The LEGO Dark Arts: Incorporating LEGO Gear Into Your MOCs

Best of BrickNerd — Article originally published December 8, 2021.

While there are many fascinating facets of our wonderful LEGO hobby, one of the most divisive topics is purism; some believe that it’s never okay to mix other things with LEGO, while others feel perfectly fine throwing Mega Bloks pieces into their builds. The topic is made even more difficult by the fact that different builders’ views on what qualifies as purist vary; is it okay to incorporate broken pieces? Third-party elements? Custom decals?

Today, we’re going to take a look at some MOCs that tread right on the line between purist and non-purist by incorporating LEGO gear. These are items that, while produced by LEGO in at least some sense, are not bricks, and were not necessarily intended to be incorporated into creations. Whatever view you may have about whether or not these builds qualify as purist”, you’ve got to admire the creativity and ingenuity behind them!

Diving right into it, this whistle was built by Sean and Steph Mayo for a round of Iron Builder back in 2014. The seed part was actually the 1×2 rounded slope piece in yellow, but it’s hard to ignore the brilliant incorporation of a LEGO keychain and the spiral spine from a LEGO notebook!

Keeping in the theme of life-size accessories, this grenade by Nick Brick also uses a LEGO keychain ring, this time for the pin. It’s quite a fitting usage, too, seeing as some real grenades used keyrings for the pins as well.

Moving along, we’ve got this ice planet-esque rover by Frost that incorporates several LEGO erasers as the wheels! While I’m not sure how practical these wheels would actually be in a snowy environment, they certainly look cool!

Marius Herrmann built this mech as part of his series of fashion robots which incorporate clothing from the LEGO Scala line. However, what really caught my eye was the use of LEGO gel pens for the rail guns on each arm!

Next we have this build by Renaud Petit Lego depicting a ceremony of banana worshippers sacrificing a guy in a hotdog suit (or something along those lines). While the scene is packed with fun and wacky details, the item of interest in this article is the incorporation of a baggage tag of the CMF (Collectible Minifigure) series 16 Banana Suit Guy used as the central statue in the back.

If you’re starting to get a bit tired, now might be a good time to take a break and grab some coffee. Or better yet, have it brought to you by this coffee-serving robot built by our very own Markus Rollbuhler! He cleverly used a minifigure head mug for the robot’s load.

Another build by one of our own, this mech by Simon Liu incorporates a plush Duplo bunny as the pilot! Whatever your thoughts on mixing LEGO gear into MOCs happen to be, you’ve got to admit that this is pretty darn cute!

Before we call it a day, we’ve got one last honorable mention. While technically this isn’t gear, the incorporation of a LEGO customer service letter in this typewriter build by Jonas Kramm was too clever not to include!

Well, that wraps up today’s dive into the fascinating corner of the LEGO community where gear and creativity meet. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to dig up those LEGO stationery supplies in your desk drawer or all those forgotten keychains buried somewhere and build something with them!

What are your thoughts on this whole purism business? LEGO and LEGO only? Or do people need to relax a little? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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