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Is this the greatest Lego Mindstorm machine ever?

Forget about Rube Goldberg machines and that dusty Mouse Trap board game. The Lego "Great Ball Contraption" makes you a believer in bricks, baby.

Just one of the many stages of akiyuky's massive Lego Mindstorm creation. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Few of our past Lego stories compare to this elaborate device, which sends hundreds of small toy balls through a series of 17 challenging Lego Mindstorm contraptions including zigzag stairs, spiral lifts, and even a basket shooter.

The mesmerizing machine took a 21-year-old Japanese brick artist nicknamed "akiyuky" more than 600 hours to build and stretches beyond imagination at 4.9 feet by 21.3 feet. While we could spend several paragraphs describing the many intricacies of this doodad, the embedded seven-minute video below shows in better detail than we could tell the full 101.7-foot path each ball travels through.

When the ball reaches the end, after travelling through screws, lifts, elevators, conveyors, and so forth, the journey begins again.

Those seeking more information on this complex Lego ball contraption can peek at more closeup pictures and details (in Japanese) of the individual modules on akiyuky's blog, with additional footage available on akiyuky's brick-filled YouTube channel.

(Via HardOCP)