LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Columbus recently hosted a LEGO building competition to find a Master Model Builder, and crowned Maxx Davidson as the champion. While we eagerly wait for the attraction to open September 21, 2018, we sat down with Maxx to learn more about his Master Model Builder duties, and what it’s like to have every kid’s dream job.
Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us a little about your passion for LEGO. Where did it all start?
I’ve been playing with LEGO bricks since I was two. The first memory I have is from when I was four and the first Star Wars line came out. I remember building the Millennium Falcon set. My parents got a video of the whole thing—they still talk about it. After that, there really wasn’t a period of my life where I wasn’t interested in LEGO.
What are a few of your favorite things that you’ve built with LEGO over the years?
This past summer, I actually made a model of my childhood home. I wanted to make it as detailed as possible, so I included all of the little things, like the uneven crack in the sidewalk and the positioning of our plants outside. That took me 30-40 hours to complete. It was a really cool opportunity to relive the important parts of my childhood.
Where are you from and where did you go to school?
I am from Ashland, Ohio. That’s where I grew up and went to high school. For college, I went up to the University of Akron, where I was a life science education major.
How did you hear about the Master Model Builder Contest at LEGOLAND Discovery Center?
My mom’s coworker shared a Facebook link of the event with her. That night, I made a resume and applied. I heard back in less than 12 hours that I had made it into the competition, which was so much more than I could have imagined.
How did you receive this title? Tell us a little bit about the competition you were a part of and how you felt when you found out you won.
There were a little under 100 competitors. It took place over three rounds, and each round had a theme. The first round’s theme was animals, the second was either Ohio or mothers, because it was close to Mother’s Day, and the last round was something about yourself. By the final round, there were only 10 people left.
For the first round, I built some fish in a salt water environment. I thought a lot of people would be building stagnant models, and I really wanted to do something that incorporated motion.
For round two I made a portrait of my mom and two of our animals back home because they are really important things to us.
For the final round, I actually didn’t build too much. I built a turn table and some records. I had the kids build little sections of the base and they were able to assemble it together. So, I had a lot of help from my creative crew member, as well as kids in the audience.
It was just a fun time all around. The one thing I contributed was the needle for the record player which was able to rotate and be lifted. What I was thinking the whole time was that if I was a kid in the crowd, I would have wanted to able to interact as much as I could, and I just tried to put myself into their shoes.
What will your day-to-day duties be as the Easton LEGOLAND Discovery Center Master Model Builder? What are you most excited for with this new opportunity?
Essentially, there will be two sections of work I do. The first is the creation and upkeep of all the large-scale models you’ll see throughout the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. The second part is leading creative workshops for the kids who come in. So, not only will I be building, but I’ll be teaching kids how to build.
I honestly can’t choose which part I am more excited about. As you know, LEGO building has always been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. On the other hand, my major in college was life science education, so focusing on the children and their families is incredibly important to me. I think it’s really why I chose this position.
What would you tell kids who aspire to be a Master Model Builder just like you?
I would tell them to keep going with the things that make them happy. The best thing you can do is to just keep practicing. Keep working and perfecting what you do.
If you could build anything out of LEGO bricks, what would it be?
Well, with the amount of LEGO bricks we will be receiving, it’s not a matter of if, but when! I would really like to make a giant Brutus statue to represent the great city of Columbus and to express how lucky I am to be able to have this position.
Are there any fun events LEGOLAND Discovery Center has planned between now and the grand opening in the fall?
Yes! There will be a few events where we unveil some of the buildings which will be a part of MINILAND®. We have some really iconic buildings, so that will be great for the public to see. We will also have previews of the attraction for our First to Play Annual Pass holders.
The First to Play Annual Pass grants unlimited access to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus for 12 months after the first time you visit. Pass holders also get a preview of the attraction before it opens! Plus, the pass includes discounts in the café and Attraction Store.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus is a 36,000-square-foot indoor attraction and a two-to three-hour immersive experience. Families with children ages 3-10 in Central Ohio and throughout the region will enjoy a world of creativity, color and building fun in the Ultimate Indoor LEGO® Playground. The attraction will include two fun and exciting LEGO-themed rides and MINILAND Ohio, which will feature local landmarks from Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati made entirely out of LEGO bricks. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus will bring LEGO characters to life in the 4-D cinema, and in the 10 themed build and play areas where kids can let their imaginations run wild by creating endless possibilities with thousands of LEGO bricks.
Do you have a question for Maxx? Let us know in the comments.