Monthly Archives: November 2010

Brickvention 2011: Jan 14-16 Melbourne [News]

Once again it is Summer and that means it’s time for Brickvention. As Australia Day falls on a Wednesday this year Brickvention breaks from its usual tradition of falling on the long weekend and will be held from the 14th to the 16th of January instead which hopefully means cheaper flights and accomodation.

Registration is now open so if you haven’t already started planning your trip now is a good time. One other notable change is that this year it’s in the all new venue of Melbourne Town Hall due to the enormous crowds at last years event.

In a nutshell:

  • What is Brickvention?
  • Brickvention is the premier convention event for the Australian LEGO® Community.

    Brickvention is a 2 day event for AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO®) Like other conventions, it offers workshops, presentations, special events and challenges.

    The event celebrates the coming together of the fan community that has evolved as a result of the Internet and exploring and developing the LEGO® hobby.

    Brickvention occurs annually on or near the Australia Day weekend in January.

  • When is Brickvention?
  • Brickvention 2011 will be held on Saturday the 15th and Sunday 16th January 2011. The Saturday is for registered attendees and is aimed at Adult fans of LEGO®. Sunday is the Public Day where everyone is welcome.

  • Where will Brickvention be held?
  • Brickvention 2011 will be located at: Melbourne Town Hall, corner of Swanston St and Collins St, Melbourne :

  • Who can come?
  • Saturday the 15th includes sessions intended for AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO®) 18 years of age or older. Younger convention attendees are welcome to come with a registered adult, but keep in mind many of the activities outside of the Public Expo are targeted toward adults.

    Sunday the 16th is the Public Expo, allowing the general public of all ages to watch LEGO® builders at work and view LEGO® creations and displays. – registration is not required for the Public Expo.

  • How much does it cost to attend?
  • Convention: Saturday the 15th includes sessions intended for AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO®) to get together and discuss LEGO®, building techniques, models etc. and includes a number of events such as presentations and competitions. – Please register for these competions prior to Brickvention.

    $50 for Full registration (over 15)
    $25 for under 15 registration. Children under 15 attending the 2-day convention must be accompanied by an adult

    Public Expo: Sunday the 16th from 10am – 5pm is the Public Expo, allowing the general public of all ages to watch LEGO® builders at work and view LEGO® creations and displays. Registration is not required for the Public Expo.

    Adults – $6
    Children – $3
    Family – $15 (2 adults and 2 children)

If you’re in the neighbourhood I highly recommend attending. It’s by far the biggest AFOL convention in Australasia. I’m already fully booked.

Beckett BUILD Magazine to hit newstands soon [Review]

We recently received a copy of Beckett Media‘s latest foray into the world of fan magazines.

LEGO Beckett BUILD Magazine AFOL

For a cover price of $9.99 USD or $14.99 CDN, you get 96 pages, made up of 23 Features and 4 Departments.

The features cover a wide range of topics, including trips to Legoland, interviews with Nathan Sawaya and Mariann Asanuma, BrickCon 2010, and Brickfilms on Youtube. There are also 5 features that deal with Mega Bloks, K’NEX, and other brands of building toys.

There were three features that caught my eye.

The first is a spread of popular Star Wars sets, with prices, pics, stats, and ratings. There were a number of errors, such as pictures of figs by the wrong sets and placeholders for numbers that hadn’t been filled in. While this is something that is to be expected from an advance copy, when I mentioned one of the errors to the editor, he said that a correction would be put on the magazine’s Facebook page. From that comment, I have to assume that this is not an advance copy, but the finished product.

The second feature I examined is called “Cool Stuff” and features creations by 13 different builders. Most of them were quite good. I asked the editor about the selection process and he said “We contacted many LEGO fans from around the world to feature them in this issue. They were all excited to be included in our premiere issue of Beckett Build Magazine!”. I contacted 9 of the builders and most of them said that they had submitted their work after a request was posted in the LEGO group on Flickr. With one exception, none of them had been notified that their creations had been selected. Hopefully the magazine is still in the process of notifying them and sending them free copies. There were two builders, with half-page spreads, who had never heard of the magazine and didn’t submit their work at all. Hopefully, that issue gets worked out.

The third featured was the article about BrickCon 2010. The captions list the name of the creation, the name of the builder and the name of the photographer. I talked to several of the photographers and they said that they were contacted through BrickCon and gave their permission for the use of their pictures. Most of the pictures featured the “Big In Japan” layout. The remaining pictures included one each of the Town layout, Castle, Mecha, World War II and Art. There was a significant error indicating that “Big In Japan” was the theme of the entire convention. In reality, BrickCon’s theme was “Tales of the Brick”. This was the error that the editor said would be corrected via Facebook.

Overall, the magazine has the look of a magazine that we would expect from a major publishing house like Beckett. It relies heavily on pictures and has a minimum of new information for the hardcore fan. It could be a good introduction to the new fan who is unaware of the greater online community. The price seems high for a casual browser of the newstands. The typos, errors, and lack of contact with featured builders disturbs me. That is not something I would expect from a professional publisher. Hopefully they put more effort into making improvements in future issues. If not, I foresee both a diminished credibility among readers and feelings of alienation among builders.

True Blue

Actually, neither of these ships uses true LEGO “blue.” They both use shades other than the standard blue, along with various bits of brown. Both of these ships caught my eye today (I’ve built my own brown and blue combinations, so I’m a fan).

First is the Arashi by Nathan Proudlove. He’s achieved an interesting effect by suspending engine pods far forward on spindly booms. It’s enough to make one wonder how it even stayed balanced for the photo to be taken.


Second, is a cute little ship by Tyler Clites. The most impressive thing about this ship is that it’s not really all that small at all, yet it looks like an adorable little ship. I’m also a big fan of the construction of the various intakes on the front. They add just enough detailing to balance out all the smooth curves on the rest of the ship.

VV Stubs

You too can build your dream home!

It might not be my dream home, but I can appreciate the influences and sleek lines in Zack (NewRight)’s dream home. All it needs, according to him, are the pretty dolls.

Considering it looks like it should be perched in the hills of southern California, I’d have to say his assessment probably isn’t far off the mark.

Interior shots can be found on Brickshelf.

Nazi Death Camp in LEGO

Arguably the most controversial LEGO creation of all time may have been Polish artist Zbigniew Libera’s 7-piece “Konzentrationslager“.

Nearly 15 years later, yoshix presents “Todeslager”.


A line of prisoners walks in the snow toward a building labeled “Showers” while other prisoners are forced to unload coal for the gas chamber’s engines. A guard leans his rifle against the wall of the building. The barrel of a sniper rifle pokes from the window of a watchtower overlooking the scene.

So, what do you see in this diorama? (Let’s set aside speculation about the builder’s intent for the moment, because — let’s face it — those kinds of discussions are hardly fair and rarely interesting.) What does it say to you?

And how does it fit into the broader LEGO military building “scene”? Are there certain subjects that should never be depicted in LEGO? If so, what are they, and why?