Category Archives: News

Honing One’s Craft

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It can be said that AFOLs in general are craftspeople, especially those who actively build MOCs and share their work publicly on sites like Flickr, MOCpages, or Brickshelf. I’d say there’s a bit of the old “maker” culture in all of us, including a drive to constantly improve our skills and engage in a process of sharing our work with others, getting feedback, and pushing ourselves to improve what we do in one way or another. But there are also those in the AFOL community who have managed to take their love for LEGO to a whole other level, using their overall enthusiasm for the hobby as fuel to move the game in truly bold, new directions. It’s with this in mind that I was particularly struck by the image above when I saw it on the Brickarms Flickr photostream. It seems that the next level in custom minifig accessories has arrived, specifically with the growing accessibility of overmolding techniques which, for those of us who geek out and consume the stuff, means we’ll be seeing some even more amazingly detailed pieces to make our minifigs look that much “cooler”. “So what’s the image and what’s the big deal?” What you see above is a bunch of appetite-whetting prototype railguns that will be available at BrickFair, many of which are overmolded to create multi-colored guns that look as if they’re made with different colored parts. In the end, it means some truly amazing possibilities. I have to commend Will and Brickarms for the demonstrated drive to bring us new and exciting options through a willingness to experiment and broaden their design and manufacturing skills. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing other custom minifig accessory houses following suit shortly, which only means great things for the fans and enthusiasts. Onward.

Just the Cling I’ve Been Looking For!

Let’s just say that I’m no fan of stickers on my models. They’re too much of a commitment to me, especially because I tend not to keep things built and am most into the building part of the whole “building toy” thing. In my perfect world, printed elements would run aplenty, or at least moreso than they do now. However, I am really into the visual aspect of stickers and do think they can really add a whole lot to a model. With that said, the best middle-of-the-road solution is static cling! I’m late to the party, but apparently BrickStix has been making these available since ToyFair earlier this year. What’s especially notable about their product is that it was all dreamed up by a then nine-year-old KFOL named Greyson to accessorize his own models. My hat’s off to him and his family for bringing this concept to the table. Currently there are themed packs—WWII, Zombies, Comics, etc.—of the static cling reusable “stickers” as well as your garden variety decals that are apparently more positionable and less icky-on-the-bricky. Seems brilliant to me. The only complaint that I have is that the design needs to be pushed a little more in future products. In my opinion, they’re not quite up to par with TLG’s design sensibility, but I’m sure that this will change with time. They say imitation is the best form of flattery, so let’s just say that I think I’ll be designing myself up some static cling designs as a salute to these good folks. Stay tuned for more info.

Mines of Moria TV Spot

Sometimes LEGO’s TV spots are just fun to watch, magically transporting AFOLs back to happy childhood memories. Above is a LEGO Lord of the Rings commercial that hits at both the building toy and fantasy geek inside many of us. It pretty much speaks for itself, so enjoy on this fine Saturday Morning.

A No-Brainer of a Combo

If you haven’t guessed from following this blog, not only am I a huge fan of LEGO, but I’m a dyed-in-the-wool fanboy of most things comics and fantasy. So, to me, the 2012 Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention‘s decision to include a LEGO component to this year’s show is like deciding to pair Batman with Robin, Scott Summers with Jean Grey, or Bruce Banner with anger…a natural pairing. I’m excited about the precedent and hope it catches on, especially given this year’s Summer of the Nerd, my unofficial name for TLG’s offering of licensed geekiness—Superheroes, Lord of the Rings, and new Star Wars sets—along with the usual fun quirkiness of its original themes like Monster Fighters and Ninjago, both of which have seen some awesome new sets released recently. Oh, and we can’t forget what’s happening in comic book stores—Avengers vs. X-Men, Before Watchmen—and movie theaters—Marvel’s “The Avengers”, The Amazing Spider-man, Prometheus…. Oh yes, it’s a good time to be a nerd. If you’re able to make it out to Memphis, TN this November, you’ll definitely want to check out this amazing hybrid convention. Click the image above for further details.

Speaking of Chinese Ceramic Roofs

BrickTW, the custom accessory house known mostly for their minifig weapons and clothing based on feudal Chinese history, is branching out into custom pieces for architectural MOCs to go along with their fig accessories. More specifically, they announced new pieces to recreate the ceramic tiled roofs of ancient palaces like Yuan Ming Yuan. As a fan of BrickTW and their attempt to incorporate a broader set of aesthetic influences into the world of LEGO, I can’t wait until these come out. They’re undergoing quality testing right now and should be available soon.

The Seamy Side of the Hobby -OR- What a Stupid AFOL

A ridiculously wealthy Bay Area tech executive was busted for scamming his local Target to buy tons of LEGO at highly discounted prices. There’s loads to learn from the entire story over at Wired, but here’s the Cliff Notes version. First, millionaire’s steal. (Shock. Surprise. Horror.) Next, the old barcode switcheroo is still a thing, particularly so in the digital age. (If that excites you, please click through the image above to read the full article…like…now, you freak.) Finally, LEGO can be addictive, a fact I know intimately. (I’m typing this at 12:54am despite the fact that I have no idea if anyone will actually read it.) My head hurts, not only from the wackiness of this story, but from how close to home the descriptions of his home office hit:

But when police searched his home on May 8, they found something else: “meticulously sorted bins filled with Lego pieces, and hundreds of Lego toys, some displayed next to bottles of booze on the family bar, others snapped together in front of a whiteboard as if they were being staged for photography. And many more were in boxes, jammed into an office closet.”

You know you just cringed.

Special Products Highlight the Minifig

Yesterday I had the opportunity to pay my local LEGO Store a visit and was happy to see a ton of new sets on hand—Lord of the Rings, Monster Fighters, Ninjago. Aside from all that, I was especially intrigued by some surprise products geared to minifig collectors and enthusiasts. (more…)

Meanwhile, In Swindon, UK…

On the same weekend as Brickcon (the first weekend of October), FOLs on a whole other continent were also getting their building toy geek on at The Great Western LEGO Show. It looks like the clever organizers of the event took the initiative and created a GWLS 2011 Flickr Group for all of us who were unable to attend. I’ve poured through these photos, and if I had my money, I would’ve loved to have been at this show. There are some exquisite models that seem to be refreshingly varied in terms of theme and content. I’ll be highlighting a few (if I can track down the builders) over the next few weeks. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, definitely click through the image above. For more information, be sure to check out this great wrap-up article from The Brothers Brick by renowned minifig customizer JasBrick.

Here Comes Halloween!!!

It’s October!!! So that means Morgan190 is about to unleash 31 days of minifig bliss. Ka-GO is poised to take notes along the way because, as we know, this always ends up being a master class in minifig customization. Click through the image to check out this talented customizer’s post where each figure will be posted. Otherwise, visit Ka-GO daily because, well, I’m a fanboy like that. Something wicked this way comes…

The Race To Arm All Brick Warriors

The long-awaited custom accessories from BrickWarriors are now on sale via their new BrickLink Store. This means that, while their full site’s online store and forums are still under construction, AFOLs don’t have to wait to outfit their minifigs with this exciting new company’s wares. In addition to some great custom weapons, armor, and headgear, BrickWarriors‘ first set of products includes some pretty unique offerings that really open up new worlds for LEGO enthusiasts. I mean…a Minotaur head!?! Now that’s just too cool. Check out the promo shots below that compare Brickwarriors’ accessories to some of LEGO’s existing minifig gear.

For more images of their products being put to good use, check out the BrickWarriors Flickr Group. Happy hunting.