Tag Archives: Community

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

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

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 

Tagged , , , , ,

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.

[Sponsored Post]

Tagged , , ,

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!

[Sponsored Post]

Tagged , , ,

Dreams Do Come True – On Display in The LEGO House

LEGO House

The team here at The Lego Car Blog are all big LEGO fans, so the unexpected success of this ropey little website has been – in a way – a dream come true. It’s also meant that for some builders, seeing their work appear here is their dream come true. Whilst we still find this a little weird we’re always delighted when we can make it happen. However there are a few builders who dream… bigger.

One such builder is Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74. Andrea’s work has appeared here numerous times and he’s one of our Master MOCers too. Recently though, his achievements with bricks have gotten a lot bigger, as Andrea has become one of just fifteen Master Builders worldwide selected to have their work showcased in the new ‘Masterpiece Gallery’ at the incredible LEGO House in The LEGO Group’s home in Billund, Denmark.

Andrea has recently returned from a trip to LEGO’s spectacular new building to join us in one, er… less spectacular. Over to Andrea to tell all about his amazing achievement and how his Lego dream came true.

The Lego House Norton 74

TLCB: Hello Andrea! You’ve just come back from The LEGO House in Billund where you’ve seen your work featured! Tell us how it happened!

Andrea Lattanzio: First of all I thank you for this chance, I am always very happy to share my passion and my story with other AFOLs and LEGO fans.

I returned a few days ago after a whole week spent between Billund (the hometown and historical HQ of The LEGO Company) and Skaerbaek, a tiny village in western Denmark where for years one of the most important, if not the most important, LEGO fan weekend is held.

The reason for this trip was unique and unrepeatable and even now I find it hard to believe that it really happened. In fact, I was chosen by The LEGO House to exhibit my works in the Masterpiece Gallery along with 14 other ‘Master Builders’ from all over the world.

TLCB: Congratulations! How did they choose you and when did you find out?

Andrea Lattanzio: In order to choose which builders to exhibit in the Masterpiece Gallery (where the builds are on display to the public for a whole year), The LEGO House team asked Lego User Groups around the world to suggest the most deserving builders. In addition, they also checked the Flickr galleries of the most famous builders and then, eventually, selected their finalists.

In my case ItLug suggested, among others, my name and so last March I was contacted by The LEGO House who proposed that they would like to exhibit my works for a year in the Masterpiece Gallery. Obviously, my answer was positive and when I read the email I did not believe it!

The Lego House

TLCB: How did you choose which of your creations to exhibit?

Andrea Lattanzio: The choice of the models was coordinated with The LEGO House team. It was not easy because the showcases, where the MOCs are shown, are quite small and therefore it was necessary to choose small builds. At the beginning they asked for my ESSO Gas Station but it was too big, so we opted for the Scooter Shop and the Shell Gas Station (the latter in mini-fig scale). Unfortunately both were too deep and I had to work to shrink them and bring them under 30cm. There was room for two other small MOCs so I also brought two hot rods which, in my opinion, are amongst the most beautiful I’ve built.

TLCB: How did the LEGO House team host you and how did the set-up day go?

Andrea Lattanzio: Since I set foot in the hotel in Billund until I left the ‘Home of the Brick’, I had the feeling of being ‘spoiled’ and ‘cuddled’ by The LEGO House team. Everything was perfectly organised and they knew exactly who I was and what I had built over the years. They were all very kind and they gave myself and the other ‘Master Builders’ very special treatment with some beautiful gifts.

The set-up day was exciting and I think I will never forget it. We spent all day in the facility and we had lunch and dinner together. Each ‘Master Builder’ dedicated themselves to set up their own part of the display, adding value to the exhibition as best as they could. We also received a guided tour and there was a presentation by Stuart Harris, a senior designer at LEGO. In short, it was one of those days that I will remember forever! Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Creations for Charity 2018

Creations for Charity

Creations for Charity 2018 has arrived!

Creations for Charity, the amazing annual fundraiser that provides thousands of LEGO toys to underprivileged children is back for another year! Many of the world’s best builders will be donating creations to the Creations for Charity online store, raising money to purchase LEGO toys for children in need around the world.

You Can Help!

You can join this incredible initiative in a number of ways; by publicising Creations for Charity, donating your own creation, or by buying one of the unique creations for sale via the online store.

Donate a Creation: Donations are now open – if you’d like to give away a creation that you think could raise money to buy LEGO toys for children who may otherwise receive nothing this Christmas then please click here to get in touch with the Creations for Charity team!

Buy a Creation: Click here to see the brilliant creations already donated to the Bricklink store, where each model is for sale with all proceeds used to buy LEGO sets for children in need.

Creations for Charity 2018

Creations for Charity 2018

Tagged , , , , , ,

TLCB Recommends!

Lego Cheerleader Red

Here at The Lego Car Blog we receive all sorts of requests for endorsements. Frankly this is as surprising to us as it probably is to you, because we’re idiots, but nevertheless somehow we’ve found ourselves in a position of power. POWER!!

We may have got a little over-excited at this realisation but don’t worry, we were brought back down to earth when we asked our intern to pose for the picture above, with the result being a new entry into the Mis-Conduct Box and a picture of a mini-figure instead.

Back to the task in hand, and it’s probably time to assemble some of our recommendations into one handy guide. So here they are, TLCB Recommends….

Third-Party Bluetooth Control | SBrick & BuWizz

We’ve tested two third-party LEGO-compatible bluetooth products here at The Lego Car Blog, and we’re pleased to say that both earn a recommendation.

Best for programming: SBrick

SBrick ReviewReviewed here earlier in the year the SBrick controller provides Lego models with bluetooth capability, allowing control via a mobile phone, gamepad, or other device. This has clear advantages over LEGO’s own IR control, being unaffected by bright sunlight, and allowing the receiver to be completely hidden inside a model.

Where the SBrick really scores though is the superb programmable app, allowing the bespoke set-up of a model that surpasses even LEGO’s own Mindstorms robotics sets. We tried the SBrick with the LEGO Technic 42030 Volvo L350F set and were amazed by how easy it was to set up, and how beautifully controllable the Volvo became. It’s a new dimension in Lego robotics.

Best for power: BuWizz

Lego BuWizz ReviewLike the SBrick above, the BuWizz offers all the benefits of bluetooth control, but with the added bonus of a built in battery that can provide up to eight times the power of LEGO’s Power Functions system. The BuWizz brick can be programmed too, although we found this far more limited than the SBrick’s abilities, but really this product is all about power.

The BuWizz bluetooth battery genuinely transforms what Lego models can be capable of, and whilst we suspect far more axles, gears and pins will break a result, their owners will be having riotously good fun in the process! Read our review of the BuWizz brick by clicking here and see how fast your model can go.

Books | No Starch Press

No Starch PressWe’ve reviewed loads of Lego-themed books over the years and most are really very good. Our favourite publishers are the guys at No Starch Press who have brought several top-quality building books to print, including some authored by builders who have featured on these very pages.

You can find all of the books we’ve reviewed via the Review Library, and you can check out NSP’s current range via the link above.

LEGO Set Reviews | Brick Insights

Brick InsightsOur ever-expanding Set Review Library has become (and this is a rare thing at TLCB) something that we’re quite proud of. With one hundred sets, third-party products and books reviewed to date, a few of which were written by you – our readers – it’s as good a place as any to find out whether that eBay seller really can charge that much.

However our reviews are only written by us lot here at TLCB Towers (plus a few from you) and, as mentioned previously, we are idiots. Better then to trust an amalgamation of many reviews before you make a purchase decision, and the brilliant Brick Insights does just that. Pulling review information from multiple sources (of which we’re one) you can quickly see all the reviews for a particular set, the average, highest and lowest scores and much more.

You can read our overview of Brick Insights by clicking here and you can check out the site itself via the link above. Don’t buy another set without it.

Builders | Wait, what?

Lego MicrophoneYup, because we’ve been interviewing the very best Lego vehicle builders on the ‘net in our ‘Master MOCers‘ and ‘Become a Professional‘ interview series.

If you’d like to know how some of the greatest Lego model-makers create their masterpieces, and very probably learn some useless facts about them too, then head over to the Interviews pages via the links above. We’ll be adding more builders to this Hall of Fame very soon too!

Other Stuff | Blogs, Creation Sharing, LUGs and more

We’ve a whole heap of references worth your clicks to be found in the Directory, including the sources our Elves use to find creations, rival blogs, games, Lego User Groups and Friends of TLCB.

Take a look via the link above, and remember that your clicks and page visits here at The Lego Car Blog directly contribute to worthy causes around the world, as our limited advertising revenue is dispersed to those who need it more than we do, and that’s entirely thanks to you.

Tagged , , , , , ,

We Got Ninety Nine Reviews, But Yours Ain’t One

Lego Typewriter

Thanks to the geniuses over at Brick Insights, the awesome new LEGO Review Aggregator, we’ve learned that we have reviewed 99 official LEGO sets, books and third-party products here at The Lego Car Blog. From LEGO’s first brick-based offerings right up to their newest releases, there’s something for everyone in our Set Review Library.

However we’d like to make The Lego Car Blog’s Set Review Library even more comprehensive, and to do this we’d like your reviews!

Payment is made in the form of everlasting fame* and TLCB gratitude, and your words will reside in the Library for all time, being read by up to a million visitors a year at the time of writing, which is pretty cool.

If you own a LEGO set that we hasn’t yet been reviewed by our crack team of ‘experts’ and you think it deserves a place in The Lego Car Blog’s archives (for good or for ill!) then get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

We’re particularly looking for Technic, Model Team and Creator sets from 1990 to current. The Brick Insights team will even automatically add your rating to their Review Aggregator tool so you can see how your thoughts compare with other review sites.

Onwards to triple figures!…

Contact TLCB here

*Not guaranteed.

Tagged , , , , ,

Brick Insights | The LEGO Review Aggregator

Brick Insights

Here at The Lego Car Blog our Set Review Library, where almost a hundred LEGO sets and related products have been reviewed by our, cough… ‘experts’, plus a few readers too, is easily the most popular area of the whole site.

Despite an inconsistent scoring methodology, and with some very probably written drunk, the value of the Library proves how important reviews now are. From holidays and restaurants to electronics and sports, there’s probably nothing you wouldn’t buy without checking out the reviews first, and that of course includes LEGO.

But should you trust what we write? Not a chance! Well, not on our own at least. That’s where Review Aggregators come in, pulling reviews from multiple sources to give a far more balanced overall score. The most famous of these is probably the Rotten Tomatoes movie review aggregator, a gem of a tool to peruse before you spend your hard-earned on a movie ticket.

But what if you could do the same for LEGO sets? Well now, thanks to the chap pictured below, you can!

Brick Insights

This is Linus, and we like him already. Clearly anyone who can fall asleep upside-down in a pile of LEGO is one to watch. And so it’s turned out, as Linus has created very probably the most important LEGO-related website of the past decade. Over to the man himself to explain all…

It’s been a while since this picture was taken. I had moved around a lot, gotten married, and we were pregnant with our son, so adulting made LEGO hard to prioritise. I really wanted something to build to relax and fill the time, so I went to the store and browsed the LEGO aisle. And felt really, really lost. Since I was in a grey age I hadn’t followed the latest releases, and I had a hard time figuring out what to buy. I went home, explored a few different parameters that might be important when buying a set, and built a mockup. In my head I called it ‘shouldibuythisset.com’. Not that catchy – really glad I changed the name.

I figured that the easiest MVP I could build while still being useful, is to gather reviews for all of the sets. This way I could figure out what other people thought about the set, and if I knew I trusted one reviewer more than the other, I could pay extra attention to that person.

It all went from there. Eight months later and we’ve got a site that automatically picks up new reviews from qualified reviewers (like TLCB!), calculates average scores for each set, compares them per year and all time, and does other cool calculations too! The long term goal of the site is to help people like me figure out if a set is worth the money. After building my simple prototype I went back to the store and purchased the Ninjago Katana, a set I wouldn’t have looked twice at otherwise. It’s a cool set and I’m glad I picked it up. That’s what I hope the site can do more and more as I continue working on it.

Brick Insights Claas Xerion 5000 Review

We’ve had an early play around on Brick Insights and we’ve come away incredibly impressed. Not only does the site work an absolute treat, making set reviews easy to find, easy to read, searchable by year, by reviewer, and with some deliciously nerdy stats, the site itself looks beautiful. By comparison TLCB looks like it was shoddily cobbled together by a bunch of amateurs.*

Above is the Brick Insights 42054 Technic Claas Xerion 5000 page as an example, with an aggregated score of 94/100 from nine review sources (of which we’re one), and comparisons to the averages across the range and the year in which the set was released. Each of the reviews listed is hyperlinked to the source site, and each reviewer has a page too with their own averages, number of reviews and scoring distribution (we learned that we have 99 reviews, 71% of which are scored, and that our average score is 7.8/10).

Brick Insights LEGO Reviews

Brick Insights‘ graphics, animations and navigation are top-notch, and each new review uploaded by their chosen sources will be automatically added to the relevant set and reviewer pages, changing the relevant statistics too. You can find The Lego Car Blog’s Brick Insights page by clicking here, and we hugely recommend taking some time to explore the site – it’s going to be worth its weight in bricks.

Brick Insights

*Which it was.

Tagged , , ,

Lego Speeder Bikes | District 18 Competition | Round-up!

Lego Speeder Bikes

The Lego Speeder Bike Contest ’18 ‘Battle for District 18’ has come to an end! Contest judge and Lego Speeder Bikes overlord _zenn joins us here at TLCB Towers for a full run-down of the competition results. Over to _zenn!

This year we chose a ‘Futuristic City’ theme that evolved into the whole ‘Battle for District 18’ concept, perfect for building speeder bikes and sparking creativity/imagination. Feedback among contestants was front of mind; competitions should encourage contestants to give and recieve constructive criticism in order to become better builders, and to help us to see building from a different point of view or perspective.

And what a turnout it was this year, with a huge 234 bikes and 34 districts entered! On to the results – the toughest part for us at LSB – the judgement of all those bikes. Let’s get into it!

Lego Speeder Bikes Enforce
The ‘Enforce’ (cops) category winner; o0ger‘s Police L.E.V. 5 (Light Enforcing Vehicle – Pursuit Class). With sleek and smooth shaping and impeccable sticker placement, this bike was in all four judges’ Top 3, an impressive feat.
Lego Speeder Bikes Abide
The ‘Abide’ (citizens) category winner; P.B. Deltassius‘s Flying Fisherman Hoverscooter. The toughest category to judge according to all judges due to the huge diversity of entries submitted. P.B Detlassius’s speeder bike stood out ’cause of its whimsical yet believable approach to everyday civilian life occurring throughout the District.
Lego Speeder Bikes RebelThe ‘Rebel’ (criminals) category winner; Djokson‘s Necrohiver. A tight finish with just 1 point difference between the top two entries. What’s more rebelious than a dark bio-mechanic giger-esque styled bike which will claw the cr*p out of you when you come across its path?
Lego Speeder Bikes District 18
The ‘District 18’ category winner; W. Navarre‘s Decades Afterwards. In two words; organized chaos. The sheer amount of detailing is astounding – this one picture doesn’t do the build justice. Be sure to check out Navarre’s photostream via the link in the text above and gasp in utter admiration at this truly incredible creation., and you can see the full top 10 list for each category at the Lego Speeder Bikes Flickr page.
Honourable mentions; You know my style… I like speederbikes that resemble flying motorcycles, the design choice/form has to fit the function yet retain the motorcycle looks – it has to look like they could actually work. Here are five bikes that stood out to me personally.
Lego Speeder Bikes

Clockwise from top left;

1. Guy Smiley‘s Police Speeder. Urban, rugged and bulky, yet incorporating smooth angles on the front and back-end, Guy’s speeder looks ready to make the streets of District 18 a better place.
2. Anthony Wilson‘s Needler X13. At first glance you might think it’s just a pile of bricks thrown together, but take a closer look to see the careful and painstaking planning to layer each part together into one coherent design.
3. Random Vector‘s Steam Denizen. An angled engine consisting of old-school Modulex parts combines with smooth flowing pipes, a Throwbot visor canopy and atmospheric lighting.
4. F@bz‘s Volkswagen Cardinal Speeder Bike. The first time I’ve seen a bike build with flexible spike parts that are actually used when flexed.
5. Graham Gidman‘s Street Devil. Superb stickering and photo editing gives this bike a real sense of speed while dashing through the streets of the District.

Lastly we like to thank The ManifestoeclipseGRAFX and Chrome Block City for sponsoring this year’s contest, and Keith Goldman for being our ‘sideline cheerleader’ as well as Christopher Hoffmann for being our guest-judge. We’d also like to thank also all the blogs/groups/people for getting the word out, and most importantly we like to thank you; the participants/’riders’ out there, for putting such a tremendous effort in time, design and enthusiasm into building all the bikes and displays. We couldn’t have done it with out you!

Courts adjourned, _zenn.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Group of the ‘Month’ – Lego Speeder Bikes

Lego Speeder Bikes

Yes we know, the ‘month’ bit of this post’s title is ridiculous. We can’t even remember the last time we did one of these and we really don’t fancy stepping into the dark and foreboding Archives Hall to find out. There’s a long-lost band of Elves in there who have turned quite ferrel.

Anyway, today we are featuring a group from the online Lego Community because it’s a rather cool one. Flickr’s Lego Speeder Bikes (LSB) have been showcasing small sci-fi builds since 2009 and now number over 1,000 members. They’re currently running neat contest too, inviting you to design and build a speeder bike for the fictitious ‘District 18’, with four categories to choose from.

Prizes include the very cool-looking Dredd-inspired ‘Vice Hoverbike’ from _zenn above, as well as some official LEGO sets too. The closing date for entries is March 4th, and if you’ve never thought about entering a Lego competition before this could the perfect way to start – as piece count comes very much second to creativity.

Take a look at the Lego Speeder Bikes group on Flickr by clicking here, where you can also find all the details of the District 18 competition, and we may return at the end of the contest with a round-up of the best entries.

Lego Speeder Bikes

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

We’re Six Today!*

Lego No.6

November 2011… a gloved hand slid the bolts back on some small metal cages, and little army of cautious, mythical, and often violent creatures slipped out into the shadows…

Tasked with filling the void left by the proper Lego blogs, this unseen, undetectable, and – most importantly – unpaid workforce set out to bring back the very best Lego vehicles from the every corner of the internet.

Housed in the foreboding concrete carbuncle that is TLCB Towers a crack team of writers (or so we’ve been called. At least it sounded like ‘crack’…) then set to work turning these finds into the words that you read here.

Six years, nearly 3,000 posts, and over 4 million visitors later we’re still going, even if we have absolutely no idea how this has all worked.

In that time we’ve reviewed close to a hundred LEGO sets, third party products and books, interviewed nearly twenty of the world’s top Lego builders, and likely been a perennial annoyance to the sites that try to do this whole Lego-blogging thing with professionalism and competence.

As reader you’re one of over a million visitors to this site every year, so whether you joined us at the start or have recently discovered us, thank you for taking the time to stop by this humble little corner of the internet. Without you this site would just be the wayward rambling of some madmen.

You’re also raising money for good causes every time you visit us, as the revenue generated by the limited advertisements we allow to appear here is distributed to those that need it more than we do.

So as the sun sets on another year thank you for joining us, and we’ll try to keep bringing you the best Lego vehicles the world has to offer.

TLCB Team

*OK, last week, we weren’t paying attention. Still, we’ve done better than last year when we missed it altogether.

Tagged , , , , ,
Advertisements
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: