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12 Works of Literature Recreated in LEGO

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Brickjest

Give a bibliophile a set of LEGO, and she'll think outside the box. These creations, inspired by library mainstays, prove that LEGO bricks are more than just child's play.

1. Harry Potter

LEGO builder extraordinaire Alice Finch constructed a scale representation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for BrickCon 2012 (BrickCon is an annual event for LEGO enthusiasts held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall). Finch spent 12 months over an 18-month time span (she took a six-month break to work on “other projects”) and an estimated 400,000 tiny plastic bricks to build her massive model. The end result is not only gigantic—each side of the L-shaped replica is about 13 feet long—but incredibly detailed. Finch’s Hogwarts includes a Great Hall filed with students and faculty, Professor Lupin’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Quidditch pitch, Gryffindor common room, and more—so much more.

Finch’s Hogwarts took home both the People’s Choice and Best in Show at BrickCon 2012. And what has become of her magical structure? “I don’t plan on taking it apart anytime soon,” Finch told LEGO blog The Brother Brick in February of 2013.

Finch and her completed castle:

Alice Finch/flickr

As the first room Finch completed, the Great Hall set the scale for the entire creation. Here’s a detailed view:

Alice Finch/flickr

Dozens more photos of Finch’s Hogwarts can be found on her flickr account.

2. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

A year after completing the world’s largest LEGO Hogwarts, Alice Finch teamed up with fellow LEGO mastermind David Frank to create a replica of Rivendell, Middle-earth’s elven paradise. The finished model, revealed on The Brothers Brick in December 2013, measures 10 feet by 5 feet and was constructed using approximately 200,000 bricks.

Finch and Frank had a little help finishing their masterpiece—their children. Frank’s two sons and Finch’s two sons joined their respective parents to add some elbow grease to the build. Frank tells The Brothers Brick that his kids are responsible for 90 percent of the model’s water, and Finch credits her 5-year-old with coming up with a unique design for the trees.

Alice Finch/flickr

A detailed view of Elrond’s library:

Alice Finch/flickr

More photos here.

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

OneLug, a fellowship of builders including Brandon Griffith, Alyse and Remi Gagne, and Bruce Lowell, created a Tolkien tribute of their own in the form of a 7-foot-tall Tower of Orthanc. The group unveiled their epic depiction of the Last March of the Ents, during which the living trees battle Saruman and his legions of orcs, at Seattle’s BrickCon in 2011. The completed structure is 8 feet in diameter and weighs over 145 pounds.

Detailed view:

the OneLug/flickr

More photos here.

4. Infinite Jest

Kevin Griffith, Professor of English at Capital University in Ohio, enlisted his 11-year-old son Sebastian to recreate scenes from David Foster Wallace’s opus Infinite Jest out of LEGO. Griffith would describe scenes from the novel to Sebastian, who would then build them from LEGO. To be clear here, Sebastian has not actually read Wallace’s novel, which is not only 1104 pages, but also filled with adult themes (sex, drug addiction, graphic violence, etc.).

The below scene is captioned: "P. 12 ’I am not just a creatus, manufactured, conditioned, bred for a function.' 'Sweet mother of Christ,' the Director says.”

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Likewise: "P. 88. The operative sat at Marathe's feet…"

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Griffith & Son’s genius blog, Brickjest, is here.

5. A Storm of Swords

To celebrate the release of The LEGO Movie in February 2014, British bookstore Waterstones created a number of LEGO literary representations. Below is the infamous Red Wedding from George R.R. Martin’s fantasy bestseller.

Waterstones

6. Romeo and Juliet

"Thus with a kiss I die…"

Waterstones

7. Dracula

Note the inspired use of Batman in lieu of a LEGO bat.

Waterstones

8. The Hound of the Baskervilles

In addition to creating their own scenes, Waterstones hosted a #LEGOLit competition for their customers. Readers created their own literary LEGO scenes and tweeted their photos with the aforementioned hashtag.

The worthy winner was Rob Browne, who composed a moody representation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Waterstones

9. Moby Dick

In 2010, the Sydney Wildlife World and Sydney Aquarium launched their LEGO on the Loose exhibition. The exhibit, which ran for one year, included 25 giant LEGO models made from over 1.5 million bricks.

Among the sharks, sailors, and mermaids was the White Whale himself. Designer Stephen Gerling made the sculpture from 365,420 Duplo bricks. The mural of Captain Ahab in the background is also made completely out of LEGO.

10. The Aeneid

LEGO enthusiast Jared Chan built his representation of the sack of Troy for the ACGHK (Animation-Comic-Game Hong Kong) LEGO architecture competition in 2011.

Jared Chan/flickr

11. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Alex Jones of Orion Pax Designs spent four weeks creating his scale model of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, which measures just over four feet long. Jones based his recreation on the 1954 Disney adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel, which features a submarine designed by Harper Goff.

A detailed view of the bridge:

More photos here.

12. Ender’s Game

MOCpages user Mason Lindblad writes that he was inspired to create the Ender’s Game Battle Room after reading the Orson Scott Card novel at school. Lindblad’s tableau includes two teams of four players each and the corridor and doorway leading to the zero-gravity room. He even included one of the floating stars.

More photos here.

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Airbnb is Giving Away a One-Night Stay in Denmark's LEGO House
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Airbnb

The LEGO toy company opened its 130,000-square-foot LEGO house in Billund, Denmark, at the end of September. The attraction, which contains 25 million interlocking bricks used to make everything from furniture to dinosaurs, is a LEGO-lover’s fantasy. Now fans of the toy brand can enter for a chance to spend the night there.

For one night only, one lucky family will be invited to stay at the LEGO house after hours as part of a collaboration with Airbnb. The vacation begins with superstar LEGO set designer Jamie Berard greeting the guests upon arrival. Later, the family heads to the dining room to construct their food orders out of LEGO bricks. After the plastic requests are sent to the kitchen, edible versions of the meals are served by robot waiters.

The rest of the day consists of exploring the house’s galleries and experience zones. Guests can appreciate life-sized LEGO sculptures, browse iconic sets, or assemble their own one-of-a-kind creations. But the highlight of the trip has to be the suite where the family spends the night. The armchairs, books, alarm clocks, television, and pet cat are all constructed out of LEGO bricks. One of the only features that isn’t made of blocky plastic is the bed, which is nestled in a pool of bricks beneath a rainbow LEGO waterfall.

Living room made out of LEGO bricks.
Airbnb

“This really is a dream come true for any family with a passion for LEGO,” James McClure, Airbnb’s General Manager for Northern Europe, said in a statement. “I doubt there will be much sleeping as there is so much to enjoy in this incredible space.”

To enter, candidates must answer the question, “If you and your family had an infinite supply of LEGO bricks, what would you build?” in 50 to 550 characters. Submissions are open through November 16 and the winner and up to three guests will be flown to Denmark to commence their stay on November 24. The chosen visitors should be prepared to follow the house rules: LEGO-proof slippers are recommended, play is mandatory, and diving in the LEGO pool in search of that “one rare brick” is forbidden.

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New LEGO Set Honors NASA’s Female Pioneers
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LEGO

For all their exemplary qualities, the LEGOs of yesteryear did have one flaw: the minifigures were predominantly male. In recent years, however, there’s been a notable uptick in female-focused sets, thanks in large part to fan-created concepts promoted through LEGO Ideas. One such project is the Women of NASA, a LEGO set celebrating some of the space agency’s most notable female figures that was posted to the LEGO Ideas last summer and has just been released for sale by the brick toy company.

The four notable NASA pioneers honored in the set are: computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, who played a major role in coding the flight software for the Apollo missions; famed first woman in space, Sally Ride; the "Mother of Hubble" Nancy Grace Roman; and astronaut and physician Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. (The original proposal also included Katherine Johnson, the mathematician at the center of Hidden Figures, but the company was reportedly not able to secure the needed approvals to feature her in the final set.)

The minifigures were created with set pieces like Hamilton’s stacks of code, scientific instruments, a microscale Hubble Space Telescope, a space shuttle, and more. The long-awaited 231-piece set officially went on sale on November 1; you can purchase it on Amazon for $24.99.


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