LEGO CiTY Mining Collection

SmallPlasticBricks.com 2.0. BIG changes coming!

I started this blog a while back, but it’s become a hassle to deal with the slow WordPress engine, comment-spamming, and the one-dimensional nature of posting a simple blog post.  As a web developer myself, I crave more attention to detail and a more smoothly-running site with more exciting content.  With that said, I’d really like to turn www.smallplasticbricks.com into a community fan site: where Lego enthusiasts can upload brickfilms, share Lego creations, learn building techniques, find resources, start discussions, read the latest Lego news, find out about the next convention or display going on nearby.

I think the community is lacking a fan-run site that serves as both a portal to newcomers to welcome them into the hobby and a way for others to connect.  There are other sites that focus on just Lego videos, or photos, or news, but not one that brings them all together in a way that I think would be really helpful.  I’m aiming to bring in the most popular social media platforms: YouTube/video, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, etc for content, sharing, and logging in.  I want www.smallplasticbricks.com to become the leading site for Lego enthusiasts of all ages.   I look forward to redesigning the site in the coming months and launching something great that we can use, and grow with.  I’ll try to post regular updates on the site’s progress and ask for feedback, but I’m anxious to start this next chapter!

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Building Your Lego Layout

Designing a layout for your Lego world can be challenging, whether it’s incorporating official sets are building your own creations.  There are several considerations to be made:

  • Theme
  • Baseplates or no baseplates?
  • Size/space available
  • Transportability
  • Should it be planned or not?
  • Tools to plan your layout

THEME

The first thing you must decide is what theme you want to build in: City, Space, Castle, Pirate, or something else.  This can dictate how much space and what type of space (fields, hills, water, etc.) you will need. For example, will your City theme layout be on the water or in the mountains?  Will you Castle theme have a nearby medieval village?  With future/space theme, you can even hang spaceships from the ceiling!  Narrowing down your theme is the first step in helping you determine how to think about your layout before you begin.

BASEPLATES OR NO BASEPLATES?

Baseplates are the flat plates produced by Lego that allow you to build structure on them.  However, some builders choose not to create on these flat surfaces, and may create hills and mountains by stacking bricks, and creating fully-detailed landscapes complete with waterfalls, tunnels, and more.  Others chose to create their own roads by laying bricks down on their sides.  For me, I personally like the ease and modular-connecting with baseplates.

SIZE/SPACE AVAILABLE

How much space you you have available for building your layout (and where) can be one of the most challenging aspects of designing your layout.  You can build a highly-detailed city on just one table.  But if you plan on building a full-scale city with many, many buildings, you’ll need a good place to put your city.  For me, I am fortunate enough to have my own home by myself where I have ample room to create a large layout in my living room.  But even without that, a dedicated bedroom, basement, or side of a room can give you tons of building space!  Be creative…not everyone can have an airplane hanger-sized building room (I wish!).

TRANSPORTABILITY

Will you be going to many of the Lego conventions that occur throughout the year, are you building for your Lego club’s layout at the local library, or is your collection simply for your own enjoyment?  Whatever you decide, it’s best to plan in advance what your goals are so that you can transport your Lego creations with ease (and no breaking!).    Baseplates are great for this purpose.  A few pieces overlapping or a few Technic pins connecting them make it easy to transport them in your car or SUV, then snap them back together once you’ve arrived at your destination.  Take note of your vehicle’s cargo area, and don’t build something that can’t easily be broken into smaller pieces or fit in the back of your compact car.

SHOULD IT BE PLANNED OR NOT?

It’s all up to you whether you plan your layout or not.  For some, it’s a great way to remember all the many things you want to build.  For others, it could stop you from being creative.

TOOLS TO PLAN YOUR LAYOUT

One of the very best tools available for planning a Lego layout is the free BlueBrick program.  The tool allows you to use standard-sized tables, draw areas, create labels, and pick from the selection of new and old Lego baseplates/roads.  You can even add train and monorail tracks.

 

Creating a Lego layout can help you determine how much space you need, what pieces you need, and can also help break down your creation into more portable and manageable projects.  I highly recommend using a software tool (or even pencil and paper) to help sketch our your ideas, layouts, and landscapes for your Lego world.  Happy building!

Check out my layout created in BlueBrick:

City Layout 2014

City Layout 2014

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Tortoise Gets Prosthetic Lego Leg

Check out this rescued tortoise, Schildi, who was given a prosthetic leg using a Lego wheel after a non-Lego double-wheel wasn’t working!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBMBol45moo

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Lego Series 11 minifigs revealed!

20130813-232642.jpg

The popular Lego collectible minifigures are back in September 2013 with Series 11. It’s hard to believe there have been 176 unique minifigs! The collectible series has brought new accessories, faces, hair pieces, and themes to the world of Lego since its introduction a few years ago. Each new series brings rumors and speculations before they are formally announced. Which minifig is your all-time favorite? What minifig would you like to see the Lego company create?

New Lego Series 11 Bios

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Congratulations to Rylan B. for winning the FREE Lego set!

The winner for the FREE Lego set was Rylan B.  Congratulations!  We’ll be sending out the package this week.

Our post for winning a free Lego set was a huge success!  We had over 30 entries.  Because of participation in the contest, smallplasticbricks.com went from around 0-2 visitors per day to almost 300 in a day!  The most traffic we had was from Reddit, Flickr, and Twitter.  Follow us on Twitter @spbricks.

In the coming months, we’ll be featuring more MOC-building contests, social media contests, and poll contests.  Let us know if you’d like to see a particular Lego topic discussed on this blog by writing to contact@smallplasticbricks.com or leaving a comment below, and I’ll be more than happy to do the research.  Thank y0u all for the support!

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

 

Check out these Lego salt and pepper shakers!

Posted in Blog News, Contests | 3 Comments



Lucky Man Finds TWO Lego Mr. Gold Minifigs!

While I’ve been searching all over for the elusive Mr. Gold,  2 of only 5,000 of these chrome minifigs were found by one man in the Washington, DC area.  After fetching up to $1,000 on eBay and a retail price of around $3, buying a Mr. Gold is probably one of the best investments anyone can make.  Imagine how much they’ll be worth in a few years!  What do you think of Lego’s decision to produce only 5,000 of the Mr. Golds?  Have you found one?  Would you sell yours for $1,000?  Leave your comments below.

FREE, exclusive LEGO Jor-EL with purchases of $75 or more. Valid 6.1.03 – 6.25.13 or while supplies last

Two Lego Mr. Golds

Two Lego Mr. Golds

Watch this video from Brick Show News for proof of the lucky man’s find.

Posted in Community News, Lego Makes The News | Tagged | 1 Comment



My Lego Zoo – Bird Exhibit

My first exhibit for my Legoland Zoo was created because BrickFair Alabama 2013‘s theme was “Birds.”  I only had a month to build, but I think the end result was worth it — winning a “Best Birds” trophy!  The exhibit is named after Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, the current CEO or the Lego Group.  It features 7 different types of birds, each with their own placard.  There’s a zoo keeper giving a show with one of the macaws!  This will be part of a much larger zoo with over 20 different exhibits.  Tell me what you think of my bird exhibits in the comment section below.  More photos on my Flickr.

Lego Zoo Bird Exhibit - Front

Lego Zoo Bird Exhibit – Front

 

Zoo visitors riding the tram

Zoo visitors riding the tram

 

Close up of Lego zoo bird exhibit

Close up of Lego zoo bird exhibit

 

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Student Gets Detention For Lego Minifig Gun

A student in Palmer, MA got detention when he brought a minifig-sized Lego gun to school.  After the six-year-old brought the quarter-sized “gun” on a school bus, he was forced to write a letter of apology to the bus driver.  He may also face temporary suspension from the bus.

I understand that we don’t want kids to bring guns to school, but I don’t understand how a quarter-sized plastic toy that could never fire a bullet can be considered a weapon!  Do you think the school system overreacted or did they do the right thing?

Lego minifig gun that was taken on a school bus

Lego minifig gun that was taken on a school bus

FREE Exclusive, Iron Man vs. Fighting Drone with purchases of $50 or more!  Valid. 5.16.13 - 5.31.13

Posted in Lego Makes The News | Tagged | 2 Comments



Win A Free $15 Lego Set – No Purchase Necessary!

Win this Lego set #3815!

Win this Lego set #3815!

Enter to win the above Lego set simply by sharing a link to this page! In an effort to promote this blog, we are giving away one new Lego set #3815 “Heroic Heroes of The Deep”, valued at $15.00 USD.  No purchase or signup necessary!

Contest Rules:

  1. Use social media, forums, your blog, Facebook, etc. to share a link to this contest page: http://smallplasticbricks.com/index.php/2013/05/win-a-free-15-lego-set/  We encourage you to submit the contest link to more than one website!
  2. Fill out your Name, E-mail in the form below.  These fields are required so we may contact you if you win. **
  3. In the form below, enter at least one link to a webpage where you posted a link to this contest .  This needs to be a direct link to the Facebook page, Twitter page, Forum post, etc. where you posted the link for this contest.  The winner will have each link checked to verify that he or she did actually post a link to this contest.
  4. Enter two links below for two different websites where you posted a link to this contest, and you’ll get TWO chances to win.
  5. Winner will be chosen on June 8th, 2013.  Entry period ends June 7th, 2013 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be announced on this site and in our newsletter (your first name and last initial only).
  6. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and asked to provide a valid mailing address for us to send you the prize!  If the winner does not claim prize within 5 days by replying with a valid mailing address, a replacement winner will be chosen.
  7. All shipping costs will be covered by me.  You pay nothing!

** You’re e-mail will NOT be shared with anyone for any reason other than the administrator of this website for contest/newsletter purposes.

 
Buy Lego Spongebob Bikini Bottom

 

Check out the SpongeBob Mania fan site!

Posted in Community News | 3 Comments



Largest Lego Model Ever Made Displayed In Times Square

The world’s largest Lego model ever made is a life-size Star Wars X-Wing Fighter replica.  It was unveiled this month in New York’s Times Square. The best part, is that the model itself looks like it’s made from giant Lego bricks, but it’s not — it’s made from regular Lego bricks!  How many pieces do you think it took to make it?

Life-size Lego Model

Life-size Lego Model
Photo by: asterix611

View more photos.

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