Tag Archives: Mitsuru Nikaido

Surely this water flea just wants 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.

LEGO Mecha Daphnia pulex-06

The mechanical Huntsman never stops its search for prey

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.

LEGO Mecha Huntsman spider_05

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.

LEGO Mecha Huntsman spider_08

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.

LEGO Mecha Huntsman spider_04

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.

Imagine how a mechanical cicada would sound...

As you may already know, cicadas are the loudest insect on the planet. When they “sing” together (more like radio static, clicking, and rattling) they are one of the most deafening animals in the world in general. Pretty cool for such a small creature! But what would a giant mecha cicada, like this LEGO one by Mitsuru Nikaido, sound like? I’m guessing a helicopter mixed with a chainsaw. But enough about that. Just look at this awesome build!

LEGO Mecha Snail Cicada-15

It’s all sorts of awesome in terms of techniques and body shaping. The segmentation is excellent, and I’m particularly fond of the batarang shields on the abdomen. The eyes, wings, and legs are spot-on too!

LEGO Mecha Snail Cicada-08

Fun fact: cicadas are basically living musical instruments (even if we don’t think of it the same way). Yep, that’s right! They use muscles in their sides to squeeze and accordion “ribs” surrounding two membranes known as tymbals to create different chirps. And their abdomens are hollow so that they can amplify those sounds. Why? That’s how they find a lady-friend! Ahhh, the song of love.

Another fun fact: Mitsuru Nikaido is the epic master of mecha animals. You’re not going to want to miss some of his other incredible works of art. My favorite might be the mecha snail!

Efforts continue in cataloging the mechanical tree of life

The fantastic mechanical creatures of Mitsuru Nikaido have long fascinated me. As I was emerging from the dark ages of my LEGO obsession, the robotic structures of Mitsuru’s models opened my eyes to just what was possible within the LEGO system. While each creature is a dead ringer for their biological inspirations, they also stand separately from them. Their form and selective color-blocking create eye-catching robotic designs. Mitsuru mostly sticks to a light or dark bluish grey contrasting with white and a pop of bright light orange. This simple palette gives a builder plenty of parts to play with though and Mitsuru certainly takes advantage of his options. Let’s take a moment to check out his latest models of a Water bear and a Snail.

LEGO Mecha Water Bear_01

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The rare and majestic shoebill mech

I’ve been fascinated by the shoebill lately. I mean, that’s not unusual, I’ve always had a love for animals both odd and familiar but there has been an uptick in my shoebill YouTube searches lately. They’re such weird and majestic creatures who seem to know things beyond our understanding. Do you agree? I guess you just need to see the same YouTube videos I’ve been watching to know what I mean. So with that said, you can imagine my delight to see that Mitsuru Nikaido has built a lovely LEGO shoebill mech. Of course he has! With his distinct style and love for animals, he has consistently been among my favorite builders. Here’s why.

LEGO Mecha Shoebill_01

The naked mole-rat of your dreams

I don’t know how many sleepless nights I’ve had while anxiously wishing someone would build a LEGO Mecha Heterocephalus-glaber. I know what you’re thinking; we’ve all been there, right? Thankfully, Mitsuru Nikaido answered our prayers and maybe now we can get some sleep for once. For those uninitiated with this creature’s scientific name, it is commonly called a naked mole-rat. (Tee-hee!) Mitsuru is no stranger to building weird mecha creatures of all kinds. Of all of youse, he’s probably the most qualified to build an awesome mech mole-rat, to be honest. Now, if I can’t sleep, it’ll be for other worrisome reasons like; do algorithms dream of electric murder? Why is my mom using the eggplant emoji? Is that Matt Gaetz behind the hamper?


I am the robot walrus

When I first heard about Mitsuru Nikaido‘s LEGO mecha walrus, I pictured a cyberpunk Beatles nightmare. But when I looked at how well-built and detailed it was, I was only impressed.

LEGO Mecha Walrus_09

What really sells this as a mecha walrus are the green eyes. They give off a ghostly computer-like glow that is creepy and makes the rest of the build look metallic. The tubing also helps, but without the eyes, I would have thought it was just a LEGO Technic-style sea mammal.
LEGO Mecha Walrus_11

The skin even looks like armor plating! Well done, Mitsuru!

This lander is out of this world, and I hope it stays there

Some spacecraft are friendly, full of friendly space explorers and friendly scientists. And then there’s this craft by Mitsuru Nikaido, which might be friendly, but I don’t trust it. Anything with more than 2 arms can’t be trusted. But I do like a good set of organic-looking lander arms. And that twisted central structure is pretty sweet.


Mech Hermit Crab is a Shell Shocker

Less is more when Mitsuru Nikaido takes on a build. The few shades of light and dark grey, or the use of white elements are a minimal approach that yield some very complex projects. Mitsuru’s latest LEGO Mech Hermit Crab Mk2-17 adds to his robot menagerie that still has us stunned by the centipede, a nautilus, and a skeleton fish. The hermit crab, like the other creatures, is what one would have expected in 2020 — an advanced machine built to mirror its natural life form.

LEGO Mech Hermit crab Mk2-17

The movement capabilities of the Mech Hermit Crab Mk2-17 extend the imagination. Its legs bend in and stretch out using an intricate system of joints for its six legs. The grey underbelly highlights the Technic link tread wide, one of Mitsuru’s often-used elements. On its back is the real kicker, a shell that opens and closes to reveal what could be a blast cannon. Hermit crabs can make a home out of LEGO bricks, as long as they can carry it on their back. In this case, this crab is fully equipped for any challenge.

LEGO Mech Hermit crab Mk2-08

A most mysterious mechanical mollusc

The nautilus is one of those amazing creatures both strange and beautiful. With a spiral shell that seems to be a natural manifestation of the golden mean. And when interpreted by Mitsuru Nikaido, this cephalopod takes on an even more usual form, as Mitsuru builds mechanical versions of living creatures. Aside from the many curved sections, and the sprouting tentacles, my favorite detail would have to be the Hero Factory chest piece for eyes.

LEGO Mecha Nautilus Mk2-10

Make no bones about it

LEGO builder Mitsuru Nikaido is back with another one of his animal mechs and this time he’s left off the protective exoskeleton. Instead, you have a fish that has a…regular skeleton. This fishy mech follows the same white and gray color scheme that his other animal mechs have so it makes for a great new addition to the line. As always, Mitsuru has demonstrated some very nice parts usage. I’m particularly fond of the repeated use of these handlebars along its backbone. I advise you clear your schedule, settle in, and check out these mechs by Mitsuru and others.


I object, you object, we all object. But not to Object-8

The line between art and craftsmanship is a tricky one to walk. I know I’ve gotten into a few deep (and sometimes tense) conversions with my friends about the distinction. Things get even trickier when you apply that sort of judgment call to LEGO creations. I think, though, that most would agree that Mitsuru Nikiado‘s works fall on the side of “art.” Not only is Object-8 titled like something you’d see in a gallery show, it looks like it’s right at home in a sculpture garden. In contrasting red and grey, Mitsuru has created a dynamic image of destruction.


That said, there’s still a lot of craftsmanship to appreciate. As you can see from this alternate angle, every bit of the exploding wall is connected. Building on the techniques in Object-5, modified 1×1 round plates and open-stud connectors combine to allow for some pretty crazy angles.


I recommend checking out Mitsuru’s photostream to see the other Objects in this series. (Object-4 is a personal favorite.)