The South Carolina Adult Fans of LEGOs, known among the group's members as SC Bricks, held the inaugural Columbia Brick Con on Saturday.
People from across the state of South Carolina made their way to Carolina Haven Tailgating and Event Facility to showcase custom builds and interact with fellow LEGO enthusiasts in an event that lasted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event was modeled after events in other cities that have had similar conventions, according to SC Bricks event coordinator Kipp Hoffman.
“I've been working on this since probably July, August of last year to try to get it all put together,” Hoffman said. “Just to finally see it come to fruition, it's like, good, all the hard work is paying off.”
Between 15 to 20 displayers showcased their builds for attendees to see and between 50 to 60 tables of LEGO displays were set up, according to Hoffman.
The event also had free-build tables, a pinewood derby track for LEGO cars and a LEGO vendor where attendees could buy smaller sets.
People of all ages were in attendance for Columbia Brick Con, something Hoffman said shows how LEGOs are truly for everyone.
“It's a good medium for everybody. It doesn't matter what age you are,” Hoffman said. “The boxes, say ‘nine plus,' ‘10 plus,' whatever, but it's for anybody.”
Mark Lorah, a structural engineer by trade who had his builds on display, said that events like Columbia Brick Con are great for encouraging creativity amongst builders, especially children.
“I love it. The kids have so much energy,” Lorah said. “This is a way to reach the youngsters, the young kids, to inspire maybe the next generation of engineers and so forth and thinkers.”
Chaka and Robert Coffey brought their 8-year-old son Jaxon, who is a LEGO fan, to Columbia Brick Con. Jaxson said his favorite of all the displays was one in which Marvel characters were seen fighting.
“It's like heaven, and I just want to stay here forever,” Jaxson said.
The age range of the people in attendance at Columbia Brick Con stuck out to both of Jaxon’s parents.
“I think it's pretty cool to see the range of, I guess, a diversity of age groups represented here,” Robert said. “I think this is a big draw for enthusiasts and children alike.”
Not only did the people in attendance range in age, but the displayers were of all different ages as well.
Rhett Jacobs, a sophomore in high school, was one of the youngest to have his builds on display.
“I think that it’s really cool and how it's like, it shows that Lego is not just for kids,” Jacobs said. “Anyone can build it and collect it and stuff. I guess it's more than a toy, it's more of a community too.”
Jacobs, who won Best Fan Build at the Atlanta Brick Con in February, said he enjoys coming to these events because he can learn from other builders.
“I think it's pretty crazy that we're all united through, the one toy, the plastic toy LEGO,” Jacobs said. “We can all share ideas and see what each other build and everything like that.”
Jacobs and Lorah, both from Georgia, were just some of the several displayers that traveled from out of state to come to Columbia Brick Con.
Hoffman said that people from Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia were all in attendance and said it made the event special knowing that people cared enough to travel long distances for the event.
Proceeds from the event were donated to Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia, South Carolina. Hoffman said the organization was a natural pick for the proceeds to be donated to.
“They're a great organization,” Hoffman said. “With LEGO being, what a lot of people see as a kid's toy, it just kind of goes hand-in-hand to give money to their children's charity.”
According to Hoffman, the event raised $1,200 for Epworth Children's Home. Hoffman said that he hopes this is just the beginning of Columbia Brick Con, with the plan being to make the event an annual one and have it grow each year.
Editor's note: The story has been updated to tell how much money was raised for Epworth Children's Home.