Posts Tagged ‘LEGO Architecture’

Barnes and Noble LEGO Architecture Building Event

July 27, 2013

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So last night I participated in my local Barnes and Noble’s LEGO Architecture Building Event. Not as one of the attendees, but as one of the “special guests” doing the presentation. Apparently they were doing this same event across the United States — at least I assume it was only in the States, let me know if it was else where — to promote the newest LEGO Architecture Set that is now available at both Barnes and Nobel as well as LEGO Stores nationwide.

Via The Brick Blogger

From what I’ve heard from my friends in various locations around the country the event went from fair to decent to being cancelled (due to lack of enough participants) depending on where you were. Ours was actually standing room only, but I think that was mainly due to both David Parker, a local Architecture College Professor, and my (being a former Master Model Designer) involvement. It of course helps that the event was held in Oceanside, California which is literally minutes away from LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad so there are a lot of local LEGO lovers in the area.

Now as I’ve done dozens and dozens of different types of LEGO building events over the years, I feel that I can judge on how well an event is organized and run.

First off — since I was given the talking points that were handed down from Barnes and Noble corporate, I could tell that whoever wrote said talking points knew nothing about LEGO, the LEGO Architecture line, or how to run a building event. It was set up as an hour long event, which is fine and doable, but it was not set up very well.

Second off — Barnes and Noble didn’t think to get the local LEGO LUGs (LEGO Users Groups or Clubs) involved. The only reason I was involved with mine was due to my own initiative in contacting the store and saying I was interested in doing the event. I’m not sure how the in store contact got the college professor involved, but even that only sort of worked. Yes he knows about architecture, but he didn’t know anything about LEGO Architecture or building LEGO buildings, kind of a key point when you are doing a LEGO building event.

He kept trying to stick to the “script” they had for the event, which is my third off (or point) — I took one look at said script and kind of ignored it. I knew that it wouldn’t really work in the real world. Sure it sounds great to talk about scale, reference photos and modularity. But frankly, when you have over twenty kids all they really care about is playing with the LEGO bricks.

Fourth off — This wasn’t supposed to be a kids event. Now think about that for a moment and process it. I don’t know who up at corporate had the brilliant idea that this was for teens and adults only. I mean sure, the set is designed for that age group and at $150 USD its not exactly a cheap set. But really? You honestly don’t think kids aren’t going to show up?

DSC07440 David (the professor) is the tall one in the middle.

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As you can see from the photos, our event was packed. I didn’t count, but I would guess we had at least 40 people at the event. Way more than they expected and there weren’t enough spaces for all the participants to build.

The event went pretty well, considering that David kept trying to stay on script, and I just kind of loosely did. I mean lets face it, in the script you are supposed to give the bricks to the participants after a little intro and talking about scale, then after they’ve played with the bricks for about 10 minutes we were supposed to have them focus on modular building. Well that’s all fine in theory, but once you give people bricks, they stop listening to you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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It ended up being a fun event for all the participants, in spite of the poorly planned event, and I enjoyed doing it. One of my fellow SandLUG members showed up with some of his modular buildings, which I forgot to take photos of and another member who also runs thebrickfan.com showed up to blog the event.

For the fun of it, I actually went the day before and built a quick replica of the store front.
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I’m pretty happy with the results, considering I had only parts available in the set — albeit more than what is available in a single set — and I did it in 3 hours. Its not perfect, but decent. I haven’t built like that for a long time. Taking only parts available from a constrained amount of bricks and free building with very little reference.

Of course I have to admit I did have a little bit of an ulterior motive to doing it — I wanted to see what parts were in the set and how they worked together. The set itself is pretty good, if you don’t have a lot of white bricks. If like me you do, the set is just okay.

Sure there are over 1200 parts for $150, which considering its part of the Architecture line is a much better value than any of the other sets in the theme. It is a major departure from other Architecture sets being more like a grown-up’s creator set.

I personally don’t need that amount of white at this time. That isn’t to say I may need it in the future, but I have a lot of white elements, so I won’t be getting this set anytime soon.

You can read a great review of the set itself on The Brick Blogger.

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All in all, I had fun, got to play with the set, and help others build. A good day’s work in my book. ๐Ÿ˜€

LEGO Buildings at the National Building Museum

August 25, 2011

During the end of my BrickFair Trip (after the convention) I was able to visit Washington D.C. for a couple of day. It just happened that Adam Reed Tucker — LEGO Certified Professional, designer of the LEGO Architecture sets, and founder of BrickWorld in Chicago, has a display of LEGO Architecture (what a surprise ๐Ÿ˜€ ) at the National Building Museum.

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So since I was in the area, I decided I’d check it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first thing I saw when I walked in was the donation box, a replica of the museum.
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There’s even a model of the model in the model, how meta.
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A huge banner showed some of the models
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Adam made the famous “Corncob” Marina City apartments of Chicago.
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Jin Moa Tower (and a building I can’t remember the name of)
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Falling Water (without the water ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
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The models are on display till September 9th. But unfortunately during the recent earthquake on the East Coast a couple of the models suffered minor damage.

Unlike most of my buildings, Adam’s models are all unglued. But, since they are LEGO they “can and will be repaired.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you can’t get to D.C. you can see all of the models on my Baltimore and D.C. set on Flickr.

Modulex now available on Bricklink

September 2, 2009

(photo by Zack Milenius )

Have you ever heard of Modulex LEGO bricks? Modulex bricks are smaller than LEGO LEGO. Confused? ๐Ÿ˜€ Well even now in this information age its still hard to find much out about modulex. I hadn’t even heard of them before a few years ago. As you can see in the picture, they are a smaller, more pastel version of LEGO bricks.

This is what Brickfetish has to say about Modulex:

In the early 1960โ€™s Godtfred was building a new house and, naturally, he tried to model the structure with Lego bricks. The problem was that the Lego, with an aspect ratio of 6:5, was different than standard European construction modules of 1:1. Rather than contend with the problems of using regular Lego bricks he simply had new, special bricks molded for him. Bricks that would allow him to more closely copy his architectural plans.

These new bricks were based on a 5mm cube (1:1) and were about 5/8 the size of a standard Lego brick. After he finished his house model, Godtfred began to investigate the possibility of marketing these elements to architects and planners. In 1963 he created a new company, Modulex A/S.

The M20 system, their first product, was intended for architectural modelling and consisted of a range of bricks, slopes, tiles, baseplates, windows and letter tiles based on the 5mm cube and intended for 1:20 scale building (hence the name M20). The system also included several unusual items, such as baseplate foil, a foil comb and cutter, even solvent-based glue. The early elements were molded by Lego and had the familiar โ€œLEGOโ€ logo on the studs. Later elements had a simple โ€œMโ€ (for Modulex) on the studs.

So basically Modulex are a rare, older subdivision of LEGO that has been rather hard to find. Any how, back to my title announcement — Bricklink is finally selling modulex pieces. Now granted they can get pretty expensive with some of them being $.40 USD or more per piece, but at the same time, they only way to find them up till now has been the rare auction on Ebay. I don’t know if I’ll be buying any of these any time soon, but its good to know that they are available if I want them. ๐Ÿ™‚

The LEGO Architecture does it Wright

May 18, 2009

You can read the whole press release here or just the highlight:

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation announced today that The LEGO Group is now the exclusive licensed manufacturer of Frank Lloyd Wright Collectionยฎ LEGO Architecture sets.

The LEGO Group and Adam Reed Tucker of Brickstructures, Inc. officially introduced the LEGO Architecture line in 2008. The line currently consists of six buildings โ€“ now including two of Frank Lloyd Wrightโ€™s most famous and recognizable buildings, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and โ€œFallingwater.โ€

After seeing this on Brothers Brick I just had to put my two cents in. To be honest, I’m not really into the LEGO Architecture line. The main reason is the price. At $20 each, the original four buildings are all way over-priced for the amount of LEGO you get. The only one that I even really liked the design on was the Space Needle. The new “Fallingwater” one looks interesting, but by looking at the amount of pieces, it looks like it will be even more than $20.

The general idea of the LEGO Architecture sets is good, and I understand why people like them. I just can’t justify spending that much for so few LEGO bricks. Especially when I can design my own LEGO microscale buildings for way less.
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