While some other LEGO conventions have individual builders reserve their own table space, BrickCon is all about large-scale collaborative displays. Each year since 2008, The Brothers Brick has sponsored a display, ranging from a highly coordinated zombie apocalypse to our anything-goes celebration of all things Japanese.
Last year, we tried something even more anarchic than a zombie apocalypse — a totally unstructured experiment in planetary colonization — which we think came together fairly well, so we’re going to try it again this year, as “Numereji 2422”.
As we said last year:
Our hope for the Numereji 2421 display at BrickCon 2011 is that the contributors will be free to create their vision of what kind of community would develop from a group of crash survivors isolated for a generation, and how their reconnection with other space travelers would play out.
We worked up quite a backstory and suggested lots of inspiration last year, but many potential contributors said they didn’t really get the concept until they’d seen the actual display at BrickCon (ah, the consequences of an experiment in anarchy!). Here are a few links to help refresh your memory:
- Photos on Flickr
- Basic timeline and planetary backdrop
- Official backstory
- Inspiration and ideas
- Building standards (if you want/need them)
Naturally, there are many other opportunities to contribute to a display in whatever way works best for your building style or preferred theme. Here are a few of our favorites:
|Numereji 2422||The official collaborative display for readers of The Brothers Brick. Do you have space fever? Will you be a peaceful colonist, a rogue smuggler, alien trader, or the long arm of the galactic law? You decide!||Right here, or on Flickr|
|Bricks of Character||The notorious Iain Heath & Tommy Williamson are at it again, bringing together LEGO and all your favorite characters from TV, movies, and video games — as long as they’re not minifig-scale! This year’s Bricks of Character display also includes Heather Braaten’s Darlings, a memorial to a beloved LEGO fan we lost earlier this year.||Info | Discussion|
|Castle||BrickCon is famous for its massive, sprawling, and still somehow well-coordinated castle displays. Each year, LEGO Castle builders up the ante with taller spires, bigger armies, and more integrated motion. I can’t wait to see what Josh and his team pull together this year.||Classic-Castle.com|
|The Dark Side||Most LEGO models are meant to be appreciated in the light. But Roger Hill’s “Dark Side” display brings together all the LEGO models that glow in the dark and blink their lights. Given how hard it is to photograph LEGO in the dark, these are models you’ll definitely want to see in person.||Contact Roger through BrickCon.org|
|Microscale||Coordinator Steve Oakes shared a wonderful vision for the Microscale display at the SEALUG meeting yesterday. In addition to the usual Micropolis modules and mini-trains, this year’s micro display will include a microscale version of BrickCon itself, complete with tables, stanchions, and Miniland-scale attendees! So, build a tiny version of whatever you’re bringing to BrickCon, along with a Miniland version of yourself to admire your own tiny creation. Awesome.||Contact Steve through BrickCon.org|
|Superheroes||With the release of official DC and Marvel Super Heroes sets from LEGO, now’s the time to bring all those LEGO superheroes and supervillains together — LEGO Avengers (and others) assemble! Sean Forbes is coordinating this display, which isn’t just limited to minifig-scale models. Bring your mosaics, statues, vehicles, and anything else inspired by comic books.||Contact Sean through BrickCon.org|
See the full list of themes & collaborations — from Architecture to Town/Train — on BrickCon.org.
Not sure which theme, collaborative display, or category your LEGO creation fits into? For example, does a microscale space fleet go in Microscale or Space? (Probably Space.) Read over the full list, and then just ask us and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.
Important: Regardless of whether you choose to contribute to one of the group builds, it’s still important to register your LEGO models (MOCs — My Own Creations) as well as yourself. Registering all the MOCs you plan to bring ensures that coordinators know how much space we’ll need. You can’t just show up on Thursday morning with a six-foot spaceship! This really wasn’t an issue until last year, but BrickCon has grown to over 500 registered attendees, and only registered MOCs will be guaranteed table space.
The BrickCon 2012 private convention kicks off on Thursday, October 4th — that’s less than a month away!
If you want to guarantee yourself an engraved brick badge, swag bag, and other benefits of pre-opening registration, now’s the time to do it. Registrations after next Saturday, September 15th can’t be guaranteed these goodies.
Still not sure you want to come? BrickCon is our favorite convention because of its relaxed atmosphere, fun (non-LEGO) stuff to do around the venue, and the great people we get to hang out with each year.
Of course, the heart of the convention is the LEGO itself. Be sure to check out the BrickCon photo pool on Flickr to see photos of LEGO models, people, and events from years past, as well as pics of creations you can expect to see there this year.
Register today, and we hope to see you at BrickCon in a few short weeks!
Here’s the first photo returned by Horizon from the surface of Numereji in 2382 — a low-resolution “haz-cam” photo of a nearby feature with interesting, layered characteristics potentially indicative of sedimentary processes (and thus the presence of liquid water). This photo represents the first indication that Numereji might be able to sustain human life.
After traveling at a substantial fraction of the speed of light for several decades, the rover lands safely, but the 14-minute delay for Mars-Earth communication (depending on their relative location) recently experienced by JPL scientists translate to 14 years of terror, as scientists wait to receive data from Numereji 14 light years away.
Registration is now open for BrickCon 2012, October 4th through 7th, 2012 in Seattle (“our fair city”), Washington.
And as we’ve done every year since 2008, The Brothers Brick will be organizing a collaborative display. Enough people said things like, “Oh, now I get it! You gonna do it again next year so I can contribute?” after seeing our Numereji 2421 layout that we’ve decided to say “Yes!” and try it again this year. More details to follow over the course of the next few weeks.
One of my favorite new themes at BrickCon this year was “World Architecture,” organized by Anu Pehrson. Her own contribution was one of my favorites — this gorgeous Hindu temple in the Nagara style of Indian architecture.
Anu provides a bit of background:
This is an Ancient Temple from India. This is the Nagara style of Architecture which was fully developed in the 10th century. Such Temples exist till date and are very much in use as a place of worship and pilgrimage. In Hinduism the devotee offers flowers and fruit to the ‘deity’ as a form of worship. Therefore we always see stalls selling garlands, flowers and fruit outside a temple. A visit to the Temple is not a sombre event, and could be and evening outing for the family or a ‘picnic’ Therefore one finds a ‘fair’ like atmosphere around the entrance.
Her beautiful diorama deservedly won “Best Architectural Style” at BrickCon.
Aaah, BrickCon. That magical time each fall when hundreds of LEGO fans descend upon the Exhibition Center in Seattle for a relaxing weekend of fun, friendship, and sleep.
Wait. I’m kidding. Sleep never enters the equation.
BrickCon has morphed quite a bit for me from my first event to now. I began attending BrickCon in 2005 (it was NorthWest BrickCon at that point). The ENTIRE event fit into the Rainier Room, which now is just the general assembly room. This year marked my seventh BrickCon and ninth overall event.
Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
What’s also changed quite a bit for me is how I experience BrickCon. In the beginning, I was simply an attendee. I registered, I went, I showed off my MOCs, and I went on my merry way. I’d help out coordinating the Castle display when I could. But in 2009, that changed. At one of the SEALUG meetings, it was mentioned that they needed someone to coordinate prizes. “I can do that,” I thought. So I stepped up.
So there’s the story of how I became Prize Coordinator for BrickCon. I can blame (thank?) Sean Forbes for the “Prize Goddess” moniker, and that’s the one that stuck.
Determining which prize goes what, where, and to who is an entirely scientific process, but not really. It’s taking a look once again at what I have to work with and spreading it across the four major ceremonies that have door prizes (Opening, Keynote, Awards, Closing). Making sure those are dividing properly and separate from what goes to the public is important, too. Part of my job ensures that any incoming prizes are dividing amongst the various pools, too, so that one event isn’t too overloaded. I try and keep Closing as short as possible, too, since by that time people typically are packing to head home.
This year we added a sort of “Santa Claus” prize pool for public and private hours. During the public hours, volunteers would wander around the crowds and hand small sets (provided by the con) and kid’s t-shirts (provided by the LEGO Store in Bellevue) to the kids. Watching their faces was amazing; the look of disbelief was typically first, followed by the giant smile. There was some suspicion that the gifts were completely free, but it was pretty easy to work around. Anyone who passed out those prizes had the same smile.
It’s incredibly busy working with the prizes. In terms of BrickCon, if it didn’t involve prizes, I typically had no information or clue about it. My focus was prizes; I needed to be available to receive incoming donations and prep for the next assembly. I had enough time in between assemblies to enjoy spending time with my friends and enjoying BrickCon for what it is.
Thanks to Joe Meno, Andrew Becraft, and Bill Ward for their photos!
I have to say that Castle totally rocked this year. This was my sixth year being involved in the Castle section at the Con and I think this was the best so far. Everyone involved really stepped it up this year and they all deserve a round of applause.
The quantity of creations was overwhelming and we had to beg, borrow and steal more area (Many thanks to Steve Walker and Wayne Hussey for making that process virtually painless and to Scott Fowler for graciously giving up part of the neighboring Pirate tables). But quantity doesn’t really say much about a section. It was the quality of the creations that really blew me away. I knew that the builders who were coming had skills but they all out did themselves.
Our collaborative layout was packed with so many builds, flowing from one to another, that it was difficult to see everything and the section of stand-alone models was outstanding.
We had three categories for which builders could win a trophy and a LEGO set. The voters were very hard pressed to make their selections, but they finally did and the winning models and builders were:
Hearty thanks also need to go out to the following people and companies: To Will of Brickarms for the awesome contributor packs and prototype weapons that he made especially for us, to Ryan of BrickWarriors for the sweet fig packs he donated and to Learning Loft Toys for the Lego set prizes they donated to our winners.
We all had a great time and plan to make next year even bigger and better. So if you want to ‘Go Medieval’ at BrickCon next year, please join us! BrickCon!!!
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the Numereji 2421 display at BrickCon in Seattle last weekend! Because of your skill and creativity people got a much clearer idea of our vision.
We plan on a Numereji 2422 collaborative display at BrickCon 2012 and look forward to the return of great creations, changes to reflect the passage of time, and phenomenal additions.
Congratulations to the winners in our four categories who were acclaimed by peer balloting!
Best Overall: The Ark by Drew Ellis (also Best Capital Ship for the entire Space display)
Best Building: Communication Station Iris by Alex Fojtik (counter-rotating arrays of awesome)
Best Terrain: Numereji Ranchero by Josh Wedin (and unofficial sillyness prize)
Best Vehicle: Scavenger by Shane Weckstrom (NPU purple basketball player pants)
Special thanks to Brandon Bannerman for his CSS Howland hull design and for working on the hulk up to the wire.
I also enjoyed displaying my own Earthship House, and a barn built from a sections of Howland hull. More pics of that once I get a good light box set up and get rid of this stalker rain that followed me back to San Diego.
We’ve had a wonderfully busy first day at BrickCon 2011, starting this morning with the usual setup that happens on Thursday (and into Friday). After a round of coffee, we started pulling all our LEGO models out and putting them on tables, but were quickly distracted by the OneLug team as they began erecting their 7-foot LEGO Orthanc before our very eyes.
Over lunch, Josh and I recruited Chris Malloy (again, welcome!).
With most setup out of the way — pending the arrival of more LEGO creations by other builders — we hung out for the rest of the day, catching up with old friends and making new ones. Even though the public exhibition isn’t until Saturday, my favorite day of BrickCon every year is Thursday because it’s the most relaxed. That said, BrickCon has over 500 registered attendees this year, so I’m preemptively disappointed I won’t be able to hang out with everybody. But it’s exciting to know that we’ll have that many builders contributing their amazing creations to the con!
We probably won’t have time to post day-by-day wrap-ups after tonight, but you can follow @AndrewBecraft — I bet you didn’t know I tweeted! — and I’ll be uploading photos from my phone over the course of each day. Of course, you can follow everybody’s additions to the BrickCon pool, too.
For everybody arriving tomorrow, safe travels, and see you all soon!