Wrapping up the Palo Alto museum show

Yesterday was the last day of the BayLUG/BayLTC show at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto for another year. We had hundreds of people come through to admire the exhibit including a few friends of mine.

BayLUG/BayLTC Group Photo

The show is called “Living LEGO-cy” and this was the 7th time we’ve had it. For the first 5 years it was free, but then in 2008-9 the crowds were totally beyond our ability to manage, and it taxed the museum’s and our ability to handle, without any benefit to either institution. So we started charging $2 per person last year, enabling BayLUG to provide a loan to support the startup of Bricks by the Bay’s first convention. This year we kept it the same, though BBTB no longer needs the financial support, and raised a tidy sum for both the museum and the club (who split the income 50/50).

Click the photo above to see all my pictures from the event, or you can view a slide show of the images. See also the opening weekend post I made last month.

As in previous years, we filled the room with LEGO. In the center was a 12′ by 25′ train layout, and all along the sides of the room we had various miscellaneous LEGO exhibits on all types of themes. A few of us had some space to sell LEGO and LEGO-related accessories – I got rid of a bunch of sorting containers I no longer use (tackle boxes and stackable containers) and some bags of parts that I didn’t need; others were selling whole sets and minifigs and other small items. We also used this as an opportunity to solicit for new club members, which we had several of, and to distribute flyers for Bricks by the Bay 2011, and lots of people said they would be there. If you missed out on this exhibit, a similar one will form a centerpiece for the Bricks by the Bay exhibit hall. Hope to see you there!

Vintage Vehicles and Family Festival 2010

The 2010 Vintage Vehicles & Family Festival was held in Palo Alto on July 25. BayLUG took part with a small booth featuring my downtown buildings, some models by teenage member Jack Marquez, and Paul Sinasohn putting together some LEGO kits. Our club was really overextended this day, as it was also the last day of our San Leandro Brick Show and the Buzz Lightyear event at the Hillsdale Shopping Center. This was the first time our club was involved in three separate events at the same time! (And I made it to all three – if you count the teardown, that is…)

BayLUG booth at VVFF

Click the picture for the photos, or browse a slideshow.

Brick Show now open

This was the opening weekend for the the Brick Show in San Leandro, CA at the Bay Area Family Church, organized by Johannes van Galen and featuring BayLUG/BayLTC. The show is ongoing through July 25 so come on out and check it out!

The show features a large train layout and various other displays in all themes of LEGO. Admission is $5 each for adults (age 16+) and $3 for kids ages 3-15. Kids under 3 are free.

I took a bunch of pictures around the display today. Click on the image to see them:
Brick Show (June 27)
You can also view the pictures as a slide show on Flickr.

BayLUG Museum Show Open through January 17

This weekend, the Bay Area LEGO Users Group opened our annual “Living LEGO-cy” exhibit at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto, CA. We’ll be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day) through Sunday, January 17. Admission is $2 (free for BayLUG and MoAH members and kids under 2), which is split 50/50 between the club and the museum.

BayLUG at MoAH

Come on down and check it out soon before the publicity spreads and we start getting huge crowds! Last year we had 1500 people on the last weekend, with people waiting for several hours in the rain in a line around the block to get in!! We have our first TV interviews this Friday morning for a Spanish language station…

Oops, I forgot to blog about Maker Faire

Maker Faire happened on May 30-31, and here it is almost three weeks later and I haven’t posted anything! We (BayLUG) had a 2,000 square foot display featuring a train layout, 8-foot-long battleship, amusement park & goofy train area, giant Technic cranes, robotics demos, and lots of models of all types on display. We even had emiko oye‘s jewelry artwork made out of LEGO, fresh from tours of art museums around the country.

I posted the pictures on Flickr right away after the Faire ended but i never got around to posting anything here about it. Click the photo to view the whole gallery or try the slideshow.

BayLUG at Maker Faire 2009

MoAH Display Wrapup

We took down the BayLUG exhibit at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto, CA, on Sunday, January 11. I finally got around to dumping the camera today and uploaded the pictures to Flickr. Sorry about the delay.

MoAH Exhibit Teardown

During the teardown phase of any of our train shows, after the crowds are gone, we take down the “sneeze guards” (Plexiglas barriers to keep little hands – and sneezes – off of the LEGO models) and spend about fifteen minutes doing a photo shoot. These pictures are the results of that. I’ve been sick off and on all month so far, and wasn’t feeling too well on that day, so I didn’t get really ambitious with the photography, but hopefully I covered everything.

You can also browse all the pictures from the show or view them as a slideshow.

Our next public event is a meeting at MoAH on Saturday, February 21. Hope to see you there!

BayLUG Exhibit Closes with Record Crowds

We had some great publicity for the exhibit by the Bay Area LEGO Users Group at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto, CA for the last few weekends. Lines at MoAH
There were television coverage by two different local stations, articles in the newspaper, and lots and lots of word-of-mouth advertising. We got several new members in the club and lots of people signing up for our club mailing lists or taking business cards home.

I was sick for most of the last two weekends, but did go on Sunday (the last day) and shot some video footage. However, a couple of other club members took photos of the crowds and sent them to me with permission to post online, so I have done so in a Flickr photoset. Please check that out by clicking the photo above, or view it as a slideshow. You can also view all my photos from this exhibit (or as a slideshow).

Next year, we’re not sure if we’ll be able to have the exhibit at the museum! The room is just not big enough to accommodate that kind of crowd. However we’ve already started talking about alternatives that would scale better, so don’t worry… we’ll still have an exhibit. We’re also talking to another museum about having an exhibit this summer but haven’t announced any details yet.

The next public event by BayLUG is our meeting at MoAH on Saturday, February 21 (note: originally scheduled for Sunday the 22nd, but the date has been changed due to a schedule conflict). Hope to see you there!

BayLUG on TV?

Yesterday, a crew from KTVU channel 2 television came to see the Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group exhibit. Watch this Video on KTVU.com about our exhibit at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto. Russell (the club president) and I weren’t there, but Loren did a great job explaining the exhibit for the camera. I’m sure that must have been nerve-wracking but I think he’s got a great voice for that kind of thing so I’m glad he was willing and available to do it.

I heard that it was going to be on the TV today, but I haven’t heard any details about exactly when. Probably on the news or something. But the way that video clip was put together doesn’t really feel like a news segment to me, so maybe not.

I’m not there right now because I’m home sick with a cold, but hopefully I can be there next weekend – which is our final weekend, by the way! So come on out and see it while there’s still time!

Haunted House at Valley Fair LEGO Store

Every six weeks or so, we (BayLUG) change out our display window at the Valley Fair Mall LEGO store.Haunted House This time, we replaced the Hollywood diorama with a haunted house in honor of Halloween. It will be on display there through November. The entire display is the brainchild of Kenny Paul, a member of BayLUG and designer of excellent houses and other buildings. Check the photos for all the great little details he’s included. My favorite part is the way two of the windows look like angry eyes glaring out at the street. It reminds me of that otherwise forgettable movie Monster House from a few years back. Click the photo to see all the pictures on Flickr or view them as a slideshow.

Blackburn Hotel at Valley Fair Mall

From May 31 to July 5, my Blackburn Hotel (Version 2) was on display at the LEGO Store at Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara, CA in the BayLUG window.

Front View

This is a redesigned, bigger model of the mythical Blackburn Hotel that I originally built for the Bay Area LEGO Train Club layout. I haven’t done a proper photo-shoot of the hotel itself, but you can see pictures of it in a Flickr set I created to collect all the images of it, including the ones from this store display.

For the store display, however, I had to customize it a bit. I left off the rooftop sign, and modified the baseplates. The version that was used in BayLTC train shows used regular road plates for the street, rather than the tiled half-road (16-stud-wide baseplates) seen in the store display. Also, because the left side of the hotel was located on a street corner, the model didn’t include the road there, while on the right side there was an 8-stud half-alley. When we installed the hotel at the store, that caused the sign to be pressed against the background side wall, and the right side to have a strange gap. So, we ripped the baseplates off the bottom of the hotel and moved everything over by eight studs, putting in a partial road on the left side. Thanks to Russell and Bruce for their help reconfiguring the baseplates.

Click the big picture to go to the set page on Flickr, or you can view a slideshow of the photos.