Aug 08 2010
We’ve always been big fans of legos in this house, so after attending the last 2 years as the “public”, we decided to do the whole registration, as exhibitors, for this year’s BrickFair 2010. It has been awesome!
This year, they moved from the Tyson’s Sheraton, to the Chantilly Expo Center, a move I thought was a little dubious, as which would you prefer to hang out in? A lovely hotel, or a concrete warehouse? However, it was always totally jam packed at the Sheraton during public hours, so the expo center was definitely the best move.
Public hours are on Saturday and Sunday from 11-4. the public pays $10, enters, looks at all the awesome displays, watches a few Brick Films, builds their own at the Stay and Play, maybe take the little ones for a bounce on the moon bounce, watches the Mindstorms competition, maybe a little Bingo for Lego prizes. All very awesome.
So what do you get if you go the full registration route? Well, first, you pay about $50, instead of $10, and there are no discounted registrations. If you are over 6, you register, and if you’re under 18, you must be accompanied by an adult, who must also register.
But oh the awesomeness you get as a full registrant!!
First of all, you don’t just walk through and look at everyone’s creations. You get to bring your own MOC — “My Own Creation”. Ethan registered his “Pokeball Factory” and a very awesomesauce “Missile Launcher”. Next year, we’ll have to see about ALL of us bringing MOCs!
Here are some of the seminars: Historic Architechture, Teaching Math with The Brick, Landscaping, Lights! Camera! Lego!, Arduino Processor, Bloggers’ Roundtable, and more.
You get to participate in The Running of the Bulls, which is a Lego Store sale – after the store closes, they reopen and sell damaged boxes (barely noticeable damage!) to Brickees for a significant discount. SIGNIFICANT!
There are lots of awesome games – Bingo (the registrants only bingo has the big lego prizes, unlike the mini bingo that the public is allowed to play), Minotaurus Tournament, Combo Build, Speed Build, & Dirty Buildster. After 9pm on Saturday night, they kick out any kids and have BYOB time, with a LEGO Hold’em Tournament, Dirter Brickster, and of course, the Drunk Speed-Build.
There is a charity auction, and a yard sale — where folks put out the stuff they want to unload, and the lego market is open! I saw some vintage legos, still in the box, from the 70s. It was incredible!! there is also opening and closing ceremonies, and awards given for the best MOCs from each category — which registrants get to vote for, and enter, of course!
James went to the Running of the Bulls while I went home with the kids, and the next night, he went home with the kids and I stayed to play Hold’em. (I totally won, came heads up with another guy who lives not even a mile from me, that it turns out I’d met at some other poker events in the area.) James and the kids should have stayed long, because Ethan would have rocked the house with the Dirty buildster (each entrant is given a cup of assorted legos and makes the best creation they can). I was walking around oohing and ahhing as the Dirty Buildsters were creating, when I got tapped to be the co-judge! It was very tough, as they were all so awesome, but the other judge and I didn’t pull each other’s hair too much to decide on the winners.
It has been just incredibly awesome. My only sadness is I keep thinking, “Next year, we need to do that.” or “Next year, we’re definitely doing THIS!” But alas, next year, we will not be in the DC metro area anymore — we’ll be moving to Denver next summer. Maybe we’ll come back for a vacation for BrickFair 2011 — We’ll definitely be making plans for some of the other lego festivals going on around the country (sadly, none in Denver).
If you like Legos, and want to feel what’s it’s like to dock with the Mother Ship and meet more of “your kind of people” — I can’t recommend registering as a full exhibitor at the BrickFair any more — it is just awesome – awesome folks, awesome MOCS, awesome fun.
I will post some pictures this week of some of the awesome MOCs on display!