Wednesday, December 22 2010 @ 11:02 AM EST
Contributed by: David Eaton
Setup was a bit slow thanks to our relatively smaller crew (compared to our normal shows), but by the end of the day, we had almost everything squared away except for the final minifig placements and small touch-ups. That left us plenty of time on Friday to finish up and get a good look around the event.
The event itself was a lot different than last year! 2009's KidsFest featured a good deal of vendor booths, many of which had nothing to do with LEGO or kids at all! This year, LEGO beefed up the LEGO content and had:
- 3 "monochromatic build" areas, building only with 1 color
- 2 LEGO surprise mosaics
- 2 areas to play LEGO board games
- A LEGO video game zone for LEGO console games
- Some stations to play LEGO Universe
- "Creation Nation" where kids could place their builds on a giant USA map
- Racing challenge, for kids to race their creations
- A bigger LEGO store (about 4 times the size and capacity as last year)
- Santa Claus visit area
- Charity ornament building
- Free building area
- "Bounce House" for kids to jump around in
- Stage for presentations (like "A day with a Master Builder", etc)
- Meetings for LEGO Club members (private room upstairs)
- LEGO displays in minifig scale
- Life-sized LEGO sculptures
- Some concessions (cotton candy, Dunkin Donuts)
- LEGO building contests And of course there was our "AFOL" area, about half of which wound up being NELUG content, and the rest was made up of fans mostly from Canada and PennLUG.
When the doors opened, the crowds made their way in, but didn't wind up being shoulder-to-shoulder like last year. Instead, the crowds were plentiful yet manageable. And fortunately, we didn't hear any horror stories of people being turned away or having inadequate parking. Instead, all the guests we talked to seemed very happy, and of course all the kids were having a blast.
With motors running, trains moving, and the GBC busily churning out soccer balls, we were probably the most popular display area at the event, compared to LEGO's displays which were mostly static. Throughout the weekend, we kept hearing both kids and parents saying that our area was their favorite part of the entire show.
When the doors finally closed late Sunday night, we started breaking down. We were treated to pizza and a small shopping spree at the LEGO store, courtesy of LEGO (thanks, LEGO!). It took a while, but we finally got everything packed up by around 11pm. Hopefully, we can look forward to coming back again next year!