BrickWorld 2013 Recap . . Greetings MOCpages! And welcome to my coverage of BrickWorld Chicago 2013! This annual event had been held in Wheeling Il. for a number of years but this year moved to a new convention center in Schaumburg Il. Before we get started I just want to say thank you to all the members of VirtuaLUG that made our collaborative THE talk of the show! You guys rock! Full coverage of the Wizard of Oz can be found here.
Lee Jones did an interview with "Beyond the Brick" about our Wizard of Oz Collab that can be found here. Great job on this Lee!
On Saturday, I was lucky enough to do an interview on LAML Radio about our Wizard of Oz collab. Please note that that link goes to the LAML homepage as my interview isn't posted yet. I'll update the link when the interview is posted.
Ok then, it’s a long post with LOTS of pics so let’s get started shall we?
Thursday morning, 8:30 AM. The car is loaded with lots of Lego and one eager daughter. She was more excited to see Lee’s kids than the event but hey, at least she was happy to go!
By 9:15 she wasn’t nearly as excited as I quickly put her to work getting the tables ready
The V-LUG table is ready to go. My builds are on the table and now… we wait for everyone else to start showing up.
You’ll notice the most important part of what I bring with me… the 2 liter of Mt. Dew. Don’t leave home without it.
Tyler Halliwell shows up pretty early as well and gets started on assembling Shifu’s build.
For the most part, the builds that were shipped arrived intact. One of the few exceptions was the house that Heath had built to go on my Munchkinland build.
It was about 11ish that Maddie Jones made her way down. She was a real trooper as my daughter basically attacked her. Thanks for putting up with her Maddie! In the background there you’ll see Lee and Danette Jones and Dave and Stacy Sterling. Dave quickly acquired the nickname “Chibi Wolverine” as you’ll understand when you can see his face more clearly later.
Yeah for Jimmy John’s!
Heath Flor, Adam Stasiek and Tyler Halliwell working on the connections to get Bart’s tornado to work.
I also set up the Avengers layout that was built by the kids at my daughter’s school. Full coverage of this build can be found here.
Lee, Tyler and Dave Kaleta working on the Dark Forest.
Dave came up with a great idea of making a “carpet of leaves” to cover the top of the forest. It really turned out well.
The Sterlings and Dr. Jones. You can see Dave’s Wolvie facial hair much better in this pic.
On Friday afternoon ElBarto FINALLY decided to show up… Here he is with his lovely family. It was great to finally meet him in person.
Lee, Maddie and Stacy unloading parts. I swear the two bags he brought were Bags of Holding from Dungeons and Dragons. Any part we needed he’d just “magically” whip out a whole ziplock full of it.
Bart, Dave and Tyler. I’m still not sure if Tyler’s really that tall or Bart’s just that short?
Friday evening and Adam Reed Tucker shows up with the Emerald City. Like I said in my Oz post, this dude cranked this thing out in SIX days!
The Friday night Charity Auction. In this pic you can see a REALLY grainy picture (sorry, camera has a horrible zoom) of Lego’s new set that was unveiled at the event. For those that can’t tell by the profile, it’s the Sydney Opera House.
After the auction it’s back down to work. Here’s Heath and Bart getting the final touches done on the connection for the tornado.
I know you can’t see any detail in this pic… but’s it’s Emerald City during the world of lights “preview” on Friday night.
10:00 AM on Saturday and the public is ready to come in! There’s Maddie doing her volunteer duty.
My wife and daughter came by on Saturday to take a look around and see the event. Here she is talking with Danette Jones.
One of the families from the St. Thomas of Villanova Lego club came by to present Lee with a gift (the picture board that Lee is holding, decorated with Lego and thank you notes from the kids) for all the help he gave in getting the parts and figs for their display. Lee’s gonna kill me for saying this but he got a little choked up and I swear I almost saw a tear there at one point… not quite, but almost.
I walked around the entire hall with my wife and daughter and got some pics of all the cool stuff on display. I’ll just shut up for a few minutes and let you all enjoy the pics…
Here’s Adam showing my daughter his roller coaster setup.
Isn’t she stylin’ in her official Virtualug Wizard of Oz T-Shirt?
...and here's me shutting up for a bit again...
On Sunday afternoon, Lee and Dano Jones decided to take an aerial video of Oz.
That cool little VTOL craft has two wireless cameras on it and they flew it back and forth over the display a couple of times. Once I get the link (he said he'll post it on Flickr), I’ll link it here so you can see the video.
Closing ceremonies… all too soon if you ask me. Man this BrickWorld week just FLIES by. In this pic you can see the amount of money raised for the charity auction. With Daniel Jezek’s (the owner of Bricklink who passed away recently) mom’s donation, we set a new BrickWorld record! (we beat the record before her donation but with her help we really blew the old one out of the water!)
Ok, this pic needs a little background. First off, that’s me and Chad Phillips… pay special attention to how close that name is to Chris Phipson as it will play an integral part in this story… At closing ceremonies, Bryan Bonahoom had pretty much wrapped up the festivities with only one order of business left, the grand prize give away. The prize package was an ENTIRE line of this past year’s Batman sets. Everyone waited with baited breath as Bryan pulls out the name, looks at it and reads aloud… “And the winner is, Chris Phipson!” Of course I leap out of my chair with a resounding “YES!” and begin making my way to the front to claim my prize only to hear… “Oh wait, I’m sorry… it says Chad Phillips.” Everyone in the room stopped, including me. Everyone thought that Bryan had been messing with me. People were coming up to me telling me how crappy a joke that was that Bryan had played. Really, my heart just sank. Bryan came up to me afterwards and apologized, explaining that he had read the name wrong and it was not a “dig” in any way. I accepted his apology and went down to finish tearing down my builds. A few minutes later, I hear Bryan from behind me yelling “Phipson!” I turn around and there’s Bryan and Chad. Chad felt really bad about what happened and decided to give me one of the sets. The cool thing is, it’s one of the Batman sets that I didn’t have but wanted for the Auqaman fig but just had never gotten.
So to Chad, you sir are a standup guy and I truly hope you enjoy your prizes! Congratulations man!
To Bryan, I would like to publicly accept your apology for being a sleep deprived illiterate ;) hehehe
Ok… now that that’s over… Here we are with teardown juuuust about done. Sniff.
And of course no BrickWorld would be complete without the annual Jones/Phipson family dinner. Starting on the left side of the table we have Dano, My daughter Lily and Maddie. On the right is me, Lee, Lee’s wife Danette and at the end, my wife Peggy. The Jones’ are just… really… an amazing family. Lily walked away with a bag FULL of presents including (wait for it…) a one of a kind, pink, official VirtuaLUG (with the LUG logo on the bottom of it) dress that was made just for Lily! Lee, you guys are just TOO good!
Fourth Wall Commentary:
As it’s the end of a long post, I’ll be brief. Thank you EVERYONE that made this one of THE best BrickWorlds on record! The new hotel/convention hall was awesome and the friends/family that come together every year make me miss you all that much more when you’re gone.
I miss you all already and can’t wait for next year! See you all there!
Now then... time to get sorting and get to work for next year!
Till next time true believers!