Hasbro’s ‘Moveable fighting man’ G.I. Joe wasn’t called that in TLCB’s home nation. He was known as ‘Action Man’, and this Writer’s parents still didn’t let him have one, what with him being ‘too violent’. In hindsight, they may have had a point.
But no matter, because here at TLCB we’re fantastically violent. Probably something to do with not being allowed Action Man toys as children…
Thus today’s creation, in the original American ‘G.I. Joe’ Action Man form, is a giant tracked ‘Wolverine armoured missile vehicle’ that was somehow deemed to be an acceptable toy. Not by this Writer’s parents of course.
Recreated in brick-form by Big Easy Bricks, there’s a rotating rocket launcher, opening ammo store and cockpit, plus authentic-looking G.I. Joe decals, and there’s more to see at Big Easy’s ‘G.I. Joe Wolverine’ album on Flickr.
Click the link above to take a look, whilst this TLCB Writer investigates counselling…
The Festival of Mundanity Competition is go! We want to see your yawn-inducing vehicles, whilst the guys at BrickNerd are after your tedious objects, and Flickr’s James Bush has managed to build something that qualifies for both!
The Little Tykes ‘Cozy Coupe’ has been staple of family backyard life for decades, and James’ build could only be more hum-drum if he’d pictured it not merrily being driven whilst Dad watches on, but parked beside the bins on a grey Tuesday.
James, get on that for some extra boring points!
You can see this entry, along with James’ equally unexciting Chrysler PT Cruiser, at his photostream, and you can read all about our mundane competition via the link above, including the awesome prizes on offer for the entries that bore us the most!
Gosh today’s title is tenuous, even for us. You see a mud pack is often a volcanic mask… Anyway, this is Orion Pax‘s ‘M.A.S.K Volcano’, a near perfect brick built replica of the mid-’80s Hasbro toy that accompanied the M.A.S.K cartoon TV show.
The show, designed mostly to sell toys, pitched the ‘Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand’ (spelt wrong because it’s cooler that way) against the ‘Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem’ (VENOM), who seemingly took a very literal and non-secretive approach to their naming.
Beyond that, we’re not really sure what the show was about, but it did lead to toys that split down the middle to reveal a giant rotating cannon (as in the case of the Volcano here), that has got the Elves very excited.
Orion’s model transforms beautifully as per the original toy and there’s more to see at his photostream. Apply your mud pack via the link!
Your first car was your best car. Well, it was almost definitely your worst car, at least in TLCB’s home nation where astronomical insurance costs prevent new drivers from owning anything with an engine larger than a lawnmower, but it was still your first taste of freedom.
However step back around ten years from your first actual roadworthy* vehicle, and you may have owned something even more special. For some of you it might have been the gloriously lethal Radio Flyer Wagon, alternatively it could have been this, the marvellous Kettler Kettcar.
Produced from the 1960s right up until Kettler’s sad bankruptcy at the start of this year, the Kettcar was a superb design that taught handbrake turns to decades of children.
Along with that simple handbrake the Kettcar was also fitted with a rudimentary gearbox, enabling drive via the pedals or neutral for free-wheeling down big hills, where that handbrake would be hopelessly inadequate.
Recreating the pedal drive, handbrake, and gearbox is Clemens Schneider, whose brilliant Technic recreation of the Kettler Kettcar was suggested to us by a reader. In fact so accurate is Clemens’ Technic replica that it would probably drive just like the real thing if you were small enough to fit inside.
There’s more of the Kettcar to see at Clemens’ photostream – click the link above to pull the handbrake!
*Definition of roadworthiness is – in our case at least – loose.
G.I. Joe has been the default choice for any patriotic American boy since the 1960s. This is despite him being, well… a doll, and – we suspect – boyfriend/GBFF to Barbie on the side (we’ve never seen Ken and Joe in the same room at once… just sayin’).
No matter, because when he’s not wearing a hawaiian shirt or driving a pink convertible, Ken G.I. Joe gets access to some pretty awesome stuff. Stuff like this, an articulated tank/rocket launcher device entitled the ‘Cobra Maggot’.
Built by Big Easy Bricks making their TLCB debut, the Maggot is every bit as playable as the real 1987 G.I. Joe toy, with working tracks, an accessible control room, and two rocket launcher/cannon arrangements. There’s more to see of Big Easy’s Cobra Maggot on Flickr – take a look via the link above.
This is a 1950s Murray Torpedo Roadmaster, a pedal car based on the Buick design of the late ’40s-early ’50s, and it might be the vehicle that we want in real life more than anything else we’ve ever featured on this website. Although we’re probably a bit fat to get in one these days.
This utterly beautiful replica of the Torpedo Roadmaster comes from Jacob Sadovich, who has built and presented his brick-built recreation of the 1950s pedal car to absolute perfection. Custom chrome, working steering, and an accurate working pedal mechanism feature, and you can jump inside for a go at Jacob’s ‘Pedal Car’ album. Unless you’re a bit fat these days…
It’s 1969, Man has landed on the moon, the Jumbo Jet makes its debut, and Woodstock hosts 350,000 spectators at the greatest musical festival the world has ever known. Things couldn’t get any cooler. And indeed they didn’t, as the era of free love ended almost as precisely as the decade did, the oil crisis hit, the world went on strike, and everything became a shade of beige or brown.
Hot Wheels ended the decade on a high too though, with their spectacular concept ‘Splittin’ Image’, recreated here in beautiful accuracy by TLCB favourite Lino Martins, complete with oversize engine and twin canopies.
A little over fifty years later and history seems to be repeating itself, with the world spiralling towards some kind of bleak apocalypse, factories shut, hospitals full, and even brown making a comeback on cars. It seems a perfect time to revisit Splittin’ Image then, not just because it hinged on the pivot between two very different times (as we suspect we are too right now), but also because with two separate cockpits it’s perfect for social distancing!
Head to Lino’s photostream via the link above, isolate yourself in one of the cockpits, and hope things aren’t about to go all 1970s on us.
This TLCB Writer was never allowed an ‘Action Man’ (or G.I. Joe to most of you). Deemed as too violent, Lego was the alternative, which is fortunate as otherwise you might not be reading this post.
MadLEGOman of Flickr was allowed G.I Joe toys though, having owned this magnificent hovercraft as a kid. Now an adult of sorts, Mad has recreated one of his favourite childhood toys in Lego form, complete with mini-figure-manned machine guns, cannons, and rocket launchers. Perhaps my Mom had a point.
There’s more to see of Mad’s G.I. Joe hovercraft at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump! If your Mom lets you…
We’re pretty sure that for some of you reading this your very first car was made out of wood, and looked like this. This marvellous ‘wooden’ fire engine is not wooden at all, and comes from Jens Ohrndorf who has recreated the iconic classic toy beautifully from LEGO pieces. Head out to rescue Mr. Duck, Giraffe, big sister’s Barbie, and whatever other toys are in peril via the link above!
Toy Story’s ‘RC’ was one of our favourite characters from the groundbreaking computer-animated movie from 1995, being the toy we always wanted over a Buzz Lightyear or Woody. Flickr’s Levihathan (aka Nico Lego) may have thought so too, as he’s built this delightful Technic RC version of ‘RC’. With Power Functions motors and rear suspension Nico’s recreation looks every bit as fun as the animated original and there’s more to see at the link above.
We’re pretty sure that whatever you first car was, it probably came inside a box like this. This is Rolling Bricks‘ Matchbox 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, a wonderful homage to the famous toy maker’s 1980s vehicles (and packaging), recreated beautifully in Lego form.
Stacked red, yellow, white and blue plates replicate Matchbox’s iconic classic livery beautifully, and he’s even built the hole thingy that enabled the boxes to hang from those weird metal poles in the toy store, so you could slide them all out to find the one you wanted.
There’s much more to see of Rolling Bricks’ glorious Matchbox Chevy at his Flickr album, where you can also find building instructions should you wish to recreate the cars of your youth yourself. Click the link above to head to the toy store.
Fresh from Santa’s sleighhover car hot rod, this neat vintage space rocket toy vignette caught our eye today, partly because it’s great, and partly so we can post this link. See more courtesy of barneius on Flickr.
Likely the first vehicle of many of our American readers, the Radio Flyer Wagon has been an icon of free-wheeling adventure for over 90 years, making it the cause of more broken bones than probably any other vehicular design in history.
Despite this legendary status the dangerous tub-on-wheels had so-far escaped the attention of Lego builders, today corrected wonderfully by 1saac W of Flickr. 1saac’s inspired choice of pieces have recreated the Radio Flyer Wagon to perfection, from its brake-less axles to its gloriously unstable draw-bar steering. Now let’s go and find a really big hill!
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.
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.