Monthly Archives: July 2007

Brickshelf: Shutting Down July 31, 2007

Brickshelf is now accessable through or (you may see a certificate error). At the top of the page in red text reads:

Notice: Brickshelf will be shutting down on 2007/07/31.
Please save your files to your computer.


Everyone who hasn’t backed up their files already, DO SO NOW.

EDIT (AB): Bob Kojima has created a tool that can back up files from Brickshelf. You can download the Zip file from BZPower (thanks for the tip, Kelly!) here (318 KB).

EDIT 2 (AB): Jim DeVona has created a backup tool for Mac OS X. You can download it and read instructions on how to run it in Jim’s post on LUGNET. You’re a lifesaver, Jim!

EDIT 3 (LB/AB): Interested parties have begun backing up important folders other than their own while they can. There are threads on classic-castle, classic-space, FBTB Forums, and Forum 0937 to do this as systematic as possible. Thanks to Bruce for the heads up. If this is happening on other communities as well, please let us know.

The mass migrations have begun

With currently unavailable and speculation still rampant about what this means for the future of the worldwide LEGO fan community, the mass migrations to other image-hosting sites have already begun.

The “Recent Folders” page on (owned and operated by the same person who ran Brickshelf) is now full of LEGO. MOCpages now has image-hosting capabilities. Many of my Flickr contacts have upgraded to Pro accounts and have uploaded all their old pictures originally on Brickshelf. There are also several discussions underway to create new, LEGO-specific image-hosting sites.

However, I would strongly caution everybody reading this from making a decision now, without knowing what’s going on with Brickshelf itself. I’m concerned that, without a coordinated effort, premature migrations will result in unnecessary fragmentation of the community.

Perhaps asking this of tens of thousands of people is futile. Nevertheless, please, let’s hold off making any rash decisions until we know all the facts and can come up with some sort of coordinated effort.


EDIT: We now have confirmation that Brickshelf will be gone for good after July 31, 2007. My heartfelt thanks to Kevin Loch for the service he’s provided to the LEGO community over the years, and for giving the LEGO community this opportunity to back up our files and create a historical record of builders who are no longer with us in one way or another. Kevin: Thank you.

A word of caution for everyone, however: I don’t believe that a mass migration to would be the right move, given that the same thing could happen there at any time. Personally, I’ve liked Flickr for more than a year and a half, but I understand that many people still want something free (an unfair requirement, I think, given how expensive bandwidth is for such a large quantity of images), they prefer something LEGO-specific (yes, that would be nice), and some people find Flickr to be slow (I’d suggest trying a newer or different Internet browser).

I’ll post something more comprehensive weighing all the image-hosting options tonight, but seeing the two directions people seem to be going already, I would strongly suggest Flickr over Maj. I’m also encouraged by Sean Kenney’s generosity in adding image-hosting to MOCpages, so that may be another alternative to consider. More later…

News: Brickshelf gone for good (UPDATE 7/15 PM)

UPDATE (AB) (7/16 AM Pacific): Images hosted on Brickshelf seem to be working again. What this means I don’t know. More info as we find out.

UPDATE (LB) (7/16 AM Pacific): Keith Goldman pointed out that MOCpages is now offering free hosting for lego images. A note on the front page states that this service may not be free in the future – I suspect it depends on how much it will cost to keep such a service up and running. The old galleries don’t work since they simply linked to the pictures on Brickshelf before this transition, but it’s still a very kind gesture by Sean Kenney, owner of the site.

UPDATE (NW) (7/15 10:50 PM Pacific):  Troy Cefaratti has released similar posts on as well.  Take a deep breath guys, not all is lost.  Remember, it’s only been less than 24 hours. Give it time.

UPDATE (AB) (7/15 3:30 PM): Troy Cefaratti (aka “Mnementh” on BrickLink and Classic-Castle) seems to know something we don’t.

(And my apologies to those of you got a page not found error when you clicked through from somewhere else today. I updated the timstamp and title for this post, and that seems to have changed its Web address. My bad.)


Whether you host your own images there or not, Brickshelf is one of the cornerstones of the online LEGO community. As many of you visiting this blog will have noticed, none of the images hosted on Brickshelf are currently working, and if you’ve been to in the last few hours, you will have seen the following text — and nothing else — on the home page:

“Brickshelf has discontinued operation. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

I’m furiously reading discussion threads, e-mailing, and chatting with my sources, but I don’t have any information about this issue right now. Unfortunately, given the wording of the message, this doesn’t seem to be “scheduled maintenance”.

Discussions are popping up on LEGO forums all over the Internet:

Blog reactions:

Despite the magic of RSS, I won’t be able to monitor the entire online LEGO community for updates about this, so if you learn something definitive, please leave a comment on this post (I’ll see it in my e-mail) or use the Contact Us page to send a private message.

EDIT: (NW) Added discussion topic link to Also, Ecto pointed out in the comments section that works. Remember to put the ‘s’ after ‘http’. I urge everyone who doesn’t have a backup of their stuff to back it up now, and not upload anything new. It’s not known how long this version will last.

EDIT: (AB) And now the SSL (https) site isn’t working either. Still no word from Brickshelf management as to what’s going on.

There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative builder than to build a rose

Here’s a little something to offset Friday the 13th — an excellent rose by BrickJournal editor Joe Meno.

(And the original Henri Matisse quote: “There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.”)

Rumor: LEGO Indiana Jones video game?

This doesn’t go in the “News” category quite yet, but Kotaku broke the rumor yesterday that LucasArts will be announcing a LEGO Indiana Jones video game at E3.

Presumably, the game will be developed by Travellers Tales, creators of both LEGO Star Wars and the upcoming LEGO Batman. We shall see.

(Thought I’d post this now, since I still don’t see an update from Kotaku, LucasArts, or Travellers Tales. Thanks for the tip, ever-watchful RichardAM!)