Posts Tagged ‘BrickJournal’

First Look at LEGO Hobbit Minifigs and San Diego Comic Con News

July 9, 2012

The 2012 San Diego Comic Con starts Wednesday and once again I’ll be on the scene checking out all the cool new LEGO models and exclusives.

I did a little digging on the internet and found this on The Hollywood Reporter

Here we see Gandalf, Dwalin, Bombur, Bofur, Bilbo and Balin

Its the first I’ve seen any official images of the Hobbit Minifigs and I’m sure they will have the actual figs on display at the LEGO booth.

There will also be these stunning Gandalf and Bilbo life size figures on display:
Via: USA Today

I’m really looking forward to seeing the models in person. 😀

Still no word on what the LEGO Comic Con Exclusive will be this year. They like to keep that under wraps until the very last moment. So I guess I’ll find that out on Preview Night. I will do my best to actually post some of Comic Con while I’m there.

Oh and for those that are lucky enough to go there are two LEGO related panels that I know of —

On Friday featuring your’s truly 😉
3:00-4:00 LEGO Fan Community and What They Build— Jim Foulds (community relations manager for the LEGO Group), Joe Meno (editor of BrickJournal Magazine), Mariann Asanuma (author of modelbuildingsecrets.com), and Steve Decraemer (model builder for LEGOLand California) discuss the LEGO Fan community, what they build, how they build it, and what it takes to become a member of this growing community. Room 28E

And on Saturday
5:00-6:00 BrickJournal— In the past decade, a community has grown around the toy bricks produced by the LEGO Group. With Joe Meno (editor of BrickJournal magazine and contributor to The Cult of LEGO book) as your guide, see how the community has grown and what they have built, with builders Brandon Griffith and Elizabeth Cortes, plus Jim Foulds of the LEGO Community Team and LEGO certified professional builder Nathan Sawaya. Dust off those bricks and join the community of LEGO builders! Room 23ABC

So if you are going, come to the panels. And if you aren’t I’ll be there to post the happenings. 😀

The Cult of LEGO — Book Review

November 10, 2011

Joe Meno and the wonderful people at No Starch Press were kind enough to provide me with a copy of Joe Meno and John Baichtal’s new book The Cult of LEGO. I received the book a little over a week ago, but up until tonight I didn’t have the time to actually read through the book, so although its a little late (literally and figuratively) here’s my review.

Although I’ve heard the book being touted as a coffee table book that isn’t entirely true. There is definitely more to it than just a set of pictures. In some ways it is like a picture book version of Jon Bender’s LEGO A Love Story. Both books try to encompass the enormity of all things LEGO. It is a daunting task and one that could hardly fit into any one book. Heck, I’ve been writing this blog for over three years and I’ve still not run out of things to say, so trying to share that with the non-LEGO fan in a comprehensive way is quite an undertaking. 😉

This book starts naturally with the history of the brick. Even though the book is 304 pages long, it almost read like a Reader’s Digest with short sections briefly covering each topic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it continues to engage the reader. I read through a good half of the book and skimmed over all of it in two hours. There are chapters on everything from minifigs and LEGO conventions to Mindstorms and LEGO Art.

Pages and pages of pictures fill the book and it is beautifully bound. It is certainly a wonderful addition to any LEGO fan’s library as well as a way to show your non-LEGO friends that you are not alone in your obsession.

Like Bender’s book much of what was in this one was familiar to me. There were many familiar names and faces of my fellow LEGO friends. One of my few complaints is that there seemed to be heavy emphasis on some builders while other just as notable (if not more so) builders were completely missing from the pages. This may or may not have been intentional as you can’t focus on every great builder.

What I do like about The Cult of LEGO is that it is yet another step to bring the LEGO hobby into the mainstream. It naturally talks about the “Dark Ages” (the years a person stops playing with LEGO) that many AFOLs went through in their teens or twenties. Most of us didn’t know there were other LEGO fans out there when we were kids. We didn’t have First LEGO League, LEGO Cons, or online forums to share our passion with so many stopped when they thought they were too old or that playing with a kid’s toy wasn’t “cool.” I never had a Dark Age, but I’m the exception not the rule. Hopefully with books like this and all the outlets that are now available LEGO can be seen as a legitimate hobby.

I love how this book again shows that LEGO is not like any other toy. It may start as just a bunch of bricks but imagination, innovation and creativity ensue. Those that played with LEGO as children now are the engineers, computer programmers and rocket scientists of today. I would certainly recommend this as a great read and a window into the world that is LEGO. 🙂

Sean’s Lifesize Bike

May 11, 2011

BrickMagic 2011

I’m a little bit late on mentioning BrickMagic which happened Mother’s Day weekend. I couldn’t attend unfortunately, but one of the special guests was LEGO Certified Professional Sean Kenney. Sean created a lifesized lime green bicycle while attendees were encouraged to create the most congested traffic jam around the bike.

BrickMagic 2011

There are lots of pictures of BrickMagic on Brickapolis’ photostream set and of course on Joe Meno’s photostream (founder of BrickJournal and BrickMagic)

I have to say, one of my favorites is of Joe dressed as a LEGO Stormtrooper 😀
BrickMagic 2011

LEGO Maersk Train 10219 Video

February 24, 2011

Check out a video with the creator of the new Maersk Train set.

 

Even though I’m not really that big into trains, I’m certainly looking forward to all the new Maersk elements available. 🙂

Also, if you want to see detailed images of the new set check out Brickjournal.com

NY Toy Fair 2011 — Part 1

February 13, 2011

As I still have not made it to the New York Toy Fair, I have to rely on others like Joe Meno of BrickJournal that are on sight. The Captain Jack Sparrow model is on display but LEGO also unveiled another, equally iconic Disney Model — Lightning McQueen


Containing 325,000 bricks, this model weighs 3 tons, measures 12.5 x 6.5 x 4.5 feet, and took 2,000 hours for Master Model Builders to create!

Joe already has a large amount of photos on his Flickr stream of all the new and exciting LEGO models that will be coming out this year. The new themes and elements make me really excited for LEGO this year. I will be posting additional photos from Joe’s Flickr stream and talking about all the new themes in coming posts.

Comic Con 2010 Thursday and Friday

July 23, 2010

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Before I say anything else I have to just say — yes, that is what you think, and yes, it is real!

From my sources I got confirmation that that is an official LEGO Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean! Now if you were paying attention earlier when LEGO canceled the regular Pirates line while at the same time announcing the LEGO/Disney relationship all you had to do was put two and two together. This prototype model was leaked into the Prince of Persia display as a sneak peek of this new line. No word on when it will come out but I would have to guess that it would be June of next year, about a month before the movie will be released.

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Here you can see the built CubeDudes of the Comic Con exclusive set. The models are pretty cute, my only complaint is the $75 price and the very thin cardboard box. Angus MacLane, father of the CubeDude movement, was there today signing. He’s a pretty cool guy. I’ve met him before at Bricks by the Bay and have chatted with him online many times, but it’s always nice to talk to him in person. 🙂

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Not only is there a raffle to buy the CubeDudes but there is also a drawing for a custom display case with three Boba Fetts — White Boba, Gold Boba, and Silver Boba. This is the one I forgot to snap a shot of before.

Although I usually stay away from mentioning Mega Blocks at all I had to post this, their attempt at model building.
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I have seen models by them before in New York’s Times Square Toys R Us. And I was equally unimpressed with those models. The Halo fig and the Iron Man Bust seem rather blocky (pardon the pun) and about twenty years behind LEGO in design quality.

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On a totally unrelated note Joe Meno of BrickJournal had his panel yesterday. It was really well presented and well attended. Jim Foulds (LEGO), Jonathan Bender (LEGO a Love Story), Brandon Griffith, and Nathan Sawaya made up the panel.

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Attending the BrickJournal panel was Gabriel Cuevas, a huge LEGO fan and aspiring Model Builder, who created a LEGO Comic Con shirt using the brick baseplate t-shirt

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Today, with the BrickJournal Panel behind him, Joe Meno is letting himself have a little fun with the Staro mask I found for him. 😀

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Another random LEGO find was the Brick Testament books at the Quirk Books Booth.

Its been a pretty crazy couple of days and there are still two days to go. Now I’ve got to go to bed so I can wake at the insane hour of 3 am to get decent parking tomorrow.

White Boba Fett at the San Deigo Comic Con

July 16, 2010

News and rumors are coming from FBTB that the elusive White Boba Fett minifigure will be handed out at next weeks San Diego Comic Con.

LEGO is working with the 501st Legion to help distribute the figures. These will not be available at LEGO’s booth. Supplies are limited. No further details yet. It may involve participating in their popular Droid Hunt activity they seem to do at every convention where they have a presence. If I get anymore info, I’ll post here.

Now if this is anything like the distribution of much coveted Golden C-3PO a few years back, then they will most likely only be giving them to children. But as I will once again be helping out at the LEGO booth, I will find out soon enough how they will be passed out and let you know. 😉

The rumor part from FBTB is this:

Gooker1 from our forums reports that the latest issue of Toyfare magazine has revealed what LEGO’s San Diego Comic Con exclusive will be: a set of Cube Dudes designed by the father of the Cube Dude movement himself, Angus MacLane. The Dudes will be R2-D2, C-3PO, Obi-wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Captain Rex. The convention runs 4 days, 5 if you include preview night, so I’m guessing they will sell one Dude per day. Stay tuned for more info as I get it.

Now I don’t know how true this is, there have been no other posts anywhere that I can find that confirm or deny this. If it is true, than it is very cool! I will know soon enough next Wednesday, so not to worry I will be keeping on the case!

As for other LEGO Comic Con news, there will be both a BrickJournal panel and a LEGO Universe panel. I look forward to going to both.

If you are coming to Comic Con, stop by the LEGO booth and check it out. If not, don’t worry. I will do my best to post the happenings over the course of the convention. 🙂

LEGO A Love Story — Book Review

May 19, 2010

Now I normally don’t review books on this blog, but then this is no ordinary book. 😉

When I met Jonathan Bender at BrickCon in 2008 and he said he was writing a book about LEGO I thought it was a pretty interesting idea. He even did a mini interview with me amidst the hustle and bustle that is BrickCon and all I remember thinking after it was over was “I might be mentioned in the book.”

Jonathan was nice enough to send me a copy of the book and I received it a few days before the official release date. For me reading this book was very different than it would be for someone not already inducted into the world of LEGO fans. 90% of the people he mentions are friends, former coworkers and colleagues of mine. Reading this book was like peaking over Jonathan’s shoulder over the year or so that he spent researching the LEGO conventions, LEGO company, and the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) community as he went from a relative newbie to hobnobbing with Master Model Builders. And seeing the LEGO world through his eyes was interesting.

Like most AFOLs Jonathan had a “Dark Age” — the time period when you stop playing with LEGO as a child and then rediscover the little plastic bricks as a hobby when you are an adult. I never had a Dark Age, being one of a rare few who have played with LEGO continually my entire life. So seeing what it felt like for Jonathan to be embarrassed about purchasing LEGO sets and wondering nervously what people will think about him when they see it as his hobby was a novel (pardon the pun) experience. 🙂

Even with all my knowledge (some have called it encyclopedic) of LEGO, both the product and the company, I learned quite a lot I didn’t know. Of course I never really did “research” on LEGO per se, I’ve just acquired it over time. Of the various travels and meetings Jonathan went on the only thing I haven’t done yet is travel to Denmark itself. That is still an as yet unfulfilled dream of mine.

I am mentioned in the book, in fact there are a whole 4 pages that mention me (pgs 247-250 if you’re interested) and there is an obscure reference to this very blog involving the Castle Advent calendar. I only know that he’s talking about me in the book because he emailed a complaint about the daily posts of each mini set while I was doing them. 😀

So, what do I think of the book? A definite read, for both you and your non-understanding non-LEGO friends and family. This isn’t really written as an information book, but more as one man’s journey to reclaim a piece of his childhood and redefine him as person. He didn’t really go into this project planning on turning into a LEGO fan, but he sure came out of it as one. Seeing what LEGO can do through his eyes might open up your friends and family to better understanding why we do what we do. 😉

LEGO City Fireman Model

April 15, 2010

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Today I got quiet a surprise when I visited my local Toys “R” Us. There was a life size model of a Firefighter made out of LEGO bricks.

Being the picky Master Model Builder that I am, I couldn’t just look at and admire it, I had to study how it was built.

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The first thing I noticed was that it was very round. Now as I know a little about LEGO building and how many of the models are done now I figured immediately that it was probably designed with Brickbuilder, the internal LEGO computer program that takes 3D computer images and turns them into LEGO models. There a subtle clues that the average non-Master Builder would never recognize.

Here’s a Model Building Tip for you. If you notice the gray stripe right under his belt in the front the way the brick layers curve tell me that this was originally designed by a computer. Why? Well if the model had been designed by hand the curve would have been smoother. A computer doesn’t have the “artist’s eye” so it doesn’t see the abrupt curves as a problem. When Brickbuilder was first used this problem showed up a lot. Over all the model looked impressive, but there were all these funky curves per layer that didn’t make any sense. My guess is that the model designer fixed most of the curves on this model but either didn’t notice the one I mentioned or didn’t see it as important enough to fix.

I encountered that problem myself when I was building my giant lady bug. Transferring the half-dome to make the shell only took a few minutes, but fixing all the funny curves took three days. I also added the black dots at the same time.

Erik Varszegi, Master Model Builder extraordinaire, truly is a master taking Brickbuilder to the next level. He uses it as it is meant to be used, as just one more tool in the Master Builder’s bag of tricks.
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In fact there is a great article about designing with Brickbuilder that Erik wrote in Issue 9 of the BrickJournal Magazine

Just because many of the LEGO models start out with a computer designing them doesn’t mean that Master Model Builders will disappear. The Master Builders still have lots of steps to do before it can go from computer screen to actual 3D LEGO model. 😉

So if you get a chance to see this at your local Toys “R” Us, take a moment to look and admire it.

Boys and Girls Club builds a Disney Toy Story Mosaic

March 27, 2010

Just this last week a massive LEGO mosaic was assembled up in Los Angelos.

LEGO Master Builder Erik Varszegi joined kids from the Hollywood Boys & Girls Club to assemble a one-of-a-kind mural in support of the Toy Story & Toy Story 2 release on Blu-ray™ (March 23). Kids from six different Boys & Girls Clubs across the US in regional markets each built a portion of the elaborate Toy Story mural out of LEGO® bricks, which were joined together for the first time in Los Angeles. Participating Cities included: Washington DC, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Denver and Los Angeles.

via BrickJournal

A couple days before this event Erik dropped by to our local LUG (LEGO User’s Group) SandLUG. It was nice to see my friend since I haven’t seen him in person in years. He was a little jet lagged though, he’d just arrived from Australia.

SandLUG March 1

One of the highlights of the meeting was Super Minotaurus — a super-sized version of the LEGO Game Minotaurus. It featured 3 minotaurs, 8 players, two dice and twice the board game space. It was a much more interesting variation than the original game. Predictably the game took hours. 😀

Super Minotaurus