A Lego display not to be missed!

Ryan Ferguson, 11, and Jim Wallace, 68, are both looking forward to viewing the upcoming displays. Photo: John Borren.

Brick by brick, Western Bay of Plenty’s Lego masters are bringing their displays to Bethlehem School hall for all to see next weekend.

Crafted by Lego enthusiasts, the event from 10am-4pm on May 21-22 at the Bethlehem School hall will feature interactive Lego models, competitions, raffles, Lego for sale, and a sausage sizzle.

“Some of the builders have been building for years, they are huge displays,” says Bricks of Plenty Lego Club secretary Anna Ferguson.

For display builder and Bricks of Plenty club member Jim Wallace, Lego building has many benefits.

A retired minister of both St Enoch’s and Bethlehem Community churches, nowadays Jim enjoys seeing the kid’s reactions to his Lego displays.

“For me, the buzz I get is seeing the kid’s reactions. Seeing them go: ‘Wow, that’s awesome!’ brings me joy, especially seeing I have 12 grandchildren...”

Jim has been Lego building for about four years, and is particularly passionate about kinetic models that move.

“They’re just so fascinating for children to watch. I’m in awe of some of the models and the displays that will be at the event. Some of them really could have been on the ‘Lego Masters’ show.

Kids’ reactions is not the only benefit that Jim sees in building displays. “I enjoy the creativity of working out how to make them function. It’s a very focused hobby, so it’s very relaxing. It’s also very creative, so it’s a good outlet.”

One kinetic piece Jim likes to create is marble runs. He sometimes makes them from particular sets that used to build other models, so kids can recreate his marble run at home easily.

“The displays can take anywhere from about half an hour to four-five days. Some of the creations that will be brought along to the show would have taken people months to make.

“I’m looking forward to see what people have done. I think it’s been over two years since we’ve had an event because of Covid-19. In the meantime people have been still building at home. I know there will be some spectacular models. It will be an awesome show.”

Jim also says setting up the event can be quite a task. “Some I have to take apart to transport to the venue. Some people make them in modules so they can take them apart easily and assemble them at the venue.

“A few of my displays are finely tuned, balance-wise, so within a millimeter I have to reset them so they work properly.

“We often have to set up the day before so they’re all ready for people to see.”

Jim will take along a Rubik’s Cube solver. “It reads a Rubik’s Cube and solves it. Lego has a computer system called Spike Prime which uses Python, which is a programming language that is taught in schools. So bring along a Rubik’s Cube if you can’t solve it and we’ll solve it for you!”

“I’m hoping lots of children come along to look. They should definitely bring their parents too because there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

“It not only helps kids with ADHD, but it also helps older folk with Alzheimer’s. It’s a great way to keep the mind focused and active.”

Bethlehem School’s Lego display fundraiser is 10am-4pm on May 21-22, at the Bethlehem School hall. Tickets are on sale at the door. More details on the event, or Bricks of Plenty Lego Club, is at https://www.boplug.nz

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