The competition, called Brick Factor, will take place over two days on Jan. 25 and 26, and the winner of the competition will be offered a full-time job as LEGOLAND's master model builder here in Boston.
Graeme Dymond, master model builder at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Toronto, earned his job after a similar competition, and he spoke to Somerville Patch about the experience. More on that later.
First, the details of the competition:
- It's open to the public
- Sign up at legolanddiscoverycenter.com/boston/brickfactor
- Must sign up by Jan. 15
- Must be at least 18 year old
- Brick Factor competition takes place Jan. 25 and 26 at the Boston Public Library
- Quick hint: The master model builder will have a passion for LEGOS, good building skills and a love of working with children
Toronto's Master Model Builder Talks Brick Factor
Dymond, who's held the position in Toronto for about a year, said he was one of hundreds of competitors at the Brick Factor competition in that city, and he was somewhat shocked when he won.
The 30-year-old father is trained as a teacher, he said, but due to a dearth of open education jobs in Toronto, he was working at a bank.
"I've always had a passion for LEGOs," he said. "I just never stopped playing with LEGOs," he added, explaining that he's collected the little bricks his whole life.
Even so, "I was a little doubtful" about entering the Brick Factor competition, he said. "My wife was my number one fan," he added, and she encouraged him to compete.
During the competition, contenders had to tackle several LEGO-building challenges, each with a different theme. You could use as many different LEGOs as you wanted, but there was limited time.
To be a master model builder you have to be able to construct "innovative models," Dymond said, but you also need to be able to communicate effectively and work well with kids. His training as a teacher, no doubt, helped in that regard.
Be Ready to Win
After the weekend-long competition, Dymond became one of the three finalists. And then he won.
That put him in a bit of a pickle. Almost immediately he was asked to do interviews with the local media, and he still had a job at the bank.
His boss was a little confused about why he was calling her on a Sunday, but everyone at the bank was supportive of him, he said.
When he was growing up, people would tell him, "There's no such thing as a job building LEGO every day," Dymond said. But that's exactly what he does now.
After winning the job, Dymond also went through LEGO training and learned some tricks of the trade, "trying to find innovative ways to take square LEGOs and bricks and make corners and curves" and other tricky architectural features. He said there's already a team of builders working to build Boston MINILAND, but they won't complete the work until the city's master model builder comes on the job.
"My Biggest Hint" for Winning
Toronto's master model builder had some advice to those who want to win the Brick Factor competition.
"Our favorite thing isn't building with LEGOs, it's about sharing that love of LEGOs with kids," he said. LEGOLAND Discovery Center is looking for an "ambassador" for LEGOs.
He also said, "Don't underestimate your own abilities." You should join the competition "even if you don't think you're the best LEGO builder."