Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

LEGO Google Chrome Logo

September 6, 2012

Recently (really recently 😉 ) I was asked to help Google celebrate the 4th year birthday of Google Chrome.

Photo Credit: Christophe Wu / Google

This was a “rush job” as they contacted me less than 2 weeks ago and wanted to do the event on September 4th (yes, it was two days ago). Now normally when designing a 5×5 foot mosaic team building event I would like at least a month’s notice if not longer, but when Google called I was bound and determined to pull something together! 🙂

Oh and I was actually working the event for John Hancock when I got contacted by Google, so it was a fun challenge.

With such a short timeline to get this all together I decided to do a variation of the LEGO Mystery Mosaic which is normally done with 1×1 bricks and 6×6 plates with the pattern printed on them. Although it would have been nice to do that version, there were two problems — time and number of bricks. With a 192×192 stud canvas I would need over 36,000 1×1 bricks to create the mosaic. I simply didn’t have time to get that quantity of bricks together. But, with a suggestion from my brother Mike, I came up with a solution — 2 x 2 bricks.


The Google Chrome Logo is luckily in standard LEGO colors. The green is a little lighter, closer to bright green than standard, but even so its pretty easy to get all 4 colors (5 if you count the white background) at the LEGO stores. So that’s exactly what I did.

Having the bricks is great, but you need something to build it on. The Mystery Mosaic uses 6×6 plates, but naturally that wouldn’t be much of a build as you could only put 9 bricks down per plate so I decide to use 16×16 plates so that they would have 64 bricks to put on each plate — there were 144 16×16 plates for the mosaic and just under 10,000 bricks used on the mosaic.

I just love this “Google doodle” that was made by one of the Google Chrome Team. 😉

The event has already been posted online both here and here but they got a few facts wrong. They based their reporting off of Sundar Pichai’s, a Google Chrome employee, pictures that he posted on Google Plus.
Photo Credit:Sundar Pichai
As you can see in Sundar’s picture there are just a 4 guys building. So they assumed that it only took 5 people (counting Sundar) to build the whole mosaic in 2 hours. The model was built in 2 hours, but by about 30-40 people, not 5. Each person was given a 16×16 plate and the printed pattern they needed to follow (you can see one in the picture), and then they could build.

Since the whole mosaic only took 2 hours the Google Chrome Team built a few smaller versions with the left over bricks and plates.



All in all the event ran great! Especially with the assistance of my brother Mike Asanuma, who was able to drive up with me and help run the event. It was a whirlwind of travel and building with a short stopover in San Francisco after the event before we drove home last night. Happy Birthday Google Chrome and thanks for asking me to make it special! 😀

Help Build A Giant Santa Yoda

November 15, 2011

You’ve seen me talk about the Giant Yoda that has be built countless times before, but there’s a new Yoda in town.

Santa Yoda

Well, San Francisco at least. 😀 If you live near by you too can help build him.

Who: San Francisco Bay Area Families are invited to Help LEGO® Master Builders Construct a 12-foot tall by 10-foot wide LEGO® Star Wars™ Santa Yoda out of LEGO bricks
What: Three-day community build where families will help LEGO® Master Builders to create a 12-foot tall by 10-foot wide LEGO® Star Wars™ Santa Yoda made entirely of LEGO® bricks to kick-off a countdown to the holidays found at Children and parents will be invited to build a portion of Santa Yoda which LEGO® Master Builders will then add to the larger than life model.
When: Friday, November 18th to Sunday, November 20th, 10am-6pm daily (or until completed
Where: Union Square (next to the seasonal ice skating rink), San Francisco.

This is in conjunction with a holiday donation campaign benefiting Toys for Tots. For those of us that are too far away there will be a mini site (not yet up) covering the event.

As I learn more about this event I will let you know.

Bricks by the Bay Day 1 Recap

April 11, 2010

Hi guys, I’m back! Well in the virtual world that is, I’m actually hundreds of miles away from home up at Bricks by the Bay in Freemont, California. I would have posted sooner but with so much to do and lack of sleep for the past week or so it just didn’t end up working out. 🙂

I will be posting about my big commission soon, but I felt that as I am actually at a LEGO convention, I should talk about that in this post.

So, where to begin? After a long, but fun late night drive up with my friend and fellow SandLUG (San Diego LEGO Users Group) member Tiffeny Nervig we arrived at the Freemont Marriott where Bricks by the Bay is being held. First we set up our models. Mine were relatively simple, even if my LEGO Batman Video Game mosaic did end up breaking into multiple pieces. Tiffeny’s very impressive Booty Bay had a little more work.


It was brought in three sections, with a table to display it on, along with all my models, and all our other stuff in her very small Honda Fit. Now with all the LEGO we bought at the “ding and dent” sale on Friday night, I’m not sure how we are going to get it all into the car and back home. 😕

There were several panel discussions and round table presentations going on, but I ended up checking out all the cool MOCs (My Own Creations) that people had made and meeting new friends and some internet friends for the first time.

One of the cool things at any LEGO event is the new LEGO sets that LEGO brings to display. This year LEGO didn’t disappoint, giving us our first look at a couple of the new LEGO Toy Story 3 sets


Finally seeing Rex and Hamm in person, and actually getting to hold them was really cool. I’m really looking forward to these sets when they come out.

One of the cool new vendors and friends I met at this convention was Ann Bartling of ToyRobott.

After much chatting, picture taking and vendor shopping we all went to the Valley Fair Mall to go LEGO shopping. 😀


For those of you who have never been to a LEGO convention a “ding and dent” sale is a special shopping night held only for full attendees of a LEGO convention. Not only does the LEGO store give you a discount on everything in the store for the entire weekend (up to 20% depending on how much you spend), but they also have dented or other wise damaged LEGO product available for 30-50% off! And its not just the little stuff people, the Grand Carousel, the Death Star, and even the new Grand Emporium (which is what I managed to snag) were all 50% off! 🙂

I got a rather impressive hull, the Emporium, several Star Wars sets and a Miniturus Game for 50% off, plus a Fire Brigade for 20% off when it was all said and done. It was a pretty eventful day that didn’t end till around 1:30 am. I hadn’t planned on spending so much, but as it will soon be my birthday, I figured it was just an early present to myself. 😉

I will add more pictures and more goings on in the next post. You can also see my entire photo set on There is also a very cool audio and picture slide show at

Bricks by the Bay — A LEGO Convention

March 10, 2010

In just about a month Northern California will have its first LEGO Convention — Bricks by the Bay. It will be held April 9th – 11th and will be located at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley in Fremont, CA (very close to San Francisco). The public hours are from 10am-4pm on Sunday, April 11.

I was on the fence attending this at first. I wanted to go, but even though it sounded fun and its relatively close (roughly an 8 hr drive) I was afraid it conflicted with my schedule. But now, thanks to a friend, it looks like I’ll be going. 🙂

There is still time to register. The cost is $50 ($85 for deluxe) for a full attendee which includes exclusive perks like attending panels, taking part in activities and games, displaying your creations, and chance to go to the “ding and dent” sale at the LEGO Store.

If you’ve never been to a “ding and dent” sale you don’t know what you are missing. A couple of years ago when I went to BrickCon 08, I managed to get a Taj Mahal for 40% off! Sets range from 30-50%. Yes the boxes are dented, but the sets themselves are perfectly fine. There will also be discounts throughout the LEGO store for the entire weekend.

LEGO conventions are a lot of fun. Think a LUG (LEGO users group) but much bigger. It is an opportunity to meet many of your long distance LEGO friends that you may only know online and to share your creations with a much larger crowd.

For those of you who are going, I look forward to seeing you! 😀

Giant LEGO Ball Myth-busted!

April 30, 2009

On the newest episode of Discovery’s Mythbusters they test the Youtube Video myth of the giant “five million” piece LEGO ball that is rolled Indiana Jones style down a street in San Francisco.

From the first time I saw the original video I knew that it couldn’t really be real. Considering that I know a little about LEGO 😉 I knew that an unglued LEGO ball wouldn’t roll without falling apart somewhat. And, since I have a pretty good idea how much a million LEGO bricks looks like, the five million claimed in the video sounded way off. I also found this link that shows the ball was actually just a foam ball with baseplates stuck to it.

My friend and fellow Master Model Builder Gary McIntire of LEGOLAND California, along with several of the BAYLug members, and Nathan Sawaya are seen on the show. There is a whole slew of pictures posted by Brickenrocker here.

To find out just what happened, you’ll have to watch Mythbusters. But I have to tell you, it was pretty cool! 😀