Cassette players scream eighties so loudly that it seems kind of redundant to mark tapes as “80s mix”, but Jarekwally still decided to bring out the nostalgia even more. The builder was inspired by his father’s stories of how they used to pirate music nearly forty years ago with a radio and a tape deck. Cassette players are so iconic, you don’t even need to have 80s nostalgia to be inspired by them.
Jarekwally’s build is not the first time we’ve seen cassette players in LEGO, which kind of makes sense, as tapes are just blocky technical items with a limited variation of texture — which translates into bricks very well. What I love about this particular version is the use of chrome silver around the cassette slot and the underside of a plate as the speaker mesh. Simple indeed, but inspired.
Check out these other LEGO retro audio instruments:
Some of our younger readers will not remember the experience of scrolling the camera film forward after taking a photograph. Indeed, before the automatic whirring that signalled the end of the film, cameras had little turning levers to manually winding the film back into its protective housing. This LEGO version of an old camera in 1:1 scale was built by Andreas Lenander as a gift for his dad. While it is not a specific model, I did think it was reminiscent of the old Leica cameras with their black and silver bodies, and a selection of turning knobs and switches on top.
The king of awesome little LEGO camera’s must be Chris McVeigh, who also generously shares instructions for his builds on his own website. If you like the camera we highlighted above, you will definitely enjoy Chris’ LEGO Polaroid camera.
Coca-Cola first went on sale at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia 1886. The world’s favourite soft drink was invented by Dr John Pemberton, but it was Dr Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, who came up with the now world-famous red-and-white logo. Pixel Junkie’s latest LEGO creation is a vintage delivery truck bringing cases of Coca-Cola to the local hardware store to be sold for a nickel each.
The background has some nice retro details. I love the gumball machine with advertising, the Coca-Cola vending machine, and the little crate sitting on the hand cart ready to go in the fridge. All-in-all, a great nostalgic scene built in LEGO.
The digital era has pushed a lot of state-of-the-art technology into vintage obscurity, and one such piece of audio equipment is the reel-to-reel tape recorder. Imagine the tape removed from a tape cassette and wound onto a reel, press a button and twiddle some knobs and voilà, your slightly crackly audio recording will be transferred onto the reel. Yul Burman has built a great looking LEGO version complete with reels, buttons, twiddly knobs and some bygone bling!
I want this on my shelf next to Carl Merriam’s vintage LEGO movie projector.
It’s time to put your smartphone camera back into your pocket and embrace the wonder of the Graflex Speed Graphic camera. Back in the 1960s, Graflex cameras were the standard camera used by press photographers (before some were renamed paparazzi). Milan CMadge has built a LEGO version of this famous camera that is remarkably accurate compared to the real thing.
The method of building the flash housing is particularly clever, as Milan has used 3mm flexible hose to shape the reflector and a couple of curved cockpits for the bulb. Interesting bit of trivia now: the 3-cell Graflex flashgun was modified and used as the prop for Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber in Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
As my two teens head off to high school today for the start of another school year, I’m pretty certain one of the things they won’t see in their laptop / smart board / PowerPoint saturated academic environment is an “overhead projector”. And in case any of you are scratching your heads wondering what that is, how it worked, or what “transparencies” might be, Jeffrey Kong of Artisan Bricks has kindly created a miniature version of one using LEGO to give you a rough idea…
Presented without comment or explanation and leaving Chris McVeigh wishing he’d thought of this first!
Not content with bringing you one LEGO model of the classic vintage Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, I am spoiling you with two. Both of these models are entries to the LUGNuts 100th Challenge.
The first Silver Ghost is by Firas Abu-Jaber, a well-known, skilled LEGO car builder – although normally a fan of racy supercars such as this Ferrari Testarossa 512 TR. Firas has gone all out with this build, a pristine example of a Rolls Royce Springfield Silver Ghost Playboy Roadster. With shiny chrome, cream body and curvy shaping, she will definitely turn heads. If you want to see her from different angles and have a peek under her hood, there are more images on MOC pages.
Next we have Martien Nijdam, who has also created a Silver Ghost in classic racing green, complete with golden ‘boa constrictor‘ horn. I believe that Pino has gone for an earlier 1921 model complete with crankshaft. As my bicycle knowledge is far superior to my knowledge of any vehicle with a motor, please correct me if I am wrong. There are more images of Pino’s Silver Ghost in his Flickr album, and it’s worth taking the time to pore over the details.
For some time now LEGO artist Chris McVeigh has been bringing us palm-sized chunks of hi-tech nostalgia heaven, such as his Atari 2600 and Apple Macintosh kits. But now Chris jumps into the unfashionable-yet-practical camp of “IBM compatibles” with this picture-perfect 80’s era DOS computer. This certainly brings memories of my first tech job flooding back – twin floppies, Hammer pants, and all.
The kit is currently available for pre-order from Chris’ store. Or if you prefer, as of today you can now download the instructions and build one from your own collection of bricks. But here’s all the narly stuff you’ll get if you order the full kit:
Relive the ’80s with this incredibly detailed 285-piece retro computer model custom design! Pop off the computer’s chassis to see its fully-equipped interior, which includes disk drives, expansion cards and power supply. Additional features include:
• Custom-printed processor tile for added detail
• Custom-printed display slopes featuring a choice of two prompts, A>_ and C:\_
• An extra tile allows you to switch one of the diskette drives to a hard disk
I know what I’m putting at the top of my list of stocking stuffers this Christmas! Hmmm, but I guess the important question is: Have I been naughty or nice?
If conversations about audio equipment have you fondly remembering terms like “45 rpm”, “B-side”, “mix tape” or “VHF” then you’re probably ancient like me. Or you just rented Guardians of the Galaxy. Either way, this LEGO trifecta of vintage gear is far out, right on, and out of sight… Can you dig it?
First up is this 70s kitchen scene from Swedish retro-fanatic LegoJalex, featuring a portable radio and a color palette that practically defined the home décor of that decade. Looks like something right out of the 1973 IKEA catalog (and strangely, the 2010 catalog). It’s groovy, man.
Next, are these super-accurate recreations of turntable / cassette player units from the same era, created by Indonesian builder Yul Burman Karel. I swear, the one on the left looks like the exact one I used as a kid. Ok, time to boogie!
I love this vintage telphone by Konslon. The elegant lines of the phone and the muted sepia tones really make for a nice presentation. The tires really work nicely on the handset as well.
Regular readers may have concluded long ago that The Brothers Brick are just a bunch of old farts who are obsessed with Miami Vice, Ataris, and Hammer pants. And you’d be right. So I’m gonna worsen that stereotype and take you back to an even older, fartier era when men were men and computers were, well, absolutely enormous:
LegoJalex‘s recreation of a vintage NCR Century Series mainframe reminds us of an era when computers had to be kept in specially cooled rooms, and one IBM executive famously predicted “there is a world market for maybe five computers”. Extra points (and a tube of Prep H) to anyone that can correctly identify any of the components represented in the scene above!
And to round off our little 70’s nostalgia trip, here’s a BONUS ITEM from the same builder: an adorable microscale version of the classic LEGO set 381 Police Headquarters. Ah, it’s like my 5th birthday all over again!
…can you dig it?
Chris McVeigh (powerpig) has made something of a specialty in must-have, palm-sized LEGO models of retro technology. His body of work includes some iconic videogame consoles, cameras, phones, televisions and even kitchen appliances (but thankfully no fax machines yet).
In my opinion though, his latest creation – the very first Apple home computer – tops even his amazingly popular Apple Mac. But then I’m biased, because this was the first computer I ever owned! He’s nailed it, right down to the dual floppies, side vents and internal card layout. And the addition of custom printed bricks by customBricks for the screen really brings the whole thing to life.
But fear not, fellow old-timers, you don’t have to just gaze longingly at these wonderful images. Get your nostalgia on, and head over to Chris’s website where you can download instructions for many of his creations, or even order them as kits. And you won’t even have to send a check in the mail…
Isn’t modern technology wonderful?!