Julius von Brunk, a New York-based graphic multimedia artist best known for creating complex custom Lego art, has pieced together an enormous, five-foot NES controller out of Lego — and it actually works.
According to Brunk's Tumblr which details the creation of the controller, the project was first conceived last summer and completed towards the end of 2012. While production halted due to financial and work-related issues, Brunk was able to finish the project "in both its Lego structure as well as electrical functionality," he writes.
The NES controller is built out of light-grey Lego bricks and rests on a large folding table in Brunk's attic workshop. Describing the intricate process of creating the piece, Brunk writes:
"Like previous works, I've used custom glossy stickers for the labels. The innards are mainly hollowed with some trusses and support for the buttons; the buttons are spring-loaded modules using Lego Technic pieces to make the large buttons reciprocate when pressed.
"Below the large Lego buttons are small momentary push-buttons soldered to the actual circuitry board of an original NES controller, which is then linked to a USB converter to play Nintendo ROMs on my computer. When the large Lego buttons are pressed, the bottoms make contact with the push-buttons, which then send the electrical signal back to the controller's circuit 'brain'; the Lego Technic spring suspension system prevents the large buttons from getting stuck in place."
A full and incredibly detailed breakdown of the design process is available here.