It's hard to imagine a world without Lego. From its ubiquitous bricks, to its theme parks, to the host of media tie-ins, via video games, movies, comics and more – Lego is the biggest toy brand on the planet.
In this post we've celebrated the Lego legacy (or should we say Legocy, ahem) by presenting you with some of the greatest models ever built. So sit back and enjoy, as we showcase the very best in Lego art, from both certified Lego professionals and some amateurs whose love for Lego knows no bounds.
01. Mystic Currency
"I like making art in difficult places," says Miami-based visual artist Dante Dentoni, who specialises in site-specific sculptural installations that mix Lego, cement and wood, along with ready made toys, to reveal a harmonic interconnectivity between physical and emotional environments.
Mystic Currency is a perfect example of his work; it takes the form of a corner of a wall where the plaster has been hacked away to reveal a Lego substrate beneath, and if you peer into the gaps you'll discover playful tableaux made up of Lego figures.
David Hughes describes himself as a designer and artist who uses Lego bricks to create contemporary art. As well as flat Lego recreations of famous artworks, he also makes three-dimensional sculptures such as Afternoon of a Faun that are available to buy through his site, although be warned that they're built to order and don't come cheap. And if you're after your own special work of Lego art, David is happy to accept commissions.
03. New Money
Los Angeles-based Andy Bauch enjoys using bright and cheerful Lego bricks to explore darker, more complex subjects, and he employs computer algorithms and software assistance to create intricate mosaics that have a lot more to them than meets the eye.
His most recent exhibition, New Money, used 100,000 Lego bricks and $10,000 in cryptocurrencies to comment on the simultaneous freedom and volatility of rapidly developing digital currencies, and came with an irresistible twist: if you can decode Bauch's patterns you'll reveal the private keys to their wallets, and the money's yours to grab.
04. Batman Batarang
This brilliant Batman Batarang crash landed in London to mark the release of the Lego Batman movie. Made from 35,000 lego bricks, the creation took the team at Bright Bricks 225 hours to build, with broken pavement, smoke and lights (all non-Lego based) completing the scene of destruction.
05. JME - Integrity
Lego Albums is a project by Harry Heaton, an artist who recreates iconic album covers using the little bricks. The finished products resemble low-resolution pixelated versions of album art, but are nonetheless brilliant. This replica of JME's Integrity album is definitely one of our favourites. Check out Heaton's collection to find yours.
06. The Simpsons town of Springfield
Everyone loves the Simpsons, but veteran Lego artist Matt De Lanoy clearly loves them more than most. Just a few months after the release of the official Simpsons Lego set, he's recreated the entire town of Springfield in coloured bricks, including the Kwik-E-Mart, Moe's, Krusty Burger, the nuclear power plant and more. This image only shows one corner of his creation – see more on his Flickr page.
07. Warren Elsmore
Professional Lego artist Warren Elsmore broke records in March, with an exhibition of 72 Lego models. Attracting over 50,000 visitors, with 2,000 on the busiest day, the likes of the Olympic Park and St Pancras Station in London and the Forth Bridge were on show. His Las Vegas strip also proved hugely popular.
08. Jin Kei
Korean Lego artist Jin Kei has given life to one of the giant four-legged mammals from Salvador Dali’s painting The Elephants. The artist added his own steampunk twist with mechanical accessories, and at 32 inches, this makes for a seriously impressive piece of Lego art.
09. Back to the Future train
We were extremely excited to learn that Back to the Future Lego was a thing. Our excitement then prompted us to search for BTTF Lego fan art, which is when we came across this 19th century train by G Russo.
Russo is keen to get his design developed into an actual Lego set. And he's gone all out to try and ensure that happens, adding fine details including two side panels that fold open to reveal an overhead door, some foldout steps, and various controls, levers, pipes, and wheels for controlling the train.
10. Pixel Kiss
The talented team at Brickworkz create the most amazing custom Lego art work. One such example is this piece, modelled based on the Pop Art style of Roy Lichtenstein's Kiss V 1969.
Composed of over 20,000 Lego bricks, the cool mosaic currently resides at legal office of William Ellyson in Richmond, Virginia.
11. Lego aircraft carrier
This Lego aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman has got to be one of the most impressive creations on our list, in terms of size and detail. The 200,000 brick, 4.5m long, 350-pound aircraft carrier comes complete with electrical lights as well as moving elevators and radar dishes.
The epic sculpture, built by German Lego fan Malle Hawking, also includes a half submarine and a mini gunboat on the side.
12. Lego framed rainbow
After discovering the Lego Factory and latest Lego Digital Designer software, artist Simon C Page became hooked on Lego art design. And this Lego framed rainbow is his first creation.
Created out of 3,029 bricks, there are over 200 1x1 pieces of each of the 16 colours used throughout. "It has took me over six hours to put together and wasn't easy – stacking nearly 50 1 x 1 piece end to end nearly 50 times across, all the time keeping to a strict colouring pattern," he said on his website.
13. A futuristic Japan
Project Build Up Japan was sponsored and curated by the legendary toy brick makers and encouraged school children to build imaginary structures of a Japan that they wanted to see.
With a little help from their parents and a few Lego officials, children across Japan were able to create their country the way they wanted it. The total number of Lego bricks used was a jaw-dropping 1.8 million.
14. Lifesize Lego forest
How cool is this? This isn’t a child-sized toy set: it’s actually a lifesize Lego forest in the Australian Outback. It’s made up of 15 pine trees, and 15 flower sets, all 66 times bigger than their design toy counterparts – making the trees a whopping 4m high.
15. Lego advent
Last year, the UK's only certified Lego technician Duncan Titchmarsh built this huge advent calendar sculpture. Made up of approximately 600,000 bricks, the installation was unveiled in central London's Covent Garden shopping area.
Each door was opened at 4pm every day in the lead up to Xmas day. The presents behind each were also cool Lego creations. What an awesome way to celebrate the festive season.
16. Sea Monster
Take a trip to Disney World in Florida and you'll find this awesome Lego sea monster, Brickley. The cool character is made out of 170,000 Lego bricks, stretches a whopping 30 feet and weighs half a ton!
The brilliant sculpture is one of many found in Downtown Disney at the Lego Imagination centre. Other models include a Transformer, giant models of Woody and Buzz Lightyear and the Seven Dwarves.
Paul Hetherington – known in the Lego world as BrickBaron – had already given a sneak peek to this incredible creation, by showing off the lower structure full of mermaids, oceans and ships. Little did we know that it would actually play as part of a much larger sculpture featuring the God of the sea.
Poseidon was built for the Vancouver Lego Club's Mythology exhibit at the Surrey Museum; taking place from July until September 15th. The attention to detail is astonishing: we don't know if we'd have the patience to build something as impressive as this. You can see more photos of Poseidon, as well as Paul's other work on his Flickr page.
This stunning sculpture was created by Bram Lambrecht using LSculpt – a program which converts a triangle mesh into an LDraw file. Like the sphere generator, the generated model consists of a surface of 1×1 plates oriented in whichever direction provides the best detail.
We love that Bram has taken the time to create not only the body and branch but the shadow too. It's these details that make certain Lego sculptures stand out from the rest. You can see more of Bram's work on his official website.
19. Biggest ever Mario
Although created in 2009, this huge Mario sculpture still deserves a mention. Brick layer Dirk Van Haesbroeck took just over two weeks to finalise the plumber. Mario is comprised of 30,000 Lego bricks with the pedestal containing another 12,000. This video showcases the 160 hours of work in just over a minute.
Once the sculpture was finished, it was auctioned off on eBay in aid of Ronald McDonald, a Dutch organisation that arranges proper housing for relatives of hospitalised children in the vicinity of clinics. It sold for an impressive $5100. You can see more of Dirk's Lego art on his Facebook page.
Despite its short run on television almost ten years ago, fans of Firefly and film Serenity still express an intense love and passion for the Joss Whedon series. One such fan decided to build the ultimate homage to the sci-fi show with a replica of the ship Serenity.
Adrian Drake used around 70,000 Lego pieces and the project took 475 hours over the course of 21 months. The ship itself weighs an incredible 135 pounds due to the intricate details Adrian has included. You can more of Adrian's stunning Lego art on his website.
Next page: 20 more brilliant examples of Lego art