Matthew Hocker has been on the LEGO scene for quite a while now and has had his builds featured right here on TBB. What you may not know is that he has an extended love and appreciation of collecting LEGO ephemera. The term is derived from the Greek word ephemeros, which means “lasting only one day, short-lived.” An ephemera collection consists of the paper materials that frequently get thrown away or lost because of their short-term usefulness or popularity, such as letters of correspondence, sales literature (brochures, pamphlets, catalogues, etc), postcards, ticket stubs, etc. Matt’s love for his LEGO collection enhances his appreciation of the hobby and its vast history.
Matt in 2014 together with the wooden duck in Idea House
Matthew has contributed digitized literature and write-ups to Brick Model Railroader and digital contributions to the library section of Brickset. His research skills and appreciation for a collection of this nature stems from his day-to-day role as a librarian.
Our curiosity got the better of us, and we ended up having a long conversation with Matthew, learning a lot about what he does and why he does it. Here’s an insight into Matthew and his collection.
A portion of Matt’s collection of Brochures
Read our full interview with LEGO collector Matthew Hocker
This iconic photo of two top-billing Hollywood stars holding their minifigs has been making the rounds in the LEGO-sphere, re-shared and re-surfacing regularly over the past couple of years. Our curiosity got the better of us… Was it a conspiracy from the LEGO Group? Was it a tease of an upcoming X-Files theme? So much mystery from this single photo. So many questions. We know the TRUTH IS OUT THERE, so we decided to do some digging.
Click to read more on our very own investigation
DK has just released Ultimate LEGO Star Wars, a completely new large-format reference book written by The Brothers Brick’s Senior Editor Chris Malloy and Editor-in-Chief Andrew Becraft.
The authors will be holding panel discussions and signings over the coming weeks, including at BrickCon 2017 later this week in Seattle, and we’re pleased to bring our readers the very first interview with the authors.
What do you do when you hear of a famous Celebrity Fan of LEGO coming to town? You find out where he’s heading and you build him something that he would be delighted to have, and that’s what a few friends from Seoul, South Korea did when they found out the legendary David Beckham was coming to town. Led by Brian Yu the BrickMaster LUG recreated five iconic football stadiums that are homes for five clubs Beckham had played for during his professional career.
Click here for the story behind the gifts!
Tonight the LEGO Store in London’s Leicester Square hosted the midnight launch event for the stunning new 75192 Ultimate Collectors Series Millennium Falcon – the largest LEGO set ever made. Fans queued outside for hours to be amongst the first to purchase the new set, and the atmosphere as the doors opened was something akin to the air of hysteria which might accompany an iPhone launch. The patient fans were welcomed inside at midnight by a pair of Imperial Stormtroopers and the unforgettable opening fanfare of John Williams’ score.
Those first in line were greeted in-store with rounds of applause from the gathered LEGO staff, and a wall of brown cardboard boxes – perhaps visually uninspiring, but a reassuring signal regarding stock availability for those further back in the queue.
Happy purchasers saw their sets signed by designers from the LEGO Star Wars team. Even those who had waited longest in line said they’d had a good time, genuinely delighted as they wheeled their massive sets off into the darkness. The entire event was a testament to the continued power of Star Wars, and the enduring appeal of a really, really big box of bricks.
Director of Lego Star Wars Design Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, left, and Design Manager of Lego Star Wars Michael Lee Stockwell
Prior to the midnight opening, the Brothers Brick joined other members of the press to meet with the lead designers for LEGO Star Wars – Jens Kronvold Frederiksen and Micheal Lee Stockwell. They shared some of the challenges of building such a large model, and their thoughts behind some of its features…
Click to read the interview with the set designers
Today we’re sitting down to talk to a rising Russian superstar builder, Timofey Tkachev. He has been in the online LEGO community for quite a few years, but the past two years have seen his spectacular creations gain increasing traction. Each of Timofey’s new builds improves upon those before it, but even with a sizable Flickr following and regular activity in the Russian LEGO User Group RFFL, there are many who haven’t yet discovered his work. Time to find out more about him!
Back in 2012, filmmaker Justin McAleece used Bricks by the Bay as a background to film scenes for his independent film Brick Madness. Five years later, the director has shared the first official teaser trailer for the mockumentary, which is scheduled to premiere publically in September.
Brick MADNESS teaser trailer from Blare Media on Vimeo.
One of the really cool real-life aspects of the movie is that Carl Merriam designed many of the models used by the actors in the movie back during filming, and now Carl works full-time as a set designer in Billund.
LEGO memes are in abundance, but not many of them surface more often that the idea that stepping on a LEGO brick is painful. One of the best-known iterations of this meme is a comic that’s been making the rounds on the internet for years featuring a brick-general giving training to other brick-soldiers gathered around a plan of attack diagramming the human foot.
If you’re a fan of LEGO, chances are good that you’ve seen it at some point in time and probably even had it shared with you more than once. But did you ever stop to think, who created this? Well, perhaps I’m more inquisitive than most, but that’s what piqued my interest. So let me share with you the journey of discovery that I took…
The online LEGO community is an all-around friendly place and quite open to newcomers, with very few exceptions. What few realize is that this comes at a high price; the comments exchanged by builders are friendly and positive — and often that means only positive. And here lies a potential pitfall, because honest critiques and (seeming) negativity tend to be avoided for fear of creating awkward situations. Additionally, not all builders want to receive constructive feedback. The end result is that most creations gather a plethora of dry comments that do not really help the builders improve much. I have been passively raising awareness to this problem for years now, but never have I gone to such lengths as Aaron van Cleave, who has made a series of bad creations as a social experiment.
While in Billund earlier this month, we had an opportunity to chat with LEGO designer Carl Merriam. Carl is still an active AFOL within the LEGO community, although he is now a professional LEGO set designer. Most recently, Carl Merriam co-designed 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V and has been working on LEGO Boost that has just been released for pre-order.
We sat down with Carl at LEGO headquarters to chat about how he became a LEGO designer, along with some of the LEGO projects he’s worked on since joining the company.
Read the full review with LEGO set designer Carl Merriam
Our continuing adventures led us to track down and interrogate Amado Canlas Pinlac (aka AC Pin). Amado was born in Angeles City in the Philippines, and works in the Information Technology field with previous employment with overseas airlines. He has called East Brunswick, New Jersey home for the last fifteen years, where he lives with his wife Marleth and their three sons, Milton, Marlowe and Myreon. Amado credits the support of his wife for being where he is today!
TBB: Can you tell us how you got into LEGO?
AC: First and foremost I’ve been a Star Wars fan/geek way before LEGO introduced the SW line, as I collected the Star Wars action figures, vehicles, and sets. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who’ve known me over the years that I love to build Star Wars dioramas. In fact I’ve done Action Figure dioramas and was affiliated with various SW fan sites which featured them before I even started with LEGO. One of the problems/drawbacks that I’ve had to contend with the Action Figure dioramas was there was very little or none of the re-usability factor. Around that time, when I was growing disinterested with Action Figures, LEGO started producing the first SW sets.
This week we headed up to our great neighbor to the north to track down Tim Schwalfenberg. Tim lives in Canada, is 21 years old and is currently studying Materials Engineering at his local university. He also likes to publicly smash his LEGO builds too, but more about that later.
TBB: Hi Tim! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with the Brick?
Tim: Sure! I have found LEGO to be a great creative outlet when I need a break from all my calculus or physics courses. While I’ve been building almost as long as I can remember, it wasn’t until my first year of university that I started to look at LEGO with the intention of making anything beyond the rainbow-warrior spaceships of my earlier years. Through a combination of some inspiring creations I stumbled upon through MOCpages and finding myself with too much free time on my hands, I decided that to try out this LEGO thing more seriously. Thousands of pieces and hundreds of creations later the LEGO hobby has become an incredibly important part of my life. The itch to build has become a constant companion that is easily rewarded by long hours tinkering away on a table-scrap covered table.