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My visit to Warsaw

On Thursday I got early up to catch my flight to Warsaw. First I met with the LEGO Polska Marketing Manger responsible for AFOL cooperation. I took her through my presentation about AFOLs and LUGs and afterwards we discussed and agreed our cooperation plans for 2015. It was a great meeting.
In the afternoon I met up with the LEGO Ambassador and a member from Zbudujmy.to LUG to discuss about cooperation and activities. We also had a short look around the beautiful City of Warsaw.

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On the next day I met in the morning with one of the LUGPol Admins and we also had great discussions and a short City walk before we started our lunch meeting with 2 LUGPol Admins, the LEGO Polska Marketing Manager and myself. It was a very constructive meeting.

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In the afternoon we visited together the current running LUGPol exhibition in the Technical museum which is part of the iconic Palace of Culture building in Warsaw.
The exhibition was great looking and well prepared.

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In the evening LUGPol had organized a dinner meeting with 15 AFOLs from both LUGs.

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It was a great and very productive and informative visit – thanks to all who contributed to it.

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.

Lipno Event 2014 – Czech Republic

The past 2 days I was visiting the Lipno Event 2014 in Czech Republic. This event is held in the Lipno Point vacation center right at the shore of Lake Lipno in cooperation with the Czech LUG Kostky.org.

When I arrived Friday afternoon from Prague the over 40 participating AFOLs were eagerly setting up to be ready for the Grand Opening the next morning.

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It all came together in time after a night shift so the event opened at 10am for the public.

You can see awesome MOCs all build by Czech AFOLs. They outpace themselve over and over again!

Here some impressions!

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Yesterday night we held the AFOLs evening with good food, drinks and talks as well as an auction and a voting for the best MOC.

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A SW diorama got the first prize.

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I want to say thank you to all people who made this incredible exhibition happen!
If you want to visit – which I strongly recommend – you have time until September 30th.

My short but intense visit to Hungary

Yesterday and today I am visiting Budapest, the beautiful Capital of Hungary.
First I had a very productive 3h meeting with the LEGO Hungary Marketing Manager around working with AFOLs and afterwards I had the chance to meet over 30 AFOLs from 5 different LUGs and the 3 Hungarian LEGO Ambassadors! This was a great experience.
We had dinner together and they invited me to see an AFOL exhibition in Budapest which was so great.

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Awesome MOCs (of course there were much more)!

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The 3 Ambassadors (Karoly Kiss, Andras Dorogi and Peter Kovac) and the organizer of the exhibition (Lazslo Uhrovszky).

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We discussed LEGO related things and chatted until late night. So much fun!

Later Andras was so kind to give me a glimps of this beautiful city by night – it was so impressive!

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Thank you very much to all of you – it was a great trip – I will be back!

SweBrick Event in Norrköping

So the past weekend I was in Sweden to visit the friendly and always high spirited Swedes at their big event this year.

It was situated at the Work’s Museum (Arbetets Museum) in Norrköping and that was a really cool venue indeed.

The combination of old industruial building with muesum and then LEGO bricks everywhere was a really strong combination.

Sweet photoshop image of the museum as a MOC
Sweet photoshop image of the museum as a MOC

As you can see from the above image, the museum itself is situated really nice in the old industrial part of town and as an extra treat SweBrick had designed an event kit – which was a LEGO build version of the local trams riding around Norrköping. I was lucky enough to be given one as a gift as was Karen who accompanied me on this visit as she wanted to me the AFOLs face2face on their own “turf”.

Lots of dark green and flame yellowish elemets.
Lots of dark green and flame yellowish elemets.

A really sweet event kit that already sits next to the Gothenburg tram (they did for last year’s event) on my display shelf. Nice element selection and also a funny disclaimer on the side of the box and the age requirement is spot on! [laughs].

Karen and I arrived on Friday – after flying to Stockholm and riding a not so impressive Skoda CitiGo 1.0 to Norrköping and we were amazed at the level of hospitality we were shown. We instantly got the “BIG TOUR” and everywhere we went everyone were smiling and chatting – I guess stress on having to set up several MOCs is not something they “use” in Sweden? And then on Satruday the exhibition kicked off with close to 2000 visitors in 6 hours. In the evening the Saturday Night Dinner was really fun followed by a presentation by me and Karen on our jobs and what we do in the Community Engagement & Events department. To top everything off they had Superkalle do a rather stunning presentation on plastic compounds and illegal builds.

On Sunday we only had time for a quick visit at the event before heading back home. It did seem though that event was already crowded by visitors and I am certain that the end figures show that SweBrick need an entire floor more in the building for next time.

We also had a quick look in the basement where a local toy store had agreed to set up a makeshift store selling lots of LEGO sets at fair prices. Plus several boxes of random bricks had been put into tubs and the kids could be part of a building contest – so much rattling and happy faces in one place makes you proud to be part of the company and even prouder of the work that AFOLs do – just because they can and it is their hobby.

A BIG THANK YOU to SweBRrick – I hope to visit you again at some point in time.

I have uploaded all the images I have from the event to my image folder HERE (opens in a new window).

If anyone has any pictures from the event that I can have, please burn them on a CD, put a signed note that allows us to use them there and send it to me.

Your LEGO Ambassador (Ras74) should have my address.