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.
Archive for the ‘General News’ Category
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Hundreds of people have been swarming every day to the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto to view the club’s “Living LEGO-cy” exhibit since it opened on December 11. As of December 20, our total visitors to date is 1572!
We’re getting more and more publicity each week, and the public attendance has been growing accordingly. We were interviewed Friday morning (December 18) for a Spanish language TV station KDTV Univision (Channel 14) which will be broadcast at 6am on Tuesday, December 29. We were featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Mateo Daily Journal as well.
So come out and see the show, open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (except New Years’ Day) through January 17!
On Sunday, May 24, a reporter and photographer from WIRED met with us at MoAH to document BayLUG‘s plans for Maker Faire. See the resulting photo gallery and story, “Maker Faire 2009: Tech-Savvy Lego Maniacs Assemble a Plastic World” for more. They have a slide show featuring each of the BayLUG members who were present and at least one of each of our models. Click the thumbnails for more:
See you this weekend at Maker Faire!
The Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group and Train Club (BayLUG/LTC) is pleased to announce their 5th Annual “Living LEGO-cy” public Holiday LEGO Show again at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto.
The annual event is fun for the whole family, and grows larger every year. This year, BayLTC presents a 12 by 25 foot, fully sceniced LEGO train layout with trains running through well known San Francisco, town and suburban scenes. In addition, BayLUG members have a WIDE variety of their own cool LEGO creations and models on display, from huge cranes and dragons, to classic cars and Santa.
The show, in the Museum’s Livermore Learning Center, is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7 December 2008 through 11 January 2009 from 11am to 4pm ONLY.
Free admission, though donations to the museum are always appreciated. The Museum is located at 351 Homer Ave. Palo Alto, CA. For more information please see www.baylug.org or www.MoAH.org or call (650) 321-1004.
BayLUG can now accept credit card payments for membership dues via PayPal.
351 Homer Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
This offer is available to BayLUG members only. We should support them because O’Reilly/No Starch has sent the club several books, and they are also affiliated with Make Magazine/MakerFaire. Current LEGO titles available:
Get 35% off from O’Reilly, No Starch, Paraglyph, PC Publishing, Pragmatic Bookshelf, Rocky Nook, SitePoint, or YoungJin books you purchase directly from O’Reilly. Just use code “DSUG” when ordering online or by phone 800-998-9938.Free ground shipping on orders of $29.95 or more. See details.
January 6, 2008: MoAH Holiday display ends
January 13, 2008: member’s only BayLUG meeting
January 26, 2008: BayLTC NMRA meeting
February 24, 2008: BayLUG meeting @ MoAH
March 8, 2008: BayLTC NMRA meeting
March 14-16, 2008: TCA Cal-Stewart Spring Meet
April 20, 2008: BayLUG meeting @ MoAH
May 3-4, 2008: Maker Faire
May 31, 2008: BayLTC NMRA meeting
June 22, 2008: BayLUG meeting @ MoAH
July 13, 2008: BayLTC NMRA meeting
July 18-20, 2008: NMRA NTS in Anaheim
July 26, 2008: BayLTC NMRA meeting
August 3, 2008: VVFF/BayLUG meeting
September 27-28, 2008: Great Train Expo in San Jose (tentative)
October 12, 2008: BayLUG 10th Anniversary meeting @ MoAH
November 2008: Great Train Expo in Pleasanton (tentative)
December 2008: MoAH Holiday display starts
As promised in the first communication from the 1st of October we, are informing you of decisions regarding the development of the new LEGO Power Functions train system. Using all the valuable feedback we received from the AFOL community, we have now reached some basic decisions about the scope of the future train system. We are still working on the details of the new Power Functions train system; however, there are certain features that have been decided. Some of these features are a new designed remote control with speed regulator, a new size rechargeable battery box with a built in speed regulator and finally we are exploring and seriously considering new track geometries thanks to the use of plastic rails.
As you know, this has been one of the most requested features from the AFOL community over the years. In late April 2007 we arranged a workshop for a group of 5 AFOLs involved in the LEGO train community, and they worked on some of the possible solutions and defined the basic needs for a new LEGO Power Functions train system along with the LEGO design and engineering team.
In this workshop it became clear what sort of elements and features to include in the new train system. The result of this workshop was the design of prototype elements. Detailed decisions about the specifications of the elements are still in discussion and will be for the next couple of months. We wish to continue the cooperation with the AFOL community in the development of the Power Functions train system and in late November we had another workshop where we built on the experiences from the first workshop. In the November workshop there were ten fans from around the world: Denmark, USA, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and United Kingdom. The idea was that the AFOLs and the LEGO team would build with the prototypes in order to determine what additional features to include, what to add to the concept and, finally refining it. This ensures that the new Power Functions train system gets input from the AFOL community and also ensures the features are as close as possible to what is requested by the AFOL community. However, please keep in mind that the new train system first and foremost should be suitable for the use of children, and therefore it is consequently being tested by children as well as AFOLs. There is an established budget for the initial development so while we would like to address all needs that are expressed; there is a high likelihood that we will be unable to address all needs. You will be updated on the results of the workshop and the continued development of the train system early in 2008. We continue to value and appreciate your feedback and suggestions with regards to this project.
Richard Stollery, Head of LEGO Community Development