Brick History and Brick Wonders Features LEGO Exhibits by Warren Elsmore

Early this month, we covered a single LEGO MOC display in Fort William, Scotland at the UK. It was a brick-built historical recreation of an ancient Scottish hillfort. That was just one display. But this month two other Scottish historical sites will soon be hosting their own multi-display LEGO exhibits. These are the Brick History and Brick Wonders displays, both composed of LEGO fan creations by LEGO artist Warren Elsmore and his team. Brick Wonders is set to debut in Stirling Castle this coming Saturday, September 29, at the former Scottish Royal Residence and tourist attraction Stirling Castle.

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Brick Wonders will feature brick recreations of “amazing sights from around the world”, with equal emphasis on historical locations and modern-day complexes. As seen in the photo, they can range from old-style housing to aircraft, space shuttles and other vehicles.

In the meantime, Warren Elsmore’s other LEGO MOC exhibit, Brick History, is straightforward in its subject matter. It’s described as a journey through some of world history’s pivotal moments, from Pompeii to London Bridge to Mozart to Martin Luther King. The display kicked off just this weekend, September 22, this time at Fort George, Highland.

Brick History 2- credit Warren Elsmore

Both Brick History and Brick Wonders are included in the usual admission price for visitors at their respective venues of Stirling Castle and Fort George. Brick Wonders will remain at Stirling until January 23 of next year, while Brick History will finish off at Fort George earlier, on January 6.

Dinosaurs Fossils Skeletons – Natural History Collection Qualifies for the 2018 LEGO Ideas Third Review Stage

Earlier this month, the LEGO Ideas Team has officially announced the second set of qualifiers for this year’s Second 2018 Review Stage. From space exploration to a deliciously looking candy vending machine, this set of LEGO Ideas project qualifiers will now soon be joined by our very first LEGO Ideas 10K qualifier for the Third Review Stage. The Dinosaurs Fossil Skeletons – Natural History Collection LEGO Ideas Project proposal is based on the famous dinosaur fossils of the Natural History Museum. This LEGO Ideas project features several custom LEGO dinosaur fossils mounted on brick-built stands.

The LEGO Ideas Project Proposal, Dinosaurs Fossils Skeletons – Natural History Collection by Mukkinn.

The Dinosaurs Fossil Skeletons – Natural History Collection project proposal is the very first entry for the Third 2018 Review Stage. Read on for the set’s description courtesy of its creator, Mukkinn.

Dinosaurs Fossils Skeletons – Natural History Collection

Set presentation:

Did you ever dreamed to get your own Dinosaur Museum?

The collection “Natural History Museum” is giving you the chance to build and expose on your shelf the most famous and majestic creatures who walked on earth !

Don’t miss the opportunity to amaze your guests with these impressive and realistic reconstitutions of various Dinosaur species!

Set features:

Triceratops Fossil Skeleton and his exhibition base
Stegosaurus Fossil Skeleton and his exhibition base
Dilophosaurus Fossil Skeleton and his exhibition base
Brachiosaurus Fossil Skeleton and his exhibition base
Plesiosaurus Skeleton and his exhibition base
Parasaurolophus Skeleton and his exhibition base

Another LEGO Ideas project qualifier is almost at the end of its 10K finish line, with just 400 and more votes needed to qualify. The Chemical Plant by Ymarilego might soon accomplish this goal at the end of this last quarter, so will keep a close eye on this one as well.

New LEGO xtra Playmats Arriving at shop.LEGO.com

LEGO will be rolling out its first wave of LEGO xtra Playmats this October. If you recall, this collection of LEGO playmat accessories first came in to view last June after the reveal of the LEGO xtra polybag sets and minifigure accessories. The announcement of the LEGO xtra theme had a warm reception, especially from those who are into serious LEGO City MOC building. Though I really don’t think that the LEGO xtra Playmats will cater to all LEGO enthusiasts, it offers a lot of play opportunities for younger LEGO fans, and perhaps will be a nice additional element for certain vignettes. Whether you’re next inspired build will be minifigures on the road, a stroll in the grassy park, or an ocean-filled adventure, the LEGO xtra Playmats has it covered.

The LEGO xtra Playmats contains 11 LEGO elements per pack and will retail for $7.99. The nice thing about these packs is that they come in sets of two, with each Playmat having back-to-back prints and measuring 9 inches each. There is no news yet if the LEGO xtra Playmats will include additional themes in the future such as the timeless Castle, Space or Pirates theme (perhaps it’s the AFOL in me who is hoping), but it will really be cool if LEGO will offer those. For now, be sure to visit shop.LEGO.com every now and then to check when these playmats are available, or just click the following links below.

LEGO xtra Road Playmat (853840)

$7.99; 11 pieces

Set up new roads and cruise around your city!

 Stretch your imagination and playtime with the help of this LEGO® xtra 853840 Road Playmat pack, featuring 2 laminated, double-sided playmats with printed graphics, 2 buildable connectors and a shovel play-starter element to do some digging on your roads. The double-sided pieces let you create 4 different settings. Combine and use the LEGO xtra accessories with any LEGO sets, to enhance children’s play in any way they can imagine.

  • Features 2 laminated, double-sided playmats with printed graphics, 2 buildable connectors and a shovel play-starter element.
  • Playmats each measure over 9” (25cm) square.

 

LEGO xtra Sea Playmat (853841)

$7.99; 11 pieces

Catch some sun, sand and surf at the seaside!

 Expand your playtime to the beach with the help of this LEGO® xtra 853841 Sea Playmat pack, featuring 2 laminated, double-sided playmats with printed graphics, 2 buildable connectors and a crab play-starter element. The double-sided pieces let you create 4 different settings. Combine and use the LEGO xtra accessories with any LEGO sets, to enhance children’s play in any way they can imagine.

  • This pack features 2 laminated, double-sided playmats with printed graphics, 2 buildable connectors and a crab play-starter element.
  • Playmats each measure over 9” (25cm) square.

 

LEGO xtra Park Playmat (853842)

$7.99; 11 pieces

Take a break in the park with a little help from this LEGO® xtra 853842 Park Playmat pack, featuring 2 laminated, double-sided playmats with printed graphics, 2 buildable connectors and a snake play-starter element. The double-sided pieces let you create 4 different settings. Combine and use the LEGO xtra accessories with any LEGO sets, to enhance children’s play in any way they can imagine.

  • Features 2 laminated, double-sided playmats with printed graphics, 2 buildable connectors and a snake play-starter element.
  • Playmats each measure over 9” (25cm) square.

Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks Exhibit at Halifax Disovery Centre Museum

In Halifax, Nova Scotia one can find an interactive science museum run by a non-profit charity. Its mission statement is to stimulate interest, enjoyment and understanding of science and technology for all children and families coming to visit. Its name: Discovery Centre. And one of its upcoming exhibits might, for a time, end up getting it mistaken for a LEGOLAND Discovery Center, like the actual Canadian one in LDC Toronto. Starting this Friday, September 21, Discovery Centre at Halifax Seaport will play host to the Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks exhibit. Still, a selected student group from Saint Mary’s Elementary School and members of the media got a sneak peek at the display on Wednesday. They were not disappointed.

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The Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks are a series of impressive 1:200 scale-model skyscraper LEGO builds that were built for Discovery Centre by a team of LEGO Certified Professionals (LCPs). The 20 buildings featured are among the most familiar skyscrapers in the world, with hometown Canadian giant the Toronto CN Tower, accompanied by the Empire State Building, China’s twisty Shanghai Tower, Australia’s Infinity Tower in Brisbane, and (of course) the wondrous edifices found in Dubai, the UAE.

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Each tower is accompanied by a detailed fact corner talking about the history of the actual buildings and their LEGO replicas featured there. Once visitors have gone through the Towers of Tomorrow, they can also try their hands at building structures with LEGO thanks to the free-play construction area with over 200,000 LEGO pieces of various sizes and colors; there’s also an early-age Duplo zone.

The Halifax Discovery Centre will keep the Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks display around up until January 4. That’s plenty of time for interested visitors to drop in. It’ll feel like an actual LDC there, save for the lack of LEGO products for sale.

Submission Period for Bricklink’s LEGO AFOL Designer Program Has Begun

This early September, third-party LEGO-selling platform Bricklink dropped a bombshell when they announced a new crowd-funding initiative in major partnership with LEGO itself. This was the AFOL Designer Program, which aims to showcase AFOL-submitted MOCs which can be supported and crowd-funded into limited-release box set with revenues to the creators.

Bricklink has already laid down specific details about the AFOL Designer Program, which comes off as an alternative to LEGO Ideas, but which will have the resulting sets be limited-edition only for the 60th anniversary celebration of the LEGO brick. Oh, and they also gave a date for when entries will begin to be accepted for the program: right now.

That’s right, Bricklink is now ready to accept MOC designs from AFOLs aspiring to have their builds be included in this limited-time wave of LEGO sets that will be coming out next year. The start date was September 18 and will last until November 18, after which they will be evaluated under the supervision of “a celebrated LEGO designer with unique expertise and a historical understanding of the LEGO system”.

All AFOL MOCs that make the cut for Bricklink’s Designer Program will then be out forth for crowdfunding throughout the month of February. They will then be put on a limited production run in time for release in April 2019. When total sales revenues arrive in the future, the lucky AFOLs will receive 10 percent of it, no questions asked.

Unlike the LEGO Ideas path, these limited sets that will be born out of the program will not be official releases, though they will likely be comprised of authentic LEGO pieces. Still, for the time they’ll be available, these uncommon sets from AFOLs’ dreams will be a true part of the ongoing grand global celebration for 60 years of LEGO.

Lepin Shamelessly Steals A Custom LEGO Gundam Fan Design

Henry Pinto is one of the best LEGO builders around specializing in huge, minifigure-scale creations. One of the most notable builds that he worked on is the towering 4-feet tall, custom LEGO Sentinel MOC based from the classic X-Men animated series. He is also actively involved with the Australian LEGO fan community and continues to delight us with his MOCs and other LEGO-inspired creations. Just recently, he came up with a worthy rival for his colossal LEGO Sentinel MOC in the character of his next gigantic mech – his custom LEGO Gundam. This behemoth clocks at more than 10,000 pieces and stands at 90cm or almost 3 feet tall.

LEGO Gundam

Unfortunately, talented builders and MOCers like Henry are shamelessly blindsided by companies that don’t give any value to the creativity and tons of efforts given by LEGO builders. Within the week of posting his custom LEGO Gundam MOC online, reports came to him that Lepin has already listed a copycat set that ripped off the original design and images of his latest work. Australian-based Bricking Around managed to interview Henry and was able to get to the bottom of this barefaced thievery.

For the record, this is not the first time that Lepin stole from the LEGO community. Back in October 2016, we brought to your attention how Lepin picks up several AFOL designs and packages them as their own. Some of these were taken from LEGO fans’ Flickr sites or straight up from the LEGO Ideas page. They even launched their own copycat LEGO Ideas platform in the hope of getting more inspirational builds from avid LEGO fans. Truth be told, there are AFOLs who actually submitted their original custom LEGO creations to this site so it was but natural to ask Henry if he indeed submitted his custom LEGO Gundam to Lepin. His answer was a resounding NO: in fact, it was only Monday this week that he shared his latest creation online. After a day or two, Henry’s friends and fans worldwide alerted him on how Lepin launched a copycat version based on his original LEGO Gundam MOC. “I had people from all over the world message me”, Henry admits. “At first I thought it was a joke and someone was pulling a prank. I even thought it was funny, but then I started getting links to actual retail stores taking pre-orders. That’s when I realized that it was not a joke and they were serious”. Just by looking at the following images below, you can immediately recognize that these were lifted from Henry’s Flickr album.

As bad as this may sound, Henry is such a cool LEGO fan and builder that he does not want this incident to dampen his enthusiasm in sharing his love for the brick. When asked if this experience made him reluctant to share his future work, Henry said, “Not really, I’ve always loved sharing as I go, as it engages a lot of people and it also helps me stay motivated. I also think the journey with a build like this is interesting as it very unique. I also enjoy the fact that people learn techniques from my posts.” Thankfully, we have people like Henry Pinto.

We would like to point out that what Lepin is doing is simply wrong, and it hurts LEGO builders and avid fans when their work and designs are taken without permission just for copycat companies to earn a quick buck. Let’s continue to be vigilant and report any similar activities, and we will do our best in keeping you informed.

 

Who Needs Card Boards When You Have These Custom LEGO Nintendo Labo

Here’s a great MOC story and an excellent example of unintentional (but awesome) cross-brand interaction. Fans of video games, particularly of Nintendo, would know that their Switch console has been making waves with its potential for multi-functional abilities. This is reflected in their Labo gaming/toy-construction platform, one of its best-selling points. Nintendo Labo kits consist of cardboard patterns that are cut out, folded and assembled into “Toy-Con” components that attach to the Switch unit and controllers to create new gameplay experiences with compatible software. It’s innovative and fun, but cardboard isn’t a notably sturdy material for long-term gaming. But what if there’s an alternative for it? Why not a custom LEGO Nintendo Labo?

There is, if you ask industrial designer and AFOL Vimal Patel (vmln8r on YouTube). He’s taken LEGO Technic pieces and assembled them into more durable alternatives for the default cardboard constructs of Nintendo’s Labo kits for the Switch. His first attempts in April were a kickstand and steering wheel; now he’s back with more builds.

A new YouTube video put up by Patel demonstrates his latest custom LEGO Nintendo Labo components used instead of the Nintendo Labo’s cardboard Toy-Cons. First he demonstrates more Switch unit grips; then we go to his piano alternative (with conventional LEGO pieces mixed in the Technic), a new motorcycle handlebar racing controller, and a sturdy fishing rod for the corresponding Labo fishing game.

Why do the LEGO pieces work? That’s because regardless of the materials used for the Toy-Con attachments, they only need the kit-included reflective tapes placed on the areas indicated by the building instructions so that the Switch infrared sensors can detect them. For more on vmln8r’s LEGO Technic developments for Nintendo Labo, you can also visit his personal website here.

Build the Construction Machines of the Future With LEGO Ideas

Though the submission of entries for the LEGO Ideas Contest – Create Your Most Imaginative Voltron Scene is almost at its end by September 24 next week, the LEGO Ideas Team has launched another contest that challenges LEGO Technic fans to Build the Construction Machines of the Future. LEGO, together with Volvo Construction Equipment invites LEGO builders and futurists to come up with their visions of constructions machines using but of course, LEGO pieces. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect from this latest brick-building contest.

BUILD THE CONSTRUCTION MACHINES OF THE FUTURE!

Build the construction machines of the future! We’ve teamed up with LEGO® TECHNIC and Volvo Construction Equipment to invite you to build the construction machines of the future – either autonomous or not! What will these construction machines look like, what tasks will they perform? Show us your design of what’s to come!

One Grand Prize winner will win a trip to the Volvo Customer Center in Eskilstuna, Sweden, to an unforgettable VIP test-drive of construction machines, visit to the Volvo Munktell Museum, Volvo Merchandise and LEGO Technics sets. There will also be two Runner Up winners that will get Volvo merchandise, and a collection of LEGO Technic sets.

The top 10 physical entries, to be selected by the judges, will also be invited to be displayed at the Volvo Munktell Museum in Sweden and photographed to be part of a digital campaign.

Similar to previous LEGO Ideas contests, there will be a Submission Phase from today until October 18 (6AM, EST); a Judging Phase from October 19 to November 9; and the Announcement of Winners which will be on November 21.  Other than the usual guidelines of submitting an entry made entirely of physical LEGO elements or via LEGO Digital Designer, this particular contest also stipulates that entries must consist or made up of 50% LEGO Technic parts.

Speaking of winners, there will be one Grand Prize winner and two Runner-Ups at the end of the contest. Additionally, top ten physical contest entries will be invited and put on display at the Volvo Munktell Museum in Volvo’s headquarters in Sweden. The Grand Prize winner will also get a once-in-a-lifetime experience to test-drive Volvo’s coolest construction machines in Sweden. Check out what the winners can bring home for the LEGO Ideas Build the Construction Machines contest.

Grand Prize:

Runner Up:

  • Volvo merchandise
  • The following LEGO Technic sets: 42079 Heavy Duty Forklift, 42080 Forest Machine, 42081 Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX, 42082 Rough Terrain Crane.

Be sure to take time to read the complete set of contest rules right here. For the latest LEGO Technic sets, please visit shop.LEGO.com. Happy building!

It May Not Be Over 9,000 Bricks, But This Brick-Built Vegeta in Great Ape Form Is Jaw-Dropping

If you’re anime fan, than you will probably agree that Dragon Ball Z and its cast of high-flying, hard-hitting, and battle-shouting warriors (yeah, there ARE a lot of shouting in DBZ) has become icons of the anime world. The first season of the classic Dragon Ball Z series introduces us to the Saiyan race, helmed by the self-proclaimed Saiyan Prince Vegeta. His confrontation with Goku during the first season of DBZ gave us a glimpse of his Great Ape form which literally crushed the living lights out of Goku. And this time around, as his way of tribute to the Prince of the Saiyan race, Japanese Master Builder Moko gives his interpretation of a brick-built Vegeta in minifigure scale, and the result is simply awe-inspiring.

If you remember from 2 years ago, I featured Moko in several of my write-ups when he cleverly created his versions of a mecha-riding Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck minifigures, a custom LEGO Transformer Brick, and a LEGO Mechatrobot MOC. Now he is back and this time with a MOC that is grander in scale – in fact, at minifigure scale that makes a custom Goku minifigure seems like an insect in comparison.

Moko never ceases to amaze with his brick-building techniques. His attention to detail in creating this brick-built Vegeta is astounding. The circles around his eyes, the ‘patch’ of hair underneath his tattered clothes, and the smooth flow of his gigantic tail were created by employing ‘organic’ or life-like building techniques using unconventional LEGO pieces (i.e. the emphasis around his eyes were achieved using minifigure arms while the tail’s flexibility is recreated by joining several tire pieces). He even recreated Vegeta’s damaged shoulder guard at properly balanced proportions.

The level of skill and effort that Moko showed in creating this MOC gets even more impressive when you realize that this MOC is at minifigure scale and highly articulated in spite of its massive size. Its jointed parts from the hip down to the ankles allow a variety of lower body poses for this brick-built Vegeta. His hands are superbly designed as well, with Moko giving considerable attention on how to make it life-like as much as possible.

Moko also Tweeted this image to give you a better perspective on how big this version of Vegeta is.

If you like this MOC from Moko, be sure to visit his blogsite for more custom LEGO projects. The site is in Japanese so be sure to have Google Translate ready.

Life-Sized LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron To Go On a European Tour

Last month, LEGO was able to prove the impossible when it unveiled its fully drivable  and life-sized LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron during the kick-off of the Grand Prix Formula 1 racing tournament in Monza, Italy last August 30. Powered by 2,304 LEGO Power Function motors, this fully functional LEGO vehicle patterned from its smaller counterpart, the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron (42083), managed to churn out a max speed of 20 km/h. Though this seemingly impossible MOC is still a far cry in terms of speed as compared to the 420 km/h top speed of its original predecessor, the brilliant engineering that went through in creating this brick masterpiece is simply amazing.

this MOC. According to Promobricks, this life-sized LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron will go on a European Tour, which already started in Milan, Italy. It will make the following road stops at these locations.

  • Dusseldorf, Germany (Schadowplatz) – September 20-23
  • Munich Airport, Germany – September 28 & 29
  • Paris, France (Motor Show) – September 30 to October 14
  • Utrecht, Netherlands (LEGO World) – October 18 to October 24
  • Great Britain (exact place to be announced) – October 30 to November 11
  • Wolfsburg, Germany (Autostadt) – November 11 to December 12

There is no exact location yet where in the UK will this LEGO engineering wonder will make a stop, and I’ll keep you posted once new information comes by. I hope this build will eventually find its way to the US and the rest of the world – it serves as a reminder that with LEGO bricks, building for real, even what seems to be the impossible, can be a reality. For now, check out these images shared by Promobricks. Special thanks also to Francesco Frangioja for snapping these images.