Archive | December 2011

8-Bit Awesomeness (Part 2)

This is the extended version of my project bio from the kickstarter page.

“Epic Mario” combines Legos and Mario for epic sized fun!

1985 was a particularly great year. I was six, and being six is pretty awesome. It was the year that I got my very first 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and with it Super Mario Brothers. A game that I believe will live on in the collective consciousness for time immemorial. It was also the year that I designed the first Lego set that I felt was worthy of their attention. I took photos and drew instructions and wrote The Lego Group a letter asking if they would kindly share my idea with the world. My mother being the wonderful women that she is sent with my package a letter asking them to humor me with a press kit. In the first lines of the letter she wrote “My son Zack is a Lego maniac.” A year or so later there were a commercial on the air with those exact sentiments.

For as long as I can remember I have been building with Legos. As a child, many a long afternoon was spent on the floor of my bedroom endlessly building, un-building, and rebuilding. Planes trains and automobiles were just the tip of the iceberg. Then there were gadgets, gizmos, and contraptions. By the time I was 14 I began designing entire product lines of Lego sets and illustrating the instruction manuals so I could build them again later. That drive for building continues to this day, but the scale has changed.

Traditional Lego sets available for purchase have anywhere from about 20 – 1,000 pieces. In the last several years The Lego Group has started releasing more and more sets the push the envelope of brick count and complexity with their sets, which now top out at over 5,000 pieces. In comparison, my projects have hovered between 6,000 – 15,000 pieces for the last several years. This project trumps all of that by leaping to almost 780,000 pieces. No one that I am aware of has done a Lego mosaic this sale before. It will stand seven feet tall and over 90 feet wide.

This project has several goals. First and foremost I want to inspire a new generation of Lego enthusiasts, and to hopefully show some people that have forgotten, that building with Legos can be done at any age. Second, this project aims to push the limits of imagination about what you can do with Lego bricks, and particularly to break down stereotypes people have about both Legos and video games only being toys. I want to show the world Legos and video games can be works of art as well. Last but certainly not least, I (and I think many other people) really want to see the entire level 1-1 of Super Mario Brothers made from Legos, because it is just FUN! Sometimes as adults we forget to have FUN. I want to create a little nostalgia and a little excitement.

Now for some FAQs

What does your contribution pay for?

Primarily it pays for Lego bricks. 780,000 of them if I get enough funding. Your money will also go to other materials critical for the installation of the work. Items like plywood, Plexiglas, and mounting hardware.

The funding will not cover items like labor (of which there will be a lot), transportation of the finished project to various conventions around the country and the associated convention expenses. That stuff I will figure out a way to handle if I can get your help with funding the materials.

Where can I see it when it is finished?

I will be posting updates to the project at It will also be on display at 2012 BrickCon Expo in Seattle and as many other conventions as I can get to over the year following its completion like PAX and Comic-Con, pending their approval. 90’ is a lot of real estate at a convention.

When will it be finished/how long will it take?

I am currently a working on my Master’s degree and due to the scale of the work it will take quite a lot of effort to get it assembled. Just building the display for it will take me a week of Saturdays. My goal is to host a series of brick building parties in the Portland area. Every contributor will get an email invitation to these events. I will be providing food and beverages and hopefully with 10-20 people each time, we can get the mosaic assembled in two or three work sessions of a few hours each.


8-Bit Awesomeness (part 1)

For those in the know, I have been talking about an epic Lego sculpture for sometime. Well that time has finally come. In the next day or two I am launching my kickstarter site to raise funding for the largest Lego project I have ever tackled. Level 1-1 of the classic Super Mario Brothers, entirely in Lego. If funded entirely, the project will be built to the scale of one brick per pixel and will feature over 768,000 pieces. I hope to unveil the project at PAX this year pending the approval of the guys over at Penny-Arcade. I also want to show it at Brick Con (and any other convention I can make it to next year). So if you guys want to see this thing built, please dontae to my cause once I get the site up. I have built a sample section of it for reference and to give people a visual for kickstarter. I will be posting updates here as the project moves along. Check back soon for more details.