Announcing “Big in Japan” – collaborative display for TBB readers at BrickCon 2010

A LEGO zombie apocalypse is so last year (and the year before that). We’re pleased to announce that the collaborative display that The Brothers Brick will be coordinating this fall at BrickCon in Seattle will be inspired by the rich history and culture of Japan.

LEGO Hayao Miyazaki Totori, Mei, and Satsuki

Like these wonderful characters from Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro by Iain Heath (Ochre Jelly) — elements of the “Miyazakitopia” section Iain is planning for the display — we’ll welcome creations spanning many different eras and building styles. Part of the fun of a collaborative display is figuring out how to fit it all together once all the builders and their creations arrive at the convention!

LEGO Jizou | お地蔵様From the epic Battle of Sekigahara to Godzilla battling Mothra in retro-future Tokyo, both reality and fiction from the Land of the Rising Sun provide plenty of inspiration for great LEGO creations.

Many of my earliest posted LEGO creations were inspired by the legends and history of land where I was born, and I’m personally looking forward to building again from that cultural heritage.

LEGO DekotoraThis is the earliest we’ve announced a collaborative display — for good reason. We hope that Big in Japan will inspire some truly different LEGO creations (like Proudlove‘s dekotora), alongside the iconic samurai and mecha we expect. From sketching designs to buying the parts you need on Bricklink, planning substantial contributions to the display may take the next eight or nine months.

As in years past, we’ll have prizes and giveaways, though we’re still working out the details about what those might be. In the meantime, break out those Kurosawa DVDs, crack open some Natsume Soseki novels, and start building!

11 comments on “Announcing “Big in Japan” – collaborative display for TBB readers at BrickCon 2010

  1. Nannan

    That’s a pretty neat idea. There’s definitely some appeal to builders from castle to space – it could be a headache to fit all the pieces, but it should be fun.

  2. Andrew Post author

    ^ Yes, definitely. Those are pretty hard to find, so we’ll definitely welcome anybody who’d like to lend those type of unique items from the Ninjas line. Thanks!

  3. Aaron D

    I remember hearing the preliminary discussion about this at BC09. Very stoked to contribute but unsure of how cohesive the display will be. Any plans for a standard or just a series of MOCs and Dios celebrating Japanese culture?

  4. Thanel

    @ worker201: As Andrew mentioned in the post, a recreation of Sekigahara wouldn’t be bad. It could include slopes, riverbed, water, palisade and of course epic plastic battling. Anyone up to a castle? I’m planning on doing at least a portion of the village from Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, which I was hoping to work into a section of minifig scale traditional Japanese life.

    @ Aaron D: We have decided for sure to leave it open for all scales and do have a unifying concept in mind. Like the exact categories, we’ll announce a few more details later when they’re more fully hammered out.

  5. worker201

    Thanel – According to Wikipedia, 10% of the warriors present at Sekigahara were gunners – which at minifig scale is going to seem like a lot. I’d rather do something a little more traditional – there were only like 3 gunners in Seven Samurai. Plus, Seven Samurai, with its 40 bandits and… well, I forget how many samurai there were – anyway, it’s recreatable without any sort of scaling. I also have a number of horses I could contribute as well, and maybe I could be convinced to build some peasant shacks and rice paddies. Sounds fun.

  6. jimmythefly

    Should be lots of fun. It’ll be interesting to integrate pastoral scenes with a layered, decaying city circa 2029. Or maybe a layered, bright utopian future city? I dunno.

  7. Creative Anarchy

    This seems like a really broad theme. When I heard about it an Brickcon it was intriguing but I wasn’t sure how it would be executed. Is this going to be minifig scale creation? Are we thinking of having varied segments like Fudal Period fantasy land, NeoTokyo 2029 Land, Midi-scale Monster Rampage land? I’m not looking to box in anyone’s creativity but I’d really like to have that same kind of big unified display that ZombiePoc brought to BrickCon rather than a collection of vignettes under a single general theme. It makes the collaboration more fun for me.

  8. Thanel

    ^ We have indeed had a lot of discussion on how to handle the scales and themes. We’re wanting to keep it open to all scales, mainly in 3 general categories: traditional (pre-1850), modern (1850-present) and pop culture (fantasy/pop arts/future).

    Included among those are the possibilities of us Brothers or other participants organizing their own unified sections to a specific scale or topic. For example, I’d really like to contribute to a collaborative feudal Japan display, especially with my love of Kurosawa movies. Similarly, OJ is becoming guru of all things miniland Miyazaki.

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