We love the art of Tyler Clites for its bold style and perky colors. The way he treats common LEGO pieces always makes his characters vivid and lively, whether it’s some Star Wars protagonists or Tintin’s space rocket. Tyler’s every build has its own mood and a story to tell. And Tyler’s latest set of busts are simply jaw-dropping. This time it’s not just skillful building with LEGO bricks, but the pairing up of characters that makes these works so outstanding…
If 1960s Classic TV Robin saw this build, he’d say the same thing! Batman fan Havoc has done a beautiful sculpt of the Caped Crusader. I particularly like how Batman’s pointed ears are made from 16×4 Triple Curved Wedges. It gives Batman a pointed, sharp, brooding look that fits his persona.
Quickly Robin, to the Batmobile!
Duke Nukem might hold the gaming industry record for the longest time between announcement and availability, taking a full 12 years to hit store shelves. Although it did eventually come to fruition, it didn’t live up to its expectations generated during the hiatus. Whatever you think of the game, though, LEGO builder Havoc did our action hero justice in translating him from pixels to bricks.
Some hand gestures transcend spoken language. Most likely, the meaning behind these five LEGO hand gestures by Jimmy Fortel are fairly recognizable for most people. (Though different cultures around the world may attribute different meanings to a few of them).
The design of Jimmy’s LEGO hands is simple, yet masterful. The fingers curl gracefully. The palms and wrists are substantial enough to look real at first glance. And the accessory choices for these five hand signs are terrific. Each bracelet invokes a unique identity and accurately depicts the stereotypical person that would use these hand signs.
Isn’t it adorable? Australian builder aldo k has done a phenomenal job sculpting this fuzzy grey nuisance. While the real thing might break your fence or punch you in the face, this adorable rendition makes great use of parts to create the perfect curves for a kangaroo. I particularly love the face: it has so much character! The ears bring it to life.
This LEGO gumball machine by Anthony Sejourne is adorable. The colorful gumballs, the shiny red body, and of course the accurate spinning crank, make this thing look like the real deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tried to drop a quarter into the coin slot before they realized it was a fake.
You would be forgiven for mistaking this still life scene by J.B.F. as the real deal. In fact, everything here is LEGO (besides the labels, of course), from the finely crafted hors d’oeuvres to the smooth black platter and bottles of craft beer and red wine.
This was built as a tribute to the builder’s favorite wine shop and bar, the Vinochope in Perpignan, France. The selection of tapas includes olives, cheese and what appears to be papas arrugadas – a delicious Spanish specialty of which I am quite fond. Even in bricks, this spread looks good enough to eat.
Godzilla is an iconic beast who first appeared in Ishirō Honda‘s 1954 film Godzilla and has remained a feature of Japanese pop culture ever since. There have been many builders who have created a LEGO Godzilla, but this version by 62778grenouille really caught my attention. Firstly, it’s huge. And secondly, it has been built in the most extraordinary manner, using Technic parts that seem to flow into the shape of Godzilla.
We recently had the opportunity to talk with Paul Hetherington and take a tour inside his head to see how he invents such fantastic creations. Our readers will recognize him as the builder of our Creation of the Year 2016, Gotham Theater Showdown, but his creations span a much greater range in subject and technique than many people may realize. Let’s get to know Paul, shall we?
TBB: Can you give us a little background on how you got into the LEGO hobby and what inspires you to build?
Paul: I’ve been into the LEGO hobby since before you could reasonably use the word “classic” to describe old space and castle sets. I bought my first set as an adult in 1991, which was the Space M-Tron Pulsar Charger. Little did I know back then that I had just taken the first step on an epic journey — one that would introduce me to so many amazing people, and have my LEGO creations be recognized around the world. Because back in 1991, as far as I knew, I was the only crazy adult who bought LEGO sets.
There are so many things that inspire me to build. My first creations were just built for my own enjoyment, as there was no way to share them. Then when the internet came along, all of a sudden a local LEGO club formed which I joined. From that point I had a reason to build. The first years of creating were mainly spent recreating local buildings, trains and hot rods for train shows and museums. I found I really enjoyed doing research to ensure that my creations were historically accurate and to scale. I soon became inspired to add some fantasy elements into my creations. I discovered Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and the works of Antoni Gaudi. Theme parks, Mardi Gras floats, and parades were also a great source of inspiration.
More recently, I had the pleasure to work with the artist Douglas Coupland on an installation and came to the realization that Lego has a place in the Art world. I find the Surrealists, especially Dali, and Pop Art, and Comic book art to be particularly inspiring. In recent years my creations have had more of an artistic twist and I see myself going more in that direction. Architecture will always be at the heart of what I do and is usually the catalyst for my creations.
Which one is plastic and which one is paper? Takamichi irie has made a lovely little LEGO crane in the same style as the origami version. Traditionally, it was believed that if you folded 1000 origami cranes, your wish would come true – according to the 1797 book Sen Bazuru Orikake, which translates to “how to fold 1000 paper cranes” and contains instructions for how to make these special objects.
Takamichi’s LEGO version closely resembles the paper one next to it, and is a great way to present this seemingly simple build. A closer look at where the wings and neck join the main body suggests that this was not as simple as it first appears, and I imagine creating 1000 LEGO cranes would be a similar undertaking to folding 1000 paper cranes.
The folded crane has also become a symbol of hope and healing during tough times and therefore is often known as the “peace crane”. The touching story of Sadakos legacy is worth a read if you have a few spare minutes.
One of the best creature builders out there, Japanese builder aurore&aube graces us with his skills once again, this time with an incredibly accurate representation of an Orcinus Orca. It appears the builder has used cut stickers as the white facial features of the killer whale, which captures the characteristic look of this marine mammal perfectly. Aquadynamic shaping is generally not easy to recreate in LEGO, but if I were to trust anyone with this challenge, this builder would probably be at the top of the list.
Gustavo Torner is a Spanish artist known for his abstract sculptures that pepper the urban landscape of Madrid. MSP! delves into the realm of infinity with his take on the Torner’s Mundo Interior. The builder stays largely faithful to the original work while incorporating some unique and necessary differences. Torner’s sculpture has been praised for its bare yet complex design, which explores not just geometry but human reflection and reason.
The impression left by this elegant design is no less thought-provoking when recreated here in LEGO form. As this work suggests, infinity cannot be found just by looking outwards towards the heavens, but also inwards towards the human spirit.