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14 Dec 04:56

Gearing up for an imperial dogfight

by Theo Spencer

There are a lot of great LEGO TIE fighters out there. So many, in fact, that Matt (Classic Brix) decided to do something a bit different and build one at a slightly reduced scale. And boy, does it pay off! It’s a super model with some of the parts choices giving it a very distinct style. The standout is the use of a gear wheel to give the window its signature octagonal frame. But take a closer look! This gear actually has studs with bars slotted into it, to allow the ball shape of the cockpit to be recreated. It’s a frankly genius solution!

Midi-Scale TIE Fighter

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23 Sep 05:33


by Lar

I should rewatch Farscape again. Farscape was awesome.

15 Sep 18:02

Return to Monkey Island Trailer

10 Aug 07:58

With shock and awe, behold the lead Decepticon scientist

by Michael

Shockwave’s cold intellect and looming presence stand out in this LEGO figure by Shaddowtoa. Coming out of the Transformers toy line, Shockwave is the Decepticon’s leading scientific mind. This articulated figure captures his often repeated iconic look as established by the 1984 The Transformers animated series. This figure bears the classic purple and grey color scheme befitting Shockwave, with that dark pink chest. His singular yellow eye shines out from his angular head, analyzing everything in his gaze. The recessed black around the eye is cleverly achieved by way of SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques paired with brackets and slopes for the purple surrounding it. The articulation of the figure is well worth the sacrifice of the transforming elements. The figure has bend at the shoulders, elbows, ankles, knees, hips, head, and waist–not to mention the articulation in his wrist and fingers.


From the other side you can get a better view–or too close a look!– of his cannon arm. The cabling comes together simply with some flex tubing and bar holders. Here we can also see the ankle tilt action in the left foot, something many Transformer collectors love to see in their figures (along with waist swivel). Another set of cool features are the hinges on the skirting around the waist. This allows more range in the legs for dynamic poses. This fearsome figure is a great example of Shockwave’s excellence.


The post With shock and awe, behold the lead Decepticon scientist appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

10 Aug 07:38

This stunning U-Boat has roughly 15,000 LEGO pieces and removable hull panels

by Lino

This is so very disturbingly detailed and complex build.

Sometimes something comes along that has us simply awestruck. That would be the case with this stunning LEGO 1/38 scale U-BOOT TYP VII C built by Ciamosław Ciamek. This model has roughly 15,000 pieces and is about 70 inches or 177 centimeters long. It also took staggering four-and-a-half years to build. In case you were wondering this is the same type of U-Boat from the Das Boot movie, which, in my opinion, is one of the tensest and most exhilarating movies ever made; a worthy watch if you haven’t seen it already. The hull panels can be removed on both the port and starboard sides. Here’s a view with the port panels removed to view the interior spaces.


This photo highlights what the port side looks like with the hull intact but it also illustrates the model broken into six modules that accurately represent how the real vessel would be compartmentalized. The first module represents the forward torpedo room and crew compartment while the second houses the officers’ quarters, radio, and listening room. Next, we have the control room with the conning tower, then the petty officers’ quarters. Lastly, we have the diesel engines room and electric engines, and the aft torpedo room.


The model is of such a grand scale that it can be easy to lose sight of small details from afar. Thankfully this builder has also provided several closeup photographs, this particular one is amidships and the superstructure. Here we see some of the crew manning the guns and getting what is undoubtedly some much-needed air. I like that a seagull has decided to hitch a ride.


I’ve been in the US Navy myself and while I have served on three surface ships, I’ve never been on a submarine. As stunned as I am by this amazingly detailed creation, I have a burning question that perhaps some of you can answer. If someone farts in a sub would all hands be stuck smelling it for weeks? While you’re mulling that over check out some other fabulous creations by Ciamosław Ciamek in our archives.

The post This stunning U-Boat has roughly 15,000 LEGO pieces and removable hull panels appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

21 Jun 18:02

LEGO 90 Years of Play 40657: Forest Hideout – A Nostalgic Gift With Purchase [Review]

by Chris Doyle

The forestmen hideout was the first set I wanted to build by myself, when I got it as a gift. I still remember my father's disappointed expression 😅

The hype for the new 90 Years of Play LEGO sets is rising! We’ve already seen a fun tribute set in Classic 11021 and there are a couple of amazing sets on the horizon. But while we wait for those to hit the market, we can whet our appetites on an updated version of 1988’s Forestmen’s Hideout. LEGO 90 Years of Play 40567 Forest Hideout is available now through 6/22 from the LEGO Shop Online with qualifying purchases of US $150 | CAN $150 | UK £150.  This 258 piece set reimagines the Castle System classic with updated parts and techniques. Come along and see if this set justifies the hefty price of admission, and see just how it looks next to it’s vintage inspiration!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Unboxing the parts and instructions

This set comes in a smaller tab-sealed box with decidedly retro theming and colors. The 90 years of play logo in the lower right is one of the few immediate indicators that you’re not looking at an actual vintage set. The Forest Hideout is front and center, with a minimalist hillside in the background.

On the back, we get a view of the hideout playset in the closed position, a rear view of the interior, and a detail shot of the accessories and minifigures. A final image on the lower right shows the set’s dimensions: 19cm/7″ wide by 21cm/8″ tall.

Inside, there are four numbered parts bags and a center-stapled instruction book. There are no stickers in this set.

The parts

There aren’t any new molds in this set, but it does offer the Cylinder Quarter 2 x 2 x 5 with 1 x 1 Cutout in black for the first time.  There are also a handful of other scarce parts to add to your collection, like the large 135 degree bended brick and 1×2 curved base brick. 

The build

The build is pretty straightforward, with the majority of the hideout made from stacked brick and plate. The interior of the set is exposed thanks to a hinge along one edge.  The rounded green tiles are a departure from the square base of the original set, and a hint as to the improved curves we’ll see elsewhere.

The ground level features a ladder up, a clip to hold a spear, yellow flowers and a toadstool. Like the original, leaves are built directly into the tree trunk for greater stability.

The second floor has the tree-fort with printed shields, and a barrel of loot. There are a few changes in brick selection from the classic, and the grey walls have been updated with a textured brick pattern.

Small tweaks aside, the real upgrade to the look of the set is in the foliage. Standard leaf elements in green and bright green are attached to black tree branches made from animal tails and handlebar elements. The top of the tree trunk is given a nice twisted appearance thanks to macaroni brick and bar-clip connectors.

The blue roof of the hideout is attached with clips and opens easily for another way to access the interior. (Although you’d probably just open up the tree along the hinge.)

The finished model

The completed model manages to feel both retro and updated at the same time. The tree’s organic shape and foliage work well, and the hideout’s construction matches the designs of yore. I’m still puzzled by why you’d give your secret hideout both a bright blue roof AND an easy-to-spot red flag, though. I’m sure it made sense at the time.

The updated interior has added play realism with a ladder to get up into the fort itself.

Closed, the hideout takes on its more tower-like appearance. The improved leaves and branches really shine here, with the new mushroom adding a bit of color to match the flag.


The minifigures

This set ditches the Forestmen angle to be a bit more inclusive. The two minifigures share the same green legs and new dual-sided torso, but we’re treated to both a masculine and feminine face print. The gal’s face has been around for a while with over a hundred appearances, mostly in City-themed sets. The gent’s visage is a bit more rare with only two other appearances; 60298 Rocket Stunt Bike and 910001 Castle in the Forest. The green hunter’s hat is a slightly updated mold, with the only other appearance in the Botanical Collection 10309 Succulents set.

Neither figure has a second expression, making it somewhat sad that they didn’t give the girl a brown archer’s hat to match the vintage assortment.

Comparison to 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout

We’ve talked a bit about how this set is an update to the classic 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout, but how does it actually compare? Well, at some point I acquired a nearly complete copy of it, so let’s take a side-by-side look!

The changes to the hideout are most apparent in the increased curves available from the elements introduced over the 30+ years since the set’s introduction. It’s cool to note that the negative space by the spear-holder still looks very similar, even if the edges have been smoothed out. The extra trees are also different, with the larger fir replaced with the yellow flowers and toadstool. The hanging vines are also gone, replaced with the interior ladder.

The interior of the fort now has slightly more play area, and a few more studs to pose minifigures on. The flag has moved up onto the fort itself, too.

Closed, the most obvious change is in the blue roof. It’s a tossup if the textured classic look is superior to the smooth tile of the reissue. There was going to have to be a change here, though, as the finger-hinge connection used in the original is no longer in production.

Looking closer, we can compare the Forester shields. The logo appears to be pretty much the same, although the detailing on the stag’s eye is different and there’s now a black border around the green field. The new piece is also on reddish-brown plastic, compared to the “old brown” of the original. I don’t know if the paint has faded on my vintage copy, but the new print looks to be a lot brighter, too.

The chest of loot also has a reddish-brown/old brown color change, and the golden loot is now, indeed, gold over the original yellow. The archery target is also vastly improved, using newer elements to make for an actual stand instead of a single folded hinge. And, yes, I know that’s not the vintage target tile. But everyone loves pizza, right?

The minifigures from the classic set are a bit more varied, with two different torso prints and a second hunter’s hat in brown. (One plume here should be blue, but apparently I don’t own that part either.)  I like the updated version of the red-collar shirt, though, and as much as I like the basic LEGO face, having more “character” feels like the right thing to do here.

Conclusion and recommendation

So…this set is sure to be a big hit with Castle fans. It’s a great update to the classic 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout, different enough to stand on its own, but obviously very beholden to the source material. The real question is “is it worth spending $150 US to get this 258 piece set”?  Honestly, that entry-point feels a bit high to me. If this is really a celebration of 90 years of play, LEGO could have made these a bit more accessible to the masses. Sure, a new recolored part and new torso help take the sting out a little, but it’s still a big ask to load up your cart with enough product to qualify. But…if you’re already spending at that level…you’re going to be happy to add this one to your collection.

LEGO 90 Years of Play 40567 Forest Hideout is available now through 6/22 from the LEGO Shop Online with qualifying purchases of US $150 | CAN $150 | UK £150. It may also be available via third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Check out our full gallery of images

The post LEGO 90 Years of Play 40657: Forest Hideout – A Nostalgic Gift With Purchase [Review] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

12 May 05:23

LEGO The Transformers 10302 Optimus Prime is more than meets the eye. [Review]

by Norm Harper

This is needed.

In the early 1980s, an actor named Peter Cullen told his brother Larry that he was using their shared car to go to an audition for “the voice of a hero truck.” Larry, a decorated Marine officer, gave Peter some advice on how to play an effective leader, “Be strong enough to be gentle.” Peter took Larry’s words to heart and earned the role of Optimus Prime, commander of the Autobots. The show Peter Cullen was auditioning for, The Transformers, was basically a commercial meant to sell repurposed toys from Japan to kids in America. It wasn’t supposed to create an icon. But, when Optimus Prime was killed on-screen in The Transformers: The Movie, the backlash was swift and immediate. Peter Cullen’s “strong but gentle” performance had turned Optimus Prime into something more than just an action figure in the eyes of the audience. The Transformers team quickly set to work on a series of episodes to revive Optimus Prime in Season 3 of the show, and Optimus would remain one of the few constants of the ever-evolving franchise from then on. Now, nearly forty years later, that original incarnation of Optimus Prime has been given new life once again as a fully transformable 1508-piece LEGO set. LEGO The Transformers 10302 Optimus Prime will be available June 1st, for US $169.99 | CAN $219.99 | UK £149.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Unboxing the set and contents

Optimus Prime comes in the biggest “thumb punch” style box I’ve ever seen. The graphics follow the usual 18+ design; mostly black, with a stripe of greebling along the bottom. The LEGO and Transformers brand logos are present, but the main focal point is Optimus Prime in robot mode, wielding his Ion Blaster.

The back of the box demonstrates Optimus Prime’s transformation and shows off his various accessories: An info placard, the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, an Energon Cube, a spare bumper tile, his Energon Axe and Ion Blaster weapons, and the jetpack he borrowed from Sideswipe in that one episode.

Inside the box are a perfect bound instruction booklet, a small set of stickers, an unnumbered bag of tires, and eleven numbered bags of parts (the numbers only go up to 10, there are two bag 5s).

The instructions include notes about the franchise and some thoughts from the set designer, Joseph Patrick Kyde (who actually used to work for Hasbro on The Transformers brand before joining LEGO). There are also some facts about Optimus Prime, and The Transformers in general sprinkled throughout the building process.

There are numerous parts of interest in this set. The new 1x2x1&1/3 click socket bricks show up in red, after debuting in light-bluish gray in the Horizon Zero Dawn Tallneck set.

Also, the Technic 2×2 joint brick makes a reappearance in red after a long out-of-production stint.

The newer Technic rotation joints show up here, partnered with a brand-new joint disk that features two Technic pins protruding from the reverse side. These are used to construct Optimus’s hips.

There are also a number of bricks in metallic silver, some for the first time, to emulate the chrome parts on the original Optimus toy.

The most notable of these is a new 2×2 slope, which tapers to a point on one end, perfectly recreating the shape of Optimus Prime’s faceplate. This piece was actually designed specifically for this set, even though it first debuted in bright light orange in the Botanicals Succulents set.

The build

Usually, with sets of this size, the first several bags are devoted to laying down a sturdy frame, often in colors unrepresentative of the final model. It can take some time before the look of the model you’re building comes into focus. Not with this set. By the time you’re done with Bag 1, you’ve very clearly built Optimus Prime’s trademark truck window chest, and the functionality of his shoulder transformation is even apparent.

This pattern will continue through the building process. While there’s a lot of building to do overall, individual sections (like an upper leg for example) don’t take very long to build, which makes for lots of moments of gratification throughout the build process. Because of this, the build feels like it goes faster than it probably actually does.

This isn’t to say that it isn’t a complicated build or that there aren’t any clever techniques to be found. For instance, a set of stacked plates with free end bars peg into a pair of studs not on top bricks housed within the chest to help keep the shoulders in place during robot mode.

Prime’s lower legs make nice use of jumpers to offset a clip/bar system that keeps the legs locked together in truck mode.

And Prime’s feet make use of Technic slopes in dark blue to create a joint midfoot, so they can collapse in on themselves for truck mode.

The final steps of the main model involve creating Prime’s head, which is perfectly brought to life with plenty of dark blue pieces (including the bar holder with handle in that color for the first time). A printed tile represents Prime’s forehead crest, and his eyes are printed on the edge of a 1×2 plate.

The final model – robot mode

The resulting model is instantly recognizable as the Generation One (G1) iteration of Optimus Prime, although he’s not a dead ringer for any specific version of the character. See, back in the 1980s, what Optimus Prime (or, truly, almost any Transformer) looked like could vary wildly depending on whether you were playing with the toys, watching the TV show, or reading the Marvel comic. Heck, even some of the toy commercials featured animated designs of some characters that are unique to those 30 seconds of broadcast. All that said, this Optimus Prime splits the difference between the TV show animation model and the original toy pretty perfectly. Details like the arrows printed on 2×2 tiles at his wrists and most of the included accessories are straight from the show. Other details, like the gray stripes above his elbows and the visible wheels on his legs, are toy-specific. His shoulders feature Autobot symbols printed on 4×4 tiles with a row of studs on the edge. The exposed studs work to great effect here, reminding me of the rivets molded into the arms of the original toy.

Optimus is highly posable, as LEGO mechs go. His arms have a wide range of motion, due in large part to the needs of their transformation. His legs are less functional. While his hip joints can move forward, they’re hampered from doing so in robot mode by the truck bumper at his waist. And his legs can’t bend at the knee, likely for stability reasons. But the combination of an outward swing at his hips and an ankle tilt still allows for enough dynamic posing in the legs that he’ll look great standing on your shelf.

The back of the robot mode looks quite a bit like the original toy, with hollow space in the torso to allow for things to fold away in vehicle mode. If that’s not to your liking, this empty and undetailed space gets hidden nicely with the addition of the jetpack, which we’ll cover in a bit.

Optimus Prime’s G1 animation model kept the truck grill as his abdomen, like the original toy, but made it slope upward in robot mode. Modern Optimus toys often try to give the robot a slopped grill and the truck a flat grill by molding two different pieces and asking you to basically turn the toy inside out to hide or reveal the appropriate grill depending on which mode he’s in. This set simply puts the grill on a hinge that allows it to slope or hang flat. It’s an elegant solution that I’m surprised we haven’t seen on more Optimus toys. The truck headlights remain visible on panels that angle into the abdomen. His headlights weren’t visible in robot mode in either the cartoon or the original toy, so leaving them here is probably the most inaccurate thing this model does. But their inclusion isn’t too distracting, and the angle they’re at keeps them from interrupting the flow of Prime’s familiar torso.

Interestingly, while the upper leg detail copies the design of the animation model almost perfectly, the box images and instructions both have it upside-down. The longer rectangle should extend down from the waist, while the smaller trio of trapezoids should be just above the knee. This is easily remedied by popping off the stickered 2×6 tile from each leg and reattaching them in the correct orientation, and I’ll be doing that as soon as I’m done with this review. But for now, let’s keep the set construction “official.”

This is the largest Optimus Prime toy I own, and it might be the tallest G1 Optimus Prime figure on record. As you can see, he towers pretty easily over the first and second “Masterpiece” molds.

But he’s still second tallest when it comes to LEGO 80s robots, as Voltron stands head and shoulders over him.


Prime’s transformation is both simple and satisfying. If you ever played with the original Optimus Prime toy, you know the basics – swing the legs back, flip the head down, swing his shoulders back, and tuck the forearms into the torso. Boom. It’s a truck. It can take a little bit of time to get everything aligned and tucked into truck mode just right, but it isn’t a terribly laborious process. And unfolding him back into robot mode is super easy. I can convert him from truck to robot mode in just a few seconds.

One of the big selling points of this model is that Prime can transform without needing any disassembly, unlike other building block attempts at the character. And while that is technically true, there is one piece that some collectors may find themselves wanting to parts-swap each time they transform Optimus. In the original cartoon, Optimus had a bright orange square in the middle of his waist. That square became gray detail on the front bumper in truck mode. To account for this magic color change, LEGO has included two 2×6 tiles stickered with the appropriate detail for each mode. Swapping them is an official step in the transformation but, if you’d prefer to ignore that step, Prime looks good sporting either tile in either mode.

Truck mode

Optimus Prime’s truck is an excellent representation of his original alternate mode. But it isn’t flawless. There are gaps in the main cab that exist to allow the arms clearance to shift in and out of position. Parts of his head are visible in the back of the cab. The headlight panels and windows don’t square up with the gray stripe to create an even plane. These sorts of imperfections are par for the course for Transformers fans, who are used to unsightly seems or visible hinges marring the look of a vehicle mode. Viewed through that lens, this is a remarkably effective alt. mode for a transforming LEGO creation. The original Optimus Prime toy towed a trailer (which tended to disappear when he turned into a robot on the TV show), and it is a touch disappointing that this Optimus is riding around without one. But his Ion Blaster does attach to the rear of the truck mode to create a trailer hitch, which opens the door for plenty of custom trailer builds.

The accessories

Speaking of Prime’s Ion Blaster, it’s time to take a look at all of this set’s accessories.

First on the agenda is probably the most important – The Autobot Matrix of Leadership. This powerful artifact is handed down from one Autobot commander to the next, and Prime carries it in a compartment in his chest, awaiting any potential deathbed bequeathing.

The Matrix is a simple, but interesting build. The main handle is a 1x6x3 rectangular bar in metallic silver, which gets sandwiched between a boat tile and some round tiles with pin holders to keep it in place. The colors aren’t entirely accurate. While the silver handle is correct, the body of the Matrix should be mostly gold or orange, with a blue center.

Next up is an Energon Cube, the Cybertronian way to transport energy. This is an obviously simple construct and, while it isn’t an inappropriate addition, it is the least specifically related to Optimus Prime. I wish there had been a consistency of color in this build – either all opaque pieces or all transparent. The mix doesn’t work for me. But mostly I wish there was an included minifigure of Autobot companion Spike Witwicky instead of this.

One of Optimus’s trademark weapons is one he only used once. In the second episode of the original cartoon, Optimus deploys an Energon Axe at the end of his arm to do melee battle with the evil Megatron. And then, I guess, he forgot he could do that and he never used it again. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a common accessory in Optimus Prime toys, including here. The axe easily plugs into an axle port buried in either of Prime’s wrists, after you remove the corresponding hand.

Next up is the aforementioned Ion Blaster. Prime’s most commonly used weapon is realized here in perfect detail. The butt of the gun attaches easily to two exposed studs on Optimus’s forearm. The gun handle lines up with Prime’s fist, and his fingers can sort of grip it, but the forearm connection is what really keeps the gun in place. Unfortunately, Optimus’s arm joints often aren’t sufficient to keep either the Energon Axe or the Ion Blaster hoisted up for very long, and both accessories tend to make his arms droop.

Optimus Prime’s jetpack is another accessory that got used once and then was kind of forgotten about. And, truth be told, it isn’t even really Optimus’s. He borrowed it from Sideswipe. And it wasn’t even supposed to be Sideswipe’s because he and his brother Sunstreaker had their tech specs swapped during production at some point and…

…sorry, I’m getting off-topic.

Regardless, Optimus Prime/Sideswipe’s jetpack is a great addition to the set that helps cover some of the unsightlier elements of the figure’s back, giving the model a more complete feel, no matter which angle you look at it from.

The final accessory is the placard, which features Prime’s name, function, and motto, along with his original tech spec stats. These placards are usually attached to some kind of stand for the final model to attach to, but in this case, it’s just a freestanding sign intended to be placed somewhere in the vicinity of Optimus Prime.

Conclusion and recommendation

I have to admit my biases here, although they might already be apparent. (I mean, come on…did you read the intro paragraph? All that stuff about the audition. What was I going on about?) I obviously loved LEGO as a kid, but I loved The Transformers even more. As I outgrew other toy lines, The Transformers franchise remained a constant hobby in my life. Then, about fifteen years ago, I started customizing LEGO minifigures specifically because they scaled well with my Transformers figures and I wanted some human characters from the franchise in my toy displays. That activity became the gateway that pulled me over into full Adult Fan of LEGO-dom. So, this is truly a full-circle moment for me. In a very real way, I probably wouldn’t be writing for this site if not for Optimus Prime. And now Optimus Prime is officially a LEGO set. So, in my estimation, this is not just the greatest LEGO set ever, but also possibly the greatest toy ever created. The question is: will you like it?

Well, it’s not without its flaws. It leans towards the higher side of the price/piece ratio for collector’s sets. Some of the pieces have a tendency to pop off if you’re not careful during transformation. In particular, there’s a turntable in the torso that often wants to pull itself apart under the weight of the robot mode. And the arms can’t always support the larger accessories. In fact, the entire robot mode can be a little too floppy in general when you try and handle it. It’s definitely not a figure for your kids to play with. But it’s a fantastic display piece that just might make you feel like a kid again.

For LEGO fans, this high-end, fully transformable mech is a worthy and relatively unique building experience with a decent selection of new parts and old parts in new colors. For Transformers fans, I don’t see how you can possibly live with yourself if you pass this up. Just remember to turn those tiles on the upper legs around.

LEGO The Transformers 10302 Optimus Prime will be available June 1st, for US $169.99 | CAN $219.99 | UK £149.99. It may also be available from third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

02 May 09:47

When I Made Another Monkey Island


"The game would be the game I wanted to make. I don't want the pressure of trying to make the game you want me to make."

Nine years ago I wrote a blog post titled "If I made another Monkey Island" and it feels like there are some things I need to say.

I can't remember the exact incident, but the day I wrote that I was feeling down about never being able to make another Monkey Island. I wrote it in a single afternoon, and it was not much more than a stream of thoughts. In the movie version, tears would have been pouring down my cheeks, but it wasn't the movie version so I was probably sipping coffee and eating a chocolate chip cookie.

My point is these were not commandments handed down and etched in stone on a giant tablet. They were just random thoughts about a (then very unlikely) new Monkey Island game.

None of these are promises or anything I owe anybody.

People talk a lot about Monkey Island 3a as if it was the game I would have made after Monkey Island 2 had I stayed at Lucasfilm.

Here's the deal.

The totality of that idea was "Guybrush chases the demon pirate LeChuck to hell and Stan is there." That's it. That's all it was.

Games, movies, and books don't come out fully formed. They start as a morsel of an idea and then all the hard work begins.

Roger Ebert had a great quote that I am constantly reminding myself of:

"The muse visits during the act of creation, not before."

Had I stayed at Lucasfilm I might have started with that idea, but by the time the game was done it would have been something completely different and better.

And that is exactly what Return to Monkey Island is.

When Dave and I first got together to talk about Return to Monkey Island we had a nearly blank slate. We talked over ideas we'd had over the years including one of mine where Guybrush wakes up 3000 years in the future on a snowball Earth.

We talked about my original "hell" idea but other Monkey Island games had already done much of that (by pure coincidence) and there was little point in rehashing it.

The one thing I wanted to do was start the new game right where LeChuck's Revenge ended, and that became the one unmovable stone.

I have made one pixel art game in my entire career and that was Thimbleweed Park. Monkey Island 1 and 2 weren't pixel art games. They were games using state-of-the-art tech and art. Monkey Island 1 was 16 color EGA and we jumped at the chance to upgrade it to 256 colors. Monkey Island 2 featured the magical wizardry of scanned art by Peter Chan and Steve Purcell and we lusted to keep pushing everything forward.

If I had stayed and done Monkey Island 3 it wouldn't have looked like Monkey Island 2. We would have kept pushing forward, and Day of the Tentacle is a good example of that.

I never liked the art in DotT. Technically and artistically it was fantastic, but I never liked the wacky Chuck Jones style. But that was Dave and Tim's game, not mine. They can do what they want and I completely supported that.

Curse of Monkey Island also took a leap forward. It introduced us to a fully voiced and taller, lankier Guybrush with painted backgrounds that were all the rage in the late 90s. It was very much a game of its time.

When Dave and I first started brainstorming Return to Monkey Island we talked about pixel art, but it didn't feel right. We didn't want to make a retro game. You can't read an article about Thimbleweed Park without it being called a "throwback game". I didn't want Return to Monkey Island to be just a throwback game, I wanted to keep moving Monkey Island forward because it's interesting, fun, and exciting. It's what the Monkey Island games have always done.

I wanted the art in Return to Monkey Island to be provocative, shocking, and not what everyone was expecting. Rex is an amazing creative force and we have a team of incredible artists, animators, sound designers, programmers, and testers all pouring their souls into this game and it's beautiful to see, play, and listen to.

The music Michael, Peter, and Clint are doing is equally amazing. It's not AdLib, Sound Blaster, or even Roland MT-32 music. Its stunning, interactive, and recorded live.

Return to Monkey Island may not be the art style you wanted or were expecting but it's the art style I wanted.

When I started this game my biggest fear was Disney wouldn't let me make the game I wanted to make but they have been wonderful to work with.

It's ironic that the people who don't want me to make the game I want to make are some of the hard core Monkey Island fans. And that is what makes me sad about all the comments.

Return to Monkey Island is an incredible rollercoaster. Get on and have some fun or stomp out of the amusement park because it's not exactly the rollercoaster you wanted.

I hope you'll jump on with the rest of us.

*Seventeen - The game would be the game I wanted to make. I don't want the pressure of trying to make the game you want me to make. I would vanish for long periods of time. I would not constantly keep you up-to-date or be feeding the hype-machine. I'd show stuff that excited me or amused me. If you let me do those things, you will love the game. That, I promise.

28 Mar 12:09

At 3,145 pieces, The Negotiator is a midi-scale LEGO Star Wars masterpiece

by Kyle Keller


I just can’t get enough of this LEGO Venator-class Star Destroyer by FlyInSpace! The lines on this build are so clean, it looks like the edges were cut with a hobby knife. At 27 inches long, it’s hard to believe this model is actually a step down in scale from the LEGO Ultimate Collector Series.

The Negotiator - Main View

In fact, I think scale is this model’s biggest point of success. FlyInSpace expertly communicates the Star Wars theme without minifigures, without a lightsaber or blaster, and without a printed canopy piece. While helmets and mosaics have become more common as the LEGO Star Wars theme has evolved, I’m always happy to see a builder eschew the fig in favor of a more challenging scale.

The Negotiator - Rear Top View

With that covered, we should get into some of the excellent details on The Negotiator. One of my favorite bits is the heavy turbolaser array. Each turret is made up of two minifigure hands clipped to an upside-down roller skate. It’s an absolutely ingenious design!

The Negotiator - Turrets

Next, don’t even get me started on these engines! That network of bars, clips and plates coming together is sheer beauty. It embodies all the mechanics involved in ion thrust propulsion. Similarly, this kind of detailing is present all over the ship in the gap where its wings meet. But it hits a definite crescendo at the aft of the star destroyer.

The Negotiator - Rear View II

Finally, I have got to commend FlyInSpace for his excellent use of the anti-stud, or underside of a brick/plate. At this scale, it’s an efficient means to add texture. And the technique is used everywhere: the back edges of the wings, the tower up to the bridge, and a light gray island in the middle of the ship’s nose. I know I’m taking note for use in my own models.

The Negotiator - 3/4 Rear View

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08 Mar 08:08

Jazz up your Porsche

by Chris Burden

Fantastic work 🤓

The treasure trove of parts in the 10295 Porsche 911 set have made their way into the capable hands of yet another builder. This Transformer by Adrian Drake resurrects a generation one star of the series, Jazz. Originally a Martini Porsche 935 Turbo, this version still shares some of the same body designs as many of the iconic original toys sought after by collectors today. The Porsche’s front end makes up most of his torso while the doors swing out from the back like wings or down with the rest of the body to form the legs and feet. Making a functioning Transformer with LEGO is no easy feat but Adrian sure did well here.

Jazz 00

Scale was Adrian’s biggest strength in this model, by far. Crossing LEGO with Transformers seems like it should be easy but there is a major loss in detail for some designs depending on the size of the model. Something this big poses a challenge but makes for a better approximation between LEGO pieces and Transformers’ components. Since most of the exterior detailing was pretty much already there for him, he just had to engineer the interior Transformer-y bits. Breaking the build up into the different body sections definitely had to help. I’m sure he has a toy Jazz of his own that he was comparing this to during the build process to make sure he got as many details as he could.

Jazz 03

As you can see, it is a functioning Transformer. Here, Jazz is Transformed to match the base model. Compare this with the first photo of the actual 10295 and you can see that Adrian had his thinking cap on for this model. Though he couldn’t fit the interior into the structure of the build, we can forgive him since the exterior is so smooth.

Jazz 04

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07 Mar 05:07

John Romero releases new Doom II map to “support the Ukrainian people”

by Sam Machkovech

More Doom by Romero \o/

Screenshot from new level to old video game.

All screens in this article were captured from a GZDoom instance running "One Humanity," currently on sale for €5 with all proceeds going to charity. (Yes, I opted for IDDQD. You'll have to wait for another day to see my Nightmare difficulty speedrun without cheats.) (credit: John Romero)

In a surprise treat for '90s first-person shooter fans, Doom series co-creator John Romero emerged this week with a brand-new map for the 1994 classic Doom II. While it's priced somewhat high for this kind of content—5 euros for a single old-school map—there's a good reason.

Romero makes clear in the release's template file that this WAD's sale is intended to "raise funds to support the Ukrainian people." It can be purchased at his personal shop site, where he says all proceeds will go toward two humanitarian organizations: the Ukrainian Red Cross and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund. (On the noncharity front, Romero's store also sells a bunch of Doom-era goodies.)

Romero makes clear early on that we're in <em>Doom II</em> territory, not <em>Doom 1</em>.

Romero makes clear early on that we're in Doom II territory, not Doom 1. (credit: John Romero)

One day after its Wednesday launch, the download was updated to add much of the same ReadMe information found in his 2019 Doom 1 map pack, Sigil, that explains to newcomers how to easily get the new map working in either Windows or MacOS. (As I found in my own casual testing, the same instructions do not work on Steam Deck, whose semi-closed Arch Linux implementation currently requires a dive into its command line.) To play Romero's new map, "One Humanity," you'll need an original retail Doom II installation (which comes as part of the newest Doom II version on Steam and GOG), on top of which you can apply a source port like GZDoom.

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16 Feb 06:13

This LEGO Calvin and Hobbes has all the right moves

by Flynn

This is just beautiful 😮

Builder grubaluk is hitting all my nostalgia buttons with this wonderful Calvin and Hobbes model. The boy and his tiger are recreated perfectly and filled with life and personality. I am especially fond of the treatment of hair and fur here, from Calvin’s bangs to Hobbes’ ruffled chest fur and whiskers. But the fun doesn’t stop there. This model is motorized using a LEGO Powered Up hub, a few L motors and some clever programming in the Powered Up app. Be sure to check out the video after the break where the builder explains his process and shows how the magic is created.

Calvin and Hobbes remote controlled 1

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07 Feb 19:17

Meta may be forced to shutter Facebook, Instagram in EU

by Tim De Chant

Oh, what a shame it would be...

Meta may be forced to shutter Facebook, Instagram in EU


Meta says it may have to abandon the European Union.

The note was buried in the company’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Meta said that if officials on both sides of the Atlantic can’t reach an agreement on data transfers and warehousing, the company may have to pull its Facebook and Instagram platforms from Europe.

“If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted… we will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe,” Meta said in its 10-K filing.

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27 Jan 07:42

This new kitchen gadget slices, dices, and is guaranteed to steal every scene he’s in.

by Norm Harper

In Episode 4 of The Book of Boba Fett, the former bounty hunter encounters trouble in the form of a kitchen droid who hilariously calls back to Revenge of the Sith antagonist General Grievous. Jonas Kramm was so enamored of the adorable droid that he put together a little vignette of General Cleavous in action. The droid’s head comes together brilliantly, thanks in part to some older minifigure body wear. And the details all around the room, from the control panels to the meat hanging from chains, give the scene the unmistakable design of a desert Star Wars locale.

General Cleavous

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19 Jan 07:21

The world’s tiniest X-files poster in LEGO

by Chris (TBB Managing Editor)

Awesome :D

Some fans build massive recreations of props from their favorite movies and TV shows. LEGO builder Corvus Auriac has gone the opposite direction with this tiny five-stud-wide microscale model of the UFO poster that hangs over Fox Mulder’s desk in the X-files. The trees made of epaulets provide interesting texture, while the flying saucer works spectacularly considering it’s made of only two pieces—a pair of 2×2 radar dishes attached on a clear rod. Is this the smallest brick-built LEGO poster ever? I’m not sure, but I know the truth is out there.

X-Files Poster

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12 Jan 19:07

Iconic platformer Prince of Persia now runs in JavaScript, in your browser

by Petteri Pyyny

Iconic platformer Prince of Persia now runs in JavaScript, in your browser

Back in 1989, the world of platformer games was pushed to new level. Genre, dominated by Nintendo's cute-sy platformer characters was overtaken by first-ever cinematic platform adventure, Prince of Persia.

Originally released for Apple II, but later ported to most of the available gaming / computing platforms of that era (including Commodore Amiga and Atari ST), the game became a commercial success - and an icon of its kind.

In Prince of Persia, you control the protagonist in order to save the princess who has been captured by the evil Grand Vizier Jaffar. Set in medieval Persia, the game resembles 1980s adventure movies in many ways.

Now, a Spanish developer ultrabolido has taken the 1990 MS-DOS port of the game and further ported it to... your browser!

Using purely HTML5 and JavaScript, the game is true to its MS-DOS port, using the same graphics and same music as the 31-year-old MS-DOS version.

Here's a reminder of how the game's Amiga port looked like:

Game can be played at It doesn't work very well for mobile phones, as the controls are the same as they were back in the day: you use cursor keys to guide the protagonist through the dangers of medieval Persia. But for any modern browser and a computer can run the game smoothly.

Obviously, the game's source code has been released, too and is available at GitHub.

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24 Nov 06:16

Doc Brown’s Flying DeLorean

by Chris Burden

This is so very cool 🤓

The move to 8-stud wide vehicles for LEGO’s Speed Champions line was a controversial move for some, although the space afforded allows for more detail and realism. Builder Jerry Builds Bricks chose an iconic design to reproduce that manages to pack in the details. A few clever techniques for the doors and wheels let Jerry build this sleek DeLorean from Back to the Future full of features.

BTTF DeLorean 8wide

It’s impressive how many features Jerry worked into this build. Choosing the second variant of this fan-favorite movie car provided plenty of details. The Mr. Fusion energy reactor and its components probably proved a challenge at this scale but he pulled that off and an interior. The functioning gullwing doors are extremely satisfying, as is the simple mechanism he used for the wheels. Aside from that, the angled flat hood and stand-out bumper really capture the character of the car.

BTTF DeLorean 8wide

It’s been a long time since the LEGO Cuusoo Delorean set and Jerry’s build is honestly a massive upgrade on multiple fronts. Just goes to show how much LEGO is evolving over the years. From fan builds to official sets, it just keeps getting better.

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17 Nov 05:33

It’s a trap! Wait...that’s a different movie. (But it’s still a trap.)

by Chris Doyle

Ah, that sweet spot between Cosplay and LEGO creativity. Brent Waller has built the perfect 1:1 scale Ghostbusters trap – and it looks just amazing! All details from the movie prop have been accurately recreated, including the various knobs, switches, and even opening trap doors. Side by side with the actual thing, you’d have to look twice to be sure you didn’t end up facing Slimer with a ABS plastic replica.

LEGO Ghostbusters Trap

It incorporates a few “Non-purist” elements, like tape for the warning stripes…and LED lights for when the trap is sprung. Yes, this is far more than just a static prop. You’re in for a treat, as Brent has documented all the secrets in a great video!

Better still, this is just the first of a series of 1:1 props Brent will be unveiling, so keep an eye on his channel for more! In the meantime, though, be sure to stroll through our archive of Ghostbusters creations to keep your appetite whetted!

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01 Nov 06:31

Facebook changes its name to Meta

by Thom Holwerda

"You can call a pile of shit whatever you want, but that won’t magically turn it into gingerbread cookies." sums this zucking thing pretty nicely :D

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday at his company’s Connect event that its new name will be Meta. “We are a company that builds technology to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”

“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build,” he added. He said the name Facebook doesn’t fully encompass everything the company does now, and is still closely linked to one product. “But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company.”

You can call a pile of shit whatever you want, but that won’t magically turn it into gingerbread cookies.

14 Oct 06:43

This Super Nintendo Entertainment System is more than meets the eye

by Lino

I highly appreciate the Soundwave-yness of this MOC :D

There’s a worry that when someone builds something in LEGO that looks so much like the real thing folks may simply pass it up when scrolling through social media. We at The Brothers Brick, on the other hand, are slightly more astute than the average bear when it comes to spotting clever LEGO creations. I can assure you, fellow bears, that this creation by Julius von Brunk is a clever one. It likely would have been featured anyway if it was merely a well-built LEGO facsimile of the Super Nintendo Game Console. Normally, we’d highlight this or that sweet build technique, point out a nice parts usage here or there then move on with our day. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. But then. But then upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that each element, the game console, cartridge, and both controllers transform into robots!

LEGO Super Nintendo Transformers (group shot)

Here is a group shot of each element in robot mode. Meet the console named Super Famitron, the cartridge called Polybius (named after a legendary 80s arcade game that apparently wished you were dead), and two gorilla controllers named Simian Kong and Primal Kong. The console even has a spring-loaded flap that accommodates the cartridge in both modes. While a marvel to be sure, Julius tells us that the console also has difficulty standing while in robot mode. Don’t we all?

LEGO Super Nintendo Transformers (group shot)

You can check out the video of them in action for yourselves and watch Julius explain the engineering difficulties faced when building this amazing creation. Stick around later in the video and he’ll talk about some of his favorite games. He should seriously consider a career reading audiobooks. I’d listen to that guy all day!

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08 Oct 05:16

I have your word, now... not a scratch

by Daniel

When Lando promised to bring the Millenium Falcon back from the battle of Endor without a scratch, he pretty much guaranteed something would get knocked off. And sure enough, this minimalist model by Miscellanabuilds shows the Falcon barely escaping the destruction of the second death star in one piece, let alone scratchless. The model captures the details of the much larger exhaust port perfectly, while the microscale Falcon looks great, even without her signature deflector dish. The only thing missing is the enormous burst of flames that nearly cooked Lando’s goose.

Destruction of Death Star II

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03 Sep 06:42

He’s a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of LEGO

by Rod

Phineas & Ferb was a work of genius. And for me, a central element of its appeal was the espionage adventures of Agent P — Perry the Platypus. In the immortal words of his theme tune, he’s got more than just mad skill, he’s got a beaver tail and a bill — and both of those are on display in PaulvilleMOCs‘ excellent LEGO version of the character. Sometimes I think those big Mixel tile eyes can be a little basic, and would prefer to see brick-built alternatives. However, the use of them here is a perfect choice, nicely reflecting the animation style of the model’s inspiration. Nice hat too.

LEGO Perry Platypus

Paul has previously built some of the other Phineas & Ferb characters in this style, including this brilliant rendition of Perry’s nemesis, Doctor Doofenshmirtz…

LEGO Doofenshmirtz

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02 Aug 06:13

Bringing LEGO back into game night

by Adam Jacobs

A trio of Kell Hounds, anyone?
I still complain whenever someone calls 'Mechs robots, though.

Are you ready to play? Builder Pascal shows us how LEGO and board gaming can coexist as the ultimate game night. What was once an assortment of bricks is now a modular custom tile strategy game. A mix of grass, water, rocks and mountains can be created by filling in various parts of the map. The fact that I can recreate the terrain after every batch is fantastic, assuring no game is the same.

Modular Terrain

Pascal says the inspiration for this creation was found in the 1984 game BattleTech. I’m thrilled to see each 2×2 tile piece has a single stud in the middle to balance my robot warriors. This will definitely come in handy since everyone knows you’ll need to stay on the high ground if you’re going to win at this game.

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28 Jun 11:01

Bricks on the High Seas

by Adam Jacobs

That ship is just fantastic! :o

If you enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, then you’ll love this seafaring LEGO creation by Henjin_Quilones.

A drop of Nelson's blood wouldn't do us any harm

Do ye know what a pirate’s favorite letter be? Ye’d think it would be “R”, but his true love will always be the “C”. All jokes aside, this is truly a wonderful little build. Ship hulls are difficult to contrive out of most bricks, but Henjin manages it by using a variety of angles. The sails are made of sloped bricks and automotive spoiler pieces definitely give off the vibe of being pushed by the wind. My favorite part, however, is barely visible. If you look at the deck very closely, you can see a windowpane lattice doubling as the deck grating.

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