lego: wall-e

lego wall-e: a very different boxlego wall-e: the finished model
The Lego Ideas range takes the ideas of fans and if they get enough support from the community the Lego company then looks at the design and if it ticks all the right boxes, they release it.

The most recent of these was the Lego Wall-E, from the Disney/Pixar movie of the same name... but it comes from a somewhat special source...
Created by Angus MacLane, an animator and director at Pixar Animation Studios, and selected by LEGO Ideas members, the development of this model began alongside the making of the lovable animated character for the classic Pixar feature film. It has taken almost a decade to perfect the Lego version, which incorporates many authentic Wall-E characteristics...
According to the instruction book that comes along with the set, this model started life in the very early stages of movie development and as the design of Wall-E changed during the movie, so did MacLane's Lego model.

And of course, what better accompaniment to building Wall-E than watching Wall-E... twice in fact, first the movie, then the audio commentary, so at the end it was a little over three hours from beginning to end.

It wasn't a hugely complicated build, the most interesting parts are probably in the wheels, arms and head... and I do completely understand why people have complained about the neck joint, it's very, very, very loose... but Lego builder extraordinare Chris McVeigh has already come up with a fix.

I don't really have a problem with the joint... at least not enough to get the additional pieces to fix it.

lego wall-e: all the bagslego wall-e: neat and sorted, ready to build
Weirdly, even though the set only has about thirty more pieces than something like Emmet's Construct-o-mech at 677 pieces, the bags that it come in aren't numbered, instead it's organised more by size of the pieces, and then with a separate bag for the tyre treads.

So I had to spend the first part separating the pieces out by colour, and in the case of the light grey pieces, pulling out the big pieces... and then we were off to the races...

lego wall-e: making the cubelego wall-e: cube on wheels
Of course, given that it's Wall-E, there's a lot of yellow... and the interesting "gap" in the side of the model reflects a diagonal design detail in the Wall-E computer model I wasn't even conscious of.

And the front of the model has all the required details... the Wall-E label, the solar power indicator, the little red light... and those big tank-like all terrain treads.

lego wall-e: keep on trackinlego wall-e: one little cock-a-roach
And not just that, but the way the shoulder joints are built allows the arms to move back and forth, just like the movie Wall-E.

I did enjoy the wheel builds though... and they actually roll, which is fantastic.

But what would Wall-E be without his little cockroach friend. Okay, it's not exactly the most complex piece of construction, but it gets the general idea across in a very minimal way.

lego wall-e: a bit of a broken necklego wall-e: one eyed
And here's the neck...the joint that's the main issue is that piece between the top two sections... other than that it's lots of pinning things together with those little connector pins and arranging things so that no studs are showing.

The eye pieces are actually slightly surprising... I didn't necessarily realise that's what they were until fairly far along the process, but I have to say the way the eyes themselves are done is gorgeous.

Plus the nice little detail of the black cable that attaches from the eye rig to the "brain stem" at the back of the head.

lego wall-e: armlesslego wall-e: little yellow arms
Then once the first half of the eye rig is done, you do the exact same thing a second time... just in reverse.

The only thing missing from the the arms though is the black and white diagonal striping that should be on the outside edge... okay, the grey and yellow colouring kind of does the same thing. The way the bottom finger is held in place is also slightly problematic... in fact it's held in place with the robot hand/wrench that's popped up a few times before.

lego wall-e: the plantlego wall-e: ready to roll
Of course you can't have Wall-E without his plant. It is kind of a shame that they didn't try to get the boot shape, which I would have thought would not have been impossible to do with Lego. But the three leaf design is very pretty.

He's really lovely once he's all put together... and he's now taken pride of place in the light box on my bedside table, and looks pretty damn good.

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