BBTB was held in the Fremont Marriott, which is right off the highway on my route home from Santa Cruz. Lovely con, and it goes a little something like this.
As usual, captions refer to the pictures above them.
On my way up Thursday night, I hit 190,000 miles on my odometer. I'm still amazed my little Prius even moves.
I get to the hotel late Thursday night, during the early bird set-up time. Pretty empty. I go back home and try to sleep.
...but not before taking this picture of a bitchin' mosaic from Legoland.
I come back at about 10 the next morning, and things are getting busier. A picture that would illustrate that statement has disappeared.
The Statue of Liberty was very popular with the public.
The sheer magnitude of space stuff.
Clandestine picture #1: Slice151. Never said a word to him, but he looks exactly like a teacher I had in high school, so I feel like we're brothers.
The Ochre Jelly collection.
This... is the Colbert Report.
Liked that movie.
Clandestine picture #2: Bill Ward, head honcho, getting interviewed by the local news. Mispronounced my name three times, but that's basically tradition. (Rhymes with "Tyler", not "jailer", just so we're clear).
Bill's LOVE and LEGO sculptures.
Then it was lunch. Had a $12 burger while eavesdropping on a conversation between a Mike Tyson lookalike and a woman who either was, or wants to be, the first African-American female vice-president of PG&E.
Oodles of trains.
Ochre Jelly's Mike and my Boo's Door: a union forged in Hell! Nothing can stop us now! *turns up Slayer*
Lego represention of Gary McIntire.
Love that game.
Great cracks in the wall.
"We should split up."
"You're right; we can do more damage that way."
Pair of Wall-Es.
Clandestine picture #3: Gary McIntire. On the scale of awesomeness, he's at about this level.
Gary's jacket, the source of his power, unguarded. Grab it and run!
Some of the upcoming Toy Story 3 sets. Wicked awesome.
There was also a glimpse at upcoming Space Police sets, including this minifig, which is clearly some sort of space pimp.
I could stare at these sculptures all day and still be at a loss for words. And I've seen them twice now.
Some say that he has the largest collection of sand red in the Northern Hemisphere, and that he can only build in the pale light of an autumn full moon. All we know is, he's called the Stig.
Totoro can see you when you're sleeping.
Clandestine picture #4: The Reverend Brendan Powell Smith, of The Brick Testament. Very peculiar character. Rocks a suit. I'm pretty sure I made an ass of myself when I came up to talk to him. It's a running theme.
Angus MacLane's Carl Fredrickson near my steampunk Wall-E and Boo's Door; I am THAT close to greatness. Would've loved to meet him; he'd be one of the most famous people I've ever been in the same room with. Him and Michael Giacchino.
Angus MacLane's army of CubeDudes.
CubeDude Dude and Co.
The toy crane was one of the best things at the con, in my opinion.
Clandestine picture #5: Iain "Ochre Jelly" Heath, the British Invader (behind table, in Le/Go shirt). Probably thought I was completely retarded for a second when I asked where he's from; I swear I was asking what PART of the UK. I was also right next to him when we were packing up our MOCs: he carefully deconstructed his figures and wrapped them up carefully, I took steampunk Wall-E and dropped him four feet into a cardboard box, shattering him like a wine glass. It's the American way.
There was this sexy five-story tall Grand Emporium at the LEGO table the first day.
The next day, I arrived to find it had grown. Considerably.
I'd kill to take that home with me.
Some of Mark Benz's stolen LEGO, presented as recovered: broken and dusted for prints.
Ingenious sheep design.
The good Doctor.
Pilgrimage on the LEGO store; guess who got the shaft?
Swag on the LEGO table.
The card house I built during one of the keynote addresses. I mean no disrespect to Mads Nipper, but keynote addresses just aren't my thing. The inner workings of the LEGO company, though enlightening, aren't really my interests. I'm content just to play with the toys.
There were two people I'd never met who recognized me. One was a kid who saw my name badge and kind of did a double take, said the name sounded familiar, and then handed me this instruction manual for a Prince of Persia set, saying "Merry Christmas". It was clearly spy talk; we're storming the embassy at midnight.
The second, I believe, was this charming fellow, who said my stuff helped him out of his dark age, and that was simply awesome. Between that and the awards, it's been a wonderful weekend for ego stroking.
Saturday night, I won three awards, all of which were surprising and completely unjust. The first was "Most Original" in the art category for my R2-D2 ghetto blaster.
The third was the "Artistic Brick Award" for Boo's Door. Of the three of them, this one is the most questionable. That was a big honking award, right before "Best in Show", and it went to Boo's Door? I question your call, judges, but I gladly accept your award before you realize what you've done.
Sunday: public day. I think we got about 2,000 people in. The place is packed.
So packed, in fact, that they have to start turning people away. At about 2:00, they close the admission line. People are pissed.
Once the public leave, it's time to pack everything up.
The remains of the R2-D2 boombox and steampunk Wall-E; may they rest in pieces.
Packing away the Legoland mosaic.
And then it was over. I said my goodbyes, got in my car, and headed onto the freeway, straight on into frantic oblivion. Safety. Obscurity. Just another freak, in the freak kingdom.
Next time you have an opportunity to talk to Fradel (Slice151), don't pass it up. That guy is hilarious. Nice job on the awards, and the coverage of the event for all of us stuck on the outside looking in.
Great coverage and congrats on the awards. Funniest thing that stood out to me was that someone who... obviously was linked to the Lego event in someway... was allowed to write a public sign with the word "leggo" on it... mind boggling really. ~ Chris.
Hella good coverage of the event, Alex!!! Thanks for taking the time and effort to put this together. Congrats on those awards, as well - I'm pretty confident they were QUITE just. Looks like this may be an event that really prospers!
Thanks for sharing Alex! The wife and I were hoping to attend, but just couldn't foot the bill of both this and BW. Next year though we will definitely make an appearance since it's MUCH closer to us. LOL
Finally, after seeing multiple posts of different conventions around the country, I can finally say, "I was there!" I just can't believe how much stuff I missed! Next time I want to join the convention, if just so I don't have to fight the crowds all day. Nice job with the commentary, the awards, everything.
I remember the hookers! Great con, loved every bit of it. I spent over $70 at the vendors afterwards: could've spent way more :) And funny, I looked at the pic of the public crowd and actually found myself and my dad! I live in the SC area, too... I was stoked when TBB announced that there was going to be a convention in the area :D Great overview! Seeya next year! ;)