LEGO Event “Brickish Weekend” at UK’s National Space Centre in Leicester this Saturday

While a member of the European Space Agency (ESA), the UK has a national space agency all their own: the executive-level UK Space Agency (UKSA). In addition, there’s an educational resource museum in Leicester, the National Space Centre that exhibits a number of historical spacecraft plus related technologies and facilities.

The NSC also has a partnership with the UK-based LEGO-building AFOL community the Brickish Association. For nine year past they have hosted an annual event called the Brickish Weekend, where they fill the National Space Centre with a colorful exhibition of awesome tabletop builds of various subjects and tile-mosaic art.

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For this year, the tenth Brickish Weekend event at the NSC will take place right at this weekend, from March 16 to 17. Once more the Brickish Association builders will put their best foot forward with their anticipated LEGO exhibits.

Their displays will include a dedicated gallery featuring official and MOC space-related LEGO sets and builds, fitting for the venue. Whether based on real spacecraft or the fancies of the imagination, these exhibits will form the central core of the event, which will also feature official and custom creations of every other LEGO theme available.

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Brickish Weekend will offer guest activities too. Visitors will be able to play with LEGO bricks at provided building tables. A LEGO mosaic will also get guests to contribute tiles to complete the giant image.

This annual tradition at the National Space Centre in Leicester will definitely enhance the space history experience that the museum is already famous for. Tickets for Brickish Weekend can be booked at the official website.

Nifty MOC Featured on Reddit: Nintendo Switch-Shaped Game Card Storage Case

LEGO and the Nintendo Switch might be one of the best “unexpected” cross-brand interactions ever. Last year we ran a feature on how LEGO pieces (traditional bricks and Technic components) can be used as sturdy alternatives for the cardboard building material used in the Switch’s innovative “Labo” gaming-construction toy platform.

This new MOC we’ve found may not be not have as “active” a role as the LEGO-brick Labo components before, but it certainly looks snazzy. Redditor Squid50s posted on the Nintendo Switch subreddit his LEGO creation: a carrying case for Switch game cards, shaped like the Switch unit with Joy-Cons.

Squid50s apparently got his flash of inspiration for this MOC when he realized that Switch game cards are just under the size of a 3×2 LEGO brick. Working off on that, he designed a container part with four game card-sized compartments using some very uncommon flat and bracket-shaped LEGO elements.

The container is secured by a swinging LEGO-built lead that’s secured by a single peg at the bottom. Constructs of the red and blue Joy-Cons on either side, with black circle pieces, complete its image of a LEGO Nintendo Switch replica. Even the green interior of the storage space was a copy of a real Switch unit’s internal circuit board.

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On a follow-up Reddit post, Squid50s also revealed that he only managed to complete his project thanks to LEGO itself. He needed some blue 3×3 corner plate pieces and inquired with LEGO online to buy some. The company revealed that the pieces were discontinued, but they were willing to send his needed bricks for free.

Comments on Reddit are concerned that a LEGO-built Switch game card case isn’t made for longtime carrying around, but will at least look nice to keep within reach of one’s Nintendo Switch unit.

The limited capacity comes from the fact that Switch games are available either on hardcopy or digital form, so this is for gamers who prefer their game titles in a tangible format. Those interested in recreating Squid50s’ MOC can look for the LEGO-piece list and possible instructions on the Reddit post’s comments.

Expansive LEGO Mount Rushomre Build Featuring at BrickUniverse Event at Raleigh, NC

LEGO-related news lately has been featuring some impressively large MOC builds. This week if you can recall, we covered a tabletop LEGO roller coaster and playground set that’s fit to earn a Guinness World Record. That MOC by James Burrows is also scheduled to go on the road for exhibition.

Speaking of which, Raleigh is hosting the BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention again this year, and on the coming weekend to boot. Like its official website says, we can expect plenty of big builds being showcased for participants and guests. One of them is a stunning scale copy of Mount Rushmore.

Created by Rocco Buttliere, a LEGO builder for Chicago, the sprawling model is made out of about 22,000 bricks, rendering Mount Rushmore – and the four Presidential faces carved on it – down to some sharp detail, including the rubble pile underneath.

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And that’s only on one side of the whole build. The rest is given over to a recreation of the forested terrain and the rest of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial complex: visitor’s center, Lincoln Borglum Museum and Presidential Trail.

According to WRAL.com Buttliere took around 400 hours to finalize the design of his LEGO Mount Rushmore model, and that the actual construction took him 150 hours more. That’s par for the course for Buttliere, a well-known LEGO builder with international awards and exhibits of his work.

The BrickUniverse LEGO Con kicks off at the Raleigh Convention Center from March 9 to 10, 9AM-5PM. Highlights will include the usual free-building areas, meet and greets with popular builders, a Challenge competition Zone and a “Star Wars” set display.

Hereford LEGO Builder Requesting Brick Donations to Complete Old House Model for Brick History Exhibition at Real Old House

In Hereford, UK there’s an old house built during the 17th Century that serves as one of that cathedral city’s main tourist attractions. Constructed in the half-timbered Jacobean style and painted black and white, the Old House – now a museum – is the subject of a LEGO build that’ll soon become part of its own exhibits.

With the Hereford Old House soon to host a LEGO Brick History Exhibition, Shona Ashton has decided to contribute a brick-built scale model of The Old House. Thus far her project has progressed thanks to contributions of bricks from donors in her community; but her build is not yet complete.

With the Brick History Exhibition kicking off Saturday next week Ashton, a designer from the local New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE) school, has put out a request on the local press and social media. Her LEGO Old House is still several bricks short.

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Ashton’s post on her Twitter page actually lists the specific LEGO bricks and elements she needs to finish her Old House model. From her recent photo of the build, it’s still missing pieces for roof tiles and the white “timber” to fit between the black “posts” on the second floor.

Besides Shona Ashton’s Old House, other models to be showcased by NMiTE builders at the LEGO Brick History Exhibition will be builds of various mobile phones, the DNA double-helix, the Big Bang, and LEGO statues of Martin Luther King and Mozart, among others. The exhibit, launched in partnership with the Herefordshire Council, begins March 16.

New “Build a LEGO Church” Fundraising Event for Washington National Cathedral Earthquake Damage Repairs

LEGO has long been an uncommon but effective partner with drives for charity. They’re either given away as donations by charitable organizations, or actively used in raising funds. An example of the latter was the campaign by St. Edmundsbury Cathedral in the UK last year. A similar charity drive is now open in the US, specifically in the national capital.

The Washington National Cathedral was built in the early 20th Century and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. It sustained damage during a 2011 earthquake, necessitating repairs that are ongoing to this day. But funds are drying up and more is needed.

Much like what happened in St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, the WNC is in turn spearheading a LEGO building campaign. Visitors to the cathedral will be given the privilege of adding a brick to the scale replica of the WNC for every $2.00 donated to the repair fund. LEGO volunteers would supervise the model’s construction, guiding donors where to put their pieces.

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In an interview with DCist the Cathedral’s communications chief Kevin Eckstrom relates that the 2011 Virginia Earthquake caused them $34 million worth in damages. So far only $15 million have been successfully repaired, hence the idea for the LEGO campaign.

We suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise why the Washington National and St. Edmundsbury LEGO campaigns are similar; both were initiated with assistance from the UK-based LEGO group Bright Bricks. The WNC charity project, when finished, will have 400,000 LEGO pieces (potentially making $800,000 in donations), 13 feet long and 1,400 pounds heavy – the size of a minivan in estimate.

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The charity campaign began last Friday, March 1. For the occasion, the mascot of the Washington Nationals MLB team Teddie placed the LEGO-brick cornerstone on the model. This commemorates Teddie’s origin, President Theodore Roosevelt, doing the same for the actual WNC way back in 1907.

Florida LEGO Store Owner Makes MOC Roller Coaster, Soon to Be Declared World’s Biggest by Guinness

While LEGO has long been producing brick sets based on roller coasters like the Creator Expert one (10261) from last year, creative builders have strived to do custom builds, as big as they could with all the bricks they might have on hand. One toy store owner in Florida may have just created an MOC worth a Guinness World Record.

Said LEGO roller coaster MOC was the brainchild of James Burrows, who runs The Brick University in Spring Hill. Using over 300,000 different LEGO pieces and elements, Burrows erected a monstrosity comprised of more than 91 feet of coaster track. With Power Functions, he can send his brick-built coaster along its course at scale speeds of 68 miles an hour.

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The MOC coaster setup dominates a tabletop display that takes up most of the center space of Burrows’ store. But aside from this main attraction, he also built an amusement park around the coaster itself to really complete the package.

Featuring rides like a drop tower and other facilities like a mini golf course and cinema, the LEGO theme park and the roller coaster in the middle is then populated by close to 2,000 minifigures, some of which are riding on the coaster of course. Info on that powered brick-built ride has already been sent on by James Burrows to Guinness, which will soon certify it as the largest LEGO roller coaster in the world.

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Following the Guinness recognition, Burrows will make his titanic MOC available to LEGO expositions for display. He’s already got such events lined up in Indianapolis, Charlotte and Asheville. To facilitate its transport, he says he needs to divide it all into four main sections to fit inside three shipping crates.

Burrows will accompany his soon-to-be-record-holder LEGO coaster on its expo displays. After all, it makes for great promotion for his store The Brick University, to help sell his stock of LEGO products at the events. “I get to play with Legos in front of thousands of people,” he says regarding his livelihood. “I enjoy what I do for a living.”

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Stunning LEGO MOC Vignette of Battle of Crait Praised by “Last Jedi” Director

When a LEGO product line is celebrating a milestone anniversary, the brand can be counted on to celebrate that with a wide release of new LEGO sets under that banner. And everyone who has been keeping up with LEGO-related news through us would know that LEGO Star Wars is now a couple of decades old.

But sometimes, some serious commemoration of a LEGO line seems only achievable with an MOC. Let’s consider David Hall, a LEGO builder specializing in the “Star Wars” tie-in products. Ignoring naysayers’ opinion on 2017’s “The Last Jedi,” Hall has recreated that film’s climactic action sequence, the battle on Planet Crait.

In a diorama that he says contains around 100,000 bricks and which took him a year and a half to put together, David Hall made the Resistance’s last stand against the First Order look awesome, with official LEGO Star Wars sets and minifigures fighting on a custom-built Crait’s “red-salt” surface.

Such was the intricate details and intensity of the vignette’s combat choreography that Hall’s work went viral not just with LEGO/Star Wars fans but with the showbiz industry, according to Entertainment Weekly where we get this news. It probably helps that Hall’s work caught the attention of the director of “The Last Jedi”: Rian Johnson.

Johnson may be under fire from fanatical “Star Wars” fans who felt he overdid the subverting of expectations and conventions from his movie, but he certainly appreciates any franchise follower who references his film work. In two Twitter posts the filmmaker expressed how awed he was by the Battle of Crait as interpreted by Hall.

David Hall was just as appreciative, and intimated with Rian Johnson that he too dreams of becoming a film director, with the latter as inspiration. Those are brave words of support for the director of “The Last Jedi,” argued as the most divisive “Star Wars” film in the franchise’s history.

The Battle of Crait shown in Hall’s diorama was the final death knell of the anti-First Order Resistance, which over the course of the movie went from an army to just enough people to fit in the Millennium Falcon. We’ll get to see what happens to them when “Star Wars Episode IX” premieres December 20.

Munich Trade Show Features Massive 1:1 LEGO Volkswagen T2 Van Made by Certified Professional

Full-scale LEGO reproductions are a dime a dozen these days, particularly when it comes to automobiles. We’ve seen brick-built Formula One racing cars and camper trailers, and for the umpteenth time we’ll mention the storied 1:1 scale LEGO Bugatti Chiron that drives like a real car, powered by LEGO-set generators.

Now, a trade show in Munich, Germany will serve as a venue for the showcase of another life-sized LEGO vehicle construct. The project was built by LEGO Certified Professional Rene Hoffmeister with help from Pascal Lenhard, and their replicated vehicle, as befits the German setting, is the Volkswagen T2 camper.

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Originating from a digital schematic of a real Type 2 van that was converted into a LEGO brick diagram, Hoffmeister and Lenhard led a building team to realize the plan, constructing some 400,000 different LEGO pieces over and around a supporting metal framework for strength.

One hiccup in the project occurred when the delivery of 20,000 transparent LEGO blocks to be formed into the Volkswagen’s windshield and windows was delayed. By having his team do overtime and weekend shifts, Hoffmeister managed to keep their construction timetable to within the six weeks allotted before the f.re.e. outdoor trade show officially opened this Wednesday on February 20.

For trivia purposes, the physical stats of this LEGO 1:1 Volkswagen Type 2 van are: 700 kilos (1,543 lbs.) 400,000 blocks (20,000 transparent), 5 meters (16.4 ft.) long, 3 meters (9.8 ft.) tall, with functional sliding door and Westfalia roof.

This incredible LEGO Volkswagen T2 will be a star attraction at the f.re.e. trade show in Munich, which runs for four days from February 20 to 24. It’ll be located in hall C5, booth 103, along with the actual T2 that it was modeled from.

Custom Build Wizard Chris McVeigh Becomes an Official Part of LEGO’s Design Teams

It’s always great and inspiring to hear stories of “ascended” fans, people who have been ardent followers of a company or brand and have done extensive work using their products. Eventually they get called up by these same companies and offered their dream jobs, officially becoming part of their organization.

A lot of LEGO fans have enjoyed becoming ascended themselves, whether it’s as small as having their submissions to LEGO Ideas becoming official sets, or actually getting hired by The LEGO Group themselves. The latter has recently happened to Chris “PowerPig” McVeigh, one of the biggest online LEGO builders today.

His building guide website has plenty of nice tech-related brick construction projects, and he also sells some impressive MOCs in his own store. PowerPigs work is plenty spiffy enough to stand next to any official LEGO sets, which might explain why The LEGO Group has extended an invite to him.

McVeigh announced the good news on his official Facebook page this Tuesday, February 19. He will soon be moving to Denmark as a new addition to the design and development teams for the LEGO Creator Expert and Architecture product lines. It was accompanied by the cool minifigure vignette pictured above.

Of course, such a major change will have certain repercussions to PowerPig’s online activities. The most significant is that his online LEGO MOC store, PowerPig’s Builds, will be shutting down effective February 25, so interested customers better make their online purchases before this week’s out. We’re not sure what will happen to his building guides; perhaps they’ll remain on site.

But, Chris McVeigh is now part of the bigger picture with his ascension to the LEGO Creator Expert and Architecture teams. Who knows which future sets from these lines will be made with his input? It’ll be fun to guess.

2017-Built LEGO Renault F1 Racecar Sold at Charity Auction for $105,000

Before LEGO fired up the global building community with their life-sized fully-functional replica of the Bugatti Chiron using, Technic pieces akin to their official LEGO Technic set version (42083), the one prominent case of a life-sized car made out of LEGO bricks was a (non-running) Renault R.S.17 racecar.

This one was created in 2017 as part of promotion for both that year’s F1 season and Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary event. After over a year from its time in the spotlight, this full-scale LEGO Renault F1 racecar found itself in the news again, after it was sold in auction for charity.

Said auction took place just this past Sunday, February 10, and it was part of a larger selection of motorsports memorabilia that went under the hammer that day on behalf of UNICEF. Made by a LEGO Certified Pro from some 300,000 LEGO pieces, its estimated sale price was around $35,000-$55,000.

Nobody could have imagined, according to NBC affiliate WTHR 13, that the 1:1 LEGO Renault R.S.17 would go for $108,000 which was almost double its maximum ESP. That is indeed remarkable considering its being a static model compared to the “new hotness” that is the working life-sized Technic Bugatti Chiron.

With that, one piece of LEGO cross-promotion history now belongs to a well-off motorsports aficionado, with the proceeds going to UNICEF charities. The LEGO Renault is a hybrid build like the later Bugatti Chiron: LEGO bricks over a metal frame, with genuine Pirelli racing tires and a movable steering wheel.