For the past year, Peter Carmichael has been texting me updates about an Aquazone base he was building. We both grew up in the 90s, so the classic LEGO themes from that era are full of nostalgia for us, and I’m always excited to see old favorites get a new makeover. But Peter said his update to the 1995 set Neptune Discovery Lab wasn’t going to be a simple redux with modern elements, but something grander. At nearly 6 feet long and using more than 50,000 pieces, I think he delivered.
The highlight of the base is the working Aquazone monorail track, an idea LEGO contemplated in the 90s but never ultimately released. The track makes a large figure eight, winding through the central base before looping around the edges.
I was just researching bobbit worms for reasons having nothing to do with LEGO when I saw this LEGO version by Aaron Van Cleave turn up (for reasons having everything to do with LEGO) and I thought; what serendipity! Although serendipity usually involves a chance meeting with a good friend or discovering someone else likes burnt orange as much as you do. It rarely involves bobbit worms. Yet here we are. The bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois) is a creature ranging from about 4 inches (10cm) to 9.81 ft (299cm) long and inhabits burrows that it creates on the ocean floor. It bursts out of the sand to hunt its prey with terrifying speed. As if that’s not scary enough, Aaron’s version is much bigger and robotic because apparently that is what the world needs now. There is excellent part usage here and the roiling, explosive sand effect he created is accurate. I know this already because…serendipity.
Recently I wrote an article that mentioned there are a few names that spring to mind when considering LEGO-built characters. Another one of these prolific builders is Anthony Wilson. His newest creation is Aquasaurus, an impeccable display of form and function working so well together, that it hurts my head.
His incredible use of colour is always refreshing to see. This build harks back to the colour palate exclusively used for the Arctic City and Town sets, which I have always enjoyed. Relatedly, one thing that separates this from the pack, are those excellent gill fins, set in the ever-elusive teal. Though not made of many pieces in this elegant creature, the contrast it creates is brilliant. In a creation of such scale, articulation can also be a challenge to hide and keep functional. Wilsons subtle use of colour specific Bionicle parts, achieves this flawlessly, giving the limbs of this creature an exceptional pose. I find myself wondering how much this beast would weigh, as his use of balance on that black pillar is great, leaving only a tiny footprint of a base below.
For another look at Anthony Wilson’s beautiful use of colour, check out his Western Woods.
If you have ever visited a LEGO store you probably would have noticed the formidable floor-to-ceiling Pick-a-Brick wall. One bin may contain thousands of flower stems and another may have a crap-ton of these pointy bits (metric crap-ton if you’re Canadian). There’s no telling what you’ll find there and you can take this stuff home by the cup loads. For me, I’m like a kid in…some kind of store. While loading cups full of LEGO bricks can be exciting, building something cohesive exclusively with what you found at the Pick-a-Brick wall can be a tricky endeavor, but Mansur Soeleman clearly saw…a whale of an opportunity.
I see plenty of white 2×2 corner plates, lots of 2×2 plates in light bluish gray and plenty of clips make up the baleen. The end result is a pretty good facsimile of a blue whale. You can say Mansur had…a whale of a good time with this. You see, brilliant puns like that is why I am the highest paid Brothers Brick contributor ever. At least that’s what they told me…or at least that’s what I understood when they said “voluntary”. Wait, what does “conditional trial period” mean?
And if you liked this cetacean built from a limited palette of bricks as much as you enjoyed my puns, we’re sure you’ll also enjoy André Pinto’s bonsai tree, also built from nothing but Pick-a-Brick parts.
Across the world’s oceans, tiny changes in the water temperature have massive effects on the organisms living there, especially the tiniest. Coral reefs, in particular, show in spectacularly tragic fashion the impact of rising ocean temperatures. When the water gets too warm, the algae that live symbiotically within the cells of coral polyps get expelled violently from the little animals. Though the coral polyps are still alive, they are no longer colorful and bright; they are left a cold, dull white, deprived of the photosynthesis-derived energy from the algae and fully dependent on catching little bits of passing debris in their tentacles. Slowly but surely, the vibrant and rich ecosystem that once thrived around the rocky haven of the coral reef dies away, leaving nothing but coral skeletons. Builder Emil Lidé brings this oceanic phenomenon to life in LEGO form beautifully yet tragically.
Emil presents to us the reef on the one hand in full splendor, with diverse forms of coral and plant life along with little fish hiding in the crevices, wandering crustaceans, and starfish; and on the other hand, the reef bleached white, with skeleton arms appropriately front and center, with no animals or plants still living there. This build will be spending the next year at the LEGO House in Billund, if you can make the trip.
See more of this beautiful creation
Beware shark fin soup enthusiasts. It’s not so much my thing but in China shark fin soup is considered a delicacy served at traditional weddings and banquets.The practice has been condemned by the Humane Society International as millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins and it sort of upsets the order and sustainability of other things in the ocean. Enter James Zhan and his toothy Nightmare Amalgam-Z. This creature can walk up on land, politely tap you on the shoulder with this Bionicle part while you’re dining, then maybe proceed to chomp on your face. You don’t want that, do you? We all gotta eat, I know, but driving a certain species to near extinction isn’t cool. So let’s be cool, otherwise you get this guy and we’ve already established what he does. So are we cool? Good!
The Penaeus monodon, otherwise known as the Tiger Prawn, is native to the Indo-Pacific region. It’s also cultivated for food consumption all over the world. Jason Cichon has done an excellent job at bringing these LEGO marine crustacea to life….Well, one of them at least. Seafood connoisseurs will recognise the orange prawn on the bottom, largely due to their understanding of what they look like after having been cooked.
His mix of modified plates and 2×1 Wedge’s in the abdomen creates smooth articulation within the build. This combination allows the pleura to sit snugly against each other. A flexible spike minifig weapon has been used for the rostrum while, further down, the leg assemblies have been topped off with small red horns. In the end, the part that brings this model into the realm of realism is the flexible hose with connection ends as the antenna. The colours employed throughout are so incredibly fitting, I’m sure Jason stood around a barbeque in the summer quite a few times.
The year is 1859, and the British Navy is looking for Atlantis! Builder Paddy Bricksplitter has captured this historic moment of discovery in a detail-rich LEGO scene. Based on the columns and statue, our diver may have indeed found Atlantis. Let’s hope he’s also enjoying the rest of the view while he’s down there.
The Octonaut delivers a solid steampunk aesthetic without resorting to unnecessary embellishments. The tubing along the suit’s arms suggests a very real-world pneumatic solution for grip-strength at the ocean floor. Providing a nice contrast to the gold and brown, black rubber tires do double duty as weights and gaskets.
As cool as the diver is, the real highlight of this build for me is the innovative part usage on the sea floor. Not content with just the LEGO-standard fish and crab, Paddy has brought in Friends Accessories, Technic gears, a street-sweeper brush, and at least three types of minifigure hair. LEGO food items also feature prominently, with cupcakes galore, upward pointing carrots and lime ice cream scoops. And just look at that jellyfish!
Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidaeare) are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. They are aggressive hunters who feed on smaller fish, octopuses, rays, squid, crustaceans and even other sharks. However, this particular hammerhead shark, rendered by Dallen Powell, would rather help you install new cabinets in your kitchen or build a deck out back. He’s the type of shark that knows which nails work best with joist hangers and which ones are best for baseboard molding. With this shark, it is always hammer time. The expression on his toothy face says that he gets the pun too. You should nail down the rest of Dallen’s content as he is no stranger to pun-filled renders. Now, who has that one song stuck their head? You know the one. Sing it with me. “Y’all gonna make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here!”
We revealed the first half of the upcoming LEGO Friends Summer 2019 wave yesterday, and today we have four more upcoming Friends sets showcasing an ocean theme packed with new animals like seahorses, baby turtles, fish and even a narwhal. Standouts sets in the Friends Ocean wave include a lighthouse, lifeboat and and a seabed floor full of life.
The sets were revealed by Dutch retailer MisterBricks. As with some of the other recently revealed sets, we don’t have the exact release date for these, but we are able to provide approximate US prices thanks to the Euro prices listed by the retailer.
Don’t miss the rest of the LEGO summer 2019 sets reveals, and be sure to check out the new Toy Story 4, Spider-Man, and The LEGO Movie 2 sets that just went sale a few days ago:
LEGO City Space
LEGO Friends Ocean
LEGO Harry Potter
LEGO Jurassic World
LEGO Star Wars
Click to check out more images of the new Friends ocean-themed sets
Creating organic natural shapes using plastic bricks is not a simple thing, and making those shapes fit together into something simple and beautiful is truly an art form. Despite being monochromatic, this sculpture of a Humpback whale by Anthony Séjourné does an amazing job of capturing the majestic grace of one of the world’s largest marine mammals. I especially liked the use of so many hollow studs to represent barnacles. And the fluke is quite nice as well (that’s the whale’s tail, for those less well versed in whale biology).
You don’t need a huge pile of pieces or a deep wallet to be able to create something beautiful with LEGO. This bottlenose dolphin by Ken Ito (暁工房) is a perfect example of how just a few pieces can bring a scene to life. The dolphin consists of fewer than 20 pieces, and the base employs only simple, common elements. But there’s more motion evoked with them than you’ll find in many models that are much larger.
Ken’s gorilla is another perfect specimen, utilizing simple pieces to craft the animal’s shape. The head and face are particularly impressive, which really consist of only three slopes, but there’s no mistaking this noble creature’s gaze.