This Transforming LEGO Brick Is More Than Meets The Eye

Japanese LEGO builder Moko shared in his blogsite what seems to be a highly articulated, LEGO MOC that shows an unassuming LEGO brick transforming to a cool, ‘mecha’ or robot. The build is actually similar to the Autobot named Hot Rod as seen in the 80s animated series of Transformers. Based on a rough Google translation, the transforming LEGO brick was designed at a 1:27 scale of the typical 2×4 brick, big but comfortable enough to hold at the palm of your hand.

This particular creation is highly articulated, with plenty of joints that allow this MOC to easily transform from one mode to another.

It is highly posable as well, rendering the transforming LEGO block to do some pretty cool battle stances.

I wish I could get more info on our Japanese creator’s blog without being lost in Google’s translation. So what do you think of this particular MOC? Share us your thoughts (and interpretation in case you know how to read and speak Japanese) in the comments below.

 

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LEGO Ideas Project Jurassic Park Visitor Center Hits 10K Mark

The LEGO Ideas project, Jurassic Park Visitor Center, has hit 10,000 supporters and now moves into the review stage. This project created by LDiEgo features the iconic Jurassic Park location as seen in the original film. It comes in at 2,623 pieces and includes 6 minifigures: John Hammond, Tim Murphy, Lex Murphy, Donald Gennaro, Ray Arnold, and Robert Muldoon. It also features a molder raptor figure. The Jurassic Park Visitor Center now qualifies to move on to the LEGO Ideas First 2016 Review Stage. Read on for this project’s full description and other details. If you’re excited to see this as a potential LEGO set in the future, then be sure to keep with tabs with our blog site.

Jurassic Park Visitor Center

Jurassic Park Visitor Center

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Over the years, almost every new LEGO movie licensed theme has been created to match with a new theatrical release. In the case of big movie franchises, some sets based on previous films were produced before the ones based on the new films. This has happened with “STAR WARS”, “Toy Story”, or “Indiana Jones”.

So a good reason to release a fourth Jurassic Park movie was the chance to see LEGO products for the previous films, right?

Strangely, the last product license ignores the previous movies and is based only on the last film in the series, “Jurassic World”. It looks a lost opportunity for such a license deal.

The key elements in the Jurassic Park films are the dinosaurs, but the movies are also filled with lots of iconic vehicles, locations, and characters with a lot of potential for a complete building toy line.

The biggest set in a utopian Jurassic Park Theme would be the Visitor Center.

This project features a complex building in the facade, as well as some rooms inside to recreate every scene in the movie:

  • Main entrance hall, with two brick built skeletons: a sauropod and a Tyrannosaurus.
  • “Les Gigantes” restaurant, with a gift shop.
  • Kitchen.
  • V.I.P. Dining Room
  • Emergency bunker
  • Showcase theatre
  • Control room
  • Genetics lab with cold storage room

The rooms can be hinged or detached for a better play experience. There is also space for a secret compartment at the main entrance, under the stairs.

The dinosaurs menu… I mean, the minifigures included would be:

  • John Hammond
  • Tim Murphy
  • Lex Murphy
  • Donald Gennaro
  • Ray Arnold
  • Robert Muldoon

And “The Big One” molded raptor (A.K.A. “Clever Girl”).

Model specifications (note that this could change if the project becomes a product)

  • Pieces: 2623
  • Measures: 43’1x 28 x 20’7 cm

 

THESE STAR WARS MINIFIGURES ARE SURE FUN TO PLAY WITH

LEGO announced recently in its Annual Report for 2015 that the company’s Star Wars themed sets has been one of the best selling themes of 2015. Building on the success of the Star Wars franchise, and the very much welcomed release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, LEGO continues to introduce more play sets as it revealed in this year’s International Toy Fair in New York.

I definitely agree that LEGO has come up with so many LEGO Star War sets that are really impressive. Either owing to their design and playability or to the sheer number of pieces that comprises them, such sets are things of beauty to hold and to play with. Now if you’re like me, you’ll probably want a little bit of this or of that, especially with regards to a set that has a galaxy filled with so many characters and elements. Probably that’s the reason why I am fond of small collectibles from this part of the LEGO Star Wars galaxy, and I have particularly in mind the LEGO Star Wars Microfighters.  With three series already comprising of 18 sets under its roster, it’s a great alternative for their larger (and obviously more expensive) siblings of starfighters and vehicles.

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LEGO Star Wars Microfighters Series 1

 

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LEGO Star Wars Microfighters Series 2

 

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LEGO Star Wars Microfighters Series 3

 

One particular LEGO fan probably has the same inclination as much as I do with regards to keeping things small and yet, fun and playable. Nick Chen has a knack in creating tiny LEGO Star Wars ships that are smaller than their Microfighter counterparts – in fact, even smaller than the ones LEGO had before with their LEGO Star Wars Planets back in 2012. Nick came up with a fun idea of having his LEGO Star Wars minifigs donned with their particular ship as costumes, and was kind enough to share his work for the LEGO community to enjoy. The photos below came from Nick’s flickr page. Check some of his minifigs below.

 

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These small minifig creations are cute and fun enough to make up your own dioramas. You may also come up with your own unique scenes, pairing them up with the LEGO Star Wars Microfighters. I personally go for this mini sets because at $10 per set, you can have a cool replica of your favorite Star Wars ship without breaking the bank and it doesn’t require much of your time, and desktop or table space. What do you think? What is your most favorite among Nick’s minifig costumes? What microfighter would you like to pair it up with? Share us what you think in the comments section below.

This Might Be the Coolest LEGO BB-8 That We Have Ever Seen

There has been plenty of fan-built LEGO BB-8s all over the internet, but none like what Mark Smiley created and contributed at LEGO Ideas. So, what set it apart from the rest? This LEGO BB-8 actually rolls while keeping its head afloat, and Mark goes on to show that his rendition of the skittish but loyal astromech droid is made of 100% authentic LEGO parts. Needless to say, this might be the coolest LEGO BB-8 that we will see rolling around. Watch its demo video below:

Mark’s BB-8 received a great deal of thumbs-up from fellow LEGO Idea supporters, running at 2398 votes as of this writing. The interesting part is that it gained almost 2,000 votes since last Friday when Gizmodo featured Mark’s ingenious creation. As you may notice, the design of Mark’s BB-8 is reminiscent of that of Sphero’s BB-8 robotic toy.

Unlike, Sphero’s absolutely cool and sophisticated version, the build of Mark’s BB-8 is surprisingly simple. Using magnets that are bolstered up from a central axle and stabilized by LEGO weights, BB-8’s manages to keep afloat while his main body is rolling. It lacks any electric motor that allows independent motion, however, it comes with a desert-themed docking station that allows BB-8 to roll using hand-cranked wheels while he remains stationary. As expected, there is no standard LEGO piece for BB-8’s spherical body giving Mark experimenting on certain parts as the only option. After countless trials and errors, Mark found the perfect spherical candidate: the desert planet from the Sebulba Podracer and Tatooine set (9675). Mark said, “It took a lot of experimenting…I think I ordered one of every dome and ball-shaped piece Lego has ever made off of Bricklink just so I could try every option.” After a quick paint job, the desert planet of Tatooine now houses the mechanisms for this adorable rolling astromech.

The LEGO Star Wars Sebulba Podracer and Tatooine (9675) set was the basis for the spherical body of this LEGO Ideas Rolling BB-8 product idea.

Here is Mark’s commentary on his BB-8 design.

This unique BB-8 was designed with the primary goal of being able to move with his head staying up on top.  The entire model was made using 100% Genuine Lego parts.  His shells were of course carefully painted (and if this model is approved and created by Lego, the parts would come printed as so many Lego parts are).  Inside you’ll find Lego weights suspended from the central axle that bolster up two Lego magnets.  Those magnets are held up close to the top of the ball and attract the two magnets built into BB-8’s head.  The head uses a cockpit dome (painted), hinge parts, and the smallest Lego wheels to skate on top of the body.  The body’s shell started out as Tatooine from the Lego Star Wars Planet series. The total part count is around 180 pieces.

This Rolling BB-8 is super fun to fidget with, roll about, and satisfies a midpoint between static model and full-on electric RC.  It would make a great addition to any Lego or Star Wars Fan’s collection!

Coolest LEGO BB-8 Coolest LEGO BB-8

We hope to see more support for Mark’s BB-8 (I certainly voted for it) as LEGO gave him an extra 182 days as a way of giving a thumbs-up for the project. Perhaps future builds will incorporate NXT programming. The design potential is limitless. Just visit his LEGO Ideas page and click Support if you like to see this coolest LEGO BB-8 roll out in LEGO store shelves later on.

This 18,000-Piece Custom LEGO Fortress of Solitude Commands Your Absolute Attention

All of us need some time off every now and then, and even superheroes, no matter how indestructible and invulnerable they are, still need some little R and R. If Batman has his Bat Cave (aka Wayne Manor), and the Avengers their Avengers Mansion, where does an alien from Krypton hangs out? Well, behold this massive, 18,000-piece custom LEGO Fortress of Solitude!

Custom LEGO Fortress of Solitude

This was the challenge posed by Jessica Farrell via her Deviantart Gallery through her faithful recreation of the “Fortress of Solitude” from the original 1978 film, Superman. Created by a shard from the planet Krypton and hidden in the remote Arctic, the Fortress of Solitude is Superman’s home-away-from-home, where he receives instruction from his father, Jor-El. Jessica’s brick creation focuses largely on the natural icy exterior that envelopes the enigmatic pyramid-like crystal structure. Her excellent sense of topography, scaling, and her clever use of proper lighting commands absolute attention. Similar to what she did with her other work, Her Majesty’s Theater, where she focused primarily on developing its exquisitely detailed interior, the Fortress of Solitude gives more emphasis on the exterior details of the cave-like structure.

Custom LEGO Fortress of Solitude

This mini-version (yeah, sure) of the Kryptonian’s vacation home required a total of 18,864 pieces and 160 hours to build – or roughly a month if Jessica worked on it full time. No wonder that only a person with such fortitude like that of Jessica’s can accomplish this seemingly superhero-like feat. This awesome custom LEGO Fortress of Solitude is a fitting testament on how a bit of reflection and privacy can benefit all of us, superheroes or normal guys as we are.

We hope to see this build get its much-deserved attention, together with the rest of Jessica’s work. Don’t forget to visit the rest of her gallery here.

This Custom LEGO KFC Chicken Vending Machine Will Leave You Wanting For More

The LEGO KFC Chicken Vending Machine by Astonishing Studios

When you thought you’ve seen it all, Astonishing Studios, the guys responsible for the crazy and wacky LEGO McNugget and Cherrios vending machines, came up with another contraption that will surely leave you finger-lickin’ and craving for more. Yes, it’s no mistake and as you might have known already, their LEGO builds are not just for show. Combining creative design concepts and top-notch programming, serving and having your share of your favorite Colonel Sanders chicken is both tasty and entertaining.

As working models that actually dispense goods for the price of a dime or any other coin in particular, the cute and visually appealing outside façade hides a rather complex series of robotic mechanisms build around the LEGO Mindstorms NXT system. Needless to say, the entire vending machine is 100% all LEGO.

We hope to see more of Astonishing Studios’ LEGO vending machine concepts in the future, especially that their brand is getting more and more attention. In addition to their KFC, McNuggets, and Doritos vending machine, there’s also a Colgate toothpaste dispenser and a Hershey’s chocolate milk mixer. They even have a toothpaste dispenser specifically designed for the Foreo Issa tootbrush, which also houses a special compartment for the brush itself.

As it turns out, these companies are now actually paying to get these machines up and running because they are what they are – crazy, funny, and absolutely cool LEGO builds. We know for sure that our hopes will not be disappointed, that other brand names are now cooking up some deals with the enigmatic YouTuber. Whoever is behind Astonishing Studios, we’re pretty sure that they are on their way in becoming one of the best company to work for in the near future.

For now, let’s have a feast with their video of the KFC Vending Machine. Pass the gravy please…

This LEGO Paper Airplane Folding Machine Can Actually Make One – And Launch It

We’ve seen a lot of cool stuff lately on the different ways on how LEGO bricks can be used to make things easier: from dispensing tasty, chicken legs and nuggets, to dispensing toothpaste on a brush. These LEGO contraptions were meant to make things easier for us human beings in a funny, unusual way. So when someone thought, “Hey, let’s build a LEGO paper airplane folding machine,” it’s kind of hard putting it in the right context. Not at least if you’ll going to build as a tribute for a major electronics think-tank firm, and the one who’s doing it is a name that will appear on your screen when you Google, “World’s Best LEGO Robotics Designer.”

Truth be told, building a paper plane factory around the LEGO Mindstorm project is not exactly a novel idea. The idea was spawned already by a YouTuber that goes by the name ‘Hknssn’. Using more than 7,000 LEGO Technic and Mindstorm parts, she (he) showed that building the LEGO paper airplane folding machine, and being able to launch its product at the same time, is indeed complex rocket science. That was almost four years ago and as they say, technology eventually caught up.

In a similar vein, Arrow Electronics launched its campaign ‘Five Years Out’ with the expressed goal of encouraging innovation among young minds. What better way to do it than with the help of the creative minds behind promotions and marketing firm, Elevation Digital Media and the brilliant engineering and design skills of Arthur Sacek – and yes, it was his name that came up when Jon Stevenson, Director of Production for Elevation Media, Googled the flashy title.

Gizmodo has a pretty neat round-up of Sacek’s work including a Lego Pinblock animator, a copy machine, and a 360 degrees Milling Machine but none have been as wonderfully complicated as the LEGO paper airplane folding machine that can turn a single piece of paper into a flying contraption, and even launches it the end of the assembly line. The mission-inspired video excellently pictured Sacek’s machine, and the spirit of innovation behind Arrow’s work. You could almost feel that you’re part of something greater than yourself, as you listen to JFK’s ‘Why We Choose To Go To The Moon’ speech… OK, let’s put a break on the nostalgia, shall we.

Using multiple LEGO Mindstorms intelligent bricks, and quite a bit of custom code, Sacek’s design looks far more streamlined and reliable than the one we previously mentioned, both in aesthetics and final output of the paper-folded plane.

Arrow Electronics shared some of the behind the scenes action in the making of this LEGO masterpiece, showing how some parts of the paper airplane folding machine were designed and assembled. However, as it seems, Arrow and Sacek is a little keen in guarding and revealing their ‘trade secrets’, so it’s wise not to expect any instructions or building guides.  Perhaps we’ll have a better chance with Hknssn – if we can get in touch with her (him?).

This 65,000-Piece Custom LEGO Concorde Will Amaze You

If you somehow broke your heart with the impressive 120,000-piece model of a sinking Titanic broken in half, which we reported earlier last week, then perhaps you’ll be equally amazed with the incredible details of yet another LEGO masterpiece from Australia’s one and only LEGO Certified Professional, Ryan McNaught. This 65,000-piece, 4 meters long, custom LEGO Concorde model of an Air France Concorde plane will surely impress you as much as the LEGO Titanic MOC. This brick replica even has cutaway details that reveals the entire supersonic plane’s inner working and intricate details. The model went on display at the recently concluded 2016 Brickvention at Melbourne, Australia.

Designed and constructed by certified LEGO master Ryan McNaught and his team at The Brick Man, this replica of what was once the flagship of Air France took 188 hours to complete and is made of 65,000 bricks. From end to end, this custom LEGO Concorde model measures 4 meters. Check out some of these photos so you can have better grasp on the sheer size of this model.

The right side of the replica shows the flawless curves of the plane using intricate layering techniques. McNaught added more realism by installing neat little LED lights for the plane’s engines. The sweeter deal is when you move over to the left side, where a cutaway portion reveals how things work inside this magnificent plane. The details on the passenger seats are very impressive, with McNaught installing 60 or more of them. There’s also provisions for fuel, cargo, and an inclusion of a neat pantry at the plane’s rear galley (wait, is that a croissant?).

You may visit Ryan’s Flickr page to see more of his newest favorite plane, and other cool builds.

Ryan McNaught is the only LEGO Certified Professional in the entire Southern Hemisphere, and is known for building some uniquely Australian creations including the world’s largest LEGO replica of the Sydney Opera House and a Qantas Airbus A380 model. As of to date, there are only 13 LEGO Certified Professionals in the entire world.

This Spectacular 120,000-piece LEGO Titanic MOC Might Break Your Heart

LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught’s 120,000-piece LEGO Titanic MOC as it shows the legendary ship splits in half, and sinks at the bottom of the ocean after hitting an iceberg is already technically impressive as it is. However, what makes this masterpiece stand out is not just the sheer size of it, but also McNaught’s use of minifigures that evokes empathy even through a toy that was designed for fun and play.

At a technical level, McNaught’s LEGO Titanic MOC is awe-inspiring. He spent around 250 hours building his masterpiece. He also used several light bricks, adding a subtle drama to this scale model. It is also shows a degree of engineering ingenuity considering the manner on how the stern was able to be kept up. Most importantly, and perhaps what should not be missed, is the fact that this Titanic was built in proportion to the size of its minifigures.

Jan Dizon of The Tech Times vividly described how the minifigures were arranged to create a powerful emotional image. “Little LEGO men and woman are scattered throughout the ship and even in the water telling their own various mini stories of terror, and fighting for survival as the ship splits in half… there are minifigs hanging on for dear life. Four minifigs are working together to help their friend back up. One poor chap has a pile of ice that fell on top of him,” Jan reported.

While others marvel at the technical aspects of McNaught’s rendition, others were just uncomfortable with it. User comments at lego.gizmodo.com says that it was inappropriate to use minifigs to replicate such a tragedy. Others went as far as predicting that it’s not too soon that someone will come up with a Lego replica of the 9/11. It was a debatable issue though, since Lego is also known to come up with its own recreation of scenes from historical events including a controversial rendition of a Nazi concentration camp.

We surmise that it’s up to the person how he or she will look at it, but truth be told, McNaught’s creation will leave an indelible mark to those that will be fortunate enough to see it.

Thanks to LCP Ryan McNaught for sharing these images. For the rest of his amazing LEGO creations be sure to visit his Flickr page.

50,000 LEGO Bricks Used To Build This LEGO Renaissance Center MOC in Detroit

Yes, this might be easily passed for another LEGO City project or another Architect set to dive into, unless we tell you that its made of 50,000 bricks and is 6 feet high. This brick-built replica of the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan is just one of the 10-Detroit areas that will be on permanent display as part of the attractions of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan. This LEGO Renaissance Center MOC, which took four professionals 300 hours to make, was unveiled before a crowd of LEGO fans and enthusiasts inside the Cobo Center, where the North American Auto Show is taking place.

The miniature RenCen is one of 10 Detroit-area landmarks made of LEGO bricks that will be on permanent display when the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan located at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills opens this spring. “The landmarks were chosen through online voting last year and Detroit’s glass-and-steel Renaissance Center was the top vote-getter”, said Hayley Anderson, general manager for the Michigan LEGOLAND.

Derek Chock, one of the four professional Lego builders who built the model from computerized blueprints shared some details on how this LEGO Renaissance Center MOC were built. “All of it except for the windows are regular LEGOs which you can go to the store and purchase. The reflective windows are pieces of laser-cut mirrored acrylic”. Derek is with U.K-based Merlin Entertainments, which owns and operates the Michigan-based LEGOLAND.

The other Detroit-area landmarks slated to be built entirely from LEGO bricks include:

    1. Spirit of Detroit sculpture
    2. Belle Isle
    3. Motown Museum
    4. Fox Theatre
    5. The Guardian Building in downtown
    6. Comerica Park
    7. Uniroyal Giant Tire
    8. Michigan Central Station
    9. The Heidelberg Project

Watch this short clip from the WCBD News 2 and tell us what you think.