For the 75th anniversary of Batman, LEGO announced a contest at the major conventions for the best batman build. There wasn’t much in the way of official rules and regulations or criteria on how people would be judged, but I knew I wanted to take a shot. The announcement came a few weeks before I planned on attending the first Philly Brickfest and I saw that as an opportunity to seize. I had this clear vision of what I would do based on what images strike me when I think about Batman. What better way to celebrate Batman than depicting the scene where it all began?
I’m going to try to hold back the bitterness as much as possible here. When I showed up at the convention, it was just as I expected as far as entries. Not too many people had the time to prepare large and intricate models and there were only a dozen or so entries. Many were nice minifig scale vehicles. When I placed my entry on the table, there were other entrants that said they’d vote for me if they could vote. Way on the end of the table was basically an ad for this cuusoo project. You could tell the artist was passionate for getting his project attention by the 3 inch tall cardboard platform he made and decorated for his classic batmobile model. Around the stand, with a backing advertising the cuusoo project, he had cardboard cut outs of the joker, batman, and robin. In front of the display, he had placed business cards in a checkerboard pattern to the edge of the table. He put significant effort in promoting his project. During the public hours, where everyone else was behind their MOCs at MOC tables, he was behind his model interacting with the public and passing out business cards. He brought a gun to, what I thought was a knife fight, basically. What really stung though, was not the feeling of him using the contest as a platform for self-promotion, but the model itself. This was an official LEGO contest, and even the LEGO Cuusoo rules state no new parts and only LEGO parts may be used. His model contained parts that he painted as well as cut plastic, that may or not have been LEGO. This may not be understood by most of the public, but most of the respected builders in the community are purists. It’s kind of the point. It’s part of the fun to use what is available. I mean, someone could have created an amazing batmobile if they cut and painted all they wanted. Rant off. I think you get the gist, I lost. When I went to check on my Batman later in the day, he had dropped his bouquet, petals everywhere, and his head and sunken even lower. I figured it was rather fitting and left it as it was. Sorry, Bruce, it just wasn’t meant to be.