Each week I look forward to seeing what’s new or takes my fancy on the LEGO Ideas website and then sitting down to write a feature on it. It’s the highlight of my week!
This week’s submission is taken from another childhood classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Its creator, Simon Scott (a.k.a TVRulesMyLife), has done a wonderful job in recreating the main setting of the film and added so much detail it’s mind blowing!
The base it proudly sits on is made up of dark gray plates that overlap one-another and topped with circular 1×1 and 2×2 light gray tiles, giving it that natural and uneven path look.
Choosing which iconic scenes and buildings of the 1993 film must of been a tough a call, there are so many great parts in which to commemorate in LEGO form. Simon has definitely choosen wisely and gone with the main Halloween Town, which includes Jack’s House, Spiral Hill, and the Halloween Town Centre.
This cross-generation appeal of such a unique movie deserves to have its own set immortalised in Lego.
The Halloween Town Centre looks great and is home to a plethora of details and features. The main one being the Frightful Fountain, which is some sort of creature spewing out green florescent goo. I really like the way Simon has captured the arched spine and tiny arms which hold the head/next up. In some other photos you can see the fountain lit-up, this is when the creature and pool of goo really come alive!
A curved wall encloses the fountain which leads to the gates of Jack’s House. This is a sight to behold in its own right, and would do just fine on its own as a build.
The way Simon has taken inspiration from the original images and converted it into LEGO is great.
The gates creek open, and the gargoyles stare and follow you in. Creep up the wonky staircase and knock on the big scary doors which has a very strange Eyeball that greets you. Of course there are other details along the way, a pumpkin or two and some black vines. You really get a sense of eerieness from this build!
Exit the house grounds and head to the Graveyard, you’ll see tombstones and graves among the pumpkins and withered shrubbery. The gravestones are built using just a few pieces each, it always surprises me just how much, or little, you can build with to make something look so realistic, they’re great!
Clamber up the side of Spiral Hill where Jack & Sally sing one of the many songs in the film. This is such an iconic scene where Jack climbs to the top, while singing, then later proceeds to slide down the unfurled spiral before it rolls itself back up.
Simon has used the ball & socket pieces to recreate the bends needed to make it curl up properly. I presume once unfolded the connecting pieces join to make a suitable walk way for the Minifigures.
There are six Minifigures included, Jack & Sally, three trick or treaters, and Dr Finkelstein.
Simon used custom Jack & Sally Minifigures, which look great by the way. Seeing as LEGO have since produced the official versions of both Minifigures they would most likely use them. I personally would like to see how LEGO would handle Dr Finkelstein, with his slider physique and enlarged head.
We also see Jack’s ghostly Dog companion Zero. The part Simon has used here fits so well and looks pretty much spot on, albeit missing the red light up nose. I wonder if LEGO would reuse the same part which comes directly from a LEGO Hidden Side set.
Over all Simon has done a wonderful job in designing, building, and recreating the eerie yet magical World originally dreamt up by Tim Burton. The town, house, and hill look amazing and would look great sat on display in any AFOLs collection!
We briefly spoke to Simon and asked him a handful of questions regarding his love for LEGO and how the idea came about.
When and how did you get into LEGO?
If memory serves I did have a few bricks as a child as i remember entering a competition as a child in our local village hall but in my teens the interest disappeared. After the dark years – my interest was re-awakened 10 years ago buying a small set for our son Luke (it was a Star Wars – Luke’s Landspeeder) and from there it’s just grown & grown.
What made you choose The Nightmare Before Christmas?
It’s always been a family film favourite in our house and it’s been great introducing it to our children – I can’t believe it’s over 25 years old!
For those not familiar with the film it tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of “Halloween Town” who stumbles through a portal to “Christmas Town” and becomes obsessed with celebrating the holiday.
My wife had bought a couple of Jack & Sally custom printed minifigures a few years back at a show and it was always my intention to build them a nice display home for them to be placed.
Did you plan on listing it on LEGO Ideas from the start or was it an after thought?
No it was never meant as an Ideas project – purely a personal one. Though I did decide to start building the set as part of a 2 week building competition on a Lego Facebook page – Lego Build Offs & Banter (I generally build better when I have a deadline). My build won and quite a few members suggested I try submitting it on the Lego Ideas website.
How long did the whole process take, from initial idea to the finished article?
I’d had an idea of how I wanted it to look for a couple of years but the actual building of it, once I had all the right parts, was just over a week. The competition was to build somethinng in 2 weeks that you’ve always wanted to build – i used the remaining time to make a promotional video which has since been edited to promote the Ideas project itself.
How many pieces were used in the construction?
I never kept count to be honest as I tend to just free build though I estimate it to be around 1000/1200 mark.
Are there any other ideas you’re currently working on?
I’m currently looking to expand the build of Halloween town and perhaps transform it into a Christmas decorated one (just like they did with the film) I working on Jack Skellington’s Sleigh from it where he dresses up as Santa Clause. I also have an Indiana Jones ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ 40th Anniversary build that I had displayed in the Birmingham Lego Store through October that I’m going to expand on when time allows.
What advice would you give to others wishing to submit to LEGO Ideas?
If you have a unique idea I say just go for it – you never know what will capture Lego fans enthusiasm.
Though I prefer to build with actual bricks currently available there are several Lego building software platforms that let you build without limitations. Get good pictures of your build and make sure as many people know about it as possible once it’s been accepted.
We wish Simon the best of luck with his idea and hope to see it turn into a real LEGO set soon!
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