This page is an aggregate page for various select articles and editorials about me and my creations! If you’d like to do an interview or feature my stuff on your website or print publication, please feel free to contact me, and I’ll also certainly provide any high-res images required.
October 19, 2018 – If you want to learn all about my creative process and how I got into the whimsical world of building custom LEGO models, check out this month’s issue of BrickJournal magazine and read my interview! October is a special video game edition, so naturally my popular electronic Nintendo sprite lamps are prominently featured.
Below is an entire transcription of the interview, which covers my background as an artist, as well as to the technical information on my models:
If you want to see an assortment of video game themed models, a good place to start is the website Baronvonbrunk.com. “Baron” Julius von Brunk is an artist residing in New York who has been building video game inspired models for more than a few years, with some of his models published in Nintendo Power magazine in 2012. Here, he talks to BrickJournal about his builds.
BrickJournal: What do you do outside of building?
Baron von Brunk: Aside from assembling custom LEGO models, I’m also an independent photographer and aspiring animator. I do in fact make some animations with my LEGO pieces, and hopefully some day I’ll launch some short films of my stop-motion animation. Sometimes I incorporate my various artistic hobbies together, such as using my photography along with my graphic arts for print designs.
Career-wise, I’m a professional graphic artist in New York City, and currently I design images and graphic assets for Goldman Sachs in Manhattan’s Financial District. On a daily basis, I typically develop PowerPoint presentations, including creating covers/section dividers in Photoshop. I also use Illustrator and other vector imaging programs to generate maps for investment bankers. Prior to this job, I’ve worked as a designer in a variety of fields — including consumer electronics, fashion, and even major league sports. I started off many years ago by designing packages and labels for third-party electronic devices, and I’ve sort of bounced around between industries whilst expanding my portfolio. I’m actually completely self-taught, and never attended college. My career path has been very long and troublesome, but the way I like to describe it, I took the “scenic route” to get where I am!
BJ: How old are you?
BVB: 33 years old, and I’ll be 34 in October.
BJ: When did you start LEGO building?
BVB: “LEGO” was actually the first word I learned how to spell as a kid — even before my own name! I received Duplo sets at an early age, then around age 3 in the 1980s my parents bought me numerous LEGO sets for Christmas and my birthdays. I’ve consistently been a fan of this toy line since childhood, and even photographed some of my custom creations way back in the 1990s using old film cameras. This passion of mine predated social media by about a decade!
BJ: Did you have a Dark Age? If so, what got you out of it?
BVB: Oh, I definitely had a dark age! Although this is a hobby I’ve liked for most of my life, there was a small moment in my life when I “paused” my fascination with LEGO. I’d say this was during the early-to-mid 2000s, when I was in my late teens. This wasn’t because I grew out of it, but rather because at the time, the dominant models/themes in the 2000s-era LEGO System didn’t fascinate me like in previous years. I personally never liked Bionicle, I was never a fan of Harry Potter, I could never get into Spider-Man comics/movies, and I always despised Spongebob Squarepants. In addition, I could never really get into the Star Wars prequels as much as the originals. With the lack of selection of sets I wanted to buy, I instead focused on occasionally building creations with my preexisting pieces. Also around this time, I didn’t have a job (due to my age and my high school schedule), and the little bit of money I did have I’d use on other things like video games and food.
I got back into purchasing new sets around 2005 or 2006, when the then-new medieval themes were released, along with the Vikings series. This reignited my fascination with LEGO, and I soon focused on creating models and vignettes with medieval themes. At this point I was in my early 20s, and working at various jobs which gave me more disposable income. I’d say 2007 was my definite “LEGO Renaissance”, where my love of LEGO was reborn completely, to the point where it became the dominant creative force in my life, completely reshaping my artistic hobbies and creativity.
BJ: What are your favorite themes?
BVB: For me, the best themes are the late-’80s/early-’90s Space or Castle. Although I played with any LEGO theme since I was young, I was always fascinated the most by spaceships and castles. I’ve had a soft spot for the classic Futurons, M:Tron, Blacktron, and Ice Planet — as well as Black Falcons, Forestmen, Dragon Masters, and Crusaders. To show this, I have two LEGO
BJ: What inspired you to start building video game inspired models?
BVB: With video game themes, I always wanted to create models like these since I was young, but at the time I was too unskilled. As a child, I would often get inspired by Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. Probably back when I was 11, I wanted to create a large replica of Dr. Robotnik’s Death Egg, but alas, lacked necessary pieces and skill level. Flash forward to around 2011, after I’ve been living in New York for about a year: I wanted to stake a claim in the geeky/nerd fandom universe by creating some memorable and monumental LEGO creations based on video games. In late 2011, I began production for my massive “Fireflower Airship” — a large replica of an airship level from Super Mario Bros. 3. Around this time, I also worked on creating the first two transforming Nintendo accessories, Domaster and Plasmashock — Game Boy and Zapper, respectively. With the positive feedback from these aforementioned models, I would go on to create many others, which eventually led Nintendo of America to contact me to create a sculpture for their flagship store in 2013.
BJ: What led you to building the transforming game consoles?
BVB: An early inspiration for the transforming game consoles came about from seeing the crossover Marvel/Transformer figures from the 2000s. There was a line of toys that featured superheroes and Star Wars characters transforming into vehicles, such as Darth Vader transforming into a TIE Fighter. This inspired me to create models of Mario and Luigi transforming into a Zapper and a Game Boy. In the early Mario games, Fire Flower Mario was dressed in red and white, and in my early concepts, I planned on making the grey and orange Zapper transform into a red and white Mario, whereas the green and grey Game Boy would transform into Fire Flower Luigi. This proved dubious for two major reasons: the first is that due to space limitations, it would be physically impossible to have the robot modes resemble Mario or Luigi with such detail. The other reason of course is that the Game Boy robot ended up looking short and stocky, with the Zapper being tall and narrow — which would be exact opposite body types of Mario and Luigi! Eventually I just kept the Game Boy and Zapper to be original robots akin to traditional Transformer designs, and then maintained this ascetic theme for subsequent models.
BJ: And what got you into electronic lit models?
BVB: With the electronic models, this started as a byproduct of my Fireflower Airship from early 2012. When I first began construction of the ship in late 2011, I decided to “dazzle” the project by installing lights to give it something special, aside from just being a huge replica. My original plan was to make the back of the ship glow with an illuminated sprite of a Fire Flower, and then to install a sound system to play the Super Mario Bros. 3 airship music on a constant loop. This was because I planned on showcasing the ship at art galleries and conventions, and the idea of a sound system with lights would make the whole ship more interesting to people who’d potentially come to see it at the shows. Sadly, due to stability issues (making it difficult to move without breaking), I never showcased the airship at any shows, and because of this, I scrapped the sound system idea at the last minute. As for the lights, however, I succeeded in installing a very crude light and battery system to output illumination for the rear of the ship. This was prior to when I had any real electrical skills, so my crude circuit barely worked, and the light output was rather dull.
Meanwhile, during downtime of the airship’s construction, I made several Mario-themed models to accompany the ship at potential public art shows. One of the Mario-themed creations was a mosaic sprite lamp, using the same sort of techniques as the glowing Fire Flower sprite from the back of the ship, but to be illuminated via a lamp cord that I could plug into a wall. The design scheme for this lamp contained a cube shape with ? block sprites. The mosaic concept was made entirely with transparent LEGO bricks, thus making the illuminated version resemble a Tiffany Lamp or a stained-glass window. Although the lamps looked cool when glowing, unfortunately the transparent LEGO bricks appeared dull and discolored when the lights were off. This led me to create a new concept of inserting transparent LEGO tiles and plates into Technic bricks, so that when turned off, the lamps would still have their colors visible and vibrant. This new concept was developed by me later in 2013, and I soon created several new illuminated projects based on this “bedazzled” concept. The final designs were reminiscent of the old toy called “Lite Brite”, which allowed people to create glowing mosaic patterns using a dot matrix grid.
Some of my more sophisticated and elaborate electronic creations came about as a result of always trying to outdo myself. For instance, after making projects which lit up, my next logical step would be to make projects that also play sounds in addition to lighting up. With that said, throughout the summer of 2014, I worked tirelessly to learn Arduino and program microchips to allow my LEGO projects to simultaneously glow and play music. Since 2015, I haven’t made too many electronic creations, and instead went into honing my photography skills and eventually getting better with stop-motion animation. I plan on making more electronic LEGO models in the future, but as of lately I’ve mainly focused all of my time and effort into animations.
March 9th, 2018 – My microscale version of the 6990-1 “Monorail Transport System” has been featured on some blogs, notably Brothers Brick!
“While the monorail system is increasingly expensive to buy on the secondary market, Julius von Brunk has created a microscale version that is both easier on the wallet and adorable. The introduction of curved tiles has made this type of build cleaner and perhaps a little easier, but there’s a lot to admire in this instantly recognisable mini version.”
“This amazing creation is the work of Julius von Brunk, a Lego enthusiast with a major geek streak. He calls this particular creation Mecha Mouse. His aim was to create a highly-poseable build that melded Mickey’s trademark yellow shoes and red shorts with a take-no-prisoners mech… and boy, did he nail it!”
January 22nd, 2017 – Jolly good thanks to my mates in the U.K. for publishing my Wonderland Ace of Spades Card Warrior in the December issue of Blocks Magazine!
January 25th, 2016 – For all of my friends in Deutschland, be sure to check out this new feature of my Nintendo-themed LEGO creations in the German website spieletipps!
They really love me over there — I’m like David Hasselhoff. Although, ironically they’ve spelt my name wrong in the article. Oh well. it’s still kind of a big deal.
January 19th, 2015 – Exciting news, Brunkamaniacs! You’ll never guess who did a feature on my electronic LEGO Super Mario Power-ups. . . Atmel, the electronics company who develops the microchips I used in these very power-ups as well as my DL-44 Blaster!
“To build the electronic DL-44 blaster, von Brunk used the Lego Digital Designer program and more than 400 Lego pieces, including a functional trigger that sets off the blaster’s lights and sounds. The electronic light and sound functions are made possible thanks to an Arduino Uno board, and the finished product is sure to ward off bounty hunters and Hutts alike.”
August 2nd, 2014 – Here’s an interesting article I seemed to have overlooked — the wonderful folks at TheDailyCrate did a huge feature on my popular LEGOformers!
“It’s clear that von Brunk has a lot of respect and admiration for old school, retro Nintendo, as is evident from his work. Somehow, he was able to take simple, run of the mill LEGO blocks and build/replicated perfectly a Game Boy, a Game Boy Advance, an NES Zapper, and the coup de grace, a Nintendo 64 console. Not only that, but he made the battery packs, controllers and game cartridges out of LEGO blocks as well. According to him, all the pieces used are actual LEGO pieces, as the only customization done are the stickers. He didn’t alter or change the bricks in anyway, and obviously had to scavenge all the pieces he found from sets from all over the LEGO universe, which is more complicated than it sounds, considering he nailed the look and colors perfectly.”
In this article, the author goes into great lengths to discuss his admiration for my work, such as my attention to detail — be sure to check out!
July 1st, 2014 – During the winter/spring season of this year, a bunch of my new creations have been getting popular and featured on various print/web media sites!
“New York-based LEGO builder Baron von Brunk has a pretty cool and original ongoing series where he builds LEGO consoles with transforming abilities. He made Nintendo 64 and NES Zapper Megatrons, and while we wait for one that can transform into the Nintendo R.O.B., here’s his latest in the form of a Game Boy Advance.”
“Multimedia artist Julius Brunk, also known as Baron von Brunk, built his latest LEGOformer in his most popular series – a crossover of Nintendo and Transformers. Made out of LEGOs, the robot, named ‘Vantage,’ transforms into a Nintendo Game Boy Advance.“
“Doesn’t this Lego Game Boy Advance Transformer look all sorts of impressive? Amazingly enough, creator Baron Von Brunk has dropped instructions on how to make it on Instructables, so you can actually make it for yourself, not to mention mod it to your own liking.“
In June, I completed another elegant illuminated mosaic sprite lamp — but unlike my previous ones — cubes or flat portraits, this one uses an elaborate new triangular design setup in order to properly display the three Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time spiritual stones, as well as a Triforce lid for perfect harmony!
“Link had to quest all over Hyrule to find the Spiritual Stones in The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, but Baron von Brunk took a different path: he created them from LEGO bricks. It wasn’t necessarily easier or less time-consuming, but at least he got a tangible and practical appliance for his trouble. The builder incorporated Kokiri’s Emerald, Zora’s Sapphire, and Goron’s Ruby into a mosaic-style, fully functioning LEGO lamp. The light is a shining example of how geek flavored home decor can be gorgeous and classy.”
“Julius von Brunk (Baron von Brunk) is such a massive console gaming fan, he decided that the last thing he should see at night should be the Spiritual Stones from Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. So he built this working lamp containing a transparent mosaic of each stone, all harmoniously capped off by a Triforce”
As for international acclaim , I’ve been interviewed by Pepz Richie on the website Fine Tuning347! In the interview, I go into detail about my design process, as well as my history of being a LEGO builder and graphic artist. . .
In April and May, I’ve been contacted by two different European video game magazines: Official Nintendo Magazine (U.K., Australia) and Games Aktuell (Germany)! If you’re outside the States, you ought to track down these magazines!
I’m the biggest thing to invade England since William of Normandy (. . . Too soon?).
That’s all for now, but be sure to stick around for further additions. As a heads up, I plan on hopefully showcasing a bunch of my illuminated LEGO creations at various art galleries throughout the summer/fall 2014 — in which case you’ll see plenty of press information!
January 25th, 2014 – Recently I’ve gotten a bit more serious about integrating electrical components into my LEGO projects. I’ve done it in the past, but as of lately I’ve stepped up the game and began using microchips and LED arrays. Two of my recent illuminated LEGO projects were published on Instructables and featured on the front page as editors’ picks!
Both projects were also entered in Instructables contests: both were in the Make It Glow Contest for illuminated crafts, whilst the Traffic Signal Lamp is currently in the Supercharged Contest for various DIY electronics! After the winners of the first contest were announced, I learned the Mosaic Super Mario Bros. Lamps were runners up, thus winning me an Arduino Uno and a fluorescent blacklight. Nonetheless, both creations were also featured on Hack A Day!
Be on the lookout for new illuminated LEGO models made by yours truly!
August 23rd, 2013 – In the early summer of 2013, I learned of a forthcoming LEGO themed contest on Instructables — and promptly I began acquiring pieces and conceptualizing a series of replica Nintendo 64 components that transform into robots similar to my previous creations. After posting these bad boys on the various social media sites, there was a buzz of popularity amongst Tumblr and Flickr notably, and eventually some major gaming/geek sites gladly wrote up reviews! With all of the positive feedback — as well as numerous plugs with views from thousands of people — I had the opportunity to get these creations exposed to a broad audience for potentially voting for them in the Instructables Toy Building Block contest. And of course — surprise, surprise — I won FIRST PRIZE!! Not Grand Prize, but First Prize nonetheless. Thanks again to all of my jolly good fans throughout Facebook, Tumblr, deviantArt, Flickr, Instructables, and MOCpages.
I’ve also been contacted by two different European magazines to have my work displayed: a Portuguese design and culture publication called Companhia, and a German video game magazine called GEE, which will be printed in October. Oh, this was also featured in Wired Italy! This isn’t the first time I’ve had international recognition, as several of my previous master LEGO creations have been published in Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, and Canada — not to mention my 2-page Nintendo Power interview in May 2012!
Below you’ll find links and summaries of select articles which gave lots of praise to these particular LEGO models:
“We’ve shared LEGO Transformers made by New York-based artist Baron von Brunk before, and he’s now back with some completely mind-bending stuff. He created not just one, but four authentic, near-perfect LEGO N64 components that can transform into various robots. He named the Nintendo 64 unit Ultra Hexacon. His transformation cycle is similar to a Gen 2 Megatron. Below is the controller, Tetragon, and it totally reminds me of something from Beast Wars.“
“This is some impressive work from Lego maestro Baron Von Brunk, who previously made a five-foot working NES controller from our favorite plastic bricks. This time, he has built a completely transformable (no rebuilding required) Nintendo 64 console and controller. Even the cartridges transform into mini-sidekicks!”
“We’ve dazzled you with a 70,000-piece Lego Serenity spaceship and Lego-ized vintage consumer electronics, but Julius von Brunk’s custom Lego creations show off a different side of building with the classic brick toy. The Nintendo 64 Legoformer (von Brunk refers to this as the “Ultra Hexacon”) will likely knock the socks off any Nintendo enthusiast, as it faithfully mimics the design of the original console and has fun little details, such as controller ports, a cartridge slot, and other touches. Von Brunk created the mock console along with controller and games as part of a submission to the 2013 Instructables Toy Block contest.“
“Taking two of the most awesome toys from our own childhood (Transformers and LEGO building blocks), Baron von Brunk created this awesome LEGOformers collection. Using the Nintendo 64 video game console (which also happens to be our favorite childhood console), Baron designed this series as part of the Toy Brick Contest for the 2013 summer season. Included in the series is a Nintendo 64 console and controller along with the classic 007 and Donkey Kong video game cartridges. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, all 4 pieces transform into “ready for action” Transformers robots. Baron overcame multiple engineers feats to complete Ultra Hexacon and Tetragon along with their game pack minions Hot-Shot and Mecha Kong.”
“The Nintendo 64 was a great console. In fact, with a library including games like Super Mario 64, GoldenEye, Star Fox 64, Ocarina of Time and Mario Kart 64 (best in the series!), there’s a case to be made for the N64 being one of the best Nintendo consoles of all time. But we digress, that is a matter for opinion and we deal strictly in facts. For instance, it’s a fact that Legos and Transformers make everything better. Point in case, Julius Brunk (a.k.a. Baron von Brunk), whose works also include a transforming Game Boy, Game Gear and NES Zapper, recently an N64 transformer out of Legos [sic] and it’s probably the coolest thing we’ve seen in awhile.“
“LEGO and Nintendo complement each other well, and there have been many LEGO Nintendo mashups presented over the years. This one is one of the best ones I’ve seen so far. Not only is it a Nintendo 64 and controller made out of LEGO, but each one transforms into a, well, Transformer. This must take the ultimate level of skill as a LEGO builder, and these pictures really speak for themselves. They would be the ultimate geek toys, and I don’t mean just for kids.“
“Sometimes life is tough. Some of us have work, school, work and school, bills to pay, credit card bills to panic over and a myriad of other concerns. At least we have video games to ease the load, but there’s always room for improvement; how about combining video games with LEGO and Transformers? Yes, that’ll do the trick.”
“Anyone who tells you that Lego bricks are exclusively for kids probably has never met an Adult Fan of Lego (AFOL). For all intents and purposes, these guys (and girls) are Minecraft virtuosos transplanted into the fleshy world. Over the last few years, these grown-up enthusiasts have come up with a multitude of things: functional wheelchairs, mind-numbingly complicated replicas of Hogwarts, mechas, working cameras and more. Baron von Brunk is one of the many who rank among their number and there is no doubt that his latest creation will do his hobby proud.”
January 20th 2013 – Thank you for all of the feedback and reblogs of my giant functional NES Controller replica made from LEGO bricks! I appreciate all of the new Tumblr followers and new Facebook fans since the original post a few weeks ago, and here’s a little follow-up on the good buzz thus far. Since its original posting, I’ve received quite a bit of good publicity — notably some articles on various popular gaming/tech sites. . .
“LEGO builder Baron von Brunk, who you may have seen here from time to time, is back with something a bit bigger. A little more ambitious. He’s built this enormous five-foot LEGO NES controller. Which works. I don’t know what to be more impressed by, the build itself or the fact he owned enough grey and black pieces to put it together in the first place.”
“… This thing actually works, but if your arms are more T-rex than Mr. Fantastic, you might find it a tad challenging. Creator Baron von Brunk has posted a nearly four-minute video of him playing using the controller, just to prove it works. It’s worth checking out just for the orchestral version of the Mario theme.”
“New York designer and custom LEGO builder Julius von Brunk (aka “Baron von Brunk“) has created an impressive fully-operational 5 foot replication of an original NES controller out of LEGO. In the video below, you can watch as Julius shows the LEGO NES controller in action and view his in-depth write up about the project on Instructables.”
“For fans of retro games there’s nothing better than sitting down, controller in hand, with a classic title loading on the screen in front of you … except perhaps for sitting down in front of a huge controller made out of LEGO. Which fully works. Yes, that would do it. Thanks to the hard work of one Baron von Brunk, Nintendo fans who never lost their love of the original NES can now see their dreams fulfilled.”
May 13th 2012 – Two weeks ago, I proclaimed “Tell the world the universe belongs to us today!” when my milestone Nintendo Power interview became published. I was busy working all day, otherwise I would’ve been able to grab several copies — therefore I bought three issues from the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Center the next day on May 2nd!
. . . Is anyone else suddenly now reminded of that song “Cover of Rolling Stone” by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show!?
March 13th 2012 – You wanted a good follow-up to my awesome Transformer/NES Zapper from last month, and lo and behold, I have not disappointed you!
Within a matter of a mere few days, this thing started to go viral pretty damn fast! Below are some select articles of interest:
First came those nice folks at Gizmodo:
“And Lego builder Julius von Brunk has managed to merge all three into a single Lego creation that has me reaching for my credit card, even though I doubt they’ll sell it. Domaster and Tetrawing, as they call it, is a near perfect Lego replica of a Game Boy, complete with insertable batteries and game cart. But it transforms into a perfect Soundwave clone, complete with its own version of Laserbeak from the Tetris cart. I need building instructions, and I need them now.”
Around the same time, I received quite the praise from Neatorama:
“Combine LEGO, Transformers, and Game Boy, and you’ve got a toy geek’s dream creation. Julius von Brunk built a Transformer (named Domaster) out of LEGO bricks that changes from a classic Nintendo Game Boy to a robot! Domaster’s blaster weapons are double-A batteries (made of LEGO pieces) that fit inside his thighs for storage. Domaster has a sidekick, too, a robot bird named Tetrawing that transforms into a Tetris game cartridge -that fits in Domaster’s Game Boy slot!”
Then we have Gamesta, which gave some interesting input:
“Some lovable genius has made something so awesome; it’s like visual heroine to us older nerds. LEGO fanatic Julius von Brunk has concocted an entirely shape-shifting Gameboy Transformer, with additional Tetris cartridge. The duo named Domaster & Tetrawing took about one month to engineer and work out all the kinks. It even comes with letter decals for extra details.”
Nerdgasmatron certainly lived up to its name:
“Over on MOCpages, a user by the name of Julius von Brunk has made a transforming Lego Gameboy and Tetris cartridge. Both the Gameboy and cartridge transform, with the latter turning into an avian sidekick for its larger comrade. The Gameboy (named Domaster) is complete with 2 AA battery blasters, and the smaller Tetrawing can fit snugly in the back when in console form. “
But best of all came yet again with the fine fellas at Destructoid!
“Enter Julius von Brunk, the LEGO hobbyist who recently constructed the amazing Mario 3 airship. His follow-up is on a smaller scale technically, but it’s just mind-fuck-blowing conceptually. It is — get this — a Transformer built out of LEGO bricks that turns into a Game Boy. Cheese and crackers, a motherf*ckin’ LEGO Game Boy Transformer!”
Let’s see what else the internet brings us, folks! I’ll be sure to add any subsequent notable references in the media, see keep checking back, loyal Brunkamaniacs! Feel free to retweet and reblog as your hearts desire!
March 3rd 2012 – My mighty LEGO Super Mario Brothers 3 airship has gone viral, thanks to a recent CNN interview!
According to CNN Geekout:
“Julius von Brunk, of New York, New York – who calls “Super Mario Bros. 3” the “Cadillac of games” – has captured one of the famous airships, complete with Mario and Luigi, in a format most appropriate for video games: Lego blocks (just the latest geeky creation with Legos [sic], mind you).“
Next came Michael Fahey and the nice folks at Kotaku, who also did an article about my NES Zapper Transformer. This time, they praised my engineering savvy and dedication to the classic video game!
“After months sequestered in his secret underground lair, LEGO artist Baron von Brunk emerges with a massive Super Mario Bros. 3 airship that rivals any other block-meets-pixels creation I’ve seen. Behold its glory. Okay, so he probably doesn’t have an underground lair (though you never know, he is based in Queens, New York). What Baron von Brunk does have is a six foot long folding table covered with the most magnificent work of Super Mario LEGO work I’ve ever seen. It’s got mini-ships. It’s got lights. It’s got sounds. It’s got Bullet Bills in mid-fire. It’s even got a control deck, something the airships in the game seem to have left out.“
Destructoid was soon to follow in the Brunkamania applause!
“In November 2011, LEGO hobbyist Julius von Brunk began construction of a Super Mario Bros. 3 airship, the realization of a dream he’s had ever since playing the original NES game way back in the day. He would work on weekends, ordering specialty pieces from BrickLink.com and overcoming engineering roadblocks via the magic of alcohol. Over 8000 pieces later, he has finished his masterpiece, dubbed “The Fireflower.” This thing is ridiculous! Using clear LEGO parts, he has created the illusion of flight, but the surprises don’t end there. There are little Mario and Luigi minifigs, Bullet Bill cannons, torches, an end-of-level warp pipe, and satellite ships. There’s a fireflower mural on the stern of the ship that lights up, a hidden chamber of mosaics behind the mural, and even a control room cabin! For God’s sake, give Mr. von Brunk a big round of applause. We are not worthy to be in his presence.“
Once again, thank you all — such as new Tumblr followers and Facebook fans for praising my hard work, as I strive to build only the best of truly geeky projects. With any luck, I can hopefully get this brute on display at the LEGO Store or Nintendo World in Rockefeller! Maybe even a SoHo gallery; let’s find out!
February 8th 2012 – Exciting news regarding my Transfomers/Nintendo/LEGO crossover!
Upon being reblogged and reblogged relentlessly across Tumblr, my Zapper called “Plasmashock” has generated quite a buzz amongst the geek community, notably being linked to some cool blogs!
“New York LEGO builder Baron von Brunk has done something I’m surprised it’s taken decades for someone to do: take Transformers villain Megatron as inspiration and build a transforming NES Zapper. Christening his Nintendo-themed Transformer Plasmashock, von Brunk provides instructions on how the robot was created and how it transforms, before pledging to do a similar project involving an actual NES, which “transforms into a giant robot, much akin to Metroplex and/or Fortress Maximus!” Yes. Please.”
“Remember that old Megatron Transformer that turns into a gun? Well, LEGO builder Baron von Brunk from New York has outdone that one. His version of the toy has the Decepticon leader Megatron turning into something much more geeky – an NES Zapper gun. He calls his Transformer Plasmashock. The man has a way with names. Much better than “Crappy gun used only for Duck Hunt.” His next project should be even neater. He plans to do a similar project involving an actual NES, that would “transforms into a giant robot, much akin to Metroplex and/or Fortress Maximus!” Sounds pretty awesome. Why doesn’t LEGO sell more stuff like this themselves? Oh well, their loss.”
And amidst others, my Zapper robot has been published internationally — in Spanish, French, German, and now Dutch! Man, wait ’til you folks see the transforming GameBoy I’m building next! The heroic Nintendobots will have an all-out war against the evil forces of the Segacons!