18 September 2020

LEGO® Arcade Pods: Aron Gerencser's Robot Lovers and Hermit Crab

Posted by Admin
Continuing our examination of the cruellest seed part ever, today's builder grappling with the arcade pod from LEGO® Ninjago is Aron Gerencser (Pohaturon on Flickr). He's a professional journalist from Hungary who joins the New E team as contributor and subeditor, so make him welcome!

They say couples who play together, stay together - and I guess if that applies to both LEGO® and video games, the buff stacks!

As is often the case, the inspiration for these little builds came from multiple sources. Robots with screens for faces is hardly an innovation, and I saw an absolutely delightful use of the Arcade Pod piece by Moko which also used it as the body of a robot:

A great deal of personal inspiration went into my creation as well, since they were built for Valentine’s Day and embody the hobby that brought my wife and I together in the first place.

Being a POOP, the Arcade Pod piece is arguably limited in its applications, but I’ve often advocated POOPs for their inspirational merits. Sure, you can build something very similar using bricks and slopes, but had this particular mould never seen the light of day, many of the creative uses builders came up with probably wouldn’t have been conceived of either!

Another result from the “partstorming” sessions I did with the arcade pod was inspired by the ingenuity of nature.

Hermit crabs, when suitable seashells are not available, are very resourceful in finding objects to protect their soft abdomens, which are unusual among crustaceans. Images of hermit crabs wearing plastic waste are a good example (as well as a stark reminder that we need to take better care of the environment).

Another source of inspiration here was the “mimic” archetype of game-enemy. Seemingly innocuous objects may turn out to hide nasty surprises when interacted with - traditionally these are treasure chests, which when opened reveal nasty teeth and a bad temper instead of gold and gems. In this case, unwary players may find themselves in a pinch.

Thanks to the wide range of motion provided by Plate 1x2 Ball Cup / Friction End (6043639 | 14418), Plate 1x2 Ball Cup / Friction Middle (6043656 | 14704) and various tow-ball elements - colloquially known as Mixel joints, thanks to the theme that popularised them - the eyestalks, pincers and leg assemblies can fold into the hollow interior of the pod, and the back can even close back into place!

I encountered an interesting weight distribution factor when building. The dark grey back cover that clips into the hinges made the pods too back-heavy and unstable, hence their absence on the finished model. This is because the pod piece itself is surprisingly light, as its side walls are thinner than a plate. You can see this on the small triangular ledges jutting out on either side. The bottom also only has a row of antistuds along three edges, further reducing its weight.

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1 comment:

  1. Great models Aron! I love the arcade crab (the Arcrab?).