Blocks on the Rock exhibit in St. John's draws Lego fans of all ages

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Save for a stint in the
Save for a stint in the
Emma Grunwald/CBC
Emma Grunwald/CBC

An exhibit showcasing the work of Newfoundland and Labrador's master Lego creators drew crowds to St. John's over the weekend.

The two-day Blocks on the Rock event attracted hundreds to the Johnson Geo Centre to see more than 100 builds from 30 exhibitors, who depicted everything from castles and cityscapes to superheroes and Star Wars characters.

A number of local landmarks were displayed in Lego form as well, including Cabot Tower.

Stephen Churchill, president of NewfoundLUG, a member-based organization of Lego lovers, said the weekend was a chance to show off what club members have been doing over the last two years.

Emma Grunwald/CBC
Emma Grunwald/CBC

Of the 700 or so Lego fans who spilled through the doors Saturday, some were in strollers, Churchill said, while others were well into retirement.

"It's heartening to us as builders that people are interested and they want to come out and see what we've done," he said. "Most of the people here putting on displays would consider Lego building an art form. And it's great that people appreciate it and want to see more of it."

The largest build on display — and the event's biggest draw, Churchill said — was a three-metre, 100,000-piece replica of the Oceanex Connaigra container vessel, a two-year project by builder John Murphy.

Emma Grunwald/CBC
Emma Grunwald/CBC

"It's just something he always wanted to build," Churchill said. "By profession, he's a welder, so he works on ships for a living. And so he translates that into his hobby, which is building with Lego."

It's also a hobby for Chase Connolly who, along with his sister, Faith, and their mother, Jessica Strapp, was among the several hundred who braved the long lineup Sunday.

A self-professed "Lego addict," Chase said he built three Technic Lego sets in the past five months.

"I'm hoping there's some Technic sets," he said. "I'm hoping there's some advanced Legos that I've never seen.… I've been in love with Lego since I was a toddler."

Emma Grunwald/CBC
Emma Grunwald/CBC

Churchill, 49, can relate.

He was a builder as a kid. Then, he entered what is known in the Lego world as the "dark ages": the period when enthusiasts decide they are too mature to build.

But, like many before him, Churchill reignited his passion in his 30s, thereby joining a global network known as AFOL: Adult Fans of Lego.

The toy's timeless appeal is something Churchill chalks up to variety.

"It's something you can continuously reinvent," he said. "You can build a set, you can take it apart and you can build whatever you want with it. And it never stops being challenging. It never stops being creative. And that's why I still enjoy it well into my adulthood."

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