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Great Western Brick Show (STEAM) 2016

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This was my sixth year visiting the Great Western Brick Show in Swindon, UK.  It used to probably be one of the largest gatherings of AFOL displays in the UK, and I think this year my most disappointing year, now don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing the hard work of the builders who took their creations along to exhib, but I usually find I can spend hours at the show and come back inspired with ideas.  In my opinion, it was getting bigger and better every year, however this year I noticed a real change.  

My main observation was the reduction in actual exhibitors, on top of this the number of traders had dramatically increased, actually I'm now questioning whether there were more traders there this year than actual exhibitors.  Now it's not a particularly cheap show to go to as a visitor, £12 for an adult, but to then get through the door and find more traders looking for your money than actual displays, I was a little disappointed.  

The first hall with the large Steam Train had about 40% less display tables in it.  and then like I say maybe half the tables in the main hall were traders as well as the usual 5/6 traders in the trade hall.  

I find it a dilema, I think it's really important to support these shows when I can as it's the visitors that help to keep them running, but I feel this is the first time in 6 years it's gone backwards in my opinion, I'm actually wondering whether this is because of the increase in size and success of the Brick show in the UK which seems to have developed into grandest show in the calendar.  Maybe the AFOL's are busy building their displays for this show instead?  or maybe there is another reason?





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I don't just want to critisise a show, so I wanted to share some pictures from the event with you all

A real Caterham along with the new Lego Ideas set


This is what can be done with an unlimited supply of bricks, AKA Bright Bricks


Nice to see this model signed by the players



I'd not realised Lego had made so many Dinosaur molds over the years, very cool Jurassic display


These planes were very cool, almost studless and seemless, I almost cannot believe there are bricks in these shapes required to make these planes.


Oversized Classic space, great to see oversized remake of some classic 80's sets.  




I've seen this display quite a few times over the last couple of years, 



Actually a nice idea, formula racing cars running around train track



Probably the best display at the show, Vikings.  Table was a guess, 3 meters wide by 8 meters long, and the level of detail was amazing, I guess this was a group build?  Love the ripple of the waves.


Classic Donkey Kong


8 Colours of Lego Bicycle


Spookey Theme Park/Circus


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Some very cool exhibits there, shame it was mostly sellers. My experience with sellers at shows was that the prices weren't great and there was a lot of non-official (expensive custom printed pieces etc). If they really offered some unusually good deals I wouldn't mind a fair number of sellers.

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I've become a lurker here in the past few years, but this thread brings me out of semi-retirement. I disagree with the notion that it was mainly sellers and that there were fewer exhibitors. In fact, there were so many that the organisers struggled to accommodate all of us. I was one of the exhibitors, you see, and this was my tenth time at this show. The stores that sold sets were all in a separate hall, which is used in addition to the two halls of exhibits that we've had in the last years. There were some sellers in the main hall, mainly selling custom stuff and they were a minority.


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