Archive for January, 2010


January 31, 2010

My friend Joe Meno, creator of BrickJournal recently posted that he really wants the new IPAD from Apple. It won’t be available until later this year, but I’m sure that Joe will be one of the first in line.

Since he can’t get his hands on a real one quite yet Joe decided to make his own (contrary to rumor, he can actually build ๐Ÿ˜‰ ):

I saw the presentation, and after a day or so, I was really curious about its size. So I went to the Apple site and found the dimensions, and decided to build a form study. The dimensions match as close as possible, and took a few hours of straight building.

He managed to make it almost as thin as the real one

He even made the it so the screens could change

And here you can see it with the iPhone and iPod nano

I was thinking about making one myself, but I can’t really think of doing a much better job than Joe did. It’s nice to see him building with all the running around he does. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Gone Fishing

January 29, 2010

Fishing 1

Here’s my latest creation. Father and son have gone down to the old fishing hole for some bonding time. Looks like junior is having a lot more luck than his dad. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This was a fun quick build. The trickiest thing was to figure out the fishing pole thread. And yes, the string attached to the fish is not just glued, there is a very small section of flex tubing (that’s what we called it in the Model Shop) holding the string in place.

Fishing 4

This is available for purchase on my Etsy shop.

LEGO 2010 Color Palette

January 28, 2010

Thanks to Joe Meno of BrickJournal LEGO has provided the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) community with their 2010 Color Palette.

Jan Beyer, Community Operations Manager:

Dear all, finally, after many years of discussion we got the go from our Design Lab to share the internal LEGO Color scheme with the LEGO Community.

Please see the actual scheme for 2010 for sharing. You can see on the scheme the internal LEGO color number and name.

Now for me, being as I worked in the Model Shop at LEGOLAND California, the yearly color pallet is nothing new. It is a helpful tool when a Master Model Builder designs a model because that way they know what colors are actually available that year. And by cross-referencing the color code with the parts that are available, you can see if you can order the parts to build a model in the color you want.

Contrary to popular belief, the Model Shops do not have every part in every color. Although they sometimes to get parts that will never be available to the average consumer, especially in Denmark (that is unless you find it off Bricklink). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course our color pallet in the Model Shop looked a little different. It was actually a 16×32 white baseplate with all of the colors as 2×2 tiles with their color number printed on them. And yes, that means even the colors that have never been made as 2×2 tiles in sets.

For all of you who haven’t worked for LEGO, this is a nice insight in how LEGO categorizes their colors.


January 27, 2010

Do you like Miyazaki films? If you know anything about Anime, then you probably have seen at least one of his films — Ponyo, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro just to name a few.

Apparently Iain Heath is a Miyazaki fan. It also helps that he has the incentive of building something for BrickCon 2010.

The new collaborative themed display for BrickCon 2010 this year is called “Big in Japan”, celebrating every aspect of Japanese culture. My contribution is going to be a diorama called “Miyazakitopia”. Here are the first components. You may recognize them!

From the looks of his concept sketch, he’s still got a long way to go, but it is only January. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I look forward to seeing more of Iain’s Miyazakitopia as it becomes completed and seeing it in person at BrickCon 2010.

NXT powered Airbus A380

January 26, 2010

RyanMugs has created this jaw-dropping Airbus complete with a very busy interior.

Now remember, it’s NTX powered too.

I used a Mindsensors 8 servo motor breakout card as well as 6 hitechnic sensors.
I hooked the NXT up via bluetooth using mindsqualls .net and wrote a simple touchscreen program to control all the functions.

Functions are:
Front landing gear door (hitechnic servo)
Front landing gear (NXT motor)
Two rear landing gear dorrs (hitechnic servo)
Both landing gears powered by one NXT motor.
Front Cargo Door (hitechnic servo)
Airbrakes on wing (Hitechnic servo)
Landing flaps (NXT motor)
tail fin an rear wing (hitechnic servo)
Engines (power functions with IR remote)
Landing lights (power functions lights)

Being as I am very tech illiterate, I don’t really know exactly how he did it, even with his explanation. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You can’t really appreciate the size until you see last week’s Australian Brickvention crowd around it.

You can see more of the plane interior on his Flickr photostream and join the forum discussion on Eurobricks.

Great job Ryan! ๐Ÿ™‚

LEGO Atlantis Movie

January 24, 2010

I don’t know how I missed this! It aired on Cartoon Network Friday, January 15th and then replayed the next day.

For all of you who have seen it, its pretty cute. They show some of the up coming sets and hint at possible sets we haven’t seen. One thing I found rather interesting is that Bruce Boxleitner of Babylon 5 and Tron fame is the voice of Ace the Captain. It is a half hour movie and it gives you an idea of what the LEGO The Adventures of Clutch Powers direct to dvd movie will be like.

If you haven’t seen the LEGO Atlantis movie yet you can find it if you look. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Collectable Minifigs Series 1 available June 2010

January 23, 2010

I mentioned in November about the possibly of Collectable Minifigs coming this year. Well now Brickset has posted detailed pictures of both the figures and the packaging.

I was already excited before I saw the close up images, but now I’m practically drooling (okay, not really ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Apparently Mike Rayhawk was one of those who came up with this idea. He recently stated on Facebook:

They finally did the collectible minifigures idea that James Knight and Eugenia Chen and I pitched years ago – they told us it would never, never happen, but that was before Joergen took the helm. The luchador and the magician were part of my contribution to the original pitch; my caveman was still sitting on Cephas’s shelf last time I was in Denmark.

The only “problem” I see is that at the rumored $2 per unit price, people will be buying entire cases to ensure that they get all the figures or so that they can turn right around and sell the figures at outlandish prices.

The hardest thing to predict is what will be the most popular. I’m sure everyone who has seen these figures already has their favorites. Of course any of the exclusive elements that have never been produced before such as the cheerleader’s pompoms, the clown’s wig and trumpet, and the spaceman’s helmet and gun will go for more on the second market (i.e. Bricklink).

They are all exclusive, and the “Series 1” indicates that there will be more to come. I just hope that LEGO will be smart enough to not make them too exclusive so that everyone can get some! ๐Ÿ™‚

LEGO Hero Factory Trailer

January 22, 2010

Now I’ve never been much of a Bionicle fan and I apologize to all of you who are. It probably has to do with the fact that I’m not their target market of a 10 year-old boy. They have their place in LEGO, I have seen amazing creations made with them, and I do like certain parts that were developed because of them but its just not my thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

When I heard that the Bionicle line was ending it just didn’t make sense to me. Why would LEGO get rid of one of their most popular lines ever? Especially when it is being replaced with what basically is Bionicle without all the cool names.

Although I’ve never been interested in Bionicle the toy, the purely epic World of Bionicle is what astounds me. LEGO has tried in the past with Robo Riders, Throw Bots (known as Slizer outside of the US), etc. to develop a sustaining line of robot warriors but up until Bionicle nothing lasted for more than the initial release.

What made Bionicle become the phenomenon it is today is the storylines — the comics, books and movies — many of which were written by Greg Farshtey who just happens to be a friend of mine. When I called him the father of Bionicle, he said “well I’m more like the uncle,” since he didn’t come up with the original concept. But I really do believe because of Greg’s great storytelling it drew many a little boy to want to be like their favorite Toa.

This new line Hero Factory may or may not be a success. Only time will tell. It just makes me sad to see that Bionicle will no longer be on the shelves. It truly was revolutionary in multiple ways and who ever decided that LEGO did not need Bionicle anymore may not realize just what they have given up until its gone.


January 20, 2010

Although the official announcement isn’t expected until tomorrow, it looks like what used to be Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven, Florida will soon become the next LEGOLAND theme park.

In what may be the biggest announcement of the new century for Winter Haven and Polk County tourism, Merlin Entertainments will announce tomorrow, January 21, they will open their second U.S. Legoland Park here in Winter Haven on the Cypress Gardens property. Merlin operates Legoland California which has been named the #1 Childrenโ€™s Park in that state for the past six years.

You can read the full article here

I can’t really say that I’m surprised. Having only one LEGOLAND in California and one LEGO Discovery Center in Chicago hardly serves the whole of America. It looks like I will have one more reason to visit the Sunshine State besides Disneyworld. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pictures from the Past

January 20, 2010

On Eurobricks member Def shared scanned-in images from a LEGO souvenir program for the LEGO World Show that was on display during Christmas time in Canada in 1984.

Many of the younger builders (early 20 somethings and teens) may not remember LEGO Truck Tours and shows. With four LEGOLAND Parks, the LEGOLAND Centers, and LEGO Stores all over the world LEGO just doesn’t do elaborate shows that travel around quite as much.

Compared to today’s model building standards, some of these models seem quaint and even simplistic. However, it must be said that models such as these were the inspirations for many of us when we were children. It also must be stressed that Master Model Builders of the 80’s did not have all the various colors, parts, and elements that we do today and yet they still managed to create some stunning creations.

What we would think of common colors today such as brown and orange were not even close to being available. Not to mention medium blue, lime green or dark red. There were only six colors back then. Six — Red, yellow, blue, white, black and light gray. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

In fact I can still remember clearly when all of these “newer” colors became available. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Although many of us look back fondly on our childhood memories of Classic Space, Classic Castle, etc. LEGO shows and truck tours such as the one pictured here were the only way most of us ever got to see the larger than life creations of Master Model Builders. In many ways the younger builders of today are spoiled in comparison.

Nowadays with the internet, the LEGOLAND parks, LEGO stores, etc. even if we can’t physically go to these places, we can see images of the models around the world. Also, with resources such as Flickr, Eurobricks, and MOCpages not only can we see what Master Model Builders are doing but we can see what other LEGO fans are creating. And with Pick-a-brick and Bricklink we can create monumental creations of our own.

So, even though I still haven’t gotten that cypress tree element yet or the monorail that I wanted so much when I was little, I am glad to be in the here and now where we can relive the past through scanned in pictures and build towards the future. ๐Ÿ™‚