Character master Oliver Becker has crafted this charming scene of a shepherd and his flock (of, er, one sheep). Now this might sound odd, but I’m actually glad there’s only one sheep here. Not because I’m ovinophobic, but because if I started counting sheep, I’d surely fall asleep and miss the rest of this great build! The sheep is very good, chewing away on the grass, with its spindly legs. (Well it’s chewing with its mouth, but you know what I mean.) And any build that uses X-pod covers is a good one in my book. But the shepherd is where the whimsy really comes into this scene. He’s a great caricature, using inverted arch pieces twice – in his boots and for his face. He’s quite rotund though. Maybe that’s where the rest of his flock went…
Over the course of the last six months, we’ve featured literally hundreds of excellent LEGO creations. While all of them are already the best we’ve found, there are a handful that stand out above the rest. Usually these creations feature the coolest techniques and exceptional NPU (Nice Parts Usage), and have us talking about them more than the average build behind the scenes. We’ve seen everything, but occasionally we’re extra impressed by something new and unique. Although we do feature our overall favorite builds (using several criteria) in the running for the TBB Creation of the Year in December, we’ve decided it would be fun to honor some ace parts usage right here, right now. Join us as we count down the best of the first half of 2023!
The chief of Asterix and Obelix’s little Gaulish village goes by many names. Vitalstatistix, Macroeconomix (in some US editions), and Abracourcix (as I knew him in the original French editions). But perhaps we should refer to Oliver Becker‘s excellent LEGO interpretation as Madeoutoflegobrix! The rotund chieftain and his caricatured proportions are very well done. The head especially is where this build really shines; the tiny helmet with the feathers is both accurate and adorable. And the ball joint and croissants are great respective choices for the big nose and moustache, features so integral to these indomitable Gauls!
Please enjoy this LEGO-ized miniature Manny and super-small Sid from the Ice Age franchise, brought to you by Oliver Becker. His microscale scene depicts our two protagonists as they venture out at the end of the titular era. We even see Scrat in the foreground trying to hide his 1×1 round plate in the ice. The miniature scenery is quite nice, but the character builds are the real stars of the show. The tread links for Scrat’s arms and legs are brilliant, showing such ingenuity at this tiny scale. And the brickwork to emulate Sid’s triangular face is astounding! But of course, Manny has to put the “woolly” in woolly mammoth with the use of a minifig hair piece as his head. Much like with the movies, here’s hoping we get a sequel!
As wild and fanciful as they were, there is some truth to all those Pirates of the Caribbean movies. On Stranger Tides featured Blackbeard the Pirate as the main antagonist and, as famed LEGO builder Oliver Becker already knows, that menacing portrayal played by Ian McShane was based on a real person. Edward Teach was an English pirate known for carrying seven muskets and would light fuses in his hair before battle, surrounding him in smoke and thus giving him an otherworldly, ghostly appearance. Oliver had portrayed that nicely with this bust. With his bug eyes and jagged teeth he also looks like a particularly ravenous deep-sea angler. He’s a fiendish fellow indeed! His flagship was called “Queen Anne’s Revenge”, also showcased nicely here in miniature form.
Creating a brick-built character can be quite a challenge. Not for Oliver Becker though. He created a bird-like animal out of LEGO bricks that looks like it is straight from a Pixar movie. One of the things that strikes me the most is how this big headed beast manages to stand on those thin long legs without tipping over. Especially when you take into consideration the age of the finger hinge parts used to create the legs. They tend to lose friction or one of their teeth over the years. All of these challenges don’t bother Oliver as he managed to make one stellar creation.
Emotion is one of those things that really brings us to life. It really brings LEGO characters to life too, take Oliver Becker’s scared man. The emotion he’s currently feeling, some combination of fear and surprise is communicated clearly through with some expert parts usage. Most noticeable is perhaps the bush as his hair, standing up in fright. Moving down the face you can maracas as his pupils centered in his eyes, bulging out of his face. The piece that really ties it all together is the 1×1 technic brick has is an open mouth. Dinosaur tail/neck pieces are used in both black and white as his outstretched limbs, and his open hands are well represented with hot dog buns for palms and skeleton arms for fingers. I hope he wasn’t holding on to anything before he jumped back in shock!
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s yet another post about COVID-19. But I think it’s safe to say that this LEGO build by Oliver Becker has brought virus-inspired creations to a new (microsopic) level. Oliver is a country doctor in northern Germany, so he seems particularly qualified to create this sort of model. Scientific accuracy has never been quite this scary.
We here at the Brothers Brick hope everyone is staying safe, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands. And just like you, we’re looking forward to the day when this sort of build is “historical” rather than “topical”.
Need a pet? Build one out of LEGO. That’s what Oliver Becker did. Meet Fluffy. He’s Oliver’s new home companion. I imagine adoption fees and vet bills would be quite minimal and cleanup is as easy as tossing a few extra pieces into the unsorted bin. His expression is quite endearing and the grass blade plume on his head is some good parts use right there. I’m loving the old elbow hinges as feet. And the best part is this bird won’t rat you out to the cops like other birds I’ve known. Allegedly. I’m speaking on behalf of a friend, that is. Nevermind that, just check out some of Oliver’s other builds that have tickled our funny bone.
Many LEGO fans talk about hunting for their white whale – that one set they’ve been searching for all their lives. This is, of course, an allusion to Captain Ahab’s ultimately fatal obsession with finding an actual white whale in Moby Dick (do 168 year old books need spoiler warnings?). It would seem that that fairy tale whale is still out there hunting ships, as Oliver Becker demonstrates.
Has the white whale grown to such an immense size to dwarf the ship? Or is she a regular-sized whale and it’s the ship that’s actually tiny? We’ll never know for sure, but we do know that there’s some excellent parts usage at play here. Dead center in the frame of the shot is a white lever base, expertly used as the whale’s eye. I really love the swords with jagged edges used to create a splash – those few parts convey the creature’s movement. And it’s a big splash, so maybe it really is a larger-than-life whale.
Sometimes something so different comes along that you can’t help but smile. Oliver Becker calls this “The Wandering Temple of the Last Flame” but I call it the coolest mode of transportation ever. Speed, performance, practicality, safety; all are unimportant when you’re riding in this much style. This viney bit and this other leafy bit make for excellent gold filigree while the sloping roof and red and black color scheme embodies an exotic Asian feel to the traveling temple.
The pièce de ré·sis·tance, however, has to be the tortoise’s head which utilizes a Euripides Galidor torso. See, we all chuckled when the infamous Galidor sets came out but who is chuckling now? Still us, but for different reasons.
It turns out, this is far from the first time Oliver has made us smile or even chuckle. Be sure to check out his previously featured Donald Duck roadster and fabled stork creations for more whimsy and wonder.
Fresh from the Disney town of Duckburg, here’s Little Helper, built from bricks by Oliver Becker. Eccentric inventor Gyro Gearloose’s automaton assistant makes for a delightful LEGO character — using ribbed metallic hoses for limbs is a perfect choice, and cockpit parts for the robot’s lightbulb head are simple yet effective. I find it wonderful how such a model, put together from relatively few pieces, can embody so much character. It’s down, in no small part, to the care taken in posing the model for photography, getting the curves of the back and limbs just right. The dangling feet are spot-on, as is the thoughtful angle of that transparent cranium. Lovely.