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LUGs

brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
edited April 2011 in Community and Events
I've heard about Lego User Groups and several posts in other discussions mention specific ones. I was wondering if people could share their experiences with specific LUGs. It might be encouraging to hear where the active ones are and how people are involved. I was thinking I might want to join one and I'm sure others have similar thoughts.

Comments

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,222
    I joined a UK LUG, the Brickish Association (BA), at their big Summer exhibition (STEAM) last year. I am generally suspicious of clubs as they often turn out to be unwelcoming and cliquey places where anally retentive, pedantic people who delight in enforcing unnecessary and restrictive rules are over-represented. I had already 'met' Brickish members Huw and Bluemoose online, however, and enjoyed STEAM so much that I thought I'd overcome my prejudices and join.

    It's been one of the best decisions I've made in recent years. Most of the people I've met online or in person at events have turned out to be friendly and similarly LEGO-obsessed, and it's given me the opportunity to get involved in some really cool events such as the BA Christmas party at LEGOLAND Windsor (http://gimmelego.blogspot.com/2010/12/winter-wonderland.html), building models for display inside new UK LEGO brand stores (http://gimmelego.blogspot.com/2010/11/perfect-job.html), and making large models at a LEGO store grand opening (http://gimmelego.blogspot.com/2011/03/grand-opening.html). I've also done quite a lot of trading with BA members, and had the opportunity to get cheap bulk LEGO via LEGO's LUGBULK scheme. All for a little over ten quid for annual membership - bargain.

    If you love LEGO, I actually don't think there's a good reason NOT to join a LUG, on the basis of my experience.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    @drdavewatford, don't you have to be 18 for BA, which might be a barrier for some people here?
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,222
    edited April 2011
    @drdavewatford, don't you have to be 18 for BA, which might be a barrier for some people here?
    Correct, driven by the usual child protection stuff I think.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    @brickmatic: a detail which I'm not sure if you've realized is that LUGs have geographic affiliation so that the users can meet regularly, and also so that they can perform large public displays, which is one of the main attributes that LEGO uses for recognizing LUGs.

    I'm not sure if there's any exceptions to this, but just thought I would point out the first limiting criteria is more likely what LUGs are near you.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    @rocao I'm aware that they are tied to place. I mean, if people are going to meet they sort of have to be in the same place :p I'm more interested in this discussion to hear about people's variety of experiences with a variety of LUGs rather than finding the right LUG for me. That said, I think if people do talk about LUGs they belong to and where they are it might attract people who live nearby who might otherwise not know too much about it. In other words, I'm thinking this is a discussion that might be useful to the whole community and not just me and that's the direction I'd like to see it take.

    I also figured this is something people would want to talk about. If you spend the time and involve yourself, wouldn't you want to talk about it? I'd be interested to listen.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    ^ Heh, sorry. Based on asking about experiences with specific LUGs I thought you were auditioning those specific LUGs based on people's feedback.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    There is no definitive definition of what a 'LUG' is (or isn't). The number of people in a LUG can vary hugely between LUGs (some are just a couple of people, some have hundreds of members); they can cover a small area or a huge area; some have strict rules on membership, some have none; some have committees & constitutions & annual subscriptions, some have none of those things; ... ...

    LEGO have tried to claim ownership of the 'LUG' name (why not? It's got 'LEGO' in the name after all); they have their own rules as to what constitutes a 'valid' LUG ... under their rules, pretty much any LEGO fan community counts as a LUG as long as it has more than 10 members, has been around for a year, and has a web presence. Web-based communities like Brickset, Brother Brick, FBTB, Bricklink, Eurobricks, etc. all count as 'LUGs' under LEGOs criteria.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    We don't have to display?
  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    No LUG *has* to display. However, if you are thinking of LUGBULK, then yes, public displays are one of the qualifying criteria.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    @Yellowcastle - To be recognised as a LUG by LEGO? No. That's why we qualify for an Ambassador post. They changed the rules last year so that web-based communities could qualify, if they met the other criteria. That's why the number of Ambassadors has grown from ~40 to ~70 with the most recent cycle. But LUGs don't automatically qualify for LUGBulk.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    That, of course, makes complete sense. I'm always tempted to participate in a lugbulk but the piece names allude me so I'd be voting for those flatty 1 x 2 dark grey thingies and have nightmares where people then laugh at me and make bley sounds like possessed goats. Ha.
    murphquake
  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    I guess it depends on how your LUG manages its LUGBULK orders. That said, the nomenclature used by AFOLs is different from that used by LEGO. Part numbers can help but Bricklink/Peeron part numbers often vary from LEGO Design IDs. It is a minefield, but having been involved in most of the LUGBULKs within the UK, I'm now over that issue. For noobs, it must be a nightmare. Some LEGO brick names are also hilarious, but that's another discussion!

    Anyway, you should participate in LUGBULK if you have the opportunity. We've got some very cool stuff to build with from them.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    I am surprised given the size of the Chicagoland area that there are no LUGs. The closest thing to a LUG is the NILTC (http://niltc.org/) which is rather restrictive in its membership, but does put on some really nice events. To have four Lego stores within a 50 mile radius, one would think there would be LUG's all over the place. Maybe a future project for me if I could ever find time.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I'm surprised that the New York City area doesn't have a more active LUG. I looked at the website (http://nyclug.blogspot.com/) and it looks pretty dead. For a city the size of NYC, there has to be more LEGO fans around, right?
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited April 2011
    ^ This is either a different entity, or the NYCLUG reborn:
    "I LUG NY": http://www.ibrickny.com/

    By the way, I sympathize with any AFOL residents of NY City who surely must struggle with the physical space requirement that LEGO demands
    murphquake
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^Thanks! This should be added to the LUG list.

    Thankfully I'm in the tri-state area and not actually in NYC proper, although I do spend a lot of time there. But yeah, I know NYC apartments and it would be difficult to maintain a large collection.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 762
    ILUGNY member here. Next meeting to be held at the RooseveltField LEGO Store on May 21st at noon. Anyone interested in joining ILUGNY just contact me via Brickset or flickr as I am notenoughbricks on flickr.
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