The Brothers Brick Brother

Thanel SigfigI am Thanel, Andrew’s brother, and I am both honored and privileged to be accepted as the newest of new regular contributors to The Brothers Brick (TBB). As Andrew mentioned in his introduction, it’s true that part of the reason I’ve been brought on board is because of that familial relationship. But there’s another reason: I’m the noob brother.

As he and I have talked over the years and I have recently become more involved in commenting on TBB, going to my local LEGO user group (SandLUG) meetings, setting up a Flickr account (Yupa-sama) and extracting my LEGO from under my wife’s Barbie collection, the idea of becoming a regular contributor chronicling my journey out of my dim ages evolved. Gary McIntire, Legoland California Master Model Builder, deserves credit for giving me the term “dim ages” as the most apt description of the past fifteen years.

For you noobs, dabblers, non-builders, set-only builders, daydreamers, dismissed, “silent majority,” downtrodden and oppressed: You are my peeps. I will publicly humiliate myself in order to smooth your path toward enlightenment. Or the dark side. Whatever.

What you can expect from me:

  • Tips, reviews and essays based on experiences like sorting my collection after years of neglect, building/posting MOCs for the first time, and exploring both the on and off-line LEGO community.
  • Regional news reporting like Comic-Con, events at Legoland California, and Southern California LUG meetings.
  • Posts of my “traditional” LEGO interests like classic castle, space, pirates, adventurers and Star Wars, though I am increasingly falling in love with modern and historical city building.
  • My non-LEGO interests expressed in LEGO: Culture, sub-culture, counter-culture and multi-culture. I’m generally just fascinated by people and how they interact, which in this context will be about how those themes play out in LEGO. Oh, and Discworld.
  • I hope to help expand the AFOL community into new under-explored fields, by promoting, inspiring and bringing in builders who want to do the same. Bring LEGO to the heathen and the heathen to LEGO.

Fresh blood is good (ask any vampire) and I dream that someday I’ll be an old AFOL fogey and when somebody else comes along to freshen things up I can be snarky about their noobishness.

Some of you may already know this, but “Thanel” is not my real name. Unlike many people, in my particular line of work (alas, not secret agency), online networking can be quite detrimental. Connecting with clients personally and repeat business are distinctly bad ideas, so I’d rather keep my real name on the D.L. as much as possible. I’m happy to reveal my secret identity if I meet you in person, and obviously online as Andrew’s brother. I would just like to keep my explicit electronic signature to a minimum and am going to withhold the location of my underground lair.

I exist and am a reasonably good guy.

15 comments on “The Brothers Brick Brother

  1. Deathdog

    I look forward to your posts and perspective. Although I’ve been around a few years now, I don’t have a builder’s background from when I was a kid to fall back on, so watching you come out of a “dim age” will definitely be interesting.

  2. Mark Kelso

    While being around the online community for a couple of years now, I still feel like a “noob” myself in many arenas. I’ll look forward to getting your take on things and broadening my own horizons as well.

  3. Herman

    Looking forward to your posts. More posts = good. Some of the subjects seem very interesting.

  4. alldarker

    Thanel, you, sir, might just be the answer to my prayers.
    As a child (until I was 16) I used to be a hugely prolific builder, but then entered the dark ages and sold all my Lego for an electric guitar(!)
    In 2000 Star Wars Lego brought me out of the dark ages.
    Since then, I have dabbled in online Lego communities, and bought and built a lot of sets. However, in those nine / ten years I still haven’t dared venture beyond ‘set-only building’: even though I have bought many sets in the last 10 years with the intention of “someday building something cool again”.
    I don’t know what it is exactly: lack of time, too many new parts, new colors and even the fear of scratching shiny new bricks seem to be some of the factors that hold me back.

    I hope you can show me tips and prompts to refind the light and joy of building (and showing) MOC’s!!!

  5. Marc Nelson Jr.

    “Connecting with clients personally and repeat business are distinctly bad ideas”

    Cool, a hit man! I look forward to your unique perspective on the LEGO hobby.

    Seriously, welcome!

  6. Aliencat

    Welcome Thanel. You say you exist but I don’t believe you. Have you told Andrew yet that you’re not real? He’ll be devastated.
    Kelso is right by the way, he is a noob :D

  7. Brad

    Set-builders unite!

    Welcome aboard, Thanel. I look forward to your articles and comments on the blog.

  8. The Ranger of Awesomeness

    Welcome, Thanel! I think I’ve seen you around Flickr before, but I had no clue who you were! It’s always nice to have another new member of the FOL community, especially a sibling of a well-known builder such as Andrew! :) Look forward to your MOCs!

    By the way, do you plan on attending any of the major conventions this year, or are you gonna reserve that for the second year? ;) For me, attending BrickCon snapped me out of almost going into a “dim age” I had given all my Lego to my little brother, and was only building stuff for him to play with once in awhile, but then I started wanting to build a little more, and we went to BrickCon… Needless to say soon after the Lego was back in my room. ;)

  9. l0b0t

    Thanks Thane, I look forward to your postings. Helping my little nephews build Star Wars kits has recently brought me out of 20 “Dark” years and I’ve pulled my Pirate sets out of storage. Thanks also to everyone here for providing such inspiring creations.

  10. Thanel Post author

    Thank you all for the warm welcome.

    @ ry: Good stuff wasn’t it? Can’t believe you didn’t try more of the lassi.
    @ alldarker: I’ll do my best to help out. Oh, the pain of the foolish things we did as teenagers. I cringe at the thought that I sold my entire Playmobil collection for about $150.
    @ Marc: If only it were that sinister.
    @ Aliencat: Starting dramatic rumors about me already?
    @ ROA: I’m planning on being at BrickCon, probably see ya’ there.

  11. The Ranger of Awesomeness

    @Thanel — You certainly will! I’ll be hanging around the Operation Bricklord tables most of the time, see you there. :)

  12. Remi

    Wait – Discworld? So I’ll see you at NADWCon and BrickCon? Or is that too much concentrated geeky goodness for one year? ;)

  13. Thanel Post author

    @ Remi: I did’t know about NADWCon! Geeky goodness!! You may be right about it possibly being too much. I’m only 5 hrs away. I’ll have to consult the boss/wife. She is an even bigger fan, but has a harder time getting away from work, especially that weekend.

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