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.


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.)


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

New LEGO Set Lets Harry Potter Fans Apparate to the Hogwarts Great Hall

After reading the books and watching the movies, you may worry you've run out of ways to experience the world of Harry Potter at home. But soon, apparating to Hogwarts will be as easy as building a LEGO set. As Nerdist reports, LEGO is releasing their take on the Hogwarts Great Hall later in 2018.

LEGO revealed the first look at the magical structure at this year's Toy Fair in New York City. When fully assembled, the four-story set measures 14 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and 11 inches deep. Comprising 878 pieces, the set packs plenty of features fans will recognize. Minifigures of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco are included, as well as those of Hogwarts professors like Dumbledore, Hagrid, and Professor McGonagall. The Professor Quirrell piece looks innocent from one angle, but reverse his head and he morphs into Lord Voldemort. Susan Bones and Nearly Headless are also part of the set.

LEGO builders will have no trouble keeping their characters busy. There's a diverse collection of accessories to play with, like the Sorting Hat, Hagrid's umbrella, the Mirror of Erised, house banners, cauldrons, candles, and wands. There are even a few fantastic beasts hiding in the hall, like Hedwig, Scabbers, Fawkes, and a basilisk.

Fans looking to add the product to their collection of all things Harry Potter can purchase it for $100 when it hits stores on August 1.

LEGO set of Hogwarts.

LEGO set of Hogwarts.

[h/t Nerdist]

All images courtesy of LEGO.

Melanie Gonick, MIT
MIT Scientists Are Building Biomedical Research Labs Out of LEGO Blocks
Melanie Gonick, MIT
Melanie Gonick, MIT

When it comes to microfluidics, precision is everything. Researchers in this field—which analyzes the behavior and control of tiny amounts of fluids— can use a miniscule, flat chip etched with channels (a "lab-on-a-chip") to control the mixing of liquids at a microscopic level. Now, Co.Design reports that MIT scientists have invented a system that achieves the same results using material that most people would recognize: LEGO blocks.

In their study published in the journal Lab on a Chip, the scientists explain how LEGO fits perfectly into their research. They started out carving grooves into LEGO bricks about 500 microns wide—about the width of handful of human hairs—and sealing them with clear film. Next, they built pathways for fluids by interlocking the blocks so the end of one channel lined up with the start of another.

Assembling a custom microfluidics lab this way takes seconds, which is nothing compared to the involved and costly process of building a lab-on-a-chip from scratch. The same blocks used in one configuration can also be deconstructed and rearranged to create a whole new design. As is the case with the traditional chips, the LEGO-based lab can be used in biomedical research to filter fluids, sort cells, and isolate molecules.

The scientists didn't choose LEGO blocks just because they're fun—they're also practical. The plastic toy blocks are some of the most uniform materials available for building modular systems. The molds used in LEGO factories have to meet strict standards, so only 18 pieces of every million created are technically imperfect.

But LEGO toys aren't the ideal building blocks for every microfluidics study. They don't work for experiments performed on the nano-level, and their plastic structure isn't tough enough to stand up to some chemicals. The MIT scientists are looking into developing protective coatings and possibly molding their own LEGOs from stronger materials to open the door to even more research in the future.

[h/t Co.Design]


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