The fridge. Famed for its ability to look after cheese and various meats, and for many also a glorious blank-canvas for those little magnetic letters used to spell out messages, display children’s artwork, or – if you’re in a student house – communicate extreme profanity. However, for all the fridge’s merits, it has been a resolutely LEGO-free appliance. Until now…
We were recently sent some prototype products that could change the fridge forever (and a bit more besides, but we’ll come on to that). They’re called Mbriks, and they are – simply – a magnet inside a brick, compatible with LEGO, Megablocks and the other various LEGO imitators available around the world. And they’re brilliant.
Our four Mbriks arrived in a very professional-looking box, complete with a small instruction booklet and the usual health and safety warnings such as ‘Do not eat’ (sorry Elves). Each ‘Mbrik’ measures two studs by two, but aren’t quite a direct replacement for an equivalent LEGO piece as they are fours plates tall, rather than LEGO’s three.
Inside each brick is (we think) a small bag, which contains a loose and surprisingly powerful magnet. This freedom allows the magnet to orientate itself to face whatever is magnetic, and thus means the ‘Mbrik’ can attach to something whatever direction it is placed. A clever trick, and one that is crucial too, as it allows the complete freedom of design of the model in which it will find itself.
Multiple Mbriks can be used in larger models, and whilst they won’t hold a Technic Bugatti Chiron set (although we assume if you had enough of them they might), they will happily hold a Speed Champions scale car. We think parents (and their kids) will love the ability to attach their creations to the fridge, Mbriks’ magnetic picture frames, the car door, or anything else magnetic! But what about you lot reading this?
Well we think Mbriks have two equally useful alternate uses. Firstly, for photographing creations. We always advocate clean neutral backgrounds (in fact we won’t blog a creation, no matter how good it is, without decent presentation), and Mbriks open up a world of possibility for bespoke backgrounds. As shown in the picture above, any background could be printed and then used in-between the magnetic surface and an ‘Mbrick’ equipped creation, instantly giving the creation a perfect custom setting for taking photos.
Secondly, Mbriks may open up building possibilities for creations themselves. We love LEGO’s old magnet system from M-Tron and the LEGO Trains lines. They’re super-powerful, compact, and have been used to great effect by builders such as Mahjqa. They are however, a bit tricky to work with, featuring no studs at all, and requiring a unique part to attach them.
Not so with Mbriks, which can be built into a creation just like any other 2×2 brick, albeit one that’s a slightly annoying extra plate tall. Now an Mbrik’s clutch power and colour aren’t quite a match for genuine LEGO pieces, so their placement would have to be slightly more considered, but nevertheless the inclusion of Mbriks could offer builders a whole new way to build creations – not to mention builders at LEGO shows who want help with things, well… not falling over.
Whether you’re a parent whose fridge could do with LEGO-ising, a display-builder who’s fed up with things falling over, or a MOCer who’d like to add magnetism to their models, Mbriks offer an interesting solution.
As with many of the third-party products we see in models here at The Lego Car Blog, Mbriks are beginning as a Kickstarter campaign. If you’d like to get your hands on a set of Mbriks you can pledge your support via the link below, and before long they could be featuring in creations here regularly alongside BuWizz, SBrick and others!