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Brick 2014 - My thoughts, your thoughts?

I went to Brick 2014 at Excel this morning, found it a very mixed bag.

The good...
1 Even though I'm a minifig collector rather than a builder, looking at the AFOL models and chatting to the makers was really fun.
2. Free Batman minifig at the DK stand.
3. Good support from people like Store (seller of Lego storage, DK and even Lego itself.
4. Bricks Essien - picked up some great bargains on this stand. One was a Toy Story set for £13 that was going for £35 on the next stall. Well worth checking out.
5. Local school kids - they seemed to be having a blast, but there weren't so many of them that the place was swamped.

The Bad
1. The official Lego stand was abysmal. A few giant boxes, some beanbags and current sets in glass cases. Surely Lego UK could have previewed a few upcoming sets, or put on a little history exhibit, shipped in a big model or SOMETHING.
2. The model displays had giant crash barriers around them. It looked awful, and there must be a better solution than this. I've been to loads of other model shows where this isn't done.
3. For some reason, the stage area had four women on it singing/screeching, 'Everything is Lego,' to a non-existent audience. I suppose it was quite funny in a Simpsons parody kinda way...
4. Toys R Us - just full price Lego, no show offers or exclusives. I couldn't help noticing that the shop was packed, but nobody was buying.
5. A lot of the smaller sellers weren't set up for credit cards. Pity, for at least one who would have sold me a £200 set if they'd provided a way for me to buy it.
6. I left through a wide open entrance and got chased by a security guard who wanted me to go back and walk around to an official 'exit.' There was no sign saying it wasn't an exit and I told him to bugger off. So rude, and pointless!
7. Parking £15!

Overall
If this had been in my part of London and cost £15, I think I'd have been happy. But my VIP ticket (I didn't mention the VIP goodie bag because it was just OK) was about £40 plus £15 to park. It took me about 90 minutes to see everything, so that puts it on a par with the cost of a theatre ticket or football match.

I don't regret going for a one off experience, but I don't think I'd be in any rush to go back.

Comments

  • suprajamessuprajames UK SussexMember Posts: 366
    Sounds like a not bad day, free Batman minifig is always good :), really wanted to go to this but missed out on tickets. TRU and Lego stand both sound a bit disappointing though, I really would have expected some sort of show exclusive or at least some offers. Was the UCS Slave 1 on display on the Lego stand ?
    Lack of card payment must have been annoying and would imagine lost sellers quite a bit of money, not like there is not portable card readers, PayPal Here etc etc

    Seeing as this was the first outing for the event maybe they will learn from it, and the whole thing was testing the water from TLG, TRU etc etc, to see if its a viable to get involved again. I hope it comes back next year, and I can attend.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    A couple of observations :

    - There is a 'deal' in the TRU pop-up shop; spend £20 and get a free 'Rocket Raccon' polybag, #5002145. Or you can just buy it for £5.

    - I agree that the barriers are a bit OTT, but I think they might be needed on Saturday;

    - I've been here since 8:30 this morning, and I'll be at my display until 9pm tonight... and I'm just about ready to rip my own ears off if the troupe on stage do their "let's get ready to Lego" singing routine again;

    Other than that, everything is awesome. :-)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,813
    edited November 2014
    £5 seems a good price for that poly, given how much people have been spending to import them.
  • obi_gobi_g BlightyMember Posts: 586
    @bluemoose‌ so rocket has finally made it to blighty! i hope there are some left on sunday...
  • obi_gobi_g BlightyMember Posts: 586
    also, is there anything i definitely must check out on sunday?
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,697
    Ok, tomorrow I will be buying the Exo-Suit from the LEGO store and maybe make it a £50 purchase if there are any good sales tomorrow. I asked them on the Facebook page if I could bring sealed sets they said yes so that Exo-Suit will possibly be signed by Pete Reid and Mark Stafford.

    Now I'm tying to figure out is it worth spending another £20 at TRU to get a free ploybag or even the £75 to get £20 gift card. That's not even counting many other stands that may be there.

    I really don't want to spend too much because my money may be used in early 2015 when that 2nd lot of student finance comes in for that Helicarrier, Detective Agency or even the LEGO Ideas Birds set :D
  • iso3200iso3200 97 miles from Brickset TowersMember Posts: 2,059
    I took an Exosuit today and had it signed no problem. No baggage checks - obviously I don't look shifty enough :-o

    You don't need to spend £20 at TRU, they were selling the RR poly on its own for £4.99 if that's what you're after.
    ShibAdeelZubair
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,440
    obi_g said:

    also, is there anything i definitely must check out on sunday?

    Such a difficult question to answer, appart from obviously the fairy bricks raffle ;-)

    I think for me there were so many standouts that its hard to give a small list.
    carlq
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    obi_g said:

    also, is there anything i definitely must check out on sunday?

    Depends on what you like. The 'fan zone' covers about 1/4 of the venue floor, and there's tons of great models on display, across lots of different themes... Lots of town, space, steam punk, trains, technic, superheros, Fabuland, etal.

    Clearly the best displays are the space displays in the centre of the fan area (my views may not be entirely unbiased).

    The are lots of sellers. The Duplo 'Brick pit' is another highlight, I'd say.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,101
    I'm going to point out a couple of things which I feel weren't factored in by the OP.

    1. There are cash machines in ExCel. They don't charge for you using them.
    2. It's central London, so of course parking is expensive. However, because it's central London, the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) is right outside. Don't drive, use public transport. It's far cheaper.
    3. 30,000 people are expected to walk around over the weekend. As an exhibitor on a collaborative build that is 10m x 3m, I'm extremely glad of those crowd barriers! We cannot watch 10m of unprotected display to ensure kids (and adults) don't de-rail the trains that are running around. Besides which, the barriers are not exactly cages, so unless you're smaller than about 1m, you can see over them easily.
    4. I have never seen so many amazing fan displays in one place before. It seems like the best displays from Europe are here, and I've been blown away by so many of them. I could easily spend at least two or three hours here if I wasn't exhibiting.
    ShibbluemooseandheJessyDooDahAdeelZubaircarlq
  • EvilTwinEvilTwin UKMember Posts: 129
    Hello

    I went today (Friday) and pretty much agree with the above comments, i.e. that it is a bit of a mixed bag. I went on Friday afternoon and although it was a school day I was there after school closing time so I'm kind of surprised there weren't more people there.

    - those barriers. I don't think anyone disagrees that some kind of barrier is necessary to prevent unwanted poking of displays. But those big industrial metal fences look terrible. There must be some type of barrier more in keeping with the event.

    - the whole event is kind of swamped in that massive space. Hopefully weekend crowds will make it seem a bit less echoey

    - the statement on the website about the talks on Friday "being more about education" went unfulfilled. Actually the stage events overall seemed very poorly attended- certainly there was no need for the VIP ticket's promised preferential seating (and incidentally... I can't think of any other event I have attended where the "preferential seating" has been the furthest away from the stage)

    - the official Lego stand was a bit sparse, although at least the people staffing it were prepared to engage with the public and play with the kids that came to see them (on a few of the other stalls some of the crew just sat around looking bored and staring at their phones)- I saw one guy happily sitting on the floor with a bunch of kids around him building a train.

    - the "official show merchandise" stall was completely abandoned??

    - some of the stalls selling parts etc seemed to be, well, towards the "scalper" end of the pricing spectrum.

    - the "VIP" goodie bag was also disappointing. The main contents were a polybag set (30215 Legolas Greenleaf in mine, not sure if they were all the same), a 2x4 brick advertising Fairy Bricks on one side and Minfigs Me on the other, and a copy of The Lego Movie DVD. Which would be reasonable, but I would bet that most people prepared to shell out for VIP ticket for a Lego event probably already have it at least a couple of times over... I hope I can find someone to give mine to for Christmas :)

    On the other hand...

    - it was awesome to see the Cubestormer for real, and to see its evolution over time (from the first RCX version to NXT and now EV3 version). That thing is mind boggling. I haven't got into the EV3 yet (I am still all NXT), but seeing the various robots on the stand made me think about it a bit more.

    - the "Little Big Art" art gallery was fun. I totally want one of those human-sized "100" tiles (although they are a bit pricey at £120 each!!)

    - the amount of creative imagination on display in the fan zone was just amazing. I always love the big city/train layouts with all the little details but some of the individual models were incredible. I also totally want that minfig-scale Thunderbird 2. Or maybe that Tintin rocket...

    - I stared at the great ball contraption probably for longer than necessary, but it is kind of hypnotic

    - lots of very excited but well behaved kids about. A few pushy parents though :) Of course the event is mainly targeted at kids (well, and their parents' purses/wallets) and there is plenty of Lego about for them to play with


    TL;DR version : event a mixed bag, but generally worthwhile, if you have kids with you; VIP ticket not worthwhile.


    EvilTwin
    rdflegomcvitie
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,697
    I went yesterday and had a blast, thank you (Best day of my life) I'm still recovering from the hype.

    Bad:

    -The Official Brick2014 stand was empty, why?

    -Needed more space/pieces for LEGO Minecraft layout.

    -More models of the 'LEGO Technic Remote-Controlled VOLVO L350F Wheel Loader' I never had the chance to try it out.

    -I saw someone looking through there VIP bags: not really cool. Most people who are visiting would already have THE LEGO Movie.

    -The people who were selling stuff had crazy prices e.g. One guy was selling the Mini MINI Cooper ploybog for £40 O_O

    -The barriers are really annoying but I guess it's for kids to not get their hands on MOC's.


    Good:
    -Meeting and recognising many people and builds I knew online: Caperberry‌, Peter Reid, Mark Stafford (LEGO Designer), Mark Guest (Editor for Blocks magazine), Tom Poulsom (LEGO Birds creator), TheBrickShow (Jason, Stephen and Chad), Keith Severson, Tim Goddard. I spent about 20 minutes having a chat with Jason and Stephen just before 9pm and the security guard to asked me to leave.

    -Toys 'R' us had the free Ninjago and Rocket Raccoon ploybags with any purchase near the end of the day. So I purhcased two minifigures and got both ploybags :D

    -Free Batman from DK stand as well as a free LEGO Club Max minifigure.

    -Amazing creations and very nice people.

    -The ticket price of £20 reflected so much value and memories.


    Take notes for next time:

    -Have several full charged cameras (mine drained half was through)

    -Don't go on your own it's a nightmare getting people to understand your camera.

    -Don't have too many layers of clothing.

    -Have empty hands. I had to build a LEGO Minecraft creation with one hand over 2 hours.

    -I'm definitely coming back next year and hopefully it will be me behind the table.


    Pictures of my visit here:
    https://www.flickr.com/.../115928.../sets/72157647188347214/
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,697
    Sorry the link to the album is here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/sQ2e50
  • yuffieyuffie Member Posts: 91
    CHERUBboy said:


    6. I left through a wide open entrance and got chased by a security guard who wanted me to go back and walk around to an official 'exit.' There was no sign saying it wasn't an exit and I told him to bugger off. So rude, and pointless!

    By the sounds of that it wasn't the security guard who was the rude person. The concept of an entrance and exit doesn't seem overly complicated. And surely the exit is nearer the way out of ExCel?

    Made a fairly late decision to go on Friday and even though it meant I couldn't take my five-year old I am glad I made the effort.

    My various thoughts:

    The entry system was a bit odd. My only previous experience of the ExCel was registering for the London Marathon where you just walked in through the main entrance. Of course, that wasn't a ticketed event and I can imagine with the numbers expected today and tomorrow it would make more sense.

    I got the about midday and spend around 90 minutes wandering around and the relatively small numbers made it very pleasurable. The only minor scrums were around the sellers so I imagine they were a nightmare over the weekend.

    If you like taking photos of the models then Friday was definitely the day to go as there were very few people in that area.

    My main interest was the stalls and there was a good selection. As someone has already said some of the prices were a bit steep - £1000 for a Mr Gold good luck with that - and they did nearly all seemed very much biased toward Star Wars minifigures, so in the end I didn't actually buy anything from them.

    The Toys R Us 'shop' was exactly what you'd expect - a normal Lego department transferred to the ExCel. The only items that tempted me were the four mini-scale Minecraft sets though in the end I managed to resist and just buy the Rocket Racoon polybag.

    I was also surprised the official merchandise stall was completely deserted.

    Also bought the #2 Blocks minifigure and grabbed the Batman figure from the DK stall, so in the end it was quite a cheap visit. Naturally, this was then undermined by visiting both Westfield Lego Shops.

    I am not sure I'd go again next year if it is held there but it was a enjoyable visit.

  • EvilTwinEvilTwin UKMember Posts: 129
    Judging by some of the comments and pictures on Facebook and Twitter, Friday was a good day to go... it looks insanely packed today. I guess those metal barriers were probably a good idea after all...
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,101
    The morning was insane, up until about 1pm or so. After that it slowly tailed off, and by about 4pm it was the same as yesterday.
  • iso3200iso3200 97 miles from Brickset TowersMember Posts: 2,059
    bluemoose said:


    - I've been here since 8:30 this morning, and I'll be at my display until 9pm tonight... and I'm just about ready to rip my own ears off if the troupe on stage do their "let's get ready to Lego" singing routine again;

    3 days gone, 1 to go. Just wondering if anyone has seen @bluemoose's ears lying around somewhere?
    andhe
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    No. I ran away screaming on Friday morning. Fled the country. Seriously.
    LostInTranslationAdeelZubaircarlqiso3200LegoboyStormKitty
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited November 2014
    The public were noticeably grumpier this morning, they've been amazingly chirpy for Londoners up until this point.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    Y'all are funny this morning! Two days of exhibiting my Duplo at BrickFairVA14 last August almost killed me... with 20K tickets out there. I can't imagine three or four days of listening to the public make rude or just plain dumb comments about your babies. It was fortunate that my display was two tables deep, so there was no way I could jump over the tables and choke the culprits. Maybe we should hire a group of teens to man our exhibits and have a day or two long pool party at the hotel...hmmmmm
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,525

    The public were noticeably grumpier this morning, they've been amazingly chirpy for Londoners up until this point.

    Probably the day all the non Londoners could make it, you'd be grumpy if you spent 5 hours getting to London.
  • carlqcarlq Ruislip Manor, MiddlesexMember Posts: 792
    Below please find a Dropbox link to all of my photos from Brick 2014, Thursday and Friday. I had a wonderful, unforgettable - and exhausting, but very rewarding - time as one of the Brick Fairies, and my thanks go out to @SirKevbags‌, @StormKitty‌, @Legoboy‌, @Shib‌, and everyone else on the Fairy Bricks stand for making the two days so much fun. Hope you all enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them!

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/caipdspownkxs0h/AADRRndnXVrDTcRKkviry_jWa?dl=0
    LegoboyShibGothamConstructionCoStormKitty
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Well that's just charming!
    LegoboyStormKitty
  • carlqcarlq Ruislip Manor, MiddlesexMember Posts: 792
    ...and of course @cheshirecat‌, who deserves his own, special mention....and apology. :-/
    StormKitty
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ;-)
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Had a great four days and would really like to thank all the bricksetters who gave up their time and worked their asses off through many long, hard and tiring days. Its easy to say but its absolutely true that we really couldn't have done it without you.

    I think we built a lot of smiles building the mosaic and we'll make even more smiles when we use the money raised from the raffle on hospital donations. You really are all amazing.
    LegoboyLostInTranslationcarlqShibGothamConstructionCoStormKittyMinifigsMe
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,328
    I would have liked to come round and see a few more of you all but (typically) I fell unwell on Tuesday which kicked the energy out of me a bit, although I felt much better today.

    Nevertheless, I have got loads of photos and had a great time. Now I just need to consider how to cut down about 400 of those photos to 10 for the Brickset show report!
    AdeelZubair
  • JahcursJahcurs Member Posts: 40
    I volunteered on the Saturday and had a walk round on the Sunday, I thought the fan zone was amazing! Getting to see so many creations and actually talk to the creators. Got a little hectic after 12 but got to see a good chunk in the morning without hassle. I'd disagree about the barriers, they were very much needed across the weekend its just kid instinct to caress everything, I didn't feel they were overly intrusive. I wouldn't of bothered queuing for toys r us everything was full price bar the advent calendar and finally getting a rocket poly bag!. Overall it was a pretty good event nice showcase of things to see and plenty for kids to do.
  • cavegodcavegod Member Posts: 806
    A couple of points,

    Lego wasn't at Brick 2014 they were only supporting it.

    I'm glad of the metal barriers I don't think id display there again if they arent available.

    The bricklink stores from europe are always expensive and come across as rude( well to me anyway)

    The Full size Volvo L350 was a no show :-(

    I got fed up of kids and adults asking if my star wars mocs were sets i just started saying they were in the end
    ShibrdflegocarlqAdeelZubair
  • rdflegordflego in a world of his ownMember Posts: 324
    @cavegod‌ I liked your stuff mate, the public can be incredibly thick sometimes. I saw a woman ask if the facade of that tower block was a set. God knows what she thought of the Westminster Abbey.

    I agree about the Bricklink stores but I don't do shopping online so that was a real eye opener. Found a French stand where I bought £10 of stuff but they only charged me £9.50, wish I'd got the name of the stand.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Someone also asked if the fairybricks mosaic was for sale.
    carlqandhe
  • carlqcarlq Ruislip Manor, MiddlesexMember Posts: 792
    edited December 2014

    Someone also asked if the fairybricks mosaic was for sale.


    More than one someone, in fact! :-)
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,697
    I came to the Fariybricks stand but they said the mosaic has finished so I done the Brick2014 mosaic instead.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Yep Saturday we finished in less than four hours. Shame that some missed out but there was no way were taking it apart mid day as well as every night. Being able to point people over to the brick 2014 mosaic was also really helpful with that too, other than when they came back complaining about having to do an entire baseplate of just red.
    LostInTranslationcarlqShib
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    I had a fab day being a Fairy on Saturday. All my fellow Fairies are awesome to work with.

    I didn't see much of the show though, so sorry I didn't get to speak to others that I know were displaying. Got a lovely hug off @caperberry and had a nice chat with @minifigsme though :-)
    carlq
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