Lego is one of the most beloved toy brands in the world, thanks in part to its incredibly dedicated and creative fan builders. Though the company seems to be on a relentless mission to scoop up all the Intellectual Property licences in the entire universe until we’ve all been converted into big, human-shaped bricks, even its most ambitious and niche sets don’t seem to satisfy the most hardcore Lego-lover’s cravings. Considering how popular the brand has become, it’s amazing to think now that, not too long ago, the company was on the brink of financial collapse. But, thanks to the diversification of its products — video games, theme parks, clothing lines and animated media — Lego pulled off one of the greatest corporate comeback stories ever.
Snapping up all those IPs was a big part of that, too. A whole new generation of fans now pour hours and hours into faithfully recreating their favorite sets and scenes from DC and Marvel movies, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Lego has even made it possible for fan-builds that rack up enough popularity through their “LEGO Ideas” portal to become official sets. In 2016, Lego officially approved a fan’s Voltron: Defender of the Universe project. While some build new creations from scratch, others take official sets and supersize them, expanding two hour builds with a few hundred bricks into two day builds with hundreds of thousands of bricks. You can only imagine how dangerous it must be to walk around barefoot in their houses.
15. THE BATBRICK CAVE
After three video games, a movie, and every kind of tie-in set imaginable, Lego and Batman are two names that we’re very used to seeing together. You can buy a pretty decently-sized official version of the Batcave, but of course, that wasn’t quite enough for these two fans. Carlyle Livingston II and Wayne Hussey created this epic build collaboratively, unveiling it at Emerald City Comic Con in 2012.
It took both of them over eight hundred hours to put the twenty thousand parts together, and weighs over one hundred pounds. As you can see in the photo, the whole thing is well lit-up, with an operational turntable for the Batmobile. “The features of this build include the cave itself with what we think is the most ‘cave-ish’ cave ever constructed,” the pair said. All that’s missing is the mansion on top.
14. BRICKWARTS CASTLE
It would be extremely cheesy to call this build “magical,” but is there a better adjective for a toy version of a fantasy castle as spectacular as this? Harry Potter has been a part of the Lego world since 2001, and since then, fans have been recreating everything from the series from huge set pieces to individual scenes. While the official Lego Hogwarts set has just over one thousand pieces, this castle assembled by Alice Finch contains four hundred thousand.
Debuting at BrickCon in 2012, it was thought to be the largest Lego construction ever made by one person at the time. Unsatisfied with the official set, Alice spent a year making this not-so-miniature replica of the Wizarding School, which is nearly four meters long. The castle also lights up and is populated by many familiar faces from the Potter-verse.
13. BRICK WARS: PODRACING
Star Wars sets are consistently among the most popular with Lego fans, and also some of the most complex sets to build. The “Death Star II” set, for instance, measures a beastly 25 inches high and 19 inches wide. But, it pales in comparison when set against this cosmically huge recreation of the podracing scene from Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
Not content with just owning the 18 individual podracers, “Sir Von Lego” spent two years painstakingly constructing the entire scene around them, including Jabba’s balcony and two thousand other minifigure spectators. Though the builder has “no idea” how many bricks there are in total, the whole thing measures six by ten meters. It went on display at the LEGO Fanwelt convention in Germany, 2012.
12. THE HOBBIT: BRICKENDELL
Fresh off of building probably the biggest Lego Hogwarts ever, Alice Finch completed this stunning model of the Elven city of Rivendell from The Hobbit trilogy (not Lord of the Rings, notice the little Lego dwarves scampering around the balconies.) With help from fellow brick-ophile, David Frank, Alice started planning the build in 2011, finishing it just in time for BrickCon 2013.
Made of two hundred thousand bricks, Alice and David studied behind the scenes footage and set design photos from the Peter Jackson films following the release of An Unexpected Journey to try and faithfully recreate every inch of the fantasy Middle-Earth haven. A previous make by Lord of the Rings fan Ben Pitchford clocked in at one-hundred-and-twenty thousand bricks and even drew the attention of the LEGO Ideas team.
OliveSeon is a South Korean amateur Lego builder with a passion for huge scenes and big monsters. It’s no surprise then that they’ve focussed some of their most impressive builds on scenes from Godzilla movies — the King of All Monsters himself. In this scene, an angry, red Godzilla emerges from the sea to lay atomic waste to a city, with a giant robot (Jet Jaguar?) ready to defend humanity.
Olive doesn’t provide any stats on how many bricks are in the build or how long it took to make, but from looking at the sheer intricacy of the thing, you know the numbers have got to be substantial. The details should bring a smile to any ‘Zilla fan, from the cartoonish rings around his atomic blast to the arm shooting off of the giant mecha towards him.
10. BRICK LORD: TARDIS INTERIOR
Building the outside of a Tardis is one thing. Building the inside is quite another. Thorsten Bonsch set out in 2012 with the mission to complete the inside of the 11th Doctor’s control room in time for Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary in 2013. Though they missed his deadline by two years, they shrugged it off like a true fan. “Time doesn’t matter, at least not when you’re a Time Lord.”
It might not be the biggest build (ironic, given the whole bigger on the inside thing), but it’s certainly one of the most artistic, and really shows off the abstractness and complexity of the actual set design from the show that fans might not have appreciated before. The photo does the piece even greater justice, with the colored artificial lighting simulating the lights of the actual control room accurately.
9. MIGHTY MORPHIN’ BRICK RANGERS
This morphinominal fan-made set has proven extremely popular on the LEGO Ideas portal, racking up the required ten thousand supporters quota for it to be considered by Lego. As of the time of writing, it’s still under review, but it’s hard to imagine that something that could already pass as an official product won’t get the stamp of approval, especially with a renewed interest in the franchise since the reboot movie’s release.
The set, which features the inside of the Power Ranger’s Command Center, along with minifigures of Zordon, Alpha-5, and the original Red, Green, Blue, Black, Yellow and Pink Rangers, is the creation of life-long Power Rangers and Lego fan, Bruce Lowell. Bruce was inspired not only by his love for the two brands, but by his kids — who are also fans — and the Power Rangers 25th anniversary in 2018.
8. POKEBRICK CENTER
Gotta Build ‘Em All! Given the multimedia franchises’ continued global success, it’s surely only a matter of time before it gets inducted into the Lego world. For now, fun fan-builds like this one will have to tide us over. This model of a Pokemon Center was created by Ryan Rydalch, using Japanese MegaBlocks in place of Lego Pokemon.
“Our heroes have travelled south to Obsidian City,” Ryan captions the photo of the set, “where some much needed rest and relaxation is in store for this group’s Pokemon. Stopping at the local Pokemon Center, the team sees the cordial Professor Aspen […] After stocking up on such essential potions, poke balls and tasty berries, this band of adventurers are off once again in the pursuit of more gym badges.”
7. TRANSFORMERS BRICK BOY
Could this Lego Transformer fan-make be any more ’80s? It’s a Nintendo Game Boy Transformer that comes with a Tetris game cartridge — not to mention the great touch of two AA batteries to power it up. You can even insert the batteries into the back when it’s disguised as a Game Boy, and then use them as blasters when it’s a Transformer. Like an actual toy!
This ingenious creation is the brainchild of amateur builder, Julius von Brunk, whose other Lego builds include a working traffic light, a Nintendo 64 Transformer, and a giant-sized, fully operational NES controller. This one may be a smaller make, but the tiny details like the custom-printed text on the Game Boy around the screen and buttons make it all the more impressive.
6. THE BRICKVENGERS: HAMMER TIME!
One of the trickiest aspects of Lego sets for builders who really want their creations to have a life of their own is getting the static tableaus to have a sense of movement. Brick-master Will Galb certainly doesn’t have this problem in this dynamic freeze-frame moment, as Thor sends Chitauri fighters flying through the air with one hammer-strike to the ground.
While the set is much smaller than other wow-factor builds, the construction and the concept is what makes it a brick above the rest. With Thor crouched at one end of the set with the blast radius clearly indicated by the circular layout of the shards, your eye can follow down along the path of destruction as the alien invaders — and an innocent vehicular bystander — are caught off guard.
5. HE-MAN AND THE BRICKMASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
The production value alone on this magnificent photograph could easily fool you into thinking this was the box art for an official set, but, amazingly — it’s not! This diorama features everything from the world of He-Man, from the Prince of Eternia himself, to his arch-nemesis Skeletor, to Castle Grayskull and more. The Castle even opens up to reveal rooms inside, just like the original toy.
It’s the work of dedicated ’80s junkie Alex Jones, who presented the diorama to legendary He-Man designer, Mark Taylor at Grayskull Con in 2013. Alex hand-crafted over 50 characters from the cartoon series as well as most of the vehicles and animal steeds. As well as this minifigure, he’s also made larger versions of He-Man and Battle Cat out of Lego.
4. 2001: A BRICK ODYSSEY
There’s nothing quite like seeing something very adult recreated by something very childlike. From Breaking Bad to Twin Peaks, lots of Lego fans love using their favorite toys from their childhoods to build their favorite things from their adulthood. This set of locations and scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s trippy, sci-fi epic is almost as ambitiously weird as the film itself.
Jason Allemann‘s set includes a 1:60 scale Lego model of the movie’s spaceship, Discovery One, which is made up of over three thousand bricks and measures a staggering six feet long. That’s as tall as an actual human. The weirdest part of the whole thing is the recreation of the infamous “Dawn of Man” scene, complete with skeleton-smashing apes. Hilariously, all the pomp and circumstance is kind of sucked out seeing it in miniature, toy form.
3. BRICK TO THE FUTURE II
This is another brickredible creation of Alex Jones, who — not content with building all of Eternia — showed off his ’80s pride again with this amazing diorama of Hill Valley from the second Back To The Future instalment. The play set includes all the key locations from the film, including the cafe, the courthouse with the clocktower, and even the movie theater playing “Jaws 19.”
Even more fun is the way the whole thing is “advertised” in the photoshoot as though it were a real place that tourists should visit. It even comes with a spoofy tagline: “The Perfect Place To Start Your Family’s Future!” The brick count is unknown, though Alex says it’s “one-hundred-and-forty studs” long on each side, and took him the best part of 2015 to construct, along with “hours” of re-watching the movie to get all the details right.
This frighteningly impressive build comes courtesy of OliveSeon, whose made a name for themselves in the Lego community with ridiculously grand cityscapes from pop culture, like this one from Ghostbusters. This is, of course, a diorama of the climactic battle against the humungous Mr. Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as he tears through New York City.
Though Lego Ghostbuster sets exist, none come even close to the grand scale of this one. It’s hard to tell just how tall the Stay Puft guy is from the photos, but best guess puts him at at least a foot or two when you compare him to the size of the poor minifigure clenched in his mouth. It’d be great if Olive combined this with one of their Godzilla sets for a giant monster vs. monster-off.
1. LORD OF THE BRICKS: BATTLE OF HELM’S DEEP
Lego’s (now retired) Battle of Helm’s Deep set was pretty decent. It came with eight minifigures and over one thousand pieces to assemble. Not bad. But it looks like mere child’s play compared to Rich-K & Big J‘s monster of a set. Comprised of over one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand bricks and an army of nearly two thousand minifigures, the build is astonishingly only 90% complete in this photo!
According to the user who uploaded it to MOC, it weighs one-hundred-and-sixty pounds and takes up the size of “a ping pong table.” The sight of Elves holding off Saruman’s forces tell us this is a replica of the film’s version of the battle, rather than the books. There’s no information on how long it took to construct, but a safe guess is probably nearly as long as it took Peter Jackson to film the actual battle.
Which of these fan-made Lego sets would you like to see become official? Let us know in the comments!
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