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screen, the big cabinets, the data reels, even the color aesthetic and the utilitarian swivel chair all seem clunky and outdated to us, but at the time it all went together like swingers and fondue.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…
I assure you: you’re seeing the image correctly. Jimmy Fortel presents this glorious retro television for all of your family flashback needs. Complete with bright colors, knobs, and no remote, this excellent little build is packed full of nostalgia.
And by nostalgia I mean that hideous (and yet so wonderful!) wall-paper.
For some time now LEGO artist Chris McVeigh has been bringing us palm-sized chunks of hi-tech nostalgia heaven, such as his Atari 2600 and Apple Macintosh kits. But now Chris jumps into the unfashionable-yet-practical camp of “IBM compatibles” with this picture-perfect 80’s era DOS computer. This certainly brings memories of my first tech job flooding back – twin floppies, Hammer pants, and all.
The kit is currently available for pre-order from Chris’ store. Or if you prefer, as of today you can now download the instructions and build one from your own collection of bricks. But here’s all the narly stuff you’ll get if you order the full kit:
Relive the ’80s with this incredibly detailed 285-piece retro computer model custom design! Pop off the computer’s chassis to see its fully-equipped interior, which includes disk drives, expansion cards and power supply. Additional features include:
• Custom-printed processor tile for added detail
• Custom-printed display slopes featuring a choice of two prompts, A>_ and C:_
• An extra tile allows you to switch one of the diskette drives to a hard disk
I know what I’m putting at the top of my list of stocking stuffers this Christmas! Hmmm, but I guess the important question is: Have I been naughty or nice?
Vince Toulouse has a keen eye for style with spacecraft, and one of his common hallmarks is a stylistic nod to art-deco and the extravagant elegance of the forward-thinking 1920s and ’30s. His latest clean mean machine is this fantastic white and gold ship, which looks ready to pull up to the curb and have a dapper gentleman invite you to a night of refined space-partying and literary discussions. (Or maybe I’m just thinking of Midnight in Paris.)
Chris McVeigh (powerpig) has made something of a specialty in must-have, palm-sized LEGO models of retro technology. His body of work includes some iconic videogame consoles, cameras, phones, televisions and even kitchen appliances (but thankfully no fax machines yet).
In my opinion though, his latest creation – the very first Apple home computer – tops even his amazingly popular Apple Mac. But then I’m biased, because this was the first computer I ever owned! He’s nailed it, right down to the dual floppies, side vents and internal card layout. And the addition of custom printed bricks by customBricks for the screen really brings the whole thing to life.
But fear not, fellow old-timers, you don’t have to just gaze longingly at these wonderful images. Get your nostalgia on, and head over to Chris’s website where you can download instructions for many of his creations, or even order them as kits. And you won’t even have to send a check in the mail…
Isn’t modern technology wonderful?!