Category Archives: People

LEGO fandom is a worldwide phenomenon, a vast community. Whether you consider yourself an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), ALE (Adult LEGO Enthusiast), some other crazy acronym, a parent of a young builder, or even just a casual fan who appreciates all the amazing models LEGO builders create, there’s more to LEGO than just the models themselves. Here at The Brothers Brick, we bring you the stories behind the models, with interviews, builder profiles, and more.

SDCC ’13: Noteworthy LEGO happenings

Here’s a quick recap of things seen around the LEGO booth on Preview Night at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 yesterday.

Team Back to the Future member and project contributor of the newly released Back to the Future CUUSOO set, Masashi Togami, was hanging out at the booth with Tim Courtney, LEGO CUUSOO Community Manager.

Masashi Togami and Tim Courtney

This lovely, giant-size, brick-built display of the upcoming LEGO Minecraft sets was very popular among the fans.

Giant Minecraft Lego Display

At 7 PM, they did an unveil of the Minecraft sets at the booth. Executives from Mojang did the honors.

Untitled

In one corner, you can try out a demo of the upcoming LEGO Marvel Super Hero Game. It’s blast to fly around as Iron Man with repulsor jets or Hulk-out and smash everything in sight. Just for trying out the game, you got a LOKI key chain and a LEGO Marvel Game Poster. Free swag is cool.

Lego Marvel Game Demo

And a final note, they are launching the steampunk-themed Master Builder Academy Invention Designer (Level 4)icon set [We'll have more on this closer to release -AB]. The first 100 sold at the booth will receive a signed and numbered artist’s print of the snazzy illustration of LEGO steampunk featured in the ads.

LEGO Master Builder Academy Level 4

San Diego Comic-Con 2013 LEGO panel previews

If you are one of the lucky ones who managed to get into San Diego Comic-Con and can go, here is a quick list of panels that may pique your LEGO interest!!!

LEGO Comic Con logo

Brick-built SDCC logo by Mariann Asanuma.

  1. The LEGO Movie will be previewed on Saturday, July 20, 10:45 am – 1:15 pm at Hall H, with the Warner Brothers/Legendary Movies presentation, along with the movies Godzilla, Seventh Son, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Gravity.
  2. The LEGO Marvel video game is part of the Marvel Video Games panel on Saturday, July 20 from 12:30pm – 1:30 pm at Room 6A.
  3. BrickJournal’s panel, LEGO as an Art Form, featuring yours truly Brandon Griffith, Joe Meno, Nathan Sawaya, & Tommy Williamson will be on Saturday, July 20 from 5pm – 6pm at Room 23ABC

    Nathan will be signing books at TwoMorrows booth #1301 after the panel until the hall closes. Brandon will be there handing out a limited amount of STUDS packs.

  4. LEGO Legends of Chima will have a presentation on Sunday, July 21 from 10 am to 11am at Room 24ABC.

Of Helicopters and Hooligans

In January of this year we featured Ryan McNaught’s (TheBrickMan) king of helicopters, the Erickson Air-Crane Elvis. As many of you have no doubt read by now, Elvis was on public display at Cairns Central shopping center in northern Queensland, Australia when the unthinkable happened: a group of misguided “youths” pushed mighty Elvis to the ground with predictable results.

LEGO Vandalism

We’ve all seen accidental damage to models at conventions before, most often caused by enthusiastic butter-fingered youngsters, gawking public day attendees leaning too far over the ropes or rotund builders trying to squeeze between tables…but nothing like this…nothing so deliberate. Fortunately the flight-recorder survived the crash and the authorities are hard at work piecing together the final seconds of Elvis’s life.

LEGO Black Box Flight Recorder

TBB reached out to Ryan for a comment and found him in remarkably good spirits considering the scope of this brick-tragedy and very much willing to speak about it. Because of the ongoing criminal trial taking place with 2 youths charged over the death of Elvis, Ryan cannot get into the specifics of the incident.

“I was asleep in bed when the phone rang, you always know when it rings and its late that its bad, and well it was, I drove about 40 minutes into the centre where it was on display and there it was just as pictured (see my Flickr) to see hundreds of hours worth of work ruined is pretty surreal, and something I’ve never experienced before.

To pull down and destroy your own MOC can be very satisfying, I’ll never forget the Brickvention of 2009 where by 9 foot Eiffel tower was brought down at the end of the show Team America World Police style!

Needless to say I had to pack it up that night after the police came and did their thing, and got back to bed at about 2am. The next morning the media were swarming, but of course nothing to see, so that was fun watching the media look like idiots.

Anyway I was up there building a giant LEGO rainforest where people came along built a bit of the rainforest and added it to the display, I felt it was really important to keep that going so that people could still have fun and enjoy it. As people either asked where the chopper was, or came to sympathize it kind of hit home, the usual anger then sadness kicked in, but that was all fairly temporary, because to be honest its LEGO right? anything can be rebuilt, so whilst it sucks to lose such a big model, its not like its a 2,000 year old Ming vase.

So I’m kind of circumspect about it, and a bit relaxed about it now (my wife holds the anger and frustration for me!) and to be honest, when I rebuild/repair it (who knows when I can find the time) it will be just as cool as what it was, and its got a hell of a cool story behind it.

Plus doesn’t rebuilding it stick it up the nose of those who ruined it? To me LEGO has this thing where its cool to return back to its original form and then become something else, so i guess this is kind of like that.”

I think it does stick it up their collective nose Ryan, but for the violent American inside me…it isn’t quite enough. It used to be the most you had to worry about while displaying your model at a convention was the occasional petty theft or jackassy question, but this is a whole new ballgame. Stay tuned to TBB for a follow up on the court case.

July TBB Cover Photo Winners

This month I had the honour of selecting the cover photos for The Brothers Brick Twitter and Facebook accounts. Pictures for this need to meet somewhat different criteria than the stuff we usually blog. An attractive picture is much more important than the model itself.

That said, the model was what first attracted me to my choice for Facebook, the ATV-4 “Albert Einstein” by Stefan Schindler (Brainbikerider). I may not be into science-fiction models, but I do like real-world spacecraft. I have previously blogged the commercially developed Dragon, which serves as a resupply vessel for the International Space Station. The ATV-4 is its European counterpart, developed by the European Space Agency.

ATV-4 "Albert Einstein"

So, the model itself is interesting and already blogworthy in my book. What makes this a great picture for the Facebook banner is that it has the Earth as a backdrop. Even when cropped to fit the aspect ratio for the Facebook banner, it seems to have depth.

On Twitter, the photo has a lot of superimposed text and a TBB logo in the middle. Therefore, our choice should have a fairly large area in the middle where the text can go without getting lost against the background, and there should be interesting stuff towards the edges of the photograph. A nice picture of a model against a white background, which is fairly normal on this blog, simply does not hack it. By themselves, the models in the winning picture, by ROOK, would not have made TBB. They’re Brand Ribbon Sets built by members of ToroLUG for the Yorkdale Mall Lego Store Grand Opening in Toronto. The way they are arranged and their bright colours against the dark background, however, caught my eye and make it a great cover photo.

Yorkdale Sets

The ones chosen by Dan for June were a hard act to follow, but I think you’ll agree they look pretty. If you’re interested in the possibility of having your photo featured in same manner, upload it to our Flickr group.

The Brothers Brigade

Well boys and girls, there is a new super hero team in town. If you thought The Avengers or Justice League were cool, just take a look at The Brothers Brigade. Twelve super powered, super cool individuals from around the World (well, most of them are from the U.S., but they do have three token foreigners). They are fighting evil and taking names.

The Brothers Brigade

Full Character Bios:
Front Row (L-R)
Tripod, Gold Member, Mad Physicist
Second Row (L-R)
Artist, The Stud, El Capitan
Third Row (L-R)
The Surgeon, Archaeology, Knight Farmer
Back Row (L-R)
Justice of Space, Mr. Naked Train, Death Pixie

Happy Father’s Day

I can’t leave you with a bunch of half-naked dudes as TBB’s sole attempt at a Father’s day post. With that in mind, enjoy this heartwarming photo of Canada’s Adam Dodge (age 5) and the coolest kind of dad that can rock a red sweater with a turtleneck, while teaching his boy the finer points of sorting.

Happy father's day Dad!

Thumbs up to all the dads out there, see you next weekend.

Group hugs are the best hugs!

I know you are all going to say, “Stick a Megablok in your pie hole Tromas!” But I simply must beat this dead horse: Our community is rather fantastic!!

Case in point Simon Liu’s (Si-MOCs) Operation Oscar: Phase 1. Simon built this large scene to honour a few of his favourite builders, those that inspired and influenced him. Simon left it up to us, the viewers, to recognize who those builders are, but it is rather obvious just who the guilty parties are…all of which are TBB regulars; Fedde (Karf), Peter Reid, and of course our own resident DJ, The Goldman (or as I like to affectionately refer to him, Gold Member).

Operation Oscar: Phase 1 - FrogPod assembly

Now it must be pointed out that Gold Member’s influence on Simon’s build is quite prominent, as the general layout of the launch base is straight out of his ‘Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch’…a hit single that Keith debuted 2 weeks ago. Now if I have learned anything from my time spent kickin’ it with Gold-Member in the TBB club house, it is that despite his epic awesomeness, he is not one to toot his own horn. So I am more than happy to cut into his weekend air time and toot his horn in his stead. So here it, the world debut of ‘Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch':

Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch! [2/7]

Now, back to the brilliance of the community…not only is Simon’s creation inspired by his favourite builders, but Keith’s build was a direct result of a few more of our regulars, Stijn (Red Spacecat) & Mike Yoder. I’ll just let Keith explain the story in his own words:

Almost two years ago I was fortunate enough to receive the generous gift of a MATSF-5000E Superbanshee II SE from Stijn. To make things all the more strange, the package was sent through middleman Yoder. Although I was stoked to receive such a swooshable fighter, I was a little burned out of building dioramas for starfighters. Over the course of the last couple of years I’ve attempted 3 relatively large scale dioramas, including a cruder version of what you see here. The models failed for various reasons, but mostly because I was struggling with the scale. While I have tried microscale before, it was never on such a large scale and I found it very difficult to grind out the small details that make everything come to life without the trusty minifig to guide me.

The model also includes Stijn’s recent M28-Pig in the pen, as it were, in the lower left hand corner.

So cheers Stijn! I hope it was worth the wait.

So what is the moral of this story you ask?

Don’t think for a second that just because oceans and continents separate us, that we can’t still get together to play LEGO!

Also, please be sure to check out the full set of pictures for both of these brilliant creations, there are simply too many details to pass up:

Simon’s Operation Oscar

Gold Member’s Gypsy Queens

Going a bit crackers – Beyond the Brick interview D-Town Cracka

One of the wackier categories in this year’s LEGO Military Build Competition is “Friends vs. Fabuland,” in which two rather unlikely foes go head to head. Andy Baumgart ( D-Town Cracka), who is one of the judges, was the mad genius behind this one.

Friends Propaganda Poster

He was recently interviewed by the guys from Beyond the Brick. If you’re interested in what makes Andy tick, how he discovered and joined the military build community on Flickr, or want to hear about the pleasures of having your models blogged on TBB, I heartily recommend you watch the interview on Youtube.

Whoa! Slow down there big rig...

Disclaimer – mildly sappy post to follow…

Remember this post I did a few months back? Well, I still feel the same about the online community, however, I now have some very serious concerns on where this community is headed…yes, and it is all due to the recent changes to Flickr.

I felt that these concerns were serious enough that it justified a separate post, as opposed to me simply commenting on Andrew’s again.

Really this is a personal plea to all those that feel it necessary to leave Flickr. I know many are very upset about the new format, have issues with the new pricing structure, and take offence to how Yahoo handled the system rollout. But at the end of the day is it worth the fragmentation of our community? Personally I don’t think it is. Honestly, I am not entirely happy with the new system, but I also don’t hate it to the extent that I want to see the history of what we have on Flickr lost.

At the end of the day there are no perfect solutions. I don’t think we can expect Yahoo! to go back to the old system, but I don’t think it is realistic to expect/hope for every contributing member of the current community to seamlessly move to an alternate site. Therefore I think that the only ‘solution’ is to wait it out and see what happens over the coming weeks.

This is about more than just Flickr and it’s individual users, this is about a thriving community of friends spread across the globe with years of history. The site may look vastly different, but as of right now the people are exactly the same. So before anyone rage quits, may I ask that you first stop, take a deep breath and think about our wonderful COMMUNITAY!

Most sincerely,

TR

Big group hug!

Brickfête 2013

Janey Gunning asked if we could share the following press release in regards to this year’s Brickfête.

To all AFOL, LEGO collectors, builders, hobbyists, enthusiasts within walking, driving or flying distance of Toronto, Canada.

The Brickfête Team is honoured to invite you to our annual LEGO Fan Convention. Join us for some good times completely focused on our beloved obsession with the brick. You will see some amazing displays, have chances to get involved with fun games and event, as well as hear from official LEGO Designer and LEGO Master Builder.

This July 11, 12, 13 and 14, 2013!
Hilton Hotel, Airport Rd in Toronto, Canada

To register for the four days visit the AFOL portion of our site and please note, space is limited so act now, operators are standing by.

We are returning to the same hotel as last year, and have secured decent room rates (however those end soon, so book now before you end up paying full rates.)

If you are from out of town (or country) we are located right across from the Toronto Airport, which means you can just fly here, board the shuttle to the hotel and not worry about renting cars, maps or public transit.

Join our website’s free forum if you have any questions or want to discuss things such as sharing a room, collaborative builds, or just a chance to connect with others before the event.

Our list of events are being posted and there is something for everyone to get involved with.

  • Have you built something cool that others would love to see???
  • Do you want to hang out with other amazing builders?
  • Listen to LEGO guest speakers or get involved with build challenges or contests!
  • Don’t forget those prize raffles and all the other fun activities!
  • Want to have chances to win LEGO prizes or bid in the LEGO auction??
  • Display with us and enjoy the company of other AFOLS.

If you are new to conventions and are hesitating… check out this forum post and feel free to ask questions.

The general public is invited to view the awesome LEGO Creations on display during the following public expo days:
July 13th and 14th – 10am until 3pm
Tickets sold at the door and online

All the rest of the details and more can be read on www.brickfete.com

See you in July,
Janey Red Brick & Chris Magno
On behalf of the entire Brickfete team!

“A festival run by fans, made by the fans, for the fans.”