Published on December 18th, 2015 | by Duke Of Havoc0
Brick 2015 – Building A Love For Conventions
This write up of Brick 2015 is published on behalf of Duke’s little sister and her son Jake.
For a number of years I have listened to my brother talk comic book conventions and marvelled at the love, joy and passion displayed not only by those exhibiting but also those consuming. Each year I have considered checking it out for myself but as someone very much in the infancy of their comic book education I have always felt a bit “unworthy” to attend when there are people so much more knowledgeable of the thrilling, astonishing and beautiful world of comics books (oh the joys of being an insecure fool..)
So when my aforementioned brother suggested I take my son off to Brick 2015. I admit to being a tad excited that my first convention was going to be happening and would hopefully be less intimidating as a first-timer then what I had built them up to be in my mind. Jake is five and has already amassed a pretty enviable Lego collection through birthdays, Christmases and a Grandma with a slight spending addiction.
On arriving at Excel my son was immediately drawn to the big Batman and Robin which stood guard around the video game area. His camera was thrust into my hand for me to capture his image with some of his favourite characters made out of his favourite little blocks..and I knew right there and then that he was going to be in his element at Brick, and who wouldn’t be – the place was amazing.
Just up from the Dark Knight we came across our first Brick Pit (red – Jake’s favourite colour so was always going to prove popular). I did find myself having to adjust my face as I could feel myself wincing and contorting at watching Jake WILLINGLY step onto Lego….the single most feared injury of all children (and parents) is that rogue block which catches you off guard and there he was along with tonnes of other kids and grown ups happily paddling in a sea of bricks. This is the point where he had a *slight* meltdown as after he had studiously designed and put together his own piece of Lego, Jake very much expected to be able to keep it. I won’t bore you with the logistics of how that particular chat went but in summary the Lego was left, I was very proud of him and we moved on. Its a tricky concept for a kid to understand, but an important one – the Lego is there for everyone.
As I write this I feel like a bit of a fraud reviewer as in truth there was a lot of Brick we didn’t experience. We didn’t play computer games; we didn’t watch a Brick Flick; we didn’t see the Lego Friends do their dancing..heck, we didn’t even do the Brick Mosaic Build where we could have help build the 2015 mosaic logo!
What we did was get completely and utterly absorbed in was the amazing Fanzone area. I knew it would be good, but I still wasn’t prepared for how utterly enthralling we would find it all. It was the Titanic which first blew Jake’s mind. Hell, it blew my mind – beautiful and vast – a gorgeous tribute to the tragic vessel. The sheer passion and enthusiasm for Lego was palpable as we wandered through the tables and observed Lego building on a scale which is nothing short of genius. Some AFOL (adult fans of Lego) were super chatty about their work – the Jurassic Park guy was chatty and grateful for the attention their amazing pieces and accompanying film were getting (if you get a chance check out Macro Lego Universe – well worth a watch). Whereas others are clearly in love with Lego and its limitlessness, but not remotely comfortable with talking about Lego to strangers and far from feeling awkward it really was OK – their love and passion was utterly visible in what they had made.
The Lego Miami festival was inspired and so much fun with hundreds of mini-figures stood in front of a stage and pulsing dance music and strobe lighting (complete with back stage area with C3P0 and R2D2 trying to get in the VIP area). Hogwarts, rockets, cars, fairgrounds, Looney Tunes… the list really does go on and on. So many beautiful, creative builds for everyone to enjoy. The Lego Great Ball Contraption was an amazing feat of engineering….thousands of tiny little balls going round and round lots of different modules each moving the balls onto the next module in its own unique way. Jake clung to the metal fence surrounding the display and literally followed a group of balls round. He was slightly embarrassing when he became disgruntled at other people daring to try and look too and get in his way “Mummy, they are stopping me watching the balls” was spoken none too quietly a few times when Jake had to climb down and back up around to go around those with the audacity to also want to watch. But I don’t blame him, go look Lego Great Ball Contraption up, it is one seriously clever idea and should be viewed by everyone. Ever. We really spent the bulk of our time around the Fan Zone and we could have happily gone round again and again, and would have undoubtedly seen something new on each display such was the level of detail on all of them.
Brick also introduced us to other aspects of Lego which we didn’t know existed such as Mindstorms – amazing kits which basically make Lego robots. The snake which lunged when hands got close was bit too real for this snake-phobic Mother, it was all a bit fantastic and frightening all at once. Jake obviously LOVED it.
Wandering through Brick Lane was fun, lots of different retail opportunities related to Lego whether it was some simply beautiful pieces of art or some Lego themed jewellery. I could have spent a fortune on him if I wasn’t stronger, there was some seriously awesome stuff. Luckily the shopaholic Grandma I mentioned earlier wasn’t there as I am not sure how we would have managed to carry everything we would have almost certainly bought on the tube home.
From start to finish Jake was zipping from display to display and snapping away on his camera so he could capture a bit of the day in his own way. The massive official creations were fantastic too and I don’t think we got past one without a picture, but I wouldn’t want to. They need to be looked at again and again as they are just astonishing.
All in all Brick was a pretty awesome day for us. We did miss out on some bits, but certainly don’t feel like we missed out. From a practical point of view, Excel was organised and staff helpful and we walked around comfortably and didn’t really queue for toilets or refreshments like I expected to. These are the things which can turn a lovely family day into a bit of a nightmare but the whole day went smoothly. Brick really is a wonderful day out for anyone and everyone and I am already planning our visit there next year…a lovely start to what I hope will be the first of many conventions.