Actor Gavin MacLeod, best known as Captain Stubing of The Love Boat, made a stop at Brickworld this year. His purpose? To pay a surprise visit to certified Lego professional, Ryan McNaught, who had built a super-sized replica of the Pacific Princess, the ship used in 1970s tv show.
You can also see Ryan’s work in his Flickr stream.
For this year’s wrap up post, I’ve decided to feature 3 videos to illustrate my impression of Brickworld 2011.
This first video shows the largest of the 4 display rooms during public hours. Like any other Lego convention you would attend, Brickworld is full of awesome MOCs and awesome people. But unlike many, these awesome MOCs and people come in great numbers, with over 900 registered attendees displaying creations over 30,000 sq. ft. This year marks only and already the 5th anniversary of Brickworld, which has now become the most attended Lego fan convention out of the half dozen in the US.
The next video shows the Flexpicker by Chris Shepherd, which won the Best Mechanical award. It is one of the many new MOCs that turned heads at the show. Some others new creations at Brickworld included the Love Boat by Ryan McNaught, the Lord of the Rings group display by MOCpages members, and Ben Caulkins’ Master Chief suit, which probably appeared in photos with just about every camera owner at Brickworld.
When you combine lots of awesome people with awesome MOCs, fun times (and hilarity) ensue. Speaking of the Lego Master Chief, here’s a video of him crashing through the decorative wall by Beth Weis. Other moments that slipped my camera included the drunk build of the Barad-dûr, the mysterious transformation of the new Super Star Destroyer into a BrickMania tank, and the f-bomb glorified in a lit-up mosaic during the World of Lights. If you search hard enough, you might come across some photographic evidence (the Brickworld group on Flickr is a good place to start). And for the other things that went down (including the unspeakable), you’ll just have to make it out to Chicago to see it all.
Don’t forget about your chance to design the 2012 event kit!
For the 750 (and counting) who are registered to attend Brickworld this summer, here are some announcements and reminders.
MOC registration ends today May 1st!
Apologies for not posting the reminder earlier, but in case you missed the deadline, you can direct any questions to the MOC card coordinator, Mark Larson.
This year the keynote speaker will be Mr. Adrian Jones. Mr. Jones is the General Manager of the new LEGOLAND Park in Winter Haven, Florida and is also Vice President of Merlin Enterntainments Inc USA. The main topic of discussion will be the soon to open park.
You can now pre-order the event kit and other items. One important note is that you must purchase the engraved name badge if you want one (it is no longer included in your registration fees). You must pay for your pre-order items by June 1st.
LEGO store discount:
The LEGO stores will no longer offer 50% discounts on damaged-box items. Instead there will be tiered discounts of up to 30% on all available items. There are some restrictions including a limit on duplicates and no reselling. This seems like the best way to ensure people get what they want at a decent price.
This will take place as early as 9 am on Thursday. So if you have to miss Wednesday (such as due to work or hotel room availability), the only scheduled event you’ll miss out on is the opening ceremony.
I’m particularly excited that you can donate MOCs to the charity auction and have all the proceeds go to Creations for Charity! You just have to show up with the MOC and fill out a form. It’s really easy and in the past MOCs have been some of the best sellers.
The fastest and most popular method to get from the airport to the hotel 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. Don’t wait until the last minute to book your room because the standard two-bed rooms have already already sold out!
Even though full registration is closed, you can still sign up for the light registration until May 18. The main differences include the inability to display MOCs and limited access to the display halls. More details are on the home page of the website.
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.