Having fun for charity at Bricktastic Manchester 2018 [News]

Little more than a week ago, I had the pleasure of attending Bricktastic, in Manchester, England. It is a somewhat different kind of event than ones I’ve attended before: not organised by a regular LEGO Users Group or with a commercial goal, but run by and on behalf of Fairy Bricks. This is a UK Charity that donates LEGO to children in hospitals.

Bricktastic was a two-day public event, that attracted LEGO builders from all over the UK, as well as sizeable contingent from Ireland and small numbers of builders from other countries, including Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands. UK professional LEGO building company Bright Bricks are one of the sponsors of the event and they brought along a collection of “Mythical Beasts” including a stunning seven-headed hydra built using roughly 200,000 bricks, that greeted visitors near the entrance and surely was one of the highlights of the show. During set-up I got to whack some bits of the hydra into place with a mallet, which is certainly not a sentence I ever expected to write.


A 200,000 brick model of a hydra built by Bright Bricks

Bricktastic ticked all the boxes. The quality of the models on display was fantastic. Noteworthy is also that the exhibition room, at Manchester Central, was very nice: it was carpeted and surrounded by curtains. Because of this, the atmosphere was a lot cosier and quieter than is common in exhibition halls. Such a detail may seem unimportant, but imagine spending two days in a bare concrete box with harsh strip lighting and hundreds of excited children. That’s what you normally get an an exhibition hall. The public were wonderful. We didn’t even need barriers to protect the displays, which meant that everybody got a good view of the models and which made it easier to talk to people. The children could get creative themselves using large play areas. Fairy Bricks arranged the hotel for the exhibitors and organised a social program for both the Friday and Saturday evenings. Everyone seemed to have a great time and the proceedings went to a good cause. What more could you want?

With a large number of really great models, choosing a few favourites wasn’t easy. However, I was very impressed by the dinosaurs by Jessica Farrell.


Stegosaurus by Jessica Farrell at Bricktastic Manchester, photograph courtesy of Ralph Doering

While I rarely get the attraction of Brickheadz, the Harley Quinn by Luc Byard certainly caught my attention.


Harley Quinn Brickhead by Luc Byard at Bricktastic Manchester, photograph courtesy of Ralph Doering

The Fairy Bricks logo was turned into a Routemaster bus by Gary Davis.


Fairy Bricks Bus by Gary Davis at Bricktastic Manchester, photograph courtesy of Ralph Doering

Check out the gallery for more. Many thanks to Ralph Doering for sharing some of his pictures and many thanks to Kevin Gascoigne and his Fairies for hosting this wonderful event.

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