Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Brickvention, Australia’s premier LEGO fan convention.
It’s an event I look forward to every year, as it attracts some of Australia’s best LEGO builders, as well as a few international builders who have travelled from far and wide to display here.
I was there on the Convention Day on Friday, thanks to an invite from the Brickvention team, and had the entire day to not only snap photos but found pockets of time to chat with builders and friends I haven’t seen in a while.
To everyone that said hi, and talked me through their builds, thank you!
Like every year, I found it extremely difficult to select photos to feature in the blog, and these builds were some of my absolute favourites from the floor of Brickvention in no particular order.
Long post ahead, with plenty oh photos, so get comfy!
One of the most visually impressive builds on the floor was Sue Ann Barber & Trevor Clark’s Giant Yellow Castle. Fashioned out of Duplo, this super-sized icon was a definite crowd-pleaser thanks that hit all the right nostalgic notes.
I really liked Harry Potter’s Magical Adventures by Alison Boomsma & Duke Bradley, which made very clever use of all the Harry Potter retail sets, especially the micro-scale Hogwarts Castle which looked proportionate in the distance.
There were also smaller Harry Potter scenes on display, like this one from Wade Davey which captured a very cool snapshot of the arrival of the Beauxbaton Carriage.
One of the most creative and technically impressive displays were @mellegobuilder‘s Wheely Spoketacular Bicycles, showcasing many different types of bicycle designs, made completely out of LEGO bricks.
The scenes that accompanies each bicycle were also very well considered, with the sheer size and ingenuity using LEGO to re-create these forms made these one of the more memorable displays at Brickvention.
Mel Bezear’s take on classic TV cartoon characters brought a huge smile to my eye, with the Sesame Street characters being my favourites. Special shout out also to acknowledging the absolute pillar of classic cartoons that is Gumby!
Harald Christ’s Seiganto-Ji-Temple was a sight to behold, which did a marvellous job paying homage to the UNESCO World Heritage site.
The absolutely massive build stood out amongst the other displays in Brickvention, and requires a closer look to see all the finer Japanese architectural details to fully appreciate.
Attack of Dreadmourge by Timothy and Dannii Brighton-Jones made really great use of perspective and scale, with an imposing brick-built dragon attacking (or is it the other way around?) a small ship.
Alison and Ryan Evans’ display of architectural cutouts called Our Family Homes showcased what I’m guessing is a collection of homes they’ve lived in or built?
I really liked that they looked exactly like architectural display houses.
Lee Mason’s Ice Cream Farm was an absolute favourite of mine, with an easy spot in my Top 3 of Brickvention 2020. The concept of agricultural frozen confectionery was executed to perfection, thanks to all the little zany touches to it.
Troops of chocolate bars marching out of an Octan barn? Check ✅
Cameos from Doctor Who, Scooby Doo and Classic Space minifigures pushing wheelbarrows of ice cream? Check ✅
Rows and rows of ice cream being harvested by sentient Ice Cream Cones, and brilliant use of Series 16’s Ice Queen minifigure to keep the crops frosty? Check ✅
There’s just so much to love about Lee Mason’s Ice Cream Farm, and it truly made me so happy appreciating all the humorous little details in it.
There was a really strong Ninjago presence in Brickvention, and I especially liked Michael Szirom’s Ninjago Island, which features a monastery or temple being attacked by a large mech, defended by a mystical white dragon.
You’d have to look at the dragon up-close to appreciate all the finer details, such as the use of rocky slopes to give it a fantastic sense of texture.
Steve Reynolds, a massive Marvel fan didn’t disappoint with his Marvel Street model, with an impressively accurate Doctor Strange’s mansion, which features a re-enactment of a classic The Defenders comic book cover.
Dormammu’s portal and snake were a very nice touch.
The Melbourne L-Gauge Train Club, true to form had an incredibly massive collaborative train-setup, which not only featured some amazing trains (naturally), but also incredible builds surrounding it.
Special shoutout to the V/Line Train models! They hold a special place in my heart as I take these trains into work every day.
I don’t know why this was tucked in a poorly lit corner, as this was one of the more impressive displays on the floor. Sam Brogden’s Rangifir was a massive mystical dear, with just outstanding greebling and detailing across its entire body.
It’s one of the rare builds at Brickvention that would easily qualify as a work of art.
Linda and Stuart Pesudovs’ Legowood Studios featured multiple dioramas of iconic movie scenes, but I loved the homage to Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s Knights of Ni scene so so much.
With Melbourne being the home of Brickvention, it was only natural to have multiple homages to the Most Livable City in the world. One such was Melbourne CBD by Aaron Amatnieks.
And the ever-sprawling Melbourne Scapes by Samuel Mollema, a charming micro-model of Melbourne which has expanded in recent years to now include Southland, Docklands, and even North Melbourne.
It may be Summer in Australia, but that didn’t prevent Erin and Nicky Schneider serving up a very cool Winter Wonderland display, featuring some of your favourite LEGO Winter Village sets, and a gorgeous custom chapel and train station.
One of the downsides of attending during Convention Day is that the massive collaborative Great Ball Contraption isn’t usually fully running and operational but if it’s anything like previous years, it would’ve been a marvel to behold once switched on.
Some great sculptures were on show, such as this Santa and Mini Scenes display by Ryan Masters, and Steve Ready’s fantastic Elf on a Christmas gift box.
Speaking of sculptures, this Bat-bust by Steve Ready was really well-done.
After not showing up in the last few Brickventions, The Brickman and his team put on a strong showing in 2020, likely to promote his brand ahead of Season 2 of LEGO Masters, which funnily enough, had its season finale taping on the same day as the Brickvention Convention Day.
This life-sized Taz Devil by KC was pretty cool.
The Brickman’s creations are mostly known for being massive in scale, but there were also amazing small dioramas like this one, entitled The Sad Tale of Warick the Overconfident by Mark Curnow.
That said, the centerpiece of the Brickman’s floor space was this insane gargantuan Timber Wolf mech sculpture.
If you’re like me and have very fond memories of the Battletech of Mechwarrior series, you’d be absolutely enthralled by the sheer size of Timber Wolf.
The best dioramas in Brickvention were made by Ben Andrews. He designed multiple scenes, titling them “Journal of the days after the end”, featuring humans being hunted by robots in post-apocalyptic scenes.
Aside from amazingly creative designs, what I loved most about Ben Andrews’ work is how he captured these action scenes frozen in time, and his ability to tell such a rich narrative using LEGO.
The Dadswells are one of my favourite Australian LEGO builders, and every year, I look forward to seeing what they come up with.
This year, Tamara Dadswell brought a seriously impressive pop-up Gingerbread House model. You have to see it in action to fully appreciate the model.
Matthew Dadswell designed a charming Cuckoo Clock!
Youth builders are often some of the biggest surprises at Brickvention, and I really loved this massive diorama titledCanadian Woodland by Harper (aged 14) and Carmen Watts.
Alan Jager built an awesome Victorian-era Exhibition building, showcasing oddities and trinkets from the vast British empire.
I was blown away by the work of Blacklycat, an incredibly talented builder from China who specialised in Transformers and Gundam mechs.
Michael Bay’s Transformers get a bad rep from Transformers fans, but Blacklycat was able to make even the Bayformers look good with his display.
If these Gundam mechs were available to purchase as LEGO sets, I’d drop serious cash on them in a heartbeat.
But in all honesty, his massive Michael Bay Devastator, built mostly out of Technic parts was one of the most impressive models I’ve ever seen, purely down to the sheer complexity and how well the colours, and different components stand out, in spite of a pretty messy original design source.
Go follow BlacklyCat on Twitter because he deserves much more recognition for his work.
Their Space Worm is all grown up, and ready to attack an outpost on an alien planet.
There were plenty of large LEGO mosaics on display, such as this Toy Story 4 Mosaic by Emma and Hannah Robinson.
Snape (the true GOAT of the Harry Potter universe) was captured incredibly well by Kara Harris.
And Michael Burdon had a whole collection of beautiful butterfly mosaics on display.
Singapore’s Aviation history was also on show by Kevin and Kaitlyn Ong, with massive re-creations of Airport Control towers of Changi Airport.
Jay Horne displayed this absolutely incredible Dirt Track Transformer.
Watch the video of it below, because there’s much more than meets the eye with this build.
Speaking of Mechs… I was left speechless by Aaron Monaghan’s Mecha Hanger. This incredibly massive AND detailed mech hanger very deservedly won Best In Show.
Not only were his mechs (White Knight & Phoenix Flame) amazingly well designed, with heft and bulk, the surrounding hangers also boasted intricate details, and helped make these mechs look so much larger thanks to a sense of scale.
I’m a massive fan of Pacific Rim, so Aaron Monaghan’s work resonated deeply within me on a spiritual level.
Fans of LEGO Tower were treated to this collaborative build. I don’t know whether to be impressed or afraid by the baby room.
I really liked this Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration church by Tim Burdon.
Bigger is always better, as evident by this immensely huge LEGO house, called 6754 Stud Street by Michael & Tim Burdon.
This photo of the Tales of Ale and Battle by Rob Fiford, Josh Morris & Gavin Rich doesn’t do this massive medieval model much justice.
I made a short video exploring it in more detail, which I’ll upload to my Youtube channel soon to showcase why this expansive diorama won 3rd Best In Show.
Paying homage to Indian Americans is Chick A Gami by Melissa and Richard O’Brien, featuring a very lively and detail-packed landscape.
I also really liked Anthony McLauchlan’s Ninjago Mountain, an absolutely massive diorama. There’s something about this build that captures the zen & tranquility of a Ninjago monastery in the mountains, and I also loved the fun tiny details snuck in such as these Ninja Turtles.
I’m a sucker for mashups and M-Tron, so naturally Graham Draper’s M-Tron/Star Wars display made me feel all sorts of warm and fuzzy.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon by Nick and Kas Modra was another model that just nailed the concept. I loved all the little details to bring the majestic Wonder of the World to life, and the small boat at the entrance was a fantastic way to communicate the sheer size of this model.
Monochrome World was another memorable collaborative builds at Brickvention, and perhaps my favourite thanks to all the tiny little details hidden in each single-colour vignette.
You’ll have to zoom into each one to properly appreciate each little colourful world.
Anyone a Pokemon fan? Pokemon has a very special place in my heart, so I naturally loved Dave Holder’s collection of life-sized brick-built Pokemon.
I cannot stress how well these LEGO Pokemon sculptures are designed, and how good they look in person. Be sure to follow Dave on Instagram, to see which Pokemon he tackles next!
I’ve saved the best for last, and this build, along with the Ice Cream Farm and Mech Hanger are pretty much tied for my favourite Brickvention models.
This is Edward’s Island by Dale Harris, a fantastical, whimsical LEGO Fabuland display that’s one of the best expressions of the beloved classic theme.
The bright vibrant colours of Fabuland are completely on-point, with all the tiny structures on the island exuding the type of charm that’s undeniably Fabuland.
Dale Harris’ build is just one of those dioramas that pack so much detail, that photos don’t really do it justice. It also won 2nd Best in Show, which was truly deserved.
Nearly everywhere you look, there are thoughtful little details, and each Fabuland character is performing some sort of interesting action.
I don’t know if it’s just the colours, or the sleepy carefree vibe I get from Fabuland, but Edward’s Island just oozes this sense of whimsical tranquillity.
Phew, so that’s some of my top picks from Brickvention 2020! It was really hard to pick enough for this post, and even then, at close to 100 photos, I felt like I could’ve easily added in another 50, and for brevity’s sake, I had to forgo a ton of close-up shots of the builds.
To see my entire Brickvention 2020 photo album, check it out in this Facebook album. If you’re featured anywhere, and would like your Flickr or Instagram linked, please let me know where I can link to in the comments section!
I had an outstanding time at Brickvention 2020, and I think that this has been one of the more memorable Brickventions in recent memory. The calibre of builds on display were on a whole other level, and I think the builders and models were a lot more balanced this year, with something for everyone.
This year, and I’m not sure if I can attribute this to LEGO Masters Australia, which did supercharge interest in LEGO in the country, but it seems like there was a lot more creativity, and builders going above and beyond with their builds, not relying too much on the typical mix of pop culture licenses like Star Wars or Super Heroes.
I really, really enjoyed Brickvention 2020, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that this was one of the best Brickventions in the last 5 years. I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings!
Hope you enjoyed this wrap-up! Sorry it took so long, but I had to edit and select a ton of photos, and wanted to be sure that I could credit as many builders as humanly possible.
Thanks for reading! Were you lucky enough to attend Brickvention last week? If you were, let me know which were some of your favourite displays in the comments!