Archive for the ‘LEGO Books’ Category

Beyond the Ball — E-book

May 11, 2010

Following in the steps of How to Build a Round Ball with Square Bricks! my second book Beyond the Ball is now available as an E-book. For all of you out there that prefer a digital copy the PDF version is now available for $19.95.

Learn how to add design and color to your LEGO models and take your building to the next level. In this book Mariann will show you how to go beyond building a LEGO ball to building an Egg, Hot Air Balloon, and Watermelon. Includes step-by-step instructions for all three models. Packed with full color pictures and easy to understand instructions, learn LEGO building in a whole new way!

I am already at work on my third book and I have plans to add more products to my online store soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bricks by the Bay Day 2 and 3

April 22, 2010

Okay, I realize that I’m about a week and a half late with this, but hey, it’s my blog so I guess I can write what I want when I want. So, lets go back in time to April 10th and 11th and pretend that Bricks by the Bay is still happening. ๐Ÿ™‚

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In some ways Saturday was very similar to Friday, lots of hanging out with lots of old and new LEGO friends. There were also panel discussions where you could learn different LEGO tips, tricks or info.

We’d already spent a nice sum of money on the “scratch and dent” (I made a mistake when I said “ding and dent” earlier). Many of us also ended up spending another nice sum of money on all the vendors that came.

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That is one cool thing about going to LEGO conventions. With the vendors, not only do you get to find fun unique stuff like LEGO related T-shirts but you can also sometimes find that certain minifigure or element that you’ve been seeking.

Not only were there vendors selling Brickarms and Brickforge but there were others selling minifigures, bricks, and full LEGO sets. I managed to get a Harry Potter phoenix and a pretty rare horse pony for really decent prices.

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I have to say the highlight of the day was Mads Nipper, the Executive Vice President of LEGO, giving the key note address.
He gave us a nice insight in to the company and where its heading in the future. And from what he said, the future of LEGO is looking bright. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mads not only gave us a nice look into the LEGO company, he brought gifts.
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50 ultra-rare Collectable Minifigures. Why are they ultra rare? Well in the manufacturing of process one leg of the minifigs somehow is 1 millimeter shorter than the other one. A difference so slight that you almost can’t notice it unless its pointed out. Normally figures like this would be destroyed. I can hear your gasps from here — why destroy them you might ask? Well you know that whole “only the best is good enough?” LEGO actually means it. That’s why it is really rare when you find any misshapen bricks. I’ve seen a few, but only because when I worked in the Model Shop we work with millions of bricks.

So back to the ultra-rare Minifigs. I was not fortunate enough to get one. They were raffled off, like most of the door prizes are. Some of my friends did get them though and so I have actually held a few in my hands. Now, you might have heard of a “secret” second barcode on the back of the bag that identifies what the figure is. I will say here what I said there, you don’t need it.

When you hold the bag, if you take just a moment or so, you should be able to tell what the figure is if you know anything about LEGO. Each figure has distinctive elements (the Spaceman’s helmet, the Caveman’s club) that you can tell just by feel alone what it is.

Now, back to Bricks by the Bay. The Sunday Public Day was both good and bad. Good because we had such a great attendance, and bad because we didn’t have the space to accommodate everyone.
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Some people waited in line for over 2 hours! And because the line was so long we had to shut it down early and turn some people away. It was supremely crowded inside.

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All in all it was a wonderful first convention. Yes the space was too small and yes some of the public wasn’t happy, but most of the public were happy and when I asked them if the 2 hour wait was worth it they said “Yes.”

I now return you to the present. ๐Ÿ˜€

Beyond the Ball

January 13, 2010

Well it took me way longer than I thought, but I’ve finally completed my second unofficial LEGO instruction book Beyond the Ball. It is a sequel to my first book How to Build a Round Ball with Square Bricks! This book shows you how to make more organic shapes than just a simple sphere. There are three models — an Egg, Hot Air Balloon, and Watermelon. Through these three models you can get a better understanding of both sculptural shape and color design. The book is 150 pages (mainly because of the step-by-step instructions), costs $29.95, and is available on my website.

Not that all my books will build (pun intended ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) upon each other. As a former Master Model Designer, I have many tips and techniques I have yet to explore and explain. Putting out Beyond the Ball is a great milestone for me. It has been a long struggle to get this book finished especially with my personal trials this past year.

I don’t plan on taking so long to get my third book out. Yes, there is a third and a forth book, etc., etc. I have many, many books in the planning stages. This is just the beginning. ๐Ÿ™‚

LEGO Store Mini Turkey Build

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving for all of those out there that celebrate it, happy Thursday for all of you that don’t. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you weren’t able to visit your local LEGO Store this month (like me) I thought I’d show you what it was — a mini turkey. By looking at the picture and what pieces were used, you should be able to figure the model out.

At least that was what the model here in the States and in Germany was, the UK had a pair of firecrackers.

Also LEGO.com has a set of 12 Christmas Model PDFs you can download. Here are my three favorites. Enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Into the E-book Age I go

November 25, 2009

Although I self-published my first book “How to Build a Round Ball with Square Bricks!” last year it has only been available in one format — until now. ๐Ÿ˜€

For all of you out there that prefer a digital copy the PDF version is now available for $8.95.

Learn how to build like the Pros! Written by a former LEGOยฎ Master Model Designer, this series of books teaches kids of all ages the tips and tricks used in LEGO Model Shops all over the world. In this book learn one of the most asked about techniques — the Ball! See Mariann and Kevin take you from concept to a complete brick sphere. Also includes step-by-step instructions for an 18-stud LEGO ball. Packed with full color pictures and easy to understand instructions, learn LEGO building in a whole new way! 30 pgs

You can order the printed book and other products at my online store.

My second book “Beyond the Ball” will be available soon, so stay tuned . . . ๐Ÿ˜‰

Getting a Head of a build.

November 18, 2009

LEGO Girl Head 1

Creating a realistic LEGO face is one of the harder aspects of building sculpture. When I was working at LEGOLAND this was unfortunately one type of sculpture that I didn’t get a chance to do much of. So last week I decided to brush up on my skills by creating this.

The model took me about 6-8 hours. I honestly don’t know the exact time. Making the face have a good expression and “life” is the trickiest part. And of course working in the size of 6″ also was a fun challenge. I used a lot of jumpers to get the face right and used almost all of my 1×1 plates to design the hair.

LEGO Girl Head 4

She will most likely appear in an upcoming book or two. The model is a stylized sculpture of my online avatar Model Gal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lego Brickmaster Star Wars in 2010

October 20, 2009

DK Publishing released two LEGO Brickmaster Books this year — Pirates and Castle ($24.99 USD). However, rumors are already starting to fly about one that won’t be available till mid-July of 2010 — LEGO Brickmaster Star Wars.

There is no image (not surprising this early) but at Amazon.co.uk you can already pre-order the book for ยฃ14.09 (that’s English pounds for those who don’t know). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, according to Overstock.com there is also a LEGO Brickmaster LEGO City coming out at the same time.

I actually just found both the Pirates and Castle Brickmaster books at my local TJ Max (of all places) a little while ago. I didn’t pay $25 though, it was more like $15. In my opinion, that’s about how much they are worth. Yes, they are reminiscent of the Idea Books of yore and you do get a small amount of bricks to build with, but the cost is just a tad too pricey. Also, the book is a little awkward in shape, 3/4’s of it is the cardboard box that contains the bricks. So you have this really thick cover and then about 40 actual pages.

It will be interesting to see this Star Wars Brickmaster, but I will hold all opinions until it is actually available. ๐Ÿ™‚

BrickCon 2009 has begun

October 2, 2009

Well even without me BrickCon 09 has started (like I’m that important). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here we see Steve Witt — official LEGO Fan liaison — who, according to Mark Sandlin is holding a “New Pirate Ship” and that will be available January 2010 for $180.00. If that’s true, that’s a pretty sweet model. Even if it’s not true, its still sweet. ๐Ÿ˜€

Without actually being there, it will be hard to really report much about the events and what not, so I’ll have to rely on others’ pictures and my friends from The Brothers Brick too keep all of us non-attendees up to date. I’ll try my best to troll Flickr to find the best representations of BrickCon 09.

For those of you who have never attended a LEGO convention, it truly is a wonderful experience. To have so many like-minded individuals in one place and to be able to share your creations in real life with people who will appreciate them for what they are (including all the intricate details that the non-LEGO fans would miss) is absolutely enjoyable. ๐Ÿ˜€

The next LEGO Convention that I know of in the States is Bricks by the Bay which will be held on April 9-11, 2010 in San Francisco. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend, but that’s still months away, so we’ll see.

I also really hope that I can attend BrickCon next year, since I’m really bummed that I’m missing such a fun weekend with so many of my friends. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

So, everyone that is at BrickCon 09 and reads this blog, have fun for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

BrickJournal — The (MOC) Store

August 27, 2009

Sometimes with all the running around and picture taking he does, we forget that Joe Meno (creator of BrickJournal magazine also builds too. I present to you his latest creation –The BrickJournal (MOC) Store. (Pun intended) ๐Ÿ˜€

Joe says:

This is the second MOC I built for Brickfair – it is simply a massive ego stroke for me:-). Actually it’s a shop for a town layout, with printed bricks and tiles by Tommy Armstrong.

He even has a section of the store to view his website.

I’m surprised he doesn’t have a long line of customers waiting to purchase their very own copies of BrickJournal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great job Joe! I’m glad to see that you are building again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

World’s First actual LEGO Book

August 18, 2009

I’ve been waiting for the final result of V&A Steamworks (Guy Himber’s) latest project — an actual LEGO book! ๐Ÿ˜€

This has been one of those projects that I just couldn’t put down.

All LEGO, with a fully functional spine, cover and pages.

The ‘pages’ are printed on vinyl and feature some of my favorite personal LEGO Steampunk builds

It truly is stunningly original! ๐Ÿ™‚

I also couldn’t pass by one of his other really cool models, the Clockwork Jellyfish.

Great job Guy!