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!
To celebrate Elton John’s recent 75th birthday, Rickard Stensby has built a LEGO tribute to the Rocket Man himself. I’ve been a fan of Rickard’s for some time, he’s able to really make his characters stand out and this offering is no exception! Rickard has perfectly captured the face and expression of Elton John in this caricature, from the hair, to the glasses, to the smile – and let’s not forget the earring! The construction of the Piano captures the classic shaping of a grand piano flawlessly, whilst the purple with gold accent color choice really compliments Elton’s white tuxedo. It’s a piano perfect for writing Your Song or even Sad Songs.
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.
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.
I’ve seen a lot of LEGO models, but I must admit that I never thought I would see one of a gay, polyamorous, gun toting redneck who keeps large tigers, but here we are. We were barely a week into our quarantine when a virus of another sort started invading the world’s TVs. Netflix’s Tiger King became an instant sensation as people lost themselves in a story about the goings on in the little known world of Joe Exotic aka The Tiger King. Add equally engaging side characters, large cats and a big dose of crazy and you have a hit on your hands. Joe Exotic minifigs have been popping up right and left, but this excellent brick built LEGO figure by SuckMyBrick deserves special notice.
This is such a fun grouping of figures, full of character and humor. The Joe Exotic figure captures him perfectly with his blonde mullet and cane. The giant eyes are hilarious and somehow fitting here and the gold earring is a great little touch. There is some great parts usage in the tiger’s face including the white croissant mouth and the minifigure pith helmets creating eyelids that give him some serious side-eye. It has a wonderfully crafted pose and a very telling facial expression. You can almost hear what he’s thinking. Seems to me this would make great fodder for a caption contest. Anyone want to give it a go?
Brick or human, when you need to go, you need to go. We humans have a place to go around every corner (the less hygienic take “every corner” a bit too literally though), but the plastic brick people have a much harder time to find an outhouse. Or at least they would, if SuckMyBrick had not built this outstanding LEGO outhouse.
The build is visually simple, well photographed and composed. The ramshackle style is captured perfectly with tiles pointing in angles just odd enough to not be 90 degrees and the front door uses a few closely related colours to give a fading impression – but according to the builder, the creation is not as fragile as it looks. The base completes the build with details like fragrant flowers in the back and curved slopes that really add to the cartoony style.
A builder who goes by the dubious name of SuckMyBrick has built a stunning LEGO portrait of Walter White, the mild-mannered chemistry teacher turned badass meth dealer because…desperate times. I hope I didn’t spoil too much for you, but as Breaking Bad has been cited as one of the best TV shows of all time, it is strongly recommended that you watch it to see Bryan Cranston in the most pivotal role of his career, even if just to sputter off memorable quotes such as this article’s title. SuckMyBrick is exceptionally good at building characters and portraits. Here is a recent time we featured his Fred Flintstone, as well as a whole string of internet influencers and the Commander in Peach.
Builder SuckMyBrick is perhaps best known for his pop culture LEGO models, but he has reached a new level with this spot-on portrait of Fred Flintstone. The Flintstones premiered in 1960 as the first ever prime time animated series. Almost 50 years later, Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty are still a part of our pop culture landscape, so much so that The LEGO Group produced the Flintstone’s iconic house as LEGO Ideas Set 21316 back in March.
When building with LEGO, it can be quite difficult to achieve the lines and curves required to make a portrait, and there is often a certain amount of abstraction that needs to take place. SuckMyBrick does an astounding job here with his utilization of the 3rd dimension, angles and curves. He also makes great use of studs up, studs out and even sideways building to achieve this look. I am particularly impressed by the builder’s ability to create this very sleek style with no studs showing. From a distance you might not even know this was made with LEGO bricks. The third dimension is expertly used to not only create Fred’s facial features, but to also give the impression that his is reaching out of the edge of the frame. It’s a positively perfect portrait of the patriarch of everyone’s favorite modern stone-age family!
One can expect outstanding LEGO caricatures from builder SuckMyBrick. Their latest series captures the likeness and personalities of several popular YouTubers well with the bricks. From left to right, we have: Rhett and Link of Good Mythical Morning; well-known vlogger Casey Neistat; Tyler Toney of Dude Perfect; infamous vlogger Logan Paul; silly singer Miranda Sings; Internet meme legend Techno Viking; and our friend at BrickNerd, Tommy Williamson.
Each build here is recognizable to those who enjoy the YouTube creator community, but my personal favorite here is their build of Casey Neistat.