I got the opportunity to (briefly) visit Brickvention, Australia’s premier LEGO fan convention that’s running all this weekend in Melbourne.
Brickvention is an annual LEGO fan convention which showcases some of the best, and most talented LEGO builders here in Melbourne, Australia – a calendar event I look forward to every year.
Unfortunately, this year, I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would’ve liked at the convention. I normally take the day off on Friday to spend a full day at the convention, but I could only spare about 2-3 hours as I had meetings that I couldn’t move, and that Friday also coincided with a frend’s bucks party, so I had to leave relatively early.
That said, I did have a blast looking through most of the sets that were on display, and again, was blown away by some of the insane and well thought out builds on show.
Also, huge thanks to everyone that came up to say hi and that I got to chat with. I always look forward to speaking to people and it was also great to catchup with familiar faces! This year, I did try to spend more time talking with people so I think I got the balance quite right!
Also, great to meet Kevin Ahn from LEGO – who flew down from Singapore just for the weekend to visit Brickvention – I had a blast chatting! He’s the APAC Market Integration & Community Engagement Manager at LEGO, and does a lot of work being the liaison between The LEGO Group and fan communities/Adult LEGO fans here in the Asia Pacific region.
Anyway, enough words! Here are some of my favourite models and highlights from Brickvention 2019!
Once again, it was super hard to just select a handful (I ended up with 73 photos) for this post, and I’m pretty sure I missed out on a fair number of builds as I had to leave before capturing everything, so please forgive me if I left any out! It was challenging to cull these down to a manageable number! For more photos, I’ve uploaded them all on to Facebook!
This is Bayou by Sam Brogden. I’m a big fan of builds with plenty of foliage and the way he designed this crumbling rickety cottage and enveloped it with greenery really brought the “overrun by a swamp” look to life.
Also, really love the crooked tower which gives it a fun, whimsical almost fairy-tale vibe.
Always love seeing video-game inspired builds, and this massive Scenes from Hyrule by Amelia was simply a treat. Loved the Deku tree and also Moon Children – there were so many cool details that fans of the Legends of Zelda will love such as chickens strewn about this build!
This was probably one of the most impressive Super Heroes builds on the show – Bugle by Kale Frost. This is definitely a souped up enhanced version of his previous Bugle build and contain all sorts of fun scenes.
The interiors are just packed with detail. I’ve uploaded a video with a short tour of the interiors on my Youtube channel.
These geometric designs – Branching Out by the Geddes family were just mesmerizing to look at.
Of all the mechanical models and interactive builds in the show, this working Super Mario-themed pinball machine from Dylan Edwards was easily the most impressive.
Brickvention always has a great showing from the Bendigo Area LEGO Designers (BALD) and these models showcasing historic buildings from the regional centre by Darren Hutchesson were outstanding.
It was great to learn about the significance of these buildings, such as the Joss House Temple, which was built in 1870 as a place of worship for Chinese gold miners!
The Great Bike Contraption by Robin and Edwin Kretschmer was also pretty neat. You can watch a short video of it in action here.
One of my favourite displays this year was this charming number, Fabuheadz by Shelly Timson and Richard Jones (of The Rambling Brick fame), mashing up Brickheadz with the beloved Fabuland theme.
They managed to translate familiar Fabuland characters into Brickheadz and the end result was just delightful!
There were lots of Brickheadz on show such as this LEGO Anime Con by Kirstyn Mee which was pretty fun – I really liked the use of minifigures as actual “toys” in the gift shop.
Every year, there are some familiar names and builders that I look forward to seeing, and Tamara Dadswell (she did the great Beauty and the Beast model last year) is one of them!
This year, she’s once again upped her game with this beautiful stained-glass Dalek, inspired by an illustration from Chris Thompson.
I’m not a massive Doctor Who fan but can always appreciate amazing creativity and this stained glass Dalek, with the core illuminated was definitely one of the most visually impressive models on the floor this year.
There’s a common meme (rooted in truth) that all the wildlife in Australia wants to kill you, and this fearsome brick-built Red Bellied Snake by Matthews Dadswell certainly inspired a ton of fear in me!
They’re not as dangerous as Brown Snakes, but I still wouldn’t want to be bitten by one of these.
Another duo that I keep an eye out for is Ben Cossy and Eli Brinsmead’s collaborative build. This year, they’ve brought The Summoning of the Soul Hoarder, an ambitious fantasy build featuring a giant Demon made 100% out of LEGO parts.
More impressively, Ben and Eli live (literally) on opposite ends of the country, so one half of this model was built in Western Australia, and the other in New South Wales. I don’t even want to imagine what the logistics and planning involve, but these gents pull it off every year.
This massive model of the colourful streets and canals of Amsterdam by Marcel van Lankveld really stood out. Love that he captured the architecture so well, and all the people on bikes!
It wouldn’t be a LEGO Convention without awesome space builds. The A-83 Exploration Base by Dale Harris had just enough of classic space touches against a minimal but well thought out alien landscape. I loved that this model wasn’t trying to cram as many things into its footprint.
This amazing pink number called A Decade of Pink by Coralie Johnson-Reid was a lot of fun, blending and a little bit of Belville in a celebration of pink and purple hues from the last ten years.
Every year, we can expect a big Duplo showing, and this year, it seemed like all the LEGO Duplo fans combined to showcase 50 years of Duplo.
This group display seemed to contain every single Duplo set released and was a collaboration between Veronica and Mark Young, Nancye Hanson, Sky Diment, Mark Mitchell, Nicole Macdonald, Andrea Lansley and Kara Vena Cava.
I really loved how prominent this display was in the hall!
If you love LEGO Dinosaurs, you’ll love this sprawling Jurassic World build from Meaghan Morrison.
There’s just so much going on in this display, and I loved the massive volcano and just how much she managed to squeeze into the park. Definitely felt a sharp pang of jealousy at her dinosaur collection!
This was a bit of an interesting concept, called Wall Hung by Scott Bradley and Jimi Figure. It took the facades of Modular Buildings and squeezed them into Ikea frames.
I really loved how they took something familiar and turned them into an inventive display piece. Would love something like this hanging on the walls in my home!
This massive LEGO Titanic Model by Cooper is made even more impressive by the fact that the builder is 8 years old! If this is what he’s capable of at age 8, I’ll definitely be watching his career with great interest.
There seemed to be a lot more Transformers love than usual this year, which was awesome. These Star Wars x Transformers mashup called The Force of Transformers by Dion Whitehouse were excellent fun.
Paul Hodgson’s Optimus Prime and other Transformers displays were also super impressive.
Last but not least, these towering statues of Starscream, Voltron and Optimus Prime by Gus McLaren were also really cool. I love anything Starscream, the TRUE leader of the Decepticons.
As always, there’s a huge train display at Brickvention, but this year, they’ve supersized some of the parts of the track, such as these massive skyscrapers. Look at the size in comparison to the people!
One thing that I really enjoyed was the train’s new position, which was tucked near the shops – I felt like it made the entire flow of the showfloor much smoother.
Without doubt, one of THE most impressive builds on display was The Interlace by Graham Draper from New South Wales. This architectural marvel from Singapore was named World Building of the Year at the 2015 World Architecture Festival and is one of the most iconic structures in the world.
I was blown away by the jaw-dropping size of this model and how well it captured The Interlace’s unique look. It translated so well to LEGO at this scale.
One of the things I was expecting to see at Brickvention were Harry Potter builds, but surprisingly, there weren’t a lot on show! I did like the Slytherin Common Room by Kara Harris.
Another one of my favouries is this amazing micro model of Melbourne CBD by Samuel Mollema. This is home and I was amazed at all how well he captured Melbourne’s skyline and cityscape so well.
The talent from the young builders on show at Brickvention seems to get better and better each year. Another young builder I always keen an eye out for is Miranda Whitehead, who designed this model called ‘Neither rain nor snow nor glom of nit can stay these messengers about their duty’.
She’s one of the best LEGO Elves builders and I always love the sense of whimsy and fantasy that she infuses into her designs. Seeing models like these make me feel really sad about the Elves theme being retired by LEGO.
I dare you to not break out in a huge grin when you see this collection of Rainbow Star Wars UCS Models from Jamie Davis.
Absolutely brilliant to see these mismashed models of LEGO Star Wars UCS builds especially when they’re all together.
This Palm Hill Skate Park by Ben Andrews design was also pretty cool. I loved the compact design and all the little design flourishes.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie sets are criminally underrated, and I loved this amazing rendition of Ninjago City by Michael Szirom and Katherine Pickhaver.
There’s just so much squeezed into this high density build and I really love the pearl gold bridge that connects both sections of the city.
More Classic Space love here with the Lunar Cheese Consortium by Emerson Mee, with a really impressive monorail circuit and some beloved Classic Space sets.
This model called Draconis, which is some sort of Space Pirate Ship was enormous, and it rotated around its base, allowing you to really appreciate the amazing design.
I didn’t get the name of the builder, so if you know, please let me know in the comments so I can credit accordingly!
Another nameless MOC which I didn’t get to find out the builder’s name or title. This is the definition of the floor is lava! Update, his name is Ramen Cupps
This was my favourite Star Wars diorama – Jakku by Ben Young.
Fans of He-Man will love this collection of He-Man structures, and also the chessboard featuring all your favourite characters.
It’s a-me, a massive Mario Statue by Matthew Scicluna!
So cool to see stuff from Basketballer99 with this working Hitting Hoops Arcade. Check out a video of it in action below – just so flipping cool!
Go follow his Youtube channel if you haven’t already, he comes up with the most ingenious mechanical LEGO arcade game creations.
This massive Crystal Fox by Runa Lindblom did an incredible job bringing the elusive animal from The Last Jedi to life. I was very impressed by the sheer size of this model and the illuminated eyes are a really nice touch.
Our hometown hero, Dave Holder aka the Legoland Discovery Centre’s Master Model Builder had a strong showing with his collection of LEGO Maxifigs.
The Legoland Discovery Centre Melbourne brought a massive minifigure wall, for visitors to trade. I was very surprised to see quite a large number of coveted minifigures on the wall, and from what I’ve heard, it was very popular with guests.
I’ve saved one of my favourites from the show floor for last, but this sprawling Unikitty build called Kitty Carnival by Donna Mee was absolutely fantastic.
A giant theme park filled with what seems to be hundreds of Unikitties is exactly what you’d imagine.
The centrepiece is a massive Roller Coaster, in Unikitty colours and other familiar rides that have a fresh new Unikitty-fied paint job.
The most incredible thing about this model is the sheer amount of activity going on – there are so many rides and Unikitties just about everywhere which was a very refreshing change from the usual minifigs in a build. Super fun, and there’s plenty of details for you to pore over that photos just don’t do it justice.
And there’s that, some of my personal highlights from Brickvention 2019! I did take a ton more photos, so be sure to check out my Facebook album below for some other photos that didn’t make it into this post!
Thanks again to all the builders and organisers of the show – it was absolutely spectacular and once again, the level of creativity, technical ability and the love of LEGO on display was outstanding.
Did you make it to Brickvention this year? Let me know your favourites from the show floor and what you thought of the displays this year in the comments!
Is there a similar event in Sydney?
Yes, it’s called the Sydney Brick Show and it runs in April! http://www.sydneybrickshow.com.au/
Joseph Tsao says
Hey! I love your work and I decided to start writing about my own lego journey. Visit my blog http://www.thedailybrick.net and leave some comments on how I can do better! I’m still slowing writing new post on my sets. Thanks!
Cheers, Joseph! Congrats on starting your blog and I hope that it continues to stay fun for you! My tip is to just enjoy what you’re doing and just focus on improving your writing and photography bit by bit.
So many cool builds! By far my favourites are the Jurassic Park build, Ninjago City, Jakku, and the Crystal Fox. The rest of the builds are great too, but those are my favorites 😉 Thanks for sharing these pics!
Great picks! The Crystal Fox won best in show!
Great coverage of the event. Looks like you didn’t get the time to cover the GBCs that were in new locations this year. The big layout was on its 7th year with some fabulous new builders and modules coming in. Altogether representing 5 different states. There are some videos on YouTube already uf you want to link. Not sure if the comments block allows URLs.
Thanks Rasika! Unfortunately no, I didn’t get to the GBC this time which is a bummer – when I was there on Friday, parts of it weren’t running, so I didn’t manage to get a full video of the entire system.
Feel free to link some videos, I’d love to see it in action! I’ve seen a few of them floating around on Facebook.
Great work once again, shame I didn’t get to see it fully operational!
Rasika Amarasiri says
Yes, the shortened setup time got us really tight. We didn’t get power till late on Thursday and the larger layout and several new builders meant a lot of work in a very short time. We missed out on almost all of the convention day as we were busy getting things running. Here are videos from Saturday and Sunday which have slightly different layouts.
Thanks heaps for sharing all those pics jay, I clearly missed a lot in today’s crowd and with my seven year old dragging me on all the time! We loved unikitty Park, the Trojan horse and also the Scooby doo roller coaster, but hard to pick just one favourite. The title of the elves dragon masterpiece also piqued my interest – (glom of nit…) a brilliant reference to terry pratchett from his book going postal.
A long queue for the minifig wall but think both my kids had that as a highlight, even if the wall was mostly ninjas!
Keep up the great blog!
Yeah, you almost need either the entire afternoon, or go across two days to fully see everything, especially with a child in tow!
If you zoom into the Elves model, you’ll see that the dragons are used as mail carriers!
Wasn’t quite all the DUPLO on display although we did have nearly every theme from the last 50 years on show.
Ah, it did seem like a lot! Still very cool to see them all, and glad that you guys got such a huge display in a prominent location!
I’m being a little facetious as the only themes missing were the licensed themes Dora the Explorer and Disney’s Miles from Tomorrow land. We managed to cover nearly every year from 1969 to 2019 and to have old and new examples from themes where possible. At a certain point we just ran out of available table space. Was great to be able to show off all the sets together and showcase how DUPLO has changed (and stayed the same) over the years.
The location was fantastic can’t thank the organisers enough for that.
That was fantastic especially for those of us not able to go 🙁 I do have a question, was the Dalek made entirely from Lego? It was difficult to see what pieces were used, it is a very impressive either way, but incredible if entirely from Lego. The level, artistry and imagination of the models are simply incredible. Thanks for the tour !
Hi Monty, I’m the builder of the Dalek and can assure you the casing was entirely made of LEGO. The lighting inside was the only part that was not LEGO. For that, I used Christmas lights and a colour-changing juggling ball!
You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed the photos!
I am utterly astounded ! Do you have an Instagram I could follow? I would love to see some close up images of the Dalek. It was just beautiful (for a death dealing machine).
Hey Jay, great to see the review. Incredible how much you’ve managed to capture and chat with exhibitors in limited time! I realise how much I missed, although the kids kept dragging me to the retail area to trawl though minifigs! On that, there definitely wasn’t any coveted minifigs left on the swap wall by Sat. afternoon. My kids had a lot of superhero and Star Wars fig’s to swap but, as the attendant pointed out, they were far too good to swap! As far as favourite exhibits go I loved the simple but captivating symmetry of Branching out. An awesome example of a small part palette used to great effect. It was nice to chat with the creators too. I also loved Hitting Hoops, right down to using Lego wheel tokens to make it work. Being a Star Wars fan I’m always on the lookout for Star Wars MOCs, of which there seemed fewer than previous years. Maybe it reflects fatigue in the franchise? But, there was a cool one called The Wounded Wampa, a bar on Hoth with many awesome Easter eggs, including the ripped off Wampa arm sitting proudly above the bar. There were also some special visitors, including Marty McFly who had had a few too many and was relieving himself over the edge, the designer making good use of trans-yellow pieces! His Batman underpants were cute too ?
Hey Mark, I try my best! Still kicking myself because even then I missed huge chunks of the displays like the Scooby Doo theme park.
Yeah, there were a lot less Star Wars and Technic compared to previous years – I guess there’s only so many things you can do with Star Wars and they’ve been done before. The lack of new settings and I guess massive appeal of the sequels probably hasn’t helped as well.
Lam F C says
I miss the show……..
Oh no. Maybe next year?