At a scale of 1/1,000, these beautiful little models bring famous buildings to life but can also be fitted into whole blocks or assembled to form micro-metropolises.
Car fanatics got Micromachines, but architecture enthusiasts have few options for collecting their favorite models – sure, there are great LEGO architecture sets, but those are more about the building process than the aesthetic of the finished product.
Available on Shapeways, IttyBlox features everything from stereotypical New York townhouses to world-renowned works of architecture, including a lovely rendition of the Guggenheim at a thousandth the size of the original. Illumination from below and different thicknesses of materials above combine to allow these neat buildings to light up at night as well.
Parks, highways and on/off ramps are also available to provide connective tissue between the core structures – sidewalks and streets are effectively built into the base plate pieces.
Where the real fun comes in, though, is in mixing and matching – using a modular base plate, you can remix blocks to your liking, picking favorite structures from London, New York or anywhere else and seeing how they might work when set side by side on the same street.