Dungeons and Dollhouses

Livejournal user Obelia Medusa built this intricately detailed miniature recreation of Frodo's hobbit house, Tiny Bag End. You can see the progress of the project here, and lots of pictures of the final result here.

This is a work of art.


When I found this, I wondered if there were other dollhouses based on literature or movies. Yes, there are. You'll see them after the jump.

Before continuing, you must see an exterior view of Tiny Bag End.


I found a couple more fantasy dollhouse at Blue Tea.
Sally Wallace has been making miniature houses for 20 years, including a faithful reproduction of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Shown is the House Elf kitchen.


Entrance to the Caves by Norro (Nathan Todd) is a very detailed Lego MOCtale creation.

435_cave entrance.jpg

Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle is on display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. It was finished in 1935 at an expense of half a million dollars! You can take a virtual tour and see the fantastically intricate interiors.
435_fairy castle.jpg

"Their house is a museum, where people come to see 'em." The Wenham Museum in in Massachusetts has the 3-foot tall Addams Family house, created to resemble the home in the Charles Addams cartoon and television show. Mary Hinkley built the house over a period of eight years!


Artist Mark Bennett drew floor plans for the homes of TV and movie characters, such as the Cleavers, the Clampetts, the Brady Bunch, Luke Skywalker, and others. These could be a good starting point if you want to design your own fantasy dollhouse. This print shows the Wayne Manor, including the underground Batcave. You can get a better look by enlarging the photos in this gallery.


Learn more about dollhouses and miniatures at the Dollhouse Miniature Club.

LEGO Is Rolling Out Its First Sustainable, Plant-Based Blocks

LEGO produces roughly 19 billion elements each year [PDF], and until recently, most of those bricks, minifigures, and accessories were made using oil. Now, the toy company has announced that it's experimenting with more sustainable production methods for certain items. As Mashable reports, the company will start selling 'botanical' pieces made from real plants this year.

To craft the new type of material, LEGO is sourcing sugarcane from Brazil. The crops are grown on agricultural land rather than former rainforests, and the sourcing has received the stamp of approval from the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance, an organization that encourages corporations to make sustainable, plant-based plastics.

Making LEGO parts from sugarcane results in a softer plastic, so the new method will only be used to make plant pieces like leaves, bushes, and trees for now. The bioplastic botanicals will start appearing in LEGO boxes this year and become standard by the end of 2018.

“The LEGO Group’s decision to pursue sustainably sourced bio-based plastics represents an incredible opportunity to reduce dependence on finite resources," Alix Grabowski, a senior program officer at the World Wildlife Fund, said in a release from LEGO.

Though the switch will reduce the company's carbon footprint, the bioplastic botanicals still only make up of a small fraction of their total product line. LEGO says the change represents one step in its mission to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030.

[h/t Mashable]

Creative Beasts
These Scientifically Accurate Dinosaur Toys Are Ready to Rule Your Desk
Creative Beasts
Creative Beasts

In May 2016, we told you about Beasts of the Mesozoic, a line of Kickstarter-backed dinosaur toys that would reflect the feathery truth about the mighty beasts and provide an alternative to the Hollywood-enhanced glamour of the Jurassic Park franchise.

Then, absolutely nothing happened. Having being fully funded on the crowd-sourced platform, Beasts seemed to be mired in production issues. Now, nearly two years after designer David Silva announced the project, the toys are finally ready to hit shelves.

A Beasts of the Mesozoic action figure in retail packaging
Creative Beasts

The Beasts line will initially consist of 11 figures due to ship this month, with six more expected to arrive in May. Included in the first wave are Velociraptor mongoliensis, Atrociraptor marshalli, Balaur bondoc, Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Zhenyuanlong suni, Pyroraptor olympus, Linheraptor exquisitus, Velociraptor osmolskae (red), FC (Fan’s Choice) Dromaeosaurus albertensis, FC Pyroraptor olympus, and FC Zhenyuanlong suni.

In his updates, Silva said the delay was due in large part to how quickly the scope of the line grew. At the time the campaign started, he was planning on just three figures that would ship by May 2017. By the end, he had 25 items, including accessory packs.

You can pre-order the first wave ($35 to $40 each) at BackerKit.


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