If there’s one thing the internet has taught us, it’s that Lego creations are awesome. Okay, if there’s only one thing the internet has taught us, it’s that people will never get tired of cat videos. But the Lego thing would still be somewhere in the top five, ideally above any of the lessons involving pornography you can’t unsee. But as awesome as Lego creations are in and of themselves, we love them even more when they’re recreating some of our favorite movies, TV shows, and so on. That’s a big part of why the Lego Batman/Harry Potter/Indiana Jones games are so much fun. So when it comes to Lego versions of iconic settings from the Back to the Future series, you had our attention long before you hit 88 miles per hour.
It’s kind of ridiculous how big a thing Lego has become over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong, I love those crazy blocky yellow bastards, and spent a good portion of my formative years snapping them into assorted pleasing configurations and leaving them around for my parents to step on while barefoot. But I’ll fully admit I couldn’t wrap my brain around the whole concept of making Lego video-game versions of things like Batman or Indiana Jones or Harry Potter. Then I actually played those games and was forced to concede that they’re pretty damn charming. The mega-hit Lego Movie showed us how much fun Lego-fied things can be when combined with a silly sense of humor and a dash of creativity, so I’ve given in, I’ve swapped sides: let’s Lego-fy the entire world! Especially if we can start by having somebody make a real Lego version of Dutch and the ugly dreadlocked MF’er up top.
Oh, Legos. Is there anything you can’t do? I’m not sure what it is about the blocky little yellow guys that lend themselves to recreating iconic things, scenes, and characters in charming and awesome ways. But I do know it works marvelously when the original subject matter involves swear-happy Colonial Marines, children in dire peril, and acid-blooded xenomorphs whose hobbies include ripping themselves out of your midsection. Thankfully the folks from Missing Brick have given us precisely that, giving James Cameron’s Aliens the Lego makeover we never knew it needed.
I love the sheer amount of detail they’ve put into these. They got the hair right on Lego Ripley!
What do you get when you put Lego blocks and electronic music together? Sheer awesomeness, of course. That was a rhetorical question. But creating such a perfect marriage is a lot harder than it may seem on the surface, just ask Alex Allmont, the brains behind this incredible display.
Allmont is a programmer and a PhD student in polyrhythmic music at Oxford Brookes University. He received his Masters in Contemporary Art there, which is when he started experimenting with integrating Lego into his music. One of his first projects was a “Pythagorean polyrhythmic piano” that converts tonal ratios into beats and is designed to encourage composers to experiment with rhythms and counter-rhythms. Such exploration of rhythm is at the heart of his PhD work, in which he strives to understand music both in terms of performance in perception. This means uniting the performer and the audience, as well as identifying and studying cognitive and performance-based aspects of playing music, including improvisation and the hypnotic states certain music can induce.
It seems to me that there are two types of Lego fans. There are the ones who dump all the pieces into a pile and start snapping them together without any specific end goal in mind, just letting their imagination take them wherever. Or there are the folks who look at that same pile and envision them assembled into a specific form. Say, for instance, the titular space station from sci-fi classic Babylon 5. That’s obviously how one Lego maniac’s brain works, because he spent seven months constructing a Lego replica of our last, best hope for peace.
Eurobricks user Mario Sánchez shared pictures of his months-long project almost a year ago exactly, so I must admit I’m curious what he’s been up in the ensuing time — a Lego Citadel maybe? (Okay, I had to check: he’s also built sets for Sherlock Holmes, the Council of Elrond from The Lord of the Rings, and others — admittedly, none as impressive as his B5.)
In my life, the vehicles I have owned came from a few different places: a hand-men-down from my parents, a cheap car bought from other family members, and something nice from a used car lot. I’ve never owned a brand new car, and while I used to think it was more of a financial issue, it turns out I also didn’t have enough toys or engineering know-how. Romanian Raul Oaida and Australian entrepreneur Steve Sammartino worked together on what they call the Super Awesome Micro Project, an endeavor that earns its name from being made up of almost 500,000 Lego pieces. The finished product includes a fully functional, air-powered engine.
Maxing out around around 20-mph, no one is going to try to get on the highway with this anyway. It’s an accomplishment more than a mode of travel, and honestly, I get slightly nauseous imagining the sound of small pieces of gravel rattling around beneath a Lego car at high speeds, shattering the plastic beneath. I’d have to keep pulling over to make sure I wasn’t hearing the teeth of old Tom Slattery chucking about between the bricks, haunting my very existence since that fateful playground incident. No wait, you can’t look at me like I’m crazy. These guys built a Lego car.