Wednesday, July 5, 2017

PinoyLUG @ TOYCON 2017 (Poplife FanXperience)

“Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort” ― Theodore Roosevelt

TOYCON is the biggest and grandest pop culture 3-day event in the Philippines, Period.

It’s been 3 years since PinoyLUG participated in delivering exceptional LEGO® displays for attendees and audiences here and abroad.

This 2017--- PinoyLUG, a LEGO® User Group recognized by The LEGO® Group based in Billund, Denmark is at the forefront (*literally) of showcasing world-class, credible and commendable LEGO® displays.


Why do it? TOYCON is the perfect opportunity to highlight each member’s capability on creativity, attention to detail, collaboration, and camaraderie. This year is extra special because we are one with the world in celebrating LEGO® Creator Expert’s 10th Anniversary of Modular Buildings. All 12 modulars, including the latest one - the Assembly Square, were completely displayed for public viewing for the first time here in the country.

 Equipped and layered-out with a moving train and elevated terrain, all modulars were displayed lit. Along with a gimmick of finding several hidden special mini-figures for public to look for. Adding engagement and fun through the process making sure they see the entire City by looking thoroughly.

Not to be outdone are our thematic satellite display cases. Teams Pirates, Medieval, Star Wars, and Speed Champions did an exceptional job. Confined within a 3x3 ft. of space were awesome creations done by each group. With the huge help from our previous and present annual support, we maximized the use of our RLUG “green and blue activity bricks” along with other elements support from LEGO®. All were up to the challenge in having each cabinet lit, and showcasing movement, or the illusion of movement in the case of Speed Champions.

We were blessed to have onhand 1 Event Kit featuring LEGO® Speed Champions, specially shipped from LEGO® Headquarters in Billund. The kit included Play Day bricks, 2 roll-up banners, a huge ramp and hoop. More than 30 kids participated in our LEGO® Speed Champions Rally for Day 2 early in the afternoon, and AFOLS raced afterwards. Everybody had a great time and enjoyed the fun games. Cheers and roars occupied our activity area. Thank you so much to Mr. Jacky Chen, our Lego®  Community Manager for Asia,  for always helping and guiding us, and to Ms. Ana Albouy our Community Operations Specialist.

Inside the convention hall an additional treat/surprise awaited both LEGO® and Ninjago fans! We partnered again with Warner Bros. (PH) and featured LEGO® NINJAGO at their booth to promote the upcoming LEGO® Ninjago Movie. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Sionee Lagman and Mr. Paolo Alarcon. It is always a pleasure working with you both!

In this particular setup, we used majority of our RLUG “red activity bricks” from our first annual support thru the LEGO® Ambassadors Network (c/o our former Community Manager, Jan Beyer) and made a big mock up of the movie title word - NINJAGO and displayed various notable sets from previous releases. The backdrop from Warner Bros. is from the latest release of collaterals abroad, in addition to 1 large LED monitor showing looped NINJAGO movie trailers.

Day 3, I decided to have an art activity and invited graphic artists’ Dave Quindoy, Lowe Christian G. Beltran and Bernce Acosta Llamo from the Art3x to provide and promote their art with prints, stickers,  and on the spot commissions. These were all very well received. They made on the spot art drawings for almost 8 hours for kids and adults alike. I am an avid supporter of pinoy art and I am extremely happy they did well during that day.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Lu Sim aka Messymaru whom Tanja Kingly Friberg and Jacky met in Japan Brickfest 2017. Lu is LEGO® mecha builder with an awesome array of impressive and intricate creations. We talked about supporting each other and exploring collaborations in the near future. Many thanks Bro!



PinoyLUG, being an RLUG for almost 3 years, (*watch out for our Bricktober 2017) is very active in making sustainable efforts to promote and share the LEGO® brand as fans. Camaraderie is key to attain certain goals. Good communication and right partnership is always helpful and fruitful to the group. I always see to it that each one works hard and that we inspire one another.

I just like to share a story which makes us appreciate how much we as a group have grown and have many to be thankful for, a reminder of how we stick together and have that clutch power move us forward. During ingress, I always post pictures on our Facebook Page for others to see, get curious, to gather interest for TOYCON. As we set-up our respective displays, there was a guy who observed and closely looked at our area. As I attended to other matters, some displays encountered several problems on electrical aspects due to transport. Wires got separated and others didn’t work at all. Although we had someone to cater to all our technical problems, it was just too much for them that day. Phabolous De Villa, yes! That’s his name and he IS fabulous! He assisted left and right,  and made most of us wonder who he was...Hi Sir, what’s your name and how did you find us here? He replied: “Sir Les, I saw your post and I’m just around the area and I decided to check you guys out.”

Phabs came and took the opportunity to meet new friends. Despite having no display to share and  knowing no one there he offered to share his knowledge and talent to help the group. This reminded us to always share and help without any condition,  to trust and always give opportunity to shine and progress. The next day, he joined and participated in our Speed Champions game… and he actually won the grand prize! It was his first big LEGO® set! What a fantastic way to cap  such generosity he shared.

In PinoyLUG,  we encourage everyone to live by our values. Creativity, Camaraderie, Social Responsibility and Inclusivity. These are what we stand for.


This TOYCON 2017 proved to be the best LEGO® fan experience for everyone both visitors and PinoyLUG members. The feeling is very festive and genuine. I am overjoyed over hearing every kid and everyone shout: Look! LEGO®!!!

The aura is so surreal, Fun and laughter surrounds us on this 3-Day event. Most of us are tired but being with fellow LEGO® fans take it all away. A lot of interested parties and organization expressed and are very vocal about the quality and value of respect for our display. Makes all effort worth it.

I would like to say thank you and congratulations to Sir Vic Yap, Cholo Mallillin, and Sir Dan Castro of TOYCON for the opportunity and trust. I consider this event as a special representation of the members of PinoyLUG and their talent  to the world. Joining TOYCON makes us all proud  to establish our country in the world of pop culture celebration.

Lastly, To Honey Miranda DyHermrei Paul Ryan Ong and Jay Gan for helping me run PinoyLUG unconditionally. With Garry Wilson Roque PonceNoel Leaño VillaramaKlark VillanuevaMichael Falculan and John Lephargy Gellena for taking care of our logistics and making lively gimmicks for our members to enjoy. To all PinoyLUG members and supporters, thank you for trusting me as your Recognized LEGO® User Group Ambassador.

This is PinoyLUG! Always be a #MasterBuilderOfGoodVibes to yourself and others. Once again, thank you for all help and support. God bless us all! Maraming Salamat!

1 comment:

  1. Nice Article. Thanks for the leadership sir Leslie. it was an honor to be part of this awesome ever growing group and community. I am really missing a lot back home. More power to all of US... infinity and beyond!