It’s a bit of a cliché, undoubtedly, but Japan is a land full of contrasts. Last year I was lucky enough to travel to Japan in order to attend Japan BrickFest. It’s a two-day LEGO exhibition that takes place on Rokko Island, an artificial island in Osaka bay, off the coast of Kobe.
In a few months’ time, I’ll be attending Japan Brickfest in Kobe. I always find the prospect of displaying a model at an event motivating. So, for this occasion I am building a few new models with a Japanese twist. I presented my Tokyo Police car a little while ago and I’ve now completed an ambulance to accompany it. The typical Japanese ambulance is a Toyota HiMedic van.
Mine represents an example used by the Tokyo Fire Department. At a first glance it may look like a box on wheels. That box is a lot wider near the bottom than near the top, though. I got the sides to taper by attaching them to hinges, but getting all of this to fit was a challenge, in particular around the windscreen. Despite the angled sides, all the doors open, including a sliding door on each side of the van. I really enjoyed making the stickers. I got to draw kanji letters and little emblems that depict Kyuta-Kun, which is the super cute Tokyo Fire Department mascot. The end result looks very Japanese and suitably futuristic. Picture this with two nacelles instead of wheels and it wouldn’t look out of place in the shuttle bay of the Starship Enterprise. Befitting a culture known for politeness, these ambulances have a PA system with recorded sentences that kindly warn other road users to make way. That detail, unfortunately, is missing from my LEGO model.
2019 will be the 5th anniversary for Japan Brickfest Kobe Fan Weekend, which is now the largest international LEGO fan event in Asia. Unlike other years, there’s only a single round of registration regardless of whether you’re contributing a build or just attending the event. So, hurry up and sign up before its too late! Registration closes on the 31st of December at midnight, (JST) Japan Standard Time.
Japan Brickfest is held at the Canadian Academy in Rokko Island, Kobe and hosted by KLUG (Kansai LEGO User Group). Japan Brickfest is a charity event with a percentage of the entry fee being donated to Children Charities and other charities. A portion of admissions and sales will be used as a donation to nursing homes.
The Brothers Brick is an official sponsor of Japan Brickfest