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12 Works of Literature Recreated in LEGO

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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.”


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


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.


6. Romeo and Juliet

"Thus with a kiss I die…"


7. Dracula

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


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.


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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The 5 Biggest LEGO Sets Ever Made
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While technology focuses on making everything smaller, Denmark-born company LEGO has seen unprecedented success making everything bigger. Their official build kits can number in the thousands of pieces, enough to construct elaborate, towering, and massive objects. If you have a lot of spare time and patience, take a look at the five biggest LEGO sets ever made.


The LEGO Taj Mahal sits on display
Jose Sa, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Originally released in 2008, LEGO’s Taj Mahal set wowed collectors and casuals alike with its devotion to detail. Consisting of 5922 pieces, it remains the largest set on a per-piece basis of any LEGO set ever made. (It also comes in at a towering 16 inches when completed.) In 2010, soccer star David Beckham told an interviewer that he spent much of his spare time in Italy between games building the set.


The LEGO Millennium Falcon sits on display
Ronny Nussbaum, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

It would be nearly 10 years before a new Star Wars film arrived in theaters, but in 2007 LEGO decided to release their most complex Force-related product yet: the 5197-piece Millennium Falcon. To help fans appreciate the scope of this build—which measures three feet by two feet when completed—Gizmodo’s unboxing video revealed that the instruction manual alone weighs four pounds. It’s currently regarded as the most valuable LEGO set ever released, with resales averaging nearly $4000.


The LEGO Ghostbusters Firehouse entrance is shown
Vincent Teeuwen, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The arrival of 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot brought with it a sea of merchandising. One of the few to cross the streams and feature characters from both the current version and the original 1984 film was the LEGO version of their firehouse office space, which clocks in at 4634 pieces. While the towering frame of the building requires plenty of bricks, it’s the detail inside that ups the part count: Opening the firehouse reveals tons of tiny details taken from the films, including a dancing toaster and the zombie cab driver.


The LEGO Tower Bridge is one of the biggest LEGO sets ever made
Norbert Schnitzler, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

A brick-perfect replica of London’s famed crossing over the River Thames, the Tower Bridge was released in 2010 and comes boxed with 4287 pieces. The set features a working drawbridge and more than 80 tiny windows.


The LEGO Big Ben set appears on top of a map
Matt Brown, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The latest in the biggest LEGO sets ever made, 2016’s Big Ben clocks in at 4163 pieces. The completed work stands nearly two feet tall. LEGO designers also went for some synergy, noting that the scale of Big Ben and the London Bridge are comparable, making them a perfect co-display—and a testament to your towering patience.

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LEGO Systems Inc.
LEGO Built a 9-Foot-Tall Statue of Liberty in the Smithsonian
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LEGO Systems Inc.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has a new wing, and it's celebrating with a giant LEGO masterpiece. The just-opened second-floor renovation of the museum focuses on American democracy with exhibitions on the theme "The Nation We Build Together." As such, the museum teamed up with LEGO to honor that symbol of the American melting pot, the Statue of Liberty. LEGO designers created a 125-pound, 1:32 scale replica of the New York City statue for display at the museum, where it will remain until the end of the year. In total, it rises 300 LEGO bricks tall (9 feet) and contains 25,375 pieces. Led by LEGO Master Builder Erik Varszegi, it took four builders 292 hours to put it together. You can watch the process in LEGO’s timelapse below.


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