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BrickWorld 2013 Recap
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Greetings MOCpages! And welcome to my coverage of BrickWorld Chicago 2013! This annual event had been held in Wheeling Il. for a number of years but this year moved to a new convention center in Schaumburg Il. Before we get started I just want to say thank you to all the members of VirtuaLUG that made our collaborative THE talk of the show! You guys rock! Full coverage of the Wizard of Oz can be found here.

Lee Jones did an interview with "Beyond the Brick" about our Wizard of Oz Collab that can be found here. Great job on this Lee!

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to do an interview on LAML Radio about our Wizard of Oz collab. Please note that that link goes to the LAML homepage as my interview isn't posted yet. I'll update the link when the interview is posted.

Ok then, it’s a long post with LOTS of pics so let’s get started shall we?

Thursday morning, 8:30 AM. The car is loaded with lots of Lego and one eager daughter. She was more excited to see Lee’s kids than the event but hey, at least she was happy to go!

By 9:15 she wasn’t nearly as excited as I quickly put her to work getting the tables ready

The V-LUG table is ready to go. My builds are on the table and now… we wait for everyone else to start showing up.

You’ll notice the most important part of what I bring with me… the 2 liter of Mt. Dew. Don’t leave home without it.

Tyler Halliwell shows up pretty early as well and gets started on assembling Shifu’s build.

For the most part, the builds that were shipped arrived intact. One of the few exceptions was the house that Heath had built to go on my Munchkinland build.

It was about 11ish that Maddie Jones made her way down. She was a real trooper as my daughter basically attacked her. Thanks for putting up with her Maddie! In the background there you’ll see Lee and Danette Jones and Dave and Stacy Sterling. Dave quickly acquired the nickname “Chibi Wolverine” as you’ll understand when you can see his face more clearly later.

Yeah for Jimmy John’s!

Heath Flor, Adam Stasiek and Tyler Halliwell working on the connections to get Bart’s tornado to work.

I also set up the Avengers layout that was built by the kids at my daughter’s school. Full coverage of this build can be found here.

Lee, Tyler and Dave Kaleta working on the Dark Forest.

Dave came up with a great idea of making a “carpet of leaves” to cover the top of the forest. It really turned out well.

The Sterlings and Dr. Jones. You can see Dave’s Wolvie facial hair much better in this pic.

On Friday afternoon ElBarto FINALLY decided to show up… Here he is with his lovely family. It was great to finally meet him in person.

Lee, Maddie and Stacy unloading parts. I swear the two bags he brought were Bags of Holding from Dungeons and Dragons. Any part we needed he’d just “magically” whip out a whole ziplock full of it.

Bart, Dave and Tyler. I’m still not sure if Tyler’s really that tall or Bart’s just that short?

Friday evening and Adam Reed Tucker shows up with the Emerald City. Like I said in my Oz post, this dude cranked this thing out in SIX days!

The Friday night Charity Auction. In this pic you can see a REALLY grainy picture (sorry, camera has a horrible zoom) of Lego’s new set that was unveiled at the event. For those that can’t tell by the profile, it’s the Sydney Opera House.

After the auction it’s back down to work. Here’s Heath and Bart getting the final touches done on the connection for the tornado.

I know you can’t see any detail in this pic… but’s it’s Emerald City during the world of lights “preview” on Friday night.

10:00 AM on Saturday and the public is ready to come in! There’s Maddie doing her volunteer duty.

My wife and daughter came by on Saturday to take a look around and see the event. Here she is talking with Danette Jones.

One of the families from the St. Thomas of Villanova Lego club came by to present Lee with a gift (the picture board that Lee is holding, decorated with Lego and thank you notes from the kids) for all the help he gave in getting the parts and figs for their display. Lee’s gonna kill me for saying this but he got a little choked up and I swear I almost saw a tear there at one point… not quite, but almost.

I walked around the entire hall with my wife and daughter and got some pics of all the cool stuff on display. I’ll just shut up for a few minutes and let you all enjoy the pics…

Here’s Adam showing my daughter his roller coaster setup.

Isn’t she stylin’ in her official Virtualug Wizard of Oz T-Shirt?

...and here's me shutting up for a bit again...

On Sunday afternoon, Lee and Dano Jones decided to take an aerial video of Oz.

That cool little VTOL craft has two wireless cameras on it and they flew it back and forth over the display a couple of times. Once I get the link (he said he'll post it on Flickr), I’ll link it here so you can see the video.

Closing ceremonies… all too soon if you ask me. Man this BrickWorld week just FLIES by. In this pic you can see the amount of money raised for the charity auction. With Daniel Jezek’s (the owner of Bricklink who passed away recently) mom’s donation, we set a new BrickWorld record! (we beat the record before her donation but with her help we really blew the old one out of the water!)

Ok, this pic needs a little background. First off, that’s me and Chad Phillips… pay special attention to how close that name is to Chris Phipson as it will play an integral part in this story… At closing ceremonies, Bryan Bonahoom had pretty much wrapped up the festivities with only one order of business left, the grand prize give away. The prize package was an ENTIRE line of this past year’s Batman sets. Everyone waited with baited breath as Bryan pulls out the name, looks at it and reads aloud… “And the winner is, Chris Phipson!” Of course I leap out of my chair with a resounding “YES!” and begin making my way to the front to claim my prize only to hear… “Oh wait, I’m sorry… it says Chad Phillips.” Everyone in the room stopped, including me. Everyone thought that Bryan had been messing with me. People were coming up to me telling me how crappy a joke that was that Bryan had played. Really, my heart just sank. Bryan came up to me afterwards and apologized, explaining that he had read the name wrong and it was not a “dig” in any way. I accepted his apology and went down to finish tearing down my builds. A few minutes later, I hear Bryan from behind me yelling “Phipson!” I turn around and there’s Bryan and Chad. Chad felt really bad about what happened and decided to give me one of the sets. The cool thing is, it’s one of the Batman sets that I didn’t have but wanted for the Auqaman fig but just had never gotten.

So to Chad, you sir are a standup guy and I truly hope you enjoy your prizes! Congratulations man!

To Bryan, I would like to publicly accept your apology for being a sleep deprived illiterate ;) hehehe

Ok… now that that’s over… Here we are with teardown juuuust about done. Sniff.

And of course no BrickWorld would be complete without the annual Jones/Phipson family dinner. Starting on the left side of the table we have Dano, My daughter Lily and Maddie. On the right is me, Lee, Lee’s wife Danette and at the end, my wife Peggy. The Jones’ are just… really… an amazing family. Lily walked away with a bag FULL of presents including (wait for it…) a one of a kind, pink, official VirtuaLUG (with the LUG logo on the bottom of it) dress that was made just for Lily! Lee, you guys are just TOO good!

Fourth Wall Commentary:

As it’s the end of a long post, I’ll be brief. Thank you EVERYONE that made this one of THE best BrickWorlds on record! The new hotel/convention hall was awesome and the friends/family that come together every year make me miss you all that much more when you’re gone.

I miss you all already and can’t wait for next year! See you all there!

Now then... time to get sorting and get to work for next year!

Till next time true believers!


  December 9, 2013
Please stop by my MOCpages to see my latest: SANTA'S NORTH POLE VILLAGE it will contain many elements as I am using it a la an ADVENT CALENDAR, that is to say each day starting with "door" 25 I will be counting down to CHRISTMAS DAY! Each door will reveal a new part of the park! And I have more to come after that. It next to my ALADDIN and WIZARD OF OZ has been another one of my biggest series! You guys did the WIZARD OF OZ justice why not use my park as an inspiration for next years Festival? I wish I could bring them all and have the money to make it more special by adding the grounds and more trees (to hide the streets and highways)!!! I think it will bring great joy to your daughter!
  September 26, 2013
you must stop by my mocpages there's plenty for your eyes to see - especially my SUPERFRIENDS done as MONTHLY MODEL BUILDS, the SUPERHEROES I have done, and I have an ode to an old TV Show - Happy Days, and my greatest challenge - THE LIFE OF JESUS in LEGO!
  September 2, 2013
I purposely waited until now to look at this -- wow, I missed out. Of course, the V-Luggers who participated in the "Let's Surprise Grandpa Dog" getover made me feel, well, awesome.
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  August 5, 2013
I liked every build there (even the ones that weren't yours!) Can you tell me when the MO is starting, if it's happening this year?
  July 20, 2013
First I am grateful I got over 60 viewers ever since I entered this contest! That made me happy! Now for a positive read this: Hey guys, I just redid my whole entry - I added so much more to bring it to life! I included more than dragon heads for the corner of the Chinese Restaurant and a light! I also included Street Signs, a Traffic Light and a Phone Booth! I also added some of my photos of the entrance styles of the New York City Subway System and the phone booth that inspired mine! Hope you enjoy it! I put a few photos from the original so you can see how it grew! I hope you can stop by and give it a look and comment! Thanks and God Bless Your friend, Nick Sorry I get over passionate-hey, I'm ITALIAN!!!
  July 19, 2013
I just posted an entry in the contest. It meets the requirements. It shows a real kid BILLY BATSON who resolves his problems in an adult fashion as CAPTAIN MARVEL so it fits category "B"! I enjoyed doing it! it was done both for the contest and my relating the ORIGIN of CAPTAIN MARVEL the same way I did RED RIDING HOOD in parts! I have to do the HALL OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS and his origin will be complete! So I hope I am not kicked off! It is full of detail and shows use of SEAN KENNEY's "Cool City" stickers! Please get back to me! I am so tired of feeling like an outsider! I have skills, imagination and patience! I don't have recognition from you guys! I never get visited by any of you. Except for you and ONCE IN AWHILE MrXeno. How I hope Lada would stop by! I do not think I am that far away from you guys---THE WIZARD OF OZ proved that. Two people from opposite sides of the US came up with the same idea and did it in different fashion! If you look at my 34 vignettes you'd see that! How I wish I were a part of it all!
  July 17, 2013
I got your response---THANKS. Ok I just got through photographing my entry! What do I do to enter? Can you give me a step-by-step in plain language way to enter. Meanwhile have you seen my WIZARD of OZ stuff - all 34?
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  July 14, 2013
Outrageous "SUNDAY IN THE PARK" by George Seurat! Wish we had events like this in New York City. Chris I am getting the feeling I am being picked on, each time I try to enter a contest to showcase my work (and I work hard) it seems I do something wrong! This time I got lambasted by Mr. Xeno! Who read me the "riot act" the rules in this "SUPERHERO" contest need a college education to understand and that's strange since I have 9 credits towards my doctorate! Have you been watching my work? (lately?) I did 34 separate WIZARD OF OZ stuff, many things your OUTRAGEOUS DISPLAY didn't cover! and more important - Have you seen all my SUPERHERO stuff? New mini figures, secret identities, villains, vignettes, why just look at my SUPERHERO TRADING CARDS! I am hopeful I may win! I designed each with at least 90-95% LEGO Pieces! using stickers only when needed! Can you help? I think I did all I was supposed to: Name, Superhero or sidekick, name of offering - but - who knows? Maybe I forgot how to read! I'd hate to think you are a closed group! Sorry I am not a midwesterner or Westerner. I am HURT! THANK YOU for listening and as always - GOD BLESS!
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  July 11, 2013
Thanks for sharing this great event with us! :)
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  June 24, 2013
Excellent coverage, thanks for posting. Looks like a fun time, all sorts of great people around. Congratulations on your share of the grand prize, that must have been an interesting mental roller-coaster. Makes for a fantastic anecdote for future Brickworlds though. ;)
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  June 23, 2013
Pretty awesome builds here...I loved the mini Middle-Earth.
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  June 23, 2013
I'm sad I missed BrickWorld this year, but I'm glad you pull out these amazing recaps so everyone who didn't make it can experience BrickWorld 2013 as if they were really there! Thanks a lot!
Chris Phipson
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matt rowntree
  June 22, 2013
Thank you so much for bringing Brickworld to those of us that are not able to get out to see it. The commentary adds the real icing to the cake. Spectacular job Chris. Also, if you could keep us posted as to the next events, I'll start making plans. Thanks again!
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  June 22, 2013
Nice coverage of the event as always Chris. It was great seeing you this year, and I'll be excited to see what V-lug pulls outa' the bag for next year. Oh and I've got to agree with all the comments about the end story: touchingly awesome. Simon is right, the people are what make the event worth while. Cheers ~Ian
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  June 22, 2013
Great recap - and I loved the end story - seriously how awesome is Chad? I think it's the perfect end to what makes Brickworld so awesome - the people :)
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  June 22, 2013
Nothing shows how lazy I am better than Phipson making his recap post first! Wait, what? The new venue was fantastic. Already, I can't wait for next year. Looking at pics of my display from other people, I realize how disorganized mine is compared to other Brickworld displays.
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  June 22, 2013
Another excellent recap here, my friend! It was great to finally meet you and your family in person as well. And just for the record, you were correct on both accounts: I am that short, and Tyler is that tall. Now on to next year!!!
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  June 22, 2013
Awesome pics . It's cool to see some of the faces to the names. Lots of fantastic models . One of these days I have to go .
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  June 22, 2013
Great coverage, thanks for sharing!
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  June 22, 2013
Nice roundup. I really wish we had more of these shows in the UK. I'd love to go to one. --Blast--
 I made it 
  June 22, 2013
Quoting Achintya Prasad Was this held in DC?
No, it's held in Schaumburg, Il., just outside of Chicago.
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  June 22, 2013
Always time well spent when I spend it with you brother. A lovely replay of the event. Lee.
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  June 22, 2013
I personally love to the read the coverage from these events; shows the amount of effort that goes on with everything. Massive builds, everyone seems to show up, looks like fun! Love to try and guess how many parts are in that building, you could make a very profitable Brick Link store! As for your, uhm, embarrassing story. Well. I mean, it could be worse! I myself had to present one of my own MOCs to the Secretary of Transportation; it was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and boy was I not prepared! I swear I though that half my MOC was about to fall to pieces the second I rushed to meet Mr. Lahood. Kinda embarrassing, as the Secret Service were staring me down :-0 But it all turned good in the end! Anyways, it looked like fun for you lot! Was this held in DC?
By Chris Phipson
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