Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!
BA_Bandit_Gray_Gallery_1.jpg

Even if you’re not a Lego enthusiast, you have to give it up for Will Chapman’s BrickArms business as a brilliant little bit of entrepreneurship. Although there have been notable recent policy changes, the Lego company has traditionally refused to produce guns for the mini-figures packaged with its playsets. Personally I think that’s a laudable policy, but my opinion does nothing to diminish the very real demand for realistic mini-fig firearms among Lego enthusiasts, particularly in the US, and particularly among adults. Chapman recognized that demand, and went into the injection molding business himself to produce “Lego-esque” guns, grenades, and other weapons that are carefully dimensioned to be compatible with authentic Lego products. Because the parts he produces are very small, the tooling cost is relatively low, and because they’re just bits of plastic, the per-unit production and shipping costs are very, very low. His catalog now includes more than 40 items, each of which sells for at least $1 per unit. He also sells custom, armed-to-the-teeth mini-figs that are avidly sought after by collectors.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


Related

Comments

  1. tuckerch says:

    “Broomhandle” Mauser FTW!

  2. Jeff says:

    Those are pretty awesome, but for the record, when I was playing with legos as an 7 year old in the late 80s, my space lego dudes were armed to the teeth with blaster rifles and space fighters with lasers and missiles. There were multiple factions and plenty of wars. Lego can “not officially produce weapons” all they want, but with such a creativity/imagination based toy, it doesn’t take much for a Star Wars obsessed boy to roll his own storm troopers.

    I don’t see what all the hoopla about them [Lego] actually producing guns is, but then again, I was that boy making my own lego armaments for my minifigs–they had guns one way or the other…

    1. Simon says:

      I don’t know when this no weapons policy is from? I have a Lego biplane set from 1998 that has four little rifles in it that the figure (who has a hook for a hand!) can hold.

      I must be a geek since I also immediately recognised the Broomhandle pistol too and my first thought was a few small editions and you could make a tiny Lego Han Solo blaster from that.

      Sad…

      1. Irregular Shed says:

        Yep, I’ve got a bunch of rifles and pistols from some mid 90s sets. The cowboy ones were great for them. I ended up arming the riot police set I had with a bunch of the spares =)

        There were also some splendid period pieces supplied with the pirate sets last time I looked – sadly it’s been a while since I looked (because I’m a dad now and my son’s tastes are Duplo!)

  3. wonder-wheeler says:

    What’s next, little latex add-on bits to make Barbie ™and Ken ™ anatomically correct?

    Actually I thought of that already and dropped the idea after the DW thought it was crazy.

    1. Colecoman1982 says:

      “What’s next, little latex add-on bits to make Barbie ™and Ken ™ anatomically correct?”

      New clothing options so you can make Dominatrix Barbie and S&M Ken?

  4. Michael W. says:

    Will is also a generally nice guy. If you a member of the Brickarms forum you are actually asked to participate in his design and production process. He’s also incredibly generous with his stuff (if you don’t believe me, check out his table at an event and watch what occurs). The kids and adults who buy his accessories don’t usually “play” with their Legos. They make movies, dioramas, etc.

    As to the other silly (IMHO) comments. I actually worked at an organic/biodynamic farm store that decided to sell American Spirit organic tobacco and cigarettes. I was vastly amused to hear one of our regular customers (a semi-famous writer and activist) come in and state dramatically, “Cigarettes?! ORGANIC cigarettes?! What next, ORGANIC Pornography?!”

  5. Carl says:

    The LEGO pirate sets had guns and swords. Obviously the medieval sets had swords and spears.

    What’s this about not making weapons?