Japan BrickFest 2018 – Event Report

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I have recently returned from Japan BrickFest 2018. The fourth Kobe Fan Weekend took place on Rokko Island, in the port city of Kobe, near Osaka and Kyoto (Just as Geelong is near Melbourne, but with more frequent trains).  Organised by Edwin Knight, and members of the Kansai LEGO Users Group (KLUG), this event is a LEGO® hub event for Asia.  Exhibitor’s attended from all over the world – predominantly countries around Asia, but the USA and Australia were also represented.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and set up in one of the two gymnasiums used for the display, accompanied by the majority of builders visiting from overseas. We shared the space with the Great Ball Contraption,  a brick built monorail and a train layout.  LEGOLAND Japan had a display, and there was also an area to get your hands on some bricks and just build! The other gymnasium had many exhibitors from around Japan, and a theatre had larger scale models from members of the Kansai LEGO Users Group.

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My MOC: NEXO Classic Space

I had taken my NEXO Classic Spaceships. [imagine the 1978-79 Classic Space Sets built with NEXO Knights elements and colours] This was the third time I had displayed them this year, but the first time they had travelled more than 1000 km from home. ….I set about the task of discovering how my models had survived at the hands of international baggage handlers, as well as myself bouncing between multiple railway stations.

I set up my terrain and installed the lighting.  Everyone I met was extremely friendly, offering words of encouragement as my various models were unwrapped in more pieces than I remembered them being in when I wrapped them up.

In the name of ergonomics, I would get up and walk around for a few minutes between rebuilds. In real life I would steal the chance to look around some of the other exhibits in the hall:  Mechs were gathering next to me, tanks behind me and next to me, beside me, were some amazing bricks that opened and unfolded, and played air guitar. In between were an amazing array of characters.

Character builds dominated the exhibition halls: some were BrickHeadz, many were not. Unfortunately, I had no idea who many of them were.  Some were from manga and anime, others from history and video games. Some I suspect were from real life.  There was a remarkable level of attention to detail for relatively small models, and I think there are a number of factors which contribute to this. Continue reading

Building Community Ties With Bendigo Bricks

In Local News…

The Bendigo LEGO Users Group are preparing for their annual exhibition ‘Bendigo Bricks’ this weekend. Around two hours drive from Melbourne, this show is one of the largest LEGO events in the regional Victoria.30443422_1906014416089135_7835978552343265280_n

Running  from 10 am on the 14th and 15th of April, funds raised from the event will, in part, help support the 1st Bendigo Scout Group send a number of youth members to the Australian Jamboree in South Australia next January.

With over 60 exhibitors attending from around the country, the best travelled model on display has come from the Netherlands.

As well as over 70 tables of exhibits featuring hundreds of thousands of LEGO Bricks, there will be over twenty thousand bricks for visitors to play and build with.

There will be local, as well as international landmarks build from LEGO Bricks. Why not read about the model of the Bendigo Joss House temple in the Bendigo Advertiser here. There will also be models that move and models that amaze!

All exhibitors are volunteering their time to share their love and fascination of what can be done with LEGO Bricks.  There will also be the opportunity to purchase examples of LEGO photography, as well as old and new sets.

This is a great example of different groups in the community working to gather to support each other.  If you are in the area, why not come and see the show, and help the Bendigo Lego Users Group support the 1st Bendigo Scout Group. Are you looking forward to your community’s LEGO exhibitions this year? why not leave a note about them below.  Until next time,

Play well.

Brickvention 2018 is coming January 19-21. Win a Double Pass

EHI320595-011017060101It is almost January.  This means that Brickvention is just around the corner.  Brickvention is Australia’s premiere LEGO® Fan Convention and Public Exhibition. Starting on Friday, January 19th with a fan convention, there are two days of public exhibition running on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st. As in recent years, the event will take place in the beautiful heritage listed Royal Exhibitions Buildings, just a few minutes from the central business district of Melbourne. LEGO fans from around the country come to exhibit their LEGO Models,  catch up with old friends and to make some new ones.  All while sharing their passion for LEGO Bricks. Continue reading

Brickography: On show this weekend only!

Last night I attended the opening of Kale Frost’s Brickography, an exhibition of LEGO based images and MOCs at the Artboy Callery in Greville St, Prahran.

IMG_8473Kale (@frostbricks on Instagram) is a Melbourne based brickartist and photographer who began his Instagram 365 day challenge a couple of years ago and forgot to stop after twelve months. With a keen eye for whimsy, coupled with fantastic building skills, Kale’s MOCs have previously been featured on the Brothers Brick, Blocks Magazine and as inspirational images featured in the LEGO® Life App.

For this weekend only, he has filled the walls of the ArtBoy Gallery with both his own impressive body of images, as well as images from some of the notable LEGO Instagrammers around the world including Brett Willson (@brett_wilson), CJ Simmons (@harleyquin), Luigi Priori (priovit70), Phil Korn (@phil_korn), Arvin Coloma (@nivrana), Andrew Morrey (@cheepjokes) and others.

 

Continue reading

Lego Certified Store to Open at DreamWorld on the Gold Coast

Australia’s first ‘Lego Certified Store’, is set to open in November 2016. It will be located at Dreamwlogo_dworld, on Queensland’s Gold Coast.  The shop will cover an area of 350 square meters, and as a Certified Store, is designed in partnership with the LEGO group. Construction is due to begin in July.

Owned, and operated by Ardent Leisure, Dreamworld’s parent company, the new store will feature exclusive products releases and events. Being located at Dream World, the LEGO Certified Store is looking to add to the attraction of the precinct, which is one of Australia’s top tourist destinations.  There will be access to the store from outside and within the park: so you shouldn’t need to pay to get in.  How much you pay before you leave is, of course, up to you!

LEGO Certified Stores are owned and operated by third parties, as opposed to LEGO brand stores seen throughout Europe and USA (which are owned and operated by LEGO).  The store layout is  fairly consistent around the world, and includes a ‘real’ Pick-a-Brick wall, a ‘Brand Ribbon’ display of assembled models, and the ‘Living Room’ – an interactive play area.

With tourist numbers in South East Queensland continuing to increase, the LEGO Certified Store will become a destination in itself for many LEGO fans, young and old, into the future.

This news follows on from the announcement of a LEGOland Discovery Centre opening  in Melbourne in mid 2017, at Chadstone shopping Centre.  It will be interesting to see how the retail experience to be offered there will differ to the one on the Gold Coast.  The shops operating in LEGOland parks around the world are NOT operated as LEGO Brand Stores, and exclusive sets are not generally available to be purchased there.  LEGOland Parks and Discovery Centres have been operated by Merlin since 2005, not the LEGO group.

Discussion on various forums regarding other LEGO Certified Stores around the world suggest that Pick-a-Brick walls, where you can fill a cup with a selection of pieces from wall mounted containers, are not a guaranteed feature.  PaB purchases are also more likely to be charged by weight rather than volume. The other significant difference with LEGO Brand Stores is the applicability of LEGO VIP points.  Apparently LEGO VIP points are not awarded at LEGO Certified Stores as they are in LEGO Brand Stores, nor can they be used to supplement your purchase.  Exclusive sets are sold in the LEGO Certified Stores, so this will be a great opportunity for travellers to pick these set up BUT fitting them into your luggage may not be the thing if you are looking to maintain that ‘Mint In Sealed Box’ experience. The Lego Certified Store is likely to offer polybags and monthly builds. It is unclear as to whether these will be the same offers seen at LEGO brand stores.

The rambling brick is excited by this  development, but is still going to visit Billund and other stores in Europe this year! Gold Coast will have to wait…

The full press release for today’s Announcement can be read here: Continue reading