LEGO recently invited The Brothers Brick to their headquarters in Billund, Denmark, along with various other fan-run online groups, websites, and print media about LEGO. I was the lucky guy who got to on behalf of the Brothers Brick.
In our lives we all play a variety of roles, often without thinking. A list of mine would include (mad) physicist, prematurely grey and pasty white Dutchman, university lecturer and, of course, one of The Brothers Brick and Adult Fan Of LEGO. In the last few days, at least two new roles were added: reporter and interviewer. This is one of those occasions were being European, or more precisely, in Europe was an advantage. I’d been to Denmark once before, on a beer-fuelled student trip to Copenhagen 20 years ago, but this was going to be very different and, dare I say it, even more fun.
I arrived in Billund early in the evening on Wednesday and quickly realized that everything in this town revolves around LEGO. I passed the entrance to LEGOLAND on the way to my hotel, which was next to the LEGOLAND Village and, according to a sign on the door, was guarded by LEGO Security. No, really! After some dinner (no LEGO in that, fortunately) I took a stroll to see where I was expected the next morning, past the LEGOLAnD hotel to reach the LEGO Systems’ headquarters. Billund is very quiet, green, leafy, tidy and pleasant and it’s considered completely normal to walk around with a LEGO logo on your outfit.
Read the full report after the break
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).
Click here to read the full article
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.
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You’ve made your decision! You’ve picked your convention. Now what?
Click to get started!
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!
Click to get the fun started!
TBB’s very own Simon Liu was celebrating yesterday… No, not a queue of ladies at his door on Valentine’s Day, but the 5-year anniversary of his first “big boy build” and explosion into the LEGO community. To celebrate all that is LEGO (fun, friendship, contests, community spirit, etc), Simon is running a celebratory Mockaversary competition, best described in Simon’s own words:
Give me an idea that you want.
I’ll choose stuff only from this page.
If I build it.
The third Mockaversary gift is a microscale build called Micro Katoren that fulfilled two requests, build a castle and build in the Kaliphlin style as part of the larger Guilds of Historica (GoH) community. GoH was one of the first Build-RPGs hosted on Eurobricks and Simon was heavily involved in the initial concept. This is an anniversary moment in itself as the community is still thriving. Micro Katoren is a microscale replica of The City of Katoren, a collaboration between jsnyder002 and soccersnyderi.
What a lovely guy Simon is. I’m just a bit concerned about how he is going to ship my life-sized LEGO Canadian Mountie all the way from Canada to the UK… Maybe I should have asked for a LEGO beaver instead.
KLUG, the LEGO Users Group (LUG) based in Osaka, Japan, is putting on the largest LEGO event in Japan this June called Japan Brickfest.
The event will be held June 4-5, 2016 at the Canadian Academy international school on Rokko Island in Kobe. (I went to second grade in Kobe, and it’s a lovely city.) Registration for builders is now open, but closes at the end of February.
KLUG itself includes a number of names that should be familiar to both LEGO builders on sites like Flickr and MOCPages as well as readers of TBB. KLUG seems to be a bilingual LUG with both Japanese and English-speaking members, so if you’re a gaijin AFOL in the Kansai area who misses your LUG back home, KLUG and Japan Brickfest sound like a great way to get involved with LEGO in Japan.
Attendee pricing is based on requested table space. For more details, see the builder page (in both Japanese and English) on the event website.
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.
Did you know that a new Star Wars movie came out in 2015, with accompanying LEGO sets? If you’ve been living in your basement working on your LEGO masterpiece and weren’t aware, one glance at TBB’s top LEGO news stories would provide a clear picture of just how much excitement has preceded what turned out to be a rather excellent movie. Like our round-up of most popular LEGO models of 2015, LEGO Star Wars stories have dominated news coverage this year — especially since the sets were first revealed in September.
The actual Top 10 list is heavily dominated by set announcements, so hit the jump to check it out.
But some interesting and important news doesn’t necessarily show up in this top 10 list. Back in July, TBB celebrated its tenth anniversary, and I reflected on what it’s been like running a LEGO blog for 10 years. I promised we would be making some changes to improve the experience for our readers, and we’ve done exactly that. After BrickCon in October, we added eight new contributors, who’ve all helped us improve our coverage of both LEGO models and LEGO news. We’ve significantly broadened our geographic diversity, with two new contributors from the UK (both Scottish, coincidentally) and one each from Russia and South Africa — adding to our existing team from the US, Canada, and the Netherlands. Our new contributors have helped to free up our editorial staff to focus more on time-consuming content like LEGO set reviews.
In other news, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s LEGO project generated some interesting discussion in the comments, and several of our contributors participated in the annual Creations for Charity event.
Meanwhile, TBB staff were also a strong presence at LEGO conventions such as Brickworld in Chicago and BrickCon in Seattle, where readers and contributors built a rather epic American Civil War display in LEGO, featuring help from a corps of volunteer dinosaur cavalry.
And in the UK at BRICK, Elspeth took on LEGO Wonder Woman.
Click through to see all of the top LEGO news stories of 2015!
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…
More great models from the show after the jump
BrickUniverse FOL Conference is returning to the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina from April 1-3, 2016. Registration for all three days is $55 and includes a goody bag, brick badge, and entrance to all of the FOL events. This is also one of the unique conventions that offer free registration to exhibitors. Check out the BrickUniverse website for more info.
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.