For some fans, comic and sci-fi convention season means making a custom costume for the event: cosplay. The character in Alysa Kirkpatrick‘s vignette is taking her construction very seriously, spending countless hours in front of a vintage sewing machine. She’s going to look so cool when it’s finished.
This past weekend saw one of the world’s great annual LEGO conventions arrive, Brickworld Chicago. With it came dozens of new builds and spectacular collaborations to dazzle the public. One such dazzling display came from the builders of Eurobricks, a popular online LEGO forum, who built a spectacularly intense and hilarious snail race for the ages.
This award-winning collaboration was a truly large and world-spanning operation kept together with tight planning and a singular cohesive snail design made by team leader Mark Larson. His design, which was itself awarded the title of Best Creature at the convention, was used by nine other builders to construct more snails which were individualized with unique colors and themed castles–and then finally placed into an epic race.
It’s just four months to BrickCon 2016 in Seattle, and TBB is gearing up for our hometown LEGO convention. For our annual collaboration this year, we’re going to be putting together a dieselpunk display called World War II 1949. With the aircraft, vehicles, and buildings you contribute, you’ll help answer the question, “What if WW2 had not ended in 1945, and technology had continued evolving rapidly through the end of the decade?”
BrickUniverse is expanding to Columbus this August where you can attend this 3-day weekend convention featuring MOC displays, games, presentations and more. Registration is free for participants who display their creations, and you can register or purchase tickets to the exhibit on the BrickUniverse website.
The convention is over. The last builds have been torn down, carefully packed (or tossed in a bin), and the staff have packed up and cleared the space. What’s next?
I can’t state this enough: a convention is a draining experience regardless of your physical health, activity level, or personal preference for human interaction.
You’ve just spent the last four or five days on your feet, on a cement surface, surrounded by 500-1000 of your new best friends, along with a few hours of thousands of devoted fans ogling your LEGO builds. Your body needs to repair itself. If possible, I recommend taking the day after a convention off from work to rest and work in some self-care.
2. Take care of your physical self
Since you’ve been around hundreds of strangers for the last five days, it’s very common to catch the common cold. By taking time to care for your physical self after a convention, you reduce your risk (in addition to basics during the convention, like hand-washing, hand-sanitizer, and doing your best to get ample sleep and water).
It’s convention Day One. Now what? (Spoiler: meet people!)
1. Get there!
It’s time to get to the convention. By this time, if you’re traveling long distances, you’ve already left home, and you’re in close proximity. Now’s the time to get to the convention hall, meeting space, convention center, etc. and follow directions for unloading what you’ve brought. If you’ve got smaller stuff that can be easily carried, park elsewhere and save the close spots and loading docks for builders who require crates and teams to carry in their builds. Make sure you have the load-in information, since details vary from event to event.
You’ve made your decision! You’ve picked your convention. Now what?
Congratulations! You’re thinking about going to your first LEGO fan convention. So, now what?
That’s a great question. Making the decision to attend is the hard part; the rest is just details. But the details are where things can get awfully bogged down. We here at TBB have collectively attended nearly a hundred conventions across the world, so we have a thing or two to say about attending LEGO Fan conventions. Each event has its own unique flavor, so even seasoned convention-goers attending a new event for the first time feel the same excitement of the unknown. This guide will benefit newcomers and old-hats alike.
We’ve boiled down the convention-going experience into three segments: Pre-Convention, During Convention, and Post Convention. We’ll be publishing guides on these for you over the course of the next two weeks. We’re going into a new year of conventions and want to help everyone be prepared!
Registration is now open for BrickCon 2016: MADNESS. BrickCon takes place in Seattle, Washington, running from Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2, 2016.
This year’s theme is MADNESS!
Early Bird registration runs until August 1, and is $65 per attendee. If you register after August 1, registration is:
- Regular Registration (August 2 – September 18): $75
- Late Registration (September 19 – September 25): $100
- At-The-Door Registration (September 30): $120
A couple reminders for those wishing to go:
- Attendees who are 14-17 years old must be accompanied by and supervised by a registered adult
- You must be registered to display
The main hotel is The Maxwell Hotel, located one block across from the Exhibition Center. Please continue to check the BrickCon website for updates on when booking is available, in addition to other area hotels.
The Brothers Brick Display
We’ll reveal this year’s theme as we get closer to BrickCon. In the mean time, you have 179 days to build, so get busy!
For the last 5 years, LEGO clubs in the Pacific Northwest have put on a huge display at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, which will be taking place at the Washington State Convention Center in just a couple of weeks, April 7-10.
TBB’s own Iain Heath is hard at work right now putting the finishing touches on his talk, titled The Cult of the Brick: An Inside Look at the Secret World of LEGO Fandom.
Most ECCC tickets are sold out at this point, but if you’re among the tens of thousands of people who’ll be there over the course of the 4-day event, be sure to check out Iain’s talk and swing by the lower level across the street from the main WSCC entrance.
Registration for Brickworld Chicago 2016 is now open. Brickworld Chicago is held June 15-19, 2016, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL.
There are three registration tiers with their perks outlined on the convention page. All registration types are ages 18+; registrants under 18 years of age must have a parent/guardian register and attend Brickworld with them. All Access and Full registration is available until 5/16/16. After that date, Late registration is the only option.
All Access registration is $55 and allows access to all scheduled events and activities, and includes a name badge and the Brickworld commemorative brick.
Full registration is $80 and includes everything from the All Access tier plus eligibility for displays, door prizes, the goody bag, and Brickworld awards. Full registration is limited to 700 registrants.
Late registration is $100 and allows access to all scheduled events and activities, and includes a name badge and eligibility for collaborative displays only.
Brickworld is held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, and attendees can choose to stay at the connected Renaissance Hotel for an event rate of $139/night. Two room types are available: 1 king bed, or 2 double beds. Phone and online reservations for this event rate can be found here.
Last weekend saw thousands of LEGO fans descend upon London’s Docklands to visit BRICK 2015, the UK’s largest LEGO show, now in its second year. The Brothers Brick were there, and here’s a roundup of some of the coolest models we saw.
Builders from across the UK and Europe brought some amazing displays, including a number of models previously featured here. The enormous Hadrian’s Wall layout, the stunning recreation of Her Majesty’s Theatre, and Lasse Vestergard’s little gem History of the World. It was a genuine pleasure to see these all “in the brick”.
But onto other things, like the Brick Abyss from a trio of Swiss builders. A huge magical steampunk island archipelago with motorised elements, lighting, and smoke machines, the Abyss display was mobbed by kids and adults alike for the entire weekend…