If you’re planning on attending Brickworld from June 15-19 but haven’t registered yet, please register now because the number of available spots is approaching the 650 limit. There’s currently 614 people signed up for the full registration, and I don’t want our readers to miss out on the last few spots.
Registration is now open for Brickworld 2011! As usual, Brickworld will take place in the third weekend of June in Chicago. It is a four and a half day event featuring a private convention and public expo at the Westin Chicago North Shore. Because of the continuous swelling of participants and visitors each year, Brickworld will now start on Wednesday night, making it one of the most-attended and longest and Lego conventions all around.
The metaphor I use to describe Brickworld is a powerhouse. It’s a very dynamic convention with so much to take in at once. With four display rooms, seeing all the creations in detail is between difficult and impossible. Likewise, we’re closing in on 1,000 registered attendees, so there’s always many new people to meet and old friends to catch up with if you’re returning. Meanwhile, don’t forget that you still have until the end of January to design this year’s event kit.
Brickworld is celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2011, and this year you have the opportunity to design the convention’s event kit. This is a rare chance to have hundreds of people own a creation designed by you, and you don’t even have to be an attendee to submit a design. Check out more details on the Brickworld website.
To commemorate the passing in April of Nate “nnenn” Nielson, each of the three LEGO conventions over the summer and fall are hosting Vic Viper fly-ins. Keith Goldman gives us a glimpse into the Chicago fly-in earlier this month.
Two weeks ago in Chicago, I had the pleasure of organizing the first Vic Viper fly-in, in honor of our departed friend and fellow builder Nate “nnenn” Nielson.
72 Vipers from 66 builders joined the missing-man formation from a total of 7 countries: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, U.K. and the USA. We kept the center of the layout open in the tradition of missing man formations, with nnenn’s rubber-band holder avatar as a placeholder. The public was drawn in by the amazing Vipers, and more often than not stayed for the story behind it.
Thanks again to all the participants that made the formation an outstanding tribute to Nate. Special thanks to Ley Ward for his time and patience, and skill with the dozen or so Vipers that arrived with “some assembly required”. For a detailed list of participants, please follow the link to my Flickr-posting and check the notes.
The formation was a moving experience for many of the builders involved, and we’d all like to express our condolences again to the Nielson family. Nnenn was missed in Chicago and will clearly be missed around the planet.
Both of the upcoming LEGO conventions, BrickFair in August and BrickCon in October, will also be hosting missing man formations to honor Nate. If you would like to participate in either of these formations, you can contact Dan Rubin (for BrickFair) and Andrew Becraft (for BrickCon).
Brickworld took place in Chicago last weekend with an unprecedented gathering of 800 attendees displaying Lego creations across 30,000 square feet in the Westin Hotel & Convention Center. It took me three days to get myself back together after the post-con crash and sorting out my haul, so without further ado, here’s my wrap-up of the event.
First, there were the crazy awesome creations. In addition to the returning classics such as Arthur Gugick‘s microscale landmarks, NILTC‘s train/city display, and the Great Ball Contraption, there were plenty of new creations that each made quite an entrance. Among the many were Adam Reed Tucker‘s roller coaster, the Vic-Viper Memorial Fly-In, Matt De Lanoy‘s Futurama display, and the insane Monster Chess. With between 5,000 – 10,000 creations, you’ll need to browse the Brickworld Flickr group for a glimpse of all that was there.
The second half that made up the con was the crazy awesome people. I won’t make a list, because there’s bound to be those that I missed among such a large crowd. Some went to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center (and struck questionable poses), a few dined at the same restaurant for 4 straight meals, and others went head-to-head in the Esther Walner Memorial Charity Auction that raised an astounding $12,000. When it came to public hours, there was quite a line, and I’m guessing that we had upwards of 10,000 visitors. Speaking of crowd control, get a load of the action that went on during the special sales at the Lego store. There were plenty of 50% off sets to go around this time, making most people happy with their acquisitions.
Needless to say, Brickworld was nothing short of being crazy awesome as it has been and will continue to be. But before I finish my wrap-up, I leave you with the tentative themes for next year and 2012. The theme for 2011 will most likely be “Five,” celebrating the 5th year of Brickworld. For 2012, we have our eyes set on “The End of the World.”
If you are attending Brickworld in June, you probably know that the theme for this year is space. More specifically, there are four collaboration displays designed to accommodate a variety of sci-fi creations. Here are the details:
The Space Frontiers display is a collection of space crafts and objects found in space. The guidelines are simple: if it flies or floats in space, then it has a place. You’re encouraged to build a stand for small or medium-sized creations so that your ships do not appear docked on the table.
The Renegade Planet display is dedicated to mechs and ground vehicles of the sci-fi genre. The overarching theme is a planet for outcasts who have built these mechs and vehicles to survive and conquer. You are encouraged to bring tan baseplate(s) that covers the area of your model. Feel free to build an outpost or other small desert structures.
The Vic Viper Fly-In display is a collection of Vic Vipers in memory of Nate “nnenn” Nielson, who passed away in April. There are many ways to build a Vic Viper, and there’s no shortage of inspiration from Novvember or the Vic Vipers Flickr group.
The Modern Warfare display is a collection of infantry, vehicles, and combat-torn buildings set in a sub-apocalyptic world based on the Modern Warfare video game. If you’re interested, there’s an active Flickr group that has everything you need to know to participate, including details on how to receive a free contributor’s pack from BrickArms.
Lastly, a huge thanks to Tyler Clites for creating the graphics for the first three space displays.
Brickworld is approaching fast in less than a month and a half. So far over 700 fans have registered, and it’s awesomely scary! Here are some announcements and reminders to get you prepared for the largest LEGO convention in the US.
The theme for this year is 2010: Bricks In Space. You are encouraged to work something spacey into your MOCs. For the sci-fi builders, there are four collaboration displays where you will most likely find one suitable for what you’re bringing.
Reminder: the first 750 registrants that are paid in full by May 20, 2010 will receive an engraved name badge and goody bag. If you are a returning attendee, you can sign in to register. New attendees can sign up here.
The keynote speaker for this year is Lisbeth Valther Pallesen, Executive Vice President for Consumer Education Direct (CED). CED includes: LEGO CLUB, LEGO Digital (Universe/LEGO.com), Community Engagement and Communications (Steve Witt), LEGO Brand Retail, LEGO Shop@Home, LEGO Education. I look forward to hearing from someone of the upper management who reports directly to the CEO.
Presentations and workshops
Presentation slots are filling up fast, so if you want to give a 50 minute presentation, please contact us! Registration for workshops will open soon, stay tuned.
Esther Walner Memorial Charity Auction
This year we have some of the most unique and rare items in our charity auction. Bring extra money for the auction or just stop by and see some cool stuff.
MOC cards are due June 1st. Please register all MOCs that you are bringing and the MOC card info for each one. Your MOC card provides info about your creation to other and will make your creation eligible for an award.
To get from the airport to the hotel, the fastest and most popular method is by taxi. In particular, American Taxi has the best rates (~$35 from O’Hare to the Westin). Their number is 847-255-9600, which you may want to store in your phone.
As usual, Brickworld is held at the Westin Hotel & Convention Center. This year, we have reserved the entire place for Brickworld events and attendees. But don’t wait until the last minute to book your room. Last year the two-bed rooms were out prior to the event. Click here to book your room at the special Brickworld rate.
Pictures from previous Brickworlds are on the Brickworld Flickr group.
Beginning today, you can register for Brickworld 2010 in Chicago during June 17-20. Brickworld is the largest annual LEGO convention in the US with 570 registered attendees in 2009. This year, the coordinators have booked the entire Westin Hotel & Convention Center, which includes 30,000 square feet of space dedicated to displays, presentations, competitions, marketplace and more.
This year at BrickWorld, we shot a video coverage of the convention that features short clips of fans and builders talking about LEGO. This started when Tyler (Legohaulic) brought the idea along with a brick-built TBB microphone. Everything happened spontaneously and we are able to share with you the faces and voices of many LEGO fans for the first time on the blog.
I’d like give special thanks to Tyler for doing pretty much all the work with the video and everyone who shared their moment of embarrassment with us. We certainly wished to get around to more of the great people there, but the four days went by too fast! I hope you enjoy our first ever video coverage of a LEGO convention.
My apologies for slacking off on the last two days of our 2009 BrickWorld coverage (unless you’d rather read what I write at past 3 a.m. for both nights). Now that the event is over and I’m back with a nightmare of bricks to sort, I’ll wrap things up with a few concluding words. This year’s BrickWorld set records in every way. With over 550 attendees, 25,000 square feet of LEGO, special guests from LEGO execs and more, we’re left to wonder how this year’s even can ever be topped.
Planning for BrickWorld 2010 has already begun, and this time the coordinators have booked the entire Westin hotel just for us LEGO fanatics.
See more pictures of BrickWorld on Flickr.