Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dos Exo-Suits

A fun, very true, image created by Colin23 (The LEGO Little Prince creator).

Don't forget to get your two Research Institutes too.  That way you get free shipping and a mini mini.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wall-E gets face lift, heads off to 10k

Wall-E has been a fan favorite on Ideas almost from the beginning.  The little robot from Pixar just goes so darn well with LEGO.

Wall-E campaigns have taken several setbacks in the past but with MacLane (Pixar veteran AND creator of the Cubedude) we finally have a Wall-E rocketing to the 10k mark.

If you have not stopped by MacLane's Wall-E campaign in a while, make sure to do so.  The updates
to the robot's eyes really bring out the emotion in the little guy's face and really demonstrates how each brick matters.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Some Interesting Ideas

Pick of the Week

Wallace & Gromit Brickfigures

I kept waffling between this project and the Moon Landing.  In the end, I thought this idea was more creative and overlooked.  Any fan of Wallace and Gromit will instantly recognize this build.  I am impressed by how accurately the characters have been recreated.  Well done sir!


Honorable Mentions

Moon Landing-Apollo 11

The Moon Landing is one of those special projects that really makes me wonder why Lego has not made it yet.  LEGO's bread and butter is a figure or two and a vehicle and a sizable chunk of those sets are space themed, and a lot of the space ones are actually NASA themed.

So yeah.  This is one of those projects concepts that I assume will get to 10k eventually and then get produced.  I was very sad when Suzuki left Ideas and took his Lunar Lander with them as I felt it was a great model.

This lander is a great and worthy model.  It is perhaps missing a bit of polish that I have seen in others but that is more than made up for in this excellent presentation.  The grey blanket makes for an excellent lunar surface and the flair on the helmet is spectacular.   I do wish there were a few stars Photoshopped in and perhaps an image of Earth in the distance, but all in all an excellent shot and one that will certainly bring in supporters.

War of the Worlds Martian Tripod

Wow!  Now that is some difficult building.  For some reason FOLs love Tripods but this is the first I have seen to use the tail element and to such rewarding effect!

TMNT Party Wagon

I often contemplate recreating toys from my childhood in LEGO.  This his exactly how I remember the TMNT Party Wagon of yore!  Wow, just, wow!

Arab Village

This build has a lot of character.

Operation: Steam Knight (OSK140718) - Vladamire /

Pittstop has a TON of creative mecha on Ideas, each with its own theme and character.  I really like how this vampire themed mecha has the vampire's coffin on its back. 

Metal Slug SV-001 (being decommissioned)
by JanYap

A successful recreation of a memorable video game vehicle.

World Sports

Not a big boxing fan but I have to respect the quality of the build here.  I really like the full breadth of content.  Great use of the Fabuland chairs.    

BeeBot - The Honey Detecting Robot
by JanYap

I love JanYap's creativity.  You never know what to expect.  On top of that the projects always showcase great building skill and great presentation.

Lego Cupcakes

These are very well done.  I especially like the details to co into the cup part.

I especially include this project because I love it when people do something creative within the platform, like when AndrewClark2 used a stack of images to create a single large one. Clark's method is not viable anymore in the Ideas format, but Andrijan94 has created a mosaic of images using an array of tiny images.  It is pretty spectacular.   

The only problem is that is someone is looking at it in a smaller browser or on a cell phone, it breaks down the organization of images.

Knight's Golfing Club

This is just a fun idea.  


LOTR - Rivendell Part 5
I appreciate what Anduin1710 is doing.  It can really help a project out to have other projects that support others.  While this is pretty, I can't see it standing alone as a project.  

It is basically a hallway, with generic figures.  Yes, an extremely pretty walkway.  It also does not appear to be constructed to separate to assist in placing figures.   This obviously is not critical, but you want to sell a set using every angle you can and playability is one of them.
Galaxy Explorer 2015
Benny and the Exo-suit are certainly bring about a resurgence of classic inspired Space builds.
Boardwalk Arcade
Excellent micro-work with the jukebox.  The foosball table is also very well done.  I would have liked the pinball machines to be a bit larger but I can imagine the extreme challenge of building the pinball machine at that scale. 
Batman: Blackest Night Grave
When creating a project be sure your thumbnail image is absolutely clear.  This black-on-black is hard to decipher.

This project does counter the difficulty of reading the image by adding the "Blackest Night" logo, but poorly places it so it becomes cropped. 
Lego Oreo Machine That Takes Money
If your project is in any way dynamic, you really want to include a video of it functioning.  It does not have to have crazy production values, a simple Cell phone video will suffice.

The worst video is still better at describing how a dynamic build works than the best description. 
AdriPiqueras created a video to go with this project.  It is a great example of interesting approaches to promoting your project. 
Galactic Defender
I really like how Bryant Tsu used fishing line to hang the model for a great "flying effect in the image.  Well done.   
Suburban House
This looks just a little too much like a Creator set.  You really want to emphasize what makes your set distinct from currently available sets.  
Fun at the carnival
Bounce castle is a pretty fun idea.  PLEASE though, don't create projects with improper backgrounds.  It is extremely simple to create projects with no-background or better ones.

Here is a tutorial I have written up for this.
Benny's Space Suit
This is a blanket response to all the Benny projects cropping up.

Everyone loves Benny.  LEGO love Benny.  Benny is doing just fine.
LEGO is either working on a new line of Benny stuff OR they are not going to until the next movie.  The Movie is a gold mine for LEGO and they are currently thinking long and hard about the best ways to monetize it well into the future.
FIFA World Cup
One year too late or two years too early. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

EPIC art for Comicon Exclusive

Paul Lee has uploaded some AMAZING images he produced for the Comicon Exclusive LEGO DC Superheros Comic Book.  There are several of them posted on his Flickr account.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunken LEGO finds its way to the Beach
In 1997 nearly 5 million LEGO elements fell off a ship. Since that fateful day, the LEGO has been surfacing on the beaches of Cornwall.

Extra fun bonus, 1997 was a Nautical theme year, so a big chunk of the elements are aquatic themed. The full story can be found here.

Some Interesting Ideas

LEGO Ideas Digest introduced

This week, LEGO started sending out the Digest.  It is a computer generated email that you can opt in to that gives updates on LEGO Idea activities.  I have not received enough to really establish any patterns of content, but it does include the support increases of projects the recipient has submitted, links to comments on those projects, links to additions of followers, and what appears to be a few other, random tidbits.  Give it a try.  

Pick of the Week

Tropical Beach Hut
by miro78

Miro has a fun, beautiful, and attractive build here.  It has enough greenery to look organic and real without going overboard. 

There is a well established narrative to the build build that leverages many specialized elements: birds,  crabs, sea shells, clams, ship wheels, leaves, etc...I especially like the ores used for the rails and the sign.  I do think using two ship wheels for decoration in a single build is overdoing it a little though. 

When thinking critically about the build (which I try to do with any "pick of the week") I do have to  wonder about the scooter.  The tan plates on the ground clearing give the impression of a sandy beach.  I can't claim to have personal experiences with beches and scooters, but I can't image taking a scooter to the beach, a Three or Four wheeler sure, but not a Vespa.  This is a small point of course, but it sticks out to me.


Honorable Mentions

Winnie the Pooh Brickfigures

I really appreciate how many variations in depth the heads of these characters have.  Eeyore is extremely well done.  I really like the fins used as ears.  The unikitty tail for honey is pretty clever too.  


Modular Police Station
A very well done modular but I have to believe that with the fire station being a Modular that LEGO has already considered a police station and that it is either on the list for a future modular or LEGO has decided that crime is not something which needs to be prevented in the Modular Main Street. 
Monkey Island – 25th Anniversary
Kickstarter has proved that fans of SoMI's creators are active, numerous, and willing to put money out to get a product.
by aleehc
I see a lot of great concepts on Ideas but they need to be actually built (and photographed well) or realistically rendered.  Projects have 365 days to get 10,000 votes.  That is 27.4 votes a DAY.

If you have a serious project, you need to present it as impressive as possible.  Rendering can be done for free and many will volunteer their time to help you out.  
Voyager interstellar mission
Well done.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Potential Image of 60's Era Batmobile for Comicon

So, everyone knows now that an exclusive 60's era Batmobile is going to be at Comicon. 

What we don't have yet is an official picture.  So there is a lot of speculation on the size of the build.

Well, I am pretty sure we do have a bit of a teaser that has been out for a while. 

This awesome "poster"  came out a while ago and it seems pretty official, or an amazing forgery of legitimate.  In it you can see Batman is in front on a 60's era Batmobile and from the image it appears to be an 8 wide. 

Just rumor mongering but hey, it's fun to play with rumors when we get them.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some Interesting Ideas


Wow, well, I am back again.  I have been quite busy but I am finally getting my feet back under me.  Among the many things I have been working on has been updating my codes on this site to be compatible with the changes that have taken place in the Cuusoo to Ideas transition.  I do believe they are about 75% complete.

In some ways the codes are better, in others not quite as accurate, but hey, that's life.  If you see something "weird" going on on one of my pages, please send me note and I will see about stamping it out.

  • The daily support page does take a long time to load, and I need to fix that. 
  • Rate to 10k page won't work for another week or two.  It needs to collect more data from Idea before the equations have enough data.
  • The Rate Sort is still my favorite of my custom pages.  It organizes the projects based on their lifetime support vs age.  This shows you the projects that are performing the best and also shows you popular new projects as well as they tend to get a lot of support in the first few days.  The question is, will they keep up the pace? 

Joining the Brick Journal Staff

I have been added to the staff of Brick Journal as the "LEGO Ideas Correspondent."  I did have one article in issue #29 about the Doctor Who project I did with Jared Burks but starting with issue #30 I will have regular articles.  The format is subject to change but currently the concept is that I will write one brief article about a cool project and one article about project creation and promotion.

Brick Fiesta

Brick Fiesta San Antonio 2014 came to a close two weeks ago.  Much fun was had by all and I will share more on that later.  The new fun is that we at TexLUG move Brick Fiesta around each year and the voting attendees picked Austin for 2015.

On top of that, I, along with Will Horner and Will Heron will be the Co-Chairs.  It is an interesting concept.  Each year we have a new set of people orchestrating the whole production.  I look forward to the challenge but if anyone out there has suggestions for what they want to see in a LEGO convention, please drop me a line.
I am very interested to discover what we come up with. 


Personal Projects.

Doctor Strange and the Sanctum Sanctorum.
by DarthKy

Darthky and I continue our series of Themed Modulars with the Sanctum Sanctorum.  I am very pleased with how me managed to pull of the central window which is critical feature of the structure.
 On the second floor we took a more whimsical approach by having a laid back living room/kitchen area.  The first floor we reserved for Doctor Strange's study.  Darthky kept this one much simpler than our previous projects, avoiding the unfolding aspect we added to Wayne Manor and X-mansion.

Frozen: Olaf!

Joe Meno, the editor of Brick Journal, and I have teamed up to create an Ideas project themed on his popular Olaf build based on the character from Frozen.  Joe updated the design a bit to utilize the new Mixel joints for more twig like arms but the build is otherwise unchanged.

All proceeds we might receive from this project will go to the FIRST LEGO League.

A Few Interesting  Ideas

I have decided to go ahead and write one massive post to cover all the projects I think have been noteworthy since the transition to Ideas.  A note on order, all project are sorted in their category (Pick, Honorable Mention, Notable)  according to their support level at the time the article was started.  


Pick of the Week

Normally I try to keep the Pick of the Week down to one, maybe two if I can't decide, but since I have been on hiatus for so long, I decided to list several projects that really stand out.


RAKRONDEWL has provided a model that is quite engaging.  I love that it expands upward.  I know that this cuts down on its practicality but it certainly adds character. 

Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child
by Concore

Extremely well done visuals, great custom figs.  All in all an excellent send up of the First Doctor.

Spaceballs - Eagle 5
by NvdK

Ah Space Balls.  The Classic Sci-fi spoof film by the epic Mel Brooks.   This is an awesome recreation of Eagle 5.  I think this project would have been very well served by including an Indiana Jones figures, sans fedora of course for the Lone Star character.  Remember, people LOVE minifigs.

Stake-Out Steak Delivery Surveillance Van
by JanYap

JanYap is quickly becoming one of my favorite designers on Ideas.  They create intriguing, fully actualized projects with a humorous bent to them.  On top of that they put effort into the quality of the presentation.

This one actually made me chortle when I saw it.  I am a sucker for good pun.   

Kung Fu Teahouse

I know that Ninjago is taking up the "theme-space" of  "Martial Arts" centric sets right now but I really like the concept and, for the most part, the execution of this idea.  I would like to see integrated action elements somehow implemented though that could really bring the "kung fu" to life.

Honorable Mentions

The Honorable Mentions are projects that were not quite as good as the "Pick of the Week" but deserve strong recognition. 

Avengers Helicarrier
by ysomt

This is a stunning piece of work.  Truly astounding. I applaud the detail and effort involved. 

This project is one of he rare examples, like the Sandcrawler,  where the model is so extreme that in many of the images "muggles" would not even recognize them as LEGO builds.

I love the classic Hellicarrier, I love the Marvel Cinematic Hellicarrier.  I considered MOCing it myself and maybe will some day.

I think it is awesome that Ysomt has shared their build on Ideas with us all, but, being honest I don't think it has very good chances of getting produced, at any scale.  If LEGO was going to make a Hellicarrier, it would have been during the Avengers release.  On top of that (SPOILERS) the Hellicarrier is no longer part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.   

That being said, if LEGO does produce a Hellicarrier, I will be one of the first in line to pick one up.

by JWG258

I am always a fan of JWG258's work and this fine example carries on their tradition of fun, single pilot ships with great color and part usage.

Laser Guided Catapult-on-a-Truck
by JanYap

An awesome mash up of modern and medieval.  This is well executed and looks like a really fun design to play with.



Notables are projects that I have something to say about, maybe good, maybe a suggestion for improvement.

Modular Library
by JGreeny
An extremely nice modular.that avoids the pitfalls you see in a lot of non-canon Modulars.

Like most Modulars on Ideas though I think this one suffers form Inevitable discovery.  Any building you might find in "every" downtown is likely already on LEGO's to do list.   
Avengers Stark Tower
by SHuN23
Extremely well done build, but suffers from the same problem as the Hellicarrier above.  Stark Tower, true to the film is a single point in time. 

There are a few elements of the building that serve critical to the Avengers movie but they can't be easily replicated in an architectural build. 
The Solar System
by saabfan
I love orreries and this fine example is no exception.  This one is well served by its tight scale and robust nature.

Dynamic builds, much to my chagrin just don't move anywhere on Ideas though.    
Spirited Away Yubaba’s Bathhouse
An extremely well done recreation from an great film.  The scale is fantastic.  Personally I would have left out the spirit though and added a minifig or two.

Just like the Star Wars planet series there is no reason for the figures to be to scale with the build.  
Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary
Mary Poppins!  Nick Tierce is definitely a fan of the movie.  He has an excellent video attached to the project that gives very well thought out reasons for any serious fan of cinema and story telling to love the film.

It has inspired me to see the film again, it has been too long.  The project is quite beautiful.  The part where it looses me, personally, is that though I remember many scenes from Marry Poppins, I don't really recall the house very well. 

I remember the adventures, and I remember, the bedroom scene with the spoonful song, and I remember a lot with the chimney.  The chimney though is where the house splits.

I think Mary Poppins would be much better served by a small collection of settings rather than the whole house, but again, it has been long since I have viewed the film and only speak from my own opinion.  

Leonardo's Helicopter
DaVinci is a very popular subject and this a great model based on his works.
The Lego Beetlejuice House!
An astounding model!  I would like to see some attempt at Beetlejuice though.  It is unusual to have a model named after a character that is not demonstrated, or even mentioned in the project.

 The photography on this one is top notch.

Fortress of Solitude, Phantom Zone Breakout
by Kizmo
Best Fortress to date.  
XS Freighter
The accuracy of the model is very impressive.
Mini Troopers
by rexngch
Very well done microbuilds. 
Space Observatory
Every time a project is selected, there are several similar ones that come out.  Minecraft spawned scores of habitats for example.

I can't help but feel that this project is an expansion of the Research Institute.  It might not be the intent but it is my gut response.  It is very well done, certainly, that is not in question.  I just feel that the Research Institute is occupying this niche right now.
Coinop Videogame
by msx80
Jumping Frog - Remote Controlled
Check out the video, it works a lot better than I would have imagined.
Classic Space Valkyrie VF-1 CS
If I were to post this project, I would have left off the official Robotech branding.  Crossing IP is just asking for trouble, especially with an IP as legally quagmired as Robotech. 
Meta Ridley Encounter
by TheNerd
Very good use of the new Mixel elements.
The Battle For Minas Tirith
Fantastic.  The scale is a bit extreme but the piece is magnificent. 
International Space Station (Architecture Edition)
Perfect scale for the casual LEGO and Space fan.
Pokemon - Charizard
A good rendition of an organic entity. 
Classic Tractor - John Deere
Very well done.  I hope Matthew has been trying to get in touch with John Deere.
1968 Ford Mustang Fastback GT
by GTC00
Minifig scaled cars are very hard to do.  Sure, you can put anything on four wheels, but making them look good is very difficult.  Try to model a specific model of automobile at minifig scale and you are talking about a serious challenge.

This build does a very good job reflecting the Mustang.  I would however like to see the vent grille though I know that is a very tall order.  A reference to the stripe on the side would be ideal as well.

Lamborghini Countach LP400
Such impressive geometries!
ModBots: Modular Brick-Built Robots
Kind of like Robot Mixels.  This idea has come before, but this one is very well executed.
Exotic Market
Very nice.
Merlin: Battle for Camelot
PrimeMerlinian has demonstrated a heroic effort of bringing the series "Merlin" to Ideas with no less than six projects on the theme.
PrimeMerlinian has done an excellent job of creating core project images that showcase the subject of the project and the minifigs.

They have also done a great job with this project in particular of balancing a display castle and a playset.  Too many project creators would have made an entire castle and crammed the play content inside it.  

LOTR - Rivendell Part 4
Anduin1710 has a whole series of Rivendell builds.  If that is your thing I suggest you check them out.
Mickey Mouse and Friends Brickfigures
Flying Megapede
by Jmoreno
I like the insect/crustacean-like quality of this one.  
I like the concept here but projects that cross IPs always get my goat.  
Curved roofed building
Nice design.
Relaxing...I find building to be a very "zen" type action.  I imagine building a garden out of LEGO might be the most relaxing thing one could do.  
The Gilded Crow
Very nice pirate ship.  Photos are very well done too, a very professional project.   The sails are fantastic as well.  I really like the LEGO heraldry.

FRIENDS : Monica and Rachel's Apartment
The attention to detail is extremely impressive.  This kind of project screams for renders.  The cast is well done, within LEGO's standard options, but custom figures are needed to really sell this project. 
Micro Relativity
This is something I have been wanting to get around to for a few years now.  Excellent work on recreating a Classic!
Exo-MicroForce Pilot Set "Sentry vs Uplink"
TheMugbearer has found an excellent way to pay homage to  Exo-Force for the fans of the line.  
Skygrasper Civillian Version
by JanYap
I really dig  JanYap's designs.  Plus they have very clean projects
Expedition Savannah
Ewald_77 has a very nice series of projects based on a licensed vehicle and a setting.  Excellent photography and setup as well.

The Lion King Brickfigure Animals
SavetheBrick's best work to date.
Gee Bee
by Hajdekr
A pretty astounding microbuild.  I suggest you want the video to admire its construction.  I will have to try out the trick Hajdekr used to get the wings on.
Gee Bee Model R Bendix Racer
I have always liked the bulky style of the Gee Bee model R.  This is a great recreation of the aircraft
25th Century Mech - B403-VT "Pittbull"
A fun mech with cool joints.  I always get a kick out of mechs on skates.