LUGPOL - or LEGO Users Group Poland - was established in the mid of 2004. After 18 months we decided to rebuild our forum, abandon the old domain lugpol.org and move to commercial professional server and new domain - lugpol.pl. We also changed the way the community and forum are managed. Since sudden onslaught of 10 or 11 eleven year olds had rendered any intelligent discussion virtually impossible, we decided to evolve into a more adult-oriented service and set the minimal age threshold to 18 years. Today we've got over 1000 registered users with average age of 30 (do not be mislead by the numbers, though - we regularly trim the list of members, removing the trouble-makers and inactive accounts). We're divided into several groups, corresponding with the hierarchy of our community. Maciej "3dom" Bloch, Rafał "bacon" Boczek and Marcin "Żbik" Żbikowski, are currently the board of LUGPOL.
There is also a VIP section for those who do more than others for the community, either virtually over the Internet or during our meetings. Everyone who register on our forum and write more than 5 posts in substantial sections becomes automatically a true member of LUGPOL, with unique ID (POLxxxx where xxxx is a number). For security reasons, this data is available on demand.
Our purpose is to promote the most interesting, mind developing and exclusive hobby: Lego model building. Through the Internet we are constantly trying to reach the adult LEGO fans, who often work alone, unaware that there is a large and strong community of equally passionate individuals in Poland (not to mention Europe and the whole world). From time to time we also proudly show off our creation at public events and it is hard to say who is more overjoyed at these meetings: the builders or the visitors (usually entire families).
Our forum is divided into 4 main sections.
The first one - 'general' - is the place to introduce yourself, be greeted by others and raise club issues.
'Substantial' part contains the following sub-sections: 'Glorious Past', 'Here and Now', 'Rail Roads', 'Into the Future', 'Model Team', 'Mindstorms', 'Virtual Lego', our technical knowledgebase named 'LugPol Wiki' and the constantly growing library of the official sets' reviews written by our members (these are published also on main lugpol.pl site).
The third section is dedicated to our competitions, challenges and projects. At the moment you can find there 'MOC of the Month', 'BrickTransport Tycoon', 'Mindstorms Challenge', 'Truck Trial' and 'Colonization'. There are also hidden parts dedicated for projects, where people involved can work together.
The last section of our forum is 'Hyde Park' dedicated to free discussion, links and sell/buy/trade advertisements.
We mentioned the competitions. The first one is the ongoing 'MOC of the Month' where everyone registered can take a part with his/her own creation published in the current month. In January 2008 we have elected MOC Of The Year for the first time (choosing among 12 creations).
It consists of several challenges called 'orders' for transporting certain cargo - the participants must invent and build their own means of transport in various styles. Creator of the most ingenious models for each challenge wins the competition. We are sure you have already heard about 'TruckTrial' - it is a challenge of LEGO trucks powered by 9V motors and built in 1:13 scale, according to very strict rules (we'd consulted the Dutch LowLug colleagues before we started, to create universal rules and thus be able to hold international competitions in the future). It's basically an outdoors race of extremely slow and extremely powerful trucks, a race against time and against man-made obstacles. It requires both experience in LEGO Technic building and proficiency in driving.
During the season members of LUGPOL meet in public and race regularly in several towns and the biggest 'national' competition last time was held in August 2008, during our second event at the Museum of Toys in Kielce, Poland. The Museum's administration seems very keen on co-operating with us; the weekend-long exhibition of our works has become an essential part of their annual show. In 2009 we launched co-operation with another istitution - the Riwiera Club in Gdynia, which hosted our national event.
And this is just the beginning...