Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our "Bricks by the Bay" LEGO Convention Review

Earlier today, my son and I attended the "Bricks by the Bay" LEGO convention in Fremont, California. It was amazing, despite the extremely long line and rainy weather.

Apparently everyone else had come to this convention, too, because the line to get in snaked through the hotel and up into the parking garage. It was cold and we were hungry, but we waited for almost two hours with lots of other families with young kids. (The Marriott hotel employees, by the way, were very nice and helpful while we waited.)

Crazy long line into the garage!

When we finally got in around noon, it was totally worth the wait. There were so many LEGO creations to look at! We spent over an hour just walking around, taking photos and asking a few questions from the friendly builders.

LEGO exhibits:

We headed to the vendors area to shop. It was packed, too, and had lots of cool stuff. It was almost as entertaining as the main exhibit itself. I didn't realize that I needed cash to pay for everything, but we were able to buy t-shirts and a few small LEGO toys to bring home.

Shopping for cool stuff in the vendors area:

My son wasn't ready to go home at 2 PM, so we headed back into the display area for another look. We noticed more details the second time around. We voted for our favorite creation, the Valley. Unfortunately, we didn't stay long enough to hear who the winner was.

LEGO Valley (our favorite exhibit):

Voting for his favorite exhibit (click to see a larger image):

By the way, if you know who won the Public Choice Award contest, please let us know!

We headed home just after 3 PM, exhausted and happy, with our arms full of cool LEGO stuff. It was pouring rain outside, and we didn't have raincoats, but we didn't mind getting wet. And even though the drive home on the highway was nasty in the pouring rain, my son and I were in high spirits all the way home. We had a blast together!

I highly recommend the "Bricks by the Bay" convention. It was well-run and highly entertaining. Good job to everyone involved!

Now for my son's review of the show:

"So, for my "Bricks by the Bay" LEGO convention review, the line was just plain boring. When I got in, my mouth was hanging open because there were thousands of creations there on display, plus many more in the vendor's area. It was pretty crowded around the LEGO viewing areas and the vendor's area.

The LEGO display I liked the best was the Valley, because it had actual moving trains and had waterfalls and lots of green LEGO bricks. It looked realistic and it looked like a forest or jungle, too. I also liked how the builder put train tracks right though the tunnels in the hills.

I also liked the fleet of ships near the Valley, because it had a lot of pieces and the pieces were built on great angles.

Battleship Yamato exhibit:

I give this convention 4 out of 5 stars, because it was kind of sweaty in there from a thousand people, and I didn't have a chance to see all the LEGO creations even though I stayed there for almost 3 hours."

Click the link below to view lots more photos!

LEGOLAND mosaic:

LEGOLAND exhibit:

Motorized carousel:

Taj Mahal exhibit:

Booty Bay exhibit:

Maritime Tugboat exhibit:

Adrienne's Dollhouse exhibit:

Pink Slopes and President Obama mosaic:

Zelda mosaic:

LEGO computer exhibit (the builder said it really works!)

Cool space diorama:

Medieval countryside exhibit:

Colosseum of Rome exhibit:

Mini Me exhibit:

City Zoo exhibit:

Pretty LEGO town:

LEGO figures:

More LEGO figures:

And even more LEGO figures:

The Colbert Report exhibit:


  1. LEGO Yamato Battleship won the Public Choice award.

    -LEGO Fleet Admiral

  2. Thanks for the information, LEGO Fleet Admiral. And congratulations!

  3. I'm glad you made it to the convention, sorry for the long wait. They had a record breaking 2,500 people attending and maybe hundreds of people who were turned away or didn't want to wait in the line.

    BTW, the Yamato Battleship was built by Johannes, a member of BayLUG.

    Linda C Smith included my pink slope creations in her blog article about Bricks by the Bay titled "The Women Builders of Lego' at I was very flattered to be included in such an impressive group of lego building women.

    You might enjoy the "Fascinating LEGO Model of the Day" blog that has a great roundup of Bricks by the Bay photos from attendees and other recap information...

    I am thinking of teaching a "Lego Design and Art" classes for kids this summer using Advanced Lego Building techniques, such as SNOT (studs not on top), and teaching how to design with Lego graph paper. The projects I'm working on teaching are spheres. mosaics, lettering, building with slopes and a 3D animal. For lettering I thought it would be fun to have the kids create their name in legos first on graph paper, then with 1x1 black legos with the studs out. They would fill in between the letters with red 1x2, 1x3 and 1x4 bricks making sure the nameplate is sturdy enough to stand up. I'll let you know more later if I can get myself organized enough to do this.

    Keep up with the great blog!

  4. I think this exhibit is great place for the kids. They will having so much fun there.