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Beijing 2008 In Lego 177

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-a-lotta-bricks dept.
jedie noted an impressive rendering of the Beijing Olympics in Lego. Featuring 300,000 bricks, and 4,500 Lego people, it was built by the Hong Kong Lego User Group. Yes that exists. Amazing. I'm pretty sure that the lighting inside the water cube was not made using stock legos. At least, none in my giant cardboard box.
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Beijing 2008 In Lego

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  • Countdown (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:21PM (#24650099)

    10 seconds until the IOC pulls this for copyright infringement. If you doubt this, then look up how they attacked free-Tibet protesters over using their symbol (in handcuffs).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jandrese (485)
      Yeah, I'm sure that one had nothing to do with being politically charged...
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:59PM (#24650599)
      It is well known that many serious Lego enthusiasts will take various stimulants and body building supplements to give them that edge.
      • It is well known that many serious Lego enthusiasts will take various stimulants and brick building supplements to give them that edge.

        Fixed that for ya...
    • And the Mindstorms version only works with Silverlight [latimes.com], probably.
    • by RDW (41497) on Monday August 18, 2008 @05:53PM (#24651155)
      No, the IOC is going to keep quiet about this one. Given the recent revelations about CGI fireworks [telegraph.co.uk], fake sports fans [timesonline.co.uk], dubious pianos [epochtimes.com], and the substituted singer [guardian.co.uk], they're desperately hoping we won't find out that this is the ACTUAL stadium...
      • by Stooshie (993666)

        The opening ceremony was a show. Shows, by definition, are fake. They aren't real.

        Here's an example. We put on South Pacific recently. There is a scene where all the ceebees watch a plane leaving.

        We put two lights on either end of a piece of wood, hung it from a wire(sloping right to left) and one of the stage crew pulled a piece of cotton attached to the wood.

        In rehearsals it looked appalling. However in the show the stage lights were out (it was supposed to be night anyway) and we added the sound e

  • by Daimanta (1140543) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:24PM (#24650125) Journal

    of Tibetan monks being hauled away to prison?

    • by AndGodSed (968378) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:28PM (#24650195) Homepage Journal

      You missed it.

      It's right next to the Lego miniatures of politicians looking the other way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Threni (635302)

      > of Tibetan monks being hauled away to prison?

      They've been photoshopped out, just like the little un-cute singer and the paralysed dancer. Ssshhh...our little secret.

    • by dwater (72834)

      Tibetan monks have their own temple in Beijing - Yong He Gong (aka Lama Temple) - it's been there for a *long* time (1694) and has served as a administration for all things Lama (1722). It's not a prison either. Why you would think they would be hauled away, I don't know. Unless you think the few protesters in Beijing are Tibetan monks, which I somehow doubt (though I could be wrong) - it's certainly not my impression from the news I've seen (I'm not in China at the moment). I've seen plenty of people in Be

  • by CanadianBeaver (1335935) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:25PM (#24650149)
    Hopefully it doesn't have a miniature BSOD during the opening Lego Olympics.
    • Sure it does! It's above the lip-syncing little girl and the remarkably heterogeneous "culturally diverse" parade! Sadly there are no fireworks above the stadium... You need a mind storms computer to make those.
  • by curmudgeon99 (1040054) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:25PM (#24650163)
    Is it just me or does it seem that the Lego Corp has lost their way? When I was a kid, we used the generic Lego bricks to build a million different things--all based on our imaginations. Now the little brats do nothing but assemble kids with of all things directions. What happened to make up your own ideas? I've now seen so many kids who are unwilling to build anything that strays outside of the confines of "the kit". The creative building childhoods that had been the last remaining birthright of an American is now fading fast. Kids will not grow up creative in the states and we will drift along and invent nothing new.
    • by spazghost (1346955) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:31PM (#24650223) Homepage
      There is still lots of creativity with Legos. Haven't you ever heard of factory.lego.com?
    • by MagdJTK (1275470) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:34PM (#24650259)

      What?! TFA has a load of pictures of things which aren't from a guide.

      "Kids aren't creative!"

      "These kids are being creative right now."

      "Don't use facts to ruin my rant, you brat!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Because we old-skool lego'ers had to use our imaginations. Even with G.I. Joes we ignored the storylines of the canon and made up our own, sometimes even bringing -- *gasp* -- non-G.I. Joes into the mix.

      Nowdays, kids don't play with toys -- their toys play them.
      • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:49PM (#24650471) Homepage Journal

        Nowdays, kids don't play with toys -- their toys play them.

        But only in Soviet Russia.

      • by eln (21727) on Monday August 18, 2008 @05:04PM (#24650655) Homepage

        Also, there are a lot more kids on my lawn these days, and they won't get off.

        Seriously, have you ever actually seen kids playing with toys? The imagination is definitely there, and they do freely mix and match toys to fit whatever game they're playing, which is often something they're making up on the spot.

        I have a 9 year old and a 6 year old, and they're constantly engaged in some form of imaginative play. Just because the play sets these days tend to be trying to encourage playing to a specific story line, kids rarely do that.

      • by ross.w (87751)
        That still happens, My nine year old just created a "Jedi Olympics" tableau, and he regularly creates scenarios combining the Star Wars Lego figures with other characters and vehicles not seen in any of the movies. Lego may be more complicated, but it still allows a lot of scope for creativity.
      • by Samah (729132)
        Lego? You had it easy!
        When I was your age we had to use DUPLO! Our father would wake us up 5 hours before we went to bed so that we could walk to work 100km in the snow, uphill, both ways, work 30 hours a day, and we lived in a shoebox in the middle of the road!
    • ... and get off of my lawn!

      P.S. Having to wait 5 minutes between posts is a bit excessive...

    • by frogzilla (1229188) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:40PM (#24650327)

      That's what I thought until I started to buy kits for my son. He did build according to the instructions. Then he proceeded to do what I had done, and what you are waxing nostalgic about, 20 years before. He built whatever he pleased. He built, destroyed, rebuilt, on and on. He would spend entire days surrounded by his Lego.

      I think the blocks are all good. Old and new. He seems to have outgrown them now. He's 14 and he started with Lego when he was two or three. The thousands of dollars worth of newer generation blocks (and all of the instructions) are boxed away with the older generation blocks (with no instructions -- they got lost somewhere along the way) for future rediscovery.

      I think that Lego blocks are _still_ the world's greatest toy.

      • by geobeck (924637)

        That's what I thought until I started to buy kits for my son. He did build according to the instructions. Then he proceeded to do what I had done, and what you are waxing nostalgic about, 20 years before. He built whatever he pleased. He built, destroyed, rebuilt, on and on. He would spend entire days surrounded by his Lego.

        My son does the same thing, not just with standard LEGO, but with his Bionicle models as well. I didn't think there was as much room for creativity with such sculpted parts, but it's am

      • if you are missing some booklets from the old sets (like I was), you can find most (if not all) of them on the brickfactory [hccamsterdam.nl].

        I've wget-ed the site for my own purposes so I don't hit them too often because the site serves up a lot of large images (jpeg scans of the booklets) and dropped them a thank you.

        I've been able to rebuild a lot of my old sets thanks to them, and my son is happily playing with the results.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by qoncept (599709)
      The really disappointing part is the number of special pieces. Nothing is made out of Legos anymore, they're all made out of the same parts as every other toy with Lego connectors instead of GI Joe rivets.
      • by Tacvek (948259) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:00PM (#24651223) Journal

        Hey that is a little harsh.

        The Bionicles series is definiately a lot like that, and it is not defensible. But that is far from the only series.

        The boxes of assorted bricks with no real directions still exist, but have been largely downplayed since around the time that Samsonite stopped distributing the Lego.

        Then we have the standard themed sets (the Castle series, Star wars series, Harry potter series, etc). These contain bricks that are mostly like the classics, with some specialized pieces occasionally. Obviously the mini-figs are quite dominant in this set, but they are quite justified in that otherwise to have a village with people would require a much much greater scale.
        That said, nothing can justify the BURPs [http://www.peeron.com/inv/parts/6082 and http://www.peeron.com/inv/parts/6083%5D [peeron.com].
        One of the downsides of this level is the limited ability to build interactive models. There are openable doors, and working wheels turntable, and pivoting connectors, but all are fairly limited.

        Of the themed sets, any vechile sets are terrible in the use of special peices. Like the recent Jet set. The whole hull of the plane consists of special non-generic pieces. However, there are still quite a few sets in production with no pieces that are not reasonably generic.

        Next up we have the ever-popular lego model railroad. This does have quite a few specialized pieces, but justifiably so. Special track pieces are essential to be able to have powered rail cars. The power regulator, and locomotive chassis bricks are also critical. Then we have the genral rail car chasis. The powered headlight bricks are probably not essential, but add character. There are a few other specialized bricks to support building reasonable train cars. However, the sets still invariably include a significant number of classic bricks and plates. The whole Lego railroad line is intended to be used in conjunction with appropriate themed sets. The level of creativity possible with the train system sets is very high. A smidgen less creativity in environment and track shapes is possible compared to standard model railroading, but standard model railroading definitely does not make designing a new railroad car nearly as easy as the Lego train system does.

        Then we have Lego Technic. This has many specialized pieces, but virtually all of them are generic, and can be used in a virtually unlimited number of potential designs. The ability to build interactive systems, and even motor powered systems is the best part of this series.

        There was the classic Technic that used 1xn beams with holes as a major framework construction component. Beams were sometimes pinned together as part of the framework, but many models did not use this technique. Like with modern Technic, axles are an important component, and were occasionally essential to the model's framework. (not just the models functionality). The studless beams found in modern Technic made the occasional appearance, but were not that common.

        Modern Technic is primarily based on the studless components, although some of the new models have re-introduced some studded bricks.

        The original Mindstorms were for all intents and purposes part of the classic technic Series, but were of course programable to a much grater degree than any standard Technic set. (A few classic Technic sets had some very limited programability).

        Mindstorms NXT is to Modern Technic as the Orginal Mindstorms was to Classic Technic.

        Hmm... I think some of that ending was getting offtopic, but oh well.

        • I went through a Lego kick last year, and their current Creator series [lego.com] is a bit of a mix between the old Technic and the model sets. Not nearly as many moving parts as old Technic (so sad...), but the primary models are definitely quality constructs good for building and leaving on display. But for the most part, they're all built out of a large set of stock pieces with boundless opportunity.

          I'm definitely going to keep collecting them, and save them for when I have a kid.

    • There are still a lot of generic Lego's around. You just need to look at the toy stores at kids eye level to find them. The ones at adult level are for "bigger kids/adults" who want to make something impressive looking. The real problem is if you go to these stores what happened to the real model kits. Where you get these plastic cut outs which you need to break off, chisels down, paint glue together (without melting the plastic from the highly toxic glue). Let dry wash down and add decals. And you better

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xaxa (988988)

        The real problem is if you go to these stores what happened to the real model kits. Where you get these plastic cut outs which you need to break off, chisels down, paint glue together (without melting the plastic from the highly toxic glue)....

        One incarnation of this would be Warhammer (or some other toy soldiers), but it's very expensive. I had much more fun assembling and painting the models than I did playing the game; I was never very good at the tactics. I was good at painting though.

        Another is the kits made for model railways (the buildings for age 12-ish, and the trucks a bit later on, since they need to be put together quite accurately). I lost interest in these after about a year, but sort-of went along with it for my dad for a while lon

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by niceone (992278) *
      Things have moved on. but the creativity is still there. You can still get buckets full of plain bricks, but you can also download lego digital designer [lego.com] - free CAD for lego! How cool is that? And you can order all the individual bits you need from the store. And it works in linux via WINE.
    • by timbck2 (233967)

      Is it just me or does it seem that the Lego Corp has lost their way? When I was a kid, we used the generic Lego bricks to build a million different things--all based on our imaginations.

      Now the little brats do nothing but assemble kids with of all things directions. What happened to make up your own ideas? I've now seen so many kids who are unwilling to build anything that strays outside of the confines of "the kit".

      The creative building childhoods that had been the last remaining birthright of an American is now fading fast. Kids will not grow up creative in the states and we will drift along and invent nothing new.

      ...and get off my lawn!

      (There, fixed that for you)

    • by eht (8912)

      In this interview [monocle.com] with the CEO of Lego he talks about going back to more normal pieces.

      Link stolen from Dan's Data [blogsome.com].

      • That's great--and that the CEO himself realizes that they have gone wrong with the specialized pieces--validates my point.
    • From looking at the boxes, only a handful of parts in most kits have such a limited use that you suggest. I don't know if newer instructions are like the old ones, but Lego was pretty consistently good at showing many different projects that can be built from the same kit without showing how to make them all. I think the box images still show that same sort of thing.

      • Another commenter hit this on the head. The new kits come with many non-generic parts that are formed for one specific purpose--letting the designer do all the creating. When I played with Legos, they were ALL generic and you relied on your own imagination--not that of the toy's designer--for your creativity.
    • by kent_eh (543303)
      Yeah, You can't [brickshelf.com] do [brickshelf.com] anything [brickshelf.com] with all those special pieces [brickshelf.com].

      Here are more random Lego creations [brickshelf.com] made without the aid of kit instructions.

    • by Raenex (947668)

      I always thought Legos were boring. Plastic models of stuff that don't do anything. I just never understood the appeal.

      • They are only boring if you have no imagination. As a child, I created hotels, 747 jetliners, bridges and a million other projects. They were raw materials, only limited by the vastness of your own, internal landscape. If you found them boring, were you creative in other ways?
        • by Raenex (947668)

          As a child, I created hotels, 747 jetliners, bridges and a million other projects.

          You created models of those things. I just never found plastic toys that did nothing appealing.

          If you found them boring, were you creative in other ways?

          I preferred playing competitive games. Creativity for me was problem solving.

  • I zoomed in on one of the pictures, and see a guy holding what appears to be a "Free Tibet" sign.

  • I always love these lego creations. The swimming cube and bird's nest were a feat.

    I was looking for this as well [wikipedia.org].

  • by GungaDan (195739) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:32PM (#24650235) Homepage

    I was wondering WTF was the difference between a brick and a lego.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Thanks for clearing up that detail.... I was wondering why there was only 4500 Lego blocks and 300 000 non-Lego blocks in the whole thing.

  • Who Knew? (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheNecromancer (179644) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:41PM (#24650355)

    I didn't realize that Lego had a "smog" building block.

  • by fm6 (162816) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:41PM (#24650357) Homepage Journal

    Featuring 300,000 bricks, and 4,500 Lego, it was built by the Hong Kong Lego User Group. Yes that exists.

    Why not? It's not like The West has a patent on geekitude. If anything, the geek mindset is even more prevalent in Chinese-speaking countries than here. They didn't become so dominant in electronic products by growing rice.

    • by seasleepy (651293) <seasleepy@@@gmail...com> on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:00PM (#24651233)
      Er... I think it's more surprise that that a Lego User Group exists, rather than surprise that people in Hong Kong have heard of Lego.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:47PM (#24650423)
    My browser must be broken :-)
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday August 18, 2008 @04:49PM (#24650475)
    I thought they erred in not recreating the female Chinese gymnastic team, but I saw that the box was labeled "Ages 16 and up."
    • ZING.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Perf (14203)

      Or possibly because they don't have Lego diapers.

  • that way, someone could win the lego gold, by building a replica of them winning the lego gold for building a replica of them winning the lego gold.

    Of course, if recursiveness could be a competition then perhaps they win the gold by building a lego replica of them winning the gold in recursiveness for building a lego replica of them winning the gold in lego building for building a replica of them wining the gold in recursiveness.

    wouldn't that be neat!

    • by wattrlz (1162603)

      No, that would be painful. Don't forget these are the people who brought you your name and horoscope written on a grain of rice.

      • No, that would be painful. Don't forget these are the people who brought you your name and horoscope written on a grain of rice.

        VERY good point!

  • forgotten venue (Score:2, Redundant)

    by cashman73 (855518)
    They forgot to put in the Lego BSOD [wordpress.com]!
  • by I didn't (569512) on Monday August 18, 2008 @05:57PM (#24651195)

    HKLUG's photo album [brickshelf.com]

  • I was tempted to comment on all the ridiculous political hate-speech in evidence in the posts below and implore everybody to chill the hell out. It's Lego after all! We can get back to obsessing over WWIII after the closing ceremonies.

    Then I noticed something about the models. . .

    As cute as they all are, it struck me that the Chinese geeks show their deference to authority patterns in how they use the little bricks. I've seriously never seen fan-made Lego creations which obey the rules of scale as sugges

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