We Visited the First Kockice Convention

Last weekend we visited the very first Kockice Convention, near Zagreb, Croatia. It was organized by a Croatian RLUG bearing the same name – Kockice. I have to say, despite it being their first event of this magnitude, the organization was exceptional. There were a few hiccups here and there, but nothing too serious. Many, more “mature”, events, honestly, do far less well.

There were over 70 participants, from 13 different countries, which really showed – there we many different and amazing exhibits on display. Naturally, most of them were, in one way or another, related to Ninjago. Just like it was the case in the LEGO House, and all LEGO conventions really, where virtually all displays were made from bricks made by Ninjago’s owning company – LEGO. It’s amazing how many (hidden) Ninjago fans gathered at the same place.

Kockice Convention 2018

Contrary to most events I had the privilege of displaying at, the setup was done over a course of an entire day, with lunch and dinner breaks. This made the whole experience far less stressful than usually. Since we arrived on Friday, early in the afternoon, we had lunch before starting the setup. After we finished setting up we were free to mingle, or explore the surrounding of the venue. We mingled some. Before soon it was time for dinner, before which goodie bags were handed out.

Kockice Convention - setup

Kockice Convention – The Setup

The next day was the official opening, so by the time we arrived back at the venue it was already full of visitors. I took some time to look at the displays that were set up after we left the day before and that’s when I saw it. The very best MOC at the entire convention – Ninja temple, by Croatian builder Kristijan Vuletin. [joke]In the end it did not win best in show, so I do believe the voting was fixed[/joke].

Kockice Convention - Ninja Temple by Kristijan Vuletin

Ninja temple by Kristijan Vuletin

Rest of the builds were most impressive as well. It’s hard for me to say which one was my favorite, when we exclude the Ninjago themed ones, so I won’t even try. I do, however, urge you to take a look at them, I’m certain you’ll find at least one you like and most will surprise you, whether by size (there were some truly massive ones), by techniques used or by the ideas that inspired them. Take a look at some of them in our Flickr album.

This day also had many events for the participants of the convention, like lectures, contests and similar. However, the high point of the day was the now-famous AFOL dinner. The food was great and to company even better, so it was a lot of fun. During the dinner an auction was held and, for the very first time, I managed to win something! It was a small LEGO table-top game (Chima), but it’s nice to finally experience the thrill of actually winning at an auction! The auction actually had a lot interesting items (like employee only gifts and sets exclusive to particular stores), but what caught my eye was the fact that the Ninjago pods (Cole and Jay) were being auctioned off. Fortunately, I already have those, so I didn’t have to sweat!

Next, and final, day was also quite eventful. It started off with a visit to Zagreb’s only LEGO monobrand store, where I managed to snatch Zane’s pod (and some seasonal sets), which made the trip more than worthwhile. Unfortunately, we did not get to explore Zagreb, but there’s always next year! At the venue itself speedbuilding finals and quiz were held. My team/RLUG members did not win at any of these, but we will train hard and next year, for sure, we will come out on top!

At 6pm the convention was closed for visitors and we began our tear-down, which we did quite fast. Once again, we had plenty of time at out disposal, and even dinner to allow us to have a break. During the tear-down, visitor’s favorite was announced – it was the GBC (short for Great Ball Contraption), created by DeBouwsteen, a RLUG from the Netherlands. A well deserved victory.

I had a blast at the convention and I’m glad I was able to take part. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go again for many years to come. It will be hard to top this year’s convention, but I am sure that the members of Kockice will be able to pull it off!

Kockice Convention - the participants

Participants of Kockice Convention – hope to see you all again!

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