BrickArms

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BrickArms is a limited liability company specializing in minifigure accessories, specifically weaponry. BrickArms is not affiliated with LEGO but is privately owned and operated by Will Chapman, designer of its products, from his home in Redmond, WA.[1][2][3] The company was briefly the subject of controversy when one of its products was accused of being based on a member of al-Qaeda (see Bandit Controversy)

Products[edit]

BrickArms produces a variety of minifigure-compatible accessories including an M4 carbine, M21 Sniper Rifle, M1 Garand, M84 grenades, M1 Helmet, Stahlhelm, Minigun, AK-47, M3 Grease Gun, M16, and a Combat Shotgun, along with many other items related to warfare. The accessories are designed by Chapman using a CAD program and are prototyped using a small mold cut by Chapman using a CNC to test the proportions, aesthetics, and playability of the resulting prototype. Once the design of an accessory is finalized, it is mass-produced via injection molding of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic into professionally tooled production molds. In 2013 World War Brick, a lego fan event, Brickarms brought a new series of weapons called Over Molded. These weapons were more detail and colored. Using a special "overmolded" technique, Will Chapman was able to hand-inject these special two-color BrickArms weapons. These are not painted, but two colors of solid ABS plastic molded into one piece. Each one comes in a special "BrickArms Reloaded" blister pack and are rare. Brickarms is also known for its minifigs such as, a colonial marine base of the game Aliens: Colonial Marines, shaun based of the movie Shaun of the dead, and private Ryan taken from Saving Private Ryan.[4]

History[edit]

BrickArms began in 2006 when Ian Chapman, Will Chapman's youngest son (9 at the time), approached him with the need for World War II weaponry for his LEGO builds. Ian was disappointed with what historical weaponry LEGO offered. Will ultimately choose to begin to design and produce his own, more accurate minifigure accessories, running the company from the Chapmans' garage in Redmond, Washington and packing orders in the family's bonus room.[5]

In 2011 Will and Jennifer Chapman decided to focus solely on the creation and production of the BrickArms product line. On May 1, they ceased direct sales on the BrickArms website. However, on the same date, the Chapmans' nephew Keith Nelson and his wife, Julie, launched the new GI Brick website, becoming the third authorized reseller of the BrickArms line in the United States.[6]

Bandit controversy[edit]

On December 4, 2008, a BrickArms custom minifig called the "White Bandit" sparked controversy when the The Sun (United Kingdom) published an article claiming the figure was based on a follower of Osama Bin Laden. Chapman has denied this, saying it "is merely a bad guy for the good guys to battle."[7][8] A spokesman for BrickArms also commented extensively on the article and the nature of the "White Bandit" custom figure, restating Chapman's assertion that the figure was a generic villain not based on any one person or group [9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "An Entrepreneur Expands The Lego Universe". NPR. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  2. ^ "BrickArms FAQ". Brickarms.com. 2011-05-01. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  3. ^ Jesus Diaz (2008-03-10). "LEGO Arms Dealer Sells Everything from AK47 to Uzi". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  4. ^ "The Long Tail of LEGO". 
  5. ^ "In the Next Industrial Revolution, Atoms Are the New Bits". wired.com. 
  6. ^ "About GI Brick". 
  7. ^ "Osama Bin Laden is parodied in toy form | The Sun |News". The Sun. 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  8. ^ "Lego-Style Islamic Terrorist Figurine Sparks Outrage - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News". FOXNews.com. 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  9. ^ "BrickArms under attack in recent Sun edition [Editorial] | The Brothers Brick | LEGO Blog". The Brothers Brick. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 

Further reading[edit]

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