Nerdvanna

Yesterday as many of you know I took a break from my family vacation at Disneyland to make a one day pilgrimage to the holy land, San Diego Comic Con (leaving Disneyland to go to SDCC, #FirstNerdProblems). It was a whirlwind tour of just the exhibits, no time to see any panels or stand in line to buy stuff.

The first significant stop was happening upon the legendary Bill Plympton, who was kind enough to sketch me an addition to the BrickNerd Art Project. He was ultra cool and it was a pleasure to meet him. You can bet this is going to get framed and hung on the studio wall as soon as I get home.

I continued my long trek, weaving up and down the aisles of the show floor after that, which is no small endeavor, especially with already tired legs from two days of theme park walking. If you've never been to SDCC, there's really no way to describe or explain it. It's absolutely enormous, and there's so many enthusiastic nerds from all over the world collected in one space that it's almost overwhelming, almost. There's SO much love there, so much joy for so many things. From comics to movies and from toys to fine collectibles, there's something for literally everyone there.

The next significant event needs a little setup. Back in 2005 I worked on Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece film Pan's Labyrinth. After principal photography was done, I was cleaning and organizing the camera gear we used at CafeFX and I ran across the insert slate, the little board you mark with what scene/shot you're filming. Normally I would have just wiped it clean and got it ready for the next gig, but by then we were far enough into the film I knew that we were working on something important and special, so I set it aside. It sat on a shelf in my office for several years after that, and when the company folded in 2009 I kept it as a memento. Fast forward to a few months ago and I was digging around on my workbench in the garage and I happened upon it. Just days earlier I was watching a video tour of Adam Savage's man cave on Tested.com and saw that he has a special GDT shelf among his amazing collection. He has props and mementos from many of his films. So my first thought was "this needs to be on that shelf, on display where it can be appreciated, not collecting dust in my garage".

I tweeted a picture out, but got no response from Adam. While packing for this trip I happened upon it again, and thought "what the heck, there's an incredibly remote chance I'll see him there and can just give it to him" and tucked it into my backpack. Fast forward again to yesterday, as I continued my way across the hall. I made to the Prop Store booth, one of my favorite stops every year to look at all the props and fun stuff from movies I love. While admiring an insert slate from The Empire Strikes Back I remembered the slate in my backpack and recalled that Adam usually makes his way to this very booth during one of his famous Adam Incognito videos. Not 45 seconds later, while admiring a full body prop from Terminator 3 I see Kylo Ren in my peripheral vision. Just last week Adam posted a video about making the neck piece for that costume and I thought "no way". Then I heard him talking and it sounded like him so I said "Adam?" It was him. I washed back and forth between giddiness to have found him, and utter shock to have found him. I told him I had something for him and dug it out of my backpack. It took a moment for him to realize what he was holding, and to register that it was for him. But his reaction after was great, I couldn't see him smiling under his mask, but I could tell by his body language (and huge hug) that he was pretty stoked. He needed to get get going so we snapped a quick pic and he was on his way. I wandered off too, content that I had just won comic con, mission accomplished.

While I did make several stops at the LEGO booth, it was always wrapped with people hungry to collect their convention exclusives (I was not among them, no special sets for me) and an absolute mob scene. I would have taken some pictures, but you all know what a bunch of people look like, just imagine that with a large LEGO sign hanging above them. I did duck in to say hi to LEGO master builder Erik Varszegi while he was building a giant Batgirl, always nice to see him.

After that it was just a lot of wandering, napping Nerdly selfies (he's so narcissistic), short chats with old friends I ran into and sweating (SDCC is always hot, always). Content I had seen and perspired enough I made my way back to the Amtrak station to catch my train back to Anaheim, SDCC 2016 was over for me. Time to start planning for next year, maybe this time I'll mark the calendar and not plan a Disney Vacation to coincide with the same weekend, duh.

"There's A Pikachu Over There!"

Show of hands, who's been playing Pokemon GO? The game's been available nearly three weeks now and it's already cliché to ask that. I've been playing the game like mad lately and nothing's beaten the excitement when a Pikachu showed up nearby - a moment perfectly captured in this giant iPhone model built by Chris Madisson. For me the most impressive part is how cleanly he achieves the look of the Pokéball - round shapes aren't always easy in LEGO but all it took was a tire and some quick thinking to perfect one.

Pokemon Go

Cole Blaqtron

Neo-Classic Space is arguably the oldest theme in which AFOLs have been building for all these years, and in just one build Cole Blaq has both mastered it and wildly subverted it. "High Jack" is one of the most unique NCS models I've seen in a while in terms of shape, with some clever part uses thrown in for good measure.

NCBS High Jack

Well, It Began As You Might Expect. . .

"In a whole in the ground, there lived...a Hobbit."

Balbo, a very popular Lord of the Rings LEGO builder, has created the iconic "Red Book of Westmarch."  You may recognize this book as the keeper of both Frodo and Bilbo's writings, containing their stories and their adventures of Middle-earth.  Just seeing this build come through my Flikr stream made me want to pull out a copy of the Lord of the Rings and start watching the trilogy again.  I also really want to open up this book and read the text within (even though I've read both stories multiple times).  If Tolkien was still alive, I believe he would be very pleased with this recreation, along with many other great LOTR creations.  Keep it up, Balbo!

Bilbo´s Book
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Nathaniel Stoner

     My name is Nathaniel Stoner, and I am an very active LEGO builder.  I mostly build in the themes of castle and science-fiction, but I also dabble in other genres and create occasional random MOC's (My Own Creations). 

     When I was younger, I would get and build small LEGO sets for my birthday, but I was never really into them.  When they fell apart, I would become frustrated attempting to put them back together and would throw them in a box in my closet.  I couldn't stand them!

     Then, miraculously, I became addicted to the LEGO brick later in my teen years.  Ever since, I have continued to build up (pun intended) my collection of bricks and to expand my knowledge of techniques and building skills.  LEGO is truly more than a toy, its an art form and a way to express yourself.

     For the most part, I collect LEGO Star Wars (mainly the minifigs), which is probably my favorite LEGO theme.  I have a fairly decent collection, including some of the original 1999 sets, such as the Snowspeeder, X-Wing, and Naboo starfighter.  I also collected LEGO the Lord of the Rings when those sets first came out.  The minifigs are great, and the story remains one of my favorites ever. 

     My hope is to inspire other young (and perhaps even older) LEGO builders to unleash their inner creativity!  You can find me on my Flikr here

Cha-ching!

I suppose today's kids learn about money handling with an app (between catching Pokemon) but when I was a kid, this was the apparatus of choice, the Fisher-Price cash register. Seeing this MOC by scottstaz brought a whole flood of nostalgia and happy coin-counting feels. It's a perfect 1:1 recreation, right down to the chute on the side.

FisherPrice cash register

Robot Hit Squad

I always love it when a sci-fi creation actually looks realistic and practical. This group of robot assassins by Devid VII is a great example of military sci-fi realism, with lots of functional-looking greebles and a very aggressive, utilitarian look. The drone in front makes great use of minifigure parts, such as using legs as a major part of the arms. Devid says that there are more robots coming in this series, and I can't wait to see them.

X60 and the Assassins Team

Galactic Surf Is Up, Dude

Here's a mashup I can get behind, a classic VW type 2 bus at neo classic space! What better way to find all the tasty waves in the galaxy than strapping your board to the roof of this baby and jetting to the nearest intergalactic beach? Click through to see Builder Priovit70's other space creations, including the type 1 beetle equivalent of this radical ride.

Make space surfboards, not intergalactic war!