Honest Arrogance or Hypocritical Humility

Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change.
— Frank Lloyd Wright
The long-awaited and much-blogged Fallingwater LEGO Architecture set is now available at LEGO S@H! Hooray hooray!

Putting aside the subject matter (freshman architecture students are often asked who their favorite architect is; all who answer "Frank Lloyd Wright" should be promptly expelled.) and the dubious price point (sure, $99 for 811 pieces isn't that bad, but 811 pieces is easy to get up to if everything is made of tiny plates, and one could easily build this set with parts laying around, perhaps with a Bricklink purchase of more tan tiles), let us instead examine the set's questionable origins.

Adam Reed Tucker, according to sources, was a licensed architect in Chicago, before selling his firm to focus on LEGO. He built a large number of skyscrapers — representations of architectural icons from around the world, with an emphasis on Chicago — which he brought to Brickfest 2006 to aid in marketing his "Brickstructures" line of modified LEGO bricks.

It's worth noting that his larger display skyscrapers used glue and cut pieces (most notably to make the distinctive cross-bracing on the Hancock building), despite his lie statement to the contrary on MOCpages. Unfortunately, Brickfest 06 featured notoriously terrible lighting, and photographic evidence is lacking.

Meanwhile, the Brickstructures line was made primarily of modified bricks — technic beams with holes drilled in the ends — combined with travis bricks to allow builders to quickly construct rigid frames. His line included plastic sheets with windows printed on, which could be applied to the frame, and voila, skyscraper!

The legality of his Brickstructures line seemed in question as of Brickfest 06, which, coupled with the lack of further announcements post-Fest, could lead people to believe that Tucker did indeed get tied down in a disagreement with LEGO. Was granting Tucker the Architecture set line a way of avoiding a costly lawsuit? One can only speculate.

Whatever the case, this is certainly another example of the reach of Big LEGO; the steady creep of Non-Disclosure Agreements, ambassadorship, kickbacks, and unpaid consulting jobs. Big LEGO has divided the online community between those who know secrets "they just wish they could tell you," who have access to rare and non-production parts, who are rewarded with hush-hush deals and bags of mysterious parts, and the rest of us.


  1. Big LEGO? Good call, in my view.

    (Though I'd probably add the determination of fan magazines and certain blogs to present a 'warm and fuzzy' view of the community and its interactions into the mix).

  2. From the kid who makes mysterious posts about black technic half-pins. :p

  3. Adam does not even design the final model in 'his' line. His choice of building and sketch model is given to a LEGO Designer in Billund, who rebuilds it and does the model comittee.
    This begs the question why is Adam's name on the box and not the person who did all the 'LEGO-izing' of his sketch model?