I have spent the last three days at Brick Fair, a Lego enthusiast extravaganza hosted annually near where we live. To say my son is an "enthusiast" is really not nearly a strong enough term. I am 100% sure that he will have Legos in his life forever. I shudder to think what the total retail value of his collection is at this point. It might be a better investment than stocks or bonds if the amount of merchandise changing hands here is any indication.
We had visited Brick Fair in the past as part of the mere "public," but this year my son asked if he could attend and display his MOC. MOC stands for "my own creation" and the rule is that it can't be part of any known Lego set - it has to be a completely unique design. You have to use 100% Lego and NO GLUE. They are purists here.
As it turns out, if you are under 16, you have to have someone over 18 register to attend with you. So here I am:
(you must assemble your own name tag, of course)
On the one hand, spending five days hanging out as mere seat saver and chauffeur is not that appealing, but he was so excited about the chance to display his creations I couldn't say no. It's not really a kid event, most of the MOCs are made by adults or clubs, but everyone is open and friendly.
The MOCs are organized by themes, and you would be amazed at the level of creativity. Check out a recreation of the USS Missouri, with treating signing vignette:
Or St Peters in the Vatican:
My son got to meet some of his personal rock stars - the guys that do a Lego podcast he's a fan of:
He has had complete conversations that might as well have been in Swahili, he's made great buddies, and our time together has been pretty awesome. Brick Fair attendees are not my tribe, but they sure are his. Helping your kids find their tribe and supporting what they love - it's one of the most satisfying things about being a parent. There really is a tribe for everyone in this world. For some it's easy - your neighbors, your classmates, your sports team - for others it might take a little digging - but a tribe you will find, trust me :-)
Here is his entry by the way, he titled it "Man vs. God" and it includes 6 figures: