April Open Houses

Some big changes around Brickmania the last few weeks!  As mentioned before, both train layouts have been moved into the smaller room to the East of the big room.  Brickmania needs more space for more displays, and for more employees.

We’ve reduced the size of our layout by removing four modules, so we’re down to 25 feet by 12 feet.  Those four modules will be taken apart over the next several weeks, the pieces washed & sorted, and we’ll start work on the next layout.  We’ve been discussing designs and ideas, we’re still up in the air, but that’s the way the GMLTC has pretty much always run!

In other big news, Brickmania is expanding the number of hours they will be open every month.  Starting Saturday, April 12th, they will be open every Saturday 10am – 4pm, and every Sunday noon – 4pm.  The Brickmania displays will be on display, the store will be open for your Brickmania and BrickArms purchases, the play area will be available, and the ‘private party’ space can be booked for your birthday party or other events. 

Note:  With these new extended Brickmania hours, the train club room may or may not be open those extra days.  We will of course be open the First Thursday (5pm – 9pm) and Second Saturday (10am – 4pm) each month, but those other days we can’t guarantee we’ll be on display.

April First Thursday is tomorrow, April 3rd!  Second Saturday is the 12th!  As always, bring your Lego train and you can run it on our layout!

We’re looking forward to Art-A-Whirl in May, too!

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Thank you! And changes afoot…

We had a great turnout on Saturday, and we just wanted to thank everyone for your patience. Hopefully you had a lot of fun.

In the coming weeks, we have a lot of work to do. Both the GMLTC and TCLTC train club layouts will be moving into a new “Train Room” at Brickmania. We have been moving a lot of our “behind the scenes” stuff for weeks now, and now it’s time to start moving the trains. We hope to have things up and running in there in time for our regular April Open Houses.

The current GMLTC layout doesn’t fit the shape of the new Train Room, so we’re beginning to make plans to tear down layout version #4 and begin work on version #5. In the meantime, starting in April, we should have a transitional layout (utilizing a portion of the current layout #4) in place, so that we can keep some trains running while we begin the process of tearing down some parts of the layout, sorting out the bricks into our collection, and beginning to build components of the new layout. The exciting thing for you, our fans, is that you will now have more chances to see us hard at work doing what we love best – building with the bricks!

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March Open Houses

Another month with the calendar quirk of the ‘First Thursday’ and ‘Second Saturday’ being two days apart.

‘First Thursday’ is March 6th, 5pm – 9pm.  ‘Second Saturday’ is March 8th, 10am – 4pm.  Many of the Brickmania folks will be in Portland, Oregon, this weekend, but their store will be open and the trains will be running.  You might hear some pounding and power tools from the other room, we’re still in the process of moving the club’s brick supply into a different room.  Soon both train layouts will be moving as well, but for this week we’re still in the big space.

Brickmania Toyworks is located about 100 yards West of Central Ave on 18th Ave in Nordeast Minneapolis, you can find more Open House information and directions here.  Please note:  It is much easier to find us if you come in off of 18th Ave, we have a door directly into the space.  If your gps takes you to the mailing address (1620 Central Ave), you might find those doors locked.

And as of ‘right now’ (Monday afternoon), the weather forecast is for upper 20s both Thursday and Saturday.  Hopefully some of the snowbanks on 18th Ave will start melting!

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February Open Houses

The February Open House schedule is our ‘normal’ schedule.

“First Thursday”, February 6th, 5pm – 9pm.  And “Second Saturday”, February 8th, 10am – 4pm.  As always, bring your LEGO trains and you can run them on our layout.

On Friday the 7th, most of us are going to see “The LEGO Movie”!  We’re all quite excited for it, I’m sure we’ll have a great time.  Maybe we’ll see you there, too!

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Looking forward to 2014

Just wanted to say a quick “Thank You!” to all the friends we’ve seen in 2013, and tell you how much we’re looking forward to 2014.  Thanks to everyone who came out to our Open Houses, thanks to everyone who brought ‘guest trains’ to run on our layout, thanks to all the people who just stare wide-eyed when they see the stuff we do, we’re grateful and we’ll continue doing it as long as we can.

Special shout-outs to a few friends:  Rob (and his family) from Brickstuff, makers of some pretty fun and powerful lighting kits.  Connor the Shay enthusiast, I promise I will get mine running someday (after much more redesign and rebuilding!)  The great people at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, who treat us like family.  The folks at Metro Transit who have taken a liking to the trains that Steve has built.  Our friends at LEGO, we’ll hang out with you anytime you let us.

And a huge “Thank You!” to Dan and the amazing folks from Brickmania, without their support and inspiration we wouldn’t be anywhere near what we are now.

As for 2014, our Open House schedule will continue to be the First Thursday of the month, 5pm – 9pm; and the Second Saturday of the month, 10am – 4pm.  We will also be doing a some special events, stay tuned here and we’ll let you know what’s coming up.

Out “plans” for 2014 include some major layout redesign and rebuilding.  So to those of you who ask if we glue anything, we always say “no, because we might take it apart someday” — it looks like 2014 will be that “someday”!  We’ll probably be starting that after our January Open Houses, so be prepared for some big big big changes on the GMLTC layout.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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It’s December, and the snow is coming down…

‘Old Man Winter’ took a look at the calendar, and must have thought it was time for snow!  But ‘while the weather outside is frightful’, it’s also time for the December Open Houses at Brickmania.

First Thursday is December 5th, 5pm – 9pm.  Help Brickmania decorate their Christmas tree!  We will have our 2013 tree ornaments for sale, and also have bricks and hangers so you can build something from our play area bricks and add it to the tree.


And as for our regularly scheduled Saturday Open Houses, we’ll be doing three of them this month:  December 7th, 14th, and 21st; 10am – 4pm each day.  The Brickmania store is stocked for your gift-giving shopping, and we’re looking forward to seeing you!

And as always, bring your LEGO train to one of our events, and you can run it on our layout.

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November Open Houses

It’s November already?  Weren’t we just in Summer a few days ago?

Open Houses this week!  First Thursday is November 7th, 5pm – 9pm.  We are going to be finishing work on Brickmania’s Van Gogh mosaic that we started at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts last month, we ran out of time (and some parts!) there so we’re going to finish it up this week.  Come on out and help build a LEGO masterpiece!

Second Saturday is November 9th, 10am – 4pm.  Brickstuff will be there again demonstrating their new lighting kits, the Brickmania store is stocked, the trains will be running, and as always if you bring your LEGO train you can run it on our layout.

Stay tuned for updates on our schedule for December, tentative plans are to have an extra Saturday Open House (or two?) in December.

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“Small Trains, Big Imagination”

The GMLTC’s own Steve Demlow is featured on Metro Transit’s Blog!

Steve Demlow

Steve has built LEGO versions of Metro Transit’s light rail, and Northstar Commuter Rail trains that are featured at Brickmania during our Open Houses, and has also built trains that are on display at Metro Transit’s Commuter Connection store in downtown Minneapolis.

Nice job, Steve!

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“Nerd Thursday” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Brickmania and most of the GMLTC will be at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts this Thursday, October 17th, from 6pm to 9pm, building a LEGO mosaic of van Gogh’s “Olive Trees”:

It’s a free event, come on out and build a section of the mosaic!

We hope to see you there!

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October Open Houses

Although it sure doesn’t feel like it today, it’s October, and it’s time to mention our Open Houses for this month.

First Thursday is this week, the 3rd.  5pm – 9pm.  If you can’t make it to one of our Saturday Open Houses, or perhaps you prefer a less crowded Brickmania space, come visit us on Thursday.

Second Saturday is the 12th, 10am – 4pm. 

Brickmania store is stocked and will be open both days, Peleliu LST diorama will be on display, trains will be running, as always bring your LEGO trains to run on the GMLTC layout!

Note:  We are not planning on any special Halloween events this year.  We will have a couple extra Open Houses in December, we’ll update this space (and our Facebook page) as they get scheduled.

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