On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending Brickvention 2016. In its usual home of the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Brickvention is Australia’s largest LEGO fan convention featuring a mind boggling display of Australia’s most creative and talented LEGO builders – both young and old.
Brickvention is a calendar event that I look forward to every year and as usual, I left the REB with a huge smile on my face – exhausted but still in awe of all the amazing things I saw in those short hours.
This year was Brickvention’s 10th Anniversary and the biggest one yet. I spent a few hours there on Saturday for the 1pm session (and also got to meet one of my readers, James!) which was cool. To be honest, it was pretty hectic, flitting from display to display.
There were just SO many great creations at Brickvention this year that I completely lost track of time and had to rush towards the end. I snapped over a thousand photos – an essential number as photographing at public exhibitions aren’t my forte and it was a challenge dealing with the different lighting conditions and tons of people around! I’ve only JUST finished sorting through the photos, making a shortlist, and making an even more refined shortlist, editing and uploading the photos.
Seriously, with the rubbish Australian internet, it’s taken me over an hour to upload less than 4o photos. Sheesh.
This year, I also endeavoured to take proper note of the designers of most of the models so I could credit and feature them correctly. I didn’t manage to get all the model names and the designer names, so if you spot an unknown build here and if its yours (or someone you know), please let me know in the comments and I’ll edit it in!
Also, if you own a Flickr and see your MOC here, please let me know so I can add a link in if you’d like!
Anyway, here are some of my highlights from Brickvention 2016, followed by a massive photo dump!
Unfortunately (and I say this every year), the photos don’t do all the terrific models justice as there’s so much detail hidden in all of these models that can only be appreciated if you see them in person. If you haven’t gone for a LEGO convention like Brickvention, you really should consider attending (or being part of one!) this year!
1. I was REALLY impressed by the models and creations exhibited by the Under-12s. Some of them blew me away and there’s just something about how younger LEGO fans lay out their dioramas or creations that prioritise fun, minifigures and just a general sense of chaos.
2. There were two “trending” builds I noticed at Brickvention. Firstly… Avengers Towers. Chalk it up to the fact that Avengers Age of Ultron came out in cinemas this year, but there was like…4 Avengers Towers in all of Brickvention. I lost count after awhile. It seemed like they were all trying to outdo each other but Kevin from Rainbow Bricks (a LUG focused on the brighter end of the LEGO spectrum) emerged victorious with his supersized tower.
You can check out more of Kevin’s creations on his Flickr page.
The second one was “Titanics” or “Shipwrecks“. There were two massive Titanics, the first being an accurate scale model, and the other, constructed by Ryan McNaught which captures the Titanic the moment it sinks and snaps in half.
3. While the main draws of Brickvention are usually elaborate builds and dioramas, I was attracted to smaller-scale displays this time. There were plenty of delightful and creative builds that were not designed in minifig-scale.
4. That humongous and jaw-dropping M-Tron Fly In display. Holy cow, I am a huge fan of M-Tron (my avatar online is an M-Tron guy) and I was blown away by the sheer-size of it. So much fun and it made me extremely jealous. If I ever win the lottery, that would be one of the first things on my to-do list. Seriously cool.
5. An Epic Fleet of Space Craft. Unfortunately, I totally blanked and forgot to take photos of the details of this inredible fleet of Space Ships, both large and small.
6. Meeting Tim Johnson, founder of my one of my favourite LEGO blogs New Elementary and editor of Bricks Culture and assistant editor of Bricks magazine. It was such an honour to meet Tim in person as he’s someone I have a lot of professional respect for. It was quite a chance meeting, I was at the DK Australia stand, hoping to meet the lady that I usually work with on LEGO book reviews and I bumped into Tim there. Major fanboy moment for me!
So yeah, those were some of the most memorable things about Brickvention this year for me!
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the great LEGO creations that I liked most from Brickvention. I couldn’t feature all of them as that would mean cramming over 100 photos in this post, but I’ve uploaded a bigger album on the Jay’s Brick Blog Facebook page. You can check out the album that I’ve embedded at the end of this post to view more from Brickvention!
I love Mechs and this Galaxy Squad Mk1 Assault Robot was seriously cool. It was very Gundam-like. I really loved the bug squashed underfoot.
They’re a staple at LEGO conventions like this, but I can never not smile at a very comprehensive LEGO Classic Town display.
Shiny! This rendition of Asgard and the Bifrost Bridge (complete with twinkling rainbow colours on the bridge) was eye-catching in all the right ways. You can never have enough gold bricks.
I love LEGO displays with a good sense of humour and Back to the Moo-ture triggered a very hearty chuckle when I first saw it. It’s the iconic Back to the Future scene, populated by cows. I love me some LEGO livestock and have a modest collection of brick cattle, so I had plenty of appreciation for this bovine brick creation.
Finally got to see Harrison Boka’s Beavertown up close and in person and it is every bit as charming as the first time I laid eyes on it at Federation Square. I really liked the new additions – the two oversized Beavers and the rainbow colours mini-ones in front.
This model of Buckingham Palace, complete with a dizzying number of minifigures was designed by the late Andrew Dawson.
Ryan McNaught’s Concorde also made an appearance.
In an exhibition dominated by LEGO, it was extremely refreshing to see this display – fittingly titled Dino World featuring an entire theme park filled with Duplo Dinosaurs. I watched a movie about this once… and it didn’t really end well for the park-goers.
This is Edge of Uranus. Not sure if its a dirty pun…but it was a great intergalactic watering hole that would give any Cantina in the Star Wars universe a run for its money. The amazing thing about Edge of Uranus was that it actually rotates. So this is where all the LEGO Space theme inhabitants come to unwind.
Apart from large Avengers Towers, this year’s Brickvention also had its fair share of oversized Elsa’s Ice Castles. Peter Lock’s one was definitely the most impressive thanks to all the transparent blue elements, making it the closest replica of the one in the movie Frozen.
I really enjoyed this simple F1 Race Track featuring tiny people in the stands.
I’m a big fan of Studio Ghibli movies so I squealed a little on the inside when I came across this brilliant take on the Flying Island of Laputa, from Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle In The Sky.
Who doesn’t like Sea Monsters – this terrific creation by Timothy Jones features an immaculately designed Sea Serpent rising out of the waves to assault a seaside fortress. Was kind of a waste that it was kept behind glass as there was a bit of glare when taking photos.
It was quite tiny, but I loved this scene from Shaun of the Dead!
This mish-mash of The Simpsons and the Death Star was quite well done. Each different section featured iconic Simpsons scenes and characters.
Another favourite of mine. I could be wrong, but I’m sure that Richard Jones was the one responsible for one of the previous year’s Wizard of Oz display. This year, he takes on Sleeping Beauty and boasts a really cool dragon fighting the prince. Another shining example of how you don’t need to build massive displays to shine at Brickvention.
South Warren Falls, an Elvish inspired design which blends high fantasy Elven architecture with lush greenery.
I didn’t manage to snap a good photo of an accurate replica of Melbourne’s Forum but I really liked the view from the side which captures Melbourne’s distinct laneway graffiti and street-art.
The Guardian of the Gold was really awesome. I really liked the brick-built dragon lying upon his hoard of treasure.
This massive colourful display by Pete White combines bright pastel colours with plenty of minidolls inside.
Another impressive diorama, The Observer Tree eschews the usual Fantasy-theme that you often find in these kinds of creations for a relaxed, civilian nature retreat that features an ingenious Observer Tree. There’s even a mechanical “cable-car” line connecting the main building and the tree which ferries passengers back and forth. If you can, zoom into the tree to check out the gorgeous build techniques employed.
This build was one of the standout models – featuring an eclectic and bizarre blend of architectural designs. There’s some really clever details built into the Tower of the Three Kings and I spent more than a few minutes just absorbing all the tiny details etched into this build.
The Elves theme is one of my new favourite original themes from LEGO so this gargantuan diorama entitled Up In The Tree blew me away with its amazing blend of fantasy, colour and whimsy.
It’s always nice to see a familiar face at Brickvention. I was looking forward to seeing Tantile’s Japanese Spring Village, a stunning Ninjago-themed (the only one at Brickvention!) follow-up to last year’s Winter Village. Really love all the detail packed in as well as the gorgeous waterfall/stream he has going on.
Ninja Turtles cameo included too!
This massive rendition of Antarctica’s Mawson Station was a lot of fun, blending real life science and exploration with a touch of good-natured humour.
It featured plenty of hilarious scenes in each container.
I’m always a fan of micro-scale builds and this Micropolis Collaborative build didn’t disappoint. It was a massive collaborative build among several exhibitors which include Sue Ann Barber, Cherie, Lee Battersby, Shaun Patrick and Tim Burdon.
Note to self: start on your own micro-scale town.
This is definitely one of my favourites from Brickvention 2016 and it also highlights the incredible talents of young Australian LEGO builders. There’s just so much whimsical fun packed into this Island of Wonders.
And yes, anything with a Catbus (from Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro) is an instant winner for me.
It wouldn’t be Brickvention without an incredible Ryan McNaught creation, and as usual, he didn’t disappoint this year with this insane build called “The Titianic”. Built with approximately 120,000 bricks, the sheer size of the model as well as the crack in the middle of the ship was fantastic to behold.
As with all Ryan McNaught creations, all the tiny little details and minifigures add up to make this a spectacle like no other. Quite a cool departure from his signature “cutaway cross section” designs!
The Titanic and Concorde form part of an upcoming LEGO Exhibition by Australia’s very own LEGO Certified Professional – stay tuned to find out more about this exhibition that will be coming later this year.
It goes without saying that I’m a huge M-tron fan. Just look at my avatar. My favourite display at this year’s Brickvention was this incredibly jaw-dropping M-Tron base. Packed with M-tron minifigs, original builds and classic M-tron models, this build had everything – even an M-tron monorail!
Also, this M-Tron Wall-E was all sorts of cool.
So yeah, that’s it for my favourites from Brickvention! Unfortunately, I couldn’t feature ALL the awesome builds from Brickvention 2016. For more photos, please check out the Jay’s Brick Blog Facebook page. I’ve uploaded a bigger album which you can click through below, featuring more photos that I couldn’t fit into this post!
Were you at Brickvention 2016? Let me know in the comments which were your favourite displays and creations! Thanks for reading!