Read AJ Dent’s coverage of BrickCon 2013, a meeting for Lego enthusiasts which took place at the Seattle Center on 5 and 6 October.
Once geeky things have now become mainstream. This is a familiar trope, from superheroes to tech savviness — and even glasses. And things fall from grace just as easily: consider that you may once have thought that boy bands were cool.
Despite those twists and turns of public favour, one seemingly simple toy system has managed to remain in the public eye for more than six decades. For small pieces of plastic, Legos are pretty impressive. Since 1949, they’ve appealed to children, architects and collectors alike, and always kept their reputation positive.
When I was eight, craft time meant tabletops littered with water paints, crayons, or glue sticks. Toys were the items scattered across my bedroom floor — Hot Wheels, My Little Ponies, and, of course, Lego. No way would I have believed back then that these two pastimes could be combined. Yet twenty years later, I find myself surrounded by spectacular sculptures made of blocks made for children — modern art best described, in my opinion, as downright ingenious.
Since 2002, this meeting of mediums has been celebrated each year at BrickCon, a convention for Lego hobbyists and fans. This year’s theme? Pigs Versus Cows, kookily enough. Builders demonstrated which side they were on via brutal battle scenes and some not-so-subtle details.
A few of my favorites included a Trojan Pig, Freddie Mercury sporting a cow’s face, and even a porky Alfred serving Batcow a beverage. I also couldn’t help but light up when I, along with a couple young viewers, came across Stephen Cowbert (a cow version of American satirist Steven Colbert) in his news studio.
Hundreds of Lego wonders didn’t participate in this barnyard brawl, however. Space, pirates, and castle themes covered several tables, providing that perfect Lego mix of geek and chic. There were ambitious Lord of the Rings depictions, Harry Potter displays, and the expected (but no less astounding) Star Wars sets. Music references also set an amusing tone through a decked-out Lady Gaga Monster Ball, and even statues of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke.
Above it all, an eye-catching Lego Space Needle completed the scene. Like the past, BrickCon was filled with good, clean fun. Like the future, it overflowed with geeks, non-nerds, and everything in between roaming freely together. The legacy of Legos — and BrickCon at large — already feels timeless, and it feels, at least in my view, like we’re certain to keep building this community for centuries to come.
AJ Dent is a Seattle-based blogger and photographer. She currently writes copy for GeekGirlCon. For more from AJ, see our website.
November 10, 2013
Release TBC – the ‘fun and games’ issue.
Including: a vision of a nuclear explosion during London’s Olympics; interviews with artist Joshua Seidner, games maker James Wallis, and the anonymous author of Chameleon on a Kaleidoscope.
Plus: poetry from Will Nicoll, and prints from Rap Coloring Book.
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