UCS Sandcrawler reaches 10,000 on CUUSOO

​CUUSOO is churning out some truly impressive models, the latest of which is marshal banana‘s massive UCS Sandcrawler. This is undoubtedly the epitome of AFOL building, featuring a minifig-scale model with furnished interior, power functions, and light bricks. Not exactly cost-effective to produce, but drool-worthy nonetheless. It’s worth noting that the creator is the first to achieve two successful CUUSOO projects, with his Modular Western Town having reached 10,000 votes earlier this spring.

​While I’m not optimistic that LEGO will want to spend so much money on such a huge and detailed set, there’s no reason why they couldn’t scale it down a little and turn a decent profit on another UCS model. I imagine that a halfway-decent Sandcrawler would sell quite well, given the inherent “playset” characteristics of such a large machine.

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​​(I must admit that I have a special fondness for Sandcrawlers due to playing Star Wars: Droid Builder many years ago, in which a lot of time is spent running like crazy through the interior of a Sandcrawler testing new droids.)


LEGO’s 80th Birthday

Today marks the 80th anniversary of LEGO’s founding under Ole Kirk Christiansen, although the plastic bricks we know today wouldn’t come until much later.​ Commemorating the occasion, the LEGO Group has released a short animated video chronicling the company’s history. It’s worth a look – you just might learn something!

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Oh, and if you’re planning on buying a set to celebrate, LEGO is giving every online order of $50 or more a free exclusive birthday cake set. This sweet deal runs until Monday (August 13, 2012).

LEGO Flash Drives

Ever wished you could combine the whimsy of LEGO with technology? Sure, you could go ahead and build your own computer, but an easier way might be to buy a LEGO flash drive. I’m currently in the market for a new USB drive, so I searched around and found a few good options.

First, LEGO has an official minifig flash drive​, with 2GB of space for $25. Unfortunately, this little guy isn’t available from the LEGO online store anymore but can still be found on Amazon.

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​If you want something more creative, Etsy is a good choice. There’s a ton of variety here, but databrick (Stefan Reiling) is one of the best. Unlike the official LEGO version, his minifig drives can store the USB port either in a brick-built stand or inside the body (making them look more like normal LEGO.) Of course, there’s a price for such unique craftsmanship – plan on paying $50 or higher for a decently-sized drive.

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​Personally, I prefer a more classic look, favoring bricks over minifigs. Stefan has the perfect solution, with drives lodged in both bricks and plates of various sizes. My personal favorites are the 2×1 brick with LED or the tiny plate drives. Again, they aren’t cheap, but the workmanship is top notch.

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For those on a budget, there is another option. If you don’t care about having a real LEGO brick, ThinkGeek has a generic block for a very reasonable price. Stocks are a little low at the moment, but Amazon has some more colors.

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Arizona!

​I’m attending grad school in ASU now, so it’s goodbye Wisconsin and hello Arizona! After a lengthy car ride across the US, my fiancée, my LEGO bucket, and I have safely arrived in Phoenix. It’s a nice city, but I miss the trees from back home, and I wish the city wasn’t so spread out. I’m not sure yet how grad school will cut into my precious blogging time, but I’ll find a way to keep it up!

​Since I’m now living with a saguaro cactus in my front yard, I figured I needed a photo of one! Bruce Lowell is happy to oblige with his creation from last year.  Notice the clever modification of his classic Lowell Sphere technique to create such a fluid shape.


Junior

I’m impressed by Mike Nieves’ towering Kohrak – I was a Bionicle kid and collected all of these little guys when they were released back in 2002. Mike’s remake (styled as the original Kohrak’s son) is a massive improvement, easily capable of squashing any Toa. I’m pleased to see that he chose to remake the white one, since they were always my favorite. Don’t miss his sharp new name tag at the bottom either.


Star Wars Dark Bucket Declined

Haru’s popular Dark Bucket project on CUUSOO hit 10,000 supporters a few days ago, but LEGO has archived the project due to the lack of building pieces. LEGO’s Star Wars license is for construction toys, not action figures (that’s held by LEGO rival Hasbro.) So without any bricks, there’s no way LEGO could legally produce this set. Still though, LEGO’s got the message that fans want lots of minifigures and hopefully will produce some great battle packs in the future. Congrats to Haru on bringing this unmet desire to LEGO’s attention, even if they can’t produce it exactly this way!


Do you remember… the Future?

Masashi Togami of Team BTTF wasn’t finished after his Back to the Future DeLorean project hit 10k on CUUSOO in April. He’s back with two more great models, and he needs your support.

The first is a remote-controlled UCS DeLorean built by the inimitable Legohaulic. It doesn’t have as many play features as the minifig-scale car, but this has the advantage of actually driving! The larger scale leads to much more movie-accurate detail, although I wouldn’t expect it to hit 88 mph with those tiny motors. I’d imagine that anyone owning this model would have to continually resist lighting the tires on fire before driving into the distance.

Next is a mini-scale Hill Valley Courthouse. The pivotal building throughout the entire movie trilogy can be altered to match its 2015 appearance or the classical style from 1955. The building comes with a tiny DeLorean and even connects to LEGO’s Mini Modular buildings. This is a must for anyone seeking to recreate Hill Valley’s town square or the climactic lightning scene.

If you’d like to support Team BTTF’s next efforts (and why wouldn’t you?), then visit their CUUSOO pages to vote for the UCS DeLorean and HIll Valley Courthouse. With enough support, maybe LEGO will release an entire commemorative theme for the 30th anniversary of BTTF coming up in 2015. As George McFly reminds us, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.