Here’s How To Build Your Own Custom LEGO Transformers Optimus Prime!

LEGO has just announced its latest LEGO set in the form of one of the most iconic Autobot in the franchise.  And though we need to wait until the end of this month to get our hands on it, builders can start building their own custom LEGO Transformers Optimus Prime even sooner with these neat building instructions from Build Better Bricks.

If you’ve been following our articles here in TBS, you’ll notice that a significant portion of our blogs is dedicated to the unique creations of the LEGO fan community. And as a fan of Generation 1 Transformers, I’m just excited to see this official LEGO version of Optimus, together with other brick-built renditions of some of the most memorable characters of the G1 era. Talk about having Soundwave and Devastator in all their LEGO glory and you’ll get the picture.

And this time around, Build Better Bricks is giving us a treat by letting us create our own custom LEGO Transformers Optimus Prime while we wait for the release of the official LEGO version on June 1.

 

With only a third of the parts needed to build the actual LEGO Optimus, B3’s custom brick rendition of Prime only requires less than 500 LEGO pieces to put together, making it a great way to jump back and reminisce about the G1 Transformers era without investing too much in new LEGO parts.

While B3’s version of the Optimus’ G1 version may not be at par with the actual 10302 set in terms of scale, this original creation from LEGO Masters Champion Tyler Clites still boasts some nifty features like 24 points of articulation, full transformation to his Semi Truck Mode, and his iconic ion blaster and Matrix of Leadership accessories. Do take note, however, that Build Better Bricks only offers the building instructions to create this custom version of Prime. You’ll have to provide the needed LEGO parts.

LEGO Transformers Optimus Prime

And if you want to give this a try, B3 is offering the building instructions to this for a minimal amount of $8. You’ll get high-quality instructions in PDF format, a parts list, and stud.io file that lets you easily import the model into Bricklink to get the parts you need if ever some of them are not available in your collection.

Let me know what you think about this B3 offering, and be sure to visit their website to know more about their custom LEGO Transformers build. While you’re at it, make it a point to see the rest of the custom LEGO builds that B3 has put together.

Alternative Build Ideas for LEGO GWP Vintage Taxi (40532) on Rebrickable

Late last January, LEGO launched a GWP set that went with its New Year 2022-released Creator Expert Boutique Hotel (10297). It was a cool-retro Vintage Taxi (40532) that came with a buildable roadside taxi stop. Pairing it with the Boutique Hotel building somewhat nailed the setting as a European-Parisian locale. But for those who feel the Vintage Taxi design is too old, never fear. A builder from LEGO MOC website Rebrickable has seen plenty of potential in the GWP set’s component pieces. He has a multitude of building options for 40532 to share, using only the pieces inside the set.

This nifty feature is shared to us by Brick Fanatics, which caught wind of Rebrickable member Keep on Bricking’s work. He has an astonishing 16 alternate build instructions for the LEGO Vintage Taxi (40532) set. You think the vehicle’s early-mid-20th Century aesthetic is too old for your own neighborhood build? Why not redesign the cab into a convertible? How about a sports car or SUV? Keep on Bricking even made a mind-blowing Batmobile build, using only the 163 pieces of set 40532. These alternate instructions are sure to pique the Master Builder in many LEGO collectors/players. Just check out his page on the Rebrickable website.

We’ve taken a look at Rebrickable quite recently before too. That was with Viv Grannell aka toastergrl, creator of the LEGO Ideas Sonic the Hedgehog (21331). She offered some alternate building ideas for the set’s buildable characters like Doctor Eggman.

LEGO Starts Distributing Special MRI Scanner Sets to 600 Hospitals Globally

Not all LEGO sets are purchasable goods for collectors. LEGO  has also designed some special few to serve greater symbolic purposes. Last year we featured LEGO’s collaborative plan with NASA to send astronaut minfigures aboard the un-crewed Artemis 1 mission. This test launch of a prospective new-generation lunar mission spacecraft is due to happen sometime this year. In another field, LEGO Foundation announced last month its simple idea to ease children’s concerns about getting an MRI. Their idea: distribute some special MRI scanner sets to be to local-community hospitals around the world. LEGO looks to be ready now.

As told by Brickset, a February 23 press release from LEGO announced their plans to donate brick-built MRI Scanner sets. Hospitals around the world with a radiology department and MRI Scanning facility can apply to receive one of these. Thus far, LEGO has earmarked 600 MRI Scanner sets to be given to selected hospitals that have applied here. LEGO designer Erik Ullerlund Staehr developed these sets back in 2015. It’s based on the MRI setup of Odense University Hospital in Denmark, made out of nearly 500 pieces. It depicts two MRI techs giving a scan to an excited boy.

That’s the kind of mood LEGO hopes to instill in young MRI subjects through their limited-edition special sets. Already, LEGO MRI sets have arrived at about 100 applicants of their planned 600 beneficiary hospitals worldwide. More information about the MRI Scanner sets can be found above courtesy of the LEGO Foundation. They even made an introductory video for it too.

LEGO Pizza Tile Made Real on Twitter

LEGO’s near-infinite variety of pieces also includes elements depicting food items for the minifigures. These range from beverage glasses and cups, to pieces shaped like fruits and vegetables, to tiles representing plates. That last group would also include one familiar LEGO food piece: pizza. Believe it or not, the LEGO pizza tile can be used to check the evolution of detail in LEGO sets. The most recent iterations of the pizza piece can be found in two sets that launched this past New Year’ Day. And surely some builders have looked at a LEGO pizza tile and wondered: How does it look like when life-sized?

Well, Brick Fanatics tells us that a Twitter user went and recreated a LEGO pizza piece in 1:1 scale. Did we mention the de-fictionalization was made of edible ingredients? User girlpatched space dog (@dogs_on_mars) posted photos of her efforts on Twitter Sunday, January 23. As seen in the photo above @ dogs_on_mars made an actual pizza, using food colorings to achieve the right tile colors. The crust is a bright yellow, while cheddar slices went under the tomato sauce. The green spots, which the creator believes are green-colored pepperoni, were replicated with green food color.

As if that wasn’t enough, girlpatched space dog decided to take things full circle. She scanned her actual LEGO pizza in Bricklink Studio to make a custom pizza piece. The results can be seen in the second tweet series above. The green pepperoni apparently didn’t translate well, and commenters offered that the green stuff was probably basil. But hey, we appreciate the experiment. At least we now know how LEGO minifigs perceive their pizza tiles.

LEGO VIP Rewards Offers Free Alternate Build Instructions for Three LEGO Art Sets

Membership in the LEGO VIP program can open a new world of special benefits and perks. Many of these bonuses can be redeemed with a good amount of points accumulated from LEGO purchases as a VIP. But every now and then, LEGO offers great goodies on their VIP page that don’t even require VIP points. Quite the number of them went live recently, ready for download on the LEGO.com VIP Rewards Center. The thing is, to enjoy them VIP members would have purchased three particular LEGO Art sets. If they have them though, they’re all set for alternative building as The Brick Fan tells it.

Some new zero-VIP point rewards are available on LEGO VIP Rewards Center. They come in the form of alternate building instructions for three sets of the LEGO Art line. In truth, these building instructions have been online for much earlier. The LEGO.com Art theme’s “About” page made mention of the instructions. Interested builders then needed to visit the original Art set’s product listing. The new arrangement put all alternate building instructions in the central hub of the VIP Rewards Center. VIP members can redeem them there without costing VIP points.

These alternative instructions illustrate new designs to be made on the LEGO Art sets in question. Amazingly, one only needs the existing pieces from one set to create the new designs. But what would you expect with a name like LEGO Art? Here are the LEGO Art sets in question, with their respective alternative designs:

Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests (31201)
  • Golden Snitch Logo
  • Platform 9¾ Sign
  • Hedwig Portrait
Disney’s Mickey Mouse (31202)
  • Alternate Portrait: Mickey
  • Alternate Portrait: Minnie
World Map (31203)
  • Europe Map
  • Denmark Map

LEGO Digital Designer Software Retiring; BrickLink Studio to Replace

Building with LEGO bricks may be as old-school as play activities can get. Still, even with the timeless appeal of the toy brand, LEGO does keep pace with the advance of technology. One example lies in digital brick-building software. LEGO launched its official digital brick-building utility, LEGO Digital Designer, in 2004. LDD used 3D digital rendering of actual LEGO bricks in real-time. The software would even be used in videogame and film development. Meanwhile, Bricklink launched its own Studio software in 2014, and quickly rose to wide usage itself. The popularity of BrickLink Studio with digital LEGO builders has led to this rather surprising announcement.

The Brick Fan reports that they’re shifting official 3D building software status from LEGO Digital Designer to BrickLink Studio. In a statement last Wednesday, January 12, LEGO declared the end of support for LDD. On the software’s official page at LEGO.com, they warn that LDD 4.3.10 will stop being available on January 31. Presently, the software will also have errors when launched except when working in offline mode. LEGO advises LDD users to download BrickLink Studio instead and import their LDD files. Bricklink will also replace the LDD page at the end of the month.

It’s the end of an era for LEGO Digital Designer, the development of which began as early as 2002. The software’s first-gen producer Tommy Scheer envisioned LDD as a simple digital-LEGO building tool for children with computers. He was impressed by the user community evolving the experience into something greater. This in turn led to Bricklink similarly developing BrickLink Studio. The torch has been passed, and LDD’s retirement on January 31 will make things official.

Toy Fair New York 2022 Cancelled

The COVID-19 viral pandemic that exploded in 2020 did a serious number on public events worldwide. Conventions and expos, business fairs and festivals; they either resorted to virtual presentations or cancelled outright. The prevailing sentiment from organizers and would-be attendees of these events was that next year will be live again. As it turns out, next year, 2021, wasn’t much improvement, Therefore 2022 became the next target for large events such as the New York Toy Fair to return. If all went as planned, they will go public again next month. As Brick Fanatics tells it however, they won’t.

It’s official. Organizers have cancelled Toy Fair New York 2022, planned from February 19 to 22. Word came out from The Toy Association, which released a statement Tuesday, January 11. Again, concerns regarding COVID-19 (Omicron variant) have sunk the biggest toy and entertainment marketplace in the Western Hemisphere. New York Toy Fair has seen its over-a-century record broken repeatedly by the pandemic. Even with multiple toy manufacturers either pulling out or remaining non-committal, 700 companies expressed interest in going ahead. The organizers however have decided to err on the side of caution.

LEGO is known to be one of the major regular brand presences in the New York Toy Fair. They gave no indication if they were committed to appear if the event continued, or if they backed out. While The Toy Association made no promises for Toy Fair NY 2023, there’s still the Nuremberg International Toy Fair. Their organizers haven’t announced any cancellations for this year’s event, scheduled February 2-6. LEGO is also one of their big stars among toy brands.

LEGO Presents Timeline Poster for LEGO Friends 10th Anniversary in 2022

If one needs any indicator that LEGO is for girls too, look no further than the “Friends” themed line. Introducing a slice-of-life theme featuring a circle of diverse female friends was a marketing masterstroke for the global toy giant. Collectors fell in love with the whimsical sets featuring more detailed and expressive “minidoll” figures representing actual characters. And like its male-oriented fellow theme “Ninjago,” LEGO Friends got a companion animated series of its own. Despite some controversy, the line has done LEGO well since debuting in 2012. That also means that this 2022, LEGO Friends is celebrating its first decade.

Brick Fanatics reports that as part of the 10th Anniversary celebration of LEGO Friends, LEGO gives fans a promotional timeline. “10 Years of Friendship” chronicles the journey of the Friends theme, covering every year since 2012. It can be downloaded in PDF form from the “About” section of the LEGO.com Friends theme page. For dedicated collectors however, they might observe some timeline details that don’t quite match up. The information claims that 2012 was about developing/introducing the theme, with the first LEGO Friends sets arriving 2013. In actuality the line did release its first wave in 2012. Still, “10 Years of Friendship” makes for a nice digest of events in LEGO Friends history, noting the subthemes and prominent set launches.

Quite the number of new LEGO Friends products joined the New Year’s launch storm. Here’s a quick rundown of these:

Pet Clinic (41695) – $19.99

Turtle Protection Vehicle (41697) – $9.99

Beach Glamping (41700) – $39.99

Street Food Market (41701) –$49.99

Canal Houseboat (41702) – $79.99

Friendship Tree House (41703) – Anniversary set; $79.99

Main Street Building (41704) – $149.99

Tree-Planting Vehicle (41707) – $29.99

LEGO Jan-May 2022 Catalog Now Available Online in Multiple Language Editions

As the previous year drew to a close, LEGO fired up collectors with a glimpse of what’s more to come. They did so in the form of their periodic product catalogs, the latest issue covering January to May 2022. LEGO news sources worldwide that managed to score print copies of their respective regional catalogs posed page-scans online. They became our top resources on what LEGO sets to expect this New Year. Some of those sets we already featured here in The Brick Show. Of course, LEGO also provides digital copies of the same product catalogs. And now they’re available online.

Thanks to German LEGO news site Promobricks, we’re aware that the Jan-May 2022 LEGO catalogs are now in LEGO.com servers. Indeed, we said catalogs (plural), due to the various regional/language editions available for browsing and download. The different versions go beyond mere translating product details into other languages. Their volume of content varies too. We pointed this out last December, with set details from the Hungary catalog not included in the German version. Promobricks did a database of the editions, showing Spain/Portugal and France both with just 76 pages. Italy by contrast has 144 pages.

Interestingly, the US LEGO.com is yet to upload their copy of the catalog in their page. Then again, the contents may well be similar to the UK version viewable here. We encourage you to have a peek in as many versions of the Jan-May 2022 catalogs as you can. It could help you greatly with your collecting efforts. The print catalogs available in retailers and LEGO Stores are still there as well. We do hope that they don’t follow the monthly store calendars into phase-out.

“Brickcraft”: Cool Resource Pack Gives “Minecraft” Blocks a LEGO-Brick Makeover

Back in 2012, LEGO Ideas (Cuusoo back then) released their third set, based on surprise videogame hit “Minecraft.” This would lead to a full-on LEGO licensed-IP theme line that still gets new sets to this year. That much was expected considering the source franchise. Since its official release in 2011 (classic version 2009), “Minecraft” has built a solid player base. The fact that it went multiple platforms helped a lot too. And the simple yet robust construction mechanics made it a perfect fit with the LEGO system when translated to sets. But what do you think of the LEGO aesthetics getting translated into the games?

Brickcraft | Turn your world into Bricks in Minecraft! from lego

Now this is an unofficial thing, being a game mod and all. But as Game Rant tells it, a “Minecraft” player is working on a resource pack called “Brickcraft.” This mod transforms the blocks that all materials in the “Minecraft” world look like, into 4×4 LEGO bricks. For all intents and purposes, it makes the game world akin to a brick-built environment. The user AlexTestria has been working on this mod for five months already. He uploaded a sample video of the newest revisions in action on TikTok then shared the preview on LEGO subreddit.

From what we can see in the sample footage, “Brickcraft” appears like Mojang and WB-Interactive’s TT Games have teamed up. Seeing the “Minecraft” blocks as LEGO bricks (above and below) is mind-blowing, and a testament to AlexTestria’s team’s efforts. Interested players may download the “Brickcraft” resource pack on the creator’s Patreon page. The mod’s latest version 1.3 (low-quality) is available for free. But for a $2.56/€2 Patreon donation, he’ll provide the higher-quality editions. Apparently this pack is for PC version.