Ohio Lego User Group
OhioLUG is a group of adults that have (re)discovered the joy of building creations out of the popular LEGO® brand building blocks.
The members of OhioLUG come together at display opportunities, and combine their individual LEGO® creations into an integrated LEGO® experience. These displays feature running trains, little people, medieval castles, skyscrapers, and many more creations both big and small, all made of LEGO® bricks.
The concept of their shows is very similar to the concept of model railroading, except that every single element in the layout is an original LEGO® product. This includes not only buildings, but also the track, train parts, and motors. Unlike model railroading, quite a few of its members do not have a primary interest in just trains. Several members focus on other LEGO® creations to supplement the layouts, and have built 5 foot tall skyscrapers, all sorts of automobiles, and even spaceships.
OhioLUG was founded on February 9, 2003 as Central Ohio LEGO Train Club by five adult fans of LEGO®(AFOL). The non-profit club participates and organizes displays of creations made of the popular LEGO® brand building bricks. Currently, the club has around 35 adult members.
Although the majority of the members reside in the greater Columbus area, the club serves the entire state of Ohio with some current members residing in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton. For each show opportunity, the clubs’ members plan a layout of the creations and the individual members who own the various creations come together to set-up the displays.
OhioLUG’s colorful layouts have been shown throughout the state of Ohio and well beyond. Over the course of the last year, OhioLUG has displayed eleven layouts varying in size from 90 to over 600 square feet. Most of the displays were done as part of train shows, but displays have also been held at a shopping mall, the Cleveland Science Center, COSI Toledo and as far away as Belleville, IL and Washington D.C. Through these shows, OhioLUG has become known for its relatively large and unique LEGO® creations; quite a few of their buildings exceed 5 feet, and took as many as 150 hours to build. The creations by the club members vary from boats to chickens, and from spaceships to forests. A single creation can consist of only a handful of individual pieces to as many as 100,000 bricks. Some of the creations are scaled replicas of existing buildings, while other models are purely fantasy-based. Examples of scaled model replicas range from old steam trains to Columbus skyscrapers such as the LeVeque Tower and the Huntington Banks building that are built in 1:100 scale.
The members of OhioLUG meet about once a month to discuss up-coming shows, plan layouts, share ideas for things to build, share building techniques and talk about other LEGO® related things. Visitors to the club meetings are always welcome.
OhioLUG is not alone, currently there are about 30 organized adult LEGO®clubs in the USA and this number is rapidly increasing. The AFOL community has a large on-line presence. For example, you can find many pictures of LEGO® creations on www.brickshelf.com. There are specific websites for LEGO® related discussion forums ( www.lugnet.com) and even a site (www.bricklink.com) where you can buy LEGO parts and sets on-line, ranging from multiple copies of a set to a single littlebrick.
There are many thousands of adult LEGO® builders in the USA alone and many hundreds meet yearly at several national conventions to share their “passion for the brick”. Most of the AFOL’s played with LEGO® while growing up, and many have rediscovered their passion. There even exists a term for the years that members were less interested in LEGO®: “The Dark Ages”.