As I stood in front of a LEGO replica of Serenity, the spacecraft featured on the short-lived TV series Firefly, I spoke with the exhibitor on my left about building techniques and our favorite years of LEGO sets. I later realized this moment summed up what LEGO exhibition BrickFair is all about.
BrickFair, as its website says, “brings together adult fans of LEGO from across the USA (and Canada, and a few other countries) to show off their projects, great and small, and to share their passion for LEGO — the most awesome toy —ever.” In fact, a bustling group of LEGO fans did rush to greet me on the first day at the Dulles Expo Center in D.C. They were socializing, carrying their LEGO models to their designated areas, selling and discussing the small LEGO brick.
I saw a beautiful and ornate mosque, a vignette of survivors from a Lego-pocalypse and robots that could draw a smiley face, all made of LEGO. I met other passionate kids, teens and adults. I reunited with the BZPower community, a group dedicated to the BIONICLE toys that is as zany as I am. I showed off my creations to gawking kids, teens and adults.
Though a LEGO-loving child just loves to play, building LEGO structures as an adult brings out the need for structural analysis and critical thinking. The result, which comes out in BrickFair, is a person who is passionate about creating whatever they want and about spending time with other people who feel the same way.
After talking for a while, the creator of the Serenity ship realized he was missing a piece, and asked if I had a spare. As I scampered to my table, eager to help, I understood just how this one little brick could bring together so many people with such a passion for creativity and for LEGO.