Just a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the very first BrickFair: New England! This fan convention took place in Manchester, New Hampshire; less than two and a half hours driving distance from the LEGO US Headquarters in Enfield, Connecticut. Needless to say I got to actually stay away from the Chicago O’Hare airport for once and rented a car for the weekend. The entire weekend was rainy and cloudy including both the drive to and drive from so hopefully that helped influx the public attendance.
I arrived in Manchester in the late afternoon, early evening on Thursday- sadly just missing check-in for the day at the event. Nevertheless, I took a quick peek around to find many fans putting together MOCs and display/activity areas. The event was held in a very nice location right in the same building as the hotel, the entire layout was visible from giant windows looking into the walkway back to the hotel.
Friday I was available at the event all day and spent a majority of my time interacting with and engaging the local community. We had a great turnout from members of NELUG, I LUG NY, GardenSLUG, DelVaLUG, LUGOCT, and others. The official LEGO Q&A session took place at noon during lunch at a restaurant in the hotel, with myself at the helm. Definitely my first time to host one while everyone is eating; but hey, why not?! The only down side was having to watch everyone else eat while I fielded questions ranging from: When is monorail coming back to what was the criteria for the VIP Valentines’ Day minfigure keychain promotion. Later in the day I hosted my staple presentation: The AFOL Community vs. The LEGO Group. I was happy to see around 30 or so participants (my biggest showing so far this year). We spoke about the changes in support structure both for the LUG community as well as towards the LEGO fan conventions. I also went into further detail about myself, our team and how we work together. Attendants of this seminar were also surprised with a few minifigure business cards I brought with me. After sharing stories of what fans had done to my figure at Portland and Birmingham, the folks at Manchester decided to up the ante.
Saturday the event was opened to the masses so I mostly wandered about, taking photos and speaking behind the stanchions with various folks. After a few days of tinkering the monorail was running at full speed. With a combined effort of a few of the groups present, they set a new world record for longest display of monorail track. It was ridiculous, and I instinctively tried to stay as far away from it as possible less I hear the question… *twitch. Moving along, I watched a fabulously organized LEGO trivia “game show-esque” event take place. The buzzers were made from LEGO Mindstorms/RCX and the host, Dave, did a fantastic job hosting the activity with a suit and LEGO tie! Quite entertaining- very interesting to see what info the adults know in comparison to the teens, or kids. I know none of the kids would have missed “who is the green ninja in Ninjago.” It was great seeing an event of this scale brought to the Northeast region of the US; I hope it stays on the calendar for years to come. Lots of great folks, great MOCs, and a great weekend.
My full set of photos can be found in my Flick photostream here: