• Mark Curnow

Immerse the Kids in LEGO® These Holidays!

Calling all Hunter region LEGO® fans! Prepare to be awed, because Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught is bringing his latest exhibition, Brickman Awesome, to Newcastle this September school holidays!

Newcastle Entertainment Centre (NEC) will host Brickman Awesome, Ryan’s third exhibition made entirely from LEGO® bricks, featuring 36 models, none of which have been seen in Newcastle before, and which took a mammoth 5,000 hours to build from just under one million LEGO.

One of the most ‘awesome’ models in the exhibition is the world’s first life-size LEGO® Harley-Davidson, which will be showcased alongside several record-breaking models, including an enormous 3-metre tall Orca whale and the largest ever LEGO® Caterpillar 797 dump truck.

Visitors will be forgiven for thinking they have stepped inside a zoo, as they find themselves surrounded by a LEGO® kangaroo, koala, penguins and even a full-sized LEGO® Australian saltwater crocodile weighing over 60kgs and built using more than 40,000 LEGO® bricks.

Ryan McNaught got his first LEGO® at 3 years old and played with it up until he was 13 or 14.

“I loved LEGO® as a kid. It’s all I used to ask for at Christmas time; we didn’t have a lot, so the catalogue was always well worn out with my flicking through the pages! I was lucky enough to be able to visit LEGOland once, and it was amazing. So between LEGO® and the Commodore 64 Computer that sums up my childhood!”

Ryan got back into LEGO® when he had children of his own. His twin boys (now 12) were also the impetus for Ryan to go professional with his hobby, a move he made ten years ago. Ryan doesn’t bring work home, and the LEGO® he has at home belongs to the kids, who love building the sets more than he does!

“The kids tend to build their own model, and then once they get mashed into the pile, I build something else with them,” says Ryan.

When asked about the best bits of his job, Ryan says “I get to play with LEGO®; it’s my job to inspire children so watching people’s reaction when they see the things we have built is always a huge moment. Often these things take months to build where we are locked away, so to see the fruits of the work is always great.”

Ryan’s favourite LEGO® Star Wars set is The UCS Sand crawler 75059, which is enormous and has so many advanced techniques. It’s been a busy time for Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught, who starred alongside Hamish Blake in LEGO® ‘MASTERS’, Channel Nine’s show that pits eight pairs of LEGO®-loving Aussies against each other in a series of building challenges.

“I’m excited to be finally bringing Brickman Awesome to Newcastle. It’s an amazing city, and our previous exhibitions were incredibly well received. Novocastrians really do have such huge enthusiasm for LEGO®!

“My team and I have had a great time building all these record-breaking models, so I can’t wait to share them with fans and families in Newcastle. This year’s theme is quite broad. The models in the exhibition are pretty diverse, so whether you’re an animal lover, a movie fanatic, or you have a love of travel, there really is something for everyone – young and old!”

Brickman Awesome – Newcastle Entertainment Centre, 25 Sept–18 Oct. Visit www.ticketek.com.au

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