Posts Tagged ‘Brothers Brick’

LEGO A Love Story — Book Review

May 19, 2010

Now I normally don’t review books on this blog, but then this is no ordinary book. πŸ˜‰

When I met Jonathan Bender at BrickCon in 2008 and he said he was writing a book about LEGO I thought it was a pretty interesting idea. He even did a mini interview with me amidst the hustle and bustle that is BrickCon and all I remember thinking after it was over was “I might be mentioned in the book.”

Jonathan was nice enough to send me a copy of the book and I received it a few days before the official release date. For me reading this book was very different than it would be for someone not already inducted into the world of LEGO fans. 90% of the people he mentions are friends, former coworkers and colleagues of mine. Reading this book was like peaking over Jonathan’s shoulder over the year or so that he spent researching the LEGO conventions, LEGO company, and the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) community as he went from a relative newbie to hobnobbing with Master Model Builders. And seeing the LEGO world through his eyes was interesting.

Like most AFOLs Jonathan had a “Dark Age” — the time period when you stop playing with LEGO as a child and then rediscover the little plastic bricks as a hobby when you are an adult. I never had a Dark Age, being one of a rare few who have played with LEGO continually my entire life. So seeing what it felt like for Jonathan to be embarrassed about purchasing LEGO sets and wondering nervously what people will think about him when they see it as his hobby was a novel (pardon the pun) experience. πŸ™‚

Even with all my knowledge (some have called it encyclopedic) of LEGO, both the product and the company, I learned quite a lot I didn’t know. Of course I never really did “research” on LEGO per se, I’ve just acquired it over time. Of the various travels and meetings Jonathan went on the only thing I haven’t done yet is travel to Denmark itself. That is still an as yet unfulfilled dream of mine.

I am mentioned in the book, in fact there are a whole 4 pages that mention me (pgs 247-250 if you’re interested) and there is an obscure reference to this very blog involving the Castle Advent calendar. I only know that he’s talking about me in the book because he emailed a complaint about the daily posts of each mini set while I was doing them. πŸ˜€

So, what do I think of the book? A definite read, for both you and your non-understanding non-LEGO friends and family. This isn’t really written as an information book, but more as one man’s journey to reclaim a piece of his childhood and redefine him as person. He didn’t really go into this project planning on turning into a LEGO fan, but he sure came out of it as one. Seeing what LEGO can do through his eyes might open up your friends and family to better understanding why we do what we do. πŸ˜‰

The Ronin

May 8, 2010

Two things make Fradel Gonzales’ Ronin model great. One, it is a great representation of a Ronin Samurai from feudal Japan. Two, its made in Miniland scale (one of my favorite building scales). πŸ™‚

This is yet another example of why LEGO is one of the best creating mediums around. Where else would you use pistols as horns on the samurai helmet and car elements for the armor?

This will be a great addition to the collaborative “Big in Japan” display at BrickCon this year.

Aposematism 1

April 26, 2010

aposematism 1

Ryan Rubino’s newest creation drew me into its web. There is so much that makes this model awesome! The position of the insects, the sense of movement, and the shear size of the model (check out the original size) is amazing. Having dealt with both of these insects in the wild, I certainly wouldn’t want to meet Ryan’s enlarged versions in my backyard. πŸ˜‰

Can you taste the different LEGO Star Wars figures?

March 17, 2010

That may be a strange question, but that is exactly what a girl in Germany had to do. I don’t really know what the story behind this other than its some kind of game show. Its really interesting to watch, even if I can’t understand what they are saying. πŸ˜‰

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine

March 12, 2010

Okay, this may be stretching my LEGO only rule a bit. But I have to agree with Brothers Brick that this new OK Go video was just a little too awesome to pass up. There is LEGO in the video, for about 5 seconds, maybe less. πŸ˜‰

What makes this Model Building Secrets worthy isn’t so much the LEGO as the ingenuity of it all. The creativity behind setting up a Rube Goldberg Machine is very much like the creativity of making a LEGO model. Watch and enjoy. πŸ˜€

Sabota S-16, “The Death Ring”

March 11, 2010

Although Nannan already posted this on the Brothers Brick I still feel this deserved a mention here.

Nannan is known for his unusual construction techniques and over the top models. In fact he is the one who created the building style of Black Fantasy.

I love the way he used stretcher hoses to create the shape of the dome.

And the story behind it, although dark is pretty cool too:

In the Second Galactic War, the Centuri Worlds constructed massive ringed colonies to specialize for the war effort. Among the few dozen that existed, one in particular acquired notoriety above all others. Sabota was a mining facility to extract resources from a derelict artifact dated around the destruction of Earth. However, its workers soon fell ill within the mines. A decision was made to import POWs to substitute for the labor. Things did not go well for them. In the mines surrounding the biospheres, few lived past six months and none survived for more than a year. For this, Sabota acquired the infamous name β€œThe Death Ring.” The mere mention of it will bring most new captives into cooperation, for the notion of being sent to The Sabota Death Ring meant a certain and most agonizing demise.

Great job Nannan! πŸ˜€

AFOL A Blocumentary

February 22, 2010

Although I can’t seem to get the video to link directly onto my blog you can watch the video if you click the picture.

This is a nicely in-depth look into the minds and world of the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) created by Jess Gibson. The half hour video features several of my North West Coast friends including:

Lino Martins
Thomas Rafert
Wayne Hussy
Mark Neumann
Robin Sather
Jordan Schwartz
Jason Ruff

It was filmed at Brickcon 2009 and at a SEALUG meeting. I really enjoyed watching my friends getting a chance to see BrickCon 09. πŸ™‚

A Portrait of Dorian Bley

February 11, 2010

A Portrait of Dorian Bley, originally uploaded by Reasonably Clever Chris.

Chris Doyle of has created a very different type of LEGO mosaic image. An experiment in Lenticular LEGO building, this play on the classic Oscar Wilde novel The Picture of Dorian Grey

Created with 2,816 cheese slopes this model is trip-y on so many levels.

You can see more photos and test builds on Chris’ Flickr Photostream.

2010 LEGO Star Wars Clone Turbo Tank and Hoth Wompa Cave Sets

February 10, 2010 brings us hi-res images of two of the newest 2010 LEGO Star Wars sets from New York’s Toy Fair.

8098 Clone Turbo Tank $120 USD

8089 Hoth Wampa Cave

I’m pretty happy with the Wampa, although it reminds me a lot of the Rock Raiders cave monster from years past. What is it with LEGO making monsters that have ridiculously long arms?

With the Wampa and the Taun-taun now a reality the only important Classic Star Wars animal that is missing is the Rancor. Yet another long-armed monster. πŸ˜€

On a totally unrelated note, there are finally clear images of two of the upcoming Disney Toy Story 3 sets now on


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. πŸ˜‰

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