Koala

I wanted to make a LEGO koala using the curved slope as the nose for a few years, but after seeing koalas up close at the Los Angeles Zoo this past Easter, I had no excuse. Besides, koalas are adorable.

LEGO Koala Bear

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In Which I Redesign My LEGO Wall

This past month I undertook a project several years in the making, and at least one year overdue: redesigning my main LEGO wall. This is what my wall looked like as of the start of the project:

I wanted to document this process since I’ve received a lot of questions and comments over the years about my LEGO organization. If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen some in-progress shots of one side of the wall. Also, since today is the two year anniversary of my website going public, I thought I’d try posting something new and different.

I’ve been using the above space as my LEGO studio for about five years now, and my vision for what I need and want out of the space has vastly changed in the time that I’ve been building in it. This wall, for instance, was originally intended to hold up at least forty-five Stack-On containers (they make 18, 39, and 60 drawer options in this size). This was my main means of organizing my LEGO bricks between roughly 2003 to 2010, and it worked well in my previous work space.

Many factors, including the increasing size of my collection, the depth of the drawers and the change in building space, caused me to almost completely outgrow this method. Back around 2005 I bought forty-eight Sterilite 3-drawer containers, and have moved on to more than double to a current total of 100 (only one will be pictured here). Interesting side note: it’s really crazy seeing the price of the Sterilite containers more than double since I first started purchasing them, from about $5.00 to about $12.00 on average.

I’ve become very fond of using Darice bead organizers mostly because of their price (consistently $2.00 each) but also for their functionality for sorting specific smaller elements that need more separation than a Stack-On or Sterilite drawer will offer.

Over the years, certain part types and colors have outgrown single Darice containers. I was searching for a few different options (including using two Darice containers for single part types) but finally settled last year on Plano organizers for their versatility, compatible size (two Darice containers fit perfectly on top of one Plano container) and price (about $2.50 each; I got really lucky and found a bunch on massive discount).

Now that we’re past the primer on the types of containers I use and why, we can get on to the whys and hows of this remodel. As I mentioned, my collection outgrew the Stack-On containers but the original shelving I used was still geared specifically for them. The containers were bolted to the wall, and because of how I made the shelving, they were angled back so that when an earthquake hits (when, not if; California’s due for one soon!) the containers and drawers shouldn’t fly forward. The shelves were only 8″ deep, and the Darice bead organizers are about 11″ wide and the Plano containers about 11″ deep, so both stuck out around 3″. I also needed more shelves between the original three levels meant for the Stack-On containers, so that the Darice and Plano containers wouldn’t be stacked too high and/or putting too much weight on the shelves.

The original wood paneling on the wall was nice (I guess), but a big chunk was missing out of the top right corner. I wanted to have lighter walls (that actually covered the entire wall) and that would allow for more shelves above the top shelf, maximizing the amount of shelving and allowing for growth in the future; if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about my LEGO collection is that it only gets bigger. Lastly, I wanted the shelves to be legitimately earthquake proof; having not just more and deeper shelves, but shelves that would secure the containers on them when the next big quake comes around. After much note taking, plan drawing, and cost calculating, I was ready to go.
TL;DR: Wall bad, need to make good.

Continue to Page 2 in which we’ll tear down and rebuild the wall!

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Bruce in The LEGO® Movie – Screenshots

The LEGO® Movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray today and I got my copy! As I mentioned in a post when the movie was first released in theatres, a few of my MOCs made it into the movie. Now that the movie is out I was able to get some screenshots. Check them out below!

First we have my taco, which can be seen in the scene where Wyldstyle is encouraging the citizens of Bricksburg to fight back against Lord Business’ plan to rule the world. Two mini-figs can be seen carrying a deliciously huge taco across the plaza.

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Next, we have my donut. When Will Farrell (a.k.a President Business/Lord Business/The Man Upstairs) is searching for the Kragle, the donut is visible on one of the shelves, in the bottom left of the screen.

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

My cow skull can be seen during the western vignette of the end credits.

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What’s even better is seeing it right below the legendary Morgan Freeman’s name.

The LEGO® Movie. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Lastly, my hot dog can also be seen in the movie vignette of the end credits, getting lathered with mustard and onions.

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Comparably cool with having Morgan Freeman’s name above one of my MOCs is having the LEGO® name branded one of them.

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

THE LEGO® MOVIE. TM & ® WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

There were a few more of my MOCs that were used on set for the live action scene that I haven’t yet been able to spot in the movie. My rubber ducky, however, did make into The LEGO® Movie Experience at LEGOLAND, California. If there are any other MOCs you noticed in the movie, be sure to let me know!

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Brain Power Boy – Interview with Bruce Lowell

Check out my interview with Sheila over at Brain Power Boy, in which I answer a few questions about my history with LEGO and how boys (and girls) can continue to learn and grow with the toy.

Brain Power Boy - Interview with Bruce Lowell

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7140 X-Wing Fighter Display Case

Back in May of 1999 LEGO released its first wave of Star Wars sets, and the 7140 X-Wing Fighter was my favorite of the bunch. The co-branding of LEGO and Star Wars ensured my interest in the LEGO hobby into my adulthood, and these past fifteen years (more than half of my life now!) would not have been the same without it.

To pay homage to this set on its fifteenth anniversary I purchased a sealed copy and rebuilt my original to immortalize both in a display case. Sure, LEGO Star Wars sets nowadays are bigger, better, and the figures are flesh-toned, but the memories I have from 1999 still hold a special place in my heart.

LEGO 7140 X-Wing Display Case

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Shure Microphone

The Shure 55 is probably the most iconic microphone around and has been used by famous recording artists for over 70 years.

LEGO Shure Microphone

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Sunflowers

I’ve been wanting to revisit building flowers since I made some for Iron Builder in 2012 and with the release of the new tooth/claw piece in yellow it made for a perfect sunflower petal.

LEGO Sunflowers

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In Rod We Trust

The inanimate carbon rob that saved the NASA shuttle in the 1994 episode of The Simpsons entitled “Deep Space Homer.”

In Rod We Trust

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Oranges

Oranges are my favorite fruit, and one which I very infrequently partake of. Orange makes everything better: juice, chicken, soap, food fights; you name it!

I’ve had these built for a while, but decided to finally take pictures and post them as an homage to Florida, which will be my home for the next few days as I attend the Emerge Americas Techweek Miami 2014 to work with IBM for some LEGO business.

LEGO Oranges

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BrickNerd Episode 205 – Featuring Tacos

My friend Tommy over at BrickNerd just released his latest episode featuring, among other things, my Taco kit. Be sure to check out the video below, and if you haven’t purchased yours yet, get a LEGO Taco kit today!

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