Ted Talks – “Brickworld 2019: Age of Discovery”

Hey Kentucky! Welcome back to the Manifesto and more importantly to our regular feature Ted Talks, where friend of the blog and bon vivant Ted Andes shares his wit and wisdom on a wide variety of topics.  Without further ado, take it away Ted!

Credit Lia Chan

When I made my very first drive up to Brickworld Chicago in 2016, I thought for sure that it would also be the last time I would ever get to attend a LEGO convention.  Instead, this year’s trip has made it four Brickworlds in a row (and three BrickUniverse Louisville events sandwiched in between). It is a testament to the wonderful, expanding family of builders that I’ve made there that I keep coming back, and to my wonderful and supportive wife who “holds the fort” while I am away. This year’s convention theme was “To the moon, and beyond…”, but for me it was an “Age of Discovery”.  I will be sharing some stories of these discoveries, as well as of the general atmosphere, interactions, and occasional oddities that make the Brickworld experience what it is.

 

Return of the White Brick… Mystery Solved?

I dedicated a lot of my Brickworld 2018 coverage last year to the appearance of the White Bricks.  They made their appearance yet again for the third year in a row.  We were aware of at least 5 that were placed around the display hall this time:

1) Adrian Drake – Fake moon landing, placed by his Tesla roadster

2) Nick Della Mora – Gun of Thrones, placed by his micro games

3) Rob Hendrix – Alcohol train, placed by his actual Malort train

4) Samuel Hatmaker – Infinity Gauntlet with “Oh Snap” tiled inside of the box, placed by his displays in the GayLUG area

5) Daniel Ross – Luke’s X-Wing making the Deathstar trench run, placed by his Millennium Falcon

With a little bit of deductive reasoning (including clues from past White Brick MOC builds), I have been able to determine who is responsible for creating and distributing them. No, I will not be unmasking this person in this or any article. However, if I could place a bet on who I think it is, I wouldn’t hesitate in putting down A LOT of money.

 

So people actually read the Manifesto?

Yes.  People actually read the Manifesto, despite the low hit counts that Keith laments from time to time, and those kids who gave him the stink-eye when he handed out Manifesto swag at Bricks LA.  I noticed quite a few things at Brickworld this year that appeared to have been influenced by my Brickworld 2018 write-up:

  • Reposting of the “White Brick” write-up onto the Brickworld blog – Bryan Bonahoom reached out to me to request a “family friendly” version of the article to post on the website, and I was happy to oblige. It basically meant toning down the description of the “dick with crabs” MOC that rowntRee received.  I also thought I saw a few more non-BW tokens of appreciation being placed on displays around the hall (anyone else see those “Overlooked Innovator” trophies? Perhaps another mystery for us to figure out?…).
  • Back-massages! – At the end of last year’s article I listed a bunch of suggestions, and at the very top of that list was “back massages”. Lo and behold, this year we had a back massage station set up near the front of the hall. I had a hearty laugh when I heard them make that announcement over the PA system.  I knew that I had better get over there, and either pay-up or shut-up.  At the station it was Tammy Eyerly who was the one volunteering her time and skills to work out the muscles in our aching backs, and all donations she received went to charity. Classy.
  • Drunk builds were cancelled – The aftermath of last year’s build(s) was a disaster. My suggestion had been to incorporate a breathalyzer into this unofficial event.  Harsher measures were actually taken.  Even though last year’s “bad drunk” offender didn’t attend this year, the event was cancelled.  The main reason that was given to us was a lack of available rooms.  This was likely true, as there were quite a few other events scheduled at the Renaissance on Saturday night (wedding receptions, etc.).  However, drunken wagon rides around the display hall were still in play during “World of Lights”.
  • The return of Kaleta! – Dave K. had commented last year that my write-up of BW18 and the impending BW changes were enough to get him back to the show, and indeed it was. It was so awesome to see his return, and getting to meet his son Elliot. I really enjoyed the guided tour they gave me of all their alphabet starfighters that they created together, and learning about all their “scoundrel” pilots. Spending that time with them on Sunday was a personal highlight for me.

“El-ee-ot.” Credit Dave Kaleta

At the very end of Brickworld during the Sunday teardown, I also got to meet Kevin Huxhold who is a renowned Bionicle/creature builder.  He probably had the worst ever table location in the hall to display his MOC’s, as it was at the very front corner of the hall where pretty much no one goes… even him, as the people displaying next to him said they hadn’t seen him since set up.  I myself didn’t even realize there were builds being displayed over there until late on Saturday, and he had some amazing creature builds too.  When I did finally see him on Sunday, I went over to introduce myself and he said, “You write stuff for KeithLUG, right?”  Right on, man!  Right on!

 

Skully got Boned

Last year I didn’t get to participate in the game demo of “Clunkers” by 1×5 Games (a.k.a. rowntRee & Flor), so I made it a point to block-out my calendar for the demo this year.  Well, the boys’ demo kinda got hosed.  First they were left off the sponsor slides during the opening ceremony presentation.  Then the demo was scheduled against the Charity Auction show, and then the room name was listed wrong on the display screens that were around the convention center.  Even still, I got to play a cozy round of Clunkers with Heath, Ryan Wilhelm, and a young guy who had played the game last year.  That veteran of the earlier version seemed to really like the changes they made to the game, and I know I am itching to give it another try.  The game is really heading in the right direction, and hopefully it’s a sign of great things ahead for the dynamic duo…  Space Nut Solitaire!

Got Malört? Credit Shane

 

They’re here. They’re queer. Get used to it.

You’d literally have to be living under a rock not to realize that the LGBTQ+ community is well represented within our FOL community. There was a mixer organized for the LGBTQ+ attendees this year, and I heard that they had over 30 people show up.  Some of them were surprised by the amount of representation themselves.  One person who opened the door to the mixer thought he had entered the wrong room when he saw so many people there…  Unfortunately, the people still living under a rock are also represented within the building community.

GayLUG made its debut at Brickworld this year, and they had reserved their own table section in the display hall.  “Coming out” in the display hall also meant putting a target on themselves for whatever small mindedness might be put out on display. Some in GayLUG were worried about this and set up a hidden camera to watch over the displays.  As if on cue, one such small-minded person took it upon themselves to attach a printed 2×4 tile of a TRUMP campaign poster onto one of the GayLUG displayer’s MOCs, and place another one on an adjacent table; a deplorable and cowardly act.  A harsh reminder was put out over the PA system that political statements and vandalism of other people’s displays are grounds for being banned from Brickworld (as it should be).  On the off chance that the small-minded person is reading this, know that your actions have no place in this community.  If that wasn’t clear enough, I hope you finally got a clue when the new owner of Brickworld thanked his husband during the closing ceremonies (assuming that you kicked out already, and were still there for the closing).

Fortunately the vast majority of us in the building community are kind and generous souls (at Brickworld this year, we raised over $28,000 for charity!).  Just prior to Brickworld, I learned that one of the GayLUG displayers couldn’t afford to even split a hotel room with someone, and he was originally planning to sleep in a rental car.  That was something I could not abide, so I got my room switched over to one with two double beds and I had him stay with me.  I learned later that he was considering cancelling his entire trip just before I made the offer to him to stay with me.  It would have been a shame for such an amazing person not to have come.  Getting to know “Wildflower” over the course of these 4 days was another major highlight for me, not only at Brickworld but in my life.  His immense talent is only outdone by his generous and caring soul (one of the main reasons for his current economic situation). The end result was that he left Brickworld with 2 award nominations, and an outpouring of love that this picture of his white brick can attest.

 

World of Lights Walk – “Oh, Balls!”

Heath Flor stood in for rowntRee during the traditional World of Lights “art school girlfriend – art critique walk”.  The clear lighting winner was Brian Williams’ display, whose lighting made the undulating brick surface next to his sea vessel look like actual water.  Adrian Drake’s disco lighting of Deep Space 9 was a close second.  After that, it was all balls.  The Great Ball Contraption was actually using glow-in-the-dark balls this year, and that was a highlight. The lowlight was the glow stick that was inside the inflatable orb that a pack of EmpireLUG guys were holding over their heads, while chanting “BALL! BALL! BALL! BALL! BALL! BALL!” everywhere they went, and videoing it all for YouTube. Glad they saved me the trouble (it’s not posted yet, but I’m sure it will be soon).

 

“Control the Action!”

This year I finally took matters into my own hands to “Control the Awards Action!” by participating in one of Brickworld’s many competitions; The LEGO Derby.  This was the opportunity to exact my revenge on all those parent-assisted winners of the Pinewood Derby races of my youth.  For those not in the know, basically every year at Brickworld (at least the ones I had been to) the Fitzgerald family sweeps all categories of the LEGO Derby (“restrictor plate” and “open”, youth and adult).  This year I had them in my sights and was going to take them on.  Beforehand, I brainstormed with rowntRee on what the best wheel system might be for the “open” class, and he helped me zero in on the LEGO train wheel bogeys.  Then I procured a weighted brick and built a sleek block of ABS to surround it.  Competition day arrived on Thursday… and the Fitzgerald family didn’t; they were a no-show. Per my “Sweep the Leg!” Manifesto article, you can only compete against those who shows up.  The competition ended up being a round-robin race between the 6 cars that did show up for the “Open Class” and my racer won most heats (maybe all of them?).  Now I am the one to beat, and I’m looking forward to defending my title next year!

 

Other Stuff

  • I got award nominations for Best Vignette and Best Original Train (the Intrepid made an encore appearance), and we also got a nomination for Best Group Layout for “Cienasis Rendezvous”. No nomination for me in sea vessel for the Rhapsody (must have been that bulky sail), and in the end no wins for me in the building categories.  The winners in those categories were all worthy though.  No complaints from me, and in my opinion no major nomination oversights as in past years.  Yes, there were still epic builds that got passed over, but it looked like they were still recognized by those other people who were handing out tokens of appreciation.
  • Interestingly, this year they split the awards for Best Train into Best Replica Train and Best Original Train, and added Best Group Train Layout and Best Individual Train Layout. They also gave out two Judge’s Awards, a Best Inclusive Display award, and a “Best in Show” award based on the feedback from the public.  That one went to the Great Ball Contraption, and now it can no longer win that award.  Based on popular demand, next year they will add a best “Constraction Figure” award category.  Barnacle Builders, Rejoice!!!
  • My streak of getting at least one new person to attend Brickworld each year continues. A second-cousin of mine actually lives nearby and is a huge LEGO fan. She hadn’t ever been to the show, and I got to meet her there. My Louisville pal Charley also finally made it to his first major LEGO convention. Hopefully his brain didn’t explode. I should see him at the next Louisville MOC TALK in July and I’m looking forward to hearing all the build the ideas that he brought back home with him.
  • As for those convention questions that I usually get each year, such as “Is he your son?” and “Were you in Ghostbusters?” that streak was finally broken… as was the streak for me hearing the oft uttered phrase “It’s a pod race!!!”

 

Closing Time

The end of Brickworld 2019 also marked the end of an era.  After a run of 13 years, Bryan and Kathy Bonahoom officially turned over the reins of ownership and management of Brickworld to Mark Larson.  It was an emotional moment for all involved.  There may be a few readers out there who have mixed feelings about the transition, or perhaps even one-sided, but you have to show an appreciation to anyone who can create and manage a convention the size and scope of Brickworld Chicago.  It continues to draw in builders in from around the world, and has been the foundation for building a large chunk of the FOL community. It also continues to grow.  Fun fact; the square footage of the display table surfaces this year was equal to the square footage of the entire venue for the first Brickworld.  Impressive.

So with that, I will close out my Brickworld round up for this year.  I’m already looking forward to Brickworld next year, with big collab ideas, a new LEGO Derby car design, and spending time with old friends and making new ones.  Happy trails to you all, until we meet again!

 

16 thoughts on “Ted Talks – “Brickworld 2019: Age of Discovery”

  1. As someone who has never been to Brickworld, or even a con in many years, I appreciate the life this post brings to those of us who cannot attend as often as we like. There is a great highlight on the builders behind the creations, and Ted your personal narrative, for people like me who are only experiencing flickr or other limited interaction online platforms.

    I am just beginning to interface with the community again and long form posts like those on the Manifesto (I am ashamed that I just stumbled over here recently when I was trying to figure out why MOCpages is un-usable, to which Keith’s write-ups illuminated clearly for me) are so much more substantial and worthwhile than curation blogs that do not always lend much value in their commentary of other’s work.

    Thanks Ted for this write-up and thanks Keith and co for keeping it going.

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    1. Thanks Alex. Glad you finally found the Manifesto. The content ebbs-and-flows, but as you noticed there is still loads of quality back-content to read… and a platform for anyone else to write something up too – all I did was send Keith an article once, and now 14 some posts later… A couple people at Brickworld that liked my builds (attendee and public) said that I should do a live-stream, or YouTube channel, etc., but I much prefer the long form. Valuable content in videos really gets buried, hard to search for specific topics, and not everyone can watch videos easily (data limits, need to keep volume down at work or on the can, etc.). I can’t stand hearing my voice anyways. My 15-seconds on “Hey Kentucky!” were more than enough…

      One interesting thing about conventions is that it can change how you interact with the overall community. Before I was much more engaged with everyone via Flickr. Post-con, you kind of find “your tribe” of builders and then you have side conversations on other platforms (Discord, Skype, Slack, etc.) and gradually pay less attention to Flickr. Being less active after a con has a lot to do with that, along with builder-burn-out. These conversations/communities tend to carry over after a con, you start talking about grand ideas for next year, etc… So if you ever notice a flickr builder becoming less and less active after a con, some of this has come into play.

      Thanks again – Ted

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  2. Great wrap-up! Wish I could have been there this year to share the fun.

    No joking about the Kaletas, truly the ones that make my own Lego experience ultimately a positive one. I should elaborate slightly. I am a builder that builds out of hate and anger. It is something that has been embraced and accepted by me as a means to an end and as that expression that cannot ever be completely scratched to satisfaction. But it has always been Dave’s honesty and perspective that is really the one I always have in the back of my mind as to showing acceptance. Not so much a teacher or guide, but rather a sane comrade in arms. Everyone needs a Kaleta in their life.

    I saw on FB that Rob received a white brick and I was giddy about their return, it really is a glorious statement that must continue on in total anonymity. As well as rarity. Seeing that there are so many awards handed out already with an ever increasing amount on the way, this then becomes the coveted of all as a totally ANTI-generic tribute. It was also great to see that Team Malort was represented well this year to carry on the tradition. Almost like the taste of that shit lingers on the palate for… well, ever. Cheers!

    I’m saddened that the drunk build was cancelled. It is an amazing amount of fun and an absolutely necessary bit of letting one’s hair down for some needed debauchery. And last year’s build parameters were outstanding! I feel responsible for its untimely demise after last year’s incident, but only by default. The actual instigator really fucked up the soup; and even last year as I wrangled him to the ground for the second time, in front of Bonahoom no less, that the fate of drunk build might have been sealed. Looking back though, I’m certain that it would have been an entirely worse situation without a couple well placed bits of leverage and the reliable physics of gravity on a 250 pound drunk. So, I’ll own a level of blame for that.

    Glad your racer won! I always imagined that those bogeys would be perfect for just such an occasion. Glad that the community is open and welcoming to the LGBTQ contingency although I am not remotely shocked there. Also glad that we have an unaccepting wing to show that FOLs can have its own share of fucking assholes like any group of idiots out there, really sidestepped that landmine. go team. Maybe we will be graced by some narrow-minded blogger out there calling for some puritanical censorship of GayLUG because… well, gay. Glad that you, Ted, are still the stellar cat I know you to be by sharing your room with yet another poor dude. 😉 Glad that the Manifesto reaches more people than any metrics can convey. Suck it, Sully! XD And lastly, I’m glad that I am committed to making it out there next year if only to see you again, Ted.

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    1. Thanks Matt.
      I was actually pretty pumped for Samuel that he got a white brick. Feels so much more rewarding to receive that the standard awards, as they really highlight the specialness of the builder over their builds.

      It seems like every good story always has some kind of villain or conflict to overcome. As much as I detest the stupidity of the people who do petty acts (such as “TRUMP poster boy”), they do make for a good story and a foil for the good people in this world. When MOCPages ever comes back up, I’m sure someone will eventually write that puritanical “think piece”…

      Oh yeah. Forgot to mention that during the show, EJ Bocan was asked to take down his “circle game” mosaic, due to it commonly being misconstrued as a supremacists hand gesture (heard that originally was an internet joke that the media took as actually being true… And so it has become.) People offended on all sides it seems.
      https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10217605094338068&id=1199599638

      The Clunkers demo also left me wondering if that die comes up “Skully” more often than rolling a standard die would come up on 1. It certainly seemed like it did, as well as hardly coming up on a 6…. Hmm that might be a possible move mechanic, or an action card (moving into a 6 zone by rolling “the hard 6” on successive actions… Or if you roll a 3, you can move to a 6). When I get the time, I will run a little experiment to see if statistically significant differences exist between dies, or if it can be explained by random chance…. Per Heath, nothing wrong with Skully coming up more often, but it would be cool to confirm it with stats.

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  3. Nice article Ted. Good to see some new material on The Manifesto. I do feel like the article needs at least a couple pictures showing some display tables. We don’t even get a picture of your table. This is like the opposite of all my BrickCon Flickr feeds which show endless pictures with no descriptions. That water effect around that cargo ship is pretty sweet. Need more cool pictures and videos like that. 🙂 Anyway, nice article, thanks for giving us nonparticipants a glimpse of the action/drama.

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    1. I prefer to leave all the low-hanging-fruit, MOC round-up stuff to The Brothers Brick, Beyond the Brick, Brick Nerd, and whatever other “Brick Whatevers” blogs are out there. They do a much better job with that stuff. The Manifesto is here (Keith’s interest permitting) to bring to you what the others blogs won’t; snarky commentary about our building community at large, and boat loads of articles about Bionicle and fire engines! Cue the sirens!!!… Beyond the Brick looked liked they were interviewing all the important builders, and videoing the important builds (i.e. none of mine), so that should be a good place to get the low down… Or better yet, drive the 2.5 hours from Indy next year and get yourself up to Brickworld Chicago already! rowntRee drives all the way up from Prescott, AZ so you know it has to be worth it (because the Malort sure isn’t…). Your kids would love it too. Always table space in Orphan LUG for any LUG-less Flickr builder to display a MOC or two. (… And Markus Rollbühler makes the best Orphan LUG swag kits – that micro Hogwarts build in the middle of my swag photo).

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      1. I’d probably have to bring the girls as they are the only ones building LEGO right now. I could probably fill a display table with custom Friends LEGO builds from them. I’m still not a fan of the LEGO Friends dolls, but have like a million of them now. Their hands don’t rotate and the legs don’t move independently, what the hell!? Clearly inferior. It is annoying, but the girls love them. Does anyone fill a table with 3, 5, and 7-year old’s Friends builds?

        I still kind of defend my first response. I don’t need a complete breakdown of all the “best builds”, but maybe a handful of your favorites. I tried to look at the Beyond the Bricks YouTube site, but gave up after watching a couple minutes of an hour-and-a-half video of the ball contraption. An hour-and-a-half! Fill this gap Ted! 🙂

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  4. Excellent as always to see you there, Ted! I was crushed to miss last year with work and life being insane, so making a triumphant return with basically no building in the past year was in the cards. Talking to all the old friends and drinking too much was just the kick I needed.

    Now that I am more aware of the white bricks (and have a decent idea of the builder) I want one. Badly.

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  5. Hey Kentucky! That was a mighty fine round up as usual Ted, but I will throw in with Jake and agree that it might have benefited from a few more photos. I probably should have mentioned that to you when I was creating the post but as you know I really don’t like to edit for content, I’d rather leave the individual writer’s voice intact as much as possible. Case in point: you took part in that fascinating “Cienasis Rendezvous” collabo, but until you posted a photo today, I couldn’t track it down anywhere to pour over the details. I understand and endorse your instinct of not succumbing to the boilerplate formula of convention coverage popularized by the big blogs, but I would have appreciated you documenting a few models that you personally enjoyed that might not have made the highlights reel of TBB and their ilk. I don’t think they covered it this year at all, at least in a dedicated post, when I was there they had a policy of not doing it because it alienates the readers who couldn’t attend. I always thought that was bullshit.

    The whole White Brick tradition continues to be awesome, it’s just the sort of out o’ the box thinking that conventions need. Not happy with the award structure, make your own, and the person obviously does it with style.

    Of course it was interesting to read that you encountered a couple of fans of the Manifesto, that’s very cool, but I wonder if most of them read your article on the BrickWorld forum and how many actually read the site. I think the jury is still out as far as the reach of this august blog goes…but it is definitely gratifying to know that more people read the site than just the dozen who commented when the Manifesto was it’s busiest.

    I’m not sure how I feel about prohibition hitting Brickworld, it’s too bad that the antics of one idiot who couldn’t hold his liquor would ruin it for the vast majority of folks who can drink and manage not to become a raging douche. The drunk build is usually a really fun time and the lovely drunks amongst our tribe deserve their moment of convention fun.

    Glad to hear about the triumphant return of Kaleta and of your encounter with Kevin Huxhold, it’s interesting how much the local convention hall geography can affect how your convention goes. Having been on both sides of that particular coin I can sympathize with him.

    I’m looking forward to playing some Clunkers somewhere down the line. I got my hands on the prototype recently and I was itching’ to roll some dice and move those cool models around the map.

    Kudos to GayLUG for joining in on the action, LGBTQ builders have been a big part of the hobby for as long as I can remember (the Lavender Brick Society on LUGnet). I admit to being curious about the whole Trump Tile issue, it’s a classic passive-aggressive lego nerd tactic and a reminder that there remains a significant portion of the tribe who skews heavily to the right. Were they selling those Trump tiles at the con, and if so, was it Brickarmz? Or was this more calculated and the guilty party ordered the tile in advance? Do you think it was an attendee or a member of the public? Were they the only ones who received a Trump Tile? And finally I’ll just say that it’s a drag that GayLUG felt they had to employ their own security cameras to protect the models. Apparently it was warranted but again, that’s a drag. Seems like the event didn’t stain the weekend for them and that’s good. Kudos to you also for helping that fellow lego nerd with lodgings, that kind of spirit is what makes the gatherings special.

    Lastly, kudos to the Walrus for such a long and successful run with Brickworld, but having Mark Larson calling the shots going forward is definitely an incentive for me to check it out again. I haven’t been out there since 2010 and maybe the pull of the ‘big show’ will be strong enough to get me back there one of these years.

    Thanks for the write up Ted, you’re single handedly keeping the Manifesto alive in 2019.

    Like

    1. Thank YOU for providing us access to the platform for another year. Hoping to hear stuff from others too…

      More on the Trump-MAGA tile: It was definitely this one from EclipseGrafx.
      http://www.eclipsebricks.com/trump-for-president/
      I think they came up with the design during the original presidential election campaign, prior to the more warped meaning it has today, and they sold most of them then (…but they are still for sale on their on-line store… inventory is inventory, I guess). It was placed on their display by an attendee (on Friday morning?), so someone had to have purchased it beforehand. Doubt any other displays had them placed onto them. Samuel had a good laugh at the passive-aggressiveness of it; “So typical!”. He’s the kind to go toe-to-toe with whomever is dishing out too. I think Samuel is a big reason why the group didn’t let it stain their experience, as he has a way of positively turning things around. “Sashay away!”

      Samuel’s stuff on instagram:
      This Batwoman MOC was a commission that ended up getting a nomination for Best Mosaic (it lost to a Star Wars mosaic… well, duh). https://www.instagram.com/p/BzJZH-DJD1o/
      And this one is just Divine https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwj03IlprU8/

      On my lack of pictures, this year I guess I more focused on the builders than the builds; the interactions were more memorable to me than the MOC’s. I also was quicker writing the round-up (within a week of Brickworld?) than in past years, so I was also ahead of when many folks post pictures of their MOC’s onto their own streams. I really try to avoid posting pictures of other people’s MOCs on my own stream, as I want them to get the faves, comments, accolades, etc. I guess others don’t have that concern, so I will see what they have posted…

      -The first linked image in this article is from Lia Chan. Be sure to go back there and see the photos of it lit up during World of Lights.
      -Mt. Clutchmore by Roger Day was an overlooked MOC (for awards nominations) that was a definite highlight: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thropots/48129726386
      -I dug the nostalgia from Matt DeLanoy and his Mister Roger’s Land of Make Beleive
      The Neighborhood of Make-Believe by Matthew DeLanoy
      -Best building is best building https://www.flickr.com/photos/thropots/48129746943
      – The prolific shadow artist, Amanda Feuk slayed it again, and also won Brickworld Master Builder this year (the first female to win) https://www.flickr.com/photos/thropots/48129821107
      – Doug Kinney (of Captain Marvel/Malfoy acclaim) got redemption with his astronaut mosaic https://www.flickr.com/photos/thropots/48129777278

      Hopefully that will sate your appetites… and hopefully others will contribute what they saw/liked in the comments…

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      1. Clutchmore got nothing… that looks like the type of build that convention goers would all go nuts about. That’s surprising.

        That shadow dragon… that’s pretty badass. I’m impressed. That is something that would probably blow my kids minds.

        Thanks for sharing Ted.

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      2. Amanda’s shadow work will blow your mind when you are right in front of it. I don’t normally have a jaw-drop moment, but her work drops my jaw. It looks like a mess at first glance, like someone just threw some tablescraps from their five year old’s mind on a table in front of a white wall or it’s some work in progress that needs a lot more work and even more progress. Then the light in front gets turned on and your brain goes into giddy conniptions while screaming, “No fucking way!” She definitely deserves the master builder award, but I think it’s more important to say that the award deserves her.

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  6. Ted, this writeup was superbly done. I’ll be the contrarian and say that I enjoyed the story sans pictures. I find that convention pictures all look pretty much the same, and the background never does a build any favors. It was cool to hear you dig into the details of the builders themselves, not the creations, and I think that’s where the real charm in conventions lies.

    I’m so jealous to hear you got to play Clunkers! I feel like I’ve been waiting half my life for that opportunity, although I suppose that to get the full experience, I’ll need to be playing against Matt. No sense dominating someone else’s board game when there’s no Roontree to piss off! Who do I have to call to be in the next playtest?

    Super cool to hear about the LGBTQ+ representation. It’s not surprising that the Lego fandom is well represented, nor is it surprising that there is an outpouring of support. Kudos to you Ted on being so kind to the guy you roomed with. When I get my Brickworld experience, I hope it goes down similar to that, complete with all the roommate conversations, spontaneity, and fun that cross-country trips always have. Is there a way to hook up with strangers (I said that wrong) when getting hotel rooms? I think it would be a blast to go totally random, and make a new friend.

    That white brick thing seems exactly like something I might imagine doing, but never actually do. I’m really glad that someone is taking recognition into their own hands, and it’s neat to hear that being a recipient is now a covetable position! Maybe I can be the guy to do that at the local convention and get that neat concept spread around the USA and world.

    I missed Brickworld this year and I’m still emotional about it. But next year… Well, next year, I’m done with college (check), old enough to drink (check), and I’ll probably have a job with 0 days of paid time off (damn it). So, we’ll see, but if you’ll be there, if Skully is well represented, if Matt and Keith get their asses to Chicago (hint hint guys), and if I can convince some of my European buddies to make the trip… Count me in!

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    1. Thanks man. Glad you liked the write-up.

      The beautiful thing about play Clunkers is that you are ALWAYS playing against Matt. It’s a cooperative game of “players vs. the deep space universe” that Matt and Heath created. If you ever find your way down to Prescott, AZ, I’m sure they can arrange a demo… and Matt can laugh in your face as the game grinds you into space dust (pro tip: be sure to be the one to shuffle the card decks before playing, or they’ll definitely be stacked against you)

      There are people that coordinate con rooms for other “Young Turks” such as yourself. I’ll send you a message with some options when you are ready to take the con plunge.

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    2. You definitely need to make it to BW! Keith does too! I’m committed to getting there next time come hell or high water and will likely be looking for a roomie too. Mainly for guidance as we stumble back at 6:am. State law.

      As for a play test of Clunkers, all are welcome anytime. And yes, I will be laughing my ass off when you flip over a Space card just when you think you’ve got it won and you get what we are now officially calling “Space Face.” It’s a gloriously visible drop of hope as you realize the deck just went fully in without lube. BTW the game is on its way as soon as we hammer out some printing issues. Apparently the tariff is now a thing that makes printers in China want to also go fully in without lube. The upside of that is the pricing is now comparable to one in ‘Murica we’d like to use. So, yay? I guess. #kissallprofitgoodbye I don’t think this was the intended outcome of political pressure unless 1×5 Games is that much of a threat to the world. Actually, I can see that. Concentrated evil and all.

      Anyways, BW2020 or bust!

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