Yearly Archives: 2005

Announcing “Pan-Pacific Bricks”

UPDATE: Pan-Pacific Bricks is now part of The Brothers Brick, right here at Brothers-Brick.com.

As Bruce noted in his VignetteBricks post “Blogsplosion,” there are a lot of LEGO blogs out there — the majority of them Japanese. As a bilingual LEGO fan, I’d like to provide English-speaking LEGO fans with a window into the world of their Japanese counterparts.

To that end, I’ve created a second blog, “Pan-Pacific Bricks.” (Many thanks to Nelson Yrizarry for the name suggestion!)

In the coming weeks and months, look for posts on the latest goings-on in the Japanese AFOL community, as well as the occasional article on differences between English-speaking and Japanese culture, and how those differences influence LEGO creations and the AFOL community. I’ll continue posting my own creations and interesting creations from other builders here, but I’ll post all my Japanese-related items there instead.

Through this new blog, I hope to play a small part in breaking down the language barrier. LEGO pictures are great, and pictures may be worth a thousand words, but hey, I’m a writer! :-)

New Name

So, I haven’t been too happy with “Dunechaser’s Guide to Japanese LEGO.” The name is way too long, and I’d like to involve other contributors, so “Dunechaser’s” just doesn’t work. I’ve been bouncing e-mails back and forth with Nelson Yrizarry in Hawaii the last few days, and he suggested “Pan-Pacific Bricks.” Short, simple, meaningful. Fantastic! I’m very much obliged.

In the coming weeks and months, look for posts on the latest goings-on in the Japanese AFOL community, as well as the occasional article on differences between English-speaking (well, at least American) and Japanese culture, and how those differences influence LEGO creations and the AFOL community. I’ll continue posting my own creations and interesting creations from other builders in my original blog, but I’ll post all my Japanese-related items here instead.

Stay tuned…

自己紹介 (Personal Introduction)

(The primary form of online communication between AFOLs in Japan seems to be blogs instead of forums — something I’ll be writing a piece on shortly. I’ve already introduced myself in the English forums I post in, but I haven’t really introduced myself to the Japanese AFOL blog community, so this post is for them.)

日本のみなさん、初めまして。ぼくのレゴ関係ユーザー名は Dunechaser ですが、実名は Andrew Becraft 「アンドリュー・ビークラフト」です。通常、日本語では「アンディー」です。31歳。天秤座。既婚者。ワン子好き。米国シアトル存在。

親はアメリカ人ですが、僕は東京で生まれ、15歳の時まで日本に住みました。ランドセルを背負って近所の日本語の小学校に… 父は頻繁に転勤したので、東京以外にも札幌、姫路、横浜、千葉にも住みました。いくつもの転勤のせいなのか、外人だったせいかわかりませんが、日本人の子供と友達になるのが難しくて、レゴのミニフィッグが最高の友達になりました。ちょと惨めな我の人生。(涙)

職業はテクニカル ライター(ヘルプ・マニュアルなどを書く)ですが、たまに日本語関係の仕事もします。米国任天堂で二年間勤め、英語版の「ルイージマンション」、「ピクミン」、「どうぶつの森+」などテレビゲーム開発に活躍したのが一番自慢です。

皆さんのブログを読んで楽しんでいますので、英語を話すレゴ ファンのみんなに僕と同じ楽しさを通じさせるのを期待してます。

よろしくお願いします。(夜中二時。それでは、寝る。)

The LEGO King Championship (LEGO Event)

The latest buzz in the Japanese LEGO blogosphere is a TV show called “TV Champion.” Recent episodes have included a LEGO championship, in which AFOLs build on-camera. It’s a Japanese show, but it’s filmed at LEGOLAND Billund. The studio audience (about 100 people) judges the creations, and the winner is crowned the “LEGO King.” Ironically (I guess), a woman named Sachiko Akinaga walked away with the title.

The theme for this the champioinship round was to build “LEGO surprises” — creations that open up to reveal an interesting interior. Here are some screen captures from last night’s show, the championship round:

Pics from Sachiko’s building process:

And the finished creation:

EDIT (12/3/05): TV Tokyo keeps reusing its existing directory structure and file names for new TV Champion shows. This makes it impossible to link to some of the images and pages. (Haven’t they ever heard of perma-links?!) If I’d known this, I would have downloaded all of the screen captures and posted them on Brickshelf (copyright issues aside). As it is, I have to take down Sachiko’s picture (now replaced with an old guy who was the Champion Tuna Fisherman) and the links to the other creations. Oh well…

EDIT (5/28/06): And of course the images themselves are broken at this point. Typical.

The Wonderful World of Japanese LEGO

From vignettes to mecha, many wonderful LEGO ideas have originated in Japan. Several of the most respected builders, such as Sugegasa, MOKO, and Takeshi Itou are Japanese. Although LEGO fans throughout the world can enjoy each other’s creations by looking at pictures, language remains a barrier. My purpose in creating this blog is to break down the language barrier and give English-speaking LEGO fans a view into the world of Japanese LEGO fans.

Highland Berserker by Anthony Sava (with Moko’s Legs)

Moko recently posted pictures of a new idea for articulated legs on a minifig:

Classic-Castler Anthony Sava has combined this building technique with a Viking head and torso, Ron Weasley’s hair, and grill pieces in just the right colors to create a highly amusing Highland Berserker:

Well, he’s pretty small, so it would probably be fairly easy to take his life (just pull his head off with your fingers), but I imagine taking his freedom would be a bit more challenging…

Baby Gundam by MOKO

This is the saddest, cutest little Gundam I have ever seen:

EDIT (11/1/05): Moko has titled this creation “Gundam without vigour.” I assume this is a translation of the Japanese “Genki nai Gundam” (「元気ないガンダム」). The word “genki” can mean several things in Japanese, including “energy,” “spirit,” “health,” and “cheerfulness.” I think the last one is the most correct in this context, so “Depressed Gundam” or “Gundam with the Blues” is probably a more accurate translation. Hope that doesn’t sound too pedantic… I fault Moko’s dictionary. ;-)