It's estimated that for every person on the planet, there are 87 pieces of Lego in circulation. Since its humble beginnings in Denmark back in the 1940s, the construction toy has gone on to become a favorite pastime for creative types of all ages — and last year's blockbuster release of The Lego Movie has prompted more people than ever to snap a few bricks together and see what they can come up with.
There have been two crucial factors to Lego's resurgence in recent years: a move to produce kits based on popular characters and brands, and the company's willingness to look at their most creative consumers for new ideas. The former began with a hugely popular line of Star Wars models, and has since branched out to popular franchises like Marvel Superheroes, Jurassic Park and The Simpsons.
The latter, meanwhile, has prompted the rise of a program called Lego Ideas, a space where creative fans can submit their own ideas for kits that have a chance to become official Lego releases. An early success story from the scheme came as a match made in construction heaven when Lego met Minecraft. Since then, video game inspired Lego projects have become all the more popular — here are a few of the very best.
The Legend of Zelda's Hylian Shield
Here's an item any Nintendo fan would be keen to call their own - an impressively accurate rendition of the Hylian Shield for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The curved, irregular shape of the shield make it a difficult object to recreate in Lego form, but a selection of complex building methods and some unusual pieces ensure that it makes the transition quite nicely.
This is one of many projects currently gathering support via Lego Ideas, which has previously resulted in commercial releases for fan-designed kits like the DeLorean from Back to the Future and the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters. When a kit receives 10,000 votes on the service, Lego will consider making it a reality — which may depend on a deal being worked out with the IP owner.
This particular project stands out for how interesting the build is. Pieces connect in some wholly original ways to replicate the iconic shield design, and putting that together looks to be a very intricate, but satisfying process. The addition of a handy stand made from Lego Technic pieces is an excellent addition, too. You can support this project by visiting its Lego Ideas page.
Classic Sega Arcade Machines
Those who remember the bygone age of the arcades, these miniaturized renditions of some of Sega's biggest hits from that era might well want to check these out. While the stickers help quite a bit, it's very impressive to see just how much detail its creator, SpacySmoke, has managed to pack into these tiny models.
Everyone will have their own favorite from the three machines on offer — Space Harrier, OutRun and Thunder Blade for the uninitiated — but the trio are all packed with some ingenious detail. For example, the driver's seat for OutRun is beautifully realized for its small scale, and the use of a revolver as a joystick in Space Harrier works perfectly.
These Sega Arcade Machines are currently in the running for a retail release thanks to Lego Ideas. The proposed set would also feature male and female arcade-going minifigures, as well a special Lego version of legendary game designer Yu Suzuki. Its project page can be found here.
Building a model of one character or object is enough of a project for many novice builders — but Flickr user Ochre_Jelly really went above and beyond with his extensive diorama based on the groundbreaking 1993 FPS Doom. He's pieced together locations filled with all the hellish action one would expect from the series, with his Doom fandom shining through just as brightly as his construction skill.
From Imps to Cacodemons, even down to some beautifully realized Lego recreations of the game's sprite-based environments, the whole project is dripping with nostalgia for the classic game. Rather than use minifigure-scale characters, everything is built from scratch, which makes for some very accurate representations as well as interesting builds. Few would take on such a large scale build as this — and even fewer would be able to pack it with as much detail.
You can view the entire Doom diorama, as well as plenty of other pop culture Lego projects, by going to Ochre_Jelly's profile page on Flickr.
GLaDOS' Lair from Portal
Since her first appearance as the big bad of the first Portal game, sentient operating system GLaDOS has become one of most compelling villains of recent years. Excellent writing and voice acting helped make GLaDOS so memorable, but the character's unusual design also played a big part — and it's been translated into Lego quite brilliantly in this project.
The charming renditions of Chell, the Portal gun and some of its handiwork on a nearby wall are all nicely done, but GLaDOS is clearly the main draw here. Unusual Lego Technic pieces and long-forgotten minifigure accessories all come together to give the model its correct technological menace, and it's easy to see why any Portal fan would love to have this kit sitting on their desk.
Like the Hylian Shield and the Sega Arcade Machines, this project is currently running a campaign on Lego Ideas. Lego staff have already made an official comment praising the design, so with a bit more support it could well become a reality.
For many Lego fans, microbuilds are the biggest test of building ability and outright ingenuity. Using small, fiddly parts to create a tiny model can be a real test of skill — but the results are often very special. Thankfully, some of the best builders around the world like to share the steps to building their creations via the internet, and that's the case with this miniature version of the iconic Nintendo Entertainment System.
Free from any official branding for reasons of scale as well as legality, this model designed by PowerPig nevertheless nails everything about the console. It's amazing how much detail is packed into such a small build — the cartridges can even be inserted into the NES via the functional door in the front of the machine.
You can buy a complete miniature NES kit straight from its creator via his online store — or, if you already have the 220 pieces required, you can simply download his instructions and make it yourself.
Have you seen a spectacular video game inspired project that we've missed? Every built your own Lego creation based on a video game? Let us know about it in the comments section below!