DUPLO is an excellent way to engage the minds of 2-5 year olds and to introduce them to “regular” LEGO, which they would likely play with once they get a little older. The larger pieces, simple construction, and cute scenarios are ideal for little hands and developing minds. But leave a youngin’ watching a certain…animal-named news station unsupervised for fifteen minutes, and they may raid the stash of smaller bricks to build adorable DUPLO riot gear to keep the adorable DUPLO zebras from playing with the adorable DUPLO giraffes. A builder who goes by the dubious name of Paddy Bricksplitter shows us the way with this DUPLO riot frame.
Plenty of LEGO System, Bionicle, and Duplo parts are mixed (you can do that, you know!) to construct this admittedly coherent mech suit armed with a high powered water cannon, tear gas launcher and a heavy duty shield. When your DUPLO denizens get too rowdy, you can bop them on their adorable DUPLO noggins with the baton. Justice is served, poopy-heads!
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!
That famous opening line from Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities is as good an introduction as any to Paddy Bricksplitter’s microscale diorama of the same name. The juxtaposition of the glistening white utopian towers and the smoke belching grime of the dystopian factory below creates some wonderful drama. There are nods, as he acknowledges, to the cyberpunk anime Battle of Alita as well as science fiction classics such as Things to Come and Metropolis. In the end, its Paddy’s own style that steals the show, relying on clever repeats of simple LEGO elements and atmospheric lighting to show the contradicting sides of his future city.
If you will insist on picking flowers on alien worlds, at the very least you should check they’re not the offspring of some larger carnivorous plant. That’s Paddy Bricksplitter‘s advice — as depicted in this great little scene. An unsuspecting pink-clad astronaut skips through an excellent alien landscape, seemingly oblivious to the floral horror her pruning has awakened. The giant flower beastie is a cracker — all spikes and teeth and sinister tongue-stamen thing. I love the use of balloon panels as petals, and the ring of teeth at the top is nicely done. The purple rocks add a wonderful splash of otherworldly colour to the backdrop.