I have had the pleasure of previously experiencing almost all of the Lego Brickman touring exhibitions including Brickman Awesome and my personal favourite “Wonders of the World”. So when Brickman got in touch about coming down to Sydney for the opening of his newest exhibition “Brickman Cities powered by Lego City”, we were excited to head along and see what it was all about. Brickman Cities let you see the past, present and build the possible future of four of the World’s Greatest Cities and features a truly awesome scale model of Lower Manhattan, New York that forms a canvas for a projection-mapped show telling the history of the great city of New York. Unfortunately though if you are a fan or familiar with Brickman’s other works you will notice this one is a fair bit smaller so is it worth the price of admission? Let’s take a look, for ReviewTyme I’m Luke Carroll and this is our overview of “LEGO Brickman Cities: Build the Future”.
What is it?
Brickman Cities is the fourth Lego Exhibition by Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught one of only 14 Lego Certified Professionals in the World (And the only one in the Southern Hemisphere). The Exhibition has just opened in Sydney at the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park, in a purpose-built (and thankfully Air Conditioned) sprung tent. Brickman Cities major focus is on five of the World’s most well-known cities: Dubai, Sydney, London, Tokyo and New York. For the four cities apart from New York, there are three large-scale Lego models that display what that city has looked like in the past, what it looks like today and gives you an open space to build your interpretation of what the city might look like in the future. The 12 major models are beautifully detailed and are full of little touches and characters that really bring the scenes to life, I especially loved the Sydney Harbour Bridge construction model emulating the classic photographs from the construction of the bridge in the 1930s as well as the details in the Shibuya Scramble Crossing model which I could really appreciate and admire the attention to detail having been to Japan in the last few months. The models are unfortunately a little high up and dark to be seen clearly by the little ones in your family, you can see where lights are in the models but unfortunately, they were not turned on when we were there so hopefully this is an easy issue to rectify.
The main focus and centre of the Exhibition though is a 1:600th scale model of the Lower Manhattan borough of New York City built entirely out of white Lego Bricks. This model forms a canvas for the highlight of the exhibition for me, a projection-mapped history of New York City. The projections travel from the beginnings of human settlement in the area to the Dutch ownership of the city as “New Amsterdam” all the way through until today and all the things we know of New York for, the Broadway shows, the towering Skyline and the insane traffic. The full projection show probably clocks in at around 10 minutes but I do recommend finding a good spot and watching the entire thing as it really is the highlight of the event and all the hard work that went into not just creating the Lego model but also designing the projection mapping deserves to be appreciated.
The other section of the event focuses on Lego themselves and the history of Lego City Fire Stations including amazing sets from the Lego Vault in Billund such as Set 374 – The very first Lego Fire Station (Now valued at a whopping $1200 compared to the original purchase price of $30). This little takes up the back wall of the space and is a cool little way to relive the history of Lego City, with each build having a neat little plaque telling you the history and facts about the set.
Who is it for?
Brickman exhibitions usually have something for everyone in the family to enjoy, from the endless build zones to the incredibly detailed large displays, Brickman Cities, however, seems to be aimed a lot more towards the younger children (Even with their inability to truly admire most of the builds due to how high above the ground they are displayed). Most younger children will love the over 1 Million Lego bricks that are available for them to build their ideal future city underneath each of the four city displays.
The best way to approach this event is to have reasonably set expectations, this isn’t a huge exhibition, taking place in just a single room and your children will probably get the most enjoyment out of just sitting down and creating with the tons of bricks on offer. Reasonably I wouldn’t expect to spend more than an hour in the exhibition as a family unless your kids really enjoy building with Lego and you can sit there and watch them for that long too!
The ticket price is around $10 cheaper than the Brickman Exhibitions I’ve seen and as such is a fair bit smaller than the other exhibitions, taking place in a single room rather than a progression of rooms. Also, there is a Lego shop at the exit which does have decent prices but it may be hard to get your children to walk through without wanting at least one “souvenir” of their visit.
Brickman Cities feels like the final room of a big impressive Exhibition rather than the whole exhibition itself. Whilst we did enjoy looking at the models and can imagine children having a great time here, I went in with high hopes from seeing other Brickman displays and unfortunately left a little disappointed. The New York City display though with the amazing projection mapping was something I’m glad I got the opportunity to see!
For the School Holidays there are a lot of experiences on offer at the Entertainment Quarter including a Waterpark, Outdoor Cinema and the Brickman Cities exhibition, if you managed to partner some of these together you would have an amazing (Albeit expensive) family day out. For ReviewTyme I’m Luke Carroll thanks for watching!