SydLUG kicked off its first meeting for 2018 by combining it with a mini exhibition for Cumberland Libraries. The group took the opportunity to catch up at the Merrylands Central Library on Sunday 28 January and display some of their recent builds for the local community as the school holidays drew to a close.
Around 300 visitors to the exhibition were excited to see what the group’s AFOL builders could do. Visiting children were also treated to a free building workshop presented by SydLUG member, Pete White. The afternoon was a great success, with many young builders being inspired to enter the upcoming Kids Creation Competition run by the Sydney Brick Show. The show will take place in the April school holidays, April 21-22 at the new venue of Penrith Panthers Pavilion.
SydLUG President, Gavin Rich, said library shows are a great way to reintroduce the community to both LEGO and what their local library offers.
“Lots of people don’t know what their local library has to offer, which is so much more than books these days. Libraries are a real community learning hub and hobbies like LEGO, with so much to offer in terms of creativity, problem solving, strategy and design skills, fits right into this space”.
More shows are planned with Cumberland Libraries this year and a larger show with Blacktown Library in the July school holidays.
14 members of SydLUG started 2018 with a bang, travelling to Melbourne to take part in Australia’s largest LEGO fan event, Brickvention Australia. The event was held over three days from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 January in the impressive, heritage listed, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.
Despite very hot conditions the show was a fantastic experience for all who attended. The massive train layout, complete with Australian themed landscapes and the largest ball contraption in the Southern Hemisphere were highlights. The quality of some of the younger builders was also astounding – the work of some of the teenagers displaying was inspiring and had the AFOLs vowing to lift their game! A number of castle builds were awarded at the show and were indicative of the high quality of builds in this theme.
Two of our own SydLUG members were awarded commendations, Handoko for his Imperial Fairground and Graham for his Hungarian State Opera House. Handoko was also awarded a Kids Choice and his build was certainly a crowd favourite, people clambering frantically to get a good viewpoint of all the moving parts and comical details.
Not content with just one show away from home, a handful of SydLUGgers went on to participate in a community show in Merimbula on the south coast of NSW. The Brickfest was put on by the local Rotary club and raised around $8,000 for a carer’s unit in the local hospital. Crowds were very appreciative of the builds, with a long line of attendees waiting at the doors before opening on the first day. 2,600 people visited over two days and the event looks like being repeated next year.
Thursday, 7 December saw the first ever SydLUG display for Bunnings. SydLUG stalwarts, Ray and Pete, responded to the Kingsgrove store’s request for a brick built display at their Christmas Family Night, showcasing some of their best builds across eight tables in the timber aisle of the store. (Insert bad construction pun of your choice here!)
The event was well attended with over 100 families from the local community taking part in the free activities which included a jumping castle, henna art, arts and crafts, and of course a visit from the man in red himself…
There were plenty of truly enthusiastic LEGO fans, from kids through to Bunnings staff and members of the SES, who were impressed by the SydLUG display. Pete’s ‘Pasha Bulka’ was a highlight with many fans fascinated by how long such an epic build would take to make.
More Bunnings events are in the works for SydLUG in 2018.
Four generous SydLUG builders answered a last-minute call to include LEGO-made creations at the Balarang Public School Spring Fair. This was SydLUG’s final public display for 2017, and exhibitors at Oak Flats were rewarded with the admiration of around 300 members of the school community who were amazed at the skill and ingenuity of the builders.
The small exhibition boasted a wide range of models ranging from pop culture builds such as My Little Pony, Power Puff Girls, and Star Wars to the very unique Rainbow Towers moc. The Spring Fair was a highly successful event for the school, raising just over $10,000 for its school community.
If you are interested in having SydLUG involved in your school’s event in 2018, please email email@example.com
SydLUG members Josh and Graham have recently delivered over 240 LEGO sets to the KidzWish Foundation. KidzWish is a charity local to the Illawarra and South Coast area that Josh and Graham call home, and when asked why the two support the charity, they replied “We want to support kids in the community and there is no better charity in the Illawarra that does that. We’re proud to be part of KidzWish and its party as we know all these toys will go directly to local kids.” The locals called on their wider LEGO User Group to make their donation possible, collecting funds for the purchase of the sets through an online raffle and asking SydLUG members to donate sets.
KidzWish offers support to children who are sick, disadvantaged or living with a disability. Their goal is to ensure that none of these children fall through the gaps and to achieve this, KidzWish has a multi-pronged approach, locating children that need help, connecting them to programs and then providing a solution.
The SydLUG effort was part of a larger charity appeal, with a total of over $10,000 worth of LEGO donated thanks to Creations for Charity – a non-profit organisation that hosts an annual fundraising event from October to November where builders from all over the world donate custom LEGO creations to sell and raise money to buy LEGO sets for underprivileged children during the holidays.
SydLUG members will be teaming up with KidzWish again in March 2018, when the first ever “Illawarra Annual Brick Spectacular” is set to take place in Wollongong.
On Sunday 22 October, ten members of SydLUG participated in the first annual Miranda Brick Fair with proceeds going to Miranda Public School for vital school resources. Members of the school and wider local community enjoyed a variety of displays built from LEGO, some of which had not been publicly displayed before.
Highlights at the show included a wedding cake, working remote controlled lawnmower, map of Westeros (Game of Thrones), medieval castle and a series of chess sets. Exhibitors enjoyed interacting with the public, especially as the exhibition was the first of its kind held in the area.
It is hoped the event will be repeated annually and continue to grow in popularity.
On Sunday 15 October, eight members of SydLUG created a Toy Brick Extravaganza at Jannali Public School to accompany their market day fundraising event. This is the second year that the LUG has been invited to display at the school and with the crowd number of 1300 doubling that of the previous year, it’s obvious that the display is proving popular.
For new SydLUG member, Max, the show held special significance, presenting his debut exhibit as an official LUG member. Max’s efforts were impressive and received much attention from the crowd. Taking his inspiration from Pokemon he created a detailed Poke ball jewellery box and an extremely accurate representation of Pokemon character, Red Gyarados. Other popular displays included the Domo, (a previous Sydney Brick Show award winner), Bricksburg, a replica of Lord Business’ lair from The LEGO Movie and the winter village build which got everyone thinking about the upcoming festive season.
A successful day was had by all and SydLUG was thrilled to be able to share their creations for the benefit of a worthy cause. Today’s students are tomorrow’s AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) after all!
15 members of SydLUG returned to Shellharbour Public School this year to once again add an extra dimension to their fundraising fete. The event was held on Friday 13 October, and this year was a twilight event attended by around 2000 local community members. SydLUG filled an impressive 40 tables with a wide range of displays raising money for the school through gold coin donations.
Exhibitors enjoyed the fun and relaxed atmosphere of the event and visitors to the fete responded well to the displays, some highlights including: a casino, a desert oasis, the Powerpuff Girls, winter village, Batcoaster and a large Star Wars lenticular.
SydLUG’s official LUG Ambassador to LEGO, Gregg, had the honour of judging the kids building competition, awarding the top 3 places across three categories. Perhaps we will see some of the prize recipients as LUG members in the future!
As always, SydLUG were happy to share their love of LEGO in the name of a great cause, educating the next generation.
Described as Australia’s number one destination for pop culture fans, OzComic-Con has been running since 2012. This year marked the second year that SydLUG has been invited to display, and throughout the weekend the innovative display proved very popular among the 20,000 plus visitors to the convention, held at the new International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour.
The convention, which ran from Saturday 30 September to Sunday 1 October, was a natural fit for many of our members with their creations mirroring the cosplay outfits of convention visitors. Highlights of the brick built display included the Sentinel, Route 1 (from Pokemon), a mosaic featuring Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine.
SydLUG hopes to be given the opportunity to be part of the action again next year.
This spring school holidays SydLUG was part of a new initiative by Cumberland Council Libraries to offer children an enriching toy brick experience. In a first for both the LUG and the libraries, a small group of SydLUG members displayed creations at Merrylands Central Library on Tuesday 26 September. The library also offered a brick play area and colouring station, attracting many families with children of all ages.
The day was a busy one with a constant stream of visitors to the library – some who had planned their visit specially to see the display, and others who were using the library as per normal and were intrigued by the display. LUG members had an enjoyable day interacting with the public and library staff, all of whom had a variety of questions about our hobby.
SydLUG members were excited to be able to draw people’s attention to the wonderful services the library offers the community, and many of us found it a timely reminder of just what libraries have to offer and the vital role they still play in today’s world.
SydLUG and the library service are working on ideas for future events, across multiple library locations, and have plans to make these events a regular school holiday occurrence.