How do you recreate a video game using LEGO? You could build the game’s characters, or even a 3D version of a level. But that doesn’t capture the movement videogames have. Or you could do what Jason Cichon has done, and take the term “side-scrolling platformer” quite literally by turning the classic Mario Bros into a moving diorama.
The various pieces of the level are attached to a conveyor belt out of sight, and a crank on the diorama’s side scrolls the level past the viewing screen, duplicating in 3-dimensional bricks the feeling of moving through the level.
This week at the CES technology convention in Las Vegas, LEGO unveiled Boost, an entry-level building and coding toolkit to help bring your creations to life. More simple than Mindstorms, LEGO Boost (17101) is like its little brother but cooler and easier to get to know. The Brothers Brick is at CES and we’ll bring you hands-on coverage soon, but in the meantime, here are the basics.
With Rogue One dominating the news, we wanted to highlight that LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, Season One is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
For those of you unfamiliar with the popular Disney XD show, The Freemaker Adventures is about a ragtag band of rebels tracking down a mythical lightsaber while the Empire goes about building the second Death Star brick by brick. In typical LEGO humor, expect to see cameos from all around the Star Wars universe, Palpatine’s gift shop, baby wampas, Buffy the Vampire Slayer meta-references, and a George Lucas lookalike named “The Maker” who’s gone into seclusion because he’s tired of space wars.
The DVD and Blu-ray sets are both available at Amazon on sale for around $25 — a steal for five hours of quality entertainment.
Imagine Rigney has been combining his love of LEGO and retro-scifi video game Bioshock for years. The Brothers Brick first covered his impressive entrance to the underwater city of Rapture in 2011, and in 2014 Imagine’s breathtaking Bank of the Prophet from Bioshock Infinite amazed us with its stunningly huge songbird perched above the floating city.
Well, we weren’t the only ones who noticed Imagine’s incredible talent — Bioshock developers 2K Games have also been keenly following his brick-built fan art. Recently, 2K contacted Imagine and asked him to build a brick version of the cover art for their remastered edition of the Bioshock games, Bioshock: The Collection. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Imagine set to work, and has turned out this jaw-dropping collage of Bioshock imagery.
Famous a capella group Pentatonix gets LEGO-ified in their new music video for the Christmas classic “Up on the Housetop.” The video uses YouTube’s new 360° functionality, meaning you can pan around in the video to see in every direction. While the graphic fidelity won’t be winning any awards, being able to see what’s “behind” the camera is pretty cool even without VR, and will look even better if you have Google Cardboard or another VR device.
Japanese builder akiyuki applies the concept of strain wave gearing to Great Ball Contraptions, a popular LEGO fan convention theme in which hundreds of balls are passed through complex machinery. From both an engineering and a visual standpoint, the module is mesmerizing to watch. See the module in action in the following 2 minute video.
A fascinating read detailing the design process and engineering challenges faced by the builder can be found on akiyuki’s blog.
Ingenious LEGO builders are always creating amazingly complex machines to do cool tasks — just check out this automated Christmas cookie decorating machine! Braiding rope is a fairly straightforward task for a human, but it’s complex for a machine because it requires strands to be passed underneath each other. It’s mesmerizing to watch Nico71‘s braiding machine pass three of the shuttles back and forth between the rotating spindles to interweave the 5 strands.
Manuel Nascimento built this incredible LEGO Technic Porsche 919 after watching the real-life car win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015. Not content to simply recreate the stunning shape out of LEGO, Manuel also decorated his car like the real one, saying, “I had too much fun decorating the car but at the same time I also had a lot of work because all stickers were hand made.” Check out more of this beautiful racecar below, including the working functions.
Grant Davis has built this spectacular little microscale castle. Like most LEGO microscale creations, it’s awash in terrific creativity, with lots of unusual pieces used in new ways, and the finished product belies its complexity. Fortunately for all of us curious viewers, Grant made a short video that shows some of the techniques he employed as he walks us through the disassembly of the model.
Some talented folks over at Forest Fire Films decided to recreate the Suicide Squad teaser trailer in LEGO, and it’s great — though if the early reviews are anything to go by, it may even be better than the actual film! Jared Leto’s deranged Joker is even more creepy as a minifigure, but it’s doubtful we’ll ever see any official LEGO Super Heroes sets based on the film, which opens today.
Adam Savage and the crew of Tested have been dabbling in the world of LEGO lately, including visiting BrickCon and building Jason Allemann’s Sysiphus Kinetic Sculpture. Their latest LEGO hijinks, though, are sure to leave you appalled — they’ve designed a “real-life” interpretation of a LEGO Minifigure as a cosplay costume. If you’ve ever wondered what a happy yellow minifig head might look like if he was made of flesh and blood, wonder no longer. It is disturbing, and looks fresh out of Area 51.
Earlier this week LEGO announced a brand new 71040 Disney Castle set which immediately had LEGO and Disney fans jumping with excitement. Today LEGO has released the designer video with LEGO Designer Marcos Bessa, allowing us to get a great look at all the features and details. The 4,080 piece set includes 5 minifigures, and will retail for $349.99 USD starting on September 1st.