Category Archives: Community

Surplus Photo!

Those of you with good memories may be familiar with today’s creation. It is of course the Army Surplus Special, one of the many Wacky Racers that fought it out for fame and glory in the 1968 Hanna-Barbera series. This wonderful homage to the Sergeant Blast and Private Meekley’s cartoon chariot first appeared here back in 2016, and builder Redfern1950s has recently re-photographed it for us thanks to the threat of a TLCB Elf armed with a sharpened pencil.

No, seriously, whilst Elves armed with pencils are a very real threat here in The Lego Car Blog office, Redfern has actually re-photographed his Surplus Six as he’s become the seventeenth elite builder to join the TLCB Master MOCer Hall of Fame!

You can read Redfern’s brilliant Lego-building journey via the link below, where a host of his other magnificent vehicles feature, and learn how he turns cartoons and caricatures into brick-built masterpieces!

Master MOCers, Series 2, Episode 6,

Redfern1950s

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Have You Blogged My Car?

The Lego Car Blog Archives are an unnerving place. Vast, dark, and rumoured to be inhabited by a feral band of long lost Elves, they’re not somewhere that we enjoy frequenting.

Fortunately we have a method for finding things that doesn’t involve potentially being stabbed in the legs by a wild Elf armed with a bent paper clip.

Every page here at The Lego Car Blog includes a ‘Looking for Something?’ box, where literally anything can be inputted and it’ll probably return something. We’ve blogged a lot of random nonsense over the years…

However for those of you looking to be a bit more precise, the ‘tags’ at the foot of every post can be a very useful method to find every article on a topic of your choosing. From Alfa Romeo to ZIL, we’ve probably covered it at some point, so to get you started we’ve included some popular vehicle brands below.

Simply click on your chosen manufacturer and you’ll see all the posts in which it has been tagged.

Audi, BMWBugatti, BuickChevrolet, Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Jeep, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-BenzMitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, VolkswagenVolvo

You can use the Search function too of course, although the results will also include those where we’ve referred to a manufacturer in passing within articles featuring other brands, which if you’re searching for a Peugeot or Fiat probably means you’ll see a fair bit of mockery…

You can also search for things like hot rods, Formula 1, vintage trucks, Transformersspaceships and loads more besides.

Happy hunting!

TLCB Team

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Buy This Pagani Huayra!

We get asked a few particular questions more than any others here at The Lego Car Blog. ‘Will you blog my [insert creation]?’ (no), ‘Can I have instructions?’ (probably not), and ‘Where can I buy this?’.

As we’re here to publicise people’s own builds, the answer is usually ‘sorry, you can’t’. But not today, because you really can buy this one.

This incredible car is a Pagani Huayra, as featured here a few weeks ago. It was designed by Technic-building legend Jeroen Ottens as a gift to another builder, an amazing man by the name of Grum64.

Mr. Grum was involved in a motorcycle accident aged 19 in which he broke his neck, paralysing him from the chest down. Despite having no hand movement Grum builds with LEGO, using his teeth to construct sets over the course of many weeks which is – to all of us here at TLCB – a simply mind-blowing achievement.

Grum decided that rather than accepting Jeroen’s spectacular model for himself, that they would auction it for charity – in particular the amazing charity Fairy Bricks which provides LEGO sets to sick children in hospital and hospices. In fact Fairy Bricks provide around £5,000-worth of LEGO every single month to brighten the lives of children who may feel a very long way from home.

From April 19th Jeroen’s beautiful Pagani Huayra Technic Supercar will be listed on the auction site catawiki, where you can bid to own this stunning one-off creation (which features an 8-speed sequential gearbox, all-wheel cantilevered suspension, steering, active aero, a V12 engine, custom chrome and much, much more).

Not only that but Pagani have donated two huge Huayra computer blueprint drawings signed by Horacio Pagani himself to the auction, so the winning bid will receive a piece of hypercar history as well as one of the finest Technic Supercars ever built.

You can read full details of the build (and the story behind it) and Jeroen’s website, and you can see our original post of his superb Pagani Huayra by clicking here.

The Catawiki auction for Fairy Bricks commences on April 19th and remains open until April 24th, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Fairy Bricks Charity.

Click here to visit the auction

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What’s That Brick?

Lego Piqabrick

LEGO have released literally thousands of brick designs over the years (anyone know how many?). Some of them weren’t even bricks either (take a look at this, this, and even this monstrosity…).

That can make identifying one a real pain, but good news! Cue the nerdiest thing we’ve ever posted (ok, since this at least) – PIQABRICK!

PIQABRICK is effectively a 3D scanner that can identify any LEGO piece, even the oddities above, revealing the part code that can be dropped into third-party brick marketplaces such as BrickOwl and Bricklink.

Now obviously you have to own the piece that you want to identify already, but for those more seriously into the art of LEGO model making, or the few that do it professionally, PIQABRICK could save hours of research.

Take a look at the video below see how it works, and click here to follow the project in advance of its launch on Kickstarter.

YouTube Video

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Perfect Pitstops

Lego Pitstop

LEGO can be used for all sorts of wonderful things. From robotics to designing buildings, the little Danish bricks have found applications far beyond their original remit.

Reader Erik A.H. Loeffen recently contacted us to let us know how he has put his LEGO pieces to use, and it’s inspired! Erik has written a PhD thesis on the ongoing treatment of cancer in children, and has used both LEGO and the racing pitstop analogy to set out improvements that could be made in children’s cancer treatment.

Lego Pitstop

Erik has created several models to accompany his thesis, merging the traditional Formula 1 pitstop with medical treatment, which include a McLaren MP4/4 (above) and a Lotus 72D (below), each driven by a child undergoing cancer treatment.

You can read more about Erik’s work by visiting his WordPress site by clicking here, and if you’d like to support children and adults affected by cancer (which will include many of us writing and reading this site during our lifetimes) then we highly recommend the charities Stand Up to Cancer, Cancer Research, and Macmillan, amongst many others.

Lego Pitstop

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Love is a LEGO Brick

Legoland Discovery Centre

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and what better way to build (hah!) on your relationship than with an evening of LEGO love!

The Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester is holding an alternative adults-only Valentine’s Night on Wednesday 13th February, with complete access to the rides, 4D cinema, Miniland, and thousands upon thousands of LEGO bricks!

The centre’s Master Builders will be there holding workshops, there’s speed-dating on the rides (if you’re looking for your compatible brick!), and prizes throughout the night.

To find out more and to book your ‘For the Love of Bricks’ ticket at the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester (UK) click the link below!

Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester’s Alternative Valentine’s Night

Legoland Discovery Centre

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It’s a Classic Space Adventure!

Lego Classic Space Adventure Game

Christmas Dinner is now just a fleeting memory, the presents are all unwrapped, and it’s cold outside. What you need is a classic video game. Fortunately we have one, thanks to the brilliance of Flickr’s Johan Alexanderson (aka Jalex), who has created a marvellous pixelated Classic Space adventure game that uses many of LEGO’s Classic Space sets and is free to play!

Four-hundred pages of Javascript code renders you the ability to become your favourite Classic Spaceman, embarking on a 2D adventure that includes piloting ships, firing lasers, and exploring unknown worlds, all the while maintaining the trademark Classic Spacemen smile.

Take a look at the trailer for Jalex’s ‘Classic Space Adventure’ via the link above, and then click the link below!

Play ‘Classic Space Adventure’ Here!

Lego Classic Space Adventure Game

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

Lego Christmas Tree

The Lego Car Blog Elves have been returned to their cages, the office is mostly back in one piece after the Christmas Party (although the same can’t be said for some of TLCB Staff), and we’re ready to turn the lights out for a while.

We’ll be back after the festivities, until then we wish you all the very happiest of Christmases!

TLCB Team

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Black Friday | Nothing to See Here

Lego Zombie

Black Friday is back for another swipe at humanity, when the citizens of the western world are willing to bludgeon each other to death with the very same discounted electronics that they’re trying to buy. As usual we are not participating, so there will be no Black Friday deal links published here at The Lego Car Blog. Keep your soul – visit Creations for Charity, Tearfund, Red Cross, or the Super Secret link instead. See you on the other side.

Creations for Charity

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Teach Old Blocks New Tricks | MBriks Review

Lego MBricks

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.

MBricks Box

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?

Lego MBricks

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.

Lego MBricks

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!

Click here to visit the Mbriks Kickstarter 

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LEGO & Mental Health Special

How to Feel Healthy: Five Mental Health Benefits of LEGO

1 in 4 of us will, at some point in our lives, experience a mental health issue. But LEGO can help! Here are five ways the little Danish bricks can improve your well-being.

To some parents, toys are simply things that children play with in order to keep them quiet. They fail to realize that they’re so much more than that. Toys such as LEGO can teach a child valuable life skills to the point where some may decide to build professionally later on in life.

Lego Stock Image

There is actually a program called LEGO Therapy, were children who struggle to interact with others can learn collaboration and social skills that they can then apply in normal situations.

Here are five major benefits of playing with LEGO, from teaching children life and social skills, to helping them to feel healthy.

1. LEGO Can Develop Children’s Social Skills

Some children lack the social skills to communicate well with others, fining interaction difficult and sometimes even scary. For children such as these, programs like LEGO Therapy mentioned above can really help. With the assistance of a qualified leader, children break into small groups to build LEGO creations together.

This forces children to work with each other, sparking conversations that they wouldn’t otherwise have had and helping them to work on their social skills. It’s both fun and therapeutic.

2. LEGO Tunes Fine Motor Skills

Toys like LEGO offer a great distraction from the world. Think about it. Children will play with them for hours without realizing that they’re actually learning! While working on their creations children are using their hands constantly, sometimes for hours at a time. This means they’re both having fun and working on their fine motor skills too.

3. LEGO Gives Children a Sense of Accomplishment

Children get excited by the things they build. They can’t wait to show their parents or teachers a new idea they have brought to life using bricks. This is not just an outlet for a child’s creativity, it’s really good for instilling self-confidence. It’s the little things that matter to children.

4. LEGO Teaches Persistence

In life, unexpected things happen. You can work really hard on a project or at a job, just for it to potentially crash and burn. This sounds pretty bleak, but for children, playing with toys like LEGO can actually prepare them for it.

Imagine a child builds a creation they really love, only to bump it with their elbow and send it crashing on to the floor. The child may get upset but eventually, they’ll be hard at work again, creating a brand new idea. Whether they realize it or not, they’re learning how to be persistent, a skill that will prepare them for the real world.

5. LEGO Boosts Their Motivation

Anyone can suffer from depression, from a young child to a full grown adult. It’s a debilitating mental illness that can leave you unable to leave your bed for days, unable to work, and unable to socialise.

For some children, toys like LEGO can give them the motivation to get out of bed and do something. It gives them something to shoot towards because there’s always a new goal. Whilst it can be hard to know how to help a child with depression, there is plenty of information available to help; click here for more information on support.

Feel Healthy By Playing with LEGO

It’s easy for a child or even an adult to forget how to feel healthy and happy. For some, playing with bricks may be the only thing that helps them that day. Sometimes social skills just aren’t up to par, but playing with bricks, especially in collaboration with others, can help these develop. As a parent it’s so important for you to encourage your child and to help their creative juices flow – LEGO bricks could be the perfect tools to assist you.

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Stop-Motion Special

How to Make Lego Stop-Motion Animation Videos for YouTube

Lego stop-motion animation videos can turn you into a YouTube sensation. Discover the tips and tricks the pros use for creating stop motion animation videos.

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you’re still obsessed with LEGO. Regardless of how old you are, it probably started when you were a young child. After all, LEGO have been around since 1932. A lot’s changed in the last 86 years, but one thing remains; LEGO are the building blocks of our childhood. In fact, for millions, that passion for the little colourful bricks has extended into our adult years.

Lego Movie Camera

Are you ready to harness that passion and become a Lego Professional? You may be thinking, “How do I do that?” The answer is simple. Create LEGO stop-motion animation and upload it onto YouTube.

Do you think that’s intriguing but sounds a little complicated? Keep reading to find out how easy it actually is.

How to Make LEGO Stop-Motion Animation

So, you want to make your own brick flicks but you don’t know what you need or how to do it. We’ve got you covered.

The first thing you need to get started is – surprise! – a camera. But you’ll also need a YouTube account. Shocked, aren’t you?

Search for “LEGO stop-motion animation” or go to the official LEGO Movie 2 site and check out their trailer. No, it’s not stop-motion, but you can get some pretty cool ideas for your short. Once you have an idea what you want your movie to be about, let the process begin!

1. Gather Everything You Need

You’ll need a LEGO set, a camera, a computer, and your imagination. Seriously, that’s it. With more than 130 different sets sold in the U.S. every year, you’re bound to find one you like. You may even be sitting on a Back to the Future set or a LEGO Batman set that was your source of inspiration for making the movie in the first place.

2. Build Your Set

Yes, your LEGO set, but you’ll have to build your movie set, too. This will be your backdrop for your film, so get creative. Or, don’t. You can use a plain fabric backdrop for a minimalistic approach.

3. Frame Your Shot

Set up your actors, put your camera on a tripod or stand, and frame your shot. This means looking through the lens and making sure everything looks the way you want it to. Doing this now will save you from having to go back and re-shoot scenes because they weren’t centered.

Also, make sure there’s no glare and that you can’t see anything unsightly in the shot, like, that pile of dirty clothes in the corner. Make adjustments as needed. When everything looks good, you’re ready to film.

4. Action!

This is the time-consuming part. Stop-motion animation takes a long time to film. How long? Let’s do the math…

You’re going to want to edit it at 15fps for the best results. That means “frame per second.” So, if you’re dreaming of a five-minute movie, that’s 15 frames per second or 900 per minute. That’s 4,500 shots for a five-minute stop-motion video.

You’ll actually want to take more in case some of the don’t work out. Perhaps then it’s best to start small, maybe no more than a minute, then build your way up as you improve.

Move your actors, but only a little. This is discretionary. The smaller the movement, the more fluid it will look. But, considering you need to take over 900 shots, you can plan on moving the Minifigures two paces or so for each movement. Keep this up until you reach the number of shots you need.

5. Get Ready to Edit… For a While

You can use any stop-motion application on your computer that you can set to 15fps. Use Windows Movie Maker, iMovie – any of them will work and are easy to use.

Upload your photos and put them in your storyboard order. You may decide you don’t need all the photos you took, which is expected. Go ahead and delete them but don’t forget to keep one for your thumbnail. This will let the viewer know what your video is all about.

As a rule of thumb, the best YouTube thumbnails have added graphics like typography. There are programs out there like Adobe Spark that will guide you through this step.

6. Finishing Up

Once you’re done editing and everything looks good, you’re ready to upload your movie.

Bonus Tips

Since your LEGO Minifigures can’t change expressions on their own, you’ll need to do it for them. To do this, you’ll have to swap heads with other Minifigures.

This will add a lot of production time, so you may not want to do it until you get the hang of the Lego stop-motion animation process. If you’re thinking about getting a new LEGO set for your brick flick, be sure to check out our Reviews and remember to always Play Well!

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We’re 7 Today!

Lego No. 7

Seven. It’s a magnificent number. Continents, seas, days of the week, colours of the rainbow, S Club members, and – somewhat incredibly – the age of this very site!

Yup, seven years ago to the day some clueless and largely incompetent writers decided to start a website for Lego vehicles. Nothing much has changed since then, as we’re still clueless and largely incompetent, but almost five million of you have since joined us for the ride, with visitors from very nearly every country on earth.

Over that time we’ve reviewed exactly one hundred LEGO sets and third-party products in our Set Review Library, interviewed nineteen of the very best builders, set designers and authors from within the Lego Community, and even run a competition or two.

Thank you to each one of you for joining us here at The Lego Car Blog, supporting the vehicle builders whose models fill these pages, and for raising the advertising revenue which is distributed to good causes all around the world.

However, whilst for the last two years we’ve reached a million views per annum, this year we look to fall short. Only slightly, but nevertheless it is a drop.

The internet has changed in the last seven years, with the rise of Instagram and other hosting sites providing other ways for people to view Lego models. Perhaps there are fewer vehicle builders now than there used to be, or maybe people are getting bored of our inane gibberish.

We’ll have to see if year seven marks the beginning of a downward trend, however if in the future it does turn out that The Lego Car Blog is no longer needed to support the Lego vehicle-building community we’ll still be amazed by how many of you have joined us here to read our nonsense. For now we’ll enjoy continuing to write it.

TLCB Team

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Creations for Charity – More Creations Available!

Creations for Charity 2018

Creations for Charity 2018 is well underway, with over $5,000 raised in the first week to buy LEGO sets for underprivileged children this Christmas! The organisers have now released another tranche of awesome creations to the Creations for Charity online store, including a few vehicles. One of these appears to be Crash Bandicoot from Crash Team Racing, which we’d rather like for ourselves! If you’d like to help this fantastic cause you can check out the creations available to buy by clicking here and you can read full details of the fundraiser via our previous post by clicking here.

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