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If it were made out of LEGO…

I just bought a new car last week. My old one just had to go and I didn’t want to find myself stranded. With a new car comes a stronger desire to adventure. While blazing a new trail to a very familiar destination, I found myself in farm country which I wouldn’t have known existed there otherwise. It wasn’t a barn, but let’s just call it a barn. The sides were red as you can imagine, but the roof was blatantly Sand Green:

http://acimg.auctivacommerce.com/imgdata/0/1/9/3/9/7/webimg/5003072.jpg

I wish I had a picture of this building, but it was the first time I had ever seen such a parts-intensive use of the LEGO color Sand Green in the wild.

If you’re like me, then sometimes you imagine different objects in your life as if they were made out of LEGO bricks. Maybe it is a particular curve or angle that you see on part of a structure that matches LEGO bricks you have at home, or maybe, like in this occasion, you see an exact color match in real life leaving you little choice but to start building it in your head.

This imagining is what is known as a “seed element.” Beginning a LEGO project with a particular part or color and seeing just what can happen when you give yourself minor restrictions but a lot of liberties. Seed element or seed part challenges are friendly competitions to see how creative LEGO builders can be given a level playing field and an equal restriction.

One of the most popular seed part challenges is the Iron Builder Challenge:

http://www.brothers-brick.com/tag/iron-builder/

In this recurring challenge, builders or teams of builders are challenged to use a seed element in as many MOCs as possible in a certain amount of time. They are each given a large supply of the pieces so that they can build without any restrictions, or at least any regarding those pieces. In the end, everyone who witnesses the competition wins because it ends up being a fantastic source of inspiration.

So next time you are out and about, start looking at the world with “LEGO vision.” Yes, I just made that part up. Think about recreating the world around you with LEGO bricks and think about what parts those builds would require.

Chris “Clutch”
brickfestlive.com

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Finishing touches

We’ve been hard at work getting everything ready for this weekend. Our weekend starts tomorrow (Wednesday) when we travel to the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus New Jersey. Thursday is our set up day in which we will work from 8am until midnight at the latest getting all of our attractions ready for the big days. PennLUG, GardenSLUG, & Teach Fleet will also be spending the day setting up their MOCs. Finally, 46 vendor booths will be loaded in and set up ready to start buying and selling all things LEGO.

We each have hourly scheduled to help us stay on track to finish setting up with enough time left in the day to eat, perhaps sleep even. And during the sessions themselves, we have broken the show floor into different sectors which we each have authority over. I don’t want to bore you with those details, so let’s talk about all of the different things you can do at Brick Fest Live in the Meadowlands. Consider this your sneak peak!

When you walk in, the first thing you will see will be the NJ GardenSLUG display which is technically the “home LUG” for this event. Along two of the walls are the rows of vendors. If it’s LEGO and you want it, you can find it there. In the center of the hall are our attractions. There are only a couple that you will recognize from Philly Brick Fest in April. The rest are brand new and have been constructed in the past 2 months.

First up is the Mosaic Wall. This is an area FILLED with 1×1 bricks in every color. You will be able to create 16×16 stud mosaics on plates which will then be affixed to the wall, creating a patchwork of images for all to see.

After that, we have our two LEGO Cities which were are calling the Inspiration Stations. Brickopolis is a modern, urban landscape with a new skyscraper being erected every week! Friendship Falls is an independent, thriving destination city with its own beach and lighthouse. Come build your own additions to the city and grow the population!

Another attraction is our Brick Wall. You can come and free build on 80 feet of studded walls. Build up, build down, build straight out if that’s what you want to do. Just don’t let gravity get you down! Come show us your best SNOT techniques (Studs Not On Top).

It may have the smallest footprint, but the Gaming Arena might be the most action packed! 12 big screen TVs with 4 different LEGO video games which you can play all day. LEGO Marvel, LEGO DC, the LEGO Movie, and LEGO Star Wars the Clone Wars will be available to play for xbox 360.

Next we have our biggest new attraction, LEGO mini golf. Come putt on 9 holes coated in LEGO bricks. We guarantee it’s the first time you’ll get your ball stuck in the “brick trap.”

Towards the back of the hall, you’ll find the PennLUG display as well as the Teach Fleet display. Along with them, you’ll see the DK Book Reading Rest Stop, the Brick Fest Live Theater with trivia (hosted by myself) twice per session, and the Brick Fest Derby which needs no introduction.

Finally, you’ll get to build your own creations and purchase them too in the Build & Buy area. You get free reign of one of the largest LEGO brick selections and on your way out, you can weigh your creation and choose to purchase it so you can bring it home with you.

Don’t let this post be your final impression of Brick Fest Live in the Meadowlands. Come see it for yourself this weekend.

Chris “Clutch”

brickfestlive.com
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Just what is so attractive about our Attractions?

At a Brick Fest Live event, you and your family will take part in lots of hands-on activities. But LEGO itself is a hands-on activity. What will you get when you attend a Brick Fest Live event that differs from your activity at home? We have accumulated a collection of LEGO pieces ready to build with which span many decades of production. Every year, The LEGO Group produces dozens of new elements which have never been made before. Consequently, they also retire many elements and replace some of them with newer versions. Many parts as well as colors are never produced again. Our collection of parts gives you free range of LEGO’s extensive part catalog for an unhindered building experience.

We have seen other LEGO-related events which use a limited selection of LEGO elements in their free-build area. There have even been events with a massive quantity of only one type of piece. While this presents interesting and different challenges for the builder in your life, we find that building with as large a parts selection as we have will present a new and exciting experience for you.

In addition to what you might see as traditional building, we are promoting methods of building which are as untraditional as possible. At this moment, we are attaching LEGO baseplates to portable wall sections so that you can build in an entirely new dimension. Building off the walls, building amidst a LEGO City, and building your very own creations that you can take home.

I hope you are ready to build, because you will be doing lots of it at Brick Fest Live!

Chris “Clutch”
brickfestlive.com
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Just what goes in to a LEGO City?

Hey all, Clutch here.

Ever since I joined YouTube, I have been amazed by the popularity of particular video types from the various LEGO YouTubers. One such video type that I have never taken part in myself is the “LEGO City Update” or any such combination of words like that. Essentially, a LEGO City Update is an ongoing video series which showcases a large LEGO display and focuses from video to video on changes that have been made since the last video was published. The theme of these displays is usually the LEGO City/Town theme because TLG is constantly making great vehicle and building sets, but we thought it could be done a little differently.

One of our new attractions which will debut at our show in July is what we have been calling the “Inspiration Stations.” We had an overwhelming response to the collaborative displays from the PA LUGs at Philly Brick Fest and since we will be traveling, we needed to make sure that we had equally as inspiring displays of our own to bring along. Don’t get me wrong, local LUGs will always be invited and encouraged to attend Brick Fest Live events and bring their best layout. But we wanted to have some fun too.

Enter Carter, or as we’ve been calling him for some reason, #CarterBaldwin. And yes, you pronounce the hashtag! Carter is a prolific builder mainly in the post-apocalypse theme. Check out his work here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/carterbaldwin/with/14107580664

Carter has been given the bricks and the space to create several LEGO Cities for us, most of which will appear at our Brick Fest Live events.

The first city is being called Brickopolis, unless we rename it. It is your typical LEGO City, except it will consist of mostly original creations rather than stock sets from LEGO. When you and your family attend a Brick Fest Live event, you will be able to see Brickopolis and as well as add your own creations to it! The City center will be surrounded by roads and empty plots which you can fill with your own creations built right there. We provide the bricks, you update the city!

Due to popular demand, our second LEGO City will be LEGO Friends themed. We’ll admit, we didn’t have nearly enough attractions for fans of LEGO Friends at Philly Brick Fest. We’re fixing that in a big way. Friendship falls, as we are calling it, will be an all Friends-themed LEGO City with many original creations and some upscaled versions of existing Friends buildings from sets. Just like Brickopolis, you’ll get to build your own additions to the city and add them on.

Our last, but not final LEGO City will be of Carter’s own design. If you are familiar with BroLUG’s Cyberpocalypse:

First Draft

Then you may be able to see where we are going with this. The Cyberpocalypse layout is no longer together, but we’ve encouraged Carter to build his dreams in a new kind of LEGO City. We really wanted to change the format and create the first “stacked city” to have its own City Update videos. Look forward to a daily updates of this city through social media as well as City Update videos on YouTube.

Chris “Clutch”
brickfestlive.com
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