When I won GUFF, I asked the Aussiecon committee if I could run a LEGO related event, as I really wanted to do something to bring my hobbies of LEGO and Science Fiction together.
At first it was just going to be something general, but then I thought there should be a science fiction connection. I was hearing from a number of sources that Doctor Who was big in Australia, so I thought a Doctor Who connection would be a good idea.
I had ideas around recreating one of the lost Doctor Who episodes using LEGO figures and bricks, but I soon realised that would be much to much to try to achieve in an hour, so I settled on just one aspect, which everyone loves: the Daleks!
Having found a fantastic Dalek design (thanks Kaptain Kobold), I set about collecting enough parts to make a hundred of them. This took quite a bit of effort as some of the parts are tricky to get hold of in quantity, but it all worked out in the end.
We ran the event twice, once for children and once for adults.
The kids one was a hoot, with about twenty children crammed around a big round table with the parts in the middle. They got the idea pretty quickly, though some of the smaller ones needed a little help. The parts were in lots of bags as they'd come from different sources, so they got quite spread around the table. Some of the kids wanted to make an extra Dalek, which I allowed as there weren't too many of them, but I had to make sure there would be enough left for the adult programme.
At the end of the kids session, a couple of people helped me to reorganise the parts better, so that we just had one or two bags for each part type, which would make things much easier for the adult programme. From talking with people, I had a feeling there would be a lot of interest in this. The newsletter kindly posted a piece advising people to get there early as there was a limit on the numbers.
The adult programme item started at 5pm on Sunday, and I arrived to find there were already about fifty people in the room. We let a few more in, but warned them that there might not be enough parts for everyone. We managed to get the instructions onto the giant screen, and handed around paper copies.
The room was seated theatre style, which wasn't ideal, so I arranged the parts in the same order as they appeared on the instructions and people lined up. Someone kindly offered to take people's money to cover the cost of parts, and people made their way along the table collecting all the parts they needed. I possibly underestimated how long this would take as the queue slowly snaked it's way around the room, but everyone seemed to be enjoying it. Pretty soon Daleks started to appear, and there were a couple of modifications to the design suggested.
Once everyone had collected parts, we cleared the tables for the Dalek army to form. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of them all as people had to leave, but it was a pretty impressive line-up, and there were some really good photos taken.
At the end of the panel there were a lot of happy people, and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Allowing for the cost of the bricks, I reckon we also made over $100 profit for the GUFF fund.