Captain Nemo

Potion Shoppe -- Brickworld Chicago 2019 Eurobricks Collab

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Potion Shoppe 

Each year, a group of Eurobricks members assemble in Schaumburg, Illinois, at the annual Lego convention--Brickworld Chicago--to construct one large and crazy collaborative build. This was the result:


The Eurobricks collaboration build for Brickworld Chicago 2019 was Potion Shoppe, a life sized wizard tent overflowing with potions, artifacts, creatures, and cauldrons of magic. A total of 18 Eurobricks members, from across the United States, Europe and Australia, came together on June 12th to assemble a mystical storefront for four days. 

This large tent, built in 1:1 scale, towered over the convention and enthralled the public and attendees for hours on end. And while last year we assembled what we thought would be our crowning achievement, the Tree of Worlds, we are very proud to say that Potion Shoppe somehow managed to turn out even better! :grin: 

So before we dive into the details, let's first recognize the Eurobricks members who built this: 


Left to Right

Back Row: @Hinckley, @Prune Face

Middle Row: @Ecclesiastes@Captain Nemo@RoxYourBlox@Silver.Smith@ZCerberus@Rogue Angel@Barbara Hoel

Front Row: @Vincent Kessels@Kristel@Evensong@Cecilie@Phred@Ryushi

Not Pictured/Present: Kim, @soccerkid6, @LittleJohn@Bob De Quatre 


The Tent Overall 

Before I break down what each member built and contributed, let's look at the tent as a whole. A free standing structure, measuring 8 feet wide, 6 feet deep, at at its tallest point, 8 feet tall, Potion Shoppe was the largest display Eurobricks has ever assembled. While you cannot tell so much from the photographs, there is a significant wooden substructure. I constructed a framework for the tent (so sturdy that Ace did pull ups on it), and then painted the wood so that it matched the Lego color Reddish Brown. Select portions of the wood, such as the front two posts, the shelves, and the table were then covered in Lego. So successful was this method, that many people viewing the tent assumed the entire tent was only built with Lego...that or it's just easier to say it is! 

Interestingly enough, I only fully assembled the complete wooden substructure once...on site at the convention. Fortunately everything worked out! :blush:


The glorious beautiful fabric covering of Potion Shoppe, in that rich velvety Royal Purple, was a custom sewn creation by one of our newest collab members, @Evensong, lovely wife of @Silver.Smith. She was looking to get more involved in her husband's hobby...and she may have gone too far! I think we caught another one for our crazy Lego lifestyle! We got one! :devil_laugh:

The fabric of the tent was hugely important to the success of the entire display as it added some serious atmosphere. Once attached, the interior of the tent was darkened and viewers were forced to come close, squint, peak around, and simply enjoy the details on a much more personal level. One of the things I've been working towards in leading the Eurobricks collab has been my desire to change the way the public interacts with our displays. Potion Shoppe worked spectacularly in that regard, as the simple affect of darkening the interior meant that the public was forced to see our display through a different lens, they had to work to see all the rewarding details. And oh the things to see! 







Individual Contributions: 

The best part of this display, from a planning perspective, was the fact that each member contributing to it could bring as much or as little as they desired. We were building a life sized shoppe, and simply needed to fill it with things. This meant there was a very loose structure and any thing imaginable could be added. Fortunately we ended up with too many things, but at the same time tons and tons of amazingly detailed creations. 

Unfortunately however, Potion Shoppe also turned out a bit too detailed so it was a hard for everything to be photographed apparently. I will try to point out everyone's contributions with appropriate photos, whenever possible, but some things might be a bit hard to see. 

Additionally, we did film a display interview with Beyond the Brick. When that interview is uploaded, I will add a link to it here. 


Starting out with the most noticeable piece, the Potion Shoppe sign. Aussie member @Kristel built the main sign, which could be viewed and read easily from across the entire display hall. She also constructed the silver wind chime as well as various trinkets and bottles spread throughout the tent. When I pitched the wizard tent to Kristel, she demanded only one thing--that the sign have an old-time-y spelling to it. Specifically so that "shop had an E at the end of it." Kristel got her wish, and the sign was spectacular! E and all! 

Kristel also organized the communal construction of the large rug. The rug was a late addition to the tent, built in the last month, and was assembled on site using modular 16x16 plates with various tile designs. The plates were not connected to each other, so the rug itself was literally just Lego sitting on the floor! A number of members contributed squares to the rug...I'm gonna say eight? I don't know, there was a lot of people! :laugh:



The posts of the tent, with their golden floral styling were designed by @Captain Nemo, and physically built before the convention by @Hinckley and @Prune Face. The three of us met up, as we did last year when building the Tree, to construct as much of the bulk of the tent before the convention as possible. Eurobricks has learned from experience to build as much as possible before you show up! I constructed the shelves and the table top, along with one leg of the table. The table top and shelves where sheets of wood covered in brick--I must have used some 7,000+ 1x4 brown bricks alone! Thankfully we had a bunch from the previous year! 

The bulk of the table was a group effort. @Hinckley built the "face", with the elegant line work, and the left side leg was covered by large brick built books stacked atop one another. These books were assembled by a number of builders: @Prune Face@Kristel@Barbara Hoel@soccerkid6 and @LittleJohn. The large brick crate in the back, filled with plants, was built by @Prune Face



I do not believe there are any photographs of them really, but @Ecclesiastes built numerous wands for the display. One of classic Lego style is hanging at the top of the right hand post (between the flowerpot and post). His castle was also nominated for Best Medieval building! 

Difficult to see, but the light at the top center of the tent comes from a Will-o-the-Wisp, built by @Silver.Smith, which was nominated for Best Replica. He also constructed the castle paperweight (back corner of rug) which and a flying dragon on it. 

The various potted plants, hanging plants, and hanging herbs were built by @Barbara Hoel. Her hanging potted plant (top right of tent) was nominated for Best Replica. Barbara was also nominated for Best Creature, and won the award for Best Individual Layout! Barbara was also nominated for Brickworld Master! 

  • Aside: Barbara and @Phred were also nominated for Best Group Display for their own collaborative pirate layout. We love them, but if they had won over Potion Shoppe--they out! :grin:

On @Phred, I must call attention to his amazing Ship in a Bottle. Unfortunately when on site, we discovered that we simply had no physical room for the piece in the display. I blame him for not giving me notice :blush:, and then I blame myself for having to ask him to move it to a nearby table! I feel so bad Phred! :cry_sad: Nonetheless, his ship in a bottle was spectacular, with it's synchronized light and sound as well as movement. :thumbup:

Phred's daughter Lydia also won the Pull-Back Dragster (For Speed) competition, for the second year in a row! Lydia was also nominated for Best Youth Creation! 


Getting more into some specific photos: 


@Hinckley built the large mesmerizing Crystal Ball. It was nominated for Best Replica, in case that was not clear. Hinckley was also nominated for Best Vignette! In this photo you can see the two glass bottles built by @Captain Nemo and one of the various thin tan candles built by @Rogue Angel


This cauldron filled with a vile brew and topped with jousting duckies was built by @ZCerberus. A track inside the cauldron topped with magnets pulled and pushed the ducks atop it, so they looked like they were fighting. It was nominated for Best Mechanical. ZCerberus was also nominated for Best Sea Vessel and Best Mecha!  

 Also in the background you can sorta see one of the two green candles (left) built by @Barbara Hoel, and a spice rack (right) built by @Vincent Kessels


The terrarium was built by @Cecilie, who was in the middle of moving between it was constructed in a storage unit! Which means we expect many great large builds from her next year from her awesome new house! 

  • Aside: Cecilie was nominated for Best Creature, for her Phoenix Bird, and won the award for Best Vignette. Cecilie was also nominated for Brickworld Master! 


The caged dragon was built by myself, @Captain Nemo. I hate it. It featured a rotating head, a tail that could be raised and lowered, a flame light, and for like five minutes on Wednesday smoke vapor that came from his mouth. The book was also built by me. The lonely coin was built by @Phred
  • Aside: My Gingerbread Train won the award for Best Original Train. I was also nominated for Brickworld Master. And if you were counting, three Eurobricks members were nominated for Brickworld Master 2019 (out of 5 spots)--so we really got to stop cannibalizing each others votes! :laugh:
Sitting next to the dragon, and visible in one of the pictures above: the chicken legs, as well as numerous food items, books, and a treasure chest full of gold and gems (shown in picture below) were built by brothers @soccerkid6 and @LittleJohn. They were unable to attend this year, but shipped over some amazing builds in their place. Thanks guys! 
Ok, so this next photo has a lot of stuff going on! 
The small ornate shelf unit was built by @Ryushi, and is constructed entirely with Lego. And it managed to hold all of the weight! She is also responsible for a number of really nice photos of the tent. :thumbup:
The books on top of the shelf are Guilds of Historica Tomes, constructed by @Rogue Angel. On this shelf he also constructed the tan candle, the chain mail swath, and the two scrolls. The Blue and Vibrant Coral wand was built by our youngest contributor Kim. Kim was also nominated for Best Youth Creation! The white potion bottles were...someone's I don't remember! The green book was built by @Silver.Smith and the black book (and chest) by  @soccerkid6 and @LittleJohn. The potted plant was built by @Barbara Hoel
The large books here were built by @Barbara Hoel. The large black cauldron atop them was built by @Vincent Kessels. It contained a mechanism inside that spun the brew and turned the ladle around with it, magically of course. 
I'm going to take a minute to single out Vincent right now, again. :blush: This year, Eurobricks was awarded the inaugural "Inclusivity Award" (name change pending), for having a display space (the tent and surrounding tables of individual builds) that was the most inclusive within the convention. Eurobricks was recognized for having low height display tables so young children and those with disabilities could better see and interact with our display and for showing an open arms approach to our collective display. 
Vincent was the reason we were given his honor. During the convention, he acted as a guide to our Potion display--answering questions, engaging with the public, and even offering build advice to other young attendees who wanted to know what a Eurobricks member thought of their build. He embodied inclusivity, and showed the Lego community the best Eurorbricks has to offer. Thank you Vincent! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: 
At the opposite corner of the tent was the Happy Hourglass, built by @RoxYourBlox. This built was awarded the well deserved prize of Best Mechanical! More images and videos of this build, as well as images of builds from the convention itself can be found on Pete's Flickr page
Miscellaneous Build info: 



Potion Shoppe was a success! No doubt, this is the best display Eurobricks has ever assembled. I must say I am very proud of our team. Potion Shoppe was awarded the Best Group Display of Brickworld Chicago 2019! That makes the fourth consecutive year Eurobricks has won the coveted Best Group award! Eurobricks now holds the record for most consecutive wins, and in addition to a 5th earlier, non-consecutive win, Eurobricks now also holds the record for most Group Display award wins in Brickworld history. That's five years of wins out of only 13 years total! :thumbup:

But that's just the awards. No, I'm most proud of the Eurobricks team--the Eurobricks family--which has come together year after year to top ourselves, to enjoy each other's company, and to assemble some crazy-ass display each year just to tear it down four days later. 

Here's to next year! 

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The caged dragon and the crystal ball are just gorgeous. This is such an ambitious undertaking, and you've done fantastically. Well done to everyone involved.

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Wow!  I thought you guys and gals killed it last year but you outdid yourselves with this one!  If I could have been there just to see one display this would have been it, stunning work.  So many details to take in - I love the GoH tomes (of course :laugh: ), the giant cauldron, the ornate shelving, hanging plant, the sign, the chimes...  A brilliant collaboration!

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You people are amazing. Some of this stuff brings tears to my eyes, it;s so good. 

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Congrats to everyone involved -- for taking MOCs to another level.  It would be fun to have this set up at a comic con, or even an HP con, and watch people freak-out when they realize it's all LEGO!


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Applause for the awesome builders!

Well done guys, another epic build! Eurobricks really is a fantastic community and we can bring together a great team :thumbup:

Also, @Vincent Kessels: You rock! I always support inclusivity and to hear that you were making sure everyone could be involved is great! 

I am certainly going to have to come join in again soon. Got to just take the plunge...

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I love this so much. I love the dragon in the little cage and the hourglass looks incredible. Some really creative stuff.

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