10 Fan-Designed LEGO Sets That You Can Help Get Made

Are you a LEGO fan who has moved beyond the red, blue, and yellow blocks of your youth? Do you want something a little more … interesting? Then stretch your clicking finger and head over to LEGO Ideas, where you can throw your support behind independent designers with dreams of LEGO glory.

If a design gets 10,000 supporters (just sign up for an account and click a button), it moves to the LEGO Review phase, where a panel of LEGO designers and marketing representatives may hand-pick it to go into production. We’ve shared some popular LEGO Idea sets with you before, but a lot of those have since gotten to 10,000 supporters, and now there’s a whole new set of hopefuls vying for your support. Here are 10 LEGO sets we'd love to see happen.

1. THE BLUES MOBILE

Designer eini1971 offers up for your approval a LEGO version of The Blues Mobile from the classic John Landis comedy The Blues Brothers. The design includes two microphones and matching stands, plus minifigs of Jake and Elwood Blues. And then there’s the car itself, with an inside dash design featuring a speedometer, a radio, and a cigarette lighter. (The cigarette lighter doesn’t work, though.)

2. AMELIA EARHART

Made up of a mere 186 parts, this Amelia Earhart set—a collaboration between Ellen Kooijman and Brad Meltzer—is less intricate than a lot of what you’ll find on LEGO Ideas. (LEGO fans don’t do things halfway.) But that makes it all the better for younger LEGO enthusiasts looking for a little dose of history and adventure with their building block fun.

3. “I AM YOUR FATHER”

There are a lot of Star Wars-themed sets on LEGO Ideas. Seriously. A very, very, very, very, very large amount. But fans of the original trilogy will gravitate toward The Empire Strikes Back Cloud City set, I Am Your Father, which focuses on the iconic duel between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. You know. “Luke, I am your father.” (Except that’s not the actual line.)

4. BOAT REPAIR SHOP

With more than 9600 supporters and counting, RobenAnne’s Boat Repair Shop set is, as of this writing, the most popular set on LEGO Ideas. The set is made up of 2460 parts, including a boat ramp, a crane, a work floor, and storage attic. And because it’s all about the detail, there’s even a fuel pump.

5. HULKBUSTER ARMOR

Hulk better not smash this LEGO version of Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor—as seen in this summer’s Captain America: Civil War—or there will be red and gold LEGO pieces all over the place. About 800 of them, in fact. Be careful where you step.

6. VINTAGE TRAM

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley. Ding, ding, ding went the bell. This vintage tram design is from Kevin Szeto, designer of The Beatles Yellow Submarine set—which, incidentally, reached 10,000 supporters and has been approved, though per the LEGO powers that be its “final design, pricing and release date are still being worked out." Will Szeto have the same luck with this set, inspired by the vintage trams of Porto, Portugal? Get it to 10,000 supporters, and we’ll see how things go.

7. 1950'S DINER

Your LEGO minifigs can have a night on the town with this retro, 1950s-style diner, featuring a jukebox, a (“small but detailed”) kitchen, a gas pump and a vintage car. And there are the smaller details, like a sign reading “Tips welcome, advice is not.” Sounds cool, daddy-o.

8. M&M DISPENSER

A pair of 17-year-old foodies designed this M&M Dispenser, a (much) smaller DIY version of the “Color Wall” at M&M’s World stores. The LEGO version has room for four colors and dispenses several M&Ms at a time. It should help with your candy cravings. Or not.

9. HUMAN SKULL

There’s still over a month to go until Halloween, but there’s nothing to say you can’t support this life-size human skull set at any time of the year. Designer RichterMat envisions a whole anatomy series, similar to LEGO’s Architecture series. Bonus: The 1228-piece model has a movable jaw.

10. LEGO STORE

LEGO gets meta with this LEGO Store design, based on a real-life retail location in New York City. Designer kashaka didn’t skimp on attention to detail; look around the back of the set, and there’s even a small storage room where the minifig employees receive shipments and (maybe?) take their lunch breaks.

 All images courtesy of LEGO Ideas.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin
This LEGO Box Could Be Key to Detecting Deadly Nerve Gas
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new way to detect deadly nerve gases, and it involves LEGO.

The new detection device, described in a study published in the journal ACS Central Science, uses chemical sensors, a box made out of LEGO bricks, and a cell phone to identify the presence of odorless, tasteless nerve agents like VX and sarin.

Chemical weapons like sarin are extremely dangerous—even at low concentrations, a direct whiff of sarin can kill you in just minutes. So being able to identify them in the field is vital, and it has to be done fast.

The chemical-identifying sensors, developed by UT Austin chemist Xiaolong Sun and his colleagues, fluoresce in different colors and brightnesses to indicate which nerve agents are present in the air, and in what concentrations. Unfortunately, depending on where these tests are taking place, it’s not always easy to see how bright the fluorescent glow is. Expensive equipment designed to detect these changes in the lab just isn’t feasible on the battlefield or in a war-torn region.

An open black LEGO box sits in the lab in front of a chemical test plate.
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin

The 320-brick LEGO structure, meanwhile, is portable and quick to assemble. It acts as a black box that blocks out light around the sensors. The top of the box has a hole in it, over which the user places a smartphone’s camera lens. Using a standard lab test plate and a UV light inside the box, the fluorescent changes can be photographed with the phone and analyzed with UT Austin's free software to determine what type and concentration of nerve agents are present in the sample.

While 3D printing could produce a cheap equivalent of the LEGO box, the toy bricks may be more accessible. Not everyone has access to a 3D printer or the same printing materials as researchers might use in the lab—but LEGOs are available across the world for a relatively low price. The software necessary to analyze the samples is available for free on GitHub, and the researchers include the LEGO assembly directions within their study.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Build Your Own Harry Potter Characters With LEGO's New BrickHeadz Set

Harry Potter is looking pretty square these days. In a testament to the enduring appeal of the boy—and the franchise—who lived, LEGO has launched a line of Harry Potter BrickHeadz.

The gang’s all here in this latest collection, which was recently revealed during the toymaker’s Fall 2018 preview in New York City. Other highlights of that show included LEGO renderings of characters from Star Wars, Incredibles 2, and several Disney films, according to Inside The Magic.

The Harry Potter BrickHeadz collection will be released in July and includes figurines of Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, and even Hedwig. Some will be sold individually, while others come as a set.

A Ron Weasley figurine
LEGO

A Hermione figurine
LEGO

A Dumbledore figurine
LEGO

Harry Potter fans can also look forward to a four-story, 878-piece LEGO model of the Hogwarts Great Hall, which will be available for purchase August 1. Sets depicting the Whomping Willow, Hogwarts Express, and a quidditch match will hit shelves that same day.

[h/t Inside The Magic]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios