As you may know, today marks the 119th anniversary of Philippine Independence. This is a day when Filipinos all over the world look back to what their ancestors did in order for us to attain the freedoms that we now enjoy. Being a Filipino citizen and a LEGO fan, I couldn’t help but appreciate the freedom that I and the rest of the Filipino AFOL community are now enjoying that allows us to show our passion for the LEGO brick. I guess the best expression of this freedom is the capacity of our local LEGO Users Group – the Philippine LEGO Users Group or PhLUG – to organize the country’s grandest LEGO fan event. Coined as Abrickadabra 2017, I once featured this LEGO fan event several weeks ago and this is my follow-up on my first LEGO fan convention experience. Held last May 27 at the Promenade Hall in Greenhills, Manila, this LEGO fan event is by far, the largest gathering of like-minded LEGO fans and curious folks who would like to start their budding LEGO hobby.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of this once in a year, local brick fest and it seems that a single day is not enough to fully appreciate the 100 plus individual builds that were put on display. PhLUG’s various sub-branches which they call SIGs or Special Interest Groups, all have their awesome MOCs to share on the convention floor: from huge Castle dioramas to Sci-Fi, out of this world builds, every LEGO enthusiast and attendee surely found something that caught their fancy. I personally love the dioramas from the Kingdoms and Urban Builders: the former, for the sheer size and crazy cool details of their MOCs, while the latter for their faithful representation of several famous Philippine landmarks. Other highlights of the event include fan builder Sascha Ollik’s 11,000-piece SDF-1 Macross and many vintage LEGO sets from 1960s to 80s.
Here are some images that I managed to snap at Abrickadabra 2017. They’re not that comprehensive but if you wish to see more, a simple Google search will certainly yield results.
By far the Kingdoms SIG has the largest and highly detailed dioramas on display at Abrickadabra. The total footprint of their exhibit is roughly equivalent to a staggering 100, 48×48 baseplates, featuring various elements coming from LEGO’s Castles, LOTR, and Ninjago themes.
Featuring the most popular historical cities of the Philippines, the Urban Builders’ exhibits focused on houses and buildings that reflect a combination of Philippine architecture and way of living during the Spanish period and modern times.
Sci-Fi and Mechs
Fans of mech builds surely had a blast with all the cool exhibits under this theme. Featured also is Sacha Ollik’s stunning SDF-1 Macross based on the popular 80s anime, coming in at more than 11,000 pieces.
Those who are into collecting Speed Champions sets will find this corner interesting. Previous and latest Speed Champions sets were put on display on a brick-built race track, together with a host of minifig spectators.
One of the MOCs that caught my attention was these eye-catching Marvel Classic X-Men and Avengers BrickHeadz. My favorites were Cyclops with his optic blast, and Thanos flaunting his LEGOlized Infinity Gauntlet. Featured also under this theme are MOCs of budding LEGO artists with their own vision of brick-built superheroes.
Truth be told, it was my first time to see these many Star Wars UCS sets under one roof: the Death Star (75159), Slave I (75060), TIE Fighter (75095), B-Wing Starfighter (10227), Red Five X-wing Starfighter (10240), and the Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon (10179).
In stark contrast to the Ultimate Collector Series on display at Force Legion’s booth, are microscale versions of several Rogue One scenes. I’m a fan of microscale versions, so I love how Rogue One’s AT-ACT was represented using only a few LEGO pieces.
Also on display were several pieces, of what you may call, LEGO history. I am thankful to have the opportunity of seeing in person, for the first time, the 1978 LEGO Classic Yellow Castle complete with its Knight minifigures and working drawbridge.
There were also several talks provided by experts on the basics of toy photography and MOCing that were attended by AFOLs, other LEGO enthusiasts. We also have fun in waiting anxiously on the next name that will be called during the raffle draws held every hour or so. To top it off, I had a blast browsing through myriad of LEGO sets for sale by various retailers. Most of these are hard to find sets, polybags and minifigs that serious collectors will be delighted to stumble upon. Needless to say, I’m happy with my own polybag and minifig haul after the event. Mental note: I need to save as early as now if I wish to get the sets that I want in next year’s Abrickadabra.
PhLUG envisions Abrickadabra to be a yearly fan event that grows bigger and grander each year. I will surely be back for next year’s Abrickadabra, and if ever you’re planning to visit the Philippines next year, be sure to add this one-of-a-kind LEGO fan event in your itinerary.
Special thanks go to PhLUG’s lead man and LEGO Ambassador Piper Protacio, and Pascual Amatong for introducing me to Abrickadabra. More LEGO power to you guys and to the rest of the cool builders behind PhLUG. ‘Til we see each other again!