Early this morning, Leicester Square witnessed the biggest gathering of Harry Potter fans since the final film premier was held there in 2011. Fans of LEGO and J. K. Rowling’s famous wizard were out in force, excitedly queuing outside the store, some camping out overnight for the highly anticipated 71043 Hogwarts Castle set, which is now available.
At over 6,000 pieces, 71043 Hogwarts Castle is the second-largest LEGO set released by the company to date. Packed full of amazing architectural detail and showcasing almost every important scene from the series, it certainly lives up to its billing. Earlier today we posted a full review of the Hogwarts Castle LEGO set that covers every nook and cranny of the impressive build.
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?
See a few highlights and our extensive gallery
Summer is here, and that means there are only about three months left until BrickCon 2018. As we announced in May, The Brothers Brick will be hosting a public collaborative display of Ninjago City open to any full convention attendees. Check out that announcement for detailed instructions on the guidelines and how to participate. In the meantime, we here at TBB have been busy little builders, and have over a dozen city blocks underway, not to mention a massive volcano lair for Garmadon. Today we want to share some tips and tricks to help get you started, as well as some of the building techniques that we have used so far in the construction of the lower levels of Ninjago City. Let us know in the comments below if you would be interested in more detailed guides or additional techniques shown in our city blocks.
Ninjago City is a layered city, with the oldest buildings on the bottom stories, rising to modern, nearly sci-fi architecture at the top. As such, we’re approaching the building of our modules from the bottom up, starting with the oldest, lowest level. Nearly all of the buildings shown here will have additional structures placed on top to complete the upper levels–in many cases several more stories. Look for additional articles as we continue building the upper levels. Each of these modules conforms to our standard to ensure the whole layout will fit together well (except in the few special modules we’ve noted).
To celebrate May the 4th and the upcoming summer blockbuster Solo: A Star Wars Story, LEGO Master Builders created a Millennium Falcon pedicab out of 20,300 bricks that you can take a ride on if you are lucky enough to be near Bryant Park in New York City today.
(Jessica Hill/AP Images for LEGO, Inc)
Click to get a closer look at the Millennium Falcon pedicab
The Brothers Brick managing editors Chris Malloy and Andrew Becraft will be presenting insights and observations about 19 years of LEGO Star Wars at two events in Seattle later this week. On Friday, February 23 at 7:00 PM, the authors of Ultimate LEGO Star Wars will share a presentation and autograph books at the Seward Park location. Then, on Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 PM, they will do so at the Ravenna store.
The previous event at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon (pictured here) was well-attended, so be sure to arrive early for seating and copies of the book.
For those of you lucky enough to be attending the sold-out Emerald City Comic-Con the first weekend in March, Chris and Andrew will also be doing a panel and signing in the Writers Block area on Sunday morning (March 1st at 10:45 AM).
Well folks, this is our final article from here in midtown Manhattan at Toy Fair New York 2018. Today we’ve brought you hands-on coverage of LEGO’s latest, including new Harry Potter, Jurassic World, and Star Wars sets, among others. Our day started this morning at 7AM when LEGO gave us an early-access tour of their booth before the Toy Fair officially opened.
Portugal’s premier LEGO fan event Paredes de Coura is now celebrating it’s 3rd year. The show is from June 8th through 10th, with setup on the 7th. Slots for AFOL attendees are filling up fast and registration closes on February 28th, so don’t delay! The registration fee of €100 includes 3 nights of boarding house accommodation and 3 meals per day for all 4 days. For an additional €25 you can also attend a special AFOL dinner on Saturday night.
From reports we’ve heard from fans who have attended this event previously, it’s not to be missed, not only because of all the great benefits included in the registration price, the amazing food and glorious location, but also the amazing club house with it’s own communal LEGO collection! I’m looking forward to my first visit there this summer and to meeting you all there.
Hong Kong welcomes the Lunar Chinese New Year with their first LEGO event for 2018 at the New Town Plaza Shopping Mall, located in the town centre of Sha Tin.
The centre showpiece is a Chinese Lion Dance costume made of LEGO 150,000 bricks standing at over 5 ft. (1.6 meters tall) and over 6 ft. (2 meters) wide built by Andy Hung, LEGO Certified Professional (LCP) in the Greater China region and his team Legend Creative. Other builds include 2 Stone Guardian Dogs standing almost 3 ft tall and a ‘lucky mosaic’ 5 ft.x 4 ft. to welcome fortune for the Year of the Dog!
Hit to see more of photos from the event and showcases builds
As part of an ongoing mini-tour to support our Ultimate LEGO Star Wars book from DK, Chris Malloy and I will be guests at the Powell’s Books location in Beaverton, Oregon next Saturday, Jan 20th at 2:00 PM. We’ll be doing a panel discussion moderated by one of our LEGO friends from PortLUG, a Q&A, and book signing.
Andrew at Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland. Andrew and Chris really need to get a photo taken together…
Powell’s Books is the world’s largest independent bookstore, and I’ve been buying books from Powell’s in Portland my whole life. It’s a little surreal to be doing an author event with Chris there now! You can read all of the Beaverton event details on Powells.com, including a pre-order of a signed copy.
For LEGO Star Wars fans closer to our home base here in Seattle, Chris and I also be doing author events at two Third Place Books locations in Seattle (Ravenna and Seward Park) in February, so stay tuned for more details.
My co-author and I will be at Bricks & Wheels in Bellevue, WA this Saturday, December 16 to sign copies of our DK book Ultimate LEGO Star Wars. We’ll be there from 2 PM to 6 PM, so swing by with your books (the store will also have copies on hand for sale) to say hi and ask us some questions.
Bricks & Wheels sells both used and new LEGO sets, and they also accept trade-ins. Last year, I traded in my original UCS Falcon and picked up a Midi-scale Falcon in exchange — and I didn’t even know last January that LEGO would be releasing the new 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon. Good deal!
TBB Editor-in-Chief Andrew Becraft trades in his 10179 UCS Millennium Falcon for a Midi-Scale Falcon.
A bit more about this weekend’s event from Bricks & Wheels:
Come meet the authors of the new DK book Ultimate LEGO Star Wars, Chris Malloy and Andrew Becraft. Chris and Andrew are LEGO builders who are also two of the editors of The Brothers Brick. Bricks & Wheels will have books to purchase, but you can also bring your own copies to have them signed by the authors and ask a LEGO Star Wars question or two!
LEGO House is the newly built LEGO Experience family attraction in the very centre of Billund, Denmark. We reported from LEGO House back in June when the exhibits were still being installed and there was still a lot of work to be done to the interior and exterior. LEGO House is now completely finished, the last bricks have been placed and tomorrow, 28 September doors will be opened to the public.
Among the speakers at the opening ceremony will be 3rd generation LEGO Group owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, LEGO House architect Bjarke Ingels, and HRH The Crown Princess Mary. After the ceremony, specific parts of LEGO House will be open to public, including the Square, the LEGO store and the coloured outdoor terraces but the Experience Zones, which require a ticket, are not available until 29 September. Livestream of highlights from the upcoming event will be available on Facebook.
LEGO House has been built with creativity, play and learning in mind and with more than 25 million bricks there is no shortage of LEGO available to build with inside. This is not just a look and see gallery, but roughly 20,000 square feet of LEGO experience that will engage young and old alike. On entering, there is open access to the roof terraces, the LEGO Store (complete with Pick-A-Brick and Pick-A-Model) and the three eateries.
Tickets for the experience zones cost 199DKK/US$31/£23 each for adults and children (free for accompanied children under 2) and are purchased online in advance for an arrival time but you can stay as long as you wish until the House closes at 8 pm.
The Osaka-based KLUG (Kansai Lego User Group) and Canadian Academy successfully held the annual Japan Brickfest in Rokkō Kobe Island, Japan last weekend on the 10th-11th of June. In its third year running, the largest fan event in Asia featured 270 builders from 11 countries, including Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and even as far away as Germany.
Japan Brickfest consists of three event halls, and is a charity event with a portion of the ticket sales donated to various children’s charities. Here are some of the highlights of the event. Continue reading