BrickFair 2009: LEGO, LEGO, Everywhere!

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brickfair2009brickfair2009As you might imagine, it’s not often that I feel like one of the less geeky people in any room. Yet I had just such an experience this past Sunday at BrickFair. I found myself simultaneously amazed at some of the creations the people there had made and extremely glad (for my wallet) that, while my kids are huge fans of LEGO, they don’t hold a candle to most of the youngsters there.

It was an absolute mob scene, with a wait of about fifteen minutes just to pay for admission. The crowd around many displays was two-deep, and the crowd around the Mindstorms robot challenge area was four-deep. Still, my kids, my wife, and I had a great time. It really is impressive how much creativity and devotion many AFOLs (Adult fans of LEGO) and TFOLs (Teenage fans of LEGO) display in their creations. There were train setups galore, spaceships of all sorts, robots, giant cranes that towered at least five feet over my head, and even food made out of LEGO.

I’m always particularly impressed by creative interpretations of familiar scenes, which is probably one of the reasons I like the LEGO videogames so much. There were a bunch of Harry Potter displays, taking the old LEGO Harry Potter line and expanding upon it.

Photo: Matt BlumPhoto: Matt Blum

Photo: Matt Blum

There were recreations of the ST:TOS Enterprise bridge and even of old-Spock’s ship from the recent Star Trek movie. (This last one I found particularly impressive because that ship was all curves, which for obvious reasons makes it rather difficult to reproduce faithfully out of LEGO bricks.) The movie bit that I liked best, though, was one of the simpler ones: A recreation of the stores from Kevin Smith’s Clerks, humbly included as part of one of the huge train displays.

I also loved, and my kids particularly loved, looking for the little Easter eggs everywhere. Whether it was finding Luke and Darth Vader battling each other on top of an otherwise-normal candy shop, or finding a shark-headed Viktor Krum in the middle of an “underwater” display that bore no other relationship to the Potterverse, we really enjoyed stumbling across these little surprises. I’m not sure which was my favorite — possibly the Jar Jar Binks hanging from a turning windmill, though I would have enjoyed it more if he’d gone flying off every now and then.

I also learned a few things: For instance, did you know there was a whole genre of LEGO creations intended to appear post-apocalyptic, called “LEGOpocalypse?” I hadn’t, but I was very impressed by them.

I took quite a few pictures, all of which are available (and hopefully described adequately) in this Flickr set. If you have a chance to come to BrickFair next year, I highly recommend it.

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