10 LEGO Sets That You Can Help Make Happen

LEGO Ideas is the place where aspiring designers can pitch concepts in the hope that their brick-lined dreams become a buyable reality. Ideas are driven by crowd support, with 10,000 supporters required to move a proposed LEGO set to the next phase of the process—the LEGO Review—where a board considers the prospects, and selects a lucky few to go into production. Supporting a project is as easy as clicking your mouse, so here are a few to consider backing. Your vote might be the one to push it over the edge.


Hold onto your butts: this Jurassic Park Explorer comes complete with Doctors Ian Malcolm, Alan Grant, and Ellie Sattler, so you can play out all your T-Rex adventures with the whole gang. The top-supported proposal has more than 9300 backers with more than a year remaining to cast your vote. And if the success of this summer’s Jurassic World is any indicator, this set would surely be a hit on store shelves.


Go off-road with the Toyota Land Cruiser, which is one of those vehicles that you definitely know even if you don’t know it by name. The iconic boxy shape of the four-wheel-drive cruiser lends itself well to LEGO design and the model has all the features of the BJ42 series, achieved through its whopping 1700 pieces.


This diorama of the classic television kitchen comes with minifigures of Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, Sophia, and Stan, as well as a fully stocked kitchen, which is good because they’ll need a lot of eats (and plenty of cheesecake) to stay fueled during long gabfests and the various hijinks of everyone’s favorite 50-plus women. There are 15 days left to support this one, so hop to it.


The survey ship HMS Beagle traveled around the world from 1831 to 1836 with the intent of mapping the southern tip of South America. The exploration became so much more than that though with Charles Darwin aboard. The LEGO model contains the ship itself; three vignettes featuring key scientific moments in Argentina, Chile, and the Galapagos Islands; and a full crew that includes Darwin and Captain Robert FitzRoy.


Inspired by the 1954 Disney film adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Nautilus and its accompanying crew are just what you need to cook up some underwater, crazy captain schemes ... maybe even with the HMS Beagle for some cross-genre seafaring whale tales.


The creator of the Fossil Museum project (a user called whatpumpkin) has one of the more genuinely inspiring descriptions for the set: “Towering skeletons of ancient giants, some with long necks arcing overhead, others shaking their plates at the ceiling, and still others grinning hungrily as they eye their next meal. It is truly an awesome experience to be among the fossilized bones of ancient creatures.” The Mesozoic world is brought to LEGO life with four dinosaurs skeletons and one pterosaur skeleton, along with a paleontologist and family of three, as well as plaques to recreate the full museum experience.


An homage to the 1968 film, this set has a functioning propeller and rudder, as well as a set of rotating periscopes and a cockpit that can fit all of the Fab Four minifigures, who are rendered just as they were in the movie. Sky of blue and sea of green not included.


The third dino-related set on this list is the first to actually include the real thing (well, as real as it gets in LEGOLAND). This brick-built stegosaurus has tail spikes and plates, and is a companion to the Tyrannosaurus rex that’s currently in the review stage of the Ideas process.


No one wants to hear this, but it’s never too early to start your holiday shopping. As you make your list and check it twice, don’t let a fear of wayward frosting and errant gumdrops stop you from pursuing gingerbread house dreams for the holiday seasons. The LEGO Gingerbread House has all the fun and none of the mess, and could accompany other Christmas-themed sets like Santa’s workshop. As the creator notes, you can put a light inside, which will help brighten the mood when you’re wishing you could take a bite out of it.


The Large Hadron Collider gets the brick treatment with this model of a “working” particle accelerator that sends a LEGO ball around the ring with a set of spinning wheels. You can set the balls on a collision course, just like scientists at CERN do when they’re smashing particles. There's also a control room with a couple of scientists monitoring the action.


The 11th most supported project is too awesome not to share. The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary next year, and the Centennial Vignettes pays tribute to the organization that protects so many of America’s most beautiful and historically significant places. It has park rangers in Everglades National Park in Florida, Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska, and Saguaro National Park in Arizona. I mean, how could you possibly deny this LEGO bear?

All images courtesy of LEGO Ideas
The European Space Agency Needs Help Naming Its New Mars Rover

The European Space Agency is hosting a competition to find a snazzy new name for its ExoMars rover, Sky News reports. The rover will be deployed to Mars in 2020, so the winner would be playing a small role in the progress of space exploration.

At the contest's launch, British astronaut Tim Peake described Mars as a place where humans and robots will someday work together to search for evidence of life in our solar system. To this end, the ExoMars rover, which will land on Mars in 2021, will drill up to two meters into the planet’s soil and collect samples, the ESA notes. "The ExoMars rover is a vital part of this journey of exploration, and we're asking you to become part of this exciting mission and name the rover that will scout the Martian surface,” Peake said.

However, the agency is well aware of past public naming contests that have gone horribly wrong (we’re looking at you, Boaty McBoatface), so it’s rigged the rules to prevent such a spectacle. Instead of a public poll, suggestions will be submitted privately to the agency, which has created a panel of judges to choose the winning name.

The winner of the contest will also receive a trip to Stevenage, England, where they’ll get to see the Airbus facility where the rover is being pieced together. The contest is only open to citizens of the two dozen European countries that are partners in the ESA.

To enter, submit your name suggestion online before October 10, 2018, along with a brief explanation (under 150 words) of why your name should be chosen. Click the following PDF link to see the full terms and conditions [PDF].

[h/t Sky News]

Fearless Man Slices 26 Watermelons on His Stomach in 60 Seconds, Setting New Record

Ashrita Furman, a 63-year-old New Yorker who holds the world record for setting the most Guinness World Records, just achieved another one. This time, it was for the most watermelons sliced on top of his stomach in 60 seconds, Nerdist reports.

Furman came up with the idea for the record himself, and while he didn’t have any competition, Guinness stipulated that he had to slice at least 20 watermelons to be recognized. He managed to cut through 26 melons with his tool of choice, a katana, in less than a minute. (He walked away without a scratch.)

Check out this spectacle (and serious ab workout) for yourself:

“I’m really thrilled,” Furman told Reuters after pulling off the feat. “My first reaction is I’m relieved that I didn’t kill myself and the second is that I’m exhilarated because it is not only a skillful record, but also it’s something that I invented and now it’s out there and other people can challenge it.”

Furman, who has been called “Mr. Versatility,” currently holds more than 200 Guinness records. He set his very first record in 1979 after completing 27,000 jumping jacks, and he hasn’t slowed down since. In the past near-40 years he has set the record for—among other feats—the most knives caught in a minute (54); the greatest distance traveled while juggling on a pogo stick (4 miles, 30 feet); and most grapes caught in his mouth in one minute (86).

[h/t Nerdist]


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