This last weekend I attended Bricks Cascade 2015 here in Portland, Oregon. As my home town Lego convention, I was joined by most of my friends from PortLUG and builders from all up and down the left coast. I had a lot more to show this year and I was looking forward to it.
I bought my ticket early. The price for an attendee seems a little high at first glance, but considering the three days of events and socialization, the money is well spent. I also had the expectation of door prizes that would more than make up for my initial cost.
I spent the weeks before the show polishing off a number of new MOCs, many of which I had never shown anywhere before. I tried to discipline myself to get each entry as finished as possible before starting anything new. That strategy paid off when I got violently sick the weekend before the convention. I was barely well enough to attend and I was glad that I hadn’t waited til the last minute to get things finished.
Thursday was the first day of setup and I arrived nice and early with all my models packed into bins, neatly stacked in a pair of big blue Ikea bags. It took a while for the builders to start filtering in, but I was able to help out with shifting tables. I didn’t stay late, but things were starting to take shape.
The set-up really kicked into high gear on Friday. Even more builders arrived and tables began to get crowded with models. Friday was also the first day that there were events on the calendar, so I split my time helping with setup and attending gatherings. By the end of the day I’d had a successful draft and won a lovely set as a door prize that more than offset my ticket.
The hall opened to the public on Saturday and I arrived just before the crowds. Many builders had stayed late to fill in the gaps and get everything looking great. That was a long day of chatting with the public and events, including another draft and the awards ceremony. I took home two trophies this year, one for my mecha and another for one of my micropolis modules (I’ll blog more about them both later).
The final day was almost as long (though much shorter in reality), as most of the attendees were tired. I was ready for some quiet as I left at the end of the day, my big blue bags even heavier with swag.
Last year was my first at Bricks Cascade. I had a lovely time, but it was a completely different experience. The convention felt younger and less polished this year. The majority of the convention’s volunteer staff had turned over due to some internal issues late last year. This meant that many things were being done for the first time. Rookie mistakes were getting made.
Honestly, I look forward to next year when they have a chance to iron out some of those wrinkles.
There was also a very different mix of models on the tables. There were fewer large models this year and a number of builders were notably absent. This lead to a few rather anemic themes. I’m not sure if this has to do with having so many novice theme coordinators or if some other turnover was at work.
Hopefully this will make room for new builders to step up next year, rising to the occasion with more ambitious MOCs. I’m already talking about new collaborations. I presented 9 MOCs this year. I’d like to have considerably more next year.
All in all, I had a great time and I left with a wealth of new bricks and a desire to put them to use!
For more great pictures, check out this Flickr set: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8Jrm9d