It took awhile to get to writing this roundup what with BrickCon, then with post-BrickCon clean up and coming down from the BrickCon high. Some of you might know what I'm talking about. If you don't, you ought to get yourself to BrickCon one of these years. Anyway, this challenge delves into into the island nation of Japan where they have square watermelon, vending machines doling out used panties...and the world's most formidable automotive industry...well, except for China, who apparently took that title from Japan last year somehow. lets get to it!
You know what's big in Japan besides square watermelon and used panty vending machines? This 1973 Datsun 510 LH Turbo built by Jason Son. Even though he claims Japanese cars are not his thing, Jason Son accurately depicts the early 70's style, its shape, the grille, headlights and all around feel that just screams...classic Japanese. You know that feel I'm talking about, right? Well, this MOC just screams it!
Also screaming from the hilltops and making their presence known are these two Japanese super bikes built by Aaron-smileyface-potleaf. The hair and wild color scheme is indicative of Japanese anime cartoons. Aaron says it feels good to contribute to the challenges again but apologizes for double dipping into blue-purple color scheme again. With MOCs this good he can double dip into blue-purple cheese dip anytime!
Speaking of double dipping, Japanese designer Teruo Uchino had his eye on European contemporary sedans, particularly the BMW, when he designed the Datsun 510. That's what Legogil tells us as he presents this stunning Datsun rally racer with it's striking red, yellow, white and gray color scheme. If the Datsun 510 has been dubbed the poor man's BMW...rich or poor, Legogil has done a great job of recreating it!
zenn takes us into the future with these four Neo-Tokyo hoverbikes. As we're not a spaceship building group, this sort of dances the line between what is allowed in our group and what is not but you can't deny these sleek little creations took its main inspiration from motorcycles...and as Japan is such a tech-savvy nation, this could be pretty accurate in terms of what the Japanese may have in store for us in the very near future.
By this point, Dylan Denton jokes that "a better name for this challenge would've been Build a Datsun" as he rolls one more Datsun off the assembly line, this time a white 1971 Skyline GT-R. Even though a smaller scale than the other Datsuns presented in this challenge, its shape, its grille and headlights are unmistakably BMW...er, I mean Datsun! Damn that Teruo Uchino!
Tim Inman knew the Nissan/Datsun sedans would be popular. That's why he built this 1970 Datsun...er, I mean Toyota Celica 1600GT. While Tim is a diehard Chevy guy, he has no problem relaying this Toyota's distinctly Japanese form. Oh, and guess what? He's so good at building Japanese cars that his black and orange Mazda RX-7 won Best Modern Japanese at BrickCon's Big In Japan exhibit! Way to go, Tim! Maybe we should start calling you Rabidtunerracer. ;)
You really can't get tired of Datsuns when they look this good. This Tuner built by J0n4th4n D3rk53n is chock full of complex curves, advanced build techniques and even some totally chromed out rims. I got to meet Jonathan and his parents at BrickCon. He seems to be a totally cool young man...he came during public hours and wants to be "one of us" for BrickCon next year. I'm surprised his parents took so well to me, considering that day I wore my skull rings, a skull and cross bones cap and a skirt. Yep, a skirt!
You really can't have a Big In Japan vehicle building challenge without Akira inspired super bikes...such as this one built by Brad. Its shape is unmistakably Akira...throw in a rider with purple cabbage hair and you've just won the Big In Japan jackpot! I never thought I'd write such a sentence including purple cabbage hair and winning the Big In Japan jackpot, but low and behold...there it is!
Tuner sedans are Big In Japan. These tuners built by Dohoon Kim are...Tiny In Japan...or Tiny in Togo, which is where Dohoon lives. Ah, I can just see these little tuners drifting circles around that little cop car! Poor copper would never have a chance against them!
Speaking of drifting circles around the competition, no one does it better than Ken Block in his Subaru Impreza WRX...also built by Dohoon Kim. The familiar black, white and lime green color configuration adorns the little car as well as the iconic Monster Energy Drink logo.
GorillaWer tells us to bless the mess with this Suzuki Gori bike. You should never swim until an hour after you've eaten but apparently you can build with Lego as evidenced by GorillaWer telling us this was constructed within an hour right after dinner. I like how the front tire is held on by minifig arms.
Mad Physicist is exceptionally good at making very common things look...um...good. Here we have the Toyota Prius. Ralph tells us this is the most distinctive Japanese car on the road in Europe and come to think of it the most distinctive here in the US as well. That reminds me of that South Park episode where Prius drivers were completely smug and enjoyed the smell of their own farts. Yeah, that's pretty spot on. ;)
Lino Martins was hell bent on building a Hayabusa motorcycle for this challenge. So I did some research on the Hayabusa and suddenly I was building this Suzuki GSX R/4 concept car instead. See how my mind works? Well, its not like I'm completely daft...this sleek little concept racer runs with a rear mounted Hayabusa engine. See, so its totally justifiable!
A man of few words...no words...Ricecracker graces us with this tiny Honda S2000. Its little...and its a Honda...which makes it Little In Japan...or something. That reminds me, I'm hungry for a meat and cheese snack. Maybe I am a little daft after all.
Also a man of few words is Raphy. Wait, what? The usually talkative young man doesn't say much when he presents his new '04 Subaru rally racer. Seems like this time we gotta do all the talking for him. Lets see, well, its blue and its a four wide...and it probably burns rubber and peels out. And its probably owned by Superman or the President. There, thats more like it!
And what would a LUGNuts challenge be without a day late last minute run by Peter "lego911" Blackert? It would be very punctual, but a lot less populated...and not quite as exciting. Lets rattle off the run in quick succession, first is a 1967 Toyota 2000 GT.
Next is a '74 Toyota E30 Corolla Wagon. I didn't even know they had the Corolla in '74!
Next on the Lego911 slab is the '85 Mitsubishi Australia TM Magna...apparently Japanese cars have infultrated the Australian market as well.
Then make way for the '85 Toyota E80 Corolla SX Twin-Cam 5-Door...all I can say about that is thank God for copy/paste!
And next is the '66 Toyota E10 Corolla Sedan.
Then Lego911 takes a break...for probably like five minutes, then presents us with the Toyota Corolla AE86 Levin.
Next is the Toyota Corolla AE86 Trueno
Followed closely by the Toyota Corolla AE86 levin (standard)
Then Lego911 takes a short break and returns with a brick built Toyota...uh, I mean Nissan E23 Urvan
Changing it up a little, we have the Toyota TF104 Formula 1 racer
And proving he can build more Toyotas in shorter time than the entire Japanese auto industry, next we have the '84 Toyota Tarago MPV.
And finally Lego911 finishes us off with a '91 Honda NSX. That's a wrap, boys!
Well that was a satisfying end to our all Japanese-y challenge! Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto indeed! You youngins look that up...and try not to blow your minds while you're at it! Early 80's progressive rock should be taken in small doses. What shouldn't be taken in small doses is our birthday challenge called...LUGNuts Turns Three! This month we get to build from any challenge over the past three years...sort of a free for all, anything goes, year in review thank you for making LUGNuts a raging success. So have yourself a heaping load of birthday cake for us, and while you're at it...why not build something! Stay tuned throughout the month to see how we do. Happy building all y'all!