Posted on: July 23, 2021
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Press Releases
During the summer, parents have been trying to get creative while trying to entertain ourselves and our kids at home. We’ve watched movies and played games. We’ve gone to the beach and to the park. And, some of us pulled out the big box of Legos from the attic. While most of us just play with Legos and the kids, some of us take Lego building to a whole new level- And now, we get to see the truly talented Lego Master’s creations again. The Brick Rodeo is back! You can see the pictures and more information in Preview from the Houston Chronicle.
Allison Bagley July 20, 2021 Updated: July 21, 2021, 11:30 am
The pandemic gave members of the Houston Brick Club extra months to complete their five-foot-wide LEGO model of downtown Houston. The group of LEGO enthusiasts will debut the mini-skyline at Brick Rodeo this weekend. In its 10th anniversary year, the LEGO event features bigger-in-Texas builds and the chance to meet contestants from the Fox reality show “LEGO Masters.”
When the annual volunteer-run exhibition was canceled in 2020 due to health concerns, the local LEGO hobbyists passed the time by perfecting the tiny, precise details on their downtown model, which they began planning in 2019.
Skyscrapers are only about six inches high and Timothy Howell, co-chair of Brick Rodeo, expects guests will marvel at the level of detail in the small structures.
Inside Minute Maid Park, for example, the replica is so exact that attendees will see the shape of the retractable roof and even the train that traverses the outfield wall.
“A lot of people will be amazed at the intricacy that we get with small parts,” Howell says.
Also on view is a model of the Alamo, a reproduction of the Imperial Sugar Mill in Sugar Land, LEGO train towns, several “Star Wars” scenes and historic battleships constructed with plastic bricks.
Each bringing their own custom builds, seven contestants from season two of “LEGO Masters” will attend the event.
Brothers Mark and Steven Erickson are one of the expert pairs in the reality competition series, hosted by Will Arnett, that airs 7 p.m. Tuesdays on Fox.
The duo will display a fire-breathing sea serpent in battle with Thor’s hammer.
Inspired by mythology, the Erickson brothers’ scene is similar to the project they built in the premiere episode’s challenge, but much bigger, Mark Erickson says.
About the size of a coffee table, this is the first time the public will see the complex creation and learn how it works. A mini humidifier powers the steam that comes out of the beast’s mouth.
Weaving together LEGO tubes inside the body to release the steam was complicated, Erickson says, but adds to the “big wow factor.”
The sculpture’s water is illuminated with LEGO L.E.D. lights, lending it an iridescent effect.
It took the brothers about two hours a day for a little over a month to complete their project, which disassembles into eight modular pieces and will travel to Houston from Atlanta in the trunk of their car.
When children approach their large builds at LEGO events such as Brick Rodeo, Erickson says, “You can see just their eyes light up and their mouths drop.”
The TV show has produced all-new LEGO fans of all ages, he says. “When you see the creations that are built in such a short period of time, you think, “‘If they can do that, what can I do?’”
The series has helped to show LEGO building as more of an art form than a hobby, he says.
“It’s very fulfilling knowing that your art is appreciated,” he says.
As a child, Erickson says, “I remember seeing some amazing creations… at shows, and my mind was blown.”
In between meeting builders and seeing intricate creations large and small, attendees can contribute to a group art project in the form of a large LEGO floor mosaic.
Howell expects multi-generational families to attend the event together, and he hopes they’ll leave inspired to go home and create LEGO worlds of their own.
“LEGO has always been big with kids,” he says. “I think a lot of what ‘LEGO Masters’ has done is show that you don’t have to stop building with LEGO when you hit 12, 13, 14, 15 years old. You can continue until you can’t hold a brick anymore.”
Brick Rodeo LEGO Fan Exhibition
When: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. July 24-25
Where: Houston Marriott Sugar Land, 16090 City Walk, Sugar Land
Details: Advance tickets from $20. Tickets are priced higher at the door; brickrodeo.com
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