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Mystery Box
My biggest ever LEGO project is complete!! This box has 8 compartments. The drawers must be opened in the order shown. The bottom of the box shows my initials: TCW. How did I come up with this? The short answer is: Divine Inspiration! The long answer is that I came up with it a little bit at a time. I had the first idea (for how the 4 drawers fit together) a couple of months after my nephew asked me to build a box for him. After that, I started work on a prototype box, which was changed a few times to include the large tray and the center removable part (which in the prototype is solid, not a compartment). A later development for the prototype was the idea that the drawers have to be opened in a particular order--this was easier than it may sound to accomplish, using the 1x2 brick with pin and 1x2 technic brick with a hole. With the prototype complete (random colored bricks) I had the idea to somehow use question marks for the actual design of the box. I happened to be reading a book called "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" by Mark Haddon (highly recommended!) which is written from the perspective of a boy who may have autism. This book has a lot of illustrations to help show how people "who may have autism" think in pictures. Near the end of the book the main character says that he was trying to think of a way to tessellate crosses (plus signs). He thinks of a way, and there is an illustration to go with it which looks like a simple version of an M.C. Escher painting--the crosses are fit together into a pattern that could continue indefinitely. I wasn't familiar with the word "tessellate" (the method of tiling used in many of Escher's works) but quickly decided that I wanted to figure out a way to tessellate question marks and use this as the design for my most elaborate Lego creation. So, I used the PC Paint program to create a black & white graph. Using trial and error, I found my pattern by filling and unfilling the white squares with different colors. I think it was my 17th try that did it. I then had the basic construction as well as the design idea, and it was time to get to work on Lego Digital Designer. Needless to say, it took many many hours, and I kept getting new ideas here and there for different parts of the box (such as the inside of the drawers, the design for the center section, my initials, etc.) LDD did not have all of the parts I needed to build the box, but only about 3 kinds were missing. After completing the virtual box as much as I could, I got to work de-constructing it so I could get a parts count (there was no way I was going to spend over $1,800 to buy the specialized set from Lego--I would have had to turn over all rights to them as well). After I had the parts counted (almost 8,000 total), it was time to order the parts from Bricklink.com. About 35 separate orders, including some frustratingly long waits, and one order that I waited about 2 months for but it never arrived. After receiving about half the orders, I started putting the box together by taking the virtual box apart 1 piece at a time (the LDD virtual instruction book for the box was about 2,000 pages long and had to be re-generated every time I opened the program). The end result is what you're looking at here. I have learned a lot from this experience, the most important thing being: if you want to accomplish something great, it must be something you believe in and something you are willing to stick with no matter how difficult it gets!! Todd
About this creation





























































Comments

 I made it 
  December 7, 2014
Quoting Lego Jim .... Dude. This is one of, scratch that, THE coolest thing I have seen on MOCPAGES. I've seen a lot of great things, and I mean really great things, but this, THIS, is the coolest thing I've seen on here by far. Excellent work. I wish it belonged to me. I'm a little jealous, OK, a lot jealous. Awesome.
Thanks, Lego Jim! I looked at some of your stuff--the Illusions series is sweet! I've never seen anything like that in Lego. I also noticed that we're the same age.
 I like it 
  December 7, 2014
Dude. This is one of, scratch that, THE coolest thing I have seen on MOCPAGES. I've seen a lot of great things, and I mean really great things, but this, THIS, is the coolest thing I've seen on here by far. Excellent work. I wish it belonged to me. I'm a little jealous, OK, a lot jealous. Awesome.
 I like it 
  April 6, 2014
Pure Genius!
 I like it 
  December 22, 2012
wonderful creation man just wow haha i mean just.... wow
 I made it 
  December 22, 2012
Quoting Tim C This is simply amazing. Brilliant from start to finish. I can't even begin to comprehend the time and thought that went into this. I can imagine that you wore a bald spot into your scalp as you sat back and scratched your head as you figured out all the features of this phenomenal box. The thing that really amazes me is that you took something as simple as a box and made it one of the most elaborate MOCs I've ever seen. I do a feature on my page every week that I call my Pick of the Week. I would like to feature this MOC some time in the future. Would I have your permission for that? On a side note, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is one of my favorite books of all time, and I'm glad to see that in all the places you could have found your inspiration for this, you found it in one of my most loved books.
Thanks a lot, Tim! I would love to see the Mystery Box featured on your page!
 I like it 
  December 22, 2012
This is simply amazing. Brilliant from start to finish. I can't even begin to comprehend the time and thought that went into this. I can imagine that you wore a bald spot into your scalp as you sat back and scratched your head as you figured out all the features of this phenomenal box. The thing that really amazes me is that you took something as simple as a box and made it one of the most elaborate MOCs I've ever seen. I do a feature on my page every week that I call my Pick of the Week. I would like to feature this MOC some time in the future. Would I have your permission for that? On a side note, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is one of my favorite books of all time, and I'm glad to see that in all the places you could have found your inspiration for this, you found it in one of my most loved books.
 I like it 
  July 19, 2012
Ingenious! :)
Todd Wilder
 I like it 
Chris Melby
  June 19, 2012
This is really outstanding!
 I like it 
  June 17, 2012
A very cool box! Nothing like anything else on the site, which is a very good thing. I like all the little boxes inside. My favourite part is actually the 'picture' on the top. Very simple, but effective in a way. Greetz, Elio
 I like it 
  June 5, 2012
This is amazing! The hidden compartments are spectacular! I love how it looks! The detail is superb, and you could hold lots of lego minifigures, or just regular pieces! Now that would be a cool lego container for your legos! Keep up the awesome work!
 I like it 
  May 22, 2012
I want to build a lego box to hold my lego minifigs like this now! Awsome! Definatly better than most posts I see on mocpages!
  April 24, 2012
are you going to make instructions for free and if you do can you send them at karun.10@hotmail.com
 I like it 
  April 9, 2012
my mind is hexed
 I like it 
  April 1, 2012
This is so awesome :)
 I like it 
  February 7, 2012
Wow! This is truly amazing :)
 I like it 
  December 23, 2011
Amazing! i worked out how to make about 1/3 of the box in a couple minutes of looking and thinking but i will never build anything as amazing as this!
 I like it 
  November 23, 2011
I forgot to say that if you ever start selling these, I will totally buy one.
 I like it 
  November 23, 2011
This thing practically left me speechless. The question marks on the sides are genius. I liked it at first when I saw the first 4 boxes, then you pulled out more, and more... where are they coming from!?!?! Its a mystery how you pulled this off...
 I like it 
  November 23, 2011
Good God, this is AMAZING!!!!! The amount of SNOT you have is very very impressive....more likes people;) 5/5!
 I like it 
  October 9, 2011
simply amazing design. absolutely fantastic all around.
  August 3, 2011
I got to see this thing open today and it is so incredible. I'm trying to convince him to send it to MOMA. It is really a beautiful and incredibly complex creation.
 I like it 
  July 27, 2011
wish I could design something even 1/3 as awesome as this! (dream on, me) :)
 I like it 
  July 19, 2011
uhhh.. wow! this is incredible! i do a lot of puzzle boxes, but none this elaborate or big.
 I like it 
  July 18, 2011
This is amazing! Great job with all the little details.
 I like it 
  July 18, 2011
'faints' Whoa... that's incredible! I love the little compartments in the side!
 I like it 
  July 18, 2011
Thats huge! And awesome!
 I like it 
  July 18, 2011
WOW that is awesome! I love how you can just keep pulling out compartments like that!
 I like it 
  July 17, 2011
great work, expertly designed, just fantastic..:D..
 I like it 
  July 11, 2011
My mind is blown! I got more and more amazed the further down the page I went. There's so many compartments and things that open. The symmetry is great, and the question marks and rainbow colour scheme is a bonus! This is a remarkable creation, Great work :D
 I made it 
  June 10, 2011
Quoting Mr. Black's Market >.> i want to kidnapp you and help me design furniture, starting pay at $35,000, yes thats a real offer. i love the design and how well the parts interlock into one piece, a very nice thing to have for furniture making.
Thanks Mr. Black; $35,000 an hour is a very generous offer! Would I have to relocate?
Todd Wilder
 I like it 
Lee yo
  June 9, 2011
That would be the perfect prison for an ultimate Villian
 I like it 
  June 9, 2011
i want to kidnapp you and help me design furniture, starting pay at $35,000, yes thats a real offer. i love the design and how well the parts interlock into one piece, a very nice thing to have for furniture making.
 I made it 
  June 9, 2011
Quoting Lee yo That would be the perfect prison for an ultimate Villian
Yes, the Riddler could be locked in there!
 I like it 
  June 8, 2011
you've got me drooling! this is amazing! so many details! I LOVE it!
 I like it 
  June 7, 2011
All the work and planning that went into this payed off tremendously. If I ever tried making something this complicated, I think my head would explode. The greatest of congrats to you, your creation, and it's popularity.
 I like it 
  June 7, 2011
Wow! Very impressive, and very mysterious!
 I like it 
  June 7, 2011
OMG! this is awesome! 99999/5 =D P.S. thanks for add me as a fav ;)
 I like it 
  June 6, 2011
Hi Todd, this creation is truly amazing.
 I like it 
  June 3, 2011
And I had forgotten the fact that it had been, in parts, made thanks to Lego Designer! I know how it can be annoying sometimes, but it made me coming back to our dear bricks! I remember the three days of mouting, because of that F%$"@...G random instructions on LDD to mount the first version... And the 5 days I spent to change for a big rear, still on the "3D instructions"! That was quite a lot of work, but a pleasure(quite everytime) to mount it! Thanks for your nice comment on Titan! Always a pleasure to share with talented builders! =)
 I like it 
  June 3, 2011
This really an awesome work! Love the idea of an order to open the drawers, and "secret compartments". Clever, well designed, useful! GREAT MOC!
 I like it 
  June 3, 2011
Wow, truly incredible! Lovely work.
 I like it 
  June 2, 2011
Wow, amazing! The complexity and cleverness is insane, and its very clean and well built. From a distance, doesnt even seen like Lego. Would made a great actual product.
 I like it 
  June 2, 2011
GOSH !!!! this is impressive !!!!!
 I like it 
  June 2, 2011
Wild build, Dude! And practical storage, too!
 I like it 
  May 29, 2011
Imagine how angry Mario would be if he had to punch all of those boxes out to get a mushroom. Ha! Anyway, the build is professional. I would not be surprised seeing this as Legoland. It's outstanding! 5/5! ~Stay green
 I made it 
  May 20, 2011
Quoting Yuri Fassio This is simply the best LEGO work I ever saw. Outstanding!
Hey Yuri, Thanks for the compliments and for the publicity! Todd
Todd Wilder
 I like it 
C H
  May 18, 2011
I'm speechless. It would to make a box like that out of wood, but out of legos!!!!! Awesome!!
 I like it 
  May 18, 2011
Wow... Must I say more? I think I'm gonna cry!
 I made it 
  May 18, 2011
Quoting Archon Mitchell This deserves a MOTD status!
Thanks! But aren't the MOTDs generated randomly?
 I made it 
  May 18, 2011
Quoting Sean Kenney This is nothing short of brilliant. Bravo!
Thanks! And thank you for MOCpages!
 I like it 
  May 18, 2011
This deserves a MOTD status!
 I like it 
  May 17, 2011
This is nothing short of brilliant. Bravo!
 I like it 
  May 14, 2011
wow, just awesome! very well built:)
 I like it 
  May 14, 2011
You've got to be kidding me! Th at is massive plus Very well built.
 I like it 
  April 27, 2011
My brain... it hurts...
 I like it 
  April 21, 2011
Wow, Cool. It's a Transformer!
 I like it 
  April 6, 2011
Just brilliant!
 I like it 
  April 5, 2011
Wonderfully whimsical and complex, all in one fantastically imaginative MOC. Bravo!~H
 I like it 
  March 10, 2011
UNBELIEVABLE!!! I am impressed by your imagination and perseverence to build this. Thanks so much for sharing for us to drool over.
 I like it 
  March 10, 2011
thats amazing check out my page: http://www.mocpages.com/home.php/72280
 I made it 
  February 24, 2011
Quoting James Glanville Just awesome. How much did it cost to make?
Thanks, James! See my response to Jason Bryant. Todd
 I made it 
  February 24, 2011
Quoting Jason Bryant I'll be honest.. I was in complete awe of this project and drooled over it for a good hour. While I saw the piece count and the many orders... what was the end dollar amount spent on the bricks? Also do you plan to (or will consider lol) selling these prebuilt or kits? Or at least maybe release the instructions to the general public? Flat awesome work =-D
Hi Jason, Thanks for your comments. All together, the parts plus postage came to almost $800, but I didn't use all of the parts--I ordered thru Bricklink. I would have to finish the LDD file before releasing it. I added things to the "real" box that were not part of the virtual box. Todd
 I like it 
  February 23, 2011
Just awesome. How much did it cost to make?
 I like it 
  February 23, 2011
What a cool box i didnt know lego could be so technical thats awesome. i think the other guuy saying about the couch wants you to make a couch out of lego, just got given link by random to look at this very impressed, posted it on the facebook account :)
 I like it 
  February 23, 2011
That is beyond awesome
 I like it 
  February 23, 2011
You are my favorite human being. I need this box.
 I like it 
  February 23, 2011
I'll be honest.. I was in complete awe of this project and drooled over it for a good hour. While I saw the piece count and the many orders... what was the end dollar amount spent on the bricks? Also do you plan to (or will consider lol) selling these prebuilt or kits? Or at least maybe release the instructions to the general public? Flat awesome work =-D
Todd Wilder
 I like it 
A_Vel 1
  February 11, 2011
the instructions, please??? wow, excellent.
 I made it 
  February 10, 2011
Quoting Mr. Russell Very cool.....how many hours do you have into it? When will see the couch version?
Thanks, Mr. Russell! I didn't keep track of the hours--no point in doing that unless I was being paid by the hour! As for your other question, I'm not sure what you mean. Todd
 I made it 
  February 10, 2011
Quoting Eric Chew The Riddler in the New Batman Movie should seriously consider using this.
You'll contact Christopher Nolan for me, right?
  February 9, 2011
Very cool.....how many hours do you have into it? When will see the couch version?
  February 9, 2011
The Riddler in the New Batman Movie should seriously consider using this.
 I made it 
  February 9, 2011
Quoting Joe slackie omg this is awsome! would u b either willing to make others for purchase orbe conv inced to make a walk through? id love to have something like that!!
Thanks, Joe! Please see my response to Adam Zovits.
 I made it 
  February 9, 2011
Quoting Orthobotrex -- This is not just epic, it's mind-boggling and mind blowing, to say the least. The patience you put on this work must be off the scale as well...makes me think how it looks like when you blow it up on LDD then it comes back together (even without the parts you mentioned)! That must be an exhilirating thing to see! :-)
Thanks for the compliments! For me, patience with Lego is easier than patience with (some) people... Yes, the explode feature on LDD makes an awesome effect (especially when done in "space"). I couldn't resist snapping a few screen shots of the exploded box.
 I made it 
  February 9, 2011
Quoting Adam Zovits If I had to express my thoughts in one word, it would be "Woah." This MOC not only looks fantastic, it is also pretty useful. This combined with it's sheer size means it should be one of the best MOCs I've ever seen. You mentioned an LDD file in your notes. Is there any chance that you would make this file accessible? I'd love to see the inner workings of all these compartments.
Thanks, Adam! I'm considering making the LDD file available for sale, but I definitely plan to post a video (and/or photos) sometime soon to show how the box works.
 I like it 
  February 9, 2011
This is not just epic, it's mind-boggling and mind blowing, to say the least. The patience you put on this work must be off the scale as well...makes me think how it looks like when you blow it up on LDD then it comes back together (even without the parts you mentioned)! That must be an exhilirating thing to see! :-)
 I like it 
  February 8, 2011
If I had to express my thoughts in one word, it would be "Woah." This MOC not only looks fantastic, it is also pretty useful. This combined with it's sheer size means it should be one of the best MOCs I've ever seen. You mentioned an LDD file in your notes. Is there any chance that you would make this file accessible? I'd love to see the inner workings of all these compartments.
 I made it 
  February 8, 2011
Quoting Christina Pettis Wow! Definitely inspired. I'm amazed by your creativity. Your project deserves more recognition. I say give Oprah a call... :) Great job!!
Thanks, Christina! Nice to "see" you on here! Todd
 I like it 
  February 5, 2011
omg this is awsome! would u b either willing to make others for purchase orbe conv inced to make a walk through? id love to have something like that!!
 I like it 
  February 5, 2011
dude this is sicknasty
  February 4, 2011
Wow! Definitely inspired. I'm amazed by your creativity. Your project deserves more recognition. I say give Oprah a call... :) Great job!!
 I like it 
  February 4, 2011
Aughh!! It's driving me insane! :P LOL!
 I made it 
  February 4, 2011
Thanks everyone for the kind comments and ratings. It makes me feel good. Todd
 I like it 
  February 4, 2011
sooooo genus!!PS: can you check out some of my creations?
 I like it 
  February 4, 2011
Whoa! I lost count of all the drawers! You, good sir, are a genius with LEGO. I can't even begin to imagine the time and effort you put into this project. ~ODST
 I like it 
  February 4, 2011
It's very rare that I find a Moc on here that is both perplexing in its creation as well as mesmerizing as the pictures walk you through it. Each image was like a further exploration into this fabulous creation. Thank you very much for this experience.
Todd Wilder
 I like it 
.The Being Called J.™©®
  February 3, 2011
Wow. That is one cool box. ~reFridgeratory
Todd Wilder
 I like it 
South Pie
  February 3, 2011
.....I don't know what to say...
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
:D not what I expected, but still epicly amazing!!!!!
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
best creation i've ever seen!!!!!
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
That is utterly ingenious! I bow to your superior mastery of the brick! There are many clever mechanisms here.
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
The colors! All the compartments and the patterns are just fantastic!
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
I cannot imagine, the hours, hours, hours, of putting brick, on top of brick, on top of brick, so on and so forth. The immense amount of time, probaby DAYS just doesn't compute. You have truly made one of the best creations I have seen on here. The fact that it has SO MANY compartments is amazing. It's the swiss army knife of lego creations. I admire your dilligence in taking it apart, virtually, brick by brick. It's neat, USEFULL ( I can just imagine saying "Where'd I put the pirate minifigs?" "Oh yeah, its in the mystery box") and inspiring. I've tried to do storage containers like this one before, and I have never come close to even IMAGINING anything like this. Great MOC. I hope to see more like this in the future.
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
WOW!!! A while back I had an idea for a contemplation cube, a box which is rotated to unlock it, with the center on a gyroscope... AMAZING WORK
 I made it 
  February 3, 2011
Quoting Evan Duvanel this IS the most advanced form of lego box iv'e ever seen!the only problem is that if a robber tries to steal some stuff out of it, but cant open it, all he has to do is smash it! ;D( by the way, i hope that NEVER happens)
Hi Evan, Thanks! Yes, the burglary scenario did occur to me, but I just had to build this thing anyway. Hopefully instead of smashing it, he'd just take the whole box!
  February 3, 2011
this IS the most advanced form of lego box iv'e ever seen!the only problem is that if a robber tries to steal some stuff out of it, but cant open it, all he has to do is smash it! ;D( by the way, i hope that NEVER happens)
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
Very clever!
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
Very well done! Please show us a video if possible!
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
This is really epic!
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
This is unbelievable! What an idea! WHat a performance!
 I like it 
  February 3, 2011
Woah
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Outstanding! It seems like the perfect thing to hide an engagement ring in. Looking forward to seeing this in Santa Clara!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
This is outstanding. I'm awestruck. If you get the time, please create a short video clip that shows how you move the box and all that. Cheers, Anders, Denmark
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Such dedication! This is such a unique and impressive MOC!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
so legendary
 I made it 
  February 2, 2011
Quoting Stefano Manca Totally insane but very genial! How many pieces approx?
Thanks--it's about 8,000 parts
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Totally insane but very genial! How many pieces approx?
 I made it 
  February 2, 2011
Quoting Elk Guard Wow - this is insane! How did you come up with it? All the question marks through the build are fantastic!
Hi Elk Guard, Thank you for your comment and interest! I am posting information above to answer your question. Todd
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
WOW!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Crazy dude!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Dude. I want one to - I don't know. Just have!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Simply outstanding! I look forward to seeing this if I attend BBTB this year. Cheers.
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Wow, that's all sorts of crazy! I'm really digging the colorful square patterns on all the sides, and I love how opening certain compartments can lead to opening even more compartments. Really creative and awesome build!
 I made it 
  February 2, 2011
Quoting Bill Toenjes This removes a lot of the confusion from viewing the Flickr photostream of same MOC... I still can't figure out how the center box in pictures 14 & 15 pops up, is it spring-loaded? (or you can keep it a mystery) lots of fun here!
Once the 4 drawers are open, you can reach under the box and push the center box up.
 I made it 
  February 2, 2011
Quoting http://kimeling.wordpress.com/ Ding Oh, that's great! What did you put in there?
Thanks! I haven't put anything in it. The box was made for my nephew, who can put whatever he likes inside. Before I give it to him I plan to display it at the Bricks By The Bay conference in Santa Clara, CA.
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
This removes a lot of the confusion from viewing the Flickr photostream of same MOC... I still can't figure out how the center box in pictures 14 & 15 pops up, is it spring-loaded? (or you can keep it a mystery) lots of fun here!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Seriously incredible! The box is stunning, but the puzzles inside is twice as good. I have never seen anything like this before, this is truly a mystery box!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
I don't even know what to say. This is just mind blowing!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
Oh, that's great! What did you put in there?
 I like it 
  February 2, 2011
That. Is. Awesome. The question marks remind me of the blocks from the Mario games. Very well done!
 I like it 
  February 1, 2011
Wow! That is amazing! I always wonder people build with the pieces they buy from my BrickLink store. I never would have imagined anything as amazing as this!
 I like it 
  January 31, 2011
This is simply the best LEGO work I ever saw. Outstanding!
 I like it 
  January 31, 2011
Great work. Very creative !!!
 I like it 
  January 29, 2011
Wow - this is insane! How did you come up with it? All the question marks through the build are fantastic!
  January 29, 2011
This amazing! Very colorful and creative. So many compartments and questions. Fantastic work!
 
By Todd Wilder
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