Today I would like to introduce you to an exciting LEGO event coming up in the Philadelphia area next April. The event is organized by Chad Collins, who - along with his daughter - runs the popular LEGO YouTube channel Your Creative Friends. Below I will let you hear from Chad how the idea for the Philly Brick Fest came about, what is the vision behind it, and what you can expect at this LEGO convention.
Why have you decided to do Philly Brick Fest? – “As a kid, LEGO was my favorite toy. However, it was later in life when I realized that my time spent playing with LEGO as a child had remarkable benefits. For instance, I built my first computer at the age of 13. Prior to that, I had absolutely no knowledge of how computers worked, but it came to me quickly because of LEGO. I vividly remember the thoughts and feelings I experienced while building that computer and quickly realized that my experience of building and creating with LEGO made a seemingly impossible task possible. LEGO gave me the confidence I needed in myself to build, fix, and engineer things. Today, I believe that all too often parents and children alike view LEGO simply as a toy. Many of us in the community know that LEGO can be more than a toy and in my opinion, contains the unique power to spark one’s imagination in incomparable ways. Philly Brick Fest is just one way we can spread this message and educate people that LEGO is more than a simple toy; it is an investment in our children’s future.”
Why are the educational aspects that surround LEGO so important to you? – “Because I think we are still just scratching the surface in this department. While there are successful structured after-school programs like Bricks-4-Kidz and organizations such as First LEGO League, these programs are a long way from becoming part of the every day curriculum. As a society, we need to find ways to unlock the minds of our youth as early as possible and with as little cost as possible. Once we figure that out, we will see even more advances in our technology and ingenuity.”
How did you make the transition from doing a YouTube show to running a major LEGO fan festival? – “It was a surprise to us that our YouTube channel became popular. The friends and contacts we have made due to our channel certainly helped facilitate our direction. One of our early videos was about a storage system we found to help us organize all of the bricks we were purchasing from the Pick-A-Brick wall at the LEGO Store. A few weeks after that video went live, the manufacturer contacted us and sent us even more storage units for free. When something like that happens, you begin to understand that through YouTube, you can make lasting connections with people. These connections include people that want to be educated or entertained, people that you can help, and people that want to help you. In order to produce an event like Philly Brick Fest, we needed some help in the early stages and started having conversations with friends we made in the LEGO community. Since then, we have been off to the races.”
Why did you choose Philadelphia? - “I am from Philadelphia and I am a proud product of the Philadelphia Public School System. While we live in Bucks County Pennsylvania now, our roots are still in the City and we take our kids to the famous landmarks, museums, and events every chance we get. However, with all of the richness, history, and culture that Philadelphia offers, it was still missing something, a major LEGO fan convention. We are thankful to have the privilege of putting on an event like this for our community. We are starting a new Philadelphia tradition that will create new friendships within the LEGO community and lasting memories for families that attend.”
What can we expect to see and do at Philly Brick Fest? – “Expect the unexpected. While there will be some similarities to other conventions, you can expect to see and do things that will be unique to Philly Brick Fest. For instance, independent builders not affiliated with a LEGO Users Group (LUG) will be displaying their own creations (MOCs) that have never been seen in public. In addition, we have several new ideas for LEGO-related games and contests made to accommodate large groups of participants.”
Are you interested to participate in Philly Brick Fest? Here are some further details as well as contact information:
- DATE: April 24th & 25th are Private Days for Registered Attendees, LUGs, & Vendors, and April 26th & 27th the event is open to the public from 10:00AM to 5:00PM.
- LOCATION: Philly Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA 19456
- FOR MORE INFO: visit the Philly Brick Fest website, FaceBook Page, YouTube Channel, follow on Twitter, or joint the Mailing List.
- BUY TICKETS: to buy tickets go HERE
What do you think? Are you planning to attend Philly Brick Fest next year? Or would you like to? Do you have any questions for Chad about the Philly Brick Fest? Feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below!
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
- LEGO Bricks-by-the-Bay Convention – Part One
- LEGO Bricks-by-the-Bay Convention – Part Two
- LEGO Users Group Brick Expo by OKILUG
- BrickWorld – Have Fun in the World of LEGO!