If you find yourself in Sydney (Australia) at all during 2015, then head over to the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney and check out this amazing recreation of the Roman town of Pompeii, created by Lego Certified Professional Ryan McNaught.
It definitely looks like the LEGO Friends style minifig is here to stay. In addition to the Disney Princess sets, LEGO is now releasing yet another line based on this fig: LEGO Elves. LEGO is pushing Elves with a large model built for Toy Fair…
With a plethora of great colors and all-new hair sculpts, these sets look to have wide-ranging appeal. While the release date for these sets is March, according to our sources they’re already showing up in stores.
As alluded to earlier, LEGO unveiled the 2015 line of Scooby-Doo sets at Toy Fair today. They’re slated to be released in August. While most folks have already seen a few things from the line, this was a chance to see the box art and get close-ups of the Mystery Inc gang, as well as their sweet 70’s hair:
The $89.99 Mystery Mansion has six minifigs and Scooby-Doo but is missing Fred …though perhaps we’re not actually missing him, amirite?
Having never attended this event before, the Brothers Brick were unprepared for the mass chaos that greeted them upon arriving at the Javits Convention Center in New York at 0650 this morning…
Upon being escorted to the LEGO booth – a formidable high-walled yellow fortress in the middle of the showroom floor – scores of LEGO-related members of the press (including yours truly) descended upon the 2015 LEGO line, jostling for position and attempting to take photos of over 300 soon-to-be-released (or recently-released) sets. The focus of the show has already been revealed here – the new UCS TIE Fighter – but LEGO did have a few other surprises in store. After talking to LEGO lead designer (and friend of the blog) Erik Varszegi and being introduced to LEGO master model builder Paul Chrzan, we tried to focus on some of the most interesting new stuff: carbon fiber bricks, Jurassic World, Scooby-Doo …and Ant-Man!
The only disappointing part of the $19.99 Ant-Man set (to be released in June) is that it doesn’t come with micro versions of the three minifigs …but it’s definitely a really fun set.
We’ll probably post an entire sequence of Scooby-Doo photos later, but here’s something that will bring readers of a certain age back to their childhood …the Headless Horseman, depicted – as God intended – with a pumpkin where his head should be:
Four weeks ago, while most of my fellow Brothers were at BrickCon in Seattle, I made my annual journey to Steam, the Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon (UK), for The Great Western Brick Show. I was going to write a report on this shortly after returning home, but have had some health issues lately. Luckily fellow Dutchman Red Spacecat also attended the show and has made my job a lot easier by making two very nice postcard views with his highlights of the show.
Although a few non-British builders travelled to Swindon, most exhibitors are members of The Brickish Association, which is the main Lego Users Group for the UK, and, as I wrote in my announcement several weeks ago, the show is practically a who-is-who of British builders. Andrew already highlighted the fantastic display of Victorian London, but the quality of almost all of the displays was very high, as you can see in the walk-through video shot by Silent Mode and the detail pictures of the displays made by BrickMick.
Unlike US conventions such as BrickCon, the show was centred on a two-day long public display. There were some activities for the exhibitors, though. We had a very nice dinner in the museum on the Saturday evening, followed by a hilarious auction (and a long night drinking pints in the hotel bar for some of us). The atmosphere during public hours was also sufficiently relaxed to allow plenty of opportunity to talk to other builders and to look at their models. It was a great weekend.
My American brothers are understandably excited about BrickCon, which takes place less than a week from now. Among British AFOLs and for myself, however, excitement is mounting for another event, the Great Western Brick Show, colloquially known as Steam. It is held in the coming weekend at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, in Swindon in the UK.
I myself will be there displaying my film and TV cars, but the show is practically a who’s who of British builders. For example:
- Carl Greatrix will be displaying trains, his recent cars and his F-4 Phantoms,
- Peter Reid, designer of the exo-suit, will be in attendance talking to fans and showing off his space models,
- the guys from Bright Bricks are preparing something huge (it is still a surprise, but as far as I know it is bigger than Intrepid),
- Warren Elsmore, the writer of Brick City and Brick Wonders will be displaying his new airport layout,
- Brick to the past, which is the collective of builders who brought us Tigelfah castle last year, will be displaying a large layout of Victorian-era London.
If you’re in the UK and don’t come to this show, you are missing out on what promises to be a great show. However, you can check out TV coverage of the event via Swindonweb TV. They will be broadcasting on Saturday, and include footage live from the show and interviews with some of the builders. Of course, you can also expect me to write an event report after I get back.
It’s time again to get building for BrickCon in Seattle, Washington. Registration is now open for the this annual Pacific Northwest party, over the first weekend in October.
This year’s theme is Invasion. While LEGO themes are known to invade each other from time to time, this year it’s an outright expectation. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be revealing more about what this theme means and how you can participate!
Please note that Early Bird registration runs through August 1–so get registered now to get the early bird price! You’ll of course be able to register after that at the regular price.
It’s not really a secret that our favorite LEGO convention is our home LEGO convention, so get yourself registered and come join us October 2-5, 2014!
Building with LEGO professionally may sound like a dream job to many of us. Recently, whilst I was in the UK for Brighton Modelworld I caught up with Ed Diment (Lego Monster), who gave up his job as a management consultant more than two years ago to partner up with Duncan Titchmarsh, who is the UK’s sole Lego Certified Professional. Together they run Bright Bricks.
We talked about being a professional LEGO-builder and discussed their latest event. From the 26th of February to the 27th of April, the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke (UK) hosts the Lost World Zoo. Bright Bricks and various members of the UK’s LEGO community that were drawn in for this, built dozens of models of prehistoric creatures and plants, that are now on display in the museum. They were finishing the models for this during my visit and I lent a hand working on a 4 meter tall model of a Moa, which is an extinct New Zealand walking bird. They also built a massive sabre tooth tiger, which I photographed in the company workshop.
Visitors to the museum can also take part in activities, such as building a life-size woolly mammoth out of LEGO bricks. Yes, you did read that right: life-size. These guys like to do things big.
The company has been steadily growing. It currently employs about a dozen people working full-time, as well as several more on a temporary basis. The growth has meant having to move several times, because space in the workshop kept running out. They’re now based in a large unit on an industrial estate in Hampshire. Even though this is probably larger than all their previous workshops combined, the number of people, the large builds and the vast numbers of parts that they have in stock means that it can still be pretty difficult to move around in. The growth has also come with an increased amount of red tape. For instance, UK law requires a company of a given size to have an environmental policy and a health and safety policy, that includes having to find out how much heat is produced by a vast quantity of LEGO going up in flames. Ed probably spends more time on this and on dealing with clients and the media than he does on building. He still builds a lot, though, and with a seemingly endless supply of bricks. According to Ed, his current job is not as much fun as building AFOL models all day, but it is still definitely more fun than a regular job. Having spent a day putting more bricks together than I normally do in about a month, I can believe him (although I was still happy to go back to my day job).
If you’re in the South of the UK, I highly recommend that go check out the Lost World Zoo.
Last weekend, more than a dozen members of the Brickish Association descended on the seaside town of Brighton in the Southern UK for Brighton Modelworld. This is an event for modelbuilding of all kinds, from wooden dollhouses to gasoline-powered mini tanks large enough to seat a person. This was the seventh time that Brickish had a display there and the fifth time that I attended myself. Here are a few of the highlights.
Julie Greig (Jujem71) displayed a collection of minifigs that represent various generations of Doctor Who and their assistants, which were instantly recognizable to many fans of the series.
A British TV show that is not nearly as well known outside of the UK as Doctor Who is Stingray. It showed the adventures of a submarine called Stingray, which was home-based at a town/mi;itary base called Marineville. This was built in microscale by Andrew Danieli (kaitain).
We also had a collection of rockets, including my own. Mine were completely dwarfed, however, by the moon rocket from Tintin built by Ian Greig (Bluemoose) and the space Shuttle Endeavour built by Ed Diment (Lego Monster), Annie Diment (Mrs Monster), Naomi Farr (euphonica) and Stuart Crawshaw (OptimalControl).
More pictures of these and other LEGO models at the event can be found in the Bricks at brighton flickr group. It was hard not to notice how, for instance, the train displays seem to change very little from year to year. Perhaps the (largely) elderly gentlemen who build them add a new house or a new tree every now and then, but the LEGO display is completely different every year. LEGO is so much more flexible and this makes us very popular with the visitors and the organizers alike. I’m already looking forward to next year’s display.
While most of my fellow Brothers were having a great time at Brickcon in Seattle, I was enjoying myself immensely at the UK’s largest LEGO-event: the Great Western Lego Show in Swindon. The show is organised by Martin Long, who is the president of the Brickish Association. The show took place on Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of October at a great location: the Great Western Railway museum, a.k.a. the Steam Museum. Most of the models on show were built by members of the association, who tend to refer to the show simply as ‘Steam’.
The models were all of a very high quality, but I want to share a few highlights with you. The first is the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 jet engine build by Bright Bricks, which is a company run by Duncan Titmarsh -the UK’s only Lego Certified Professional- and Ed Diment (Lego Monster). The model is built to half scale, weighs 350 kg and was commissioned by Rolls Royce for last year’s Farnborough Air Show. It is beautifully built and by means of an electric motor the fans actually spin, which gives it certain hypnotic quality.
Another very large and impressive model was the Tigelfáh Castle layout (We featured part of this a few weeks ago). It was a collaborative build by no fewer than eight builders: James Pegrum (peggyjdb), Harry Russell (Kǻrrde), Thomas Coleman (Malravion), Luke Watkins Hutchinson (– Derfel Cadarn –), Barney Main (SlyOwl), Colin Parry (Cuahchic), Jimmy Clynche (Invicta Bricks) and Steven Snasdell (workshysteve). It was enormous, fantastically detailed and very hard to capture in a single photo! No matter from what angle you looked at this, you always spotted a nice new detail.
One of the favourites of the public at the Steam show is the mosaic build. Members of the audience can fill a baseplate with 2×2 plates (in pre-arranged patterns printed out on paper), after which the plate is added to the mosaic. The mosaic gradually grows during the show and the end result is always spectacular.
For more pictures of these and other models at the show, check out the photosets by Andrew Harvey, Alec Hole and Drew Maughan. This was my 7th time at the event and it just keeps getting better. I know I am not the only builder already planning what to build for the show next year.