kottke.org posts about Legos

Lego model of the Simpsons HouseSep 11 2014

Simpsons House Lego

This Lego version of the Simpsons house looks amazing. Not sure if it's $200 amazing, but still. These minimalist Lego Simpsons characters are much cheaper.

The Lego MovieMay 22 2014

Lego Movie

If you missed it in the theater (like us), The Lego Movie is available to buy on Amazon right now. I mean, you could wait until mid-June for the DVD/Blu-ray, but one of your kids' friends is going to see it this way and come to school and lord it over your kid that he saw THE LEGO MOVIE AT HOME and then your kid is going to feel bad and why would you want that so you should just buck up and watch it already so your kid can have the cool cred at school for once and parlay that into greater social & academic success and then she'll get into Harvard and have a fantastic life. What I'm saying is, watch The Lego Movie now and your child will become President basically. Why wouldn't you want that? Are you history's greatest monster? Ok, I'm calling child services...

Lego Mona LisaDec 05 2013

This Lego Mona Lisa is amazing:

Lego Mona Lisa

Crazy recognizable even with only ~400 pixels. The Girl With the Pearl Earring is pretty good too. Of course, nothing beats Lego Stephen Hawking. (via mlkshk)

The trailer for The Lego MovieNov 01 2013

Some Hollywood people are making a Lego movie called The Lego Movie. Batman's in it and the plot is from The Matrix. I can't decide if it looks horrible or amazing.

An ordinary guy named Emmet (Chris Pratt) is mistaken as being the Master Builder, the one who can save the Lego universe. With the aid of an old mystic named Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), a tough young lady named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), and Batman (Will Arnett), Emmet will fight to defeat the evil tyrant Lord Business (Will Ferrell) who is bent on destroying the Lego universe by gluing it together.

The Wikipedia page notes The Lego Movie Video Game will be released in conjunction with the movie. Which, if you're following along, is a video game based on a movie based on stacking toys & figures containing characters based on other movies that are based on comic books. I can't wait for The Lego Movie Videogame Comic Book Movie that comes out in 2019.

Lego calendarOct 01 2013

Vitamins is a design studio in London that made a wall calendar out of Lego. They also built a mechanism to sync an online calendar to the Lego one: you just take a photo of the Lego calendar and send it to a special email address and voilà!

(via ★interesting)

LEGO paper airplane folding machineMar 21 2013

It does what it says on the tin.

My favorite part is how it shoots the airplane out at the end. "Be gone, good sir, I am quite done with you!" (thx, Alex)

Lego Stephen Hawking kitMar 06 2013

The awesome Lego Stephen Hawking model I posted a few years ago is available from Amazon as a kit!

Lego Stephen Hawking

Update: Or, if you have a massive trove of bricks, here are the instructions to build your own. (via @nickmelville)

Lego MacintoshFeb 04 2013

The Lego Stephen Hawking is still number one, but this Lego Macintosh is pretty great.

Lego Mac

Built by Chris McVeigh. Rumor has it he will be offering the plans for this one as well as a limited number of kits. Prints of the photo are available now.

The Star War$ and Łego universeDec 07 2012

Now that I have a 5-year-old, I pay attention to things like Star Wars branded Lego sets. And they are a rip off. Why are these little plastic bricks so expensive? The cheapest set I can find is $7, most of the minifigs are more expensive than that, many sets are a few hundred dollars, and the most expensive sets are the price of a used car: there's a Lego Star Destroyer for $1600 and a Lego Millenium Falcon for $3400.

Now get off my lawn!

Update: Ah, the Star Destroyer and Millenium Falcon are discontinued and collectable, that's why they are thousands of dollars. Original prices were $300-500. It's so difficult to tell these things on Amazon when you're old and crotchety and and and wait, where are my pants? (thx, everyone)

Update: Why are Legos so expensive? Because each brick has to fit perfectly with every other brick ever made. (thx, @johnhutch)

Lego version of Felix Baumgartner's record jumpOct 14 2012

This has got to be some sort of record for quickest Lego parody of an event: watch as a Lego man jumps from a balloon hanging high in the air, just like Felix.

(via ★thoughtbrain)

Stop-motion Lego Dr. StrangeloveOct 02 2012

Two sequences from Dr. Strangelove done in Lego.

This is really well done. (via bb)

The Lego Wire Jul 18 2012

Marissa Mayer has only been CEO at Yahoo! for a day and she's already creating viral content like a stop motion Lego version of The Wire. Imagine what we'll get when she's been there a week.

Audible guffaws at, "What's up his ass?" "No one likes our season, that's what." (via @jonahkeri)

Cool anatomical sculptures of Lego peopleJun 20 2012

Artist Jason Freeny is making these neat anatomical sculptures of Lego people.

Lego Anatomy

You can see more of his work in progress on his Facebook page. Reminds me of Michael Paulus' work. (via colossal)

Watching 130 episodes of The Simpsons simultaneouslyMar 30 2012

If you've never seen the early seasons of The Simpsons, a good way to catch up might be to watch this:

Just a quick hack to experiment what happens if you watch a lot of The Simpsons episodes at the same time. It just took 10 lines of code and a few hours of processing.

About the video:
-Top to bottom: each row shows a season (from season 1 to season 10)
-Left to right: each column shows an episode (from episode 1 to episode 13)

A total of 130 episodes is displayed, framerate is 25fps, thumbnails have been captured at 80x60px

I also enjoyed this minimalist representation of the Simpson family in Lego:

Simpsons in Lego

(via @TrevorBaum)

Building a scale Lego model of the Death StarMar 13 2012

Rhett Allain from Wired asked and then answered, "could you build a scale Lego model of the Death Star?" Using the scale of the Lego people as a guide, Allain estimated that the Lego Death Star would be much taller than the world's tallest buildings and weigh more than 2 billions tons. My favorite bit: a visual of what the Lego Death Star would look like in low earth orbit. "That's no moon" indeed. (via @educurate)

Lego cameraAug 23 2011

This photo was taken by a camera made almost entirely out of Legos:

Lego camera output

Even the lens is homemade; it's just plexiglass ground into shape with fine-grit sandpaper. I misunderstood: the lens is store-bought but the focusing screen is made of plexi. (via ★alexandra)

50 LegosJul 14 2011

Tyler Neylon decided to create 50 designs with a base set of 50 Lego pieces.

50 Legos

(via hacker news)

Lego letterpressJan 04 2011

A clever pair of designers are using Lego bricks to make 8-bit letterpress prints. Like so:

Lego Letterpress

Prints are available.

Lego versions of famous photosJun 10 2010

I've probably posted these before but they're still neat: iconic photographs recreated in Lego.

Cartier Bresson Lego

The original version of the above can be seen here. (via @matthiasrascher)

I Lego N.Y. bookFeb 18 2010

Remember Christoph Niemann's excellent I Lego N.Y.? He's coming out with a book based on that post:

I Lego NY

There's a short trailer for the book on YouTube. (via @h_fj)

The Matrix in LegoNov 27 2009

This is amazing: a stop-motion recreation of the Neo-dodges-bullets-on-the-roof scene from The Matrix done entirely in Lego.

What do kids call Lego pieces?Nov 04 2009

Giles Turnbull convened a kiddie focus group and asked them what they call all the different Lego pieces.

Every family, it seems, has its own set of words for describing particular Lego pieces. No one uses the official names. "Dad, please could you pass me that Brick 2x2?" No. In our house, it'll always be: "Dad, please could you pass me that four-er?"

Don't miss the chart at the end.

8-bit tripOct 02 2009

8-Bit Trip is the result of two brothers spending 1,500 hours moving LEGO bricks and taking pictures. An homage to 1980s video-games, it's considered by many to be the greatest among the micro-genre of LEGO music videos, sometimes known as brickfilms. Originally made famous by director Michel Gondry for his work with the White Stripes, these block-by-block masterpieces are now being put to more use than just trippy visuals for killer beats, recently there was a LEGO PSA for bicyclists, warning against the dangers of running red lights.

Legos becoming just another single-use plastic toySep 08 2009

It's a damn shame that it's difficult to find plain old Legos1 in the stores these days.

In the United States, Lego's biggest market and the biggest toy market in the world, games with themes like "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" were among the reasons Lego sales jumped 32 percent last year, well above the global pace. But experts like Dr. Jonathan Sinowitz, a New York psychologist who also runs a psychological services company, Diagnostics, wonders at what price these sales come.

"What Lego loses is what makes it so special," he says. "When you have a less structured, less themed set, kids have the ability to start from scratch. When you have kids playing out Indiana Jones, they're playing out Hollywood's imagination, not their own."

Even toy analysts who admire the company and its recent success acknowledge a broad shift. "I would like to see more open-ended play like when we were kids," says Gerrick Johnson, a toy analyst at BMO Capital Markets in New York. "The vast majority is theme-based, and when you go into Toys "R" Us, you'd really be challenged to find a simple box of bricks."

Man, when even the financial analysts are saying that you need more open-ended play toys, you've really gone off the rails.

[1] Attention Lego pedants: I know I'm supposed to call them LEGO® plastic stacking bricks or some crap like that but Legos is just so much easier.

Update: A convincing counterpoint:

I bought a pile of the standard bricks and -- as an experiment -- this Star Wars kit to see how ridiculous the pieces were. On the box, it appears to be made of all-kinds of single-use bits. Building it told a different story. The feet of the walker turn out to be the same part as the bodies of the Droids. Some of the joints are re-purposed guns. There are dozens of little clever things so that as you follow the instructions, there is moment after moment of discovery. "Oh, I can do THAT with that part?"

I Lego N.Y.Feb 03 2009

Christoph Niemann makes New York things out of Legos. Fresh pepper and Greenpoint are my faves.

A Wii-playing Lego robotDec 18 2008

Wiigobot is a robot built out of Legos that can bowl a perfect game in Wii Sports bowling. Just another step on the way to total human obsolescence. See if you can stay awake during a video of a robot playing a computer in bowling. (via thih)

The Chronic, in LegoDec 16 2008

Dr Dre, The Chronic

Dr. Dre's The Chronic, in Lego. From Format magazine's list of 20 classic hip-hop album covers recreated in Lego. Good time for a listen.

Modulex: Legos for grown-upsOct 15 2008

In the 1960s, the designer of the modern Lego brick formed a new company to make a product for adults called Modulex.

In the early 1960's Godtfred was building a new house and, naturally, he tried to model the structure with Lego bricks. The problem was that the Lego brick, with an aspect ratio of 6:5, was different than standard European construction modules of 1:1. Rather than contend with the problems of using regular Lego bricks he simply had new, special bricks molded for him. Bricks that would allow him to more closely copy his architectural plans.

The blocks were intended for use by architects. Reference Library has another look at these Legos for grown-ups. (via things)

Lego Stephen HawkingJul 21 2008

Lego Stephen Hawking

More at Brickshelf (link no longer works).

Steve Zissou and friends, done with Legos.Apr 04 2008

Steve Zissou and friends, done with Legos.

A pair of Lego skyscrapers (made from 250,000Oct 24 2007

A pair of Lego skyscrapers (made from 250,000 pieces and inhabited by 1000 Lego people) are on display at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC through November 24. Dennis Crowley's got some pictures and a short movie. Details include a wee Banksy piece on the side of the building and tiny iPod ads. Here's a timelapse video of the construction. (thx, dens)

Lego reproductions of some well-known photos.Jan 25 2007

Lego reproductions of some well-known photos.

Update: Another set from a different person, this time representing well-known paintings. (thx, derek)

Van Gogh's Starry Night done in LegoAug 03 2006

Van Gogh's Starry Night done in Lego. (via photojojo)

This guy has made a three dimensionalJun 01 2006

This guy has made a three dimensional timeline of the plot of Fight Club out of Legos. Kinda hard to explain...just go take a look. (thx, christopher)

Various ways to kill yourself using Legos. (thx, sharelle)Feb 01 2006

Various ways to kill yourself using Legos. (thx, sharelle)

What the hell? Almost 500 pounds of LegosOct 06 2005

What the hell? Almost 500 pounds of Legos up for auction on eBay. "This is my collection for the past 25 years, it's time to go." Bid stands at ~$6800. (thx, karl)

I've got a short piece in theJun 09 2005

I've got a short piece in the second issue of Make magazine about Mark Simonson's Lego film scanner. This is my first bit of paid writing ever.

Lego version of Han Solo frozen in carboniteMay 09 2005

Lego version of Han Solo frozen in carbonite.

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