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Expectation vs reality: Glossy images promised Brick Fest Live Lego visitors event would ‘be nothing short of extraordinary’ but instead they found Willy Wonka-style flop

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Lego fans have blasted organisers of a ‘nothing short of extraordinary’ Brick Fest Live event which promised a ‘myriad of activities and exhibits’ featuring the Scandinavian designed plastic blocks. 

Images posted on the organiser’s website showed a small child kneeling on a carpet of multi-coloured plastic blocks looking to the sky with his two fists raised. The child looks as if he may be exalting a higher being, or maybe in considerable pain with his entire weight on dozens of the loose blocks. 

A second image shows a young girl playing with Lego. 

According to the organiser’s website, which has since been pulled from the internet, at the centre of the event is an ‘awe-inspiring collaborative masterpiece’ which ‘evolves’ during the event. 

It the promotional material on the Brickfest Live website, this child is shown kneeling on thousands of Lego blocks while looking towards the ceiling with clenched fists

It the promotional material on the Brickfest Live website, this child is shown kneeling on thousands of Lego blocks while looking towards the ceiling with clenched fists

Another promotional image shows a girl working on a mosaic

Another promotional image shows a girl working on a mosaic 

Children were told they could build their own cars to race along a large track

Children were told they could build their own cars to race along a large track

Much of the floorspace of the venue was supposed to be made up of large life-size displays

Children attending the event build their own creations which are then used as part of the central display. 

The marketing blurb promised attendees the ability to ‘unleash your creativity’ and to ‘bring your imaginative visions to life using countless LEGO® bricks’. 

However, those attending the event in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre complained about the lack of activities. 

Brick Fest Live was founded in the United States. 

Visitors were promised a large venue filled with Lego models. The reality in the NEC last week was somewhat different 

The Birmingham event promised those visiting the NEC the ability to see ‘life-size models’ and becoming involved in creating a Guinness World-Record-setting floor mosaic. 

The organisers also promised people attending they could race cars they have built down a 35ft long derby ramps. 

Also, Lego fans were promised the chance of buying rare merchandise. 

The event had three UK venues this month, appearing at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and finally at the NEC in Birmingham. 

In the US, Brick Fest begins a tour on June 1 in Indianapolis and Columbia, South Carolina, before moving to Hampton in Virginia and Hillsboro in Oregon. 

Visitors to the NEC quickly compared the event to the disastrous Willy Wonka Glasgow experience. 

Those attending the event in the NEC complained that the venue was ‘half empty’. 

One disappointed father wrote under BlockPartyUK’s Youtube video: ‘Drove from Sheffield with my 10-year-old who was so excited to see rare lego, custom minifigs etc. Could’ve cried for him when we had walked around the whole thing and he asked but where the lego stalls were.’

Another added: ‘We drove over 2hrs from Leeds and as soon as we stood at the entrance I was amazed how bad it looked, having walked round it was even worse.

‘We spoke to the organisers and complained and was given an email to send a message to about getting a refund as it wasn’t as advertised as you say.’

The NEC website states tickets were priced at £18 for general admission, £25 for flex admission and £35 for VIP. An event description for Brick Fest Live read: ‘For the first time ever, the world’s largest hands-on LEGO event of its kind catapults from the US to make its UK debut at the NEC Birmingham this Spring.

‘Brick Fest Live will be in Birmingham on 25-27 May, with over a million LEGO bricks on display and ready for play.

‘Brick Fest Live allows families to enjoy mind-blowing creations from all over the world made entirely of this timeless toy. Children and adults will be amazed by life-sized LEGO® models and hands-on building activities assembled to set the imagination free. Brick Fest Live will also feature a marketplace where avid builders will be able find rare collectibles not available anywhere else.’

Guests attending Brick Fest Live were told they could acquire hard-to-find Lego merchandise

Guests attending Brick Fest Live were told they could acquire hard-to-find Lego merchandise

They were advised that specialists would be on site to help them with their projects

They were advised that specialists would be on site to help them with their projects 

An automated reply from BrickFest’s UK group read: ‘Thank you for reaching out to Brick Fest Live and for your patience as we address your concerns. We sincerely appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention and apologize for any disappointment you experienced at our UK event.

‘Your feedback is important to us, and we want to ensure that you receive the assistance you need.’

Brick Fest Live organisers said in a statement: ‘Brick Fest Live originated in the US, where it’s been highly successful for nearly a decade. In the last month, there have been tens of thousands of guests that have been through this event in Edinburgh and Milton Keynes, with children and families taking part in this interactive, hands on festival.

‘Where many have given us positive feedback, we are aware that Brick Fest Live is potentially not delivering for adult level enthusiasts, and there are elements of the show that are not of satisfaction for this sector of customers.

‘We’re reading all customer feedback and dealing with comments. We’re working quickly to pass customer feedback onto the creators of Brick Fest Live, so that they can take those observations on board, to deliver future events that live up to all customer expectations.’



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