This past weekend, the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds were invaded by thousands of miniature men in sports cars, spaceships and all manner of transportation, much to the delight of children and adults everywhere. A world of miniatures, Brickworld is a roving showcase of “block art” built from the popular and long-running children’s play toy Lego, and the event highlighted the creative structural uses of these bricks.
The showcase ran this past weekend on November 2nd and 3rd. Situated inside the Home Economics Building at the fairground, the Lego exhibits from multiple enthusiasts filled the room from wall to wall. Children and adults roved between tables, marveling at the high level of detail present within the expansive sets, which ranged from a considerable collection of Star Wars vehicles and character models, to skillfully crafted airplanes from many eras, to sports and race cars to Lego chess sets and even to full-sized children made of Lego bricks. Even more impressive were the large scale “worlds” created under various themes, including an airport, a miner’s colony on a mysterious alien planet, Hogwarts school and its surroundings, a bustling city street, a championship Lego wrestling arena and a full-scale medieval castle, complete with an adjoining dragon and viking army holding off a pirate attack from the ocean.
One of the neatest quirks about Brickworld was the seek-and-find elements that were included in many of the large scale scenes that added to the sense of exploration. For example, one could find Captain Jack Sparrow in almost every set somewhere and children were challenged to look for minute details such as swimmers being eaten by sharks, Disney and Pixar characters, and other humorous situations and cameos.
The most architecturally impressive builds came in the form of scale representations of real-life monuments and venues like the Sydney Opera House, the tomb of the Egyptian Queen Nefertari, Castle Stewart in Scotland, the Lincoln Memorial, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the Eiffel Tower, Chateau de Thoury and even the Mackey Arena. The details were exacting and despite the humorous faces of the Lego men and women themselves, absolutely impressive and stunning considering they are created using a children’s toy.
The event also showcased the intricacies of creating robotics with Lego, as there were several interactive remote control Lego cars for children to play with, a large scale remote control Lego chess board, Lego bumper cars and a Spirograph utilizing a moving Lego vehicle. The most ambitious and flawless system there was a massive Lego assembly line spanning several tables in a square, dedicated to the perpetual motion of transporting miniature soccer balls across several conveyor belts, lifts, moving arms and then trains to take the cargo back around the end of the table and towards the start again.
The gallery also included a build station where kids and adults played alongside each other exercising their imaginations, as well as a play area for toddlers and young ones not able to play with the miniature pieces that was well stocked with Duplo, the larger cousin of Lego building blocks. To top it off, several large Lego sets were available for sale and though the prices were rather steep, part of the proceeds were given to charity.