Lego is one of the most famous toys in the world, thanks to its ability to drive creativity and spark the imagination of children and adults, worldwide. They can be used to build almost anything, although the vast majority of people will keep their creations relatively simple or even use the provided instructions to construct something that was designed by the Lego Company themselves.
However, the very best Lego designs are those that people create from the ground up and that test their ability to plan a project and see it through until the end. This article looks at the 13 craziest Lego models ever built, from people who didn’t just want to recreate what they saw on the box that their bricks came in.
13 Airbus A380
The double-deck Airbus A380 is the world’s biggest passenger airliner, so it is fitting that arguably the largest Lego airplane was created to be a replica of the real-life aircraft. The model was built at a 1:25 scale, using 75,000 individual pieces over a period of 600 hours, and weighs an impressive 220 pounds. While it is nowhere near the size of an actual plane, it still boasts a 10.5-foot wingspan and stands at 3.5-foot tall, making it bigger a full-grown adult.
12 Allianz Arena
In 2005, Legoland workers created a 1:50 scale versions of the Allianz Arena. The real-life stadium is the current home of German soccer team, Bayern Munich, but the Lego version was actually completed before its full-sized counterpart. The finished project took the team more than five months to complete and it uses more than 400,000 bricks, including specially made translucent pieces to recreate the special lighting the stadium features. The 3-foot tall Lego replica also holds around 30,000 figurines and two opposing sets of players.
11 Kennedy Space Center
Building a space center is no small feat in reality, and from the looks of it, the same is true with Lego. This replica of the NASA launch site in Merritt Island, Florida took its maker more than 2,500 hours to build and it takes up a total of 1,506 square feet of space. Altogether more than 750,000 bricks were used and the model includes properly scaled versions of the Saturn rockets, various buildings and even a 6-foot Space Shuttle.
10 Volvo XC90 Car
As part of an agreement between Volvo and Legoland to promote driver safety and awareness, a full-sized replica of a Volvo car was built in 2004. Although it featured genuine tires to help support the model, everything else, including license plate, logos and windscreen, was created using individual pieces. While it is unknown how long the build time was for the car, it was made up of 201,076 Lego bricks and weighs 2,934 pounds, making it as heavy as some actual cars.
9 Polar Bear
Sean Kenney, a professional Lego builder who creates sculptures around the world, built the polar bear in 2010, for an exhibition at The Philadelphia Zoo. Made to the dimensions of a living polar bear, the sculpture took Sean and his 5 assistants 2 months of work and 1100 total hours to put together the 95,000 bricks. Sean explained that it took two days just to work on and perfect the facial expression of the bear, as it was difficult to create one that did not look too much like a cartoon using the Lego pieces.
8 USS Harry S. Truman
The scale model of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman was created in 2006 by a German Lego fan called Malle Hawking. The ship, which has also been tested in water, was built with 200,000 bricks and measures 16 –feet long and almost 4-feet tall, with a weight of roughly 350 pounds. The ship itself took more than a year to build and features electronic lights on the flight deck and the hangar, movable elevators and radar dishes, and even a motorized catapult. As an added bonus, Hawking also built a submarine and a gunship to accompany the aircraft carrier.
7 Future Japan
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Lego in Japan, the company sponsored a project in 2012 called “Build Up Japan”. It challenged children across the country to create buildings that they think would fit in with a futuristic themed Japanese city. With no other restrictions placed on them, over 5,000 children contributed with their own buildings over the course of two months. The individual creations were then transported to Tokyo and assembled together to create a vast landscape. All in all, the futuristic city contained more than 1.8 million bricks.
6 Giant Advent Calendar
Duncan Titmarsh, the UK’s only certified Lego technician, built this giant advent calendar in 2012, for display in the London district of Covent Garden. It took seven weeks of full time work to finish it, and is made up of over 600,000 separate pieces. Each door was programmed to open automatically one at a time throughout December, to reveal a large Christmas themed 3D Lego figure such as an elf or Santa Claus. The structure measured roughly 16-feet wide and 10-feet high,
Chris Phipson and Mark Kelso set about working on a hugely ambitious build in 2010, when they attempted to recreate the entirety of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The whole project took a year of planning and building but the finished product was a detailed recreation of many of the famous locations from The Lord of the Rings, including Mount Doom, Rivendell, Minas Tirith, Helms Deep and Isengard. In total, the collection of models took up more than 200 square feet of space when displayed at Brickworld 2011. The models even include figurines of the orc armies, the Fellowship and Ringwraiths.
James May, of Top Gear fame, set about building a house made entirely out of Lego in 2009. Construction officially began on the 1st of August and continued until the 17th of September, with more than 1000 people helping to build it. Once complete, the two-floor house stood at 20-feet tall and had fully working taps, sink and toilet, all made out of Lego. May even slept in the building overnight to prove that it could be used as a real home. In total, the project used more than 3 million bricks and remained standing for several weeks before it was dismantled and the bricks donated to charity.
3 Map of Europe
In 2009, a group of Lego fans who met at a Lego Fan Weekend teamed up to create an accurate map of Europe entirely out of Lego. The project took the five enthusiasts 6 months to finish and just over 53,500 pieces (for the structure) to make up the 12 square foot map. Around the map are places of interest, there are also important buildings and monuments replicated in small-scale models. These include the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon and Edinburgh Castle, along with various others from cities around the map.
2 V-8 Engine
This V8 engine is not just a model of what an engine might look like if it were made out of Legos, it is a fully working replica that includes all the necessary moving parts that make an engine run. Rather than gasoline, the engine runs on air but it still manages to reach an impressive 1,500 rpm when pushed to its maximum setting. It was built by Barry Bosman and includes exactly 2,862 bricks and separate pieces. Working on it every day for an hour at a time, Bosman was able to complete the model in around 300 days.
1 X-Wing Starfighter
The life size X-Wing Starfighter built in 2013, is the largest Lego model ever built. Revealed at Times Square in New York, the replica spaceship is the most ambitious Lego creation that the official Lego Master Builders have ever worked on. The model clocks in with a total of 5,335,200 bricks and weighs 45,980 pounds, meaning it needs a super strong skeleton to ensure it does not collapse. With a total build time of 17,336 man-hours, a wingspan of 44-feet and a replica of R2-D2, the X-Wing is arguably the craziest thing anyone has ever made with Lego.