The fantastic mechanical creatures of Mitsuru Nikaido have long fascinated me. As I was emerging from the dark ages of my LEGO obsession, the robotic structures of Mitsuru’s models opened my eyes to just what was possible within the LEGO system. While each creature is a dead ringer for their biological inspirations, they also stand separately from them. Their form and selective color-blocking create eye-catching robotic designs. Mitsuru mostly sticks to a light or dark bluish grey contrasting with white and a pop of bright light orange. This simple palette gives a builder plenty of parts to play with though and Mitsuru certainly takes advantage of his options. Let’s take a moment to check out his latest models of a Water bear and a Snail.
I really like LEGO creations that tell a story, and Road to the Fruit Festival by Jonas Kramm has enough self-contained world-building to inspire the imagination. These tiny fruit merchants offer next day delivery, provided you live very, very close. Are these tiny people with human-sized mounts and wares? Or are we looking at some seriously up-scaled produce?
Each build has clever building techniques and part usage to discover. The road-marking statues have Rancor claws for legs. There are minifigure neck ruffles as parts of flowers, and large figure shoulder armor in the wheelbarrow.
But I’m also a sucker for well built LEGO snails, and this one is a beauty. It was the first build in this set, and was apparently so much fun to make that the rest of the scene came to life around it. Those minifigure hairpieces make for perfect berries, and the dark red dome brick make for a tempting pair of cherries. And that snail is darn spiffy, too. I like the cupcake eyes and muted color choices. The Clikitis leaf for the slime trail is a nice visual touch, too. And the Minifigure shark arms for petals in the flower…the closer you look, there more there is to enjoy here.
This isn’t the first amazing creation of Jonas’ we’ve featured, and it’s a good bet that it won’t be the last. I just hope the future includes even more snails.
If you went to BrickWorld Chicago in 2016, you might remember seeing the amazing Eurobricks collaborative display called “Ready, set, escargot!” The display consisted of giant medieval-themed snails racing around a track. The template for these mammoth mollusks was designed by Mark Larson, while the structure on this snail’s back came from the mind of Marco den Besten. Marco drew inspiration from the Assassin’s Creed video game franchise, and I think his take on the idea would make for an interesting game. The rustic-looking towers complement the dark tan structure of the snail’s shell. Speaking of the shell, Marco has attached wooden posts to the sides for some classic platform gaming fun.
This past weekend saw one of the world’s great annual LEGO conventions arrive, Brickworld Chicago. With it came dozens of new builds and spectacular collaborations to dazzle the public. One such dazzling display came from the builders of Eurobricks, a popular online LEGO forum, who built a spectacularly intense and hilarious snail race for the ages.
This award-winning collaboration was a truly large and world-spanning operation kept together with tight planning and a singular cohesive snail design made by team leader Mark Larson. His design, which was itself awarded the title of Best Creature at the convention, was used by nine other builders to construct more snails which were individualized with unique colors and themed castles–and then finally placed into an epic race.