15 epic Lego creations that will blow your mind (pictures)

The Lego community has done some absolutely jaw-dropping things with the world's favourite modular toy.

Michelle Starr
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
1 of 15 Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

Lego cyborg arm

Here, professor Farnsworth's Fing-Longer is nothing compared with Dave "Diavo" Voltaggio's functional robotic Lego arm. It mixes a combination of Lego, Lego Technic and Mindstorms and fits over his own right arm, with a series of four buttons where he slots his hand. Each of these buttons is connected to a motor that controls one of the three fingers or the thumb.

2 of 15 Legoland

Lego Death Star

Of course any creations at Legoland are going to be of the epic variety, but this Lego Death Star is pretty amazing. Making any spherical shape out of oblong bricks is an achievement, and Darth Vader's weapon and base is made of over 500,000 Lego bricks, weighing in at 862 kilograms (1,900lb) and measuring 3.9 metres high by 2.4 metres wide (13 feet by eight feet). It had to be hoisted in place at the California theme park with a forklift. You can see more pictures here.

3 of 15 Adam Chin/CNET

Lego Freedom Fighters

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is no stranger to incarceration. Over the years, the outspoken political activist has been arrested, jailed without charge for nearly three months and, since 2011, has been forbidden from leaving China. Although he can't leave, however, his art can. Last year, he exhibited a collection of Lego works on Alcatraz, the site of the infamous prison. One of the works was a collection of mosaic Lego portraits, made up of over 1.2 million bricks in all -- 176 people who have been silenced, imprisoned or exiled for speaking out against injustice.

4 of 15 Carl Merriam

Lego Microscope

Of all the extraordinary things about this Lego microscope, the most extraordinary is that it actually works -- and it's made entirely out of Lego, optics and all. To achieve this remarkable feat, creator Carl Merriam used actual Lego magnifying glasses, with silver Lego swords holding the slides in place, and a Lego LED Power Functions Light for a light source. It's an amazingly clever and inventive bit of Lego design.

5 of 15 Lego

World's tallest Lego tower

The world record for the tallest Lego tower gets broken all the time. It was broken three times in 2012, then again in 2013, and most recently in May of 2014 in Budapest, Hungary. Coming in at around 450,000 bricks and standing 34.76 metres (114 feet) tall, the tower had to be finished with a cherry-picker.

6 of 15 Mike Doyle

Lego alien city

We've seen Lego creators build many spectacular constructions inspired by other things, but Mike Doyle's alien world of Odan is something else again. Not only has he built an incredible fantastic city -- the city of K'al Yne -- from his imagination, using 200,000 pieces over around 600 hours -- he has also created an entire back-story for his world.

7 of 15 Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

Lego Rubik's Cube robot

The CubeStormer robots have been around for a while now, solving Rubik's Cubes in ever decreasing record times, using a smartphone app to analyse the colours on the toy. The most recent CubeStormer -- CubeStormer 3, the third iteration of the robot created by Mike Dobson and David Gilday -- managed to completely solve a Rubik's Cube in a breathtaking 3.253 seconds in March of last year. You can watch it here.

8 of 15 JK Brickworks

Lego Orrery

This one clocks in at under than 500 pieces, but boy howdy does it make use of them. It's the latest creation of Mad Lego Creator (title given by us) Jason Alleman, and it's a working model of the sun, the Earth, and moon, and their spins and orbits. It's not to scale, but the orbits and rotations are close to 100 percent accurate. That's incredible! You can download instructions to make your own here.

Also don't forget to check out Alleman's working Lego particle accelerator, working Lego mechanical keyboard and working Lego combination safe.

9 of 15 Goel Kim

Lego Helm's Deep

One of the most epic battles in "The Lord of the Rings" was the Battle of the Hornburg, where the Rohirim defended the fortress at Helm's Deep against over 10,000 of Saruman's forces. This Lego model doesn't have quite that many battle participants, clocking in at 150,000 pieces and around 2,000 minifigs, but it's still a massive achievement, taking two builders six months to build, with 18 months preparing beforehand. You can check out pics of the jaw-dropping finished build here.

10 of 15 © Alice Finch

Lego Hogwarts

Mother-of-two Alice Finch actually rediscovered her love of Lego while playing with her young son. And her massive, 400,000-piece Lego Hogwarts, which took six months to build, was just the first of many huge Lego designs. She has since gone on to design and build this gloriously intricate Rivendell, a Lego Quidditch pitch, a playable Hobbiton, a model of the Notre Dame cathedral, and the Isle of Berk from "How to Train Your Dragon," a collaboration with her son Thorin.

11 of 15 Josh Rowe/Super Awesome Micro Project

Working Lego hot rod

Romanian Lego genius built this working Lego car from over 50,000 pieces over a period of 20 months. Even the engine is made of Lego, consisting of four orbital engines made up of 256 pistons running on compressed air. It doesn't go very fast, around 20-27 kilometres per hour (12-17 mph), but the fact that it goes at all blows our minds. You can read more about it here.

12 of 15 Matstermind

Working Lego 3D printer

Engineering graduate Matstermind, as he is known on Instructables, has been hunting for some time for a way to make a low-cost 3D printer. One of his efforts was the LEGObot, a 3D printer made almost entirely out of Lego bricks, running on NXT components. It prints with hot glue instead of filament, so it's not very practical, but it's a lot of fun to get up and running.

13 of 15 © Paul Hetherington

Lego Joker's Funhouse

Paul Hetherington's Lego model of the Joker's base isn't the biggest creation we've ever seen, but he's packed a lot into 30,000 pieces. Based on the Funhouses of the Batman video games (and Australia's Luna Park apparently), it's built across three levels, and is rigged up with Lego Power Functions motors and Technic gears for a bunch of moving parts and Bat-traps. It's insanely detailed, which is appropriate really. Read more and watch a video of it in action here, and visit his Flickr page for more Lego creations.

14 of 15 Lego

Working Lego guitar

For the launch of its third generation of Mindstorms programmable robotics components, EV3, Lego contracted community members to build cool creations to show it off. One of these is this working electric guitar that has a particularly Lego-esque sound all of its own. You can watch a video of it in action here and download instructions for how to make your own here.

15 of 15 Rolls-Royce

Lego jet engine

This would absolutely melt if applied to a real jet, so don't go doing that, but this jet engine model built by Rolls-Royce clocks in at 152,455 bricks and comes in at half the size of the Trent 1000 that powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. While it couldn't actually fly, it does consist of moving parts, moving just like a real jet engine. You can see a video of it in action here.

Want more epic Lego masterpieces? Check out our earlier gallery here.

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