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!
A very talented LEGO builder by the name of Rickard Stensby finds inspiration in his own name. Well at least his first name, anyway. Meet Rickard Söderberg. Truth be told, I had to Wiki this one but he’s a famous Swedish opera singer and LGBTQ activist. Rickard (the LEGO builder) captures complex facial expressions quite well. I mean, just look at the tilt of Rickard’s (the opera singer) head and that mouth agape. I can almost hear him belting out notes the rest of us can only dream of. He looks ultra-fabulous with his great hair, earings and makeup. I just love those false lashes! Check out why we think Rickard (the LEGO builder) is one of the most expressive builders we know. This might be the best thing I’ve seen all day and I’ve seen a skater kid brag about how awesome he is, then go on to credit-card his gooch anyway.
I wasn’t prepared for the rush of memories evoked by this sharp Inspector Clouseau bust built by Rickard Stensby. As a kid, my dad was fully committed to making sure I was exposed to all kinds of great comedy. I think it’s the strongest bond we share, even now that we live on opposite sides of the US. So to see this build, with finely-trimmed mustache and trademark trilby hat, I was immediately transported back 20 or so years to when we watched Return of the Pink Panther together, and how dazzled I was by the brilliant character acting of Peter Sellers. Rickard captures the Inspector’s perplexed look perfectly here through the expert application of tan curves and slopes. And I don’t understand why the clerk at the front desk doesn’t understand him. Clouseau clearly asked for a “rewm!”
Ever have that feeling where you’re not sure if you’re awake or dreaming? Well make sure to wake up dear reader, we have an article for you. Rickard Stensby has created this most outstanding build of the charming Keanu Reeves. The model captures the proportions of the actor’s head in a fun, stylized way by extending the overall length of the face. An interesting technique can be found at the nose, where clip pieces are placed side by side to form nostrils. 1×1 curved slopes represent the lips providing the build with a realistic appearance and claw pieces portray the rounded edges of Keanu’s moustache. Even the little strand of hair, hanging over the forehead, is an excellent edition. Party on dudes!
If you do not recognize this character at all, you need to watch the Disney classic Sword in the Stone, stat. It’s certainly one of the best Disney films ever, and I think Rickard Stensby must agree! One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Merlin casts a spell where he packs the contents of his entire house into a traveling bag. In true Disney fashion, he sings his spell, “Higitus Figitus.” Arguably, the better line is “Hockety, pockety, wokety, wack,” but I digress. Rickard perfectly sculpts the scene in LEGO, from the shrinking belongings floating into the bag, down to the rickety wooden floorboards. Merlin himself is unmistakable with his blue outfit, glasses, and an overly long beard.
Top marks for perfectly recreating the body pose, as well as the use of bananas and droid heads for fingers.
I’ve always thought sand green is the perfect LEGO colour to capture the feeling of being sea sick, and what better subject for “seasick” than Davy Jones’ decapitated head? Well, maybe Rickard Stensby agrees with me, because he’s so greatly captured what I just described.
This trophy just oozes with character too. The tail pieces as facial tentacles blowing in the wind seem very deliberately selected and placed, while the square corners around his mouth perfectly represent the character from the films. The eyes and eyebrows convey so much with so little. My favourite little touch are the 1×1 round plates with holes used a barnacles on his hat – making it truly appear that he was fished out of the ocean.
Sometimes all it takes is a dynamic pose to elevate a simple build into a work of multi-sensory art. This build of a dancer by Swedish LEGO Masters contestant Rickard Stensby makes me feel many things across different senses. I instantly get the rush of awe and emotion one experiences when watching a live ballet performance from just looking at this build. The figure is in a perpetual pirouette with outstretched arms and legs, along with an upward-facing body. Rickard emulates the spinning motion with a functional rotating base, adding to the energy of this sculpture. In addition, the twirling dress contains intricate building techniques to capture the conical shape with creases.
If you like figures with natural shapes and energetic forms, then check out more sculptures here!
If you are from Europe and between 30 to 50 years old then this LEGO creation must be instantly recognisable for you. I am talking about Rickard Stensby’s Mr. Owl from the Daily Fable (Fabeltjeskrant in the original Dutch). Every day the wise owl would read from his local newspaper while perched up in his tree. He would tell the kids wonderful stories about the events taking place in Fableland, and especially the mishaps, quarrels, experiences and emotions of its furry and feathered animal inhabitants.
Fablernas managed to capture the essence of Mr. Owl perfectly with his wise but gentle facial expression and his noble composure. The plumage is especially well done and resembles the source material perfectly. The original puppets were made from fabric.
Also check out another LEGO owl we featured yesterday, though of the more wild variety.