Friday, October 11, 2013

Brick By Brick

All right, I apologize in advance to anyone who's not into Lego... okay, actually, screw that, I don't apologize. LEGOLEGOLEGOLEGO.

So in my last post I featured some of my favorite creations from BrickCon 2013. And then I figured, hey, maybe I should actually talk about the convention itself, since it did involve four days of my life, and the trip itself is the most (and this is kinda sad) major one I took this year. And because LEGOLEGOLEGOLEGO and so forth.

So firstly -- Seattle.

I went by train. I think if I had to choose a travel method of choice, it would be trains. I stayed at a place called the Inn At Queen Anne. Which was decent and cozy but I probably wouldn't stay there again because it was tiny and old and really cramped, and certainly quaint, but it had a lot of steps. Yeah so I think I'll copy and paste that and put it on yelp.

Thursday, I arrived.

Friday, the festivities really began.

Lego conventions tend to have fun, frustrating games you can partake in on Fridays and Saturdays. I signed up for the one-handed build, but didn't get it in, so I did the Bag Build instead. 

Bag Builds are the ones where you try to build a Lego set whose pieces are placed inside a ziplock bag. 

Which would be fine and well if they weren't asking us to try to build TREES!

They had us build this set, and it was nigh impossible. When somebody finally called "done" (meaning they'd somehow managed to to finish), we all cheered, because it meant we could all quit without shame.

Next came the Master Build, which is typically a game where a person is given two very different Lego sets and they have an hour or two in which to build something creative. However, at the 2013 Bricks Cascade event in Portland, we were only given only one set, and here at BrickCon there were three sets, which seemed awfully generous. Then we learned we were going to build with a partner. I teamed with a lady named Jean, who I first met at Bricks Cascade 2012.
These are the sets we had to work with:

We were told to build to the theme of the convention, "Pigs Vs. Cows."

So we built this:

Go ahead and try to figure that out, I dare you.

But we had fun, that's the important thing! And I do dig those little space crafts. 

On Friday night everyone gathered to listen to two guys give talks about the past, and the future, of Lego. The first talk was informative and optimistic, the second one made me feel like burying all my Lego bricks in the backyard and moving to the moon. 

But the highlight of the evening was the unveiling of THIS:

We were shown the model, then the video. Meanwhile, 400 Lego fans cheered and clapped over every new element, oohed and aahed over the Murphy bed, and desperately wished to create some kind of diversion so they could kidnap the model and run away with it.

Or was that just me?

During this Friday night gathering, they announced they needed volunteers for various things, including building some trophies. I figured I'd give that a try. I chose the brick for "Delightful Detail" and used the bricks I had on hand (and had earned via the earlier contests) to make this: 

It was awarded off on Saturday evening.

On Saturday, I competed in a blind build. We were given this set:

144 pieces, and even a four-year-old can do it!

But when you can't see what you're building? It takes nearly an hour to put that thing together.

And you get this.

Where the dragon ends up with two different-colored wings.

And he has no eyes. Because the castle somehow got the eyeball pieces.

In the afternoon, I took a pig car I'd built at home and tried it out on one of the racing ramps. It did a bunch of somersaults.

I also competed in the 101 Bricks Build, where you get three minutes to build to a theme, and you do that ten times, and you have 101 bricks to work with, the same bricks each time.

It's a pretty laid-back event, and one I really enjoy. 

Back at the exhibition hall, twelve thousand people came out to see the Lego models. I showed you a few of those models (Mocs) in my last post, but you didn't think that was all the pics I had, didya? Well, I never!

And of course, there was Gotham Park (above). I described it to you in my last post. The Moc with all its animated glory. But seeing is believing, yada yada, so here's proof of its awesomeness.

Sunday was pretty low-key. I tried to avoid the masses at the exhibition hall, and instead visited the nearby pop culture museum. You know, the one that looks like this

for some reason? 

 Anyway, it's pretty cool inside. There are Smithsonian-like exhibits, including artifacts from movies, and a sound lab, where you can jam out on keyboards, drums, or guitars.

 By mid-afternoon it was time for the Lego convention's closing ceremonies, during which I finally got my name drawn for a prize and randomly received the Harry Potter board game, which I've already harvested for parts (since I do own the intact game, and the parts are amazing.) 

Monday morning came, and I said goodbye to Seattle...

And now I'm back in the real world, where alarm clocks buzz before dawn and people expect you to work for a living. But there's Bricks Cascade in March to look forward to, and that I shall....

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