Each designer created a model, many purchasing a few bricks at a time from custom online marketplaces such as Bricklink. One display included more than 50,000 pieces. Cincinnati residents Richard Kim and Christian Lee crafted a detailed replica of Helm's Deep from the film "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Kim said his LEGO hobby began in 2008 and this project required a year of gathering LEGO pieces. It then took two to three hours a day for six months to build the model.
Most people look at these LEGO works as a whole, but Bryan Bonahoom, executive director of Brickworld, said he “has a different way of looking at this…I have a greater appreciation for the detail and expense.”
The 400-pound Helm's Deep display is a clear example of this, as Kim carefully selected specific colors and shapes of LEGO bricks, along with "Lord of the Ring" LEGO action figures, for his piece. Kim works in finance and valued his project at a minimum of $50,000.
Pennsylvania resident E.J. Bocan, 30, spent five months on his LEGO rendering of the tower from Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series. He said he got hooked on LEGO building when he was 8 and that the hobby teaches “we're limited only by our imagination.”
The average Brickworld model costs $300-$400, but not all LEGO art has to be on a large scale. Brendan Nix, 9, spent three to four months on his display, a collection of miniature LEGO action figures enacting a battle scene. Using his computer at home, he printed his own stickers to use as clothing for the LEGO soldiers.
Bonahoom's idea for Brickworld was sparked after years of visiting LEGO conventions in Seattle and Washington, D.C. A resident of Fishers, Bonahoom was tired of packing bags for the trip and started Brickworld, which currently has events in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lafayette, and Chicago.
Planning to add more shows, Bonahoom added that he's “always looking for different models.” Other original models from the 2013 exhibit were the 1944 Battle of Peleliu, a built-to-scale display of the Apollo-Saturn V rocket, and a chessboard operated by LEGO robots.
The next Brickworld convention will be hosted at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds in Lafayette from Nov. 2 to 3.
For more information about Brickworld visit www.brickworld.us.
Block by blockBrickworld continues until 4 p.m. Sunday at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Admission tickets are cash-only at the door:
Adults (ages 10-65): $9
Kids (ages 3-9): $6
Kids under 3: free