SiP Goes On Safari 2020- Online Edition

The Story So Far

After yet another unforgettable toy photo safari in Denmark last year, happy expectations and joyful anticipations from both old and new friends had been expressed. Yours truly crew got together and figured out possible travel destinations for the 2020 meet-up. After passionate discussions, we agreed on the city of Tallinn in Estonia as our base camp. The rest is history.

History as in: none of us will possibly ever forget the year 2020 and the pandemic that spread all over the globe and affected everyone and everything. It quickly became obvious that it would simply be impossible to hold a real toy photo event.

Yet it wasn’t just all restrictions that came along. Many people and companies worldwide took advantage of technological progress and soon most everyone was familiar with video-tools such as  MS Teams, Google Hangout or Zoom, to mention just a few. These programs allow one to meet online, see and talk to each other (and some more).

The Present Situation

As many people are still dealing with the different effects of this terrible situation, we still believe that a real meet-up is no option for us this year. But still we’re longing to see familiar faces, listen to the sounds of their voices and get creative. So we decided to create an online version of our safari. Some aspects will be a little different this time:

The SiPgoesVirtual2020 event will take place, well, virtually from Friday 4th at 16:00 CET to Sunday 6th  September late noon with several work and play sessions in between these times. The sessions are based around the Central European Time Zone (CEST or UTC+02). A good internet connection, a creative mood, and some dedication are needed.

The number of participants will be limited to nine additional seats beyond the friendly faces of your SiP Crew to keep it fun for everyone joining in and keeping the international logistics in check.

We are kindly asking for a participation fee of 30€ to cover postage for instructional mystery letters upfront and a souvenir for everyone after the meet-up. (The fee will be payable after your registration has been accepted.)

The legendary and famous print exchange will not happen in the way we’ve known it so far. Yet, there will be a kind of exchange with a physical souvenir.

And Some More

The event will require quite a bit of active input from all attendees. Don’t worry, no stand-up comedy or free speech of at least fifteen minutes will be asked of you. But if you’ve been to a toy photo safari before, you may remember how much fun it was getting to know each other and all the different approaches, set-ups, and workflows. And this time will be no different.

Like on a physical toy safari, we will take photos. We will also get to collaborate in groups and challenge ourselves with photography games. We will have several checkpoints on Saturday and Sunday during which we will meet (virtually) to discuss our photos. And finally, in the end, we will put together all the photos to make something physical that will be sent to everyone.

The Next Step

If you’re still raising your hand, shouting “YES! YES! ME! ME! ME!”, then please fill out our application form no later than Wednesday, 19th August. Tell us why you absolutely want to join in on our virtual safari. Check back that you will be available from the afternoon of Friday, September 4th until noonish of Sunday, September 6th (yes, we took some sleeping hours into account. And no, no shared houses or rooms with snoring roommates this time) and you will be able to be an active team member and take fully part in the online team sessions.

Memories of SiPgoesDenmark in 2019

We are really looking forward to seeing you soon. If you have any questions, praise or criticism, please let us know in the comments below. (And please do share your happy anticipation as well!)

Best on behalf of the crew, Stefan

Tell a story

Huston, July we had a problem

And what happened to our sense of humour? We do have one , saying that as a team with the exception of @herrSM, we are guilty for not joining in last month, so please accept our apologies for our absence. As a result we did not have many entries either and choosing a winner was an easier task than normal. Thank you so much to everyone else who entered. So drum role please… July’s Comedy winner is… @zoombricks and your tribute to Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition had us inquisitive, so a prize will be heading your way.

Hello August

This brings us to this month’s mission, we would like you to join us in a telling a story, either a Historical or Biographical Movie premiere.

Looking back at August 2019, I wrote a review on the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander that was perfectly timed with NASA’s 50th-year moon landing celebrations… This is slightly ironic and coincidental on my behalf as I am only noticing the date connection.

The Mission

This genre is for you to become the director and by all means, you can choose your own Historical/ Biographical movie. Some examples could be based around music such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, or The Greatest Showman. You might want to cover a historical event such as Hacksaw Ridge or Braveheart. On the other hand, you may want to look back into history and recreate one of the most incredible and controversial icons in Hollywood history such as Charlie Chaplin or my personal favourite, the beautiful yet tragic story of Marilyn Monroe.

You may have even just purchased LEGO’s The Grand Piano. This would lend itself nicely to Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist. Or you could help educate, using stories such as 12 Years of Slave. You might even see yourself in a romantic film, and recreate the love scenes of Jack and Rose from Titanic.

Once you have decided on your story, recreate a scene from the movie and post it on Instagram using the hashtags #sipgoestt and #sipgoestt_biography

First Man

There are so many movies to choose from and the Cinema has always liked telling a good life story. With this in mind, I have chosen not only a movie based on history but also on a biography. First Man had its world premiere in August 2018 and is based on the life of Neil Armstrong. It follows the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969 juxtaposed with family life.

Hoping to reach the moon by the end of the decade, NASA planned a series of unprecedented missions in the early 1960s. Joining the space program was an engineer and a licensed pilot, Neil Armstrong. He spent years in training and risking his life during test flights. On July 20th 1969, this legendary story was watched in wonder by the world as Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embarked on the historic spaceflight of Apollo 11.

Family Life

In his family life, Armstrong was no stranger to tragedy. He and his wife, Janet, recently lost their young daughter Karen to cancer. And now their two sons, Mark and Rick, face the possibility that their dad could die in space. However, Armstrong lived until August 25th 2012, aged 82 years old and sadly this month, marks not only his birth date 05th August but also the anniversary of his death, he sadly passed away after complications during surgery.

Growing up with my dad (an incredible man), he passed his interest in space travel over to me, and it has certainly made an impact on my historic knowledge. Today, I am still fascinated by space and time. And by researching and watching mankind experience the impossible journey to the moon, it can only inspire us to go on to do great things ourselves and reach for the stars.

First Man. Experience the impossible journey to the moon.
The portrayal of the First Man on the moon juxtaposed with family life. Neil Armstrong and his wife Janet.
Team-members, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins zip themselves into insulated suits and set out on a mission to land on the moon.
Neil Armstong became a licensed pilot on his 16th birthday and is one of the most famous pilots in history.
Armstrong, the First Man to walk on the moon with the words transmitted back to Earth “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”
The Eagle, Lunar Lander module touched down in the Sea of Tranquility. July 20th 1969. Before heading back to Earth, the crew left behind an American flag (not featured in this movie), a patch honouring the fallen crew of Apollo 1, and a plaque on one of the Eagle’s legs. It reads, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

Are you ready to be the first man or woman to join SiP for lift off? Simply tag your pix on IG to #sipgoestt and #sipgoestt_biography

The LEGO Grand Piano

Today, LEGO unveils its next LEGO Ideas set: 21323 – The Grand Piano. While the set will be available on August 1st, some of us have been lucky to receive this set a bit earlier and take photos for LEGO.

The Black Monolith

The piano is a beautiful model of 3662 pieces featuring a playable grand piano with a total of 25 keys. No doubt any piano fan will love it. It includes various mechanisms, with the hammers being actioned when pushing the keys, and a damper pedal. Moreover, the set also features an adjustable seat. While no figure is provided to play the piano, we are sure that most toy photographers won’t have any difficulty finding someone in their toy collection to become the next Mozart.

Leia is playing a lullaby for the mosquitoes

The set also comes with a Powered Up brick. It can be used to automatically play the keys, but also apparently can produce music using the smartphone Powered Up app. (We haven’t been able to test it yet though as the smartphone app hadn’t been updated yet at the time of writing this article.)

Photographically, it’s a very different experience than the usual LEGO sets and it can be quite challenging to photograph without a figure… But with a bit of perseverance, it can lead to some rather abstract photographs.

The real pictures will have to wait though for LEGO to post them.

You can pick up the Grand Piano from any LEGO Store, or on the online shop, starting from August 1st.

Nature Boy

I’ve always loved shooting outdoors, following the cycle of nature through the seasons – life, death and renewal.
At this time of year, during the middle of the British summer, I always try to take advantage of the light late evenings.
I’m lucky enough to live right next to parks and fields so whenever I get the chance, I’ll pack a few figures in my camera bag and head out on an evening stroll.

Along with LEGO, droids are by far one of my favourite subjects. On this particular evening I just packed my 1000toy Synth to see what I could come up with. I love the fact that you can portray a range of emotions on a droid’s face just by changing the pose very slightly. I wanted to show the contrast between, and the connection with, the mechanical and the natural world.

Shooting outdoors can be relaxing but you have to be quick when the right lighting appears in front of you. I love following the sunset and waiting for that precise moment but, all too often, by the time you have set up the light has already gone. The beauty of this sort of shot is in the moment. Once the light changes, the moment has gone forever; it makes the shot that little more unique than a studio setup. You can also blame the light rather than your skills when a shoot doesn’t quite turn out the way you intended…

Laughing desired

But Wait

Oh my, this isn’t what we had in mind when we greeted the new year roughly six months ago, right? I guess it’s safe to say that we all had different plans for twenty-twenty. Plans of travelling, of meeting old friends and new ones. Instead life threw some event cards our ways. Here, take Covid-19. Here, deal with a lockdown. And hey, let’s not forget about the climate either, let’s change that, too.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who helped dealing with this year so far and making it a little easier for all of us. Thank you to those who stayed at home in order to decrease the risk of spreading the virus. Thank you to all those who worked to their limits- and beyond- to keep society going. I’m not going to applaud because that won’t pay the rent or buy any food but I do bow before every one of you. You people rule.

SiPgoesTT and July

The more serious the times, the bigger the necessity to laugh. You may (or may not) disagree on that sentence but it pretty much sums up my feelings these days. All that required discipline needs a counterpart where one can let go off tension and remember that there´s more to life than this. Maybe a good moment to talk about comedy.

Comedy as in…

I have to admit that it took some time for me to remember some movie titles from that genre. Movies like The Hangover, There’s Something About Mary or the brilliant Snatch.

Seasonal comedies like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Elf.

Comedies mostly known in their country of origin like The Art Of Negative Thinking (Norway), Kopps (Sweden), Bang Boom Bang (Germany) or In China They Eat Dogs (Denmark).

A tribute to Tati’s Jour de fête

And thinking a little longer I came across great actors like Charlie Chaplin, Louis de Funès, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, Jacques Tati, Peter Sellers and the Monty Python troupe. This list could hardly ever be complete. I’m sure every one has their own favourites here.

A bowler, maybe left there by The Tramp?

Mission? What mission?

As this genre is meant to give the audience a happy, carefree time we`ll keep it simple this month: Think of comedies you’ve seen and enjoyed. Pick just one or as many funny scenes that still crack you up every time you see them. Get out your camera and favourite building system (or any other toy) and recreate this scene and shoot it. Then post it on IG using the hashtags #sipgoesTT and #sipgoesTT_comedy. At the end of the month yours truly crew will browse all these entries and select their favourite image. This one will then be rewarded with a little LEGO gift of our choice.

Until then please share with us in the comments below your favourite comedy(ies) that you think everyone should see. Or maybe some memories you have of a certain comedy?

Ready? Set! Go building and shooting, stay safe and have some well deserved fun.

One of my favourite movies ever! Chicken Teriyaki And Piggie Man On The Loose– ok, I may have made this up…

P.s.:

When thinking of the importance of laughing I remember going to the cinema with a friend to see Four Lions several years ago. The moment we met my friend told me that his father had just died the day before. I was shocked and said we’d better not go and see a comedy then but he insisted. We ended up laughing tears of joy. After the show he told me that he felt relieved and soothed at the same time. Laughing may not always be able to wipe away pain or sorrow, but to me it is an essential ingredient in life. Don’t you agree?

Our favorite Adventure/Action photo is…

It’s already July, and we’re running a week late. Soon, we’ll announce the theme for this month. First, let’s take a look at last month‘s entries, and before announcing the winning picture, here are some of the images that also caught our attention.

Runners-up

A Raptor in the Kitchen by stories_in_bricks

The Temple of Doom by ozzhead

Lady Galadriel by minifiguresadventures

And the winner is…

Last month’s winner for #SIPgoestt_adventure … it’s sir_legoade‘s twist on the Dark knight photo that took our heart. Thank you and congratulations to him and everyone who participated last month! Stay tuned with the soon upcoming announcement for this month’s movie challenge!

What happened to June

It is the 5th.
The 5th of July.
I hope you all enjoyed the 4th.
And stayed safe and sound with all the madness around us that happened in the first part of twenty twenty. The second half is now good and well underway (it is raining here in Sweden), and I could not wonder to ask myself that simple question of what happened to June. If you scroll just a little bit down, you will see that the latest (and greatest) post was also by yours truly and is almost a month old. So what happened to June ?

Well, a long and short story at the same time.

Stefan and I went to the “virtual” RLFM days and we knew that June was going to be a busy month by TLG with all kind of announcements just before the summer holidays. However, since the RLFM 2020 was virtual this year we did not have a lot of “own” behind the scene photographic material. So we kind of let most of it slip and will come back once we get our hands on the real deal.

Do expect a creative railroad review of the brand new 18+ Crocodile Locomotive (we got our hands on one and are putting the pieces together). Some burning rubber with Speed Champs in August (yep, our resident racer will take them for a spin) and some attempt at underwater fun with the new LEGO City National Geographics collaboration are amongst our creative personal summer projects.

And in August we will for sure take a very close look at the new 18+ LEGO Art Wellness series that stole our heart (and most probably our wallet for all the small pieces) and try to get our own artwork next to The Beatles, Marilyn, and Darth Vader.

So, what else ?

Personally, June was a busy month for most of us here at SiP. Some of us are preparing to move. Others have been traveling in distant landscapes and abandoned roads without LEGO. And some of the crew continued to adapt and adopt local lockdowns.
We have been studying ancient and new languages alike.
Celebrating graduation and solstice parties in completely different ways.
And enjoyed (or endured) some of the hottest days in decades here in the North. And we continued some of our (not so) secret LEGO projects.

We shot the real LEGO Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 on location in Stockholm and Hamburg and will soon bring you an action-packed after review of the shoot.

And we have a few more photog ops in the making which we will share with you when the time is right. Teasing, I know.

On to some more adventures…

The SiPgoesTT Adventure month of June has come to an end and we do have a winner (but more on that next week, teasing again). July is comic packed with Louis de Funès and Basil Fawlty amongst others. I am looking forward to seeing which movies our host of the month (read Stefan) will add to inspire you.

…and then there was Tallinn

At the end of twenty nineteen, our plans for this year were travel packed with an exhibition in South Africa in the spring, a toy photography safari in Tallinn at the end of the summer, and a SiP Pop Up exhibition in Skaerbaek shortly thereafter.

And then twenty twenty came along and altered the plans a little.

We have decided to turn our toy photography safari into an online toy photography expedition this year. So, keep/reserve the dates in your agenda (5th & 6th September), as we will be going digital and you can join in from the safety of your country for this 2-day packed photographic weekend adventure. Please note you (ideally) should be in a European time zone as there will be a lot of working together.

Seats are limited this year, and we will be getting more information to you in the FB working group and on the blog in the next few days but do reserve the first weekend of September for the very first online toy photography safari.

Summer, here we come.

And the Oscar for the Best Romantic Movie goes to…

May is already over, and so is last month’s challenge about romantic movies.

The runners-up

Thank you to everyone who embraced the romantic movie theme, there were some great movies captured. So before announcing the winner, let’s have a look at some of the other entries that caught our eyes.

Continue reading “And the Oscar for the Best Romantic Movie goes to…”

The Green Lightning – Lamborghini Sián

Finally

The news is officially out. A new super sports car has just entered the LEGO universe. Today our (probably) favorite tire producer from Denmark has announced a new partnership with the Italian car manufacturer Lamborghini. They joined forces to bring to life a model of the massively impressing Lamborghini Sián FKP 37. Woody could hardly await this moment and had been spending all morning imagining what it would feel like to take this beauty out for a spin and got his early prototype box out.

Continue reading “The Green Lightning – Lamborghini Sián”