Category: Conferences

Going to Billund!

Published / by Bill

I’m going to Denmark tomorrow! Flying from San Francisco to Frankfurt, then on to Billund, for my first-ever visit to Denmark and LEGO HQ! I’m going to the annual Fan Weekend in Skærbæk Friday through Sunday, then visiting Billund on Monday, and on to Copenhagen and Hamburg before flying out of Frankfurt on Thursday.

But am I flying home? Not quite yet! I’m going directly from Frankfurt to Seattle (with a stop in Houston) and attending BrickCon. It’s going to be an exciting vacation and I’m really looking forward to it. Watch this space for photos and stories from my trip.

Bricks by the Bay 2014

Published / by Bill

Our annual LEGO convention here in the bay area, Bricks by the Bay, just happened! I was so busy organizing it that I’m afraid I never got around to posting a blurb on my blog about it – hope you heard about it through other means and were there! It was a huge event, expanding to add a second ballroom, and adding an extra day (Thursday) for a new workshop program. We almost doubled last year’s attendance on the public day (about 4500 vs 2500 last year) though our convention attendance was down.

I’d like to announce the dates for next year’s convention, but we don’t have a firm commitment on the dates yet. The most likely dates are July 16-19, but we can’t be sure until we have a contract from the hotel. The theme for next year will be “Monsters” and we will be also making a special effort to highlight models with lighting effects similar to what they do at Brickworld in Chicago and BrickFair back east, shutting off the convention center lights for a few hours in the evening to let people enjoy the lit-up MOCs (My Own Creations). So start planning your monsters, especially ones with light-up effects!

I didn’t take photos at the convention, but here are some links to galleries that others have posted:

If you have some to add, post a link in the comments.

Trip Report: Brickworld 2014

Published / by Bill

I went to Chicago a couple of weeks ago to attend the Brickworld LEGO convention, one of the largest such events in the world. As you probably know I am the president of Bricks by the Bay, our local convention here in the San Francisco bay area, and it’s good to get out and visit other conventions to network, pick up new ideas for our event, and just see what the rest of the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) world is doing. This was my third Brickworld; I had gone in 2009 and 2011. (more…)

Back Online

Published / by Bill

You may have noticed this site has been down a lot lately.

The machine that hosted the Brickpile, along with BayLUG and Bricks by the Bay, along with some other personal domains that I and some friends owned, was hacked back in January, and then we got another site up briefly and it too was almost immediately compromised. But now this is the third try, this time hosted on Amazon EC3. Wish me luck.

Speaking of Bricks by the Bay, we’re ramping things up for the convention this year and I’m really excited about it. Come down to Santa Clara in August and spend a weekend immersing yourself in LEGO fan culture! The convention is Thursday through Sunday, August 7-10, 2014, with a Public Exhibition on Sunday. I’m putting the final touches on the registration system for this year now, and we’ll have it open shortly. Check out the Bricks by the Bay website for more information and I hope to see you there!

P.S.: I’m also going to be at Brickworld in Chicago this year, and later in the year BrickCon in Seattle. If you’re going to be there, look for me.

Slides for BrickCon “Brick Geometry” Presentation

Published / by Bill / 1 Comment on Slides for BrickCon “Brick Geometry” Presentation

The slides from my Brick Geometry Presentation from BrickCon 2013 (PDF) are now available online. In this presentation I described several techniques involving half-plate offsets (based on my Half Plate Offsets talk from BrickCon 2008, but updated with some new examples) as well as a discussion of Pythagorean right triangles (e.g. 3-4-5 triangles) and how to use these to make a truss type structure in LEGO. Enjoy!

BrickCon 2013

Published / by Bill

As I have done every year since 2008, I went to BrickCon (the LEGO convention in Seattle, Washington) again this year. Here is my trip report.

I left home Wednesday morning, October 2nd, around 10am. I live in El Cerrito, California, which is near Berkeley, and it’s about 16 hours drive to Seattle from there if done in one step. However, that’s more driving than I can do in a day, so I need to spend the night somewhere along the way. I drove all day and got about halfway through Oregon by the time I decided to find a place to sleep for the night.

Mossy tree and creek

I camped in my van along a forest road in Willamette National Forest, just east of Sweet Home, Oregon. As it was pouring down rain, I had to set up my bed without the benefit of opening the doors and going outside. I was ferrying a bunch of boxes of merchandise for Miguel Monje (one of the vendors at BrickCon who is based in the bay area and often sells at BayLUG meetings), and had to rearrange the load to make room for my cot. Unfolding the cot in those tight confines was a challenge, but I finally got it open, and though I wasn’t able to get the foot of the bed locked open it was good enough to sleep on. I set up my sleeping bag and turned in for the night. However, it was only 8pm, and though I was really tired, I wasn’t actually all that sleepy. I read a few of the Sherlock Holmes stories on my iPad, and after an hour or two I was able to sleep. In the morning, the sun was out and the light through the moss-covered trees was beautiful. The road back to the Interstate went through some lovely small towns and by a lake (reservoir) that was really scenic in the morning light. I took a few pictures along the way, which were the only photos I took the entire trip, apart from the LEGO convention itself of course.

I stopped in Portland for breakfast and did some shopping. I had a delicious vegan waffle at my favorite Portland food cart, Flavour Spot, with fried chicken as a “Dutch taco.” After that I headed to downtown and went to Powell’s Books. I lucked out and found a parking space on the street just across from the main entrance to the store. I picked up some Kim Stanley Robinson books and Storm Front: Book one of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. On my way out of town I swung by Voodoo Doughnut and got some fuel for the final push to Seattle.

Rainbow Connection: Kermit the Frog with Banjo

When I got to BrickCon, I met up with Miguel and unloaded his stuff and my LEGO models at the loading dock, then parked my van and went in to set up Kermit and my Micropolis display. After reconnecting with a few LEGO friends, I went over to where I would be staying, the home of a friend I met dancing a few years ago. We went out for Japanese food and she busied herself prepping for her trip – she was ironically enough going to be spending the weekend in the bay area, so I would have her house to myself until she returned Monday. In the morning I met another friend for an early lunch, then headed to BrickCon just in time for the opening ceremony.

I was in Seattle this weekend for two events – besides BrickCon, there’s also a dance convention (Seattle Fusion Festival) that I was attending. They had dance classes all afternoon on Friday through Sunday, but because of the distance between where they are held and BrickCon I had to choose between them and BrickCon, and I chose LEGO. Last year when I attended both events, the dance classes were held right there at Seattle Center, and it was easy to bounce back and forth between the two events, but this year I wasn’t so lucky. However, when I registered for the dance weekend, I had a super early bird discount, which was only $10 more than the dance-only pass, so missing all those dance classes didn’t cost me much, and as you’ll hear later on, I did make it to one dance class on Sunday. But in the future if these events are held the same weekend, I will probably just sign up for the dance-only pass and opt out of all the dance classes.

So after the ceremony, I signed up for several activities at the convention, and participated in the Bag Build and Master Build contests. For the Bag Build, we had to assemble a small LEGO set with all the parts placed inside a Ziploc quart bag. That’s always a difficult challenge, but this one was particularly bad as it was such a small bag. The Master Build was also quite challenging – the theme was Pigs vs Cows, and we were given 3 sets to open up and use all the parts, plus two pig heads and two cow heads, but we had to do it in teams of two. I teamed up with a teenager named Gus, and we came up with a pigs vs cows podrace scene, with the cow’s podracer crashed. It didn’t win, but the team next to us did. There were also three entries built by LEGO designers in Denmark and placed among our entries, but those didn’t even come close to winning according to the judges. But with both these games, even though I didn’t win, I scored plenty of free LEGO, and that’s the point! After that was over I joined some California LEGO builders for dinner back at the hotel where they were staying.

When we finished dinner, I put my leftovers in the car and we all walked back over to the convention for the evening ceremonies and keynote speeches. There were two speakers: David Robertson, author of Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry, a business history of the LEGO company, who talked about the incredible comeback from crisis and recent incredible growth of the company sales; and Hillel Cooperman, a local fan who has been giving keynote speeches at BrickCon for several years, who cautioned that LEGO is completely missing out on the 3D printing revolution and being eaten alive online by Minecraft. There was also a new set unveiled, the Parisian Restaurant, which has some awesome new parts and details. The designer, Jamie Berard (featured in that video), was on hand to talk about it and after the ceremony was over I spent some time in a small group going over some of the details and hearing insider tales of LEGO designers, and walked and talked one-on-one with him back to the exhibition hall, where he went inside while I left to go dancing.

I drove over to the Seattle Fusion Festival and finally checked in and got my wristband, and danced until 2am. One of the key highlights was when my friend Emily Zisman was on stage singing as a part of the band Chance’s End. That was a great performance and the dancers seemed to really enjoy it. A couple of my bay area dancer friends, Reeva and Jasmine, did a “DJ battle” as well. I didn’t know many of the dancers, but recognized a few from the bay area and met a few nice locals. The dancing continued until 5, but I needed to get to bed as I had to give my “Brick Geometry” presentation in the morning.

In the morning I had to pick up some of my models to use as props for my talk. I had brought my Caltrain locomotive and lunar school bus, and had built special for this talk a truss bridge and some Pythagorean triangle examples. These were all in a box in the exhibition hall, so I needed to get in there, preferably before they let the public in, and grab those as well as the Micropolis hospital, and take them up to where the talk would be given. They announced on the PA that the public was coming in at 10am, right as I was picking up this stuff, so I timed it pretty thin. I hurried out before it got too crowded and went up the hill, found my room and set up my props.

After giving my talk (which was pretty well attended, including Jamie Berard who is one of the LEGO model design managers), I met up with Gus (my partner from the Master Build competition) and we divvied the parts from the sets we had received. I got some take-out for lunch from a nearby market and took it back to the con and ate while picking out my parts for the “101 Bricks” game, which I then won! (I think that the final round gave me a bit of an advantage, with the theme of “Golden Gate Bridge” … I built a studs-down model in brown and dark green: wrong colors, but it had the right silhouette.) The next event I attended was a talk by Jamie Berard where he explained the process and particular challenges of designing the Sydney Opera House set. It was a fascinating look behind the scenes, and it’s an amazing set that I’m looking forward to building. From there I went down to the exhibition hall to put my props back where they had been (now that the public had gone home).

I went to my car and swapped my laptop for my camera, and started back to take pictures of models, but saw some friends (and LEGO employees) heading into the hotel restaurant so I followed and joined them instead. The restaurant couldn’t accommodate us all as one group, so we broke up into two groups of six and sat down. The two LEGO reps in the group, Jamie and Kevin, each stayed with one group. Kevin Hinkle, the LEGO fan liaison for the Americas, was in my group, and we talked Bricks by the Bay business a lot. Wayne Hussey (the guy who runs BrickCon) and his wife walked in as we were all eating, and I bade them join us.

Micropolis at BrickCon 2013

After dinner we all went up to the meeting rooms for the award ceremonies. They announced the winners of all the various speed builds, but somehow didn’t include 101 Bricks in the results unfortunately. However when they announced the winners in Microscale, I was pleased to learn that my train station was selected as the “Size Matters: Building” winner. I got a nice little trophy as a prize.

When the ceremony was over, I went back to the exhibition hall and finally started taking pictures. With a brief stop in the middle to go transfer the photos to my laptop, I got almost all of the picture-taking done but my camera battery died, so I still had to go back in the morning to get pictures of a few more things. I went dancing again, this time staying until 1am, and went back to my friend’s house to sleep.

Sunday morning was the last day of both BrickCon and the Fusion Festival, and I finally made it to a dance class! But first, the night before I had a few pictures left to take of the LEGO models since my camera battery died, so I charged it up overnight and went during the public hours to finish the job. I was able to get around and take pictures over people’s shoulders or to squeeze between people. Once that was done I headed up to the breakout rooms for the sorting and storage roundtable. This was a really good discussion of the ways people sort and store their parts. I didn’t get much out of it in terms of ideas I could use, but I shared my recent color sorting changes and discussed the containers I use for storage. One idea that I may try is to use storage containers intended for beading to store Technic axles, as you can apparently customize the sizes of the compartments by removing the inner walls in a way that is much more suitable to LEGO than the fishing tackle boxes I had tried a few years back. It was fascinating to see how different people approach the problems of organizing their collections. I also talked to the guy who was moderating it about having him come to BBTB and run a military theme. I gave him a business card and he said he might be interested. I walked back to the exhibition hall and hung out in the Microscale area for a while, and then left to go to catch the one dance class I had room in my schedule for.

The dance class was on micro dancing, which is basically holding still with your partner and using breath and upper body isolations to dance rather than moving about. We did exercises involving things like dancing for 2 minutes without shifting your weight or taking a step. I’d done that kind of thing before, and it’s really nice, and a wonderful peaceful way to wrap up a weekend of activity.

After that one class, however, I couldn’t stick around for more as I had to return to BrickCon for teardown and closing ceremonies. I packed up all my models into their boxes, and as soon as they opened up the loading dock at 5pm I got my van and drove it around to the back of the building. I loaded my stuff into the van and parked it, then went back to the exhibition hall to hang out with people for a while. Eventually a group of us went out for dinner and then to the hotel lobby to play Cards Against Humanity. After the hilarity had ended, we all parted ways and I drove off to the dance.

At the dance I had some wonderful dances, including an epic polka that was Ted Maddry’s last song – he even announced that people should clear a lane for the polka dancers. I made some new Facebook friends and had some nice conversations as well as great dances, and left around 3am.

Monday morning, I went to the LEGO store in Bellevue with a LEGO friend from England who needed to stock up on LEGO Star Wars sets, and while I was there I got a Pick-A-Brick cup, and noticed they had some sets on sale, so I stocked up on them as prizes or speed-build fodder for Bricks by the Bay 2014. Ed and I had lunch, and then I did some thrift shopping and went back to my friend’s house. She had returned from her trip, and we went out for Thai food and had a pleasant evening catching up. In the morning my friend took me for breakfast, and then I loaded up my van and hit the road.

It had been raining a little all morning, but it got worse as the day went on. There was plenty of thunder and lightning, and when I was just south of Tacoma there was a lightning bolt very close by, where the thunder actually shook the van! It felt like a boulder being dropped on the back of the van from a great height. I suspect it was cloud-to-cloud lightning directly above me, as there was some delay (though not much) between the flash and the boom, and the shock wave hit me so hard. The rain petered out by the time I got to Oregon though. In Portland I stopped at Voodoo Doughnut again for more yummies, of course, and then went to the LEGO store. Since LEGO has discontinued the convention discounts this year, my only way to get discounts on exclusive items is to shop in Oregon where there’s no sales tax. I bought a few big items (including the Sydney Opera House) and while I was there I also picked up some of the sale items for Bricks by the Bay similar to how I did in Washington.

As I mentioned at the top, it’s not realistic to expect me to make it from Seattle to home in one day, and I was hoping to make a stopover in Eugene at a dancing friend’s house, but she had to work late and wasn’t going to be able to get away even for dinner, so I decided to press on and see her some other time. I ended up sleeping in a rest area near Shasta Lake in northern California. I had bought so many LEGO sets (mostly for Bricks by the Bay) that my cot was covered in boxes of LEGO, and there was no way to keep my bed clear while driving, so I had to shift a bunch of them to the front seats to make room for myself to sleep!

Wednesday morning, I ate my last Voodoo Doughnut for breakfast as I made my way south on I-5. Instead of going home though, I went straight to the Bricks by the Bay storage locker to unload the prizes and to my own to drop off camping supplies and other items. I finally got home in the early evening, not quite missing the rush hour traffic, and collapsed.

You can see my pictures from BrickCon, as well as a few pictures I took near my campsite the first night, in my BrickCon 2013 Flickr set, which you can also view as a slideshow.

Bricks by the Bay 2013

Published / by Bill

The 2013 edition of the Bricks by the Bay LEGO convention has come and gone. A fabulous time was had by all, as far as I can tell anyway. Here’s a report of my experiences both running and attending the convention…

This was our fourth year, and each time it gets a little easier to run the event, but we keep adding new things each time making things more complicated. This year the theme of the convention was “Brick Technologies” in honor of Silicon Valley where it is held, and we added a lot of technology around running the convention, especially on the website. For example, for the first time, instead of having attendees edit a wiki page, we had a database where people could list the MOCs (“My Own Creations,” our term for custom made models) they are bringing to display. As the only experienced Perl developer on the organizing team, it fell to me to make all these changes, and over the past few months I’d been spending all my spare time working on the registration system for people to sign up their badges, vendor spaces, MOCs, etc.

One piece of technology that never did get finished was a custom iPad app for judging. We had a volunteer, Julian Gomez of Polished Pixels, working hard on an app for us to use. The judges would use iPads to select the models they wanted to vote for and upload their votes and take pictures of the models using this custom app, and we also planned to use the app to scan people’s badges as they enter the evening ceremonies so we wouldn’t call any names of people who weren’t actually present. However, due to some technical issues that came up and issues with Apple’s developer license program (and through no fault of Julian’s), the app wasn’t available. Julian’s work is much appreciated however, and we look forward to having it available for next year.

I arrived at the hotel Thursday afternoon and checked in, and we were able to get in to the ballroom in the early afternoon to measure out the placement of all the tables for hotel staff to set up. I spent most of the afternoon writing code, personally, getting the MOC Card system ready to print out the cards. MOC Cards are the little signs that everyone places by their models to identify the name, description, and builder of each model. Each card has a QR code on it, which goes to a webpage describing the model (and which the iPad app was supposed to use to identify the MOC for voting). I wrote custom Perl code using the PDF::API2 library to generate the cards, and sent the results out to Kinko’s FedEx Office for overnight printing. (We also had a color printer and paper cutter onsite for printing additional cards after the initial batch.) I went to bed around midnight, having told FedEx to email me when it was ready. I had sent out a call for a volunteer to run over to pick up the printouts in the morning, but at 3am I got up to use the bathroom and checked my email, and they said that our job was done. I decided rather than have someone slog through rush hour traffic in the morning, I’d just go in the middle of the night. I drove off to Cupertino to pick it up, and had a hard time finding the place, but eventually I did and brought it back to the hotel, leaving it in our office for the other organizers to pick up in the morning. My plan was to sleep in, but I woke up early anyway so I went ahead and went downstairs having had about 3 hours total sleep.

Friday morning I was a bit of a zombie, but we got all the rest of the setup done and in the afternoon I was able to attend some of the sessions. I ran the 101 Bricks game, which is always a lot of fun. We had some very creative models built, with an eventual winner with the theme “RAINY” going to Donna’s “SNOT Cloud” model. After that, I went to Zonker Harris‘s talk on lighting LEGO models using EL Wire and LEDs. I really like what he’s done with those technologies for his movie theater (EL wire to simulate neon lights) and disco dance floor (flashing lights underneath a translucent LEGO floor). There were a few other light-up models at the convention, and hopefully that trend will continue. BrickCon in Seattle has a section called “The Darker Side” where models are displayed in a tented area so the room lights don’t overwhelm the models’ internal lighting, and BrickWorld goes a bit farther having an hour with the hall lights off so everyone can go around and see the light-up models in the semi-dark. Maybe if we get more light-up models we can do something along those lines at BBTB in the future? After Zonker’s talk I went back down to the ballroom, and spent the afternoon working on administrative stuff and more software for the event website. We had a few walk-ups, mostly people who had registered their child but not themselves or vice-versa. Our policy is to close registration a week before the event, but in the future we need to be better prepared for these situations, as they required a fair amount of manual work to process.

Friday night, we had an awesome keynote presentation by Paul Lee, LEGO artist. He does a lot of work for LEGO, drawing comic books and advertising art for them, and it turns out he’s also an excellent public speaker! In past years, we’ve always had someone from the LEGO Group give the keynote speech, but this year LEGO has been scaling back their support for conventions and weren’t able to send any VIP out to us. We took the lead from BrickCon and reached out to the LEGO fan community, and everyone was very happy with the result. Mariann Asanuma recommended Paul, and he got a standing ovation. There’s a video (hand held iPhone video) of the talk on youtube taken by his wife. Next year maybe we’ll get a professional video crew to document this sort of thing…

After the keynote, I handed out the Scrounge Build packets, then went out to the lobby to run the Wacky Racers and Catapult contests, which are always a lot of fun.

Saturday, I missed most of the activities as I ended up spending a lot of time finishing up some of the things we would need for the website to make the convention run as planned. For example I spent all Saturday afternoon hacking on the voting system so that the judges would be able to submit their votes and pictures of the winners, and generating the PDF for the award ceremony. I just barely got that code finished in time for the ceremony itself; in fact for the first 1/2 of the ceremony I was sitting off to one side in the theater frantically coding the software to generate the slides, while my faithful minions ran around the ballroom taking and uploading pictures of all the models that hadn’t been photographed yet. But eventually they got all the photos uploaded just as I finished work on the code to generate the slides. But then I ran into an unexpected snag: the PDF is 14 megabytes, and it took quite a long time (I didn’t time it, but I think it was about 20 minutes) to download on the slow wifi. So we had to stall a little bit while that downloaded, but eventually it was done and we managed to get it up on the screen to give out the awards. There were two minor issues – photos showing up rotated (my code was ignoring the EXIF Orientation flag, oops) and Overall trophies showing up in the theme trophy sections (it was showing the winners in the theme they were registered under instead of the theme of the trophies). It was funny watching hundreds of people tilt their heads sideways to look at the pictures! As for the trophies showing up at the wrong times, once I figured out what was happening I skipped over those and announced they would be given out Sunday night.

Saturday night we had something new at BBTB: a no-host bar, called “Brick Saloon.” This was an opportunity for the adult attendees to hang out, play some games (I brought Cards against Humanity, and someone brought some LEGO bricks to play a version of Zendo with instead of the more customary Icehouse pyramids). I don’t drink, so the bar wasn’t my cup of tea (DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) but I hung out and played games a bit. I went downstairs to the ballroom after a while to take photos of MOCs until my camera battery died, and then went back up for more games until it was time to close at 2am.

Sunday is the big public show at Bricks by the Bay. Unlike most conventions we just have one public day. the vendors complain every year, but it’s a lot less stressful this way, and we always make enough money to make our budget (Bricks by the Bay is a non-profit) so it’s not necessary to have two days. I have delegated all the public day operations to other people, so I was able to sleep in and get there around 10am just as people were going in to the show. I hung out at the admin desk for a while, answering questions and such, and then in the afternoon went upstairs for the Large Set Parts Draft. Parts drafts are one of my favorite convention activities, and I had to miss the one on Saturday as I had too much work to do (I sent Bruce to draft in my place, and he got some great parts, but I really would rather have been there myself). Almost any LEGO part is useful if you have enough of them, and a parts draft lets you take all of the parts of a particular shape and color from as many as a couple of dozen copies of the same set. The trade-off is that everyone else participating gets to do this too, so you only end up with a few unique pieces, but many of them. We did some trading (e.g., “I’ll give you 8 of these for 4 of those”) after the parts draft for some parts that each of us wanted but other people got.

After the parts draft I went back down to the ballroom, and finally at 4pm we closed up and kicked all the public out. We had a brief closing ceremony where we announced the overall MOC winners and the results of the games that had happened after the Saturday ceremony, and I had a brief Q&A about the next year’s convention. Finally we tore down all the stuff and everyone went home.

I spent the night in the hotel again Sunday night, and Monday morning got together with Bruce and Loren, the other Directors, to tie up loose ends and take all the stuff back to the storage unit. We had lunch from a taqueria and got all the boxes stowed, the storage locked, and we each went home. I took the rest of the day off work, and went back to work Tuesday (working from home all week). It took a few days for me to catch up on my sleep, and I still had a little bit of coding to finish up, but it’s time to put things away for another year.

Come join us next year!! We’re adding 50% more ballroom space, and a full day of workshops on Thursday before the usual convention activities start.

August 7-10, 2014
Hyatt Regency Santa Clara & Santa Clara Convention Center
Thursday : Workshops & Opening Ceremonies
Friday – Saturday : Private Convention
Sunday : Public Exhibition
www.bricksbythebay.com

See all my pictures of MOCs from Bricks by the Bay 2013 by clicking the image above, or click here for a slideshow.

Last chance for Bricks by the Bay convention registration

Published / by Bill

I just posted this on the Bricks by the Bay site:

The Bricks by the Bay 2013 convention is almost here! I’m so excited – and busy!

If you haven’t registered for the convention yet, please note that we are in our final week of registration. The deadline is this coming Friday at midnight. After that, no badges will be sold! There is no walk-up registration. All our attendees will have custom printed badges made of LEGO bricks and we are doing the final preparations and packaging of the badges and attendee goodies this weekend (let me know if you want to come help out). Badges are currently selling for $70 each and there are 57 (out of 500) remaining as of this writing. Register today!

See the schedule of events for more information about what is going on at the convention.

If you’re not coming to the convention please come to our Public Exhibition, Sunday August 11. Tickets are on sale now for $8 per person (ages 2 and under free). Buy tickets today.

Thank you and hope to see you at the convention or exhibition!

William Ward
President
Bricks by the Bay, Inc.

Greetings from BrickCon 2012

Published / by Bill

I’m in Seattle for the BrickCon LEGO convention this weekend. It’s a really busy weekend for me, though, because I’m also here for my other hobby, dancing – I’m attending the Seattle Fusion Festival which is taking place at the same time. Luckily the dance classes are held right at Seattle Center, which is where BrickCon is, so I can bounce back and forth between the two events, as I have been doing all weekend. Actually it’s not just this weekend that was so busy – I’m at the tail end of a two-week road trip. Last weekend I was in Colorado at the Aspen Alt. Blues Recess, another dance event, and have been exploring the western US in my van in the week in between. After BrickCon I’m heading home by way of Portland; I should be home by Wednesday.

Due to the dancing I haven’t had much time to participate in BrickCon activities. I signed up for a couple of events but didn’t make the cut for most of them. I did get to participate in a relay speed build, where teams of four people took turns assembling steps in a model. Our team finished fourth I think, but there’s only a prize for the fastest team. We did get to keep the parts from the set we built, however. The set we built was Alien Conquest Tripod Invader (7051) and we divided the parts up four ways.

Saturday night we had the BrickCon awards ceremony, and I’m pleased to report that my Kermit sculpture won yet another trophy! This time it was the “Sublime Shape” trophy (best sculpture). Kermit has now won four trophies: two at Bricks by the Bay and one at BricksCascade in Portland, and now this one. Here’s Kermit with his trophy:
Kermit and Trophy
Tonight (Saturday night) before going out dancing, I walked around the exhibition hall and took pictures of all the MOCs, and uploaded them to Flickr. You can see all my photos from BrickCon on Flickr by clicking the image below or viewing them as a slideshow:
BrickCon 2012 Overview
If you’re in the Seattle area and read this in time, come on by Sunday October 7, from 9am-3pm we will be open to the public. If you missed it, it’s always the first weekend in October so add it to your calendar.