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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Some years ago, my first feeble attempt at doing something interesting with Lego involved combining it the most satisfying of all nerdy pursuits, Dungeons and Dragons.

But more recently, my good chum Guy Himber (purveyor of fine Lego sweetmeats, and venerable curator of V&A Steamworks) has been giving the world of D&D his own unique Lego treatment.

And he just made my week by tackling my all-time favorite monster...

This is truly FTW! ("For The Wargamers"). And Guy's version comes with a more interesting set of eye stalk powers than the original (click through to Flickr to check them out).

I always imagined Beholders having particularly 'tetchy' personalities. Something to do with a shortage of eyelids, the price of contact lens fluid, and adventurers endlessly waving bright torches in front of their eyes. This one's body language seems to be saying "Take one step closer to my quad-shot latte, Elf boy, and I will fuck you up!"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fried Chicken!

Twenty years ago today, a singular artist and performer was lost to us.

On November 24th 1991, the British musical icon Freddie Mercury passed away, the victim of a disease that at the time was still largely on the fringe of Western consciousness. But by unexpectedly claiming such a beloved public figure, the stigma associated with AIDS was destined to be short-lived.

The band Queen dominated the British rock scene during the 70s and 80s. And by the height of their success they were, quite literally, as much a national institution as a certain British monarch of the same name! And the antics of their charismatic yet sincere front man (whether on stage or on video) were always a source of great entertainment to the nation.

This LEGO creation is my own tribute to the man Mercury. I wanted to create a model that captured Freddie's energy and joy. And Queen's concert at Wembley Stadium in the summer of 1986 (one of Freddie's final performances with Queen) seemed like the perfect source material. The concert was actually televised nationwide a few months later, and so is probably how many of us remember Freddie now - in that regal yellow jacket, sporty pants, Adidas trainers, and wielding his signature "sceptre" microphone stand.

Despite the enormous cultural blow dealt by Freddie's passing, the popularity of Queen and the memory of Freddie have in no way diminished in the intervening years. There have been numerous tribute concerts, some featuring the surviving members of the band themselves (including a few special performances scheduled this month). The band has also continued to perform their most well-known material with the help of other talented singers. Although for me personally, nothing could top the performances of George Michael, Elton John and David Bowie at the very first tribute concert back in 1992!

Freddie's legacy has also given rise to such worthwhile organizations as the Mercury Phoenix Trust, which funds AID research, and the Mercury Prize, an annual award given to promising new musical talent. The Queen fan base is also still thriving and the band itself is currently working on an album of hitherto unreleased songs featuring vocals by Freddie, thanks to some recently discovered studio tapes.


So, if you happen to remember seeing some old Queen albums hiding at the back of your music collection, dust them off today and spin one for Freddie. Or heck, do it the modern way and download a random Queen track from iTunes.

"The show must go on!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Horse Feathers

With this cute little Groucho Marx disguise, Carson Hart reminds you never to belong to any club that will have you as a member! :-)


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bite Me

While I can't say for sure whether this "diesel" mosquito by Omar Ovalle utilizes custom chroming or non-Lego wing components, it still doesn't take away from the simple overall beauty of his creation.

When this one gets you, it's definitely gonna leave a mark!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our tastebuds can't repel flavor of that magnitude!

I'm of the camp that believes punning to be the highest achievement in humor. Entire civilizations have been based on it for chrissake. So imagine the cringing stomach muscle spams of pain/pleasure that I experienced when I saw Lino's latest creation...

Built as part of another Iron Builder contest. The irony here (ouch, unintended pun!) is that for me these contests are just one giant buffet of wonderfully bloggable creations. I just head up to the peanut gallery and starting hitting the "New Post" button.

My work here is done!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Little people

So as promised in my earlier post on the Star Trek / Monthy Python mashup by Gabriel Thomson, here are some other really amazing dioramas that people have created (at the last minute and at great expense) for the 2011 MOC Olympics...

Wizard of Oz by Blake Baer

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Thoy Bradley

Globe Theater by Glory_Forever

These scenes are incredible, especially when you consider they had to be built to fit the theme of that particular round of the contest, and within a time budget. And as seems to be the norm with MOCPage folks, each of these scenes is accompanied by a very extensive set of closeup photos and narrative about the creation and the build process, that are well worth a look.

Of course, this immediately leaves me wondering about munchkins vs oompa-loompas. Like what their offspring might look like, or who would win in a gipsy knife-fight. So perhaps best to just end on a relevant quote, which for three MOCs could be a bit of a problem...

"Alas poor Veruca - I knew her, Toto."

Monday, November 14, 2011

You don't know JACK

Terrible news! OneLUG member and him-sphere inventor Bruce Lowell has shamelessly sold out to become the Lego mouthpiece of corporate America (you can deny it Bruce, but we all know the score!).

Or more likely he just really really likes the burgers at Jack In The Box. I know I do. Although I have been clean for almost 5 years now. But I still fondly remember the wonderfully lardy heart-explode-y taste of their Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger. And those chilli cheese curly fries, mmmmm. Oh god I think I'm having a relapse. I need a bacon grease injection to take the edge off the urge to just drive down there right now. And this isn't exactly helping either, Bruce...

True story: When we first arrived in the US, my wife and I literally had to split a single B.U.C. between the two of us, on account of our tiny British appetites! If we'd been Russian it would probably have kept us fed and our oil lamps lit for weeks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Non-Lego news roundup

Flickr user Tricia Wang spotted this sign outside the Sunflour bakery and cafe in Shaghai, China. Apparently Lego dogs are not allowed. Although they'd be quite easy to smuggle in your pocket, so it seems like an un-enforceable policy if you ask me.

And while on travels of my own in the much less exotic Pacific Northwest, I spotted a fairly decent selection of Nanoblock sets in a local "mom n' pop" toy store! So they're getting pretty pervasive now. Although a bit rich for my blood at $18-25 dollars for the boxes sets!

Also pretty pervasive now are Playmobil's obvious attempt to cash in on Lego's success with its collectible minifigs. I recall seeing Megablok making a similar play a while back, too. Note the girl/boy differentiation...

...although I can't really claim that's sexist since I imagine the gender divide among Playmobil is probably far more balanced than it is for Lego.

And in my final bit of non-Lego business for the evening, I'd like to announce that I am starting a second blog! Of sorts.

For some insane reason, I've always had Yahoo as my web browser's home page. And prime billing on their site these days are a continuously scrolling range of vapid, vacuuous "lifestyle and culture" articles. Which make a very easy target for some humor.

So to that end, I have created the site Screw y(ah)oo!, where I will feature simple quips to the most pointless Yahoo articles of the day. Yes, it's an experiment. I have no idea if it will last. But please feel free to pass it on to your friends if you find it at all funny!

Oh, and finally finally, I see the total hit counter for The Living Brick just crossed the 200,000 mark, yay! Of course, that's spread over a period of about 1000 days. So I'd like to give a big THANKYOU to all my loyal readers! Or if you just stumbled across this blog by accident, fuck you!

When bricks attack

What are the key attributes of a great character MOC? Let's list them, and see if you can spot the fake one...

1. A good idea, skillfully executed
2. Humor, personality, and action
3. Fifty thousand bricks and an SLR camera

Did you get it? If you didn't, then read them again, testing each one against the example of this "monster 1x1 brick" by SweStar.

Right, now you're getting it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Run, Bambi, Run! (Oh, wait...)

I immediately recognized exactly what this was, from the thumbnail alone. The imagery is so burned into my mind from watching Dumbo endlessly much as a kid. Is Disney still around? I have no knowledge. On account of me not being 8 any more.

A-n-y-w-a-y... Eurobricks is running some contest or other involving the use of Series 5 collectible minifigs. And Okay Yaramanoglu decided to use this as an opportunity to recreate the pivotal jump scene from the movie, in every detail!

More images of the model can be found here on Brickshelf. Ironically, if Brickshelf were a cartoon animal, it would actually be an elephant in a clown costume holding a feather... "I can load, I can load!".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm in the mood for a swim!

I've been following the work of Kevin Ryhal (aka M<O><O>DSWIM) for a while now. He may just become the next great character builder, assuming that he can (a) renounce his allegiance to the Evil Lucasfilm Empire and (b) lay back on the hinge bricks a bit! Oh, and perhaps come up with an alias that doesn't totally swrew up my HTML editor ;-)

And here he's really taken his work to the next level, with a really nicely proportioned design for clone troopers and even some AT-RT's for them to ride!

Then again I think he's already been on a bit of a roll recently...

And if you liked that (you hopeless fanboy you) then you're gonna love all of this stuff!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"And I thought Scotsmen smelled bad... ...on the outside!"

So I'm not one to pander to all these overly commercialized nerd franchies - my 2nd choice for this post's title being the current joke "Use the force, Harry (Gandalf)". But this entry for the current Iron Builder contest, by repeat offender Rod Gillies, just tickled my fancy for all things microscale...

I have a feeling this round is gonna be another a good one!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Once again the annual MocOlympics contest is generating some cool stuff. (...although personally I wish they'd relocate this contest to Flickr)

It always amazes me that the competitors are able to put together such great models with no warning of the topic, and a very limited time budget. Which for me would be a total nightmare scenario: I'm much more comfortable being able to spend 2 weeks fiddling around trying to get the elbows right on my quarterly character creation.

Three recent entries that caught my attention are actually sizable minifig-based scenes. The one I'm gonna show you today is the work of Australian builder Gabriel Thomson.

At first glance you could be forgiven for saying "oh look, another minifig version of the bridge from the original Star Trek series, yawn". But keep looking, dear reader!

Mr Spock, what's that on the scanner? It appears to be something completely different, Captain...

Oh no, it's the Crimson Permanent Assurance (from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life", you Philistines!). We're under attack from financial pirates! Also, I like fezes; fezes are cool.

Let me just repeat that in case it's not clear what Gabriel has created here: Monty Python invading Star Trek. How awesome is that! If you look closely you'll see Doctor Who even makes a brief cameo. So that's two really cool British shows invading one used-to-be-kind-of-cool-but-then-became-rather-lame American show. Imperialists 2, Colonials 1! :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Of all the blogs, in all the Internets, it has to show up on mine"

By Jolyrogr