Brighton Bricks

Encouraging Learning Through Play

Fairy Bricks Building Contest - Christmas Windows Display

Fairy Bricks is a great charity that donates Lego to children's hospital wards around the world. They are holding a Christmas building competition

Via the Brickiest forum

Welcome to the first official Fairy Bricks building contest in which you are invited to make a small vignette that can be a Christmas window in a UK department store. They will be displayed in a very large model of Selfridges in London's Oxford Street at Brick 2015, and show visitors will be invited to choose the best.

As this is a fund raising activity, there will be a bidding process for one of the 14 entry slots, which will happen in a couple of weeks. The minimum bid is £10 (or equivalent), but there is no maximum. We will also be suggesting a donation from visitors to vote.

The window vignette can can a model of a real or imagined display. I doubt the UK tradition is very different to that in international stores, but googling 'christmas windows display department stores London' will give you good examples.

So, spend the next couple of weeks thinking of building ideas and what you'd be prepared to bid. We will only reveal the range of bids, so you don't need to be embarrassed if your bid is particularly large! I will further announce details for bidding in a follow up post.


Prizes will be bricks rather than sets, and first prize will at least include all of the bricks (new in bags) from Town Hall, as well as any others we can get our hands on.

Model Details

Your Vignette should be 14 bricks wide, of which the side bricks should be a wall. The window itself is 12 bricks wide, 6 bricks high and raised 2 bricks up. The window is included in the main department store model - you don't need to include it in your vignette - the front of your vignette must be open. You'll likely need to raise your vignette a brick or two, but you could also use that space to build a fancy floor, or hide some supports etc. You should go up 7 or 8 bricks high (and there is an absolute limit of 14 bricks in height). There will be a lighting strip above the windows to illuminate the contents - if there's a reason for darkness, then you'll need to add a roof.

You can make the vignette as deep as you like - for background/forced perspective etc.

Just remember that the vignette will be viewed through a window 12x6 bricks raised 2 bricks up.

This is a yellow minifig world - there will be crowds of yellow minifigs outside the store, so fleshie heads will generally look out of place. Not banned though, in case there is some artistic reason to include them. Not every vignette will include people or mannequins but I think it would be a good convention to have minifigs without faces if you include mannequins in your design.

My stand at Brick2015 does have power provided (so that I can illuminate all the windows from above), so there might be scope for custom lighting or animation. I'll do my utmost to display each entry at its best, but I don't think I can guarantee power if it means that we need too many power adaptors or wires in the way.

The Small Print

This is a physical building contest. You will need to get your model to the opening of Brick 2015 in London. I'm sure the community will do all it can to pass models across, and I'm happy to do a bit of tidying up if parts fall off, but I have 50,000 bricks to build on the main model, so I'm not about to start building someone's model from LDD instructions etc.

So-called illegal techniques are fine, as are your own stickers, or printed elements. I think the odd custom part isn't going to be a problem either.

I will expect the winning bidders to make payment (directly to FairyBricks) as soon possible after the winning bids are announced. I may have a few people on standby to step-in if payment isn't forthcoming.

Kev at Fairy Bricks has a a few ideas for further fundraising, so it would be very useful to be able to keep the entries for a while, but if you want your model returned, you'll need to make arrangements to collect it in person at the end of the show.

I think it goes without saying that this is a family show and FairyBricks is a children's charity, so entries should be appropriate for kids. I can't imagine that anyone would build an adult themed vignette but if they do then I reserve the right to not display it (I won't be able to return your entry fee as it will already be with Fairy Bricks).

If you'd like to see work-in-progress photos of the department store model then check out my Flickr stream:

I'm sure there will be questions I haven't thought of, so feel free to ask anything here.

Oh, and if don't fancy entering, or are too far away, or if this announcement has reminded you of the good work that Fairy Bricks does then feel free to make a donation: