The Gingerbread House

A few weeks ago, Boris told me about the opportunity to review a LEGO Creator Expert set part of the Amusement Park series. I was a bit surprised as these used to be released in spring, and after the Roller Coaster, I wasn’t expecting something else in that series.

Nevertheless, I decided to accept the challenge. I had no idea what the set was, and was afraid it would be another set too big to easily transport outside. But I thought that if that was the case, then it would force me to take some indoor studio photos for a change.

Fast forward one or two weeks later, I get a shipping notification from our friends at LEGO. Two hours later, once back from work, I see on multiple LEGO news websites the official announcement for the new Creator gingerbread house. So it meant the set that had just been shipped from Billund was actually the gingerbread house.

I was partly disappointed (no new amusement ride for my city) and partly relieved (no struggle finding a place a place for it in the city). I was also partly excited (winter is coming!) and partly scared… It will take a few weeks before the first snow comes here in the North. This meant I had no choice and would have to put my (rusty) indoor photography skills to the test.

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The Best of the LEGO Jurassic World 2019 sets

I went to Denmark with a rather detailed (and long) list of the sets I wanted to buy while visiting the P-Shop. On top of that list, the complete series of new Jurassic World sets. I’ve spent my summer with all of them in my backpack. I even went on a road trip along the coast of Helgeland with them.

One of my first photo with the new Triceratops, taken during our fun challenge #ToyPhotographersDoItBetterTogether on the last day, in collaboration with @gehrkesven.

In this post, I want to share what inspires me photographically in the following sets:

I won’t go into all the details but focus on what I liked to photograph. If you’re looking for a full-fledge review, you can probably find one on Brickset which list both text and video reviews.

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A Dino in the Park

The new Jurassic park set is here. I’ve been lucky enough for LEGO to have sent me the set a bit earlier to shoot.

The set

As I opened the box I was immediately surprised by the sheer size of the set, clocking up 3120 pieces! The great thing about the build is that you can share it with a friend. There’s one book of instructions for the iconic “Jurassic Park” gate and another for the star of the original film, the T-Rex.

I set to work on the big beast and loved the way you can build it up section by section. You can then click each part, such as the tail sections, together.

My wife, Helena, tackled the gates and loved the fact that she got to build all the minifigs. She’s a big fan of the Jurassic World series so she knew all the characters’ names right from the off.

The first problem to hit me after the build was how on earth I was going to transport the model out to my version of Isla Nublar!
With plenty of small pieces on the gates, and the T-Rex being pretty heavy, I knew that I had a big job on my hands.

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Photographing large toys – part 2

Last week I talked about how I forced and trained myself photographing larger LEGO sets. Eventually, this led me to the Ultimate challenge of photographing the second tallest LEGO set: the Disney Castle.

This blog post is the continuation of last week, focusing on my two photo sessions with the Castle. The difficulties encountered and the lessons learned along the way.

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Photographing large toys – part 1

I’ve always felt quite uncomfortable when I have to photograph relatively large toys. I’m used to photographing minifig-size toys and when I need to move to a larger scale, I usually struggle. It’s completely out of my comfort zone. Bokeh is an important element of my photography and with a larger scale, it gets more difficult to rely on it. As an outdoor toy photographer, another challenge with large LEGO sets is transport.

For over a year now, I’ve been forcing myself to photograph larger toys, mostly complete LEGO sets and builds. My main goal has been to have photos of the entire build, not some close-up shot of details. (I consider close-ups as cheating as it would amount to going back inside the comfort zone.)

In this two-part blog post series, I want to look back at how I practiced photographing larger toys, in particular, large LEGO builds. Today, I will talk about how I rehearsed and trained myself. This will lead to talking next week about the story of how I ended up photographing the Disney Castle as the Ultimate Challenge. and what I learned along the way.

(And maybe there will be a third part later after receiving the new LEGO Dino…)

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Arabian Nights

Last time, my first post about the new Disney minifigures was about relatively new Disney characters. Now it’s time to look at older characters. In particular, the ones from my childhood.

One of my favorite Disney movies, if not my all-time favorite, is Aladdin. Mostly because of its villain who fascinated me during my childhood.

In company of my brother, ready to celebrate carnival some 25 years ago.

Upon the release of the first Disney series, my disappointment was strong to see Aladdin and Genie, but no Jafar. I had no hope to see him as part of a second wave. Yet it happened. (Most likely thanks to the live-action adaptation to be released in a few weeks.)

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Where’s my Super Suit?

“You need a new suit, that much is certain.”

Edna Mode
Honey! Where’s my Super Suit?

The Incredibles, a movie painstakingly put together by many animators, editors, and producers. Its attention to detail and realistic animation style give it top scores by all. Just look at how long it took to make the second one, 14 years! With that being said, LEGO spared no expense getting the details right on its two newest Incredibles minifigures: Frozone and Edna Mode.

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Disney Magic

I’m almost ashamed that a few weeks ago I wrote about how I was tired of pop culture. Yet I have to admit that I’ve been pretty excited just thinking about the upcoming Disney movie releases. The live action version of Aladdin, the remake of the Lion King, Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2.

I’m a huge Disney fan. Needless to say that for me, Disney nostalgia goes hand in hand with toy photography. I grew up in the 90s and the Disney animation movies from the second Disney golden age had a strong influence on me.

After the first Disney CMF series, I thought we would soon get a second one… But it didn’t happen. When the new series was announced, I was truly thrilled. And excited when I saw that some of my favorite characters were part of the series.

But before writing about those characters, I have to finish a work in progress project that was started in December.

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Meet Ade

About Me

​I live in the northern English county of Cheshire. I am in my early 40’s and married. I have one grown up step-son and two grandchildren. Currently working for the local National Health Service (NHS) Management Accounts team. Outside of my toy photography, I am a fan of science fiction/fantasy movies and books. Currently working my way through Garth Ennis comics.


I first picked up a camera back in 2012 when coming across David Rupp who had an online photography site. Despite living in the United States we have become close friends. He encouraged me to pick up a camera and over the course of 18 months undertook a project called ‘Across the Pond’. Each week we would have a theme and every Sunday would exchange the pictures we took and comment on them. Despite not being very good, David was a great source of encouragement and helped me develop as a hobby photographer.

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Meet Hanna

It’s friday, it’s time for a new #FeatureFriday interview. Following my interview of two great Toy Photographers women for HispaBrick Magazine 032, let’s meet Hanna (@hannakuvaa on Instagram).

Can you present yourself shortly?

I’m Hanna, a nature and toy photographer living in Finland, on the northern edge of Europe. By education I am a biologist, working as a biology and geography teacher. I got my first film camera for a birthday present when I turned ten, but I only took real interest on photography when I got my hands on a DSLR camera 15 years later.

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