It finally happened! And I still can’t quite believe it!
I had an amazing time setting up my Micropolis MOCs in the LEGO House in Billund. Ever since reading the invitation email in mid-March, I have been trying to imagine what today would be like.
I met up with 14 other AFOLs in the hotel lobby at 8:45am and we were taken by coach to the LEGO House. Some folks had had long flights and only just arrived last night, while one or two of us had been in town for a day or two.
After some welcome introductions and going through the timetable for the day, we were taken on a tour of the House led by Senior Experience Designer Stuart Harris and Mike Ganderton, Head of Experience Development, together with Birte Knudsen (Senior Project Manager at LEGO House) and Søren Mølby who had been communicating with use via email for several months.
Several of my fellow AFOLs had not visited the House before, but all of us were awestruck at the amazing Tree of Creativity which soars up to the roof from the main atrium, surrounded by the huge spiral staircase. At the bottom, we saw the iconic LEGO Duck, a wooden model which was on of the first to be made by Ole Kirk Kristiansen when he started his toy business in the 1930’s. Its shape was carved into the “bark” of the tree.
Each branch holds iconic LEGO sets from the company’s history. My favourite was the Classic Space diorama which can be seen from the top of the stairs.
This is a view of the Masterpiece Gallery which not many people get to see – five empty display cases, guarded by the three Dinosaurs, ready to take some of the finest examples of LEGO models from around the globe. Very exciting!
Soon we were invited to start unpacking our precious models. Mine had travelled in the car in three specially made cardboard boxes – which were surprisingly strong. Although this might look like carnage, I was delighted with how well the models had held up during the trip and it didn’t take many minutes to sort them out and put them back on their bases. I’ve been to several shows where the “Baby’s Bottle” circular tower has arrived “flat packed” and has had to be rebuilt, which takes quite a while! No such problem here, thank goodness.
I was being watched by my favourite red Duplo Dino while I unpacked all my MOCs. What a great guardian for my models!
Minor repairs done, and everything dusted, the models were ready to go in the display case. But then we got distracted with another tour around the History Collection in the basement!
I loved that they have built these bricks in concrete into the foundations of the building – with a little moat of real ABS LEGO bricks around the bottom.
Once things were all set up (I will show you a picture a bit later), those of us who had finished were asked to build some cakes and party food out of the many bricks which are to be found around the house. I made a purple present and a cake in the shape of the logo of one of my favourite YouTube channels, Brick Bakery!
Some folks took a long time to complete setting up their models, as they were very intricate and fragile, but once we had all completed our exhibits, we were invited to the atrium to add our own Six Bricks combo to their Wall of Fame. Apparently there are 915,103,765 different ways of combining just six 2×4 red bricks. When you visit LEGO House, your wristband will get you in, but it also allocates a unique combination to you when you leave. This was mine. We were also asked to write something profound on the card next to it – I did my best!
And this is what my Six Bricks combo looks like in situ – on the top row, and in the company of some of the other great folks who are displaying this year.
Then we went back to the Masterpiece Gallery for some more photo opportunities. I loved this view of the cabinet my creations are in, framed by the Duplo Dino.
We were also given these lovely brick trophies to commemorate our models being on display. It will be a great momento of the experience!
Below is a picture of the 2019 Masterpiece Gallery AFOLs, photo courtesy of The LEGO Group. L to R:
Stephan Gofers (Netherlands); Caz Mockett (Great Britain); Hsinwei Chi (Taiwan); Simon Hundsbichler (Austria); Zio Chen (Taiwan); Paul Hetherington (Canada); Milan Sekiz (Serbia); Sven Franic (Croatia, I think); Timofey Tkachev (Russia); Krystal Dubois (Canada); Jason Allemann (Canada); Eero Okkonen (Finland); Matthew Goldberg (USA); Marion Weintraut (Germany); Ryan van Duzor (USA).
What a fantastically talented bunch of people – I’m in exceptional company!
We also had a group shot taken in the atrium, with Stuart, Mike, Søren and Birte hiding at the back! (Photo courtesy of The LEGO Group).
Then it was time to go back to our hotel, buzzing with energy and still trying to process the memories from such an amazing day. I would love to say a huge thank you to Stuart, Mike, Birte and Søren for treating us like VIPs and giving us such an awesomly unforgettable experience!
This video shows a full walk around of the Masterpiece Gallery, showing each of the models in detail. Enjoy.