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!
Do you think orcs ever get tired of warmongering? More often than not, they’re depicted as grumpy, aggressive beings hungry for conquest, but Versteinert posits that they might also be partial to a more peaceful life. This particular one has taken to the forest for its downtime. Which makes sense – if you’ve got all those nice heavy battleaxes, there’s no point leaving them gathering dust between pillages. Might as well put them to good use making some wood. A bit of woodworking is probably a nice way to decompress after terrorising the realms of man, in the absence of LEGO sets. Making a wardrobe or coffee table, perhaps. Rest and recuperation is important, folks!
This LEGO “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” build by Versteinert may only use 101 pieces, but those elements are expertly selected. This elegant little microscale includes bright green hair for trees, hockey sticks for an archway, gear racks for stairs, and forks for pillars. There are also splats in both lime and trans-light blue for both plants and water, and crowns forming the decorative spouts. 1×2 handle plates on their sides have never looked so good! Overall, you can’t ask for much better parts usage on a build so small!
Isn’t the mythology around gangsters odd? Although they were criminals, they do seem to make for fascinating characters in novels and on screens. In fact, as Versteinert demonstrates, they can be excellent subjects for LEGO creations! And if you’re going to depict a gangster, you might as well depict the gangster: Al Capone. For someone who was designated public enemy number one, there’s a lot to love about this build. The parts usage is great – I count at least four alternate uses for things like bananas and stud shooters – but the characterization of Capone is what makes this build. The tilted fedora and cigar off to one side give him heaps of personality, and I daresay he almost looks cute!
Over at The Brother’s Brick we know a good LEGO Orc Hut when we see one. And this Orc Hut by Versteinert definitely is a good one. Do you want to know why? It’s because of all the funky parts used in original ways. We get a tree trunk suit disguised as a chimney. Complete with a Ninjago snake used for the smoke. I’ve seen this part used for smoke before and it never stops to amaze me how good this looks. Cake suit guy gets robbed of his party hat because it gets transformed into a bell. I love how the pin of the hat resembles the clapper of the bell. The flower stem pine trees are to die for. Same goes for most of the foliage. There are quite some original parts used there. If you take a closer look you can spot eggs, ice cream scoops, Minion hair and even Marge Simpsons head.
I might have a soft spot for Disney characters built with LEGO. This white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland by Versteinert. He serves as the Queen of Hearts’ royal herald, an obligation to which he is often late. To help him with his busy schedule he carries around a big pocket watch to keep track of time. In this creation, there are a lot of food parts involved. The ears of the rabbit are made using white bananas. For the hairy cheeks, croissants were used and the trousers incorporate two dark tan pumpkins.
I tried zooming in on the face to get a more clear picture of how it is constructed but unfortunately, I just can’t figure out whether it is construction, friction, or gravity. Maybe it is a combination of all of the above. For the pocket watch, Versteintert stayed in the food theme. The base of the watch is a big Fabuland pot. Which to me is quite humorous as Fabuland was also filled with cute anthropomorphic animals.
When deputies arrived at the scene after responding to a call from a local alfalfa farmer about a strange creature outside his window in the middle of the night, they noticed an unusual sight at the edge of the man’s land, which seemed to be a weather balloon or a new-fangled washing machine. The strange object was stamped with “manufactured by Versteinert“. After setting up a cordon around the site, a black vehicle arrived on the scene, and two well-dressed gentlemen stepped out wearing dark sunglasses and holding up a small penlight…
Don’t you hate it when you order a delicious takeaway pizza, but it takes way longer to arrive than it said it would? I doubt you’d have this problem with Versteinert‘s pizza delivery hot rod! This is his latest entry into the Rogue Olympics, where builders are limited to creations with 101 LEGO bricks. As you’d expect, with such a limitation on part numbers, you have to get creative with your part choice. The main body of this breadvan-style vehicle is a DOTS bag tag, the engine features (among other things) ingot and lipstick elements, and a saxophone doubles as a side exhaust. Talk about tuning your engine!
(I’ll get my coat…)
Versteinerts creation looks like there is an excellent blacksmith in town. You can tell by all the fittings on the door in the attic and the iron sign near the tavern’s entrance. For the fittings on the door Versteinert used the tooth plate which to me is just perfect. For the tavern sign, a couple of parts were used in a smart way. The fence is hung upside down using the round plate with handle in black (which apparently exists). The plant stem with thorns as an ornate element of the sign is a very nice touch.
The rest of the building looks amazing as well. The walls have a cobblestone look going on, which is achieved using a lot of different plates and tiles. The gold fence windows make the tavern look really fancy. Using the same roof technique as the Medieval Blacksmith makes it blend in really nice with the original set. The best thing about this creation is that it is designed as a modular building and is fully furnished on the inside. The upper floors and the two roof sections can be easily removed to gain access to the building’s interior.
Have you ever considered the possibility of actually being thrilled to see a cop’s flickering lights in your rearview mirror? I know, it seems like a stretch of a premise, but hear me out. The lights come on, you break out in a cold sweat and in a hurried panic keister the banana you were going to eat for lunch later. Then once he pulls you over and taps on the glass it’s all-yes, officer, no officer, anything you say, officer. It’s only after the ordeal is over that you realize it’s not illegal to transport a banana after all and you feel like a damned buffoon. We’ve all been there, right? No? OK, forget I mentioned it. Here’s an awesome LEGO classic wagon built by Versteinert that, if seen in the rearview mirror, probably would make the experience of being pulled over just slightly more palatable.
LEGO Ideas, the company’s crowd-sourcing platform that turns fans’ ideas into real-life sets, is best known for products like 21322 Pirates of Baracuda Bay or 21323 Grand Piano. But LEGO Ideas isn’t just for massive sets that will break the bank. Last May LEGO tested out a small Ideas set as a giveaway, resulting in 40335 Space Rocket Ride. And now the latest Ideas set, 40448 Vintage Car, follows in its footsteps as a giveaway. Based on a design by LEGO fan Versteinert after it won the fan vote in last year’s LEGO Ideas vintage car contest, it’s modeled after a classic 1950s-era sedan with a two-tone teal and white paint job. The set contains 188 pieces and is available this month from LEGO as a free promo between Jan. 1 and Jan. 17 with orders over US $85 | CAN $85 | UK £85. There are over 100 new LEGO sets for 2021, so you’ll have plenty of options.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
There’s something about a 50s era car that gives me a deep sense of longing for a time and a place that I was never a part of. Well, it turns out so many others share in this notion. The term for that is not nostalgia but rather… anemoia. Versteinert likely knows what I mean as evidenced by this fabulously 50s convertible. The good news for anyone not a sexagenarian but still in love with that 50s style is this ride was the grand prize winner in the LEGO Ideas contest and will soon be an official Gift with Purchase set. Details as to exactly when and which sets you’d need to purchase haven’t been released yet, but our not-too-distant future is looking bright!
Contest rules state that any entry would need to be a generic design. I say “generic” meaning no particular model or brand, but I’m seeing a little bit of ’59 Impala, little bit of ’57 Chevy Bel Air, little bit of Ford, little bit of Cadillac and all things that make my heart go pitter-patter. The ice skate blade hood ornament is inspired, and the Dagmars (named after this actress) on the bumper are an excellent touch, but the pièce de résistance would have to be these surfboards. It would seem giving us all a sense of anemoia just might be this builder’s thing. Here’s a prior time we featured his vintage Chevy truck.