Hi there! After five glorious years, I have decided to retire this blog.
Feel free to visit my Flickr or YouTube channels instead.
Or follow my latest blogging exploits over at the Brothers Brick.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Not that there's anything rong with that

Creations by rongYIREN are often very recognizable, simply from the way they are composed: Lots of red bricks and blue backgrounds! But another hallmark of his creations is the tight crispness of the designs and almost totally consistent hiding of studs (some builders just prefer to hide studs, and create totally smooth models - it's a lifestyle choice!).

This geisha is a fine example, and I think it would make a great little desktop ornament!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Living brick turns 2 today!

...yes, meaning that if this blog were a child, it would probably be flushing my wallet down the toilet and then having a massive tempter tantrum about something to do with not getting more chocolate milk. If this blog were a rat, it would be dead. Fortunately though, this blog is an adorable
kitten that just rolled onto it's back and wants its tummy tickled, awww. Prrrrrrrrrr!

And what a rollercoaster year #2 has been! We laughed, we cried... Well, I laughed, you cried. And as a sign of my blog's growing maturity ;-) it seems like we should mark this anniversary with something new ...a competition! Of course, what would a competition be without prizes? (Answer: homework). But it needs to be a special prize. And what says 'special' more than a bunch of stuff I bought on sale at the Lego store and didn't need?!

Therefore, the winner of this contest will recieve the Lego Universe game, Lego Universe strategy guide and Lego Universe exclusive set (...there's a pattern here, have you noticed it yet?).

Now to avoid the embarassment that neither of my readers enters this competition, it won't be a test of your Lego building skills. It will be a test of your loyalty! The fine merchandise pictured above will go to the first person who emails me the correct answer to the followig question...

Many of my blog posts have similarly phrased titles, based on a line from one of my favorite movies. What is the name of that movie?

And if the winning respondant doesn't actually have any interest in Lego Universe related products, we can work something out. Something probably involving a slap.

Hmmm, I suppose I should have baked a cake...

UPDATE: We have a winner already! Yes, I know!
A very drunk Luke Chapman, from the United British Empire Kingdom of England no less, was the first to provide the correct answer "The Hudsucker Proxy". Actually, he forgot the word "The" so I strictly speaking I should disqualify him, right?! And for anyone not familiar with the movie, the line in question is "You know, for kids", when Tim Robbins character presents his 'design' for the hula hoop (a piece of paper with a circle drawn on it).


Friday, January 28, 2011

The Dream Is Alive

One quarter of a century ago today, seven intrepid American explorers, in the spirit of many before them, embarked on the voyage of a lifetime. But sadly for the crew of the NASA space shuttle Challenger, it was a trip that was not to be.

As NASA does keep trying to remind people, space exploration is a dangerous business, enough to make jobs like "Test Pilot" seem a positively safe career choice by comparison. Almost every time I see a picture of a space shuttle, I am reminded of that great line delivered by Steve Buscemi's character in the (laughable but heartfelt) movie Armageddon.

And among the myriad of tributes marking this anniversary, is this wonderful Lego rendition of the Challenger Seven by my good friends Dave & Johnny Xandegar...

I particularly like the inclusion of the scale model of a scale model of a shuttle in the scene! The 80's hair was also a nice touch.

Like me, the Xandegars are total space nuts. A while back they built an very clever model of Buzz Aldrin that at one point ended up in a NASA exhibit next to actual moon rocks and an old Apollo capsule!

So imagine their even greater pride to see their tribute to the Challenger Seven installed at the Challenger Learning Center in Woodstock, Illinois alongside paintings by an Apollo Astronaut and an actual tire from the shuttle Endeavor!

Proving that we don't actually need to be astronauts, to share the dream.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Digital DNA

Thankyou to everyone who voted on my "Should I build another TRON character?" poll. The results are in, and I've decided you're all completely wrong. Report to the grid for immediate deresolution, you malfunctioning programs!

Kudos to the people that actually suggested I move onto fresh subject matter. Ninja's are crawling down your chimney while you read this.

The most popular by a gnat's whisker was C.L.U., which make sense since every hero or heroine needs an archnemesis to fight, right? But shame on all the guys for not coming out to vote, since by the looks of things the ladies were voting on this one. Although really if my bread were buttered on the other side, Garrett Hedlund wouldn't stand a chance against Jeff Bridges (poorly en-young-ened or not). C'mon! Starman! Yes, you know what I'm talking about...

For what it's worth, I voted for C.L.U. too, but really he ties for first place on my to-do list with Gem. So I guess we'll see what shows up on the table at Bricks By The Bay then, won't we??!

(...as if I had any more serious build time between now and then)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Do Lego androids dream of electric bricks?

Inspired by a series of cute little bots by Chris Giddens, that I featured here some time ago, Ted Andes has taken the concept and run with it...

 Darla Dance-bot
 Clyde Clunk-bot
 Brutus Brute-bot

All we need now is a name and trademark and I'm sure this new genre wil take off!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quality *and* quantity!

This morning, at about 8am PST, the Flickr LEGO pool saw it's 100,000th contribution. Congratulations to the Flickr LEGO community, this is a glorious day for us all!

The group has been going for about 6 years, and now has over 7000 members, each of whom is limited to 3 contributions per day. Of those 100k images, about half appeared just in the last 12 months (the pool reached 50k one year ago this Thursday, in fact).

In my opinion, Flickr really is *the* best repository for showcasing Lego creations and building community around the Lego hobby. As well as the main Lego group, there are a plethora of speciality groups there too. When searching for great models to blog, I will quite happily chortle through a couple of thousand Flickr thumbnails, before I even consider checking out other sites.

Because, as I often like to say... "BrickShelf can't and MOCPages won't" :-)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Out with the old, in with the new

The Chinese new year approaches, meaning my kids will soon be nagging me to head off to the restaurant that gives out "lucky money". Maybe by then I can risk a brief hiatus from my post-Christmas emergency Gorgonzola-cleansing diet so I don't end up just sitting there with a bowl of rice seasoned with my own tears.

Anyway, if I can just distract you from your copy of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" for a minute, and get you to put down that yellow highlighter, I'd like to share with you this splendid commenoration of the Year of the Rabbit by tkh (who is rapidly becoming my favorite builder)...

The brilliance of this scene cannot be understated: Since we are transitioning from the Year of the Tiger to the Year of the Rabbit, the women are actually removing tiger costumes to reveal their bunny costumes. Just the idea of trying to model clothing on human figures in this way this is so ambitious I wish I'd thought of it! Plus in signature TKH fashion, the figures are full of details, and life, and hair.

Grrrr, I'm never going to top this. My year is ruined! ;-)

Engage Hawkometer. Hawkometer engaged. MAXIMUM score!


Thursday, January 13, 2011


Here's a random smattering of some recent Lego models with a similar design, inspired by similar characters, from the incomprehensible multi-media Manga universe. By "similar design" I mean slightly vacant starry cheese-wedge eyes and massive hair action. And by "similar characters" I mean "I haven't a clue what's going on, but they all look too young to be doing that". As to the backstory behind any of these characters - you got me, it's all way over my poor Western head!

Tamaki Kohsaka (from "To Heart 2") by tkh

Mio Akiyama (from "K-On!") by lili1984

Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley Soryu
(from "Neon Genesis Evangelion") also by tkh


Monday, January 10, 2011

Clowning around in the water

Talented Korean builder edulyoung has not only created this nice model of a clown anemone fish, but he is also offering it as a rather swish limited edition custom set on his BrickLink store...

(fwiw, based on the types of bricks used, I am guessing that's red not orange)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The devil's in the details

This charming little creation by the prodigious Jordan Schwartz was inspired by that classic Bluegrass (...read Scaremericana) song "The Devil Went Down To Georgia".

This song will now always remind me of last Christmas, where at a friend's house a couple of my American friends, heavily hopped up on some of that watered-down gnat's piss that passes for beer over here, broke into a very 'enthusiastic' rendition of this number. It was quite entertaining in a "please don't let them remember the 2nd amendment and/or the Declaration of Independence" kind of way!


If there's two kinds of creature that pop up in Lego form most regularly, it's probably chickens and crustaceans. But this effort by Paul B (aka fifthconspiracy) entitled "Mutant Crab Walking" takes the latter to a whole new dimension! In his own words...

"Larry (the Atlantean splenetic creature-tamer) takes his Crustacean for a walkies 20,000 feet below sea level on the Abyssal plains"

Lucky for Larry that "poop and scoop" laws haven't made it down to the sea floor yet, or I think he'd need an entourage of mermaids carrying tarps.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Warped reality

I was a big fan of Escher growing up, so I was tickled pink (read 'mentally perplexed') by this series of bona fide, brick built, non-Photoshopped optical illusions created out of Lego by Brixe63.

See if you can figure out how each one was done. Before it makes your head explode.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy new year! And to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, here is a rabbit (and some verse) courtesy of MisaQa...

According to the Lego calendar, 2010 was the Year of the Collectible Minifig. Which logically means that 2011 should be... Oh dear, Year of the Collectible Minifig. Again. Yay...