When I first heard that LEGO was going to produce a movie featuring Ninjago, I was flummoxed. As an adult fan of Lego (AFOL), the entire Ninjago line fell outside my realm of interest when it came to building sets. I hadn’t watched the show, played the games, or even purchased a set outside of 70751 Temple of Airjitzu which I bought on discount one day because I thought it was a brilliant architectural model. Saying that I had any sort of expectation to enjoy a press screening of The LEGO Ninjago Movie this past weekend would be a stretch.
Heading into the second LEGO-themed movie of the year, I couldn’t help but think the movie could use a bit more breathing room on the calendar, coming only seven months after the successful run of The LEGO Batman Movie. This bias seemed confirmed by the sheer amount of marketing I saw for the film, from Ninjago-themed obstacles on American Ninja Warrior to baking a La-Lloyd cake on How to Cake It, all paid opportunities to promote the film. If a movie needs to work this hard to get people to the theater, the movie itself needs all the help it can get, right?
Read our full review of The LEGO Ninjago Movie
If there’s one thing I love more than a beautiful LEGO model, it’s a collection of beautiful LEGO models. Inspired by the Harry Potter vignettes we featured earlier in the year, John Klapheke wanted to build a series of something he was fairly knowledgeable about. The mission John set for himself was to create six vignettes for each of the Indiana Jones movies, each set on a 12×12-stud base.
At first, he was pretty adamant about keeping the entire scene confined to those dimensions. Later, with the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull creations, he relented and let some detail spill over (and sometimes through) the sides of the base. John says “aiming for consistency” was the unique challenge of a project of two dozen separate, yet interconnected creations.
Click to keep up with the Jones’s
Back in 2012, filmmaker Justin McAleece used Bricks by the Bay as a background to film scenes for his independent film Brick Madness. Five years later, the director has shared the first official teaser trailer for the mockumentary, which is scheduled to premiere publically in September.
Brick MADNESS teaser trailer from Blare Media on Vimeo.
One of the really cool real-life aspects of the movie is that Carl Merriam designed many of the models used by the actors in the movie back during filming, and now Carl works full-time as a set designer in Billund.
Some creations rely on complicated techniques and difficult shapes to impress the viewer, while others make the connection by emotion. The strength of Tinkerbell in a lantern waiting for Peter by Jae Won Lee lies in the expressive posing of Tinkerbell in the center. The lantern’s details reward closer inspection, like the golden decorations or the seams between 1x6x5 window panels to look like wire mesh.
Talented Canadian builder Simon Liu confesses his love for the majestic Star Destroyers of the Star Wars universe by recreating an episode of the final battle from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story where two of them, well, are being destroyed. With numerous debris torn off the ship’s surface, this unusual diorama is much more complicated than just two starships colliding. The way each piece is connected creates a strong illusion that every part of this scene is actually floating in open space above Scarif.
And, of course, here is the hero of the battle — a small Hammerhead corvette pushing one of the Destroyers towards its certain doom. And it’s impossible to ignore Simon’s keen eye to details with an edge of the Destroyer’s body being actually crushed by the Hammerhead.
The barricade scene in Les Misérables — the musical based on the novel by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo — is a powerful mix of song and drama. Loosely based on the 1832 Paris uprising, idealistic revolutionary students set up a street barricade and fight government troops to the bitter end. W. Navarre has managed to capture this scene fantastically with the large central barricade and a detailed backdrop showing narrow Parisian streets. The barricade looks the part as a jumbled collection of brown coloured LEGO wheels, ladders, furniture, windows and bricks.
There’s a lot of detail to be found relating to the musical version of Les Misérables, I particularly love details like the tear in the French flag, the lantern and the fatally wounded Gavroche.
You can see more images of this build and the other Les Misérables-themed LEGO creations in his album on Flickr.
This desktop sized vignette by Obedient Machine pays homage to the memorable movie The Iron Giant. It features the heroic extraterrestrial robot mounted on a pedestal and bearing a microscopic figure of the story’s protagonist Hogarth. Represented by only 4 tiny elements, Hogarth remains unmistakable to anyone who’s seen the film. Despite being a seemingly simple creation, this model apparently went through three iterations in LEGO Digital Designer, proving that even small creations can take time and effort to perfect.
Romanian builder Letranger Absurde has been working on a series of horror movie vignettes, the latest of which is from 1984’s Nightmare on Elm Street. The ingenious parts usage for creating the famous scene of Freddy Krueger coming through the wall is eerily accurate. The use of minifigure shoulder armour for the hands and an Emperor Palpatine head are both quite clever and perfectly capture Freddy. It all comes together to create a believable scene that is actually somewhat unnerving to look at.
If you don’t recognize this famous furry bear, you were probably underage for the 2012 R-rated comedy of a walking, talking, foul-mouthed Teddy Bear brought to life by a kid’s wish. Japanese builder Moko pulls off a simple yet accurate build that captures the expression of this unique movie character. That beady-eyed stare is so very Ted, in the movie we know and love. Turns out the kid grew up and Ted was still his best buddy when the ultimate choice is presented: will it be Ted or his girlfriend?
The Hogwarts Express is where it all began — where a young boy met strangers that became the best of friends and spun an industry that’s larger than life. It’s no wonder that Stephan Niehoff and his two daughters put special effort into recreating a beloved representation of an iconic element from their favourite franchise. Lifting elements from the LEGO set 4841, but improving it to give rough edges a more rounded curve and adding delightful details such as the handles of the carriages and a revamped undercarriage, all make this build a worthy representation of what could be a proper train set for a Harry Potter fan to truly appreciate.
The transformation does not end superficially on the outside, but the carriages inside get a more appropriate facelift to the delight of our Harry and Hermione minifigure passengers!
Major Motoko Kusanagi is a cybernetic human employed in law-enforcement in the Japanese manga, anime, and forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster, Ghost in the Shell — 50% cyborg-intelligence, 50% human, 100% LEGO. Builder Grant Masters uses an old Belville figure with coat of paint to show how the protagonist hooks up to a network of systems. The twisted tubing provides a suitably cyberpunk backdrop to the scene, and it’s all enhanced with some nice uplighting.
I must admit Jurassic Park was one of the most impressive films of my childhood. Of course, it was because of dinosaurs. But even before the dinosaurs appeared on the screen, I fell in love with the grey and red Wrangler jeeps that the characters used to travel around the park. And now Silva Vasil invites us to see a prehistoric reptile in this jar-dropping copy of the iconic off-road vehicle.