Most of us can probably think of iconic LEGO advertisements from when we were kids, whether it was the little red-haired girl proudly holding her creation, or the Brick Maniac’s zany exploits from the 90s. But it’s not very often that you get to see a LEGO campaign pitch that didn’t come to fruition. In 2016, Brian Ellis pitched a new branding concept to LEGO that unfortunately wasn’t chosen. However, Brian has shared not only the video pitch, but also a full 20 minute documentary of a behind-the-scenes on how it was created. With 5 years of effort put into this bringing friends and like-minded individuals together, it also offers an insight into just how much work needs to be put in for a 60-second production.
If you’re thinking, what so special about it all? There are several. For one, it’s always admirable and insightful to see how fans of LEGO go the extra mile — putting more blood sweat and tears into a production for the toy company whose products we love so much. It also features no computer-generated graphics (CGI), something rare in this age of digital. The stage and models were built by hand, including the costumes, and put together in post-production with traditional non-linear editing software. The LEGO builds were made by LEGO Designer Mark John Stafford, who we recently interviewed for the Jurassic Park: T-Rex Rampage release. Everything down to the soundtrack, which has a Blade Runner-esqe feeling, was composed specially for the one minute feature.
Click to read our interview with the creator and watch the full video production and documentary
Here is a simple truth: these days LEGO remains one of those few common activities that give you a rest from a smartphone. For me and for many of our readers, building with LEGO has always been a pastime that requires no downloads, installing or updates; you open a box and the play begins. Obviously, winning over modern-day kids who love digital entertainment and touchscreens is a tough challenge for a toy manufacturer. They say if you can’t beat them, join them, but LEGO thinks differently: if you can’t beat them, build them into the play experience. Along comes LEGO Technic Powered Up — the first generation of LEGO Technic electric elements that bring smartphones and tablets into play. With a whole lot of sensors and features, the new smart hub and motors are among the most advanced LEGO pieces ever produced. LEGO Technic 42099 4×4 X-treme Off-Roader introduces the new play system. The set includes just 958 pieces, but the new expensive electric elements are to blame for the price tag of US $249.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £199.99. It is available starting today, so we are building and testing the model in an attempt to discover the limits of the new Powered Up system and Control+ smart app.
Click here to see our impressions…
LEGO Star Wars builder Anthony Ducre recently shared a massive diorama featuring scenes from both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Built from over 50,000 LEGO bricks, the diorama includes Darth Vader chasing Luke Skywalker down the trench of the first Death Star, animated by placing the starfighters on classic LEGO 9-volt train tracks.
Watch videos of this huge LEGO Star Wars diorama after the jump
Last weekend, Netflix’s brought fans a bit of the 1980s with the Hawkins Fun Fair at California’s Santa Monica Pier. A carnival experience filled with Stranger Things tie-ins like the ice cream shop featured in Season 3 and a Demogorgon photo op. Starting today, the event has moved to New York’s Coney Island for the weekend. To celebrate their recent partnership with an official Stranger Things LEGO set, LEGO was on hand to help fans create a massive Stranger Things Season 3 poster.
The enormous mosaic was built throughout the weekend with the help of fans, who each assembled a small tile to place on the poster. Using more than 56,000 LEGO pieces in all, the poster measures 90 inches tall and 60 inches wide. It took more than 40 hours to design. Check out a time-lapse video of the poster’s construction below.
Earlier this week LEGO pulled the wraps off the biggest Jurassic World set yet, a throwback to the 1993 classic movie that started the franchise, 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage. Today LEGO is giving fans an inside look at the set with a video interview with Mark Stafford, the set’s designer.
With a whopping 3,120 pieces, the set includes the largest dinosaur LEGO’s ever created. The set will retail for US $249.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £219.99 beginning June 19th for LEGO VIPs, with general availability beginning July 1st.
Watch the full video below, and look out for our full review of this set soon.
LEGO has been having some fun with their designer videos recently, and this gem for the newly announced LEGO Stranger Things set 75810 The Upside Down turns the boombox’s awesome level up a notch. LEGO Designer Justin Ramsden (also part of the team of designers who bought us the gigantic Hogwarts Castle) flips the set over and over showcasing the strength of the build, while also rocking some amazing puns in this video designed to look like a long-lost interview recorded on VHS in the 1980s.
LEGO Stranger Things 75810 The Upside Down comes with 2,287 pieces (read our full review here) and will retail for US $199.99 | CAN $269.99 | UK £179.99. It is available beginning tomorrow for LEGO VIP members, with a full release coming June 1.
One glance at this amazing LEGO Muppet creation by Andreas Keinbart and I can already hear Beaker frantically meep-meep-meeping. Based on the recurring Veterinarian’s Hospital setting from The Muppet Show, the huge multi-level motorized diorama features many of the beloved Muppet characters in brick form. Up top in the lab are Dr. Bunsen and Beaker, with Sweetums coyly hiding in the back.
Incredibly, many of the characters are animated with LEGO gears and motors. Beaker’s mouth, of course, opens and closes, and Sweetums peaks in then goes back into hiding.
Down below in the operating room are Dr. Bob (aka Rowlf), Nurse Piggy, and Nurse Janice, along with their patients, a rabbit, a chicken, and Baskerville the Hound. Continue reading
Games in the Titanfall universe are some of the best first-person shooter games I’ve played, and the surprise free-to-play battle royale Apex Legends is no exception. 20 squads of three enter, one survives, making for a tense spinoff game. My favorite sidearm from Titanfall is the Wingman revolver, and it returns in Apex with increased effectiveness. So, of course, I just had to create a LEGO Wingman for the LEGO gaming arsenal.
The most interesting feature of the Wingman is its reload function. Throwing a switch above the trigger expands the black rails and unlocks the ammo cylinder for removal. I couldn’t get the function switch-activated, but all other parts work including the cylinder lock. Read more and see a video of the Wingman’s features
If you don’t know already, I’m a little obsessed with pinball. I’m also a little obsessed with mechanical LEGO builds, kinetic sculptures, and automaton. So naturally, I was overly excited when I saw that one of my favorite builders, Teun de Wijs, has married a couple of my favorite things together! This legendary pinball game turned LEGO automaton is incredible.
The way Teun uses gearing and switches to make the lights blink and the pot-bellied man tilt the machine makes me jealous at his ingenuity. I do have to say that the hip thrusting is a little intense though…
If you like this build, you’ll love Teun’s other magical LEGO creations. They are a step above anything else I’ve seen! Also, if you like pinball and haven’t checked out my own 100% LEGO machine, Benny’s Spaceship Adventure, you should take a look!
After wowing us with an amazing collaborative diorama of Cloud City, builder Caleb Watson has turned his skills to another classic Harrison Ford franchise, Indiana Jones. In this huge diorama, Indy runs through all the perils from the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark as he escapes the temple with the idol. But this diorama holds a secret: it’s completely motorized, with minifigure Indy actually dodging each of the traps.
Check out this video of the action as Indy makes his way through the temple, and then read about the details of how it works below.
Learn more about this model below
We’ve been following the ongoing evolution of a series of mechanical LEGO dinosaurs built by Dan Schlumpp. Each iteration has become more and more streamlined, and the latest addition to his Mesozoic menagerie is no exception. The body-shaping is excellent, as well as the color choices.
This stegosaurus not only looks great, but lumbers around beautifully! It’s amazing to get such an organic body while still trying to create and hide all the right mechanical components.
If you’re curious about the previous iterations, check out our feature on one of Dan’s previous dinos.
Now that we’re closing in on December, it’s time to release the Christmas builds! I’ve been anxiously anticipating another seasonal kinetic sculpture by Jason Allemann, and he hasn’t disappointed.
These elves at their workbench are cute enough alone, but of course, there’s more! Jason’s latest creation uses a nifty mechanism to give it an assembly line feel.
Watch a video of this kenetic sculpture in action