Report on Brickfete

For the most part I have regarded Lego as a toy brand for people who aren’t me. Recently, though, a complete collection of Transformers Kre-O sets got me back into the whole construction thing, and some of the new Avengers sets seemed outright cool. I started researching events for 2012, and after a bit of Googling found out that a Canadian Lego convention apparently exists! The second annual Brickfete (pronounced “Brick-Fett”) was held from July 12th to 15th at the Airport Hilton.

   

(Find more photos in the gallery on Facebook.)

Unlike TFcon and many other conventions, instead of vendors, the anchoring draw of Brickfete is the opportunity to see all of the convention’s incredible MOCs (My Own Creations). These include gigantic custom Lego creations costing thousands of dollars worth of bricks and wired with tons of electronics, marvels of applied science that are both small-scale and large-scale at the same time. Some are pulled from imaginations, and many are also modelled after real life buildings. Of course, the drawback to the lack of vendors is that I wasn’t able to snag that Marvel set which comes with a Lego Magneto.

The Adult Fans Of Lego, or AFOLs, vary in their opinions on Megablocks and Kre-O, toy brands which are basically the same as Lego only cheaper. Officially, since the event was built on friendly terms with the Lego corporation, all displayed models were made of mostly Lego-brand pieces (except parts needed for things like electronics). That said, Brickfete was friendly to custom piece-producing groups like BrickForge, because they are built to compliment Lego sets rather than to compete with them.

   

Thursday at the convention was mostly for set-up and Friday was reserved for VIPs, while the public was welcome to prowl through the display hall on Saturday and Sunday. To hide the VIP day from people who aren’t Very Important, Brickfete’s website was intentionally made to be a bother to navigate – it was an innovative idea that in execution was a bit troublesome, so I hope that next year they’re just more open with the distinction.

While the VIPs walked around, there were a few interesting things to occupy time: a furious speed-sorting contest and a table covered in loose bricks for some casual assembly. (“Where is that one piece I swear I just saw it…”). Later, everybody was guided to seats for the opening ceremonies headed by the event’s MC, the sweet Janey Gunning. Afterwards the display hall was reopened with dimmed lights to highlight all the models with lights wired in, which I would have liked to see had I not had to catch my bus home to get to Atomic Lollipop the next day.

    

Brickfete was a fun experience. I think I honestly had a better time there than I would have had at the Starcraft Tournament the same weekend. As this was my first time, it was pretty unforgettable, and I would have loved to come when it was open to the public to see how many kids ended up seeing the creations. Next year I’m sure there will be more surprises, along with a few returning landmarks upgraded with new features and gimmicks. I know I’ll be there, in a limbo between awe at the spectacular MOCs and sadness from knowing that the 8 foot long boat I built when I was 8 really wasn’t impressive as I’d thought.

• The next big Toy Convention is the Canadian Joe Con in early August, YO JOE.• Later in August, Toronto becomes ground zero of FanExpo

For more events in the GTA, check our event calendar. If you know of any events we aren’t listing, please leave a comment bellow or e-mail us.

-Michael Ryan, July 24, 2012

Lego has the licenses for both Marvel and DC right now. Hey, remember that Lego episode of Corner Gas?

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