RECAP: LUG Visit with HILUG and LEAHI (PART 1)

Greetings CEE Blog readers!

I am CEE’s Community Strategist, Yun Mi Antorini, and I don’t usually write on the blog. But earlier this year I had the great pleasure of visiting two great LUGs in Hawaii: LEAHI (LEGO Enthusiast Association of Hawaii) and HILUG (Hawaii LEGO User Group) both located on O’ahu, the third largest of the Hawaiian islands in the United States. Here’s an account of my visit with HILUG.

You’d probably think that Hawaii residents are prone to engage in outdoor activities like surfing, swimming, or hiking and that a typical indoor hobby like building with LEGO would have a hard time in a region where the sun is (nearly) always up and where the nature is breathtakingly beautiful. Nothing could be more wrong! What I learned is that you can have the best of both worlds!

HILUG had kindly invited me to their monthly building meeting. I was warmly welcomed by Roy, Christine and baby Peregrine. Roy and Christine, who formed HILUG, hosted the meeting which took place in their home. HILUG differs from many LUGs by having both adult and youth members, Peregrine being by far the youngest, but not less engaged member!

Peregrine observing and taking inspiration from his surroundings.
Peregrine observing and taking inspiration from his surroundings.

The meeting began with a round of introductions that also involved presenting personal LEGO creations and getting feedback on those creations. It was very exciting to see how play and creativity really knows no age and how good ideas flow back and forth between people, creating even better solutions and new venues to be tested out. It was equally fascinating to learn about the diverse and fascinating backgrounds that people had. In the second part of the meeting, Roy showed how the LEGO Mixels elements could be put to good use. I can’t think of a better way of learning new LEGO tips and tricks than the way it was done here! The third and more formal part of the meeting involved discussing opportunities to do social builds, exhibiting the LUG’s work, and doing larger event that involved not only HILUG members.

Christine’s 10,000+ piece ring-tailed lemur mosaic made for "The Wildest Show In Town" at the Honolulu Zoological Society.
Christine’s 10,000+ piece ring-tailed lemur mosaic made for “The Wildest Show In Town” at the Honolulu Zoological Society.
HILUG members deeply engaged in sorting LEGO elements!
HILUG members deeply engaged in sorting LEGO elements!
HILUG members meeting in Kapiolani park.
HILUG members meeting in Kapiolani park.

Upcoming events in 2014 are the first outer Island event on Hawaii “The Big island” for HawaiiCon in September. In October, HILUG is attending Children and Youth Day at the State Capitol.  Links to HILUG events and information are located on the events page at HILUG’s website: www.hilug.org. You can also follow HILUG here: https://www.facebook.com/hawaiilug and here: @hawaiilug on Twitter and Instagram.

Later in the year, I will return again to tell more about my visit with the LEAHI group.

UPDATE: LEGO Ambassador Network

Hello Adult Fan of LEGO Community.  I hope every AFOL has been talking within their LUG’s to prepare their application for the new program.

http://ceeteamblog.com/2014/05/28/announcement-lego-ambassador-network/

Please make sure your LUG is preparing for this signup.  This will be a great opportunity for LUG’s to network and play a greater role in the global community and provide impact into the LEGO Group.  Also it is essential to be a part of the program to be qualified for 2015 support programs provided by the community team.

 

Timeline

September 1st – Signup for the new LEGO Ambassador Network starts

Please send your application and release form to your community Manager, (Kim Thomsen, Kevin Hinkle, Jan Beyer).  In the Links below you will find the word documents to digitally fill out the information.

LEGO Ambassador Network – APPLICATION – Recognized LEGO User Group

LEGO Ambassador Network – Release Form

Mid October (exact date to be confirmed later) – All approved LUG ‘s with have their ambassador receive a log-in information into the new LAN forum. 

This is an opportunity for Ambassador to get familiar with the new system and setup their profiles before we start.

November 1st – GO LIVE

Workgroups will become active and we will start the new journey.

Please notice there is a 2 month gap between the start of the signup and the GO LIVE date.  This is to give everyone (including us) time to signup and settle in the new system.  We want everyone to be online so that when November 1st starts we can launch with a very positive experience.

 

 

 

 

Workgroup Leaders

During the startup of the new LAN we have brought onboard 4 LUG ambassadors early to become workgroup Leaders.  These people will play a major part in helping ambassadors come onboard to the new platform and will launch some of the first workgroups.  These names are:

Kiss Karoly

Paul Lee

Christian Breinbauer

Andrew Bulthaupt

 

 

 

 

Below is the contact information for your regional community managers.

Keith David Severson – Senior Manager – Community Support Team / Keith.Severson@LEGO.com

 

Jan Beyer – Community Operations Manager / Jan@LEGO.com

Supporting the community in Europe and Asia/Australien

 

Kevin Hinkle – Senior Community Coordinator  / Kevin.Hinkle@LEGO.com

Supporting the community in North & South America.

 

Kim Ellekjær Thomsen – Community Coordinator / KimT@LEGO.com

Supporting the community in Western Europe

EVENT RECAP: Brickfête Toronto 2014

The public visitors at Brickfête Toronto 2014.
The public visitors at Brickfête Toronto 2014.

2014 marked the fourth consecutive year for the adult fan of LEGO® (AFOL) convention Brickfête Toronto, which takes place in none other than Toronto, Ontario; Canada. I was honored to attend this event for my third year as a representative of the LEGO Group and the Community Engagement & Events (CEE) department.

I arrived at the venue Thursday evening and was pleasantly surprised to see such a gorgeous new home for this event. This year, the owners settled on a new location which brought the event a bit closer to several existing local family attractions and activities. This location lent itself well to families looking for a weekend getaway. This was clearly evident during the weekend!

A life sized Minifigure Walkie Talkie as built by a Brickfête Toronto attendee.
A life sized Minifigure Walkie Talkie as built by a Brickfête Toronto attendee.
A motorized R2-D2 as built by a Brickfête Toronto attendee.
A motorized R2-D2 as built by a Brickfête Toronto attendee.

Friday the event was only open to registered attendees (AFOLs & teenage fans of LEGO (TFOLs)). As such, the day was filled with a variety of games, activities and presentations in celebration of the LEGO hobby. I spent a majority of my time engaging with members of the local community and documenting some of the fabulous creations that were being set up. It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to touch base with the individuals I’ve been speaking with over email and phone. I had a lot of great discussions with several LUGs such as OBB, ParLUGment, ToroLUG, SLUG, LUCNY, rtlToronto and WHaCKoLuG. I was not alone however, as my colleague Jamie Berard, Design Manager Specialist at the LEGO Group was also in attendance! We sporadically bumped into one another as we attempted to engage with as many fans as possible during our time. In the afternoon we both had the opportunity to host back to back presentations. As tradition, I hosted a presentation in which I detailed the CEE department, and all the programs and support opportunities that are currently available to the AFOL community from the LEGO Group. Jamie spoke to his design process for the new 10244 Fairground Mixer.

A Pokémon Stadium as built by a Brickfête Toronto attendee.
A Pokémon Stadium as built by a Brickfête Toronto attendee.
Jamie Berard, Design Manager Specialist from the LEGO Group, preparing for a presentation at Brickfête Toronto 2014.
Jamie Berard preparing for a presentation at Brickfête Toronto 2014.

Saturday the event was opened to the public and I was happy to see so many interested participants make it out! While weaving in and around busy onlookers I was able to snap a few pictures and check in with fans as they fielded questions from the public. Not too long after the doors opened we were also greeted and entertained by local members of the 501st legion, a very well known group of Star Wars costumers. Another great day of conversation was had and right before taking a break for dinner, Jamie and I took up an invitation to visit a local independent toy dealer’s shop: Lasting Toys. It was fun to see so many LEGO products as well as products from the community in once place. As we spoke to Michael, the store’s owner, we browsed his racks of older LEGO products- he even let me take a childhood favorite of mine! Once we returned to the venue we took our seats and enjoyed another fantastic charity auction hosted by none other than the Magno in Charge himself- Chris, from rtlToronto. This auction in particular is always extremely entertaining and I look forward to it every year. Before calling it a day, and wrapping up another event, I grabbed a few coffees and timbits® from a local Tim Hortons and enjoyed them with a few night owls who were building space ships for a collaborative project entitled: GARC.

A motorized ride as built by a Brickfête Toronto attendee.
A motorized ride as built by a Brickfête Toronto attendee.

A huge thanks once again to the community for making me feel welcome at this event. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and have already taken the opportunity to have a few cups of coffee from my new mug at the office. 🙂

For those interested, I’ve uploaded all the photos I took while in attendance on my Flickr account.

Sound off in the comments if you were in attendance at this event! What were your thoughts?