LEGO fan events and conventions happen all over the world, from LEGO Fanwelt in Germany to BrickCon in Seattle. Follow along at home with our coverage of the people, news, and models from events everywhere.
After much anticipation and waiting by LEGO fans, Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson’s film A LEGO Brickumentary finally hits select movie theaters in the US today. And for those of us not fortunate enough to live near one of those theaters, it’s also available on iTunes and on demand now!
We had the opportunity to see the documentary last year at the Seattle Film Festival, and you can read our own review. On the whole we loved it – apparently more than some movie critics who have recently described it as a 90-minute ad for the LEGO company. In its defense, the film was not paid for by LEGO, and spends more time outside the hallowed halls of Billund than it does inside them. We think any true LEGO fan will enjoy the breadth of topics it covers, the playful and heartwarming presentation, and excellent brick animation by our friends over at BrickNerd Studios.
And if you look pay attention, you may even spot a few of us in the film ;-)
Despite more comebacks and fewer female characters than the Star Wars franchise, the Smurfs are still wildly popular today, almost 60 years after their first appearance as a Belgian comic strip. With two new Smurf movies behind us and another one in the works, it was only a matter of time before fans got tired waiting for LEGO to get in on the action, and took matters into their own hands. Which is exactly what Lee Jones and a team of builders did at BrickWorld Chicago did last month!
This huge diorama depicts the Smurf village, complete with forest landscaping, mushroom houses, and a forced-perspective version of Gargamel’s castle. All beautifully rounded off with the giant intruding faces of Gargamel and Azrael (courtesy of Tyler Halliwell and Kevin Lauer).
But the most remarkable part of this display have to be the Smurf minifigs. No, you’re not seeing things… Those aren’t shoddy clone brand figures. And no, LEGO didn’t secretly launch a line of collectible Smurf figs when no-one was looking. These are 100% custom manufactured! Lee’s team worked with BrickForge and Brick Fortress to design and produce custom components (heads, tails, even rotatable arms) all to “LEGO quality”. The results speak for themselves. Our pals at Beyond the Brick talked to Lee at BrickWorld and got the low-down…
Gaming fans, get ready to reattach your socks once you’ve marveled at this 14 foot long microscale LEGO StarCraft diorama, unveiled at Brickworld Chicago last week:
Whether you identify as Protoss, Terran or Zerg, there is so much detail to enjoy in this monstrous display, built over the course of 3 years by 9 builders in 4 different countries. How many bricks were used? We don’t know – the team lost count! I’m guessing “quite a lot”.
It’s election day! This Thursday, British voters will be exercising their democratic rights by rushing to the pub, then staggering to the polling stations, then (if memory serves) heading straight back to the pub.
So far this version of 10 Downing Street by Ben and Rachel Apps is the only remotely relevant MOC that I’ve been able to dredge up for the occasion. Personally I blame the British government …for not producing any political figures memorable enough to be worth modeling in LEGO!
Anyway, hope you all have a great election – if nothing else it’ll be good practice for when this happens all over again at Christmas.
Despite being snubbed for a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category, the creators of The LEGO Movie seized the day with an on-stage performance of the movie’s theme Everything Is Awesome – a performance that can only be described as totally bananas.
Highlights of the segment included a troupe of breakdancing Emmets, cameos by Will Arnett (as Batman) and Mark Mothersbaugh (from Devo), “visually illustrated” rapping, and the handing out of brick-built LEGO Oscar trophies to random celebrity guests.
The trophies (which are now the talk of the town) were the work of LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya, who also created Mothersbaugh’s signature Devo hat. Everything about this performance was awesome! If you missed it, watch it now:
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.
The diorama represents Pompeii as it was at the time of its destruction in 79 AD, and even contains a little foreshadowing of the volcanic eruption that buried it.
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!