LEGO model may not be for you. But then again, it is a very good model, full of great part usage and excellent details. Mitsuru Nikaido is a master at creating mechanical creatures of land, sea, and sky, and this Velociraptor is one of the best mecha-dinosaurs I’ve seen in a while. I love the simple technique of attaching teeth to the 1×2 rounded plate. The robot arm used for the eyebrow adds the perfect texture, and those raised toe claws on the back legs look super-fierce. My favorite detail has to be the jet engine intakes on the back legs, which would allow the beast to jump high and deliver death from above.
If you like this mecha-beast, be sure to check out some of the other great creations of Mitsuru’s we’ve featured before,
By a show of hands, who here demanded to see a Bathynomus giganteus mech made with LEGO? Really, am I the only one? Well, frankly I didn’t ask for it either but now that I see this fantastic creation by Mitsuru Nikaido I’m compelled to share it with you all. The real-life counterpart is not some extinct dinosaur, but rather a living, breathing deep-sea creature common in cold waters. While they typically reach a length between 7.5 and 14.2 inches, some can grow up to 20 inches long. With that segmented complex carapace, compound eyes and seven sets of pereiopods what’s not to love, really? I am not doubting your intelligence (heck, I barely get by with the help of Google) but it is possible that just a moment ago you knew nothing of such a creature and now its likeness is forever burned into your posterior parietal cortex. You’re welcome, I guess? Nituru has a distinct style and a knack for building some very interesting creatures both familiar and bizarre.
It’s time to have a look at another fantastic mechanical model built by the talented Mitsuru Nikaido. The mech is presented in a monochromatic style for the most part, the exceptions being the little hints of colour at the eye and pistol. A wide claw piece represents the head and its placement allows for the convenient position of a red axle to act as an eye. At the shoulders, shield pieces are attached to the model, with angled bricks placed upon them. The fingers have a humanoid look, conveyed by the rounded tips at the ends. Armed with a tough looking blaster, this mech could prove to be quite the adversary.
It might be difficult to add this one to a calamari dish. Mitsuru Nikaido has constructed an impressive version of a robotic squid in a black and white colour scheme. Flexible tubes and whip pieces represent cables along the outstretched limbs, adding to the mechanical aesthetic of the design. The squid’s tentacles are covered in a large amount of ski pieces which act as armor plating and are attached via droid bodies. The blank eyes of the creature are portrayed by tires and wheel rims. Being quite a large build, the model requires a stand which assists in conveying a sense that the creature is floating or is ready to glide through the water.
Mitsuru Nikaido has constructed this haunting model, taking inspiration from aquatic creatures found in the depths of the ocean. Specifically, this build is based on the strangely named footballfish, from the same family as the anglerfish. The body is covered in armour like plates, providing the model with a robotic aesthetic, until you get to the mouth. The twisted, organic looking teeth, recreate the horrifying appearance of the fish, along with the round gleaming eyes. Beware dear readers, I’ve heard that this model uses a golden bionicle orb to lure in unsuspecting LEGO fans…
Who says you have to lock the bricks together to make something beautiful out of LEGO? Mitsuru Nikaido knows just how to pile up pieces to take things in a very different direction. Better still, they show you just how it was done with a great time lapse video! (Seriously. Go watch.)
If you’re looking for more creative inspiration, be sure to take a stroll through our Art tag!
Mitsuru Nikaido has been busy creating quite a mechanical menagerie. The latest member of his mecha-petting zoo is a triceratops like you’ve never seen before. I normally find the triceratops to be an adorable, huggable creature. But Mitsuru’s trademark white armor-plating style makes him look like a machine ready for war. I imagine there’s not much the enemy could throw at this beast to slow it down. (But, I’ll be honest, I kinda still want to give him a hug.)
Mitsuru Nikaido has created this enlarged version of a Daphnia pulex which is a type of water flea. The odd-looking outstretched arms are actually antennae used by the creature to move through the water. Actuator parts form sections of the antennae providing the model with a mechanical aesthetic which is also emphasized by the use of wires and tubes across the build. There is also some great curvature at the stomach, with angled plates creating interesting segmented areas throughout the model. It’s hard to imagine that the real-life animal is tiny compared to this intrinsically detailed creation.
In usual fashion, builder Mitsuru Nikaido is back with another Mechanical Creature. This time it’s a Huntsman spider with some heavy Matrix vibes. This builder always has clever parts usage paired with an iconic color scheme that is simple but recognizable.
This model’s feature part would probably be the skis used in each of the spindly legs. But if you look closely, they’re also in the mouth of this creepy guy. Runner-up for parts usage would be the hinged bar holder, which is used to add some rigidity to the legs as well as to emulate the spider’s eight eyes. That Sentinel-style cephalothorax is a tight build that uses a Hero factory chest plate and hinged panels to hide its inner workings.
The abdomen continues the trend of the hinged panels to capture its curves. I always love how Mitsuru uses hoses and angled tiles in his models.
Hopefully, we never have these running around like the Boston Dynamic Spot bots showing up more prevalently nowadays. I will have no defenses against their terror.