Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lego "Justice" (a Fair post)

So, okay, you got me. There's really nothing to do with justice and Lego (by the way, did you know that "Lego" is the plural of "Lego"? (I think I mentioned this before, but I don't feel like checking)) in  this post. At least not together. I suppose if this was a Lego Batman post, we could talk about Lego and justice together, but it's not. No, this is about the Lego exhibit they have every year at the Fair. (We'll get to the justice part in a bit.)

The arts and crafts stuff at the Fair always includes a fairly large Lego exhibit which is something we spend a lot of time at. At least, we spend a lot of time at it in comparison to the other arts and crafts. Mostly, this is the fault of the boys. Actually, my wife and my daughter usually just glance at them and go do something else while I hang out with the boys while they examine every piece. Okay, not every piece, because my younger son has incredible disdain for kids who send in their boxed kits as their entries.

And I get it. It's supposed to be original creations. But, you know, how do you tell that to a six-year-old? Or to his parents that don't really know the difference. Or the judges who are almost certainly old(er) people that barely know what a Lego is. Yeah, I know I'm generalizing and stereotyping, but, since the contest is supposed to be about original creations and (at least) half of the entries (including some that win prizes) are just kits you can buy at the store, I have to assume that these people don't have any working knowledge of Lego.

Anyway... there have been some really incredible builds the last few years. Some guy made a huge model of a scorpion (and, when I say huge, I mean somewhere in the 3-4' long range not counting the tail) from the technic type pieces and, I'm assuming the same guy, some other similar type bug thing another year. I wanted to share pictures of those, because there was nothing quite so impressive this year, but... well, I can't seem to find those pictures. [They got put into storage (off my computer) at some point, and I don't know where they are (probably because we moved since I did that). And I did, actually, spend several hours looking for those discs to no avail.] All of that to say, you'll just have to be satisfied with the pictures of this years' creations (and hope that I find those other pictures at some point in the future).

My son assures me that these are not from kits (and I don't know of any kits of these, but they are so well done, I thought, maybe, there was some older line of military vehicles or something that I didn't know about). As you can see, they won first place in their category.
Yes, someone touched the plane on the left. My son really wanted to fix it, so I had to remind him about his feelings on the subject and whether he'd want someone he didn't know fixing it if it was his creation.
(I wanted to fix it, too.)

And, now, for the most impressive thing this year
(which is nowhere near as impressive as the things from the last couple of years).
That's the Lego show from this year.

My son always wants to enter something, but, when presented with the knowledge that he would have to submit the piece for judging at some point before the Fair starts and that it would be on display for weeks (where other people could touch it and potentially break it), meaning that he could be without his Lego for more than a month, he always decides he'd rather not. Then, he walks around grumbling about how his thing was better than this-or-that thing. Except he never said that about those Lego creatures. That just made him want more Lego so that he could build something that big. I told him when I sell a million books that we'll talk about it.

Speaking of books!

Today is the penultimate release of the Shadow Spinner serialization! Yes, the end is almost here! Want to find out what happens to Tib, Michael, and the Man with No Eyes? Well, this is your chance to do it. Not to mention the Serpent and... the Angel, Uri'el! This is one climax you don't want to miss! Grab "Justice" today!
Here's your list of today's FREE! offerings:
"Part Thirty-three: Justice" (FREE! Monday, September 23 and Tuesday, September 24)
"Part Thirty-two: The Gate"
"Part Thirty-one: The Serpent Strikes"
"Part Thirty: Called in Judgement"
"Part Twenty-four: The Serpent"
"Part Twenty-three: The Harlot"
"Part Twenty-two: The Undying"
"Part Seventeen: The Tree of Light"
"Part Sixteen: The Dark Tree"
That's only nine parts this week, but, hey, running these things for FREE! every week uses up the free days pretty quickly. Next week: "Part Thirty-four: Uri'el" and, maybe, something else new!


  1. Those are some great builds there. I agree with your son, kits should not be allowed as submissions. And the reason for this is simple. One of the most basic things in a contest is the rules for that contest. If the rules are not followed the entry should be disqualified. We all have to learn this lesson in life and we used to teach it to our children when they were very small.

  2. My Megan LOVES Lego...she built an entire Pirate ship that she got for Christmas.

  3. My daughter's school has a medieval fest every year, and the sixth graders all had to build catapults or trebuchets that could fire a tennis ball. It bothered me to see a handful of obviously kit-built catapults, especially when my own kid built hers out of a cardboard box.

  4. Legos are expensive. Some of those kits are a hundred bucks.
    Maybe one of these years your son will enter. But I don't blame him for not. I'd be mad to see someone had broken my entry on display.

  5. Those Lego creations are really cool. My 13 year old still loves to build with his. He has never been a kit kind of guy, but more of a freelancer.

  6. Wow do we love Lego around here! The boys have spend hundreds upon hundreds of their hard-earned dollars on kits. The they modify the kit (But Mom! How could it not a blaster! So I took this one from the Star Wars kit. You need a blaster if you're going to Mars!) I agree. I loved sitting for hours creating stuff with them when they were smaller. Now they collect all the sets in a series and display them on (increasingly) dusty shelves.
    My youngest just joined a robotics team. I think his Lego experience will transfer well.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  7. Those are some awesome builds. I would love to see that exhibit. And I don't like to brag, but I was in the official Lego Magazine when I was in 3rd grade for my "life size" (3 foot tall) Buster Bunny.

  8. S€\^]>£# F&$#€k!!! Stupid phone ate my comment and signed me out.

    Anyway, Legos (seriously, how can that not be right) built from a kit shows that you can follow written instructions,which is a valuable skill, but has no place in a competition.

    I got crappy mega-blocks. They were way too big to do anything intricate. Still, seeing someone really create something from a series of small blocks is cool.

  9. If our local fair had a Lego exhibit, I'd totally go.

  10. I'm sure the Lego company makes bank off of the culture that Lego's foster.

  11. I'm with Rusty on trying to comment by phone.

    I downloaded the newest part. I can't believe it's almost over. I want Shadow Spinner never to end.

    As for the Lego: That last one looks really really elaborate. How big was it?
    When we built that Avenger jet a year ago, I was amazed at all the steps you don't think about when building something. People that can build from scratch are pretty impressive.

  12. Beer - you should totally brag about that! That's amazing to be picked for the magazine! My youngest, now 13, was a Lego club member, and would spend HOURS pouring over the magazines and catalogs. HOURS.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  13. It's always too bad when they don't stick to the rules, no matter what the reason. Cool builds that won, though. I went to the Lego store at the Mall of America when I was visiting a friend there, and it's such fun to see the things that can be put together from such tiny pieces.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  14. LEGO rocks! And I totally understand your son's principles. I rarely go beyond the kits myself but if we're talking about artistic creations, one must be off kit.

  15. I know that about legos, but I still can't bring myself to do it. It's an unfortunate tick.

    I really would have like to have seen that scorpion. That sounds cool. The planes are pretty impressive for not being out of kits. It blows my dinky self-made ships out of the water. Kudos to them.

  16. Anne: Yeah, I agree. I think they just don't have anyone capable of enforcing those rules.

    ADSL: Which pirate ship?

  17. JeffO: My oldest son had to build a medieval castle for some project when he was in middle school. He built a custom castle from Lego. It was one of the best ones, but people stole stuff from it.

    Alex: They are expensive. Very. He wishes he owned more, but we can't really afford them. He usually gets one big set at Christmas.

    JKIR,F!: Mine has been focused more on Minecraft, lately, because of all the ways you can build in it. He used to be all freelance with Lego, but, at some point, he got tired of not being able to find the correct pieces for his newer kits and started leaving them intact. But he has plenty of stuff from older disassembled stuff.

    Tina: I'm waiting for mine to discover robots, but he hasn't really had the opportunity, yet. However, he really wants the robotic Lego Mindstorm stuff; we just can't afford it.

    ABftS: That's cool! My son has wanted to submit things for that several times, but we've always had issues getting the submissions in since they (still!) only take hard copy photo submissions.

    M.J.: Tell them to have one?

    Michael: Lego has, at times, been the best selling action figure line in the world. Because, yes, they have a line of technic Lego action figures.

    Briane: The main body was probably about 18" long? I think it was less than 2' at any rate. The nose was probably another 18" long plus 6" or so for the tail. I'd guess 18" on the wingspan, too, but, really, I'm not very good at estimating lengths, so you shouldn't take my word for it.

    Tina: I agree! And I want to see the pictures!

    Shannon: We've been to a couple of different Lego stores, including the one at Disney World, which was freaking amazing with huge Lego sculptures.

    TAS: Yeah, I agree. It's been a while since I sat down and built anything with them, but I was always off kit.

    Jeanne: I wish I knew where those pics are. They weren't where I thought they would be. If I find them at some point, I'll post them.

  18. Oh, Rusty!: I had this whole thing for you, but I was rushing right before bed, because, man, yesterday was a long day, so I didn't get to the comments until right before bed.
    I only had Mega Blocks as a kid, too, and only one bucket of them, at that. They sucked. Basically, when we were building forts for our Star Wars guys and stuff, with my mega blocks, I could build... a wall. Yeah, a wall. And, since my blocks were white, it was always a wall of snow on Hoth. I only ever had one can of any kind of building thing, because, I guess, my mom thought that one can was enough. So I had A bucket of Mega Blocks, A can of Tinker Toys, A can of Lincoln Logs, and A can of blocks. Oh, and one Erector set. I never owned a single Lego until I was an adult, and those belong to my kids. (Except the few Star Wars kits I have in storage somewhere.)

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