This past week, we attended the 14th Annual Brickcon Convention in Seattle, Washington. This was the first of its kind that we attended. In order to be part of the 4 day conference, you had to be 16 years old and this year, our in house LEGO expert turned 16 a few days ago! What an amazing event! Thursday and Friday were devoted to setting up My Own Creations (MOCs), attending talks and playing LEGO oriented games. One of the best parts was that after you played the games, you got to keep the sets. Games included Blind Build where you couldn’t see the bricks, but you could see the instructions and Box Build where you just got a picture of the final product without any instructions.
One of the most interesting talks was from a former employee of Legoland who was a Masterbuilder. She used to work in the shop building models for display. Currently she has her own business, Model Building Secrets, and she is commissioned to build replicas of corporate buildings. It was fascinating to hear the different techniques to building these models as well as hear the outrageous requests some clients might have for building something out of LEGO bricks. We learned that even Masterbuilders just go to the regular LEGO stores or buy their items on Bricklink. No special treatment or discounts for those who build professionally. That’s amazing because these folks literally buy a ton of bricks. One of Mariann’s commissions cost $10,000!
Finally there was a talk about the LEGO Ideas site. This is a forum where average people submit their builds on a website in order to possibly have LEGO manufacture your idea as their next kit. The geniuses at LEGO realize that 99% of their potential designers don’t work for them. They have to look towards the public to help them generate the next big thing. If you build a MOC that gets 10,000 votes online, you will get a chance to see your build on a box after extensive review by the company. Many adult fans take this seriously and contribute lots of time and creativity to helping LEGO.