Watch The Grand Budapest Hotel be built out of Legos

Grand Brick Hotel

There are fans of Wes Anderson films and then there is Ryan Ziegelbauer and his team of eight model builders who used 575 hours of their lives constructing the Grand Budapest Hotel entirely out of Legos. Using a massive amount of those new pink Lego bricks for something other than girlie constructs and Homer Simpson’s car, and over 50,000 pieces from collectors and wholesale sources in Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Germany, Italy and 14 different states in the U.S. This batboy weighed in at over 150 pounds and stands 7 feet tall and 6.5 feet wide.

This video of their momentous achievement is to raise awareness of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s June 17th blu-ray and DVD release of Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which we adored, and maybe there’s some cross promotion with The Lego Movie, which is also due out on the same date – no thanks to Amazon – except the amount of glue that is used in the construction of the #GrandBrickHotel is a little disconcerting. Did Emmet and the “Man from Upstairs” teach us anything? Oh well. This is still pretty phenomenal. Sit back and enjoy.


Toy Fair 2014: From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Hasbro has a hefty line-up for Marvel this year highlighted by 3 films arriving in 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With Guardians of the Galaxy, this generation of toy collectors is introduced to a whole new set of characters. Whether it’s a Rocket Raccoon mask or Peter Quill’s Element Gun, Hasbro is pulling out all the stops to bring these characters to the forefront.

Toy Fair 2014: Hasbro’s Transformers Line up for 2014

It’s a big year for Transformers in 2014 with Transformers: Age of Extinction coming to theaters this June and the toy brand’s 30th anniversary. With that said, there is surely no shortage of new toys arriving and Hasbro has revealed a bunch for this year. Aiming to please the younger and older generation, Transformer toys come in the form of incredibly easy to multiple page instructions required. Check out the range of new toys arriving. My favorite are the Dinobots that look fiercely intimidating, yet they transform in 1-2 easy steps.

Photo Gallery: Hasbro’s 2014 Star Wars line-up features 6-inch Darth Vader

Hasbro has revealed a handful of Star Wars toys for 2014 and the bunch is highlighted by the likes of Star Wars Black Series Darth Vader and an affordable 29-inch X-Wing, which retails for under $40. Darth Vader is arriving as part of the 3rd wave for the Black Series and Hasbro states it took this long for his arrival to treat the item with extra care and attention it deserves. The new toy also comes with 3 different looks, including the unmasked look from Star Wars Episode VI.

‘The Lego Movie’ Gets Everything Right, Especially Batman

lego movie

For anyone venturing into the new Phil Lord and Chris Miller animated movie is sure to walk away with one thing: Tegan and Sara’s happy anthem, “Everything is Awesome” stuck in the head. Not because it’s super catchy, grating and corny at the same time, (it is all of those things) but because its chorus couldn’t be more accurate of how enjoyable The Lego Movie really is.

It’s stunning that they made a movie about Legos in the first place, but be prepared to watch a surprisingly impressive movie–one that will send that warming feeling in your chest, and importantly, never drags. The long-running toy line encompass seemingly all interests and are now as ubiquitous as books and music of all genres. They include licensed lines like Lord of the Rings, Super-heroes, Star Wars, and Friends designed for young girls to their classic lines of space, castles, and the wild west, and even the advanced building sets like the architecture series or programmable Mindstorms robotics. They even have popular lines that have spawned successful cartoons, video games, theme parks and direct-to-video blu-rays. Surely, the film will do the same and when the kids you know are assembling the vehicles and play-sets inspired by the film, you’ll tolerate it happily. But this is not meant to be a review of how this film will reap in heaps of money for Lego (oh and it will). The brand has always maintained the appeal of an all-ages fascination mixed with wit and charm through all of its products and the film preserves that intangible characteristic that has popularized Lego to much more than just building bricks.

Lord and Miller (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 1 and 2) found a narrative that lassoes all of those users, past and present to spin a tale of adventure, creativity, and building real connections with people through experiences. The star of their story is Emmett (Chris Pratt), a non-descript generic man whose Lego-standard yellow-face is one of the characteristics that cement him as every bit the forgettable follower instead of the leader. A prophecy by master builder Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) claims that a “chosen one” will someday unite all of the realms of the Lego world and save them from Lord Business (Will Ferrell). He is joined by more master builders, who can build anything with their imagination given the parts that surround them, including goth Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), mecha-pirate Metal Beard (Nick Offerman), the perky Unikitty (Alison Brie), and what may be one of the best uses of Batman (Will Arnett) in any film. Seriously, if there’s a scene stealer, it’s the one who dances in the pale moon light.

Business has been duping the citizens in Emmett’s world while policing the other worlds with a good cop/bad cop character voiced by Liam Neeson. His ultimate goal is to glue the world intact and thus a resistance builds in the other hidden corners of the Lego world. Emmett must break out of his mold and find his potential and fulfill his destiny. It does sound like a mass-produced plot, but the Lego flare elevates the end product into something memorable. There’s also a slew of cameos and voices of who’s who that help keep the inevitable multiple viewings fresh and the potential for a sequel is ripe.

emmett batman

There are underlying themes in the story that surface organically, set up by Emmett’s insistence to construct everything according to the instructions – an antithesis to the master builders’ mantra, who create anything out of their surroundings, mimicking the variety of real Lego users. Another is a jab at the ultra-serious Lego creators who use their homes as mausoleums to display their creations like Michaelangelo’s David, which is nothing to judge at, but maintaining that pure vision is challenging once that person has children of their own. As long as those kind of Lego builders have a sense of humor about themselves, they’ll enjoy this film too.

Visually there’s a lot to marvel at. The animators deserve the highest regard, as it’s a seamless mixture of stop motion and CG. The introduction to Emmett’s typical day will astound audiences who will witness so many little moving parts in the proper scale of the average Lego mini figure. To build one large complex Lego structure with instructions is an achievement unto itself, but the magnitude of the builds is breathtaking–and then to animate it? It’s something to behold and as an amateur builder myself, I felt unworthy but man did I eat up everything this film had to offer and the longer Lego has been a part of your life, the better this film plays.

Unless you’re still frozen from the latest polar vortex, the fun factor here is just the thing to melt the butter in your popcorn. It reaches that high bar that’s been missing from recent family-oriented and Pixar releases and The Lego Movie does for Legos what Wreck-It Ralph and Toy Story 2 did with the world video games and toys respectably, by reinforcing that bridge between all the generations of users through the decades. In other words, kids and adults are going to be glad they see this film.

New ‘Game of Thrones’ Blind-Box Toys Coming in February

Game of Thrones

In just of few months, Game of Thrones will return to HBO for its fourth season. With Toy Fair around the corner, we’ve been anxious to see what new branded merchandise will come out of the series for 2014.

New in 2014 will be a set of Blind Box Game of Thrones minis from Funko. The figures will include Ned Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, Robb Stark, Khal Drogo, Drogon, Viserion, Rhaegal, Jaime Lannister, Joffrey Baratheon, The King Whitewalker, Ghost and Shaggydog.

With blind box toys, you always hope for three things:

1 – As few dupes as possible
2 – To only unbox personal favorites
3 – To never get the despised characters

I know what you’re thinking already.

Please don’t let me get a Joffrey toy.

I know the feeling. But you have to have a villain, right? Personally, I would just prefer Jaime, Cersei or Tywin Lannister to Joffrey. Even the King Whitewalker would be cool as we head into Season 4. Let’s just hope the probability of pulling Joffrey is low because I may rip his head off. I just don’t like the guy. Of course, my favorite picks would be: Jon Snow, Ned Stark, Daenerys, Tyrion and Arya, followed by Ghost and Shaggydog.

While collectable busts, minis and vinyl POP toys are cool, we’re still holding out for action figures that have at least 10-points of articulation. Come on. Wouldn’t you want to re-enact the red wedding, a Jon Snow scene north of The Wall or any number of Daenerys Targaryen “Mother of Dragons” moments?

The new minis are on pre-sale on now, but will be available on February 15th.

Doctor Doom’s Triple Threat in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (Video)

Let the self-referential humor begin. If you’re a fan of the Lego franchise, and especially Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes, then you know how fun TT Games’ Lego humor can be when mocking your favorite super heroes and villains.

The latest trailer for Lego Marvel Super Heroes has a lot of that Big Bang Theory and Community style comedy in it. Doctor Doom has assembled a league of devilishly bad, bad guys so that he can collect cosmic bricks… Yeah, it’s the Lego version of the cosmic cube from the Captain America and Avengers movies. Doctor Doom is also creating – get this – Doctor Doom’s Doomray of Doom. How’s that for redundancy and alliteration. Who said super villains don’t like to read? There are also jokes about Wolverine’s hygiene. Ouch.

Check out the trailer above. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes hits all consoles this Fall.

Mezco brings home Vintage Cheetara & Snarf Thundercats in Delightful Nether Pose

Here’s another reason to wish the newest Thundercats cartoon didn’t get cancelled by Cartoon Network.

Mezco is releasing a classic 14″ Cheetara and Snarf 2-pack this summer. It’s the G1 style, but it’s just a sad reminder of the unfortunate and untimely demise of the new series.

You have to love this stylish Cheetara pose. She’s got 10-points of articulation, but what really does it for me is how they positioned Snarf in this marketing photo. He looks so timid standing below Cheetara’s nether regions.

This will be released as a Mezco summer exclusive so potentially Mezco will make only 1500 made like the company’s Walter White exclusive from Breaking Bad.

However, the site doesn’t actually mention a number. Chances are if the demand is high enough, Mezco will re-release this one similar to its other large-scale Thundercats figures.

Breaking Bad Collectable Walter White Hazmat Digs in Pollos Hermanos Packaging

What better way to watch the final season of Breaking Bad than with a collectable Walter White toy?

This summer, Mezco is releasing a deluxe Walter White figure, complete with portable meth containers. He’s dressed in his yellow Hazmat outfit and even has a fly swatter (scale size) and removable glasses.

These things may not be much to the average toy shopper, but to us Breaking Bad aficionado this is collector gold.

The case also comes with a Pollos Hermanos slipcover to make it extra glass case worthy. Be warned, Mezco is only releasing 1,500 of these exclusives. Although they ship after Comic Con (end of July), they are on sale now. So, you’ll have to break bad early if you want to hold the coveted fly swatter.

EDITOR’S PICK: The Breaking Bad Series Finale is the Most Anticipated of the Year

The final season of Breaking Bad will debut August 11 on AMC.

The Force is Strong in NYC, LEGO Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter Takes Over Times Square

Remember Zack the Lego Maniac? It was a commercial about a kid who created the wildest toys out of Lego building blocks. Well, Zack’s all grown up and doing big things.

Well, not really Zack (since he’s allegedly just a fictional person created by evil 80s advertisers who like to play tricks on children), but Lego’s build Masters designed the biggest Lego toy the world has ever seen.

The Lego Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter debuted in Times Square, NYC. It was a 1:1 replica of an ACTUAL Star Wars X-Wing (you know from that alternate reality we all live in when we curse George Lucas’ name for ruining the franchise he created).

The Lego model had a 44-feet wingspan, standing at 11-feet tall and 43-feet long.

Pretty awesome indeed. Now, if Lego can get it to actually work and fly me to the Dagobah System, I’ll be the first person to bid that “ish” up if it goes on the auction block.