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Brickvention Melbourne 2020

We traveled “down under” for a seventh year to join AFOLs at the 14th annual Brickvention, Melbourne, Australia. A record crowd from the local public joined 300 AFOLs exhibiting their MOCs. Estimates are more than 18,000 attended the 3-day LEGO convention, Jan. 17-19, 2020.

This being the first major LEGO event since The LEGO Group (TLG) acquired BrickLink in the closing days of 2019, there was general interest in the subject. In response, during our general assembly presentation we talked briefly about it. We mentioned our continuing role as goodwill ambassadors for BrickLink. Also, we said that during our talks with TLG we were impressed by their respect and embrace of AFOLs around the world, including those in Australia. In our opinion, LEGO was ready to listen to AFOLs for input and viewed them as a valuable resource. Case in point was the collaborative BrickLink/LEGO AFOL Designer Program (ADP) in which more than a dozen commercially viable LEGO sets were crowd-sourced and produced -- from concept to design, to production and distribution -- in a record few months. We said AFOLs have never been better positioned to have their opinions and preferences heard and considered by LEGO itself.

We also talked about our project to re-create in LEGO the Dan Jezek Country House MOC project, which is in the concept and prototype stage. It will permanently memorialize the farmhouse in Borotin, Czech Republic, where Dan grew up and built his first LEGO set as a child. We wrapped up our portion of the program by helping auction off a Skyline Express set from the ADP, with all the proceeds going to a relief fund set up to help those impacted by the devastating bush fires sweeping across Australia.badge

Annaleise Ronzan and Cris Ruhr MC'd the program this year. The volunteer committee put together a terrific show. The Friday night hi-jinx entertainment and cocktail hour was a big hit again for all in attendance.

headOf course plenty of MOCs and exhibits were on display over the three days. Brickvention was once again sponsored by the local Melbourne LEGO users group – MUG – and we were honored again to be among Brickvention's official "supporters" (sponsors), in the name of danjezek.com. A major contributing sponsor was Rover Lawn Machinery and the venue remained the sprawling and historic (circa 1880) Royal Exhibition Building in the heart of one of Australia’s most inviting and liveable cities. If you love LEGO and fun and hospitality as well, this is a wonderful event that’s never too far away to consider a visit during our (US) winter (their summer).

Auction a LEGO set for bush fire relief

Eliska and I auctioned off this BrickLink AFOL Designer Program set for charity, in this case relief for those impacted by the massive bush fires that ravaged Eastern Australia. The set drew a winning bid of $750 to go toward relief.


Brickvention 2019 organizing committee

Sponsors and organizers of Brickvention 2020. (L to R) Jason Chicon, Adam Jensen, Michael Peebles, Andrea Lansley, Larry Hawthorne, Nicole McDonald, Annaleise Ronzan, Chris Hill, Eliska Jezkova, Michael Plowright, Cris Ruhr, and Travis Matheson.


The massive Melbourne Opera House in LEGO bricks

The massive Melbourne Opera House represented here in LEGO bricks.


The Minifigure exchange wall was a big attractionThis MOC of a full-scale ride-along Rover lawn mower, with the real thing seen in the background, was the work of Brickvention AFOLs Michael Peebles and Cris Ruhr. Rover was a major sponsor this year.

 

Winter Village in LEGO brick.

This Winter Village told its own story of a day in an alpine redoubt.

A LEGO-Built 'Mean Machine!'

Timber Wolf MOC

 

This Mech is from the game BattleTech. It’s the creation of Ryan McNaught, with nearly three years in the making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robot WarriorsReady to invade, these two robot knights are about to launch.

 

 

Railroad MOC in action

 

 

 

 

 

Seiganto Ji Temple in Japan was a masterfully designed MOC with plenty of color and extreme detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Menacing red devil

This crawling red devil was probably the biggest scare of the exhibition

 

the entire group of AFOLs at Brickvention 2020

The entire AFOL community assembled for Brickvention 2020, ready for their close-up! AFOLs in green, Organizing Committee members in red, and BrickLink Ambassador in white.


Our display at Brickvention

Eliska and Larry with our Brickvention display

At our display table, Eliska exhibits here BrickLink front page MOC and other icons Dan created that are still found on the website. The mosaic of Dan was a gift from Diane Winbanks and her daughter Lauren who built the portrait from their own design.

 

'Dressed for the Friday Night Occasion!'

Emma Robinson and Eliska at cocktail party Friday evening

The Friday night cocktail gathering has become a traditional part of Brickvention. Organizers, supporters, builders and designers let their hair down and participate in a humorous program of hi-jinx and comedy. The custom is to dress as outlandish as possible and make the most out of a raucous evening of laughter and hors d'oeuvres. Eliska joins with Emma Robinson who dons appropriate garb for an evening among the bricks. This is her "blue" 2X4 LEGO outfit.

And 'Dressed for the Abrasion!'

'Oh the Humanity!'

Travis Matheson dressed to the nines for cocktail night

Travis Matheson (l) poses with Eliska Jezkova during yet another entertaining evening cocktail event at Brickvention. Meanwhile, somewhere in Melbourne a stage prop rental shop is on the lookout for a missing outfit, but happy it finally found a temporary home. Oh, the humanity!

 

We had a great time at Brickvention 2019. See you again next year, Melbourne!

VIP minifig


 


Note: Thanks to Alec Mead, the "Rock Doc" who in addition to being a good friend is also a great photographer. Appreciate the loan of some of his great photos.

 

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Brickvention minifig for 2020

Talking BrickLink

Eliska in front of a Green Giant made of lEGOWe were honored to represent BrickLink and to again help sponsor Brickvention 2020. Eliska and I spoke briefly about the importance of AFOLs and the LEGO Group's embrace and support of BrickLink and the folks who rely on it for their recreation, hobbies and even their livelihoods.

Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building

Long line waiting to enter the REB for Brickvention 2020A long line awaits the doors opening for Brickvention 2020.

Ornate model made of LEGOThis ornate model was a popular MOC at Brickvention 2020, and an award winner. It was yet another example of creative use of another uniquely shaped LEGO part (bug wings and teapots are others).

Tasmanian Devil, cartoon versionA Tasmanian Devil (cartoon version) with a really bad temper!

Futuristic airship

Futuristic airship that is half ship and half blimp.

Yellow Castle made of DuploAward Winners

A Yellow Castle made of Duplo bricks.

Scaled model version of the Peterborough railroad roundhouse. A scale-model version of the Peterborough railroad roundhouse, Southern Australia.

Cuckoo Clock A Cuckoo Clock so real looking it should tell time and 'cuckoo' every hour.

Star Wars characters join the crowd.Star Wars storm troopers ready to join the crowds.

Monarch ButterflyA monarch butterfly mosaic in strong colors and craftsmanship.

Rover Mower custom MOCThis custom 121-piece LEGO MOC of the Rover Pro Cut lawnmower is the creation of Jason Cichon, an Australian Brick Artist from Adelaide. It was in the goody bags of some very welcoming AFOLs.

BabylonThis MOC has been called "Hanging Gardens of Babylon".

Crystal Whiate FoxA Crystal White Fox was on view.

Airport TowerThe Singapore Changi Airport tower in LEGO bricks.

Mini-figure exchange wall The ever-popular mini-fig exchange wall, with hundreds from which to choose.

Space troopers sizing up their transportation.Space troopers sizing up their transportation.

Alec and Larry cutting it up at the evening partyAbove: Alec Mead (l) and mysteriously dressed cohort cut it up at the Friday evening soiree.

 

BrickLink Swag and Gear

Admin

This year's popular BrickLink item was Lanyards. We passed out dozens of them and will likely have to bring many more next year.

BrickLink LanyardsBrickLink badge

 

 

 

 

 

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