In my youth I used to watch a lot of anime, and of course with most of it being created in Japan during that time, snippets of daily Japanese life found their way into the animations; school uniforms, cherry blossom trees, and of course Bento boxes – neatly home-packed meals. The fairly new BYGGLEK boxes produced as a collaboration between LEGO and Ikea are perfect for creating LEGO Bento, which builder nobu_tary has expertly done here.
Rice balls, veggies, and more! These foodstuffs are all expertly brick-built, some – like the rice balls are constructed by way of the SNOT (studs not on top) technique, utilizing some basic pieces such as slopes and bricks and others such as the two tomatoes are built regularly and are composed of only a couple pieces. These colorful food builds certainly capture the colorful palette of Japanese cuisine. The cover of the box is also colorfully decorated with a nice mosaic pattern built out of variously shaped tiles which can be found in the LEGO Dots line. Nobu_tary did not forget the utensils either – the chopsticks here being shaped by various cone and cylinder pieces topped with some 1×1 bricks and plates. Certainly this build is a palatable one indeed.
Dragon Ball Z is a beloved animated show with many fans across generations, there’s definitely no need for a scouter to check out this LEGO model built by nobu_tary, surely its power level is above 9000. Here we have a figural model of the main protagonist of the series, Goku, in his super Saiyan form. The majority of Goku’s body is fashioned out of orange slopes in a variety of types and sizes, along with tan pieces to flesh out his face and arms. Dark blue bricks and tiles help render Goku’s boots, belt, and t-shirt. The signature spiky golden super Saiyan hair is comprised of slopes and bricks in yellow. A hero factory 1×1 printed round tile is cleverly used here to portray the Kame symbol typically shown on his gi. Nobu_tary also sticks in a couple LEGO dragon wings behind Goku, paying homage to the show’s namesake. Overall it’s always great to see uncommon colors and pieces coming together for an uncommon build – I haven’t seen a ton of models based on Dragon Ball Z.
Cats are majestic yet silly creatures, and generally, there are a few habits shared between big cats and their domestic counterparts. Among those habits is what I call the cat stretch, a pose that requires both front legs extended while the cat’s backend is elevated. LEGO builder nobu_tary expertly recreates this feline posture with some small LEGO elements in his kitty mini-build.
Very commonplace elements are utilized in this build; for instance, the front legs are minimally but accurately fashioned out of 1×1 cylinders with white cheese slopes serving as the paws, the cat’s head cleverly makes use of a few white 2×2 corner plates along with some tan 1×1 plates, cheese slopes, and semi-circle pieces. The rest of our furry friend’s body comprises of other slope pieces and tiles in tan as well as a tan cat tail piece. Surely this is a build that could be inspiring to both animal fans, and LEGO builders, pictured below is another brick-built feline build by nobu_tary.
Nobu Tary makes us long for summer with their latest LEGO creation. This built doesn’t use a lot of pieces and it is actually fairly small. The main piece in this creation, which is used beautifully, is the Ninjago tornado spiral. Which works perfectly as an ice cream coupe glass. The white swirl towards the bottom looks like slowly melting ice cream dripping towards the bottom of the glass. The classic baguette piece gets used as a ice cream wafer stick which to me is just brilliant.
I had to do a second take as I was scrolling the LEGO channels on Flickr on this one, did someone accidentally drop a non-LEGO creation into the feed? Upon closer inspection, I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar builder, nobu_tary and an actual 1:1 scale of a chocolate bar. Without the tooth elements in silver, I’d probably need to take a third look just to make sure. I got to admit, the chocolatey 2×4 Flat Tile can make one salivate especially when it looks quite delicious at this angle and lighting. I think what does the trick is smooth bite formed by the inverted arch brick paired with a 1×2 flat tile. Then again, how is a bite ever this smooth? I’ve been fooled nevertheless.
A photograph is a literal snapshot of a moment in time, but often so is the camera. This LEGO disposable camera by nobu_tary reminds us that the real sweet spot for these was from about the late eighties to the early oughts. The builder pretty well captured the sort of the throw away cheap quality these cameras possessed. The lenses were usually plastic, the photo quality questionable but they served in a pinch. One popular use of these was at weddings. A disposable camera was placed at each table and wedding guests were encouraged to snap impromptu pics of themselves. Then once the honeymoon was over, the newlyweds would then develop their photos only to find a record number of butts, boobies, and ding-dongs. It was immature and a complete waste of film if you ask me! Thankfully we all do the same now but on our smartphones like responsible adults.
You’ve got to hand it to this mech for its commitment to that blue outfit. Is that how it works with mechs? They wake up one morning and sift through their wardrobe of sassy ensembles and decide…blue it is! Well, even if that’s not the way it is with mechs, you have to admire the craftsmanship of this LEGO creation by nobu_tary. Gundam fans would recognize this as the MS-07B Gouf, which I was already well aware of and definitely didn’t learn it from looking it up three minutes ago so don’t get that idea in your heads. This builder is on a roll lately with cool mechs. It turns out this mech has hundreds of friends you may want to check out, each with their own fabulous outfits.
Okay, let me start off by saying I saw something in this LEGO mech that builder nobu_tary probably never intended. For all intents and purposes, this is “just” an elegant mech with unusually bright colors. There’s interesting part usage like the kayak as for a shield, and great articulation through ball joints and click hinges. But then I saw the head area, which features a printed 8×8 dish from the Overwatch theme. The suggestion of eyes there reminded me of the squashed head on the new 76164 Iron Man Hulkbuster set. The yellow round plate under that then became a slice of cheese. Suddenly I was looking at Robocop version of Mayor McCheese. I guess the Hamburglar finally went too far.
Up for a challenge? I invite you to take some time and try and find fast-food parallels with other mechs in our archives.
Bright green pay phones that supported the new prepaid phone cards began replacing the old pink rotary pay phones in Japan just as my family left for the States in the late 80’s. With public telephones a rare sight today in the US, I was shocked to see that the same phones were still everywhere when I finally went home to visit last summer. nobu_tary has captured the shapes and colors of the real thing perfectly in LEGO, with a detailed black face — complete with digital readout screen and card slot — and iconic lime green body. The black panel incorporates three ammunition pouches from the Rogue One Death Trooper buildable figure, which Tary did not use in his larger, more detailed LEGO Death Trooper figure a few years ago.
A bit of trivia on why pay phones are still everywhere in Japan: When a disaster such as an earthquake or typhoon strikes that affects cell phone coverage, all pay phones can be activated for free use so that people can call emergency services or even just to contact loved ones.
This lovely little green box doesn’t just take me back to my last few years in Japan, it also takes me back a year to what may be my last international trip in a long time…
Over the years, LEGO has shipped its little plastic pieces in many unconventionally shaped packaging, as any Bionicle fan well knows. When the newly released LEGO Dots arrived in stores in a multi-compartment tray with a clear lid, it was bound to show up in a model sometime. And that time is now, as nobu_tary has built this delicious bento box filled with colorful and tasty looking morsels.