Construction Toys News

News: How to Make Tinfoil Cars

In this video, I show you how to build tinfoil cars for crushing with toy Monster Trucks. My son Eston and I love monster trucks. One of the most exciting things when you go to see monster trucks live, is when they crush cars. Problem is, when you use your hot wheels or matchbox cars with your monster trucks, they don’t get smashed. So the realism isn’t there.

News: This LEGO Mindstorms Submersible Can Be Piloted by Your Xbox Controller

Making little robots with a LEGO Mindstorms NXT set is already cool, but putting one underwater? Now that's just crazy. That didn't stop this engineer, who built a LEGO submarine that can not only maneuver around his fish tank, but can also be remotely controlled with his Xbox controller. The craft has a sealed battery compartment, exposed Power Functions motors, and features real-time communication between it and a laptop using a NXTbee wireless module.

News: NASA's Curiosity Just Got Bricked! Working LEGO Mars Rover Ready for Exploration

Using a LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit, a pair of awesome engineers put together this fully functional replica of the Curiosity Mars rover. Not only is it built completely out of LEGOs, it's motorized, programmable, and ready to explore the far reaches of your living room. The rover was built for the Build the Future in Space event at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Four of the six wheels are powered, allowing it to make 360 degree turns, and the arm and mast are both fully controllable. The entire con...

News: Full-Sized Mechanical Skeeball Machine Built Entirely Out of K'Nex—And It Works!

If you played with K'Nex as a kid (or still do), you know that it can take a lot of those tiny little pieces to build something. Just imagine how many it must have taken to make this full-sized, fully functional, coin-operated skeeball machine with a mechanical score counter. Instructables user Shadowman39 (aka Kyle) spent an entire year building this masterpiece. It's the same size as the ones you see in arcades, and it's coin operated, too. But don't try to feed it your pennies, it knows th...

News: Flying Pegasus Operated with LEGO Gears & Cranks

Korean MOC Pages user Kyoung-bae Na, aka edulyoung, constructed this beautiful LEGO automaton of a winged Pegasus. Maneuvered with a series of mechanical LEGO gears and cranks, watch below as Pegasus "hovers", flapping her wings. Kyoung-bae Na sells his creations out of his e-shop, Studio Amida. The Pegasus automaton was previously going for $140, but is no longer listed; however, there is a clownfish currently available for the lower price of $33.50. The models are so fantastic—it makes one ...

News: 4 Years of Spectacularly Pointless Marble Machines

So very pointless, yet unquestionably spectacular. The best kind of "art" performs no other function than to delight the viewer, and Japanese YouTube user Denha's complex marble machines do just that. But are marble machines art? You can call them that—or toys, scientific contraptions, engineering feats—but however you choose to label them, the best marble machines are complicated, skillfully crafted, and driven by the principles of potential energy, kinetic energy and gravity.

News: Haunted House in Rotting LEGO

Mike Doyle's latest LEGO house (perhaps even more hauntingly beautiful than the last) is a Victorian mansion that transcends the material so effectively, the plastic reads like real rotting bricks and mortar. Beautiful house-devouring trees, created with LEGO hinge cylinders to mimic the texture of tree bark, and ridged 3 mm hose, droid arms and other technic connectors for the creepy, spindly branches.

News: Functional LEGO Snow-Eating Beast

The Stilzkin Indrik is a mighty, mini LEGO Russian crawler, capable of lugging heavy loads over snowy terrain: "It has a large contact surface, which prevents it from sinking into the snow. It offers great traction on almost any surface, and loads of torque to get out of tight spots."

News: Apple Engineer Builds Fully-Functional Ancient Computer With LEGOs

Apple software engineer Andrew Carol built a fully-functional replica of the Antikythera Mechanism, the world's oldest known scientific computer. The 2000-year-old analog device was used by the ancient Greeks to predict the year, date, and time of future solar and lunar eclipses accurately to within two hours. Carol put together the 110 gears (made with 1,500 LEGO Technic parts) in just 30 days. See how it works below. For more information, check out Fast Company's interview with Carol.

News: Dissecting a Frog With LEGOs

You can almost feel the pain of Dave Kaleta’s outstretched, dissected frog (which is pretty incredible, considering it was constructed with those tiny, plastic bricks we call LEGOs). Kaleta's work of LEGO art was built for the MOCPages MOC Olympics.

News: Man Spends 2 Years & 30,000 LEGOs Building Star Wars Ship

Paul Yperman’s Droid Control Ship has been two years in the making, and required a whopping 30,000 LEGO bricks to build. Says Brothers Brick,  "Paul’s build differs in the surface textures of the model. He uses tiles and greebling elements in shades of gray to add realistic-looking details, which really enhances the appearance of this amazing creation."

News: Hobbyist Builds World's Tiniest Engines

Jim Moyer builds tiny engines, with as much attention to detail and craftsmanship as some of our other favorite hobbyists (check out obsessive model airplanes and teeny tiny weapons). The engine demonstrated in the first video below is supposedly the smallest V-8 engine in the world, a 1/6 scale model of the 327 cubic inch motor in a 1964 Chevrolet Corvette. More images and info at Jim's site. Previously, Obsessively Authentic LEGO V-8.

Star Wars LEGO-gasm: 4' 6" Rebel Frigate

As Gizmodo says, "4 feet 6 inches of brickgasm". Star Wars-gasm. LEGO-gasm. Perfect combination. "The Lego version of the classic Nebulon-B Class rebel frigate Redemption is 4 feet and 6 inches long. That's 172 studs long, and I'm not talking about The Hoff. It's big enough to dock one mini-Millennium Falcon and three X-Wings."

News: Motoman, the LEGO Loving Bot

Motoman the Robot uses a 3D vision system to assemble LEGOs. "Motoman’s high resolution color cameras and object recognition make picking out and connecting LEGO pieces easy...he’s able to get the pieces with one hand while assembling the LEGOs with the other. "

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