I deliberatly postponed this a few days, as that way I could gather together the albums of people that had joined the journey. If you do have more pictures and albums that aren`t on this post yet, please drop me a line and I`ll edit them in.
The trip took place from saturday the 18th of june until tuesday the 21st, and 40 members of BeLUG had accumulated enough "points" to join in.
Maybe a bit of information on these points, a system we used to shift through the inscriptions as places were limited. There were 126 people wanting to join, and only 40 spots, so we looked at the level of `club dedication` over the years 2014 and 2015. Participating in Brick Mania`s (either as an exposer, volunteer or whotnot`s) would get you points, and helping out on the events where we participated as a club delegation (FACTS, Brick Tricks, ...) did as well, though at a lower rate.
If any spots would be left open, the "0 points" spots would be filled in by inscribers by sequence of their membership number, so those longest with the club would go first. And we had three such lucky people in the group :-).
So yes, feel free to volunteer on Brick Mania`s even if you don`t expose, before you now it, those few 'shifts' helping out at the entrance or selling the drinking tickets might end you up on a bus to Denmark... after all, all the volunteers that had inscribed, had a spot!
But back to the journey itself. The trip was a lengthy one, taking the better part of a day to get to (and fro) Billund from Belgium at over 800 km, and taking us along four countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark).
Nearly this went very sour, as one member had forgotten his ID card at home, and even though the Shengen accords are still in place, Denmark had reinstated the border controls because of the refugee crisis. Luckily, we didn`t have to leave him at the border and with half an hour delay we continued our journey.
After a lengthy ride, we arrived at the Lalandia resort, right next to Legoland, where we stayed in the bungalow parc, and where those that wanted could go swimming in a very impressive waterslide aquaparc.
After dinner, it was time to turn in as on the sunday, Legoland was on the menu.
Built around the Miniland, which is mainly (but not only) focussed on Scandinavia, the parc is full of themed rides. Now, don`t expect gravity defying monster rides here, it`s a parc aimed at children. But that doesn`t mean that people wouldn`t be having a blast feeling young again!
It`s also pretty nice that builds and play area`s for the children are scattered all around the attraction lines for queuing.
That evening we enjoyed another great meal, and then came the activity, The Dirty Brickster. This time we went for a "Deluxe" edition (presents at a value of around 20 - 25 euro, instead of the usual 15 - 20 mark) in the hopes to get some more rarer items into the game, and the rules states no Thank You gifts from recent Brick Mania`s, nor any of the just released City sets, things which are always present in abundance.
The idea of a Dirty Brickster is that everyone walks home with some nice little thingy and feel happy about it, something that was achieved for 95% of the people present.
However, in name of the board I can say we are disappointed that some members didn't follow these ideas. For instance, we had a Jack Stone set in one of the presents, which was used (taped shut box, elements in clipbags, and according to the "winner" even lacked the minifigures), going on BrickLink in that condition for a measly 5 euro. The same goes for some gifts obviously bought in the parc a few hours before, as a Legoland Train was in one parcel, and a baking form (which was under the agreed value) in the other.
We didn't want to start a witch hunt during our stay (to avoid spoiling the mood), but in the future the Dirty Brickster rules will be changed to avoid these situations.
But let`s not dwindle on that to much, because there where a lot of awesome prices in the contest, including a Nanobloks Santa Claus (okay, so that was a joke item attached to a gift full of excellent polybags ;-) ) or a lunchbox filled with Mannschaft figures. Even one of those cool Heroica games made an appearance!
After the game, it was time for bed again, because on monday the special part of the trip was on the menu: visits to the P-Storren (the employee store, where big discounts are handed out. I for one got a Hobbit Dol Guldur Battle set there for 25 euro, and all other sets currently in their range have -50% on them), Billund Moulding Factory, The Lego Ideas House and a presentation about the Lego House project, due to open in autumn 2017.
Now, in those first two, it is not allowed to take pictures, but you can imagine what happened there. As this picture outside shows:
Also check out our club`s Facebook page here, there is a movie of the group coming out with the bags.
After these we got a lunch in Billund itself, and then we moved on to the second part of the day, the Lego Ideas House and the presentation.
The final part of the tour was a Presentation about the Lego House they are building, explaining the goals, the idea behind the project and the way forward for what is to become known as "The Home of the Brick".
This project is something really great looking, and something I definitly will want to visit in the future.
That evening, we got another excellent dinner (Panos and his team at Pepe`s Cantina did a fantastic job) of beef and then the final event of the trip was to take place.
A 'build the Batman scuba set with one hand' game, which was won by Stefan!
And then it was time for bed because the day after, the return to Belgium was on the menu... as well as another excellent breakfast.
A truly fantastic experience, and I want to thank the organisers once again for putting it all together, LEGO for inviting our RLUG, and the group, for being all friendly to each other, guaranteeing we all had a great time!
Also thanks to Mijn Blokje for making the special Event Brick for this trip!
Special thanks have to go to Stefaan Naessens, who organised and guided the whole trip, making sure everything went as smoothly as it could, and to the team of Brick Planet, Eric De Bachere and Steven Apers for joining us with their van, so that all the Lego sets safely arrived from Billund to Belgium.
Now, as you might have noticed, this report isn`t to picture heavy. And that is deliberate, because we have a LOT of picture material to show you, and while I have been picking out some from different participants collections, here they all are:
Some members pooled their pictures together on this Google Drive
People also shared albums on Facebook (apart from the group I linked to before in this report), namely Yuthana, Jean-Michel, and Dennis.
And my own pictures and personal views are on my own personal blog page.
Hope you all enjoyed this little recollection of what was a fantastic trip, and hopefully more of these sorts of things will follow in the future!