Posts Tagged ‘Joe Meno’

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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰
3:00-4:00 LEGO Fan Community and What They Buildโ€” 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 BrickJournalโ€” 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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜€
BrickMagic 2011

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

P1210940

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.

P1210924

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

P1210811
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.
P1210803

P1210800
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.

P1210834
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.

P1210844
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

P1210934
Today, with the BrickJournal Panel behind him, Joe Meno is letting himself have a little fun with the Staro mask I found for him. ๐Ÿ˜€

P1210931
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.

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

LEGO 2010 Color Palette

January 28, 2010

Thanks to Joe Meno of BrickJournal LEGO has provided the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) community with their 2010 Color Palette.

Jan Beyer, Community Operations Manager:

Dear all, finally, after many years of discussion we got the go from our Design Lab to share the internal LEGO Color scheme with the LEGO Community.

Please see the actual scheme for 2010 for sharing. You can see on the scheme the internal LEGO color number and name.

Now for me, being as I worked in the Model Shop at LEGOLAND California, the yearly color pallet is nothing new. It is a helpful tool when a Master Model Builder designs a model because that way they know what colors are actually available that year. And by cross-referencing the color code with the parts that are available, you can see if you can order the parts to build a model in the color you want.

Contrary to popular belief, the Model Shops do not have every part in every color. Although they sometimes to get parts that will never be available to the average consumer, especially in Denmark (that is unless you find it off Bricklink). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course our color pallet in the Model Shop looked a little different. It was actually a 16×32 white baseplate with all of the colors as 2×2 tiles with their color number printed on them. And yes, that means even the colors that have never been made as 2×2 tiles in sets.

For all of you who haven’t worked for LEGO, this is a nice insight in how LEGO categorizes their colors.

BrickMagic — A new 2010 LEGO Festival

January 1, 2010

I just found out from Joe Meno about a brand new LEGO convention that will be held on Mother’s Day weekend (May 6-9, 2010) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Presented by TwoMorrows Inc. and BrickJournal Magazine there isn’t too much info on this new LEGO Festival yet, but I’ll be keeping tabs on it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Registration costs $50, and entitles you to display space at the convention, which will be allocated by the event organizers based on the size, complexity, and audience appeal of your MOC(s) and the requirements of our floor plan. Other Exhibitor benefits include:

* Access to Exhibitor-only presentations and workshops
* Eligibility for door prizes donated by LEGO and other sponsors
* A goodie bag filled with special LEGO-related surprises
* Admission to a private sale event at the local LEGO retail store

Pre-registered Exhibitors take part in a private convention on Thursday and Friday. In addition to providing time for Exhibitors to assemble their creations for the Public to see on Saturday and Sunday, there are classes, presentations and roundtable discussions by AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) and plenty of opportunities to basically have a great time celebrating the hobby we all love with other like-minded builders. There will be LEGO representatives on hand as well, so you can tell them what the company is doing well (and not so well), and help them guide the direction of LEGO’s output. A complete Convention schedule will be posted here prior to the event.

Exhibitor registration deadline for BrickMagic 2010 is April 15, and your registration fee must be paid in full by that date or space will be forfeited. There will be no refunds for any cancellations after that date.

Still no word on what presentations or vendors will be there, but it is still early. On the home page it does have the scheduled highlights:

* Meet professional LEGO builder NATHAN SAWAYA, and help him assemble an incredible LEGO structure!
* See a huge hall filled with custom Lego creations by top AFOLs (“Adult Fans of Lego”) from around the country!
* Participate in workshops on building techniques and making custom minifigures!
* View animated Lego films running continuously both days!
* Watch a robotics competition by Firstร‚ยฎ Legoร‚ยฎ League teams from area schools!
* Build a special Lego Mother’s Day rose for your mom!
* Cheer for the Great Lego Boat Race, and see presentations on Mindstorms, creating LEGO Mosaics, and more!

So if you are looking for something LEGO oriented to do in May, take a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina and join in on the fun of BrickMagic. ๐Ÿ˜€

San Diego Comic Con — Recap Part 2

July 29, 2009

Here’s the last of my Comic Con coverage, at least for this year. ๐Ÿ™‚
P1180433
The minifig scale Star Trek Enterprise bridge was a highlight in the displayed MOCs on TwoMorrow’s Publishing booth. (Other than my mosaics of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I love the custom Spock the best.

P1180443
And here are two of the LEGO board games that are already available in Europe. I got to see the dice in person. Very cool! I can’t wait for the games to come to the States!

P1180423
Joe Meno, editor and creator of BrickJournal, with his Stitch ship. He actually got it signed by the director of Lilo and Stitch. That’s what makes Comic Con so cool, you get to meet people you’d never meet anywhere else. ๐Ÿ˜€

P1180089
This last shot is from the BrickJournal panel. They showed several archive photos of sets that never made it beyond the development stage. This one is of the Napoleonic Era. If you look closely in the background you can see the lord and lady in their wigs and gowns. They also showed early Divers, Western, and Space that never made it into sets.

I had a great time at Comic Con, especially because I could spend it with my friends and family. I really happy that LEGO has gotten such a presence at Comic Con and now even AFOL’s (Adult Fans of LEGO) are starting to have a presence too.

As for non-LEGO related Comic Con fun I got to see the Doctor Who panel with David Tennant (he is just as cute in real life), I met several celebrities including Michael Dorn and the entire cast of The Mighy Boosh, I went to the Masquerade, and I got to see the World Premiere of District 9 with Peter Jackson introducing it (the movie is a bit gory and too much language for my tastes, but it was still a fun experience).

I can’t wait for next year! ๐Ÿ˜€

The new Pirate sets are starting to come out!

November 10, 2008

Recently I was at LEGOLAND and I saw that the new Pirate Ship Blackbeard’s Bounty and the Soldier’s Fort sets! These are the first of the 2009 line, conveniently available just before Christmas.

2978541167_f034765b82_m

On Joe Meno’s Flicker Photostream he shows us the entire line. It is currently available at Downtown Disney at Disney World. I don’t know if they are at Disneyland yet or any of the LEGO stores, but keep your heads up. I’m sure that they will be available at other places soon. Also, here’s a tip, if you don’t live by a LEGO store, you can always call them, or LEGOLAND, and they will ship it to you. That is if you can’t wait till the sets are available on LEGO.com ๐Ÿ˜‰