Brickvention is Australia’s Premier LEGO Fan Event, and was directly responsible for me coming out of my dark ages over 12 years ago. After a year of on-again, off-again lockdowns, the team behind Brickvention have announced the 2022 event. With a new venue, timing and logo this year, a lot is changing! This year, the event has been designated an AFOL Networking Event by the LEGO Group.
The Royal Exhibition Building, home to the event from 2012 to 2020 is currently being used as a COVID-19 vaccination hub and isn’t available. So this year, the event will take place at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) in Albert Park, Victoria. Located on the other side of the City Centre, this venue offers a huge area for exhibiting MOCs, in an appropriately socially distanced fashion.
The timing is also a little different: rather than mid-January, it will take place much earlier in the month: after bump-in (January 6th), there is AFOL Convention Day (January 7th), followed by two days of Public Expo on the 8th and 9th of January.
Welcome once again to Throwback Thursday, and our regular Builders’ Journeys. In this column, AFOLs write about a set that had a profound influence on them, and the LEGO® builder they were to later become. Today, we hear from Inez, known as @iv_lego, on Instagram.
Inez lives in the Philippines and has become renowned for crafting MOCs based on real-world flowers, particularly those native to her part of the world. But it turns out that there was one set that showed her the way towards using LEGO bricks as a medium to create these flowers and trees…
“When I started with LEGO sets in 2012, I knew immediately that I wanted to build plants and landscapes. At that time, the landscapes included in LEGO sets were still rather drab, and their trees were still very blocky. My first MOCs were trees, but they weren’t all that great. Probably because I didn’t know what I was doing. “
Henry Pinto and Cade Franklin shot to fame during the first season of LEGO® Masters Australia when they brought home the winners’ trophy. With a generous dose of creativity, to say nothing about a fair bit of talent in the ‘building with bricks’ department, Henry and Cade have released a book, in time for Fathers’ Day here in Australia.
Welcome back to our regular Builders’ Journeys column, where we take a look at sets from years gone by, through the eyes of someone for whom that set has a special significance. Today, Branko from New South Wales, via the Netherlands brings us a tale of his childhood, with 6950: Mobile Rocket Transport. This set was released in 1982 and has 209 pieces. Tat year also saw the debut of the yellow spacemen, and this set came with two of them!
Welcome to our first guest post in our series of Builders’ Journeys. We all have a LEGO® set that is special to us for some reason or another. In this series, I am asking readers to send in stories of a set that is important in some way. It might have been your first set, a special present, your first set as an AFOL, or a set you remember building with your school friends.
Today, we hear from Stefan M, from Hamburg, Germany. Stefan is part of the team at Stuck In Plastic, and can be found on instagram as @a_toyphotographer – formerly @herrsm. He was one of the first toy photographers that I encountered on instagram, and one of the first ‘virtual friends’ that I went on to meet in real life, while visiting Billund several years ago. Stefan brings us his memories of his first big adult purchase, and a set that that I know is still the white whale for many of you out there:
First things first: I’m not really a builder. I sure do follow (most) of the building instructions myself. But when it’s down to LEGO and why I’m passionate about it I’ll have to admit that I’m more of an observer. I like sneaking around corners and shooting pics of my favourite toys. But more about that later.
If nothing else, the lockdowns brought on by the pandemic have taught us just how much many of us value the opportunity to get to live, face to face events. I have attended a few events over the last couple of years, all using different variations of online event. While parts of the world are opening up, international travel is still but a dream to many of us. BrickCon 2020 was one of the first international online events that I attended last year, and they are pleased to announce that this year they are running in person, as well as hybrid registrations. Read on for the full story, and registration details. Real life Registrations will be limited to 400, and open AUGUST 1st. Hybrid/online registrations open September 1
BrickCon has announced that its 20th annual LEGO fan convention and public exhibition is coming back to the Seattle Center. BrickCon 2021 will be held Oct. 1 – 3 and will offer adult LEGO builders a full convention featuring displays, awards, classes, workshops, prizes, vendors and more. BrickCon will also offer a limited hybrid virtual ticket for fans who can’t travel.
A year or two ago, Apple Arcade opened – a subscription model for a games service in the Apple Ecosystem. One of the launch titles, Builder’s Journey, saw a number of AFOLs sign up for the service, and I suspect a few of us failed to cancel our subscription after completing the game.
The game is a puzzle based game, involving the journey of a stylised father and son, exploring a world of LEGO Bricks. The game’s beautiful aesthetics is capped off by the relaxing soundtrack, which also features heavily in the LEGO Games Podcast ‘Bits N Bricks.’ In fact, there is an episode of the podcast dedicated to builder’s journey, which you can find here (episode 6 to be exact…).
This week, the game has been released for PC via Steam, and the Spic Game Store, as well as the Nintendo Game store. These versions, as well as the new version on Apple Arcade, represent an expanded version of the original game.
I’ve set the Household Gamer (ie the game player of our household) the task of working through the new, Steam Based version, and putting together a review for the Rambling Brick – I look forward to hear he has to say about it. I really enjoyed the game on Apple Arcade, when it first came out, and am setting out on revisiting the game with the latest version.
According to the publisher’s website, the game
The LEGO® Group is taking players on an epic, inspirational experience in LEGO® Builder’s Journey, available now on Nintendo Switch and PC. The game follows a father and son on a heartwarming journey through a stunning brick-built universe, filled with geometric puzzles that will surprise and delight players
“When creating LEGO Builder’s Journey, we were inspired by the new movement of games that focus on the overall experience for gamers,” said Karsten Lund, creative director and head of studio, Light Brick Studio. “We chose to focus on the emotional and evocative aspects of storytelling to spark players’ imaginations, and to encourage them to reflect on the importance of play and creativity in all of our lives.”
In addition to the playful themes sewn seamlessly throughout the narrative, the Light Brick team has designed a world featuring graphical upgrades to further immerse players in the game, including ray-traced ambient occlusion, global illumination, reflections, shadows, and other effects that make bricks feel more tactile and movement more fluid.
LEGO Builder’s Journey is available now for $USD19.99 on Steam, the Epic Games Store and the Nintendo eShop. This translates to $29.99 AUD.
Have you played Builder’s Journey? Have you been frustrated by the limited platforms that it has been available on? Did you fall foul of the ‘Signup for the free trial and forget to unsubscribe’ business model that Apple use?
Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,
Since I wrote an overview of ICE PLANET 2002, I have come to make a realisation: I’ve been a little too focused on news, reviews, and product announcements lately. Not to mention that little podcast thing. Perhaps to the extent that I have started to lose track of what I find to be so enjoyable about LEGO play… the act of creation. I’ve taken a couple of days out from the routine to start playing, designing and MOCing again.
A little while ago, I took a look at the theme ICE PLANET 2002 – a LEGO® space theme from the early 1990s. The theme was set on the Planet Krysto, in the centre of the known Universe. With three different figures, this theme included the first female Space Minifigure, a distinctive colour palette and a return to the values of Classic Space.
I now find myself wanting to explore this world a little further: bringing the United Galaxies back to Krysto, and using this as the basis for some MOCs of my own.
Nearly thirty years have passed since the United Galaxies’ Forces launched their last expedition Ice Planet 2002.
The Odyssey Base has since been abandoned after a computer virus, planted by Spyrius agents, rendered its systems inoperative. The United Galaxies’s rocket research program has been moved to several decentralised locations. A strange, coded signal has been detected coming from the area of the long-abandoned base in the meantime. A code not used by the forces of United Galaxies But from whom, and why?The Space Police say that an uninhabited, abandoned planet is outside their jurisdiction. Others say that the Space Police just want to chase bad guys that they know.
And so a new expeditionary force is set up, drawing upon the expertise of the earlier researchers. Their mission: identify the source of the signal, secure any residual artifacts from the original mission and, finally, establish whether there is any threat to the United Galaxies. If the Union is being threatened, neutralise the source of the problem…with extreme prejudice.
It was 1977. Already the series was a decade old, and it was screening after school in melbourne. My family had just bought their first colour television, and the theme music started pulsing through the house. The title card promised that the program would be in colour… and it was. I was still of an age where I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the characters were all ‘Live Action’ after the animated titles. But never mind. This was the program that introduced me to the cliffhanger episodeic ending….Tune in Tomorrow: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel. The program was about as serious as eight year old me could deal with.
But there was, undoubtedly, one thing that made this series realy cool: and extended into the world outside the living room: The Batmobile. This modified Ford Futura allowed Batman and Robin to leap over the door, and into their respective sets. Thank heavens it was never raining in Gotham City! But the really awesome thing was the Corgi Batmobile car: gloss black, with small figures of batman and Robin, as well as an image of Batman embossed on the bottom service of the car. But it had other great play features: push on the radar on the hood, and a blade would flick out ( of course, it was not sharp enough to inflict actual injury) and the rocket launcher. I have no idea what the actual rockets were like that came with the toy. My friends had long lost theirs. Instead, we used matchsticks. It was all fun and games, unless somebody loses an eye…
I never owned that car. That’s OK. With Mint in sealed Box versions going for thousands, and well played with, but restored versions selling for many hundreds, I can live with it. However, I’d be lying if I were to say I was not in any way excited when I discovered this set amongst some that the LEGO Group had sent over for me to take a look at.
The Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile has 345 parts, 2 minfigures and will retail for $USD29.99/ €29.99 / £34.99. It will be available from the usual sources from April 26, 2021. Read on after the break to see how the build comes together.
Last Thursday, Jay’s Brick Blog and I announced that we are collaborating on a podcast for LEGO Fans – Extra Pieces. Now, in some parts of the world, it was April Fools Day, and some people seemed uncertain as to our actual sincerity.
It turns out that was not a hoax. In our firtst real episode, Jay and I discuss some of the our favorite April fools LEGO gags for 2021, as well as the new Star Wars Helmets, Probe Droid and also discuss the recent challenges faced by LEGO Fans, thanks to the LEGO VIP Program, and how it might change what it means to be a collector of LEGO Exclusive products…