Recently, we’ve featured quite a few LEGO builds based on the 9V Train Track switch element. Those were some mighty fine builds. Some might even call them transformative. But Librarian-Bot has taken the idea of “Train Switches” in an unforeseen direction with Switchback. This sinister-looking Decepticon is ready to take you for the last ride you’ll ever go on. I particularly like the way the hands are constructed – they add a delicate, almost surgical feel to an otherwise bulky robot.
In train mode Switchback completely hides any robotic nature – and even works on standard LEGO track. It’s a sharp-looking engine build that makes good use of tile and curved slope elements to provide just the right level of real-world detail.
If you’re ready for even more Transformers goodness (and badness) be sure to check our archives!
As a kid, I think the Transformers cartoon did teach me some memorable words, like screaming at the top of my lungs in Megatron style “Decepticons, retreeeatt!” These too deserve some shout out with the family members that we’re sure to find familiar. There’s Daddy “Screaming” Megatron, Sonny “Rebellious” Starscream, Brother “Silent” Soundwave, “Conehead” Ramjet, “See-It-All” Reflector and “Shoot-em-up” Shockwave. All these were brought to you by Joe Perez, using the LEGO Mixel joints that were in abundance in the theme.
Even though these are not transformable, and neither do I expect them to be, they make a nice tiny collection that demands to be in my collection one day.
So…anyone else finding that self-isolation has lead to needing to let a notch or two out on your belt? It can’t be just me, as this LEGO Grimlock by Andreas Lenander seems to have put on a few ounces as well. Personally, this cute and cuddly version of the leader of the Dinobots feels like an upgrade. I like the highly-articulated tail, the use of ingots to break up the the curved slopes, and those cute little arms.
At least he’s venturing outside, based on those flowers. I should probably do that, too.
As someone with a degree in Latin, I love seeing Latin words and phrases used out and about in the modern world. Car names in particular seem to be Latin-derived, like Maxima (greatest), Navigator (helmsman), and Optima (best). Speaking of the latter, there is also a well-known Autobot called Optimus Prime, which is roughly “Best First” in Latin (I say roughly, rather than exactly, since it ought to be Primus rather than Prime, but it is still based on the same word). He is the best Transformer, that much is clear, from the Prime family, which is the “first family” of the strange alien robots. Sam.C (S2 Toys Studio) brings us said Autobot with this stellar transforming LEGO build.
Optimus looks awesome with his massive guns and his blocky shape. I love the shaping on the head in particular. He looks so angry, like Megatron just stole the AllSpark. It brings me back to the toys I played with as a kid, with limited range of motion but big guns and broad shoulders.
Read on to see Optimus’ transformation
If you like LEGO and chunky transforming robots, there is definitely more to these first-responders by Sam.C (S2 Toys Studios) than meets the eye. (See what I did there?) Both Autobots feature angled faces and anime-inspired helmet details that look like they transformed right out of a comic book, or 1980s-something Saturday morning cartoon.
Aside from the amazing pose-ability and blocky limbs, my favorite hard-to-spot part is the light gray 1×1 round plate with ball joint (most commonly found in yellow as the hands of the brick-built LEGO System figures) used here for the perfect connection in many of the bots’ joints.
Yeah, yeah, we’re featuring another Star Wars build. Or….are we? Builder Alan Yap has gone beyond the slew of Razor Crests and Baby Yodi (If that’s not the plural, it should be) by taking a RZ2 A-wing interceptor from Star Wars The Last Jedi and mashing it into the Transformers universe. This cool creation doesn’t require any rebuilding to switch between robot and vehicle modes, and it looks sweet as both.
In vehicle mode, Alan gives us the shape and styling we’d expect from any stock A-wing creation. There are great part choices, like the use of life rings in the engines, and the 1×1 round tile with a star decoration near the cockpit. there are no unusual seams or weird blockiness that would suggest there was more to this build than meets the eye.
The robot mode is equally impressive, with superb articulation that allows for great poses. I like that the head (made primarily from a tooth plate) has a classic Generation-1 feel to it.
For even more photos, and a discussion of the design decisions that were made, I suggest you check out Alan’s post about the build. It’s fascinating reading.
Alex “Orion Pax” Jones is a very focussed builder. All his LEGO building time lately has been spent on creating as-accurate-as-they-can-be digital Transformers Generation 1 characters. There’s so much to love about these as they instantly transport us back to a time when morning cartoons were not streamed and you had to wake up early to tune in to what now are amazing pop culture classics.
Click to see more Generation 1 Transformers
I remember when the first wave of Transformers reached the US; these toys were an instant must-have for everyone I knew. (And woe betide anyone who got to Toys-R-Us a few minutes late and had to settle for the not-quite-as-cool “Go-Bots” toys.) Alex Jones (aka Orion Pax) has been transporting us to those good times with a selection of Generation 1 Transformers, and he’s back with another round of stellar creations. Each model is a combination of clever building techniques and detailing, with a bonus of great retro presentation.
This is not the first time we’ve seen an amazing LEGO version of Bumblebee from Alex. (Has it really been ten years?) This upgraded 2019 version makes use of a lot of parts that weren’t around in 2009. Bumblebee’s vehicle mode is clearly based on LEGO set 10252 Volkswagen Beetle. There are a few design tweaks, but the beetle’s shaping is instantly recognizable. The yellow recolor alone would be impressive enough, but the fact that it transforms as well? That’s just nutty levels of awesome.
Alex didn’t stop there, though. There’s a giant selection of transforming goodness!
The character attributes that I’ll always remember Starscream for are being whiny, always going around his boss’s plans, and frequently retreating when things go wrong. I guess those are also his best attributes that make him memorable after all these decades. What’s more interesting, however, is YouTuber Starscreamer’s creation of his namesake, the Transformers Generation 1 Decepticon Starscream. It’s created with an uncanny likeness, with the signature colors and parts that give it the perfect shaping.
Click to see the video for the transformation process
Do you own a copy of Emmet’s Triple-Decker Couch Mech from The LEGO Movie 2? Would you like to take that set from a 2-in-1 build to a 5-in-1? Alan Yap has investigated the possibilities and discovered there is more to this set than meets the eye. By rearranging parts, you can make a microscope that transforms into both a hovertank AND a sweet, sweet robot. This is alternate building at its finest and, best of all, you can build it too thanks to Alan’s instructions!
There’s more to this model than meets the eye. Read on to find out why!
The Super Deformed (SD) aesthetic, sometimes better known as Chibi designs, has a unique appeal when representing characters, emphasizing cuteness and innocence. I think it works well with LEGO as a medium, especially when filled with details. Though this pair may not transform into their vehicle forms, these two best buddies Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, are built by Choi Dam Baek (최담백).
Posed in their robot mode, not only do they look great, but they do have enough articulation to bring them to life in a wonderful example of the Chibi aesthetic applied to unusual characters.
For those of us who were in our early teens in the eighties, Michael Bay got it all wrong when he made his first Transformers movie. Listen to me, Mr. Bay: Bumblebee turns into a Volkswagen Beetle; not a Camaro. Travis Knight, the director of the new 2018 Bumblebee movie, was a teenager in the eighties and is a self-confessed Transformers fan. He nailed it.
We’ve already featured a really sweet LEGO version in Beetle mode by hachiroku24 and a screen-accurate Bumblebee robot by ekownimako. However, they don’t actually transform. I happen to think that this a pretty essential feature of any Transformer.
Making it transform is certainly not easy, but I pored over pictures of new Bumblebee toys released for the movie. I also happen to have a LEGO Beetle design that I like, which I could use as a starting point. It is quite small, though, at about 19 cm long (roughly 7 inches) and there is a lot of stuff that needs to fold into it. The end result is flimsy, it doesn’t really want to stand upright unsupported and it’s not nearly as nicely proportioned in robot mode as in the movie, but it works: the Beetle unfolds into a Bumblebee.