Report: Bricks by the Bay 2019

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The 10th Bricks by the Bay (BBTB) was held last weekend. It's one of the largest displays of MOCs in California. This year the convention theme was "The UneXpected'" (I like the "X" emphasizing the tenth year!) and participants were encouraged to bring MOCs that evoked the theme. As always, there were many things going on, and many times I wished I could be in more than one place.

Opening ceremonies and several meet and greets were on Thursday evening. Friday things got going in earnest with games, parts drafts and other sessions. The featured speaker was Ilia Gotlib, LEGO product designer. Ilia walked through his experiences with LEGO and the design process to 70825 Queen Watevra's Build Whatever Box!

Later that day, Ilia was the main judge of a building competition, where conference attendees were asked to build their own version of Queen Watevra using just the bricks of one bag from 70825.

View image at flickr

Ilia was gracious enough to spend some time chatting about LEGO with me; I'll post the interview in the coming weeks.

The event kit this year was a Jack-in-the-Box, designed by BayLUG member Li Li. As a bonus for everyone who purchased the kit, the instructions came on a thumb drive, which also contained the instructions for all of the event kits from 10 years of Bricks by the Bay.

View image at flickr

As always, the star of the show was the awesome MOCs. The MOCs were judged by an esteemed panel of judges, and were in contention to win one of the (brick built, of course) trophies.

View image at flickr

Cactus Brick usually has a large display at Bricks by the Bay. This year's entry featured several scenes from the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. I particularly liked seeing the scene change from black and white to full colour.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

There were several MOCs that fit the theme "The UneXpected" in various ways. I liked this MOC showing LEGO imitating real life (or it is the other way around?) by Dan and Coleen Kees.

View image at flickr

Flynn DeMarco and Richard Board had this excellent entry titled "Cycle of The Werewolf", that showed the moon going through different phases and a wolfman minifig doing the same thing. I understand this will be part of a larger MOC to debut next year. If you'd like to see how it comes together, follow Flynn and Richard on Instagram.

View image at flickr

I rather liked this whimsical entry by Laurene Rapoza-Johnson. Unexpected, indeed.

View image at flickr

Gwyneth Kozbial shows LEGO as a medium to tackle a sensitive topic here in the U.S. While I was attracted to the piece because of the use of brick separators, I also appreciate the parts usage throughout.

View image at flickr

Gwyneth had quite a successful show! She also displayed LEGO renditions of all 13 Beatles album covers. She tried a different building style for each album cover. Here's a picture of just a few of them (and some of my favourites), you can find pictures of all 13 here. (Thanks to Beyond the Brick for permission to share the link.) You can also follow Gwyneth and her creations on Instagram.

View image at flickr

Gwyneth's Beatles albums were voted Best in Show by the convention attendees.

Saturday and Sunday the MOCs were open to the public; thousands of people came through the exhibit area to share the love of LEGO. The People's Choice Award was won by the entire GBC section.

View image at flickr

Photo courtesy of Bricks by the Bay

As always, the weekend was over all too soon. Putting on a LEGO event takes a lot of time and dedication and Bricks by the Bay would not take place without its volunteers and Board of Directors, led by Erik Wilson. Many thanks go to Erik and the team for putting on a great event.

I'm already looking forward to the next one.

10 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

cool MOCs. i like the Cycle of The Werewolf

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By in United States,

Thanks, Megan, for the report. I couldn't get to this year's event - hoping for next year.

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By in Indonesia,

Very interesting event! According to one study, playing Lego is one of the stimulations that gives preschoolers the opportunity to express creativity and explore their skills in playing construction.

Where before the Lego game was carried out, the ability of the child was able to work with little or no teacher assistance and after playing the Lego game, the child's ability was able to work without help at all and could do more tasks.

Playing lego affects the cognitive development of preschool children (4-5 years) in terms of space skills, logical thinking, remembering, and observing quickly and carefully. You can visit this link to read it more fully {invalid link removed}

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By in United States,

My first lego convention, enjoyed the MOCs and custom LEGO pieces by a few of the vendors. Really liked the modular castle that had like five levels. that thing was sweet and deserved more attention.

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By in United States,

That modular castle sounds interesting--anywhere to see pics?

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By in United States,

@rogue10 i should have taken pics but didn't

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By in Ireland,

Excellent review, thank you for sharing.

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By in United States,

I was so sad to miss this one! But the good news is Brick Palooza is just around the corner!

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By in United States,

I was a bit disappointed at this years convention. I've only been to one other (2017), but it seemed much larger that year as there was one complete exhibit hall for mocs and displays and one for just vendors. I'm not sure why it's so much smaller this year. Also, the mocs in 2017 were absolutely HUGE! This year, the displays seemed much smaller. I think the GBC area might have been a little larger, but certainly those huge city, castle, and other large displays were not present this year.

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By in Latvia,

Wish I could visit those events

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