Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Toy Fair 2017: Batman and Ninjago Photo Opportunity

Name of Models: unknown
Created by: Master Model Builders working for LEGO
Found at: http://www.bzpower.com/story.php?ID=9214
Details: We've got two exciting models to show you today as part of our ongoing coverage of this year's Toy Fair in New York, New York. These sculptures promoting The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie were pretty difficult to get close to - as one of the main attractions in the lobby (outside the show itself) when you first walk into the Javits Center, they were very popular. Toy Industry professionals and press alike wanted to get photos of these two characters.


I (Dan) was able to get a few pictures before the show opened on Saturday, and some more after closing, for a total of 84 pictures covering most of the obvious details. Some highlights in my mind: we get a mosaic of Batman's torso, minus the all-important ninth ab, the tiny gap in the fabric of minifigure capes is fully rendered in-the-brick, there's a compelling and determined pair of eyes, a few great mosaics on curved surfaces, a sculpture of the tassel element that almost needs to be seen from a distance - WAIT A SECOND - that last piece is currently only made in black! That just sounds like a LEGO Batman reference - what I'm really saying is that they may have just leaked that that element will available in dark tan once all of the LEGO Ninjago movie sets have been revealed. Now seems like a time for wild speculation. Would LEGO really make a giant version of an unreleased part if they weren't planning to release it? What's happening?

I mean, there are other interesting aspects of these models, too - they continue the trend of minifigure characters being shown in a very curved, computer-animated style. The Ninjago character probably has a very interesting internal support structure running through both the sword blade and the tassel - such a dynamic character would require some hefty bracing instead of just a beam to keep it upright. You really just want to see new sets and gossip about the new movie, though, don't you? It's OK. We understand.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Closing in on 10 Years of LMOTD

Longtime fans of LMOTD may be aware that this blog has now been around for nearly 10 years. I'm not terribly interested in doing a hefty self-congratulatory post about how great we are (or were), how great an idea this blog was when I started it (before everyone else picked up the good ideas and did them better), or in posting statistics of how popular we are (which will show that we peaked in early 2011). I know we've made an impact in the community, and I'm equally aware that this blog has been flagging for a while now, even as I get more involved with other parts of the Adult Fan of LEGO community.

What I would like to know is how you'd look back on ten years of seeing me (and my tiny team) attempt to write about a Fascinating LEGO Model each "Day". I don't know if we'll share these or not (it depends on what we receive), but I'd like to hear from you. Maybe there was an exciting technique you learned about here, an event you found out about through LMOTD, a model that changed the way you looked at LEGO, a funny story from meeting one of us at a convention, or a time you were proud of having your creation featured here. It's up to you - I've heard stories before, but this milestone seems like the right time to gather up what we've meant to you these past ten years. Send your stories, memories, compliments, reflections, roasts, in-jokes, rants, etc to legomodeloftheday@gmail.com - we've got some small prizes stashed that we will use to reward some of our favorite submissions.

Toy Fair 2017 - An Overwhelming Amount of Bricks


I'm back from my whirlwind trip through Toy Fair and I'm beginning to comb through photos and post some highlights. For this event, I (Dan) teamed up with BZPower's Andrew (Black Six) to try to capture as much of the event as possible. We still didn't get everything - not even all the LEGO-related things. There's just too much; it's overwhelming. Right now, LEGO is everywhere. You've probably seen some tie-in products related to The LEGO Batman Movie already, and you should start bracing for a similar onslaught of officially licensed products tying into The LEGO Ninjago Movie as well (note: we won't be posting any Ninjago Movie info from Toy Fair, since most of it is under embargo, and the rest of it was probably supposed to be under embargo as well). That's before we get into all the companies selling accessories to be used with LEGO pieces, all the clone brands trying to copy LEGO, and all of the somewhat unrelated brands operating in a similar space. We got in some solid market research to better understand how some of the LEGO items were currently excited about stack up against the competition.

...all of which is pretty interesting, but admittedly a bit distant from our usual tack here of focusing on fascinating LEGO models. Most of our immediate coverage will be posted over on BZPower, where a landing page will show you what we've posted so far. Most of the really LEGO-specific items will be covered fairly soon, and we'll share information about some of the more distant toys as time rolls on. Keep an eye out for some of my photos to eventually show up on Flickr (since no LEGO fan site really needs to cover every toy I find interesting) as well. We'll keep you posted as event coverage continues to come together.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Upcoming Events

This is far from a comprehensive list of upcoming events, but I wanted to advertise a few that I (Dan) will personally be at. We'll cover all of these:
  • Toy Fair New York (February 18-21, New York, New York) - This famous Toy Industry Association event is not open to the public. I'll be at the event itself this weekend covering some fun and LEGO-adjacent toys. You'll be able to read about some of those fun toys here afterward. We do not expect to have access to the LEGO booth, but you know other LEGO fan blogs cover that too, right?
  • Richland Community Library's Bricks For Books (March 4, Richland, Pennsylvania) - A fundraiser for the Richland Community Library, this PennLUG show features both displays of original creations and the opportunity to win various LEGO collectibles in raffles. Open to the public from 10 AM to 4 PM, tickets are $5 per person at the door.
  • Maker Faire NoVa (March 19, Reston, Virginia) - Come see BioniLUG's LEGO display and play area (as well as dozens of other Maker exhibits, including two other LEGO-based booths) from 11 AM to 5 PM. Tickets ($13 per adult, $2 per child) can be bought online now, with "Early Bird" pricing ($9 per adult, $1 per child) in effect through February 17th.

Have A Fabuland-ous Valentine's Day

Name of Model: Happy Valentine's Day
Created by: Schneider Chung ("Schfio")
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/schfio/32898475325/
Details: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. This is the most adorable thing you will see this Valentine's Day. The characters here are Fabuland figures - but here, the original Elton Elephant and Bonnie Bunny are only used as "gifts" that the larger, sculpted versions of the characters are giving each other.

As cute as Elton and Bonnie are, the details of this model only make it more captivating. Note that the arms get thicker further away from the body to capture the curvature correctly - the "top" of each arm (actually built sideways) is made from rows of headlight bricks with 1 x 1 tiles connected to their fronts. The curved effect this creates is subtle, but an excellent use of the half-plate-thick offset you can get from a headlight brick. Clip plates hold the bunny's eyes in place and also form her eyelashes. Plates with rails fill some (roughly) half-stud-wide spaces that otherwise wouldn't look as round. The elephant's ears even achieve the difficult "cupped" effect by carefully weaving plates together in different directions - and I still can't tell how his eyes are attached. Bonnie's mouth is exquisite - a minifig cap sits on top of a precise jumper plate construction that conceals part of a set of whiskers built as a studs-up mosaic.

Schneider Chung hadn't posted on Flickr for a while before this, but he remains one of the best at building in his signature studs-not-on-top style. I highly recommend that you explore the rest of his photostream. We've previously featured a few of his adorable Easter-themed animals.