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Brick 2015, Birmingham, a dissapointment?

Went on the Thursday, very dissapointed with the lack of exhibitors, the general feeling was the show served the purpose of selling tickets to parents during half term and this was the only concern of the organisers. The show floor was dominated by brick pits and building areas, the more interesting aspects of the show could have filled an area a fraction of the size of the venue. My son had a good time and I managed to pick up a few more of the CMF that I needed so it wasn't a completely wasted trip but I was expecting a lot more considering me and my partner had a great time at the London show last year. Should Brick have stuck to the one show rather than add the Birmingham dates? What are the opinions of other attendees?


  • RailsRails Member Posts: 153
    I was helping out on the Fairy Bricks stand on Thursday and Friday and agree that it did seem to be aimed more at keeping kids entertained and trying to promote sales, the Dimensions demo stand was very prominent. If I had paid to get in I think as an AFOL I would have felt a bit short changed.
  • beasty23beasty23 Member Posts: 62
    Same here went today entered at 10 and was out by 2. Cost me over £50 to get there (petrol, parking, ticket) I would say definitely not for AFOLs. I would say nothing stand out, some of the exhibits looks like they took all Lego they got at home and arrange it on table (just ordinary sets from previous years). Also funny moment for me was when I saw I guy from Germany who has a stand there selling Lego went to toyrus bought couple of Ecto 1 set for RRP and than selling them for £75 at his stand.
  • beasty23beasty23 Member Posts: 62
    Sorry also to add took me 20 minutes in que just to get to toyrus. Only letting small groups in!?
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman Member Posts: 1,524
    edited October 2015
    Only 20 min, you must have been there early ;).
  • mmozzanommozzano Member Posts: 417
    I went Thursday with my 6 yr old, I felt it was a little disappointing (the fan zone was too small) but he enjoyed it overall, we were in at 11am and finished by 2.30pm so probably not the best value for money really.
  • rdflegordflego Member Posts: 324
    I enjoyed myself to the point that I was first through the gates for two days in a row, but I have to agree that BRICK should have allowed for a bigger 'fan zone'. As I understand the small number of displays was due to some exhibitors we would normally expect to see going on a road trip; however I should imagine that there were many more who signed up to display but were turned down. The show was fun though so I would recommend BRICK NEC if they're doing it next year
  • DB361DB361 Member Posts: 299

    For me, the worst thing was that I was thinking that I had paid my entry fee having booked my ticket online. Having never been to the NEC before, the £12 for parking really took me aback - simply extortionate, presumably all on the NEC's part. I'll visit Brick again next year to see if the organisers learn from their mistakes - I'd like to see more displays as a must, more room for the retailers (not more stalls, just more room around the stalls and Toys R Us to try and reduce some of the queuing and congestion) and clearer definition of what's what - have all the brick pits in one area, for example. There seemed to be a lot of wasted space with a substantial but empty queuing area - surely that could have been put to better use. If it's exactly the same next year, then I'll just stick to Swindon thereafter.

  • thedoctor46thedoctor46 Member Posts: 213
    Swindon and Bricktastic in Manchester were both better shows, I expected a lot more. I was aware and prepared for the cost of parking but after leaving the show with such dissapointment, the parking added to the total cost of tickets and travel etc did leave a sour taste in my mouth.
  • EelesyEelesy Member Posts: 61
    I regularly go to the MCM Comic Con at NEC, which is triple the size of BRICK 2015, for half the price... So i was a bit annoyed at the entrance fee, as as said above there wasnt really that much; although I did get some rare sets and figures I've wanted for ages, so it was a good day for me. Its way too expensive an entry fee though.
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Member Posts: 4,027
    We had a fun time and built 2016 mosaic plates over the four days. Fantastic team as always and bloody exhausting. There were some Fairy veterans but we also had @Rails@Calv and @messy for the first time. Thanks chaps.

    I'm not going to get into offering an opinion on the event, as an exhibitor it doesn't feel appropriate but I will say it's a little unfair to compare any LEGO event to a Comic Con situation. The financial models for the events are completely different, the biggest one being that the vast majority of people exhibiting at Con events pay to be there because in some capacity they are generating revenue. At LEGO Events it is the opposite. Sure more space could be sold and this would enable the ticket price to be lowered but I for one wouldn't be happy paying or charging people to effectively come into a shop.
  • CalvCalv Member Posts: 904
    I spent all day Friday -Sunday at the show helping on the Fairybricks stand and all we saw were happy faces as parents and kids enjoyed the show and built our mosiacs. I would say the show was aimed mainly at children with all the brick pits and building opportunities. The AFOL area did seem small in comparism to last years Brick show at Excel but overall the aisles were wider and the show less frantic than Excel.

    NEC parking at £12 seems excessive, last time I went to the NEC (2013) it was £8 so a bit of a hike there! Cheaper parking is available at the railway station but it was a long walk to the show.... Done it!

    As the first show at the NEC.... well done and I am sure lessons will be learnt for 2016.
  • alijoezacalijoezac Member Posts: 554
    I went on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed the two and half hours I spent there - I hadn't been to this event before.
    Fortunately the company I work for has an office near the NEC so I parked there and walked, £12 does sound excessive.
  • EelesyEelesy Member Posts: 61
    @SirKevbagsI get that maybe it's unfair to compare it to a Comic Con, but as a student the ticket price did seem a bit steep for what was there for an AFOL, nevertheless I did enjoy it, but I brought some friends along who are not massive Lego fans and they were quite annoyed with the price. It has not put me off future shows though, I just think a few more adult oriented exhibits could have been there, but then again Lego *is* a children's toy first and foremost. 

    I may be wrong here but was the price of entry on the door £22? As when i booked online a significant discount was promised, and I paid £21.75 a ticket.
  • messymessy Member Posts: 253
    edited November 2015
    The bright bricks displays were huge (or mammoth if you prefer) and stunning, there was a lot of promotional aspects mostly for dimensions etc. The fan zone was a lot smaller then I was expecting, but the builds were all fantastic. I don't think adults are the prime audience for the show, it is primarily a commercial event unlike STEAM and the other regional shows which are LUG events and therefore made up of displays of exceptional quality built by fans for fans to enjoy.

    A vast majority of the people I spoke to at the Fairy Bricks stand were having a fantastic time, whether they were kids or their accompanying adults or obvious afol. The brick pits could be considered a space filler but they were always full of adults and children building some really awesome creations and having loads of fun, which is what it's all about.

  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 Administrator Posts: 2,364
    edited November 2015
    I believe the fan zone for the Birmingham show was vastly undersubscribed while the London show will have a much larger area for fan displays.

    I enjoyed the event from the Bricks magazine stand. Most families seemed to be enjoying it and it was extraordinarily easy to sell magazines as many had come prepared to spend money, more so than at STEAM and other shows.
  • brickrikkbrickrikk Member Posts: 13
    I was planning to go to the London Brick event next month on my own but seeing the ticket prices, factoring in travelling across London to get there and reading the above comments, I am already reconsidering.

    As a Lego 'newbie' would I be be better served looking for a smaller event, more dedicated to the Lego fan? Are there such things?
  • nexandernexander Member Posts: 908
    It sounds like the small fan zone might be due to it being the first year. I can also imagine people with limited time waiting until London. I was at a cake show on Sunday and I noticed something similar. Despite it being the only event like it in Scotland it was the first year here and the amount of competition entries was small and while the quality was great, was a bit disappointing. Apart from that and bake off 'stars' (which we don't care about) it was just stalls selling. We had free tickets but would be annoyed to have paid. Still blew 3x our budget though and plan to enter next year.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    Also it was organised later than the Excel show,  when some people had already committed to other plans. For example,  it was half term so people may have booked holidays and a group of Brickish members had already planned their trip to Billund.  

    I'm visiting the London show in December and I'm not worried at all about what to expect from the Fan Zone. I'm sure it'll be fab.  Whether it's value for money depends on each person's individual circumstances but with my ticket already booked I'm definitely looking forward to it! 
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    edited November 2015
    There are probably a few different issues, although none are particularly problematic.

    1 - BRICK is not STEAM. STEAM is purely a show for people that want to see cool stuff made out of LEGO - its great for AFOLS and kids will love it. Its the equivalent of an art exhibition where you wonder around looking in amazement at what people have created followed by a little bit of shopping and then you leave. BRICK is less an exhibition and more a family fun day. Its interactive, you get there early and you leave when it shuts or near enough. Its not only about the fan models - thats just a fairly small part of the show (I guess most kids had got around the 'fanzone' (I hate that name) in about 45 minutes) - its about the entire LEGO experience, the movies, the games, the models, the shopping, the building and food. As such, I can imagine an AFOL leaving BRICK disappointed, but I don't think thats BRICK's fault. Having spoken to probably over a few hundred or so kids every single one of them said they were having a great time and their parents seemed to think it was a good day out (you can tell when they don't)

    2 - How do you measure value? As a parent I would normally expect 2 hours or so for spending £10 (similar to the cinema), at £22 I would expect pretty much a full day. For everyone I think STEAM works out well. For families I think BRICK pretty much got it right although perhaps too much over reliance on brick pits where a few other activities could have replaced some of them. For an AFOL BRICK would seem like crap value, but that's not BRICK's fault.

    3 - Are we looking at BRICK 2014 with rose tinted glasses? The fanzone was good (better than Birmingham) but still not as good as STEAM, the brick pits were swamped, and on Saturday and Sunday the place was so busy you couldn't move (and everyone was as grumpy as hell). There was a lot of non-LEGO related crap - the fun bus and silent disco, the go-karts, the balloon model (ok that was a minifigure), the winter shopping thing. BRICK NEC didn't have those horribly annoying singers, for that alone it's about 200 times better than BRICK 2014.

    Given the progression from BRICK 2014 to BRICK NEC in terms of LEGO related content (if not in the scale and quality of the fanzone) then I think it suggests good things for the Excel in December, especially if there's more AFOL models due to many people not being in Billund, not being so close to STEAM etc. 

  • HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,088
    I was in the 'fan zone'; thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello.

    From my perspective it was a good event although at 4 days, it was one day too long. I think my train layout was well received by adults, kids and fellow 'fan builders', I certainly had a lot of conversations which suggested as much, so I guess it was a successful event for me in that regard.

    I will concede however that the quality of exhibits in the fan zone was variable and I understand some 'scraping of barrels' was necessary because it was so under-subscribed.

    That was because of the Brickish Billund trip, the close proximity to STEAM and the event's relatively late organisation, as Lucy has said above, but also because there was no 'major incentive' to attend, like there is at ExCeL (AFOLCON). Although we were well looked after and showered with gifts at the end, it was probably not enough of a pull to encourage people to take 3 days time off from work to display there.

    Will I do it again next year? I'm not sure: Probably, although 4 days really is a long time to be standing around one's display...
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Member Posts: 4,268
    The main reason for me not going to Birmingham was the lateness of the announcement of it - I'd already booked all my holidays for this year by that point. Granted, I did then join the Brickish trip to Denmark which was at the same time, but Denmark was easier to make the case to my boss for changing my holidays than Birmingham would have been, and anyway, Denmark was something completely different - a one-off experience.

    If it's announced in good time for next year, I may well look to display.
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