I’ve now returned from Asia and wanted to update you on very successful and interesting trip last week, particularly in ASEAN and Japan. BRICKLIVE is gaining traction as a brand and we have new opportunities to close this quarter. Although the entire company is focussed on hitting EBITDA targets for 2019 there are still opportunities to grasp and so now I’m repacking for a trip to the Middle East. My journey to the Gulf has come about after extensive enquiries to partner with the BRICKLIVE brand in the region.
The immediate task however is managing the re-packing of my well travelled suitcases. In the past seven days I’ve gone from Bangkok which was a balmy 33°C to Seoul where it was snowing and minus 4°C and then on to Tokyo which was warm by day but cold at night. Currently in the Middle East it’s in the high 20’s.
I’ll be back in time for the first Executive Board of the year on Thursday where we’ll have lots of ideas to process. I’m also looking forward to this weekend and my birthday. As my wife says, I’ll be turning 42 with 20 years of experience!
Lastly, I’ve included a link below to a video shot at our recent BRICKLIVE show in Dallas. I’m extremely proud that we put on a fantastic show with lots new content for our happy customers.
Founder and Chairman
It’s been a busy few weeks with the culmination of our Bricklive Zoo fundraising coming off the back of the Bricklive Dallas show.
This week we released the LVCG February Newsletter which contains a lot of information about upcoming Bricklive Tours in the UK, the Bricklive show in Dallas, the Bricklive Zoo programme and the recently announced partnership with AWC AG. I hope you enjoyed our ‘Spotlight’ interview with Duncan Titmarsh.
I’m delighted to be back on the road again to meet with our existing partners and some potential new ones. On Tuesday I travelled to Switzerland to discuss interesting opportunities for Bricklive. I’ve now left the cold of Europe behind for Bangkok (where it’s 29°C) for a scheduled stopover with our local partner BEC-Tero. After that it’ll be on to Korea to catch up with our team there. I look forward to updating you from Seoul.
Founder and Chairman
Today is the first anniversary of the creation of LVCG and what a year it has been.
If one looks back over all the announcements and successes in just one year, I could not have imagined how far this company has travelled. I feel very proud of the small team who worked alongside me to create such an innovative company, delivering a global product. I would also like to thank the stakeholders who have invested in our vision.
With 2018 nearly over, I’m looking forward to 2019 which I am certain will see the continued growth achieved in 2018.
Here’s to a great and exciting 2019.
Founder and Chairman
I arrived in the delightful and busy city of Hong Kong on Sunday. Jon Gayton and I met with Andy Hung and his team on Monday. Andy is the first Chinese LEGO Certified Professional (LCP) and the only LCP in the Greater China Region. He has offices in Hong Kong and Beijing and has been involved in coordinating LEGO exhibitions for over a decade. He and his team were very welcoming and impressive.
From Hong Kong we travelled to Shanghai where we met with the Bricklive Team to discuss new opportunities in China. Again, the discussion was very exciting.
Yesterday we attended the opening of the BRICKLIVE Shanghai Centre which focuses on the BRICKLIVE Jungle theme. The BRICKLIVE Shanghai Centre creates an interactive and fun experience for kids. The launch was extremely successful and was attended by the local operating partner - Wuhan Realjoy Children Park Management Co. Ltd.
After the launch we left for Seoul to attend a dinner that evening to meet potential clients interested in the BRICKLIVE portfolio of events and Bright Bricks commissions.
Today we have meetings at our offices in Seoul to discuss the current activities and potentially new opportunities.
Overall, the trip has so far been extremely exciting with a very busy schedule
My week in Asia has concluded with more meetings with partners in Beijing. I can report on lots of interest in the new BRICKLIVE Bright Bricks offerings. I’ll be returning here on the 27th and 28th of November to move things forward.
It’s been a tiring but hugely productive week.
From Birmingham to Asia, from the beginning to the future. Writing from a chilly Seoul this morning I reflect on a great weekend at BRICKLIVE Birmingham. A true testament to this journey we are all on; It’s the longest running BRICKLIVE, returning for its fourth year and still continue to attract thousands of home crowd fans, bolstering the longevity of this brand. It also marks the beginning of the next chapter of the Company’s journey as the first event since the acquisition of Bright Bricks.
Mythical Beasts (over 50 models inspired by legends from Ancient Greece) brought by Bright Bricks for example is education and entertainment wrapped up, and this is what BRICKLIVE is all about. It was also great to meet some of our invited shareholders at the event and for them to be able to see the event in person, enjoying it with their families. Thank you for your continued support.
I’m travelling round Asia this week, yet again our Korean office has been working hard to set up a series of meetings for our flying visit. It never ceases to amaze me that the BRICKLIVE brand is truly universal, with such instant attraction.
This week I am in South Korea. My first stop was Jeju, where I visited Soho bricks Brick Campus which I must say is very impressive. This evening I am meeting with the Korean team to get an update on the recently opened CENTRES in Hanwha Resort GuoJe and Hilton Hotel Gyeongju. Both of these spaces reflect the developments of BRICKLIVE in this region – with new designs, new content and the drive for innovation. I have no doubt that there will be some exciting developments to come. The team work hard in driving development with every opportunity – and believe me we do not lack in opportunities.
Moving forward, we have some very interesting meetings lined up in Seoul tomorrow and Wednesday. Then we go to China on Thursday and Japan on Friday. It is beautiful weather out here and so we are looking forward to a great week ahead.
The final one - the acquisition of BRIGHT BRICKS- has and will have the most significant impact on our company to date. BRIGHT BRICKS offers amazing opportunities for our Group. It will not only provide additional revenues to LVCG but fit into our global network which has already started selling BRIGHT BRICKS’ products.
Moving forward, tomorrow I set off for a ten day trip round Korea China and Japan. Meetings have already been set up in all three countries where we will be introducing BRIGHT BRICKS to partners, with the aim of concluding new business before the year end.
I also wanted to use this opportunity to talk about share price, which several shareholders have written to me about. The last few days have seen, as with the rest of the market, our share price move downwards from the highs of the summer. I would like to note that we look forward to integrating the two businesses and to updating you on our exciting plans for the combined Group over the coming months.
I will be updating you all next week, so you can follow me on my travels to Asia
Thank you all for your support.
Onwards and upwards.
As my travels in Asia now come to a close, I reflect on a busy few days!
After having visiting the opening of the first Brick Live Kids Café in Seoul I attended the very professional and exciting opening of the BRICKLIVE Jungle Experience in Busan. With part of this event housed in a mini-dome, and with projections rendering the surrounding walls, BRICKLIVE and its accompanying LEGO built animals really came to life! This partnership is only just beginning and so I look forward to seeing the continuation of this journey. After Busan, I visited our partners in Japan who join my excitement in the newest touring and animal themed developments of BRICKLIVE.
For the last leg of my trip I met with our team in China. Now with 15 people, our China base is quickly becoming a hub of energy and development. Whilst here, I attended meetings with the team who are working tirelessly on the upcoming Animal Paradise project; logistics, marketing, promotional activities and the like. Two of the more interesting additions to this project are the merchandise and the focus on education. Both are being developed in-house and the latter is rapidly becoming an integral part of the project with games, education literature, and fully constructed programmes and teaching staff.
Once I return from my busy trip, I will then be taking a short trip to Basel to visit our partners there. As always, BRICKLIVE is moving upwards and forwards. This is an exciting time for us and our partners.
I travelled to Bangkok specifically to see the Bricklive show which opened on 26 July, to say the three day event was good would be a gross understatement. BEC-TERO have surpassed themselves in presenting an excellent show which exceeded my expectations and the huge visitor numbers would confirm the show’s tremendous success. I congratulated BEC-TERO’s CEO Neil Thompson personally during our meeting where we began discussing future shows and projects.
Moving to Seoul I had a successful meeting with Mr Reon Kim during which he told me of his exciting new plans for Brick Live Lite. I also attended the opening at the DDP of the Bricklive Kids’ Café which has truly great content. The opening was well attended by visitors and press alike, you can read my interview with Sisa Journal here.
Tomorrow I travel to Busan to attend the opening of Bricklive BIFF and Jungle Dome for what is set to be a truly great event.
I am always amazed at the diversity and versatility of BRICKLIVE and BRICKLIVE Bangkok is certainly no different. This week Minh (Project Coordinator based in Vietnam) and I are back in ASEAN for the launch of the first event in Thailand, home of our partners for the region BEC-Tero Entertainment.
Stepping into the venue at midnight on Monday to begin set up, we could already see the production team hard at work hanging banners, laying carpet and preparing for a busy week ahead. Luckily this time the overbearing heat indoors and the incessant mosquitoes from BRICKLIVE Jakarta’s event were absent (see Mark Guest Blog, Jakarta), and we were all just excited to launch the show. Tuesday came and went and, before we knew it, we were hanging the last of the impressive inflatable clouds and we were ready to welcome the thousands of VIPs, Press, lucky invited children and celebrities for the pre-opening on Wednesday.
The live stage and the friendly and professional staff working throughout the show is what, I think, really brought BRICKLIVE Bangkok to life. Standing on the side lines, watching the DUPLO challenge (a challenge of building the tallest tower with one hand in 3 minutes, and a bridge challenge) it was truly special to see all the visitors – adults and children in equal- thoroughly entertained by the activities taking place on the stage. There was a real buzz in the air that has definitely continued today (Friday 27th) as the show first opened to the public and, yet again proved how popular BRICKLIVE and LEGO bricks are in this region as thousands of eager visitors came to play, build and create.
Of course shows like this could not take place without the support of sponsors. This is something that has evidently improved for BRICKLIVE over the last few months – from Allianz sponsoring the Warrior Bots feature at BRICKLIVE Basel in April, to Banco Manco at Argentina to name just a few. At Bangkok, BRICKLIVE secured sponsorship with a number of local companies including Bangkok Life (insurance), Channel 3 (TV), MRT (the subway service), Mum and Kids Magazine, Bangkok Post (with a circulation of 70,000 per day), QSNCC (the venue), DKSH (local retailer of LEGO products) Scotch (children’s chocolate milk) and TESCO Lotus.
Just before the crowds entered the show, we were lucky enough to receive a rare visit from the Managing Director of BEC-Tero who, needless to say, was impressed by the show as a whole and for me cemented the exciting relationship we are building with the partners here in Thailand.
The launch was finally here. Lights, camera, action (literally, my interview comes out Saturday morning on Channel 3) and away we go! The doors opened and the thousands of guests walked through the archway featuring the BRICKLIVE logo and they took their first look at the event. Upon entering visitors are greeted by the landmark models commission especially for the ASEAN Tour, with the 20,000 LEGO brick Tuk Tuk taking front of stage. Then, beginning their journey around BRICKLIVE, they could enjoy BRICKLIVE favourites, but with an added twist! – themed inflatables and archways, a series of exciting LEGO built models, colourful backdrops creating a clear sense of the theme and, for the first time at the ASEAN Tour, a live stage!
The best way to collaborate with a BRICKLIVE event as a sponsor is to integrate with the values of the show and to create fun and exciting activities for the visitor that in turn enables them to enjoy the brand. The three sponsors with booths at the show did just that (TESCO Lotus, Scotch, and Bangkok Life) – they had climbing walls, mini graffiti walls, giveaways and games on their booths and, as part of the live stage content, they conducted questionnaires, gave away free gifts and gave visitors to the opportunity to take a photo with their mascots (Mr Scotch was my favourite).
Judging by the impressive pre-ticket purchases and the walk-in sales achieved today, we are shaping up for a busy weekend ahead. This is testament to the quality of this show and the beginning of a long standing and successful event in this region. We can only go up from here!
Keep an eye on our social media channels for live updates, and local press links.
Witnessing first hand the great excitement this venture has created in Fulong, The Winter Olympic City, Beijing 2022.
Located at the Four Seasons Hall of Fulong Snow Park, The BRICKLIVE Centre has all the activity of a BRICKLIVE show but is a permanent installation, including teaching areas, build centres, a cafe, live stage, retail shop and STEM interactivity for young fans of this amazing building toy.
Fulong is the closest ski region to Beijing. One million people visit the Fulong region across the summer and that number doubles during the ski season which starts early in October. The BRICKLIVE Centre is strategically placed to act as a crèche for skiing parents and offers a huge level of creativity and safe building fun for all.
The BRICKLIVE Centre follows a snow and Winter Olympics theme spanning across 2500sqm within the Snow Park venue and includes a life-sized LEGO statue of a polar bear, containing over 168,400 bricks. There is also a brick-built Curling arena, a snow-themed brickpit, a Build Zone featuring LEGO Minecraft bricks, a performance stage, various amazing igloos and a LEGO world map for young visitors to leave their mark on the world Olympic map.
The BRICKLIVE Centre is the first activity in China for The Live Company Group Plc. This has been achieved by working closely with our JV Partner, Fortune Access LTD led by Sarah Chong and her very talented professional team based in Beijing. Aside from the exciting opportunity to capitalise on the massive attendance of the forthcoming Winter Olympics, the BRICKLIVE Centre will also act as a hub to bring in professional LEGO builders and teachers, providing master classes and build sessions for the emerging market of LEGO fans. With the new high-speed rail link coming to Fulong direct from downtown Beijing, millions of new LEGO fans will be just an hour away from the BRICKLIVE Centre.
The opening ceremony took place on Wednesday 4th July and was attended by many government officials, members of the Chinese Olympic committee and invited VIPs. Over 100 national press were also in attendance.
The BRICKLIVE Centre in Fulong is a very exciting project and even more so in one of the fastest growing markets for LEGO products. I was so impressed with the quality of the centre and the amount of activities the features visitors get to experience. The Cafe was fun, colourful and well stocked with a great range of healthy eating options as well as some delicious coffee! The layout is designed to create an atmosphere of fun with colourful floor coverings, awesome trees, fabricated houses and igloos all peppered with the most amazing LEGO statues for that important selfie opportunity.
I got to see the new LEGO Bugatti Technic kit for the first time in the retail area. It was fully built and looked stunning in the display area but sadly my luggage back home was too full...but amazing to see in the flesh none the less.
It was also great to see the BRICKLIVE ski-ramps that I originally designed with The ‘LEGO model shop’ in the US. Here the slightly longer versions were all ready for home-made creations to be whooshed down the brick mountain. There are four ramps located around the centre, furthering the fun theme of this centre. BUT by far the most jaw dropping build is the life-sized snow leopard - an absolutely stunning statue and fits so well with China’s stance on conservation and protection of endangered species.
Well, the first BRICKLIVE Centre is my idea of heaven. It combines my two favourite things - snow and LEGO bricks and I can imagine it is going to get very, very busy over the coming three years as the Winter Olympics approaches.
I felt very proud to be part of this great BRICKLIVE brand, and to be treated like a celebrity by everyone I have met over the past few days. The team in Beijing have created something very special and they should feel proud of their hard work and achievements and I cannot wait to come back to China and see the next project.
Watch this space!