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…
The Palace of Westminster, known to most as the Houses of Parliament, has been built in 1:650 scale by Rocco Buttliere. The model is making its debut at BRICK 2015, which takes place at the London Excel, December 11th-13th.
Rocco Buttliere is a fourth-year student in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology and his amazing 1:650 scale builds, depicting famous skyscrapers and landmarks, have been the main focus of attention. His collection includes models from eleven global cities including Chicago, New York City, Dubai, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Shanghai, Dallas and of course, London.
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign all 43 of Rocco’s models are making their way to London and will be on display at BRICK 2015. You can find out more about Rocco and his models, including digital downloads of his work, on MOCpages.
The Bricks LA LEGO convention will be happening in just over a month, January 8-10, 2016, in Pasadena, California. Builder registration ends December 12th.
Here are the details from the Bricks LA organizers:
– January 8-10, 2016
– Public Hours are Saturday January 9 and Sunday January 10 from 10am to 5pm
– Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA (300 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101)
– Deadline to register as a VIB: December 12th, 2015
– Deadline to register MOCs for MOC cards: December 20th, 2015
– VIB Registration cost: $55
– Admission to public show is just $5, kids 5 and under are free.
Registration is open for British Columbia’s first LEGO convention. BrickCan is April 21-24, 2016, at River Rock Casino in Richmand, BC, Canada — just a short drive beyond the border and outside of Vancouver, BC.
Adult (19+) registration is $75 CAD through January 20, 2016. After that, registration goes up to $85 CAD.
After January 20, space permitting, registration may open to teens (14+). Check BrickCan’s registration page for more information.
To register, click here and create an account. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be routed to the registration page.
The convention is taking place at River Rock Casino. Convention rates are $159 CAD per night ($189 for a 1 Bedroom Suite), and available up to 3 days before and after the event. Please note that if you are staying before or after the convention itself, you’ll need to call the Reservation line.
Because this is taking place in our neighbor to the north, please note that non-Canadian citizens will require a passport to cross the border.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of LEGO is the fact that anyone can build with it – either alone or with a friend. Collaborations between builders often yield tremendous results, and this collaboration between Paul Trach and Markus Aspacher is the perfect example of successful team brick-building. Coordinating from 600km away, Markus in Austria and Paul in Germany divided the four films of the Jurassic Park franchise – including the recent blockbuster Jurassic World – into a massive and stunning dinosaur display.
Paul and Marcus recently displayed their collaboration at the Bricking Bavaria Munich convention, where it rightfully took home the coveted Best in Show award. Although on site it appeared to be one single piece (as it does above), the layout is actually four sections. Each builder constructed two portions representing two of the films. The first section, Jurassic Park, was built by Markus:
Most of my fellow Brothers are already getting geared-up for BrickCon in October, but at that time of year, sadly, I can get away from work only barely long enough to attend Steam in the UK; a trip to the US is not in the cards. However, in the last few weeks I was in the US for a holiday which included attending Brickfair Virginia. I haven’t yet been home long enough to find the time to go over all the pictures that I’ve taken, let alone to find the owners of the models in them on-line, but will hopefully get around to that in the next few weeks. For now I want to share some of my experiences and to give a shout-out to the military builders I have been hanging out with, specifically Aleksander Stein, Evan Melick, Matt Hacker and Corvin Stichert. This year they displayed a collaborative airfield layout full of excellent minifig scale (near-future) military aircraft, helicopters and ground support equipment.
The event consisted of three set-up days, which were for registered attendees only. There were a lot of organised activities, including games and talks about build techniques, as well as two talks by the guys from Beyond The Brick about their youtube podcasts. I was too busy chatting to other builders while all of this went on, but I did catch an excellent talk by Gary Brooks (whose Battle of Waterloo was featured here a few weeks ago) about building landscapes, that taught me a few new tricks. The set-up days were followed by two public days, during which we all got to display our models to an appreciative audience. I know some exhibitors dread these, and they can get very busy, but I enjoyed talking to the audience and demonstrating the folding wings and undercarriage of my Wildcat fighter.
The fun didn’t end at Brickfair. Since all of us share an interest in military history and technology, the next day we hit the road (and thanks to the satnav, DC rush hour traffic on the way back) to visit the USMC Museum in Quantico. This had a little LEGO twist: its shop features an impressive model of the USMC Memorial by Nathan Sawaya, which was the perfect backdrop for a group photograph.
I know that there must be a fair few people among you who have never actually been to any sort of LEGO convention or event. I was like you for a long time. Building with LEGO was something I did on my own. Later I started sharing models online, which added a welcome social component. However, as I found out when I joined Brickish in the UK and started attending events, nothing beats face-to-face meetings with fellow enthusiasts and being able to see their builds in real life. I’d like to thank Magnus Lauglo for inviting me to brickfair several years ago and for offering me a place to crash this year too. Congratulations to our very own Simon for winning four (!) Brickee awards, including best aircraft. Thanks guys, I had a ball.