• Visit to Brickworld Chicago

    Tim Courtney

    A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Brickworld Chicago. Here are some of my highlights from the awesome displays and engaging sessions.

    Aside from Tormod’s amazing LEGO Ambassador Network session 😉 I was happy to catch Simon Liu’s TFOL roundtable. Simon is great at giving young fans a forum to talk about how they approach community and what it means in their lives. It was great seeing a couple “generations” of former TFOLs there to encourage them including Chris Maddison (a good friend from my own TFOL days long ago), Tyler Clites, and Nannan Zhang. I plan to bring the insights from this session into LEGO IDEAS and our AFOL Engagement department.

    Chris Maddison and Tim Courtney at Brickworld Chicago 2018Tormod Askildsen presents on the LEGO Ambassador Network at Brickworld Chicago 2018


    It was so awesome to meet a few IDEAS members face to face and check out their product ideas on display:



    On the display side, a few favorites were:

    • CincyLUG’s train layout. Their buildings really captured the feel of a midwestern downtown for me. They didn’t over-extend themselves and kept the layout simple with ballast on baseplates and beautiful trains to compliment the buildings.
    • Terry Akuna’s Airship. Yes, that’s an actual flying, motorized, radio controlled airship. Great case of building a model with LEGO bricks and augmenting with other motors and electronics.
    • Henley Street Bridge. I love infrastructure. This bridge was clean and included several modes of transportation and recreation in a clean cross-section.
    • I was most impressed by James Burrows’ Jurassic Park roller coaster built using CoasterDynamix. It was fast, had multiple loops, and operated two trains simultaneously. He told me that it took him three weeks of full time building.



    Tormod, Yun Mi, Johnny, and I also had the privilege of being the first inside Adam Reed Tucker’s Blocks to Bricks museum. WOW! What an incredible tribute to construction models and building toys, celebrating the history of the building block that led to the LEGO brick and beyond. Adam's vast collection dates back to stone architectural blocks from the 1800’s and features his own wood and cardboard models as an architecture student. Blocks to Bricks is worth a trip to Chicago, where you can pair it with a visit to the Chicago Architecture Foundation and an architectural river boat tour.

    Tormod Askildsen, Adam Reed Tucker, Tim Courtney, Yun Mi Antorini, and Johnny Castrup at Blocks to Bricks

    Chicago is my home, so I’ve been attending Brickworld off and on since the beginning. It was great to be back after missing two years in a row. I missed the M:TRON collaborative display though. Next year, bring back the power of magnets!

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    It was super awesome to see you, Tim!  Looking forward to bumping into you again.

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    Nice write up Tim, it was a pleasure to meet you this year. Thanks as well for the kind words about the bridge. It was just a privilege to be amongst so many great builders and creations.

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    Great post! So many awesome creations at Brickworld!

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