At first glance, you might think you’re looking at Optimus Prime sporting Rodimus Prime’s maroon color scheme and pinstripes from the original Transformers. Think again. This semi-truck is way more than meets the eye because it is a LEGO Creation of Rhino from M.A.S.K., the signature shape-shifting tractor rig/mobile defense unit from the 1985 Kenner toy line and animated series. Builder Hobbestimus actually made this his third version of Rhino, now complete with almost all the specs of its retro counterpart: battering ram, smokestack cannons, missile launcher (doesn’t actually launch), mobile computer command center, and detachable all-terrain vehicle, according to his Flickr page.
Today’s tough times have a lot of us thinking that the past was a soooo much nicer place to live in. That’s probably true in some cases. But things were tough in ye olden days of the early 1970s, too. I mean, what if you were a couple of single parents who found themselves facing complex family dynamics? Like where are you supposed to fit six kids and a maid in a small California home? Yes, dear reader, I’m talking about the troubles faced by the The Brady Bunch. Aaron Newman has built a super-accurate rendition of the famous TV dwelling out of LEGO brick, and brought all those sitcom troubles back into the forefront of my mind.
But first, let’s take a moment to admire this LEGO recreation. The layout and shaping are painstakingly accurate to the house as it appeared on the show. I like the use of angled plates and tiles to minimize the seams between the three segments of the roof. The choice of mixing in just a few exposed studs adds a nice bit of texture there without overpowering the eye. The real highlights for me, though, are plants and trees that decorate the lot. The three palm trees on the right are particularly nice, using clip-ended bar holders to allow for a gentle sway away from rigid angles. I also want to call out the spiky pant base in dark orange in the shrubbery.
If you want more information about the build, including a look at the back yard, I suggest swinging by Aaron’s own write up of the build. And if you want to learn more about Aaron? Well, then you can check out the relevant Brothers Brick builder spotlight. But let me also leave you with one thought to ponder. The dad on the show, Mike Brady, was an architect, right? That job pulls down pretty decent pay. Why the heck didn’t he just buy a bigger house? I guess that really does show times were tough back then, too.
At first glance, you’d think this was just a cool LEGO creation of a dinosaur playing a guitar. And you’d be right. But as Pistash could tell you, this is also a bit of retro history in the form of a late 80’s icon. Because this is no mere musical reptile. This is Denver, the Last Dinosaur. He starred in his own animated TV series back in 1989.
Sadly, I never saw the show, but I can comment on this LEGO version. I have to admire the use of curved mudguards in the mouth, in a light-aqua color only seen in a LEGO Friends set from 2013. That same light-aqua fills in the face and the chest, contrasting nicely with the green of the main body. The organic curves of the arms are from arched and curved brick.
I may not know who Denver is, but he still looks like he’d be fun to hang out with.
The spaceship’s colour scheme would have been enough, but Mansur Soeleman takes it one step further with his latest LEGO model and produces some retro-styled box art to really get the nostalgia pipes flowing. The ship is a greeble-lover’s delight, festooned with a wealth of light grey pipes and grilles, intakes and rockets. I particularly like how tight the blue cabin section is around the trans-yellow canopy, leaving most of the model grey, but enough to make it abundantly clear which LEGO theme has provided the inspiration.
In a brilliant touch, Mansur also built a retro version of his retro-throwback, delivering the same distinctive shaping, but using a more limited old-fashioned brick palette. I admire the building skills in these two models, but also love the extra effort of producing box art and two versions. Fantastic nostalgic fun.
If you like retro wind-up toy robots then set your phasers to Positively Delighted. It turns out Lino Martins (hey, that’s me!) has built one out of LEGO and the result is…pretty OK. It would probably be weird to label my own work as totally awesome, stupendous or earth-shattering so I’ll just go with pretty OK. He’s adorned in fabulously fifties black and sea-foam green with gray and just a touch of flashy silver. Through a series of gears, his chest plates open simultaneously and when you turn his wind-up key his head, heart and arms will rotate. Yes, he has a heart! I think it takes eight or ten or so rotations of the wind-up key to get his head, heart and arms to all settle back into their rightful positions. If I were a real engineer I’d know that for sure but… What am I, Elon Musk?
Check out this video of the wind-up action. This cheery bot is programmed to love you all very much. I’m programmed to be rather indifferent on the matter but I can create a swell playlist for any occasion so there’s that.
The average person now carries more computing power in their pocket than what it took to put the Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon. However, Johan Alexanderson takes us back to a time when ties were wide, comb-overs were a thing, ashtrays were piled high with cigarette butts, and data was stored on reel-to-reel. This is the kind of vintage computer room my dad worked at in the 70s. A vehicle door makes an excellent spool of continuous feed computer paper. The green screen, the big cabinets, the data reels, even the color aesthetic and the utilitarian swivel chair all seem clunky and outdated to us, but at the time it all went together like swingers and fondue.
It should come as no surprise that Johan is a computer programmer who also seems quite inspired by a retro aesthetic. This wouldn’t be the first time he had delighted us with computing nostalgia. Check out this free-to-play “Classic Space Adventure” LEGO-inspired computer game he created utilizing over 400 pages of programming.
Builder Mel Finelli is back on the saddle with another amazing bicycle creation, and this time it’s of a 1960s Schwinn Stingray. The construct itself looks like it defies all logic and gravity even up to the handlebars floating. I can attest they do all fit together and hold well, having seen her earlier creation of the LaFrance Super-Streamline in person. What enables this magic to happen is LEGO flex-tubes threaded through the colored parts. What may look simple in the end is the result of whole lot of patience and planning. It was definitely worth it.
Click to see more details of the build
Adult fans of LEGO sometimes have skills that go beyond building masterpieces with bricks. Once in a while, we discover great gems that showcase a different talent combined with the love for LEGO, like the amazing handcrafted wooden LEGO we recently featured. Not too long ago, while scouring the web for great creations to feature here at The Brothers Brick, I came across something that didn’t strike me as worth exploring at first glance. But something compelled me to take a closer look, and I’m glad I did! The effort behind the creation of what I uncovered is astounding! Over 400 pages of programming and 2 years in the making, LEGO enthusiast Johan Alexanderson coded a full-blown game in honor of the LEGO Classic Space theme in retro-classic gaming styles from the 80s.
Johan Alexanderson (who also goes by the online handle LegoJalex) will be familiar to readers of The Brothers Brick — we’ve showcased more than a few of his excellent builds in the past (including his E.T Phone Home movie classic), and we featured an exclusive interview with him about his his LEGO creations. This article continues from where our last interview ended, when Johan mentioned a programming project to be revealed later. Before we speak to him again on his 2-year journey creating “Classic Space Adventures,” let’s take a quick look at the game itself.
Find out more about Classic Space Adventures
Contests can be excellent sources of inspiration. That may be the case for Kingmarshy, who is competing in the 2018 Bio-Cup. The tournament is centered around Technic and Constraction creations, and this entry was submitted for the 3rd round. The round is themed “The Future” and this is subthemed under “Utopia”.
There’s a lot of really great parts usage in this fun little build. The ribbed hose for the skirt is one example, and the Throwbot Technic gearbox pieces are also a great addition. My personal favorite part is the design of “GD-801” the robo-dog. The harpoon gun tail and retro wheels for shoulders really give him the perfect sci-fi look.
Take a journey back before the launch of humans, robots, and Tesla Roadsters to space with a LEGO 1950s retro rocketship built by Jason Hlavenka. Slick transitions from the cone shape on top to the cylindrical body and quad fins at the bottom make his model pop.
Some of our younger readers will not remember the experience of scrolling the camera film forward after taking a photograph. Indeed, before the automatic whirring that signalled the end of the film, cameras had little turning levers to manually winding the film back into its protective housing. This LEGO version of an old camera in 1:1 scale was built by Andreas Lenander as a gift for his dad. While it is not a specific model, I did think it was reminiscent of the old Leica cameras with their black and silver bodies, and a selection of turning knobs and switches on top.
The king of awesome little LEGO camera’s must be Chris McVeigh, who also generously shares instructions for his builds on his own website. If you like the camera we highlighted above, you will definitely enjoy Chris’ LEGO Polaroid camera.
Back in the mid-1980s kids across the world were begging their parents to buy them an Omnibot. Toy manufacturer Tomy released Omnibot 5402, and Peter Reid has built this adorable LEGO version. The advert-style background compliments this awesome LEGO robot perfectly. The build was created for a ‘parts challenge’ over on parts-obsessed blog New Elementary and the eyes of the robot utilise the new Nexo Knights part trans neon orange bar with towball. What a great way to utilise this new part!
So just as I get over not receiving a Tomy Omnibot for my 8th birthday, I now long for my own LEGO Omnibot all these years later…