Advent 2011 Day 20

Day 20 of the LEGO City and Star Wars Advent Calendars for 2011.

City seems to be switching to a new theme, perhaps for the final stretch toward Christmas.

In Star Wars, we have a UCS TIE Fighter at minifig scale. It seems odd to me that LEGO have never produced a TIE fighter UCS set – they’ve done an Interceptor and Vader’s TIE Advanced, but not a bog standard TIE fighter. Leave that to the fans, though… here’s a TIE Fighter MOC that looks just like what LEGO ought to have made as a set.

BrickCon 2011: Blogging Panel

I am at BrickCon, writing this in a classroom in the Seattle Center, in the audience of a panel on LEGO blogging. Josh Wedin and Andrew Becraft from The Brothers Brick (TBB), and Ace Kim from TBB and From Bricks to Bothans (FBTB), are talking about their experiences in the LEGO blogging community.

I don’t have one of those T-shirts that says “I’m Blogging This.” but I am anyway. There’s a video recording being made, so you’ll be able to watch it later if you wish.

Topics include:

  • Search engine optimization and blogging strategies
  • “Hiring” other contributors to write for the site
  • Using Amazon affiliate links
  • Shifts in the online LEGO community (LUGNET, Flickr, Brickshelf, blogs, etc.)
  • In-person events (BrickCon, other conventions, LUG meetings, etc.)
  • Not profitable to run a LEGO site
    • income not enough to live on
    • TBB gives back to the community instead of profiting (incorporated as a for-profit org, but run as if it were a not-for-profit)
    • FBTB is a sole proprietorship
  • What benefit do you get from it?
    • Andrew: Not the fame. Acts as a journal of his experiences in the community
    • Josh: Just likes to write about LEGO, to day what he thinks
    • Ace: Not a MOC builder, so it is his way to feel part of the community; also likes running contests

Pirates Advent Calendar Petitions

You’ve probably heard by now that the Pirates Advent Calendar is not going to be sold in the US. After last year’s debacle with the Castle Advent Calendar, you’d think LEGO would know better. Well, the good folks at Classic Pirates over on Eurobricks have a petition going, and The Brothers Brick also have a similar post calling for support for the Pirates advent calendar. Post your support now!

New LEGO blog: Sariel’s LEGO Technic creations

One of the most well-documented LEGO builders out there is “Sariel,” a Polish LEGO builder specializing in Technic models: construction equipment, trucks, military equipment, etc. They feature a lot of moving parts, often with motorized and/or pneumatic power. He takes excellent quality photos and even has Youtube videos of his models.

Until now, I mostly saw his models on the Klocki blog (pron. “klosskey”) that started in Poland (and written in Polish) but has expanded to an international audience and is also available in English and Portuguese. Sariel was often featured on Klocki along with other great builders from LUGPol, the Polish LEGO user group, and Comunidade 0937, the Portuguese group (hint: look at “0937” upside-down), as well as other great builders from around the globe.

But now, Sariel has his own blog Sariel’s LEGO Technic creations where he will feature his work in great detail. Even if you don’t build Technic, it’s still inspiring. And of course I trust that Klocki will continue to feature his work as well.

My license plate: “I ♥ LEGO”

A few years ago I got a special custom California license plate that says “I ♥ LEGO.” And though I’ve had it for several years, I never got around to posting a picture of it online. Well, apparently Flickr user r0wb0t has beat me to the punch. My car was in the parking lot at the Museum of American Heritage as I was helping staff the BayLUG exhibit, and he took a picture of it and put it on Flickr.

My license plate: 'I ♥ LEGO'

I discovered this via the Lego Diem blog.

UPDATE 1/10: another picture of my car has turned up on Flickr.

Amazing Great Ball Contraption video

This is really a work of art – not just for the clever LEGO creations, but maybe even more so for the filmmaking. The modern classical music accompanies the images very well. By taking a series of close-up video shots of various parts of the contraption, each one well composed and from an interesting angle, our interest is maintained throughout. Exceedingly well-done!

Via TechnicBRICKs blog.