Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Good evening.

It has certainly been a while since I posted anything here.  This is mostly because I like to take a break from hyping the event.  But, there are some other contributing factors, such as:

  • A huge success at Brickworld Fort Wayne that somehow even garnered us a pretty good time slot on Fox News Across the Nation with Shepard Smith.
  • My cousin, David Boudia, had my attention captured over the summer as he proceeded to win a Bronze and Gold medal at the London Olympics.
  • There was this other little thing we have been spending time on...something about a new venue for Brickworld Chicago

I have also been spending my fall coaching my FLL team for one final season.  Our regional competition comes up this weekend.

So, attention is starting to turn to Brickworld Chicago at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumberg, IL.

The fliers are at the printer so we can start getting the word out about the event.  Public turnout will be the difference between success and failure at the new venue as there are significantly higher costs associated with the venue.  This change is also forcing us to raise the registration fee by $10 to help defray the costs.

The event kits are designed and building instructions created.  So, we are ahead of the game on this.

It is the time of year when most people start to get excited about the holidays.  And, while I get some of that, I also start to get really fired up about the upcoming Brickworld events as we turn the calendar over.

I hope this reaches you happy, healthy and safe.

More to come as we really get to work on Brickworld Chicago 2013


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Looking Forward

So, my blog kind of took a dive for the last month as we pulled off a great Brickworld with the help of a lot of people.

Now that Brickworld Chicago is complete, we are looking forward to Brickworld Fort Wayne and we are already getting to work on Brickworld Chicago 2013.

Of course, we are still cleaning up from BW Chicago 2012, uploading pictures, working on video, cleaning up the pile of stuff in the living room from where it pretty much got dumped out of the car when we got home Monday.  Life is getting back to normal (whatever that is).  We went to a graduation party yesterday and then to a wedding where I made the center piece for the head table.  It was a flower box full of roses with an angry bird flying into it.  Nothing is complete without a bit of movement.  So, the top of the flower box lifted using a remote control and a couple of pigs would stick their heads up.

Play well.  I will probably be pretty quiet here for a while.  Don't forget the 2013 event kit competition on Flickr.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Home Stretch Time

Home stretch...seemed an appropriate title as "I'll Have Another" won the Preakness this evening, keeping hopes of a Triple Crown winner alive.  I think the last TC winner was Affirmed in 1979.

Anyway, on to Brickworld stuff!!

Well, registration is officially closed.  Though, unofficially, it is still open until tomorrow night or Monday since Mike is on vacation this weekend and doesn't have a computer with him to actually shut it down.  So, you can still register if you haven't.

We did manage to beat last year's record attendance again this year.  And, while the web site says 915, we have a group of people that are registered, but not on the web site.  So, the official number will ultimately be between 930 and 950.

Kevin is getting going on the layout.  It feels late this year.  But, since everything is shut down.  He might get away with only doing it once.

Kathie has been cross referencing MOC cards with table requests.  There are some people that could be disappointed because they didn't sign up for table space.  As always, we will do our best to work it all out.

I signed up for HootSuite today.  This allows us to schedule tweets and facebook posts to happen throughout the event.  So, the schedule is going into HootSuite.  Follow Brickworld on Twitter or get in to the Brickworld Chicago Page on FB to receive the updates during the event.  This will be kind of a fun experiment.

So, we are on the home stretch!!!  Bring it on to Brickworld.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Whirlwinds rule

As we get closer to the event, everything starts to spin faster and faster.

Last week, the fliers for the LEGO stores arrived...of course, they arrived right when Adam was leaving town.  So, thanks to Jeff and Robyn Veins for taking thousands of fliers and making a trip around Chicago to get them in stores!!

Registration is jumping (as it always does this time of year) and we are fast approaching 900 again.

I got trophies built and the placards designed.  Kathie now has control of the badge design so that she can make the badges.  The lanyards (different design this year) are being quoted.  Thanks to BrickForge for sponsoring the lanyards!!

I spent Saturday doing a display with some of my fellow IndyLUG members for the Indy 500 Kids Fest (no relation to that other Kids Fest).  We set up a main straightaway from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and had LEGO drag races...well, actually, they were Indycars built on 9V train motors with metal track embedded in the speedway.  But, the kids really enjoyed it!!  We even had a lady from the real track stop by and ask if we would bring it to the race track next weekend.  So, I might have to spend next Sunday at the track...oh darn...and she said she would give us some tickets to the race.  So, there goes the following Sunday too  :)

If you haven't noticed, I started putting the schedule together and getting it up on the web site.  I think that everything is there except the Friday presentations.  I plan to finish those up tonight.

We hit 100 "Likes" on the Brickworld Chicago FB page this weekend.  If you haven't "Liked" it yet, get on board with us please  :)

If anyone knows how to make a flash mob happen at the event...surprise me  ;-)

One final request in this ramble...we have online ticket sales open for public days.  Please spread the word.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Who is in charge of this blog?

Well, 143 pounds of LEGO showed up yesterday.  So, that is my excuse for the last day of silence here.  I don't know who is in charge of this blog.

I have succeeded in building all of the trophies for the event this year.  There are 42 trophies in all!!  Rob Hendrix is working his LifeLite magic on the World of Lights, Sounds, and Motion trophy.  Oh, and while the design is secret, I can tell everyone that we are using a new trophy design this year.

I am hoping that my 1 invitation to do a workshop pans out.  Then the workshop schedule will be full and we can get the workshop registration open.

Most of the presentation slots were swept up quickly...we are so honored that people are excited to contribute to everyone's fun at the event.

I will be closing up display space registration later tonight.  MOC registration will stay open to get your last minute MOC card info entered.

We crossed the 800 registrant threshold again and are on track to hit about 900 again this year.

We received the first engraved badge order from Tommy along with all the 1x8 2012 commemorative bricks.  We sent off the minifigs for printing to Tommy today.  And, we got the magnets ordered today.

Wow, the event is almost here!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

On line public day ticket sales are open

Okay - so we finally did on line ticket sales...let's see how this works.

We have our keynote speaker lined up.  Just waiting for some more information before we announce the speaker...is that a good tease?  :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lots of little things done

If you receive Brickworld emails, you saw a couple this week.  Things are coming along as we get closer to the event in June.

Lots of little things to do...and at least two big things - schedule and layout.

But, lots of little things are done too.  I have been beating down a to do list all week.

Nothing incredibly exciting on its own...well...back to work

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Project MTron will be back at Brickworld.  MTron is a space mining colony and the sworn enemy of Blacktron forces.  The MTron collaboration is based on 48x48 baseplate sized modules with mostly red (some black, grey, and a little white allowed).  Of course trans neon green is used too (not the stuff from Atlantis, it isn't the right color).  Join the Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/1899685@N24/ and be a part of the MTron collaboration.

Friday, April 20, 2012


It is amazing how much energy it takes to do something that seems so simple.  But, I am done with the google form for presentation/round table leader sign up and the emails have been sent.  Part of the effort is simply digging through my email to find people that contacted us early to indicate their interest in doing a presentation.  I just hope I found them all.

But, now that the form is done, we can simply have the link on the web site for next year and people can sign up as early as they want.  So, this is progress!!

Now...on to organizing the competitions and getting the word out on those.  I made sure the plastic derby was announced since it is new and EVERYONE can participate in it pretty easily.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Activity & Presentations

Very cool development today as I secured a corporate sponsor for the interactive play area at Brickworld.  Not only are they sponsoring an area, but they are also investing in an interactive build of one of their products. This will be an interesting new activity for Brickworld.  We will use the Kidsworld groups as guinea pigs for their new activity.  I can't reveal the sponsor yet.  Sorry.

I also spent time today preparing a google form to enter presentation information.  Thanks to Ondrew Hartigan for quality testing.  I will get the form updated in the morning and send out an email asking for anyone interested in presenting to contact us.  I already have a list of several presentations that people already sent in.  Some new and cool stuff this year!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Charity Fundraiser + New Restaurant

Emails out about the charity fund raiser.  I hope everyone likes the new combined raffle/auction format.  We made this change to help make the fun affordable for some families that have wanted to participate in the past.  So, please remember that the money raised all goes to good causes.  Plus, it is always nice to refresh what we are doing a bit.  We never want Brickworld to just be the same event as last year.

Plus, we were up in Chicago on Monday and got to eat lunch at the new restaurant in the Westin.  It is good and it is affordable at about $11 for lunch...I said affordable, not cheap.  But, the food was really good and the portions were nice.

The event kits were dropped off in Chicago...DONE!!

Now, all we have left is the layout, tshirts, polo shirts, goody bag stuff, and about 100 other things  :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Little Guys movie

One of our Cinema Coordinators, David Pagano, is the creator of the LEGO stop motion movie Little Guys.  He is gearing up for a sequel and would love to have some support if you can do it.  Check out the opportunities at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paganomation/little-guysin-space-a-lego-fan-film-from-paganomat

note:  if this link doesn't work, I will fix it tonight.  I am remote on a mobile device right now

David would really appreciate any support you can provide.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Hey everyone.  I have been in a crazy state lately.  But, Brickworld stuff is getting back on track.  Several contests have been sorted out, including the new plastic derby.  The train race rules and the Mindstorms challenge have all been finalized and will be published in the next couple of days.

I spent the day folding instructions for event kits and finalizing the kits.  We will be taking the event kits up to Chicago tomorrow.

Dropping off the event kits is secondary.  The purpose of the trip to Chicago is to meet with the Westin and some other people to finalize some details for the event.

This week will be all Brickworld for me.  So, I will probably post updates almost every day as a lot gets done (hopefully).

It feels good to have the event kits completely done this early.

Now, I need to go off and craft up an email about presentations and workshops.  No rest for the lazy  :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Space Request for Chicago is now open

Wow, a major overhaul of the space registration process is complete.  That took a bit of effort.  After learning how to use Google forms for this, I can see a lot of other applications for it.  I just wish we could make the form send you back to our web site after you hit submit.

So, space registration is now open and the requests are starting to flow in!!

So much to do....so little time!!!  June will be here before you know it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Brickworld Page on FB

Hey everyone...we could use a little help on the FB Brickworld page at:


If you would recommend the event, could you take a minute and write the recommendation on the page please?  (and thanks)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heather Braaten

I found out this morning that Heather Braaten (LEGOGirl) is missing in Seattle, WA.  Heather is a very sweet and fun lady.  I hope she is just off on her own little joy ride and reappears happy and healthy.  Our thoughts are with Heather, her family and friends.

Update on April 2:  I just learned that Heather's body was found yesterday.  Terrible news.  It always hurts when someone you know passes on.  But, as I get older, I find that when someone younger than me dies, it hurts more.

Our hearts reach out to those touched most by this tragedy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Brickworld Space Request

Over the last week, I have learned quite a bit about Google forms.  We will be launching the Brickworld Space Request as a Google form in a day or two after some final reviews and tweaks.  It is significantly more detailed than previous years' formats.  Plus, MOC registration is separated from your space requests.  MOC registration will still be done via the Brickworld web site.

We will send an email with a link to the form and post the link on the Brickworld web site when the form is ready.

Now, let's see...is there anything else that I need to do...hmmm...finish event kit labels, get competitions posted,  and I am sure some other things.

But, while we are on the topic of competitions, thanks to Chris Eyerly and KLUG as they will be bringing a pinewood derby track and running a LEGO car race (or two...or three).  Rules are coming soon.  This will be a cool addition to the event!!

That's it for now.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Okay...not Brickworld this weekend

This weekend we went up to Ann Arbor, MI along with Steve Hassenplug, Heather Hassenplug and John Brost to run Super Robo Rally at Brick Bash.  We got to see the MichLUG members and Joe Meno was even there.  Duane Collicott hosted a great event as always!!!

Okay, now back on task.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Busy week

We got pre orders open this week and the event kits are almost gone already.  That's what happens with really cool designs!!  Thanks to Nannan Zhang and Jeremy Moody for their designs.

We have been working on updating the MOC and table space registration process to try and make it more informative and clear.   We will get them open soon.

A lot of the vendor spaces were taken up by the returning vendors.  Next week, we will be opening up for new vendors with only a few small booth spaces left.

This weekend, it is off to Ann Arbor to show off Super Robo Rally at Brick Bash.  Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We survived Brickworld Indy

It never ceases to amaze me at how tired I am at the end of an event. I think it has a lot to do with emotional exhaustion. I am just so excited all weekend by my friends at the show and all of their creations that the end is a let down. The show went great. We didn't even have any lost kids this year. But, man it was congested in e room on Saturday around noon. I think we will move to a bigger room next year just for the aisle space. It was really cool that LEGO Master Builder Steve Gerling stopped by to see the event. He was in Indy to build a big space shuttle at the Children's Museum. Now...full attention to Brickworld Chicago!! June is not that far away.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It is setup day

So, I am up and off to setup for Brickworld Indy.  This will be a long, but fun day as people show up throughout the day to start (and hopefully finish) their setup efforts.

This year there are over 80 people that are directly a part of Brickworld Indy either bringing displays or working as operators on the interactive displays.  And, Brickworld Indy is officially international with our first non-US based displayer (Bill aka "Red" from Canada).  Though we could say that the event has always been international with Ron and Nate both a part of the event in the past.

I hope you can make it to the show this weekend...and then the focus is completely on Chicago!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Brickworld Indy on TV

This morning, Steve Hassenplug and I were on the Indy Style show (channel 8).  They gave us a great segment of more than 6 minutes.  Plus, they had R2D2 and Wall-E on the table in front at the show opening and more robots with them on the counter at the end of the show.  As always, I hate seeing myself on television.  But Steve did a great job!!  Here is the link.  Enjoy


Friday, March 2, 2012

Google Calendar and an App for Brickworld

I would like to set up the Brickworld event schedule on a Google calendar that people can link to their phones. I will figure this out.  But, if you have experience with something like this and wouldn't mind tutoring me a bit, it would be much appreciated.

On a related note, there was a nice couple at Brickworld last year that was interested in helping create a Brickworld app for phones.  You know who you are...Unfortunately, I don't remember.  I would love to talk about this too.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Event Kit 2

Wow...made lots of progress with some help from Kathie and my cousin Mike.  The kits are all packed up except for the 1 missing piece and the engraved part.  It is a good feeling to have the kits all done before the end of February.  In past years, they were being put together the week of the event in June several times and they were never done before May.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Even more about what is going on now...

I failed to mention that we have finalized the vendor spaces for Chicago.  Now we know how many vendors we can support this year and Kathie will be getting to work on that with returning vendors.  Then we will open up for new vendors in the remaining spaces.

Kathie also now has pictures of the event kits.  So, presales for Brickworld Chicago are being set up.

And, Greg Hyland has sent me a picture of the artwork inks...every year the artwork gets cooler!!!

Event Kit 2

I got out all the parts for event kit #2 (the cracked world by Nannan Zhang).  Then I made up one kit to make sure all was good.  That was when I found out there were no instructions for this model.  Nannan sent me some pictures and with the help of Kevin Clague, I now have a good set of instructions for the model.  So, I built it and found out our initial part count was off by 1 part.  Off to Bricklink I go  :)

Meanwhile, we are kitting the 100 models.  I am about halfway done and planning on major progress tonight.  I want this done and out of the way in the dining room so I can start piling up stuff that needs to go to Brickworld Indy.

Hotel rooms at the Westin are going fast.  We got our first email from someone trying to reserve a room to tell us that their desired room type was not available.  The resolution is that each week we end up calling the hotel to get more rooms added to the Brickworld block...there comes a point where the hotel will say "sorry, no more rooms".  So, reserve your room early.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Event Kit 1 is Complete

We finished packing up the first event kits tonight (about 50 of them).  It is the pyramid.  Great kit designed by Jeremy Moody.

Next up, the cracked world by Nannan Zhang.

I also turned in the final Brickworld Indy layout to the convention center tonight.  Complete with power drops.  The space is full again this year.

The coolest thing so far this week is that I finally managed to get some LEGO parts included on my high school team's FRC robot.  The student in charge of the programming was unable to get the kit accelerometer to work.  After a week of messing around, I noted that the system was designed to allow the attachment of a standard NXT I2C sensor.  So, I took in one of my HiTechnic accelerometers.  We had it operating in about 5 minutes. So, a LEGO part is now on the robot.  All I need to do now is add a minifig or two...okay, so all of that had nothing to do with Brickworld.

We received a package from LEGO yesterday with a few sets to give away in a Brickworld Indy raffle.  Thanks LEGO!!  The list of displayers is complete and posted on the IndyLUG forum to make sure we didn't forget anyone.  All we need is another FLL team or two to help cover the FLL demo area for the weekend.  If anyone is interested, please let me know.

Last week, Steve Hassenplug brought RoboRally down for a science night demo.  I think we found a good way to queue up players and run games.  We will incorporate this into upcoming events I am sure.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Event kit packing and more

We started making event kits this week. It will be nice to have those completed well in advance this year. The kits have pretty cool parts. So, I think they will sell quickly. We hit 400 registrants today. Amazing and cool. I started laying out the event space. Vendors will have specified space in the room and there are a set number of booths of each size available...more than last year...so we should be getting vendor registration open soon. We also posted the collaboration info to the Brickworld web site...take a look and plan to participate. Finally, I got all my stuff packed up for Brickworld Indy and I found out that I will be on Indy Style again this year before the event. Lots going on!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Busy Week

It is really disappointing when life gets in the way of fun.  I have not really had much time this week for Brickworld.  I feel like I am falling behind.  But, I did meet Brooklyn Decker (super model) on Saturday.  And the FIRST Robotics Team I work with made some great progress this week.  Kathie continued to work on stuff like registration and closing the books on 2011 so we can get everything off to the accountant.  More fun stuff will start happening soon.  We are ready to kit up the first of the two event kits and we plan to put our fellow IndyLUG members to work on Sunday kitting the parts (if they want).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fliers at LEGO Store

Thanks to LEGO for agreeing to pass out our fliers for Brickworld Indy at the LEGO store in Castleton Square Mall and for getting Brickworld Indy on the March calendar in the stores.  Very cool!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Football and Brickworld?

With the Super Bowl in town here in Indy and all the talk about Peyton Manning retiring and drafting Andrew Luck, I couldn't help but start wondering how to connect it all to Brickworld.  And then I learned that Andrew Luck is a big LEGO fan!!!  So, in order to help him decide that he wants to be here in Indy, I am going to find a way to send him some VIP passes to Brickworld Indy in March.  I am sure that it will influence him greatly.  (lol)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

300 Registrants and more

Brickworld Chicago hit 300 registrants yesterday.  That is the quickest rise to 300 ever.  It took 21 days.  Last year we hit 300 after about 33 days.  Very exciting!!  Thanks everyone for getting signed up (see other post on keeping Kathie happy).

So, I finished the layout for Brickworld Indy the other night and made my post here...then I worked on the layout more 2 days later...now it is "really" done...Does anyone believe that?  (I have my fingers crossed)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

FIRST LEGO League Recognition

Okay, so this isn't Brickworld related.

My FLL Team was featured in two local town newspapers today.  They were recognized for their efforts in winning the regional champion award and two first place awards at the state championship for robot performance and mechanical design.  Very cool to see the kids in the paper!!

Congratulations Team B-Squared!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Brickworld Indy Layout

The layout for Brickworld Indy is always so much easier than Brickworld Chicago.  Displays are pretty much all known ahead of time.  There isn't as much last minute change.  This year, it got even easier (and we will be applying this to Brickworld Chicago too.  We designated the vendor booths in the layout.  And, when they are full, they are full.  That will at least fix one aspect of the last minute change effort for Chicago.  Meanwhile, I was able to complete the layout for Indy in two revisions.  I spent about 6 hours on revision 2 yesterday and I think I nailed it.  (at least I hope)  :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fun Stuff

I got to spend 4 hours yesterday with my fighting sumo remote control robots at a Pinewood Derby.  Its great because it takes 5 minutes to set up and tear down.  The kids always love playing with the robots.  And, of course, we handed out Brickworld Indy fliers while we were there.

Now, I have to start over on the Brickworld Indy layout.  I would like to add a thank you to Bill Gates for updating and restarting my computer and losing my unsaved data.  Shame on me for somehow having auto-save shut off.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Geek Nation Tours

So, first, I have to credit Teras from Geek Nation Tours for the basic idea of starting this blog.  It kind of popped out of an email conversation I was having with him regarding bringing a Geek Nation Tour to Brickworld this year.  Just one question, what's geekier?  Running a LEGO event or running a tour that goes to the LEGO event?  ...that's a tough one


Great way to start the evening.  I just approved the bulk of the insurance quote for the year.  Good news everyone.  We added terrorist protection to our policy.  So, when Megablocks invades, we have protection.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We Love Distractions

I just confirmed with BrickBash that we will be in Ann Arbor to display the weekend of March 24th.  We love little distractions where we get to go have fun.  Specifically, I get to be the guy with absolutely no responsibility.  It is a nice change of pace for me at events.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Busy Evening

It was a busy evening tonight as I finished up the parts order to make trophies, get minifig parts and something for the goody bags.

We also finalized the vendor agreement for Brickworld Indy and sent it out.

Kathie continued working on registration invoices and a new combined flier with all 3 Brickworld events in 2012 listed.

I really need to get over to Eurobricks and make a post or two...the work is never done.

New Collaboration in the Works

Can't say much more yet...A couple new coordinators are trying to pull together a cool new collaboration for Chicago...stay tuned.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I noticed we picked up Tommy as a follower to this blog...thanks Tommy...

This reminded me that Kathie spent several evenings in the last couple weeks stacking green 1x8's and 1x6's and shipped off a bunch of stuff so Tommy can start engraving the Brickworld 2012 bricks.  Nothing waits until the last minute if we can do it early!!!

Registering Early Helps + more

So, Kathie is spending many hours right now entering invoices into Quickbooks.  Since each registration payment is a separate invoice, they stack up fast.  So, the more people that register early, the sooner Kathie has that work out of the way and she can focus more effort on making sure everything is perfect to the last detail when you arrive at the Westin.

Now, if I could only figure out how to do a poll on whether Adam should have the mo-hawk again this year at Brickworld.

One thing that we have been re-architecting about the event in Chicago this year is the use of the River Ballroom.  Nobody seems happy when they are placed there.  So, we are considering several alternatives.  This is a tough one because of the inherent space constraints at the Westin.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Over 200 Registrants in 5 Days

I just checked registration.  202 in 5 days!!!  This is amazing.  We are so excited about this year's event!  So much work to do....and June will be here before you know it.  It does help to have people signed up early.  Please keep it coming!!

Home from Chicago

Made it home today.  Today's tasks:

  • Work on layout for Brickworld Indy
  • Work to line up final displayers for Brickworld Indy
  • Work on vendor agreement updates
  • Work on parts order for trophies, etc.

Waiting in the wings:

  • We have all the parts for the event kits...now we need to kit them up

Illinois FLL Championships

Yesterday we (Steve H, his sons, Kathie,and I) braved the snow and took Super Robo Rally up to Chicago to display.  We met up with Adam and Andy M who brought his space shuttle and other fun robots.  Brittny came by and we all got to meet Jaxson (their new baby).  Fun times were had by all.


The purpose of this blog is to provide fun updates of the behind the scenes preparation for the various Brickworld events.