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  • Kevin Ahn
    Last Friday (1st Mar), Overwatch Contest Winners from Singapore were invited to display their MOCs at LCS Store in Singapore. 2 MOC creations were displayed at the venue and guests were invited to check the cool MOC creations in store  

    A brief update about the contest, 4 different regions (TW, HK, SG, KR) have participated building OW MOC contest back in December.
    When designing the contest, Ambassadors from these regions decided to include the possibility of MOC to be displayed at local LCS stores, therefore the maximum building sizes were announced so it can be fit into display cases @Ivan Ho | Titans Creations @Jared Chan | Legend Bricks @Cid Hsiao 

    Thanks to these pre-conditions, display with collaboration from LCS stores, the display set up was very smooth and quick. This is the learning for all the groups involved for the community and the store creating many wins for both. I find it very positive as opening a new relationship and opportunities in the future.

    1. Busan Sanctuary by Evan Chang and Wong Chee Keen

    2. Skirmish at Junkertown by Jam Tan & Ivan Ho

    Both creations include lots of details and building techniques, you can also check them at the linked Facebook postings for details!

    During the installation of the Busan Sanctuary, there was a huge accident and the building was almost demolished. Amazingly, it was recovered very quickly  

    (Evan and CK recovering)

    With this successful collaboration between recognized communities and the local LEGO Certified Store, we are excited to see what we can do to continue to build upon this relationship. 

    Sean Lehmkuhl
    OKILUG (Ohio Kentucky Indiana) is celebrating our 10 year anniversary in 2019. One of the things that our club has wanted to implement for a while now is a Junior division. A place where kids ages 6 – 17 could be part of our club at events and meet monthly for developing their building skills. We decided in late 2018 that we would begin working with local libraries, who we had previously worked with for LUG events, and utilize those locations for our meet ups. We needed a group of people to help head this up as well, and I am happy to say that several club members stepped up to get the ball rolling on this with several planning meetings.
    The goal for our club has always been to promote LEGO® and the hobby as well as serve the community.  With OKILUG Junior, we wanted to continue that with the younger members. Starting small and growing is our plan and with the first meeting we wanted to get an idea of the interest in the community. Being close to Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana, we didn’t know how well this would be received or the turnout that we would have.
    Through social media, and  word of mouth, we advertised our first event. At the event, we had a total of 23 prospective junior members show up and participate. The meeting started with introductions of the club members and a quick overview of our vision for the club. We tried to keep it short and succinct considering that we had age ranges from 7 to 15. A lot of kids had questions about terminology and several just wanted to talk about things they may have already built. One thing we learned at the meeting was the fact that no matter what age, they really just wanted to get to building.
    After about ½ hour of talking to the kids, we turned them loose with building. Our club had put together several large bins of LEGO all shapes, colors, and sizes. These were distributed to the building tables and we let the kids do what they wanted to do. Over the next 90 minutes, all of the participants worked on a build, whether it be small one person builds or collaborative three or four people builds.
    At the end of the meeting, we asked if participants wanted their builds to be shown off at the library in the month of February. As another month long event that we do, we have space reserved at one of the local libraries where we show off some of our club builds for all to see. This month, we were able to add 14 different kids builds and have their names associated for everyone to see. We have received a very positive response and plan to continue offering this.
    OKILUG Junior will continue meeting on a monthly basis with a summer cook out and Christmas party in December. We hope to have even better attendance the as the year continues. Our Junior club members will event be able to participate in our upcoming shows with the focus being on our Lil’ Brick Show that will take place in early May 2019. We anticipate providing space for our OKI LUG Junior club members alongside the larger builds from our club. We will look to expand the club as we move forward and work through collaborative builds while teaching building techniques.
    We feel that a successful kickoff event will lead to a great opportunity to expand the club further. Our hope is to grow to around 30 active full time members and start planning builds after we teach more building techniques. We are also looking to replicate our LUG format with eventually having officer’s to represent the Junior club. We will continue working with the community in order to promote the LEGO hobby as well as bring new creative talent to both of our clubs.
    So far, we feel we are off to a strong start!
    To follow our journey, take a look at our OKILUG Junior facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/okilugjunior/

    Kevin Ahn

    HK visit!

    By Kevin Ahn, in LAN Blog,

    From Feb 18th - 20th, I have visited HK, meeting all of 4 RLUG ambassadors. During the visit, I had a chance to see the TLM2 MOC contest creations done by HKLUG The creations were very detailed and well displayed. Amazing to see the collaboration level with LEGO HK and Warner Brothers.

    I also had a chance to check Ins-point where all the private sellers gather and sell LEGO. The section at Ins-point dedicated to selling LEGO elements and sets is two-stories of diverse shops.
    Sorting loose bricks
    Shops display MOCs from local fans

    This is only a very very small part the vast selection of available parts!

    Normally I would not be surprised by the individual sellers as we know sellers are quite popular over the globe, what I am amazed with is the fact that the market is focusing on the needs of the AFOL.

    There were multiple shops where they sort all the bricks from basic bricks to MF & accessories.
    While discussing with HK LEGO Fans, they mentioned how much quicker they can build due to the easy access of parts while other parts of the world might take longer due to needing to order loose parts for LEGO Shop directly or from Bricklink. In this element rich environment, HK fans have solved the mystery of building fast and In's Point is the most advanced location throughout the APAC region.

    Basically, you are able to get anything you want almost like a PAB but in a more in-depth and AFOL focused. You need to be smart about the price, but it is amazing that the environment HK Fans have where you can source locally without Bricklink saving on delivery cost and time.

    Of course, the route they obtain these bricks must be carefully handled and it is another topic, but how the sellers are organized is quite amazing to see.

    Also during the personal visit, I have visited one of the famous night markets, and sadly fake brands are still keeping up.

    It was such a great chance to catch up with all the ambassadors and fans in HK having lots of insights.
    Special thanks to all the Hong Kong ambassadors! Hope to catch up with you soon

    Jan Beyer
    Dear all, I wanted to make sure you remember (and share with your community members) the great opportunity to join the 20 years Star Wars Fan evening at LEGO House on March 29th 2019. https://www.legohouse.com/en-gb/whats-on/star-wars-fan-evening
    This is your unique opportunity to meet Star Wars Designers and other hard core Star Wars Fans face to face and hear about cool things from the past 20 years. We will also do a building activity as well as having a nice dinner together. Of course you can also win something Star Wars themed.
    Do not miss this fantatstic opportunity and join us.
    I am looking forward to see you there.

    Jordan Paxton
    The following we are hoping you will broadcast on your social channels and with your communities.
    The LEGO® Retail Design team is very excited to hear from adults about their shopping experiences and expectations and how we can make the experience even better! Around the world there are different types of LEGO Stores (LBR and LCS) with the goal of providing an inspiring, interactive, creative and fun experience for kids and adults alike.
    Whether you visit a LEGO Store every day or have never even seen one, it is important to know what adults expect and desire from a visit. Your feedback will be considered when designing the future LEGO Store experience.

    Working with adult fans of LEGO, the LEGO Retail Design team has created a short survey and with the hope that you can take a few minutes to share your thoughts. Your insights will help to make visiting a LEGO Store a truly memorable event!

    Just like a LEGO creation, each person offers a different and unique perspective so, the survey is open to anyone and everyone with the hope that thousands of adults from around the world share their ideas.
    SURVEY LINK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/33JX7TD
    The Survey is anonymous and available in both English and Simplified Chinese. Survey closes March 20, 2019.
    The conversation does not have to end with the survey. We have opened a workgroup on the LAN where anyone can come and share additional insights and talk through some of the trends we are seeing in the survey. To participate in the conversation click this link: https://lan.lego.com/workgroups/workgroup/13-lego®-retail-design-adult-shopper-experience-insights/

    Richard Jones

    Brickvention 2019!

    By Richard Jones, in LAN Blog,

    If it’s January in Melbourne, it must be time for Brickvention. As we again embraced the southern summer, over  350 LEGO® Fans made their way towards the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building. For four days, we would occupy this grand venue: On Thursday January 17 we would set up for the event, with people arriving from all over Australia at different times.  On Friday, we saw the first day of the fan convention, with speakers from around the world.
    After a greeting from the organising committee, we heard from Eliska Jezkova, the mother of Dan Jezek- the founder of Bricklink.  She has been attending Brickvention for many years with her partner Larry. He presented a moving tribute to Dan, talking about how he was the right person, with the right idea at the right time. And from there, Bricklink was born.

    After the welcomes, we moved on with the program: there was the annual “build in the bag” competition- constructing set 30349 - in a plastic bag, and another few speakers: Kale Frost, designer of the convention set; Andrew Morrey (@cheepjokes) talking about stop motion animation using LEGO. International visitors included David Tabner (UK) who spoke about the AFOL scene in the UK, and the creation of Technic figure scaled narrow gauge trains; Josh and John Hanlon from Beyond the Brick TV spoke about life as LEGO YouTube personalities. We also had presentations from The LEGO Group: Minhwa (Kevin) Ahn, from the AFOL Engagement Team spoke about the role of the team, and the Ambassador Network, and Adrian Di Francesco, of LEGO Australia’s LEGO Life team, spoke about the ongoing future of that platform, as well as the importance of ‘user generated content’. Claus Kristensen, head of LEGO Australia, and members of the marketing team were also in attendance.

    In between speakers, we took time to look around the Exhibits, apply the finishing touches, and catch up with old friends.
    We heard from Dave Holder, resident master builder at the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre in Chadstone (a suburban shopping centre renowned for its own postcode and micro climate): he presented his story sharing how he came out of his dark ages and headed towards the LEGO Fan’s Dream Job.
    Another popular game, Dirty Brickster, was played during the final break while the exhibits were judged.

    The quality and variety of exhibits added a special challenge for the judges. Many Commendations were awarded, as well as prizes for the best in different children’s age groups. The diversity of these builds was remarkable, from a stained glass Dalek, a moon base covering and number of film and television references, the Daily Bugle, from Spider-man, wearable and decorative models, beautifully coloured villages and a most intriguing monorail.

    The Best Junior entry (under 16) went to Dylan, who had produced a functioning pinball machine.
    Top places went to Steve Reynolds  (3rd Place) for an incredible Scooby-Doo™ themed, LEGO Boost enabled roller coaster. (With a mechanism fashioned out of parts PRIOR to the release of the Creator Expert set); Eli Brinsmead and Ben Cosantin (2nd place) with an epic, multilayer castle scene, with a soul scouring demon fashioned from Bionicle® elements. Best in show was awarded to Runa Lundblum, whose model of a Vulptex (crystal fox),  from Star Wars: The Last Jedi amazed us all.

    Staff from the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre were also in attendance, with the goal of swapping over 3000 figures over the course of the weekend.

    The evening before the public exhibition was a VIP night- tickets for exhibitors and public were available to see the show with fewer crowds, while enjoying some music and finger-food.  For some it was a chance to unwind, and for others, a great chance to get some photos without the crowds.
    We then retired to prepare for the public days.
    Saturday started quietly, as it often does, but soon picked up. This year, we saw a more open traffic flow: previously the Great Ball contraption and Train layout occupied the central hall, close to the entrance, capturing people’s attention, and keeping them close to the door. This year, they were moved further away, allowing the public to get around some of the smaller exhibits before spending more time around these evergreen crowd pleasers. The other great crowd pleaser was a collaborative display showcasing 50 years of DUPLO, bringing out lots of nostalgia for visitors. With models and sub themes that some of us had never heard of, it was a fantastic reminder of our first introductions to The LEGO system play.  Another great tribute, to both DUPLO and the Apollo Program was Nancye and Jaimie Hanson’s Saturn V rocket and gantry. Fashioned entirely out of DUPLO Elements.

    Before I knew it, the day was over and the evening was upon us: Saturday evening coincided with the monthly adult night at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre- so we headed in. For some it was an all out assault on the senses. The rides were open, the movie screening, and many took the chance to get a literal bucket full of pick-a-brick parts at a bargain price. The catch? It represented the mixed contents of the entire wall. Many took the chance to catch up with friends, while others took part in the building competition. The door prize for this night was unprecedented: 45 boxes of LEGO from the pick a brick wall.
    For myself, it was great to finally see the completed Melbourne Miniland model with many landmarks that I am familiar with in full operation.
    The evening finished relatively early, allowing people to catch up into the small hours, or catch some of the sleep they had been missing out on while preparing for the event.

    Sunday morning opened with the exhibitors being told that the tickets for the day had sold out. While tickets are sold with a given entry time, there is no prescribed departure time. We started Sunday  with a ‘sensory friendly’ session - a smaller admission cohort, particularly aimed at families with children on the autism spectrum, for whom large crowds might be intimidating.
    As the day went on, the building filled up a bit more than the day before: I think Sunday and Saturday crowds are a bit different. I have a theory: Saturday crowds are (mainly) on a timetable, fitting other activities in, while Sunday crowds seem to make more of a day of it.
    As the weekend passed, we saw exhibitors renewing old friendships and establishing new ones; discussing building and colour blocking techniques; sharing ideas for builds, crazy fan theories, and examining mechanisms.
    Then the final bell sounded, and it was time to pack up. In four hours, this thriving exhibition space was vacated, and returned to its base line state.
    Congratulations to all of the exhibitors on presenting a mighty fine collection of MOCs, and thank you to the organising committee and the speakers for bringing this event to fruition.  After a year long preparation, thoughts are already turning towards Brickvention 2020, and what that might bring.

    Kim Ellekjær Thomsen
    Dear AFOL Community,
    We are at a point where we are comfortable and ready for new communities to become recognized and part of the ever growing LEGO Ambassador Network. We have been working hard - or actually the BrickMates have been working hard in 2018 (and 2019) to onboard and assist new communities and therefore we are now ready to welcome new communities.
    While we are aware that there are lots of communities out there who want to be part of the LEGO Ambassador Network, we also recognize that there is a limit to how many and how quickly we can add to the network and at the same time ensure proper onboarding. Therefore we will be limiting the number of communities we approve every month. This means that even if your application is approved it may be a few months before you actually gain access and have a BrickMate appointed. But all this will be properly communicated in the Application Process.
    First step is to ensure you have the authority and approval of your community to apply on its/their behalf. You, and your community, must also select a 2nd Point of Contact when submitting the application to ensure we have someone we can't get in touch with, even if the Application Submitter becomes temporarily unavailable. During the Application Process it is also advisable that you start discussions on and election of the person you want to represent you in the LEGO Ambassador Network - the LAN Ambassador.
    You can read all about LAN and the different types of Recognized Communities you can apply to become part of in the Visitor Zone. The Recognized Community Application can be found in the Forms Section. Please note that you must have a LEGO ID and activate it here on LAN as a Member Account to submit an application.
    For applications submitted prior to June 2020: The next review is June 2020.
    For applications submitted in June 2020 or after, the next reveiw is September 2020. 

    Jordan Paxton
    As Chinese New Year wraps up, we took the opportunity to talk to the designers behind the creation of 80102 Dragon Dance. While every fan might not know the LEGO® designers by name, it is likely you are familiar with different sets that Niek or Nico have created through the years. Nico was able to bring his experience building dragons such as 70734 Master Wu Dragon from NINJAGO® and Niek is well known for many creations including 21311 Voltron™.
    Even though both designers have been with the LEGO Group for many years, this was the first opportunity they had to collaborate on a project. While both designers had some experience with Chinese culture the process of creating this set was truly a team effort. Members of the China marketing team were part of the design process as well and provided feedback and insights on color, design and patterns to both the model designers and the graphic designers to help make the Dragon Dance set as look and feel as authentic as possible.
    Early versions of Dragon Dance
    Personal touches from the designers can be spotted within the set from, such as Nico’s addition of the four small animals, and use of 191 flame yellow/orange, one of Niek’s favorite colors, that were incorporated on the Dragon.
    What the designers found most challenging about the concept of this set was capturing the “dancing motion” that the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance showcases. For this model, it was important for Niek and Nico to provide a function that had fluidity with the movement, a set that was reliable, and easy to build.

    Function Tests

    In creating the decorations for the dragon there were a few different options considered prior to the final decision. Crystal Fontan, who recently created the decorations for 21315 Pop Up Book, tested using a single pattern for the scales and directional patterns for the scales. Together, with Niek and Nico, Crystal's rendering of directional scale patterns achieved the look that everyone was looking for.
    Visualizing different patterns and heads

    Image courtesy of Justin Ramsden
    So, what is next for Niek and Nico? We will need to wait and see but until the enjoy building 80102 Dragon Dance! While the set is only available in APAC countries, instructions are available for free download here.

    Kevin Ahn

    Year of the Pig!

    By Kevin Ahn, in LAN Blog,

    This year is called as" Year of the Pig" according to Chinese zodiac. 
    Year of the Pig are people who are born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019.
    Some known people who are with Pig zodiac are
    Mozart, Luciano Pavarotti, Elton John, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Kuan Yew, Dua Lipa, (Kim Jong-Un😀 - wonder if he played with LEGO).

    Last week, Singapore HUB was challenged to build big Piggy with 2x4 bricks only
    Building these blocks were the part of building a big pig.
    Exchange rate was 6 block = 1 Minifigures bag
    Maximum you can build was 12, so basically 2 Minifigures as a reward.
    Of course, I built 12 and received 2 minifigures as a reward

    Lots of LEGO Singapore employees participated and all the blocks were ready for big pig on same day when challenge was opened
    Pig was then finalized the following day with small version of the pig available

    As CNY is approaching, hope you have a great CNY holidays and if you are not having holidays, still again once more, Happy New Years! wish you all the best in 2019!

    Jacky Chen
    "Lunar New Year 2019 is approaching, and we are getting ready for the party! Did you (or your member) grow up in a Chinese neighborhood or community? How was it like as a child celebrating the Lunar New Year in different parts of the world? What was the best part of it in your memory but somehow missing these days? As the festival is not just about China, we wish to have you or your member who enjoys the culture to join this opportunity together."
    About two months ago, we made this call-out on the LAN to invite AFOLs to join us building their version of the spirit of Chinese New Year. Our purpose, despite from supporting a marketing campaign, is to demonstrate that no matter how diverse we are to one another, creativity is the same language and we use it together to inspire people. Now it's time to take a look at these fantastic builds from different parts of the world. Again, please join me to give applauses to all whom has participated in this activity!
    Aside from proudly showcasing these on LEGO social media channels, we also managed to incorporate the builds into a large phycial celebration made by LEGO events team in China. With the complexity of transporting MOCs oversea, a collection of picture frames have replaced the "real" models as they still serve the purpose of generating excitements and inspirations for adults and kids (not to mention the picture frams being mostly hung at kids' height).

    AFOL corner stands next to the objects built by @Andy Hung which relives three artists' CNY spirit in LEGO form. 

    A table of New Year Eve dinner by @Jiayuan Xu of SHLUG and the magnificent Chinese Dragon built by JXM from Heroes Club. 

    A snapshot of the event in whole and the huge dragon dance model built by @Prince Jiang. Bravo!
    The event is on show in Shanghai (Global Harbor Mall) from Jan. 25th till Feb 11th. Go check it out if you happen to land in here. 

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