Monday, April 9, 2012

The Arrested Development model home gets immortalized in Lego form (while somewhere, some other Lego maniac must be working on his recreation of the house from Spaced or the mansion from Fresh Prince)

Jeffrey Tambor looks especially strange without a nose and with a yellow jug for a head.
(Photo source: Matt De Lanoy)
"As someone who just finished spending the majority of his life in prison, what happened with Legos? They used to be simple... Something happened out here while I was inside. Harry Potter Legos, Star Wars Legos, complicated kits, tiny little blocks. I mean, I'm not saying it's bad. I just wanna know what happened."

--Professor Marshall Kane (Michael Kenneth Williams), Community

When I was either seven or eight years old--back in a simpler time before the days when Lego started selling those licensed Potter or Star Wars playsets that currently baffle Greendale's biology teacher--I got bored with constructing vehicles or buildings with whatever remaining Lego bricks were lying around the house (God, those pieces are so easy to lose). So I tried recreating with those same Legos the set of The $25,000 Pyramid, right down to Dick Clark's podium. When I couldn't get it to look enough like Pyramid, I shuffled several bricks around and tried to convert it into the set of Jeopardy!

"Ooh, I know this one," says you the reader. "'What are things that look like shit?'"

Correct. Ding-ding.

My attempts to make Lego replicas of the Pyramid and Jeopardy! sets never looked as good as the work of Matt De Lanoy, a Lego master and Arrested Development fan whose remarkable Lego diorama of the Mitch Hurwitz creation's central setting, the Bluth family's model home, was the subject of an A.V. Club Chicago post that I recently stumbled into. De Lanoy's replica of the Bluths' crib is on display at a Lego Store in Schaumburg, Illinois all through April. It comes complete with the Bluths' stair car, the frozen banana stand (is there any money in this banana stand?) and even a tiny Gob figure with both his Segway and wooden black BFF Franklin.

From really faraway, this crib looks like the desert home where Luke Skywalker used to live on Tatooine. I can easily picture Luke's whiny voice hollering, 'Aunt Beru!'

Please build a Lego replica of the mansion from Silver Spoons next, unemployed somebody with shitloads of both Lego bricks and time on his hands!

The Bluth stair car is especially handy if your date is stuck in a tree.
De Lanoy's diorama has slightly raised my interest in Netflix's in-the-works revival of the hilarious Arrested Development, even though I'm kind of skeptical about how it'll turn out because so many reunion projects for TV have been such duds. However, I'm relieved that Arrested Development will return as a 10-to-13-episode series instead of as a two-hour feature film where it would have been impossible for every Bluth to receive substantial screen time.

While I have the patience to watch 10-to-13 nonstop episodes that I assume Netflix Instant will unveil all at once (that was how Netflix posted its eight-episode original series Lilyhammer) instead of week-by-week, I don't have the patience to play architect like De Lanoy does. But if I were more patient with Legos, I'd recreate the Chevy that a drunk McNulty crashed into an overpass column (and then crashed into the same column again to figure out why it happened--McNulty's always a detective, even when plastered) right before he banged that waitress at the beginning of the "Duck and Cover" episode from season 2 of The Wire. That smashed-up Chevy is overdue for a Lego replica.

Here are some other impressive Lego dioramas of shows and films that, like The Wire or Arrested Development, aren't as popular with Lego's juice box-sipping consumers as say, Potter or Star Wars:

I could totally picture this Lego version of Pete Campbell also saying, 'I sure as hell wouldn't want a kid here watching this donnybrook!'
Mad Men's "Nixon vs. Kennedy" episode by Devon Wilkop (Photo source: MOCpages)

That's a fine meth you've gotten yourself into, Walt.
(Photo source: Orion Pax)

This is also how a city street looks when you're on acid.
Inception by Flickr user "infomaniac" (Photo source: My Modern Metropolis)

Replace Lego Joseph Gordon-Levitt with a black Lego man and now it's Lionel Richie's 'Dancing on the Ceiling' video.
Inception (Photo source: hoyvinmayvin)

Coming soon to the Mall of America: Dave & Buster's.
Logan's Run by Keith Goldman (Photo source:

I never thought 'Cormac McCarthy' and 'Lego' could be uttered in the same sentence.
(Photo source: Yatkuu)

What would make this diorama rock even more is if it contained a sound chip of 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen.
Shaun of the Dead by Yatkuu (Photo source: Dread Central)

Captain Trunk never conked his hair! All these years that Lego's been in business, and they still don't know how to produce nappy hair on a black Lego man?
(Photo source: doctorsinister)

Deathtrap should be the next Sidney Lumet movie to get the Lego diorama treatment, just so that we can see if that awkward Michael Caine/Christopher Reeve kiss looks equally awkward in Lego form.
(Photo source: hoyvinmayvin)

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