LEGO has been doing their part to make their bricks more of a renewable resource in recent years. Builder Green Axles takes things a step further with Nature taketh, nature giveth, showing us a full cycle of plastic life. At first glance all you may see are the vibrant colors of undersea plant life. There are clever techniques and creative part usage everywhere you look. I like the yellow dinosaur tails topped with Technic Bushings, orange Bionicle shooter halves, and dark turquoise Technic ball sockets.
Look again and you’ll spot a more somber inclusion in the form of the skeletal remains of a diver. Their suit has rotted away, leaving only a collar and a bit of brown cloth. The use of tan Technic gears for the teeth provide a visual context to the bleached bones.
It’s a somber scene, to be sure. But also a sign that life, uh, finds a way.
Builder Frost takes us to a forbidden planet where the plants have a mind of their own. We’ve featured some of his terrific space builds here in the past and he doesn’t disappoint in this latest offering. While this couldn’t be considered “Classic Space” in the LEGO sense, it exudes a wonderfully vintage vibe.
I’m a big fan of old science fiction pulp novels. Their covers, painted in lurid colors, have a certain take on weird fantasy visuals that doesn’t really exist anymore. This model really captures the feeling of those old covers with its oversized alien-looking, tentacled plants. I appreciate the thoughtful use of transparent pieces that really help sell the bizarreness of the landscape. In particular, I’m quite fond of the blue and purple lighting pieces and the pink half domes. The decision to use the Flash Gordon style suits on the space travelers further drives home the whole 1940s look.
Not satisfied with a purely stationary LEGO creation, Frost has built animation into it and as an added bonus, the large green egg-like centers glow under blacklight. As you can see in this video, the large tentacled plants move and sway, beckoning our heroes ever closer to what may be a gruesome fate.
In a world where human influence seems more and more destructive, it can sometimes feel like there is less hope for life every passing day. Patrick Biggs tackles this topic with an expressive character that seems to embody wild plant life. Now, we should not oversimplify the ecological crisis to just deforestation, but as a symbol this creation is quite powerful. It may be a touch ironic to talk about such problems through plastic bricks, but if it makes just one person consider their carbon or plastic footprint, the world is better for it.
The character’s leafy face has a perfect shape and an expression achieved by two simple pin holes. The body has much more detail than I would expect from brown. But the character would not have the impact it does without the burnt stump it is presented on, as well as the flowers sprouting from said stump under the gardener’s influence.
Realism in LEGO sculpture is a difficult thing to achieve, and when it’s done right it can be amazing. Barbara Hoel has created a tiny slice of (plant) life that feels very real indeed with Small Planter on Books. The human-scaled books each have their own unique style and size. The variations in the spines make this feel like a real pile of tomes, and not just a repeated build in different colors.
The planter and greenery really are what really caught my eye, though. Seeing a plant that is, perhaps, not the perfect specimen of health is pretty unusual. One side of the plant looks like it’s been kept out of the sun a little too long, while other parts are thriving. Unicorn horns and transparent green ball joints represent new growth. Rare blue capes and technic gears make for some vibrant flowering bodies and buds.
There is a detail view of an alternate build of the planter in Barbara’s photostream. I recommend checking it out for even more great botanical creations.
We love progress. Our cities, our monuments, even our parking lots are all built for the betterment of mankind. But no matter how far we progress, how tall we make our buildings or how shiny a monument may be, one fact will always remain true. Someday Mother Nature will reclaim what was once hers. Builder Emil Lidé illustrates this notion with this creation he calls “Breaking Through”. No stranger to building beautiful flora and fauna, he clearly has a deep respect for nature. We’ve highlighted his Yin and Yang Panda House before and while this piece is less extravagant, its message conveys strength and endurance. It is important to remember that the balance between mankind and nature is precarious. Every skyscraper began with a plan and every mighty oak began as a humble acorn. I have never rooted for a plant to win more than this little guy here.
This charming scene of interplanetary science is brought to us by Sad Brick. It’s a simple LEGO scene of an astronaut placing a sensor on a newly discovered world, but it’s charming as can be. The greebly goodness of the sensor encased in a clear canister, with a wire strung to an outboard relay is perfect brick-built technobabble, while the arrays of flora in three colors makes the scene come to life. The use of the Collectible Minifigure Plant Monster helmet for large leaves is something I actually haven’t seen often.
Amidst the summer heat, Josephine Monterosso’s brick-built grapes look quite refreshing, not to mention realistic. They look like they were just picked off the vine, right down to the green leaf hanging off the end of the stem (the leaf appears to be a green minifig cape). The grapes themselves are purple Technic ball joints, a part which has been around since 2001 but never appeared in dark purple until this year (you can find it in sets 76103 & 41342). A good part can be made even better with the proper technique, and I especially love how Josephine used plant pieces to create a very organic looking bunch of grapes. Bon appétit!
At The Brothers Brick, we tend to specialize in certain kinds of news, LEGO creations, and reviews, but thanks to our partnerships with other LEGO websites, we’re able to bring you more kinds of content. Please enjoy this excellent article that originally appeared on New Elementary.
Here at New Elementary we usually talk about new shapes and colours of LEGO® elements but today we’re looking at a new material from which some botanical elements are now being made. By 2030, The LEGO Group (TLG) intend to use sustainable materials in all of their core products and packaging.
Read the complete guest article after the jump