Classic-Castle at BrickFest PDX 2004
So many people brought such beautiful creations for the 3CS City. I brought with me James Brink's Butcher Shop, Medieval Water Mill, Trebuchet, and Woodcutter's Cart; Ben Ellermann's City Gate and Cart; Bruce N H's Medieval Shop; and Anthony Sava's Post Mill. What other's brought to the Castle City: Rene Hoffmeister brought his amazingly detailed Jousting Tournament; Derek Schinn brought his large Tavern, complete with his innovative candle, a Monastery, and a brown and light yellow shop, as well as several wall pieces; Larry Pieniazek brought his Barber Shop and his Inn of the Fallen Angels; Robin Werner brought an amazingly detailed Tavern; Bruce Lowell brought the first 3CS Wall piece on a hill; Richard Lange brought several wall pieces and a Tower; and Christina Hitchcock brought a wonderful little medieval hut.
Other creations of note: Tom Rafert's amazingly detailed castle village and scenery Brickshire; Stephen Fisher's creative and detailed castle layout; Kim Toll's amazing Red Cathedral; Mark Ride's Winter Fortress; Richard Lange's large Viking ships, a huge customized Roman army, and amazing Tree House; someone who's name escapes me brought a huge version of the Salt Lake City Temple.
The best part of the experience was the interaction with other fans. So many people came up to me telling me how excited and interested they were in the Classic-Castle website and the 3CS concept. Burce Lowell and Derek Schinn talked with me at length about their intentions to begin building more castle creations in the 3CS vein - and they were not alone in this. I spoke with Tom Rafert about developing a way to make castle layouts more dynamic and we came up with some exciting ideas. And 'business' issues aside, spending time with friends that I have made online was wonderful.
Easily the second best part was interacting with the public on Sunday. More than 500 people came through the Expo, and seeing the kids' eyes light up again and again was something I can never forget. Seeing adults as their eyes light up seeing all the detailed interiors - as they go from thinking LEGO is for kids, to understanding why 170+ AFOLs are here too - it is an adult toy as much as a child's toy.
The keynote speeches were powerful and thought provoking. Steve Barile (the mastermind behind PDX) gave his speech Friday night about the magic of the LEGO experience. Indeed, the concept of the LEGO moment is something that ran through the entire weekend. Perhaps the most exciting speech was Tormud's. It was easy to tell Tormud's speech was designed not for AFOLs, but for company execs - and the primary point of his message was that TLG needed to persue greater interaction between the company and the fans. He spoke of marketing with AFOLs, not to AFOLs - that the relationship should be something that benefits both company and fans. It was such an open and wonderful sentiment, that I almost cried.
Jake McKee's message on Sunday, including the question-and-answer part, was very interesting. I must say that Jake is a wonderful voice for TLG, and they should value him as such. Even if I disagree with the company's choices (peach minifigs, new grey) - Jake does an amazing job of arguing for their choices. Such to the point that I almost agree with him merely because of the eloquence of his arguments.
BrickFest PDX was an amazing experience for me. Something I am not long going to forget, and that I eagerly look forward to the next! I want to see Castle arise for BrickFest DC - to realize its place as the greatest theme there is!
Long Live Castle!
I'd like to take a moment to mention a thanks to Steve Barile, Christina Hitchcock, Larry Peiniazek, Todd Thuma, and everyone else (who I've idiotically forgotten) who worked so hard to make this happen. You guys have sacraficed and continue to sacrafice to we can have so much fun - thank you so much!
"The sound of laughter is like
the vaulted dome of
a temple of happiness. "