Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Block Party

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Block Party

Article excerpt

SECAUCUS -- Sam Connell, 11, has loved building things with Legos for as long as he can remember. In fact, he says, he has a closet full of Lego sets in his Old Tappan home.

"It was the only thing he ever played with as a kid," said his mother, Barbara. "It was Legos, Legos and more Legos. We'd buy him the sets and he'd build them once, take them apart and build a million different things with the pieces."

Hundreds of youngsters like Sam and adults packed the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus on Sunday to attend the last day of Brick Fest Live, a nationwide Lego fan experience that allowed enthusiasts of the brightly colored bricks to build, buy and play with Legos.

The weekend-long event celebrated people's passion for Legos -- interlocking bricks that can be assembled according to plans (if you like to follow instructions) or used to construct your own projects. Over the years the popular bricks have tied in with various brands, such as D.C. Comics and Marvel Comics, and expanded into many variations and lines.

On Sunday, participants could race their own Lego creations in a derby; use spare bricks to make additions to cityscapes at two "inspiration stations"; create pictures on a giant wall at two "mosaic areas"; play Lego mini golf; and visit a gaming arena with Lego-themed video games and other activities.

In addition, Lego builders set up massive models of castles, dioramas of movie scenes and soaring towers between vendors who sold rare, vintage and other Lego items.

All the attractions revolved around the core principles of Brick Fest, founder Chad Collins said, and tried to capture the imaginative thinking that stems from someone being handed a pile of bricks and asked to build whatever comes to mind.

"We want to inspire, educate and entertain," he said. "We have several cool models that can inspire someone to go and create their own at home, but we also have different areas where someone could go start building right away. …

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