Past Events & Pictures
In the Media
How to Join
Frequently Asked Questions
March 21st, 2013
Over the weekend of March 9-10, 2013, BayLTC participated in the Toy and Model Train Expo, formerly the TCA Cal-Stewart Spring Meet. We had 10 members participating in the show. Here is a group photo taken right before takedown.
We were also interviewed for the Santa Clara Weekly newspaper, and the story was published this week.
Choo Choo Trains Galore at the Toy and Model Train Expo
February 5th, 2013
This year’s 9th Annual Living-LEGOcy, BayLUG’s holiday show at MoAH, had steadily increasing crowds from December through the closing weekend in early January. The exhibit featured new and “vintage” Creations from many members, both young and old. Many visitors heard about the show from social media or by word of mouth, making it our most successful year recently with attendance of 7,306. The Club donated more than $7000 to MoAH. Thanks to all those who displayed and helped out.
October 3rd, 2012
The LEGO Store in Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, CA celebrated their 1st Anniversary the weekend of September 28-30, 2012. Several BayLUG volunteers helped build a giant map of the USA during the weekend.
August 27th, 2012
BayLUG Group Photo August 2012
BayLUG pledged $256 to the successful Hacker Dojo Kickstarter campaign. We have held various meetings there, so the Club Officers voted unanimously in favor of the pledge when it was proposed.
May 1st, 2012
On April 29, 2012, the Kids & Art Foundation hosted a LEGO art day in San Mateo, for kids to build LEGO sculptures that could be auctioned off to raise funds for the Leukemia Society, and for art supplies for kids affected by the disease. The LEGO creations made Sunday will be among those auctioned at San Francisco’s Gallery 4N5 on June 3 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Troy Wolverton, a BayLUG member who works at the San Jose Mercury News stopped by and did a wonderful article on our event.
I would like to thank Andrew Danish and his son Cole for volunteering their time and creativity. They worked with some of the kids and created a set of LEGO atoms to make the entire periodic table, something my 9year old had memorized and could quiz all the doctors and nurses on.
Matt Walsh and daughter Abigail, thank you for stopping by with much needed small LEGO boards and small pieces that could be used to create the alphabets. They were a great help with the kids too.
One person that gets a big shout-out is Dylan Overton for donating a big tub of LEGO bricks. Dylan and his mom Kim stopped by Baywood school, dropped off the big tub, and left. I thought he would like to have the remaining LEGO parts back but that was not the case. It’s not easy for a kid to part with his LEGO…
Finally, thank you to Arjun for donating a ton of LEGO elements, minifigures, and some very special and hard to find pieces. Arjun instilled the love for LEGO in his 9 year old brother. Amaey looked up to Arjun in awe when he was in his LEGO building zone.
Thank you Paul Sinasohn for helping me find volunteers and and thank you Troy Wolverton for doing this article on Kids & Art.
The Kids & Art Foundation’s mission is to team up children and families touched by cancer with local artists. Together they create art that is later auctioned to raise funds. These funds go towards the ongoing one-on-one and group art sessions, and towards the purchase of art supplies that are used at various art workshops. Kids & Art has done art workshops in acrylic painting, ceramic mask making, photography, printmaking, lego building, and origami. Kids & Art also donates to cancer charities.
Kids & Art Foundation
Children with cancer making a difference – Kids & Art Foundation is a 501(c)3 California nonprofit organization
December 7th, 2011
The 8th Annual “Living LEGO-cy” show opens this coming weekend in Palo Alto. Hosted every year by the Museum of American Heritage, 351 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto, California, the exhibit features a wide variety of amazing and innovative LEGO Creations and LEGO trains running through familiar city, farm, and suburban scenes, all built from LEGO bricks.
It opens on Friday, December 9, 2010 and runs through Sunday, January 15 2012 during regular Museum open hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3:30pm. It will be closed Christmas Eve and Day, and New Years Eve and Day. All ages welcome. General admission is $2 for the Exhibit, Museum Admission is Free (but donations are welcome). Current BayLUG and MoAH members are FREE! No strollers inside the exhibit, please.
The December 2-4 weekend was a busy one for many BayLUG members, setting up the exhibit. Members overcame a number of challenges in both setting up the train layout with under table clearances, and with installing displays. Everything was ready just in time for MoAH’s Member Holiday Party late Sunday afternoon, as you can see in the following pictures. Click any of the pictures to view a gallery of photos from the exhibit setup and party.
November 15th, 2011
The Bay Area LEGO Users Group and Train Club (BayLUG/BayLTC) and the Museum of American Heritage present the 8th Annual “Living LEGO-cy” Holiday LEGO Creation and Train Exhibit at the Frank Livermore Learning Center at the Museum in Palo Alto.
The Exhibit will feature a wide variety of amazing and innovative LEGO Creations and LEGO trains running through familiar city, farm, and suburban scenes. It opens on Friday, December 9, 2010 and runs through Sunday, January 15 2012 during regular Museum open hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 to 3:30. It will be closed Christmas Eve and Day, and New Years Eve and Day! All ages welcome.
$2 Exhibit Admission, Museum Admission is Free. No strollers inside the exhibit, please.
April 28th, 2011
On April 16th, 2011 in Palo Alto, buildings shook, people ran for their lives, earthquake after earthquake shook again and again. Then bricks came crashing down, skyscraper after skyscraper – LEGO bricks, that is – scattered all over the ground. After all, we were at a Bay Area LEGO User’s Group (BayLUG) meeting.
The BayLUG Kids’ Building activity was again a big success. This month’s “A Whole Lot of Shaking!” simulated an earthquake with Lego buildings. The challenge was to build the tallest structure that can withstand a simulated earthquake.
The buildings ranged from simple boxy structures to complex towers with earthquake resistant features such as dampeners, pendulums and wheels.
Which size base would be more stable: 2×2, 4×4 or 6×6 (that is in Lego stud size), the kids pondered? Would a chunky building or a wide-based building that tapered to a skinny top be more earthquake resistant?
The test site was simple, a shake table basically comprised of several rubber balls sandwiched in between a wooden frame on the bottom and a top piece of wood board. Gently jiggle the top piece of wood and we have an earthquake.
More than 15 kids attended and the activity ran overtime, as the kids wanted to keep building and keep shaking it up.
March 30th, 2011
Last weekend, many BayLUG members and more than 3500 others enjoyed viewing and discussing LEGO creations at the 2nd Annual Bricks By the Bay Convention. The event was organized by a non-profit company established by three BayLUG members, including former President Bill Ward. Held this year in the much larger Hyatt Regency Santa Clara adjacent to the Santa Clara Convention Center, record numbers of both convention and public day attendees turned up. Convention attendees, including many BayLUG/BayLTC members, provided the many fabulous LEGO creations on display, and participated in LEGO-related discussion and tutorial sessions, contests, and had fun. There was a BayLTC train/town layout in the center of the exhibit hall as well as many LEGO creations in a variety of themes and a showcase of old LEGO sets and products. Public attendees viewed and discussed convention attendee MOCs, interacted with LEGO and LEGO Education staff, and reviewed many types of products available from vendors. The event was another triumph for the company, and the community!
There is a nice BBTB Slideshow on CNET.
February 21st, 2011
At the recent February BayLUG meeting at MoAH in Palo Alto, members present voted unanimously to update the Club’s bylaws as discussed over the past few months. The revised bylaws will be posted soon.
In addition, the meeting featured a “Farm” build contest, and a Kids Activity that built and tested catapults.
The next regular club meeting is March 19th in San Leandro. The March Build Contest theme is “Creative Combinations,” in honor of the Bricks by the Bay convention the following weekend.
January 11th, 2011
After a month and a very busy final weekend, BayLUG/LTC’s 7th Annual Holiday Exhibit at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto closed on Sunday January 9th. More than 3500 visitors toured the Exhibit this year which again featured many BayLUG members’ imaginative LEGO trains, and other creations for the holidays. Many visitors commented that they thought the exhibit was the Club’s best one yet.
The Exhibit was more refined and offered more variety for visitors of all ages and interests. MoAH provided improved lighting and nice fabric skirting for the display areas. This year’s train layout featured a larger downtown area, a Zoo, farm, ‘burbs and other scenic and humorous aspects, and unexpected surprises for visitors to find. Again surrounding the train layout were a wide variety of LEGO displays including exquisite large crane, VLA, ship and historic models, artistic works, classic sets, and many other interesting creations filled the display cases lining the walls.
Photos by Bill Ward.
November 19th, 2010
What a day! There was a huge turnout at the Fall Public meeting Halloween Eve, October 30th, of the Bay Area LEGO User’s Group at MoAH in Palo Alto. It was also the Meeting that commemorates the club’s founding 12 years ago. LEGO fans of all ages had several activities to choose from.
BayLUG President Mark Benz oversees the building contest
The BayLUG Members’ Building Contest had a record number of Halloween-themed entries. The contest display table ran out of space, so some building entries overflowed onto an adjacent table. Entries ranged from popular trick-or-treat houses, to a full size glowing 3-D LEGO Jack O’Lantern, to gigantic spooky fortresses, and many other awesome creations too numerous to list.
Each builder gave a short presentation of their LEGO original creation, delighting BAYLUG members and the public. Members voted after and prizes were awarded in each of the age category: under age 6, 6-11, and 12+.
Next up was the kids’ building activity, the idea was to build LEGO bridges. Each young builder had an identical kit of LEGO bricks. and building challenges to building a bridge where a hard-boiled egg can fit under the bridge AND the same bridge can also support the egg. One variation of the challenge was to use a heavier and larger soup can instead of the egg. Another challenge variation was to build the bridge with the fewest number of bricks. There were as many creative building solutions as there were builders.
Then there was a popular LEGO Parts Draft event. The LEGO kit used was the 7570 Ostrich Race from the new Prince of Persia series.
In addition to many new creations members brought to show, throughout the day, new and played-with bulk and kitted LEGO was available for sale or trade. Many BayLUG members and LEGO fans found the needed parts to complete a LEGO project ,or discovered other LEGO elements that inspire planning a new project.
Thanks again to MoAH for hosting another great day with happy and content BayLUG Members.
June 14th, 2010
We will have a special kids’ activity next Sunday at MOAH. It is scheduled for 1:30 pm, after the regular contest. The activity is building and racing cars on the spot. It is open to all kids who are BayLUG members, either as individual minor members or through a family membership.
In order to have adequate materials, please let us know if you plan to attend. This is not meant to be a mandatory RSVP, but to get an idea how many kids we will have there. You can comment under this post or send email to indicate that you will apply.
Here are the rules of the contest. For more information see the Parents Wiki page about the event (requires login).
- Only cars built from the LEGO elements available at the meeting may race officially.
- Using the provided axles and wheels, build a car that runs on these wheels down the provided race track (a PVC channel).
- There is a 6 wheel limit per car, which may be reduced to 4, depending on the number of participants.
- The car must fit entirely within the start box marked on the channel.
- After a race, you can modify your car and challenge somebody else.
Cars built, or partially built, elsewhere, and/or with non-club LEGO elements may participate as time allows.
The cars will be lined up with their fronts the starting line, the referee will give the starting signal.
The car whose front-most part first passes the finish line is the winner, as determined by the referee, whose decision is final.
If none of the cars makes it all the way to the finish line, Referee can call for a re-race or ask that the cars should be modified before racing again.
Finish and Prizes
After a half or 1 hour (or when deemed appropriate by the organizers) racing will end. We will take pictures of the participants with their final cars if they so desire, to post on the BayLUG web site. There maybe a small prize for the winner of each race, by participant age group, or some other prize format.
Racers are reminded that they may also display their car(s) and other vehicle creations at MoAH’s Vintage Vehicle’s Fair, Sunday July 25th!
April 13th, 2010
As you have likely heard, the recent Bricks By the Bay LEGO Convention in Fremont was a huge success by almost any measure. Organized by Bricks By the Bay, Inc. a non-profit company founded by BayLUG members, the event showcased fabulous LEGO creations by LEGO fans of all ages, and from many places, filling the Ballroom at the Fremont Silicon Valley Marriott Hotel. Also featured were Keynote addresses by LEGO company executives, including Mads Nipper, Executive Vice President of Market & Products from Billund, Denmark!
There were interesting building and planning sessions, contests, prizes and of course lots of talking about LEGO for attendees of the three-day event.
The last day the creations and vendor spaces were open to the public. With more than 2500 visitors attending, braving lines of up to an hour and a half, and the rain. Unfortunately, there we so many guests, some had to be turned away due to facility and departure restrictions. Everyone who entered thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Photos by Karlong Chan.
April 13th, 2010
We are pleased to announce that our (Mark Benz’s and family) remaining LEGO creations, stolen in February, were returned recently. An individual who wishes to remain anonymous purchased them at a San Jose Flea Market. The individual contacted a Bay Area LEGO User Group member by email, who forwarded their information to us.
The stolen LEGO creations were returned at the Fremont Marriot, site of the Bricks By the Bay LEGO Convention last weekend. These last creations returned are primarily custom LEGO Trains, models of the famous California Zephyr and others, as well as many scenery elements. While dirty, they appear to need only minor repairs, though it will take months to rebuild the destroyed SF Landmark buildings recovered last month.
Should anyone have information regarding the LEGO or the stolen pickup truck where the buildings were found, please contact Fremont Police Detective Bill Veteran at 510-790-6900.
We’d like to sincerely thank the many Fans of LEGO around the country who’ve sent condolences, and even replacement parts to us. LEGO as a hobby is truly a community for all ages and backgrounds, with only imagination required.
March 1st, 2010
Fremont Police contacted BayLUG President Mark Benz whose LEGO creations were stolen recently with good news. A pick-up truck, stolen in January from Fremont’s Niles District and recovered in Castro Valley yesterday, contained a big pile of LEGO. When the truck was returned to its rightful owner, the family found the LEGO in the back and called police. The search for the truck and toy thieves continues based on other evidence found in the truck. If you have any information on either crime, please contact FPD Detective Veteran at 510-790-6800.
Mark is delighted that some of his LEGO was found and returned, saying “It’s great they found much of it, but all of the 8-wide trains, trees and baseplates are still missing. Adding, “I hope they find the rest when they catch the crooks,” Benz said.
About the LEGO creations themselves, he said: ”Some are in fair shape while others are completely wrecked.” Only about two-thirds of the stolen LEGO creations were retrieved, and many reduced to a pile of LEGO “rubble”. Ghirardelli Square and two other models were broken into several large pieces. The Conservatory of Flowers and other model SF landmarks are now only a 50 pound box, about the size of a bar refrigerator, of seemly random LEGO. All of the stolen LEGO trains, along with hundreds of LEGO trees, and other items remain missing.
Nevertheless, he’s excited to soon have some of the LEGO back, and plans to rebuild as many of the famous SF Landmarks as he can in time to display them at the Bricks by the Bay LEGO Fan Convention at the Fremont Marriott, in April. A recovery segment was shown recently on Channel 4 TV, with accompanying article.
February 11th, 2010
Essentially all of Bay Area LEGO Club President Mark Benz’s LEGO creations (MOCs) shown over the holidays at the Museum of American Heritage were stolen last Thursday morning (February 4th, 2010). Taken were about 20,000 parts forming 20 square feet of LEGO models of San Francisco waterfront landmarks: Ghirardelli Square, the new Conservatory of Flowers, Palace of Fine Arts, Maritime Museum and municipal pier, and the USS Pampanito. Also, trains taken: California Zephyr, Whale Car, a red SW1000 diesel locomotive and freight cars, at least 4 small classic town sets: Camera car, speedboat, ultralite and 1 other, about 60 baseplates, and all (500) trees of all types used to scenic common areas of BayLTC layouts. Total value estimate is $6500. The minor good news is they didn’t take the Hyde St. Pier.
I’d very much like to thank all the BayLUG members and ALL (not just Adult) Fans of LEGO (AFOLs) who’ve expressed condolences and sent pictures and support concerning this theft.
A $500 Reward is offered. Today, the Fremont Police Department released their report, and request for assistance from the public. Please contact Detective Bill Veteran at (510) 790-6972.
An Argus Newspaper article appeared, and apparently this news has also made the wire services, and may appear on local TV and radio across the country on a slow news day. A story on The Brothers Brick has also been published. Please be on the lookout for sellers offering these models, or collections of parts that may have come from them, on eBay or Craigslist or local garage sales and flea markets.
Pictures of The Stolen Goods:
\(8-wide Zephyr only)
Not shown: SF Conservatory of Flowers
February 4th, 2010
BayLUG Meeting, January 24, at Dave Porter’s in Woodside
BayLUG Meeting, February 20, at Johannes’ Church in San Leandro
BayLTC at Train Collectors Association Cal Stewart Meet, March 12-14. Public Day March 14, at Santa Clara Convention Center. Admission charge.
Bricks By the Bay LEGO Convention, Fremont, April 9-11
BayLUG Meeting, May 15 at Johannes’ Church in San Leandro
BayLUG and BayLTC participation in the Maker Faire, May 22-23, San Mateo
BayLUG Meeting, June 20 at MoAH in Palo Alto
BayLUG and BayLTC participation in Johannes’ LEGO Show tentatively June 25 through July 25 at his Church in San Leandro. Set up starting on June 20th after 2 PM, and the rest of that week
BayLUG and BayLTC at MoAH Vintage Vehicles, July 25, Palo Alto, across El Camino from Stanford Mall.
BayLUG Meeting ,August 22 at MoAH in Palo Alto.
BayLUG Meeting, September 18 at Johannes’ Church in San Leandro.
Canceled: BayLTC participation in GTE Train Show, Date TBA, San Jose.
BayLUG Anniversary Meeting, October 30 at MoAH in Palo Alto.
BayLTC participation in GTE Train Show, Nov 27-28, San Jose (not Pleasanton as in years past!).
BayLUG and BayLTC present 8th Annual “Living LEGO-cy” Holiday Show, at MoAH in Palo Alto.
Set up Dec 3-4. MoAH Members Party Dec 5. Show opens to public Friday Dec 10. Open every Fri, Sat & Sun, except Holidays through Jan 9, 2011.
Show closes 1 week earlier than this year to avoid MLK weekend.
January 28th, 2010
At the January BayLUG meeting at Dave Porter’s house, BayLUG members voted to confirm a new set of bylaws and a new group of officers to serve for the next two years. The new officers are:
- President – Mark Benz
- Vice President – Jim Olson
- Treasurer – Paul Sinasohn
- Secretary – Johannes van Galen
- Quartermaster – Bruce Chamberlain
December 28th, 2009
Bricks by the Bay presents the first-ever LEGO convention for Northern California. Themed “The Brick Artistic,” it is a celebration of the LEGO hobby and the brick as an artistic medium! This isn’t a BayLUG event but BayLUG is a major sponsor and participant. We’ll have a large BayLUG presence there as well as LEGO enthusiasts from all over the United States and perhaps even overseas!
There will be a public exhibition on Sunday, April 11 with a huge hotel ballroom full of LEGO exhibits from all over the country and maybe even overseas! For the serious hobbyist, the convention will run Friday through Sunday, April 9-11.
Location: Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley, 46100 Landing Parkway, Fremont, CA. For more info, see our event details page or visit bricksbythebay.com