Most of us went through a LEGO phase early in life, and eventually grew out of it. But there are many who remain LEGO obsessed into their adult years, building on what they love to become LEGO artists and master builders.
To celebrate International LEGO Day (which happened this past Thursday) as well as the awesome announcement of new pop culture-themed LEGO Dimensions sets, we wanted to shine a light on the enduring fandom for the colorful plastic bricks by finding those over-the-top creators who combine their love of pop culture and LEGO to craft the biggest, wildest, most complex constructions ever.
Get your Kragle ready as we explore Extreme Fandom: LEGO.
Most “master builders” in the LEGO world are actual employees of LEGO, but not Alice Finch. She’s a full-time mom in Seattle who got into building as a way of bonding with her young boys, but now she’s one of the most famous independent builders in the world. The first mega-construction that put her on the map is this breathtakingly detailed replica of Hogwarts, complete with moving staircases, a swaying footbridge, and even a Quidditch field. There’s even a Chamber of Secrets! It’s a true playable replica, inside and out. The re-creation of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding school is made of over 400,000 pieces and took roughly 12 months to build. But the most incredible thing about Finch is that she didn’t stop there. She followed up Hogwarts with…
This time, Finch teamed up with another well-known builder, David Frank, to construct the beautiful, fanciful Rivendell, the home to the High Elves of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. They used Peter Jackson’s interpretation in Fellowship of the Ring as inspiration, and painstakingly researched each building, plant, tree, and body of water. The result is a strikingly elegant set of internally lit LEGO buildings built in curvy, intricate elven style and landscaping that perfectly captures the delicate nature of the mythic city. The model is 10 feet by 5 feet and made up of over 200,000 bricks.
The next feat of LEGO awesomeness comes from Shawn Snyder, who specializes in constructing characters brick by brick. He’s done everything from Iron Man to Terminator to Venom and Spiderman. But one of the most impressive of the lot is his meticulous rendition of Predator, complete with mandibles, dreadlock-like appendages, and bone trophies around its neck. Now, if it only had radiocative glow-stick green blood!
Sure, you could build a LEGO Batcave from a set you buy in a store, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy Carlyle Livingston and Wayne Hussey. These guys wanted to go all in to create the ultimate Batcave experience. According to the Brothers Brick, this massive Bruce Wayne hideaway is made up of “over 20,000 parts, took more than 800 hours over twelve weeks to build, and weighs more than 100 pounds.” There are even motors to operate moving features like a Batmobile turntable and a costume wall. Plus, the guys built in some eerie and cool atmospheric lighting effects. You can go check out all the closeups of this Batman creation on the builders’ Flickr page. Finally, a LEGO creation fit for the Dark Knight!
Star Wars Escher
If there’s one thing LEGO fans love to build it’s Star Wars anything. From Death Stars to Millennium Falcons, there is certainly no shortage of Star Wars creations out there. But occasionally a builder goes the extra mile to do something truly creative, as is the case with Paul Vermeesch’s Star Wars Relativity. He took the famous M.C. Escher piece “Relativity” and Star Wars-ized it. The diorama features iconic movie scenes like the Mos Eisley cantina, Luke Skywalker’s lost hand tumbling up (or down?), and even Ewoks amid the leafy foliage of Endor’s moon.
Life-Size X-Wing Fighter
So, first off, I want to point out that this 42-foot-long replica of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing is not built by some average fan; it was actually built by 32 “master builders” at the LEGO Model Shop at the LEGO production facility in Kladno, Czech Republic. But this masterpiece needs to be seen and admired, even if it was built by LEGO employees! It has a wingspan of 44 feet and comes complete with R2-D2, weighs 45,980 pounds, and took 17,336 man-hours to create. And with 5,335,200 LEGO bricks, it holds the World Record for the largest LEGO model ever built in terms of pieces. It’s so large, a grown man can actually sit inside the cockpit. Want to check it out? It’s still on display at LEGOLAND California.
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