All posts by Samantha Rich

SydLUG Creations a Hit at Bunnings Easter Family Night

After a warm reception at their first ever Bunnings family night last year, SydLUG members were once again invited to display their brick-built masterpieces at the Kingsgrove store. On Thursday 22 March, members of SydLUG put on a mini display at the free community event that formed part of early Easter celebrations.

Around 100 families enjoyed the carnival atmosphere with mechanical pony rides; balloon twisting; face painting; kids crafts, and music from the Riverwood Hornets Marching Band. To add to the festivities an Easter hat parade and egg hunt took place, and amid much excitement, a special appearance by the Easter Bunny himself.

With its family-friendly values and emphasis on fun and play, LEGO was right at home on the night – even situated in an appropriately construction themed aisle, surrounded by structural timber and plasterboard! MOCs on display included the ever popular ‘Trans Towers’, some clever optical illusion builds, creatively constructed chess boards and a Minecraft Farm that proved popular with many young gamers.

SydLUG is set to support similar family nights in the future.

Watch out Penrith, Sydney Brick Show is coming…

In under a month Penrith Panthers Pavilion will host Sydney’s largest LEGO fan event, the Sydney Brick Show. On Sunday 17 March, members of SydLUG took part in the Annual Penrith CBD Festival to give the locals a taste of what to expect this school holidays.

Sydney Brick Show was featured in the grand parade at midday, showcasing local community and leisure groups, with the LEGO themed float proving a crowd highlight. Homemade brick costumes inspired by the upcoming collectible minifigure series were the envy of many kids in the crowd, and everyone was excited to see LEGO Deadpool and his friends Captain America and Harley Quinn emerging from a giant cardboard brick-built castle.

 

LUG members also manned a small market stall with information about the upcoming show and some new and popular brick-built displays that had festival goers excited to experience everything that the Sydney Brick Show has to offer.

Tickets for the show are on sale now!

http://www.sydneybrickshow.com.au/buy_tickets_sydney_brick_show_2018/

 

 

Illawarra brick show a spectacular success

The weekend of March 10-11 saw Kembla Grange Racecourse transformed into a LEGO lover’s dream, with the inaugural Illawarra Brick Spectacular taking place. Organised by six Illawarra based members of the Sydney LEGO User Group (SydLUG), the event was run to raise much needed funds for the KidzWish Foundation. KidzWish provide support for children across the Illawarra and NSW South Coast who are sick, disadvantaged or disabled.

Chief organiser, Graham Draper, said he came up with the idea for the show eight months ago, and his initial goal was to raise $20,000 for KidzWish. The $21,606 raised not only exceeded his expectations, but completely overwhelmed the foundation.

‘I am very proud to have been able to create an event that so many people believed in, and the smiles on the faces of the people that attended over the weekend was inspiring. Passing over the proceeds of the event to the CEO of the Kidzwish Foundation and seeing her break down in tears when I told her how much we had raised, was an incredibly great feeling and I look forward to doing it bigger and better next year,’ Graham said.

32 exhibitors from SydLUG took part in the show, impressing the crowds with their creativity and building skills. Crowd favourites included the Batman Theme Park, a Western themed MOC, and a technic Rubix Cube solver. Visitors to the show were also able to show off their own LEGO skills at the free building tables; have some fun on the jumping castle; or enjoy lunch from the sausage sizzle. Over 3,800 people visited the exhibition over the weekend reassuring organisers that there is plenty of love for the brick in the Illawarra. The event is set to become an annual exhibition, with KidzWish excited at what the future holds for their charity with such great supporters on board.

‘We are very proud that the Brick Spectacular have chosen to support us. With so many children needing your help, your support is invaluable,’ said Beau Thatcher, Community Events Manager, KidzWish.

Additional funds of $300 were donated by businesses and an extra $2400 was raised by a raffle held at the event. Special thanks were given to the 15 volunteers that made the event possible and ensured both its smooth running and the enjoyment of attendees.

 

Books and Bricks

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.

SydLUG on Tour

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.

Bunnings + SydLUG + Santa = Festive Family Fun!

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.

Balarang Public Hosts SydLUG’s Brick-Built Creations

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 events@sydlug.com

 

SydLUG Members Deliver a Brickload of Fun to Kids In Need

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.

 

SydLUG Creations Impress at Miranda Brick Fair

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.

 

Supporting the school one toy brick at a time at Jannali Public

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!