LEGO Fan Weekend (Denmark)

We have now reached Sunday morning and the LEGO Fan Weekend is closing in on the final stint of the public exhibition.
This year we have 300+ AFOL participants from more than 20 countries between Hong Kong and Brazil.
It has been a blast so far and the public visitors and visiting employees from LEGO in Billund are all amazed at the high quality of MOCs and AFOL enthusiasm they are met with in the 2400 square metres of exhibition.

The event opened with a Keynote speech and welcome from Jørn Strange Lykke.

Last night at the Saturday Night Dinner, Jamie Berard paid us a visit and presented the new Maersk Ship with video and real model present and afterwards everybody got to look and touch.

During Saturday a Speedbuild competition was done with two teams of 6 persons competing in building the 10234 Sydney Opera House the fastest. The winning time was 1h11m06secs.

As a special treat Martyn Bogarts ran a combined speech and workshop on the new EV3 which was very interesting and a super chance for the AFOLs to do a Q&A on the new product and what it can do or can’t do.

Later Sunday there will be a speecj/presentation on “Big Bang Theories” covering how the designers and team behind Chima and Ninjago made it all happen.

Here’s a few images to give you an impression of the event.
More can be found in my flickr account (linked in the right side widget menu).

Hope to see you all and more in 2014.

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Where in the World is… Kevin Hinkle?

CEEBLOG - TravelingKevin

After a very nice four weeks out of the office, I’ve returned to catch up and prep for two back to back business trips. This weekend I’ll be heading out to the US LEGO Fan Exposition Brickworld: Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This event differs from the usual conventions that I attend in North America so I am looking forward to a slight change of pace.

Being an exposition, I will not be able to offer the usual slew of addition support opportunities. However, that being said, I still look forward to meeting and engaging with the local fans in attendance. This will be my first visit to the area so I hope to build some new connections as well as strengthen some that have previously been limited to phone or email conversations.

Please feel free to stop by and say hello while I am in the area! My job is to support the LEGO fan community in North, Central and South America and direct feedback from you can help to better equip me internally within the organization.

Family Days at LEGO in Billund

So during this weekend the LEGO Family Days are taking place in Billund. All LEGO employees are invited to bring their closest family to Billund to show them the factories and how everything is done.
A while back the organizers asked us in Community Support to find some Danish AFOLs to showcase what the AFOL community can build and also to represent the fans.
So with some help from the Danish LUG we managed to find 11 of their members who would willingly spend their weekend in Billund showing everyone what they can build and talking with LEGO employees and their families.
The AFOLs started to arrive in Billund around 12 o’clock on Friday and kept on pouring in and setting up until late in the evening. In the end they had set up an amazing layout and some neat dioramas and a GBC section that certainly represent and showcase the skills and creativity of the AFOL community in general.
Since everything was (and still is) set up in the middle of the factory, pictures are restricted – but with a few phonecalls we were allowed to do a few shots of the area as long as we pointed the cameras away from the production itself.

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The AFOLs from Byggepladen were “live” from 9 until 1730 today and will be again tomorrow.
Then they’ll take everything apart and head back home in all directions.
It is truly amazing to just be there and witness the joy and enthusiasm that AFOLs have when they talk about their creations and hobby. I am confident that a lot of our fellow LEGO employees were quite amazed at what they saw on display today.

BeLUG 10th Anniversary

This weekend I was fortunate enough to have been invited to BeLUG’s 10th Anniversary.

 

And we were even lucky enough to fit in a trip in Jan’s overbooked calendar as well, so early Saturday morning we took of in the direction of Hamburg Aiport and a couple of hours later we landed in Brussels. Now, I’ve never been given the possibility of enjoying the Belgian highways and trust me, there is not much to enjoy for tourists like me. The poor GPS lady was all over the place giving out directions to go left and right like nothing else!

Apparently the Belgian road designers love junctions, intersections, overlapping, roundabouts and dual lanes turning into 6 lanes going in all directions. Nevertheless we did succeed (thanks to some awesome driving skills from Jan) to arrive at the hotel – check in – back to the car – new 15 kilometer road rage and then finally at the school in Merelbeke where the celebration took place.

They (BeLUG) had a pretty nice setup with several competitions, a Technic Workshop and a “walk down memory lane”-presentation on the last 10 years of BeLUg.

LEGO Games contest
Build a Rabbit contest from the Fierce Flyers Creator set
More rabbits!

When the workshop, presentation and contest were done, it was time for a wicked Quiz on everything LEGO and BeLUG. It started out slow but in the end the questions were pretty hard – and me not being able to understand the language was not an excuse – plenty of volunteer translators around!

One of the easier questions!
30 questions later the counting to find the winner had begun. Do note that the smiling butterfly lady only look relaxed because she made the quiz. Good one!

After that we had a nice BBQ with some Belgian beer! Then the Super Tombola Winners were announced by random draw. All participants could buy a raffle ticket at 1 EUR and then have a go at winning everything from a Grand Emporium to polybags. There were plenty of prices and I do believe everyone liked it. A nice gesture from the LUG towards it’s members as the ticket income hardly covered more than 10% of the giveaways!

Then it was time for dessert which was really nice icecream servings with chocolate sauce and plenty of it as well. But not until I had the mic for a couple of minutes where I thanked the BeLUG members for their dedication and hard work in sharing their hobby and passion for the past ten years. We then presented them with a custom red 10th Anniversary trophy that we’ve built back in Billund – though I must admit that I had to glue some of it.

Saying “THANK YOU!”
The trophy and happy chairman of BeLUG (Tom DeBruyker)

And then as a finale, they threw an auction with some really nice LEGO items and memorabilia.

Thank you BeLUG for inviting us, having us, being kind to us and Tom for buying us French Fries at the local fair!

Will we be back? Definetly, if not sooner then at the next BeLUG anniversary NO DOUBT!

More pictures can be found in my flickr photostream