Today we’re getting our first look at the second wave of LEGO Art sets, thanks to European toy retailer Van Der Meulen. Expected to debut in January 2021, the pair of new sets are 31201 Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests and 31202 Disney’s Mickey Mouse. The sets follow on the heels of the first wave of LEGO Art sets which were released in September featuring Star Wars, The Beatles, Andy Warhol, and Iron Man (which we reviewed). Like those sets, the two new mosaics include the pieces for multiple designs. The Harry Potter set has 4,249 pieces and can build each of the four Hogwarts house crests, though only one at a time. Brickset reports that four copies of the set can also be combined to create the Hogwarts crest, though we don’t have any images of that at this time. Similarly, the Mickey Mouse set has two options for either building Mickey or Minnie and we presume they can also be combined in some way. This set contains 2,658 pieces.
There’s no word on the price yet. The previous four sets each cost $120 USD and contained around 3,250 pieces, so we’ll have to see if the new sets keep the same price point with the Hogwarts one having considerably more pieces and the Disney one a lot fewer.
Sure, 1×1 studs or square plates certainly can get a mosaic job done, the fairly recent LEGO Art sets are case in point, but there is always more than one approach to an art form. In this recent LEGO model built by Andreas Lenander, he admittedly takes a crack at a different way to mosaic with some inspiration from Katie Walker.
The approach here is primarily utilizing the 1×1 cheese slope in the creation of the mosaic. Lenander not only does a beautiful floor with this process of mosaic-work, but he also creates an amazing brick-built wall that has the aesthetic of a stained glass window using translucent clear 1×1 cheese slopes in popping complimentary colors. Of course, the structures formed by this technique are not stable as there aren’t any stud connections made here, but as long nobody is turning this model upside-down or giving it a good shake, we have an amazing build to look at. Pictured below is a closer look at the painstaking process.
Season two of the Mandalorian is right around the corner, and fabulous LEGO creations inspired by the show keep on coming. Neil and Joanne Snowball return with their mosaic of the titular character to accompany their previous mosaic of the true star of the show.
Depicting our hero from the first half of season 1, this recreation of Mando gives off a real comic book or 8-bit videogame aesthetic. And even with that simple static style, an incredible sense of motion is conveyed: it’s obvious that he’s walking towards you, his cape blowing in the wind. Perhaps you have something he wants. Perhaps you should let that precious baby Yoda go. Perhaps you should listen up, so you don’t get disintegrated by that Amban phase-pulse blaster on Mando’s back. Could this be a scene from season 2? Only time will tell.
Sometimes a LEGO creation enables you to smell, feel and imagine a whole slew of things that aren’t even there. Take this render by Douglas Hughes, for example. It is called Sunset in the Gulf and it depicts a helicopter and oil rig silhouetted against the sunset. I can imagine wearing ear plugs to squelch out the noise and a hard hat that barely contains the sweat and grime. I can envision wrenching on an uncooperative bolt with all my strength, filthy coveralls and a squeal of machinery. Do I have an overactive imagination? perhaps I do, but an imagination fueled by life experiences. While not quite an oil rig I have been in the boiler rooms and engine rooms of ships and there is a certain taste and smell to an environment like this.
While your experiences and feeling for this piece may vary, at least for my ol’ reptile brain this conjures up rusted memories of now ages gone by. And for that, Douglas, you have my kudos.
A little while ago, Alyse Middleton and I (Chris Doyle) shared the process behind our Wonder Woman LEGO Art mosaic. We didn’t have the time (or parts) to finish our vision then, but as promised we’ve returned to share the completed project – a 48 x 144 stud tribute to Lynda Carter. Consuming over 7000 pieces, (6,912 of them 1×1 round plate/tile), this has the same form-factor as the giant Darth Vader and Iron Man “Ultimate” builds.
Recently TBB’s Chris Doyle shared with us his journey of creating a custom LEGO Art mosaic. One of the tools Chris used, LEGO Art Remix, was an essential step towards getting to the finished product. We took some time to talk to Creator Deb Banerji about the project. With his background in Computer Science, Deb coded the foundation of the LEGO Art Remix tool in about 5 hours, though he’s spent a bit more time refining it since then. I’ve had some hands-on time with it from the first release and to its current final form, and it’s only gotten better. The latest results output close to a finished mosaic design that you can immediately start building within minutes if you had the parts on hand.
In this rather solemn LEGO mosaic by Jaap Bijl titled “Einstein’s One Great Mistake”; a more serious topic is explored – Albert Einstein and his role in the Manhattan Project. If we’re going to get artsy here, I would even say that the color palette and aesthetic of this build are reminiscent of Picasso’s “Blue Period.”
The 4×4 petaled flower element is back in multiples, this time in an ominous arrangement forming a mushroom cloud – the shape generally synonymous with nuclear explosions. The rest of the scene in the right panel is formed with various sized plates and tiles in dark hues with white 1×1 round bricks and cones creating the stem of the cloud. A portrait of Einstein is presented in the left panel; his face is carved out of various bricks, slopes, and tiles, for the most part utilizing the SNOT (studs not on top) technique. Einstein’s notoriously unruly and spiky hair is rendered by a synergy of the white 4×4 petaled flower pieces and white dinosaur tails. In terms of composition, although this work could be called a mosaic, it differs significantly from the new LEGO Art mosaics which are comprised mostly out of 1×1 studs. For me, Einstein’s hair and the mushroom cloud both being heavily composed of the petaled flower elements represents a kind of mirroring effect, but I could be looking too deep into this. Either way, I think it could be said that this build is genuinely thought-provoking.
Once a year, my long-distance partner Alyse Middleton and I, Chris Doyle, try to take a week of vacation together. With the realities of life in the USA in 2020 limiting the potential destinations, this time we opted for a “Quarencation” at my place. Kind of a bummer, but staying here kept us within easy reach of my LEGO workspace…and that paid out some nifty results. We were able to take an idea we had been kicking around all the way from concept to physical model. Working in the style of the new LEGO Art sets, we created a mosaic of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.
I’d built a number of mosaics in the past, so I had a few ideas on how we could approach making a new one. And while that experience was helpful, we ended up taking a very different route to reach our goal. Come along with us on our journey of highs, lows, seemingly endless moments of “I guess we’re starting over again“, and, yes, eventual triumph.
A few months ago we reported that LEGO was discontinuing its Creator Expert branding in favor of a broader array of adult-targeted LEGO sets. There’s no longer a handy moniker to round up these sets, but most of them bear the new 18+ age recommendation, which simply denotes their focus on adults rather than signifying anything about the difficulty of the set, as the age bracket has traditionally done. However, most of the sets that have come out of the new initiative fall neatly within the familiar styles from previous years, such as the Star Wars UCS A-wing, Crocodile Locomotive, or the Haunted House. One new assortment stands out, though, with the LEGO Art line featuring a series of four sets that let you assemble your own wall decor mosaic-style. Today we’re taking a look at 31199 Marvel Studios Iron Man, which is available now for US $119.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £114.99. It has 3,167 pieces, and includes instructions to assemble one of three different portraits of various Iron Man suits. Alternatively, if you purchase three copies of the sets, you can build a huge Iron Man image that’s three times the size. So let’s take a look at the new mosaic set and see if it lives up to expectations.
Thanks to an ongoing round of Iron Builder, which sees two contestants pitted against each other to build a variety of LEGO models using a specific element, we’ve been seeing an explosion of builds employing the dynamite bundle, from arcade machines to detailed kitchens. Cecilie Fritzvold, in particular, has been on a roll, sticking that dynamite piece into builds anywhere she can fit it, including into this amazing dragon scroll, where nearly 50 of the bundles make up the twisting body of the beast.
And lest you think Cecilie is cheating by just neatly arranging a bunch of pieces on a tiled baseplate, look very closely and you’ll see that each piece is attached with a clip, meaning you could actually hang this on your wall. Well, except for that brick-built hangar, maybe. The two long black Technic axles that stand in for the string might not be up for the task.
LEGO has revealed an entirely new product line of mosaic sets featuring pop culture portraits called LEGO Art. The four initial sets revealed include Iron Man, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, and Star Wars Sith. Each of the adult-targeted sets contains an average of 3,250 pieces, a new brick separator, several new elements, an exclusive signature tile, and instructions and extra parts to build 3 or 4 different designs per set. Each set comes with a curated building soundtrack, and as an added bonus, three copies of either the Iron Man or Star Wars sets can be combined to make an “ultimate piece” triple the size of a single portrait.
Each LEGO Art set comes in a box the size of a pizza and will retail for US $119.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £114.99. The Iron Man portrait will be available globally (including the US) exclusively from LEGO on August 1st. The other three portraits will be available globally from LEGO and various retailers starting August 1st, except in the US which will have to wait a month until September 1st.
While the societal unrest recently has made it seem like everything is on fire, it’s not quite true. Lots of things are not burning, like the bread in my toaster. Oh wait, that’s burning, too. Well, shoot. Josiah Durand, currently using the Flickr alias of General 尓àvarre, seems to have a similar problem with fire in this LEGO build. While it might be rather flat and mosaic-like, the build is particularly stunning in its flame effects, with the lit-up trans-orange making a beautiful contrast with the tattered black flag. It looks like Josiah used every type of black element in his collection for the flag, too, expertly creating the ragged fringe. But that uneven warm glow, just like the embers in a fire, is what make this great. Now that’s what I call playing with fire!