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April 23, 2014

9 Insane LEGO Creations


In 1949, a Danish toy company called LEGO began making a line of interlocking plastic blocks called “Automatic Binding Bricks.” Each block had round plastic studs on top that fit snugly into the completely hollow rectangular undersides of other blocks.

A good idea, sure, but it wasn’t LEGO who actually came up with it. In fact, “Automatic Binding Bricks” were knockoffs of these things called “Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Bricks” that were patented in the UK. The funny thing is, Kiddicraft never found out about this violation of their patent because LEGO’s Danish version sold so poorly at first—people just hadn’t warmed up to plastic toys yet, instead preferring their sturdier old-fashioned wood toys.

LEGO stuck with the interlocking brick idea, however, and eventually came up with a new and improved design, which they patented on January 28, 1958. Their key innovation? Plastic tubes on the underside of the blocks that gave the knobs on top more surface to grip. With these little tubes, and the structural stability they provided, modern LEGOs were born. Sorry Kiddicraft. You snooze, you lose.

Anyway, in honor of the world’s most popular toys, which have spurred children and adults alike to harness their creativity for over 50 years now, let’s have a look at some of the most amazing and ingenious LEGO creations ever made.

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9. Lego Volvo XC90 SUV

Okay, so a car isn’t the most creative thing you can make with LEGOs. But it sure does take some perseverance to make an exact replica of this size, not to mention some mad skills. It’s a shame it’s just a Volvo and not something sexier, like a Hyundai.

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8. Lego Allianz Stadium

This beauty is an exact replica of the Allianz Arena that was built in Munich for the 2006 World Cup. And I do mean exact—they used the original blue prints to build this 1.3 million brick LEGO masterpiece. The real stadium has a translucent exterior which is lit from behind so that the whole stadium changes colors. So obviously LEGO made special translucent bricks for this project so the LEGO version of Allianz can also change colors. Stop by and check it out for yourself if your ever at LEGOLAND Germany.

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7. Lego USS Harry S. Truman Aircraft Carrier

The real USS Harry S. Truman is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier capable of carrying 85 warplanes and 5,000 crew members. Big deal. This gigantic LEGO replica has 300,000 bricks, is precise down to the finest detail and, apparently, it actually floats. Now that is awesome. I doubt it is nuclear powered, though.

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6. Lego Pinball Machine

Alright, now we’re getting to some seriously insane LEGO creations. Take this LEGO pinball machine, for example. Personally, I never have been a huge fan of regular pinball machines. But a LEGO pinball machine? I’d for sure line up to get a turn playing that.

5. Lego Harpsichord

It’s one thing to make a replica of a classical musical instrument out of LEGO’s. It’s quite another to make a fully functioning musical instrument like this Harpsichord. No, it doesn’t sound all that great. But I think just making it sound like anything at all is quite an accomplishment. (You can hear it for yourself on the LEGO Harpsichord’s very own website.)

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4. Nathan Sawaya’s Lego Art

No list of insane LEGO creations would be complete without a sampling of Nathan Sawaya’s decidedly low-tech LEGO Art. There are no moving parts, and they don’t really “do” anything, but these sculptures are just freaking incredible. And this is only a small sample. Later, when you get bored looking at some other website, you can google this guy to see more.

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3. Working Lego Electric V8 Engine

I guess this is what you make when you get bored tinkering with actual automobiles. This really takes LEGO machines to a whole other level, doesn’t it?

2. Lego Printer

I’m mechanically and technologically challenged and, therefore, easily impressed. Pretty much any homemade printer would knock my socks off. But a homemade printer made out of LEGOs? Are you kidding me? Of course, it’s completely useless in the real world. But it sure would impress nerdy chicks and/or dudes, so it might help you score.

1. Full-Scale Functioning Lego House

Here’s proof that you can do anything with LEGOs. English TV host James May oversaw this production for an episode of his show Toy Stories. Maybe this house isn’t all that practical, but it’s got potential. And it is insanely awesome. Based on this video, however, I do think I would go with traditional furnishings.