Both BrickCon and CroatiaFest are held annually the first weekend of October at the Seattle Center. So Matija and the gang, come on down! You'll feel doubly welcomed!
Thursday afternoon, after a final sleepless night and frantic morning of last-minute building, I am at last packed and ready to go. Bugsy gives the load a final once-over to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.
Thursday night, after parking myself next door to Dr. Lee Jones and his "exercise in obsession," as he calls it (or as it's known to the kids on public day, "WOW! Look at that!"), I manage to rebuild Wackyland, which actually did not disintegrate in transport to the degree I had feared. Friday morning would be spent populating it with minifigs, as Lee continued to set up his army.
Oh my god! A lack of proper mood lighting exposes Alex Eylar for the fraud he is! Can't build at all, that guy.
This year's theme was "Imagination in Motion." Seeing as how I did not manage to work all the moving parts and play features into my Wackyland layout that I would have liked (read: there are none), I did the next best thing and took some video of MOCs made by people who did manage.
When Heather's glazed, glassy, unblinking stare began to make me distinctly uncomfortable, I could endure the silence no longer. "Why do you let her huff that Krylon?" I demanded.
"I know," Alex said, a wry smile beginning to tug at the corner of his mouth. "But she's just easier to deal with this way."
The Tim Inman side of town. Never got a picture of Tim myself, but here's proof he was there.
Some of the work of Ochre Jelly (another guy I managed not to get a picture of or with). Yes, Ochre Jelly is his real name. No, not really. But I can't seem to think of him as Iain, even after having now met him face to face.
The Friday lineup of events for the little MOCpages AFOL clique -- grueling arm-wrestling tournaments, after-hours Lego Store debauchery -- have been covered previously by others so there's no need to rehash them here. As to what has not been covered... we-heh-heh-heh-elllllll now... let's just say that what happens at BrickCon, can be used for blackmail later.
Public hours are an absolute madhouse. I tried hanging around near my Wackyland display, and to a lesser extent, Shannonia and The Blockheads, at times to gauge the public reaction, and even answered a question or two. But I couldn't take much of that. It was time to flee.
I headed outside about noon on Saturday and saw the line to get in not only went up the stairs to the sidewalk, it made a left turn and extended waaaaaaaayy up the sidewalk...
It kept going...
And it even kept going up the street past here, but at this point I stopped taking pictures.
I was up on one of the balconies with some other attendees getting away from the crush of humanity down below, when this guy started turning cartwheels across the floor. By the time I'd fumbled my camera out from the case hanging around my neck and got it pointed at him, he was just finishing with a flourish. I begged him to do it again, but he just waved and walked away.
Okay, so what's going on here is, on one of my infrequent cruises past during public hours to see if any figures on my layout have been knocked over (there was always at least one), I'm taking a picture of someone taking a picture of it. In the upper right you see Dr. Jones (who has a greater people tolerance than me) answering questions about his army.
Speaking of Lee Jones, he confessed the embarrassing nickname the ladies at his hospital have bestowed on him, the one thing that could make him blush... which I naturally wanted to blab to you, the MOCpages audience, as soon as possible. Then I got to thinking: it was entirely possible that Lee, knowing this, had made the whole thing up just so I WOULD blab it. This made more and more sense the more I thought about it. I mean, seriously, who wouldn't want to be known as "Dr. McHottie?" ...Awww man, look at that! I just fell into his trap!
I can't believe this did not win any prize at all. Then again, it was made by one of the "Battle Bugs" organizers, so he must have disqualified himself from the voting.
Sir Nadroj can only keep the paparazzi at bay for so long. "So Jordan, are the rumors about you and Madonna true?"
"I keep telling you people, we're just friends."
Won for "Best Technic" or something... yes, close up you see every tile is mounted on a gear, but still.
The Moonbase still clings to life... barely. I wonder if it will even be around next year at all.
Best parts of this year's Zombie Apocafest, if not for:
This years's Zombie Apocafest was also the last. I happened to be privy to a discussion about what kinds of collaborative display the folks at The Brothers-Brick might be sponsoring next year. I heard some cool ideas, but will have to wait with the rest of you to find out what they eventually decide to go with. (Roaring 20's and/or Great Depression is what I'm rooting for.)
The Exo-Force master build. Contestants each got three sets to combine into their own Exo-Force creation, and got to keep the parts. No idea who ended up winning, and never got around to looking at the creations. My attention was soon entirely focused on the Eiffel Tower speed build.
Yes, this year I took part in my first official activity. Never did the blind build, build in a bag, speed build, any of it, in Cons past. The important thing about the speed build is not necessarily winning, but that every team gets to break up the set afterwards and split up the parts. (Each member of the winning team did get the Space Needle architecture set too, though.) My team's dismal last place finish can be blamed entirely on the ineptitude of Tim Inman (left, white T-shirt), no matter what he might tell you. What does he know about building tall structures, anyway? (Picture stolen from Yupa-sama's flickr stream, aka Thanel, that weekend's roving photographer for the Brothers Brick.)
So I was mesmerized by the spherical tree technique (among many other gems) in Steve Barile's Japanese Garden... until someone standing next to me pointed out the wall next to them -- Megabloks! Wow, that's ballsy, I thought. If you're gonna add Megabloks to your MOC, you better make them look good -- and make sure the rest is so good that hardcore purists (like me) are able to overlook it. Success -- it received a well-deserved "Best in Show" award.
It's hard to tell, but that's all Lego. Give it a close inspection. You know you want to.
Operation Bricklord, a collaborative display of a generic WWII battle in the European theater. I must admit I had low expectations of this when I saw it announced -- I had visions of a laughable disaster such as only a group of pubescent Brickarms fanboys could organize. But I was pleasantly surprised to see it turn out really well. Ruins are hard to do convincingly in Lego, and I think they pulled it off. Of course, I never got around to telling any of the builders involved any of this...
Mark Sandlin plays with his Voltron. This gives you a sense of scale -- the word "epic" is much misused and overused when commenting on MOCs in my humble opinion, but I think it is justified here. Kids coming in on public day probably had no idea what it was supposed to be, but I bet their dads appreciated it.
J.D. "The Man" Luse. That's what I'm in the middle of saying in this photo -- "This guy is the man! The MAN!" J.D. is like a younger, stronger, faster, smarter, nicer, better-looking version of me. I'm funnier, though. So I guess there's that.
This just in! President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for being the subject of a Lego jigsaw puzzle mosaic assembled by children! It's as good an explanation as any I've heard yet.
An overview of the convention hall. This appears to be Sunday at the end of public hours, right before all the yellow-shirted BrickCon volunteers bust out the cattle prods to hurry the stragglers out of there.
And as we stagger toward something resembling a finish, let me put all those April Fools Day rumors to rest -- yes, Shannonia is still intact. The economy has simply halted its growth, just like many real cities. Hopefully it will be back to its ever-expanding ways by next BrickCon.
Another pic of someone taking a pic of Wackyland. I'm sure there are a ton of things I planned to talk about and forgot, but before we go I did want to mention John Tatman's cruise ship behind it. I kind of felt that having it right behind my display, mine would distract a bit from his, and his (to a lesser extent) might distract a bit from mine. But the consensus seemed to be that they complemented each other -- like the cruise ship was pulling up at a carnival, was how more than one person described it to me. And indeed, whenever I happened to be around people were equally likely to be pointing out some detail that had caught their eye in Wackyland, as they were one on the ship. Just part of the synergy, the good vibes, the lovefest, that is BrickCon.
Excellent coverage of the show! I am really sad I didn't make it to BrickCon, but I hope to come to BW again nest year and maybe meet you there! :)
I like it
October 15, 2009
The commentary under that pic of Alex and I is dead on. I laughed so hard when I read that. Oh, and that thing about the blackmail...just remember what I told Alex to tell you. Retinas... that's all I'm sayin'. ;)
Heh I feel awesome! There's a picture of me (annoying kid in green shirt on Eiffel tower team!)! Heh anyway, good to see all this stuff again, I definitely want to go back next year. Time to start plotting how to make my parents pay for the trip...
Quoting Shannon Ocean
I told Sandlin to give you a wedgie for me, please tell me he did???
Sorry to disappoint you, "mate."
Quoting Shannon Ocean
Oh yeah-does Wackyland get it's own post???
Eventually. There have been some issues. For one, has anyone else been having an inordinate amount of trouble with YouTube lately? I'm ready to put a brick through the window of their head offices. Is anyone having trouble with YouTube and/or seeing the videos embedded on this page?
Quoting The Lego Man The Lego Man
I was there on saturday, so i didnt see any of your guys' creations... I Really wanted to see Le Jones' army.
Although Lee unfortunately had to leave a day early, he and his army were still there on Saturday. You must have missed a whole side of the room not to see it.
Quoting Gruppenführer Karl Vogel
where was it held?
It's held every year the first weekend in October in Seattle, Washington, USA.
Excellent coverage, and congrats on getting one picture of me in which I don't look like a schmuck, and I-told-you-so on getting another picture of me in which I do. Oh, and since Heather has been unable to get on MOCpages since Chris rose through the ranks (coincidence?), she'd like me to say that if you ever try to blackmail her, she will drag you by your retinas to an abandoned slaughterhouse and bludgeon you to death with your own severed limbs. Cheers!
Thanks for the coverage ShannY! You have a way with the words that makes me feel like I was actually there. Good thing I wasn't though, That restraining order I have against Lee (filled in a rage after that one... incident that shall go unnamed for the sake of the audience) won't expire till early June of next year. Seriously for a second though, I have been WAITING for someone to do a GOOD version of Voltron for a long time! MAN that was cool! Thanks for sharing my friend, and I hope to finally meet you at one of these things at some point! ~ Chris.
I have to admit, I expected to see more of CrotiaFest. I'm a little disappointed. I guess those memories are just for you. But the lego stuff was great. I think I enjoy your BrickCon wrap-up more than any of the others out there. Your Wackyland set-up looks great as well.
Totally agree with Dave; not easy to put the blurred mayhem of Lego convention memories into a readable narrative but you did a great job mate. Thanks for taking the time to share so much of the mocs and the people involved in the event. PS: I told Sandlin to give you a wedgie for me, please tell me he did???