Brick Fanatics is speaking to the LEGO MASTERS Australia Season 2 contestants to find out more about them and their passion for the hobby. Trent and Josh team up to bring their set building experience to the contest
LEGO MASTERS Australia is about to return with Season 2, with eight teams ready to compete to see who will be crowned brick-building champions and win the $100,000 prize. Each episode will see the LEGO builders taking on new challenges to show off their creativity.
For Trent and Josh, this was an opportunity to bring experince building LEGO sets to the compeition. In this exclusive interview, Brick Fanatics learns more about their brick life.
What is your LEGO background?
Trent: I have been collecting toys for 23 years, and LEGO is a big part of that. I think it’s a fantastic toy, and I have gotten into it in a big way again since having kids.
I cannot recall my first set as we always had so much LEGO in the house (I had an older brother who was really good with sharing his toys), but my earliest memory is playing with LEGO Fabuland 3871 Maximilian Mouse.
After I turned 12, I stopped playing with LEGO. I would go a full three years without touching a brick until 1999 when Star Wars returned to the cinemas with The Phantom Menace, and with it, LEGO Star Wars sets.
Josh: I always loved LEGO – or as we say here in Adelaide, LAYGO – as a kid. I built so many of the City and medieval LEGO sets and loved to create buildings and vehicles with lots of playability factor.
As the third child in the family, I was handed down all the LEGO from my siblings and didn’t buy much for myself. As I grew older I moved away from LEGO, as most people do, but something always pulled me back every so often. I would see a cool set and buy it and have it displayed in my house. I really got back into it when the first season of LEGO MASTERS Australia came out and thought, ‘wow, I have to give that a crack.’
What are your favourite types of models to build? Where do you do your building?
Josh: I mostly built sets following instructions and never really spent much time building MOCs [my own creations] before the show – and admittedly didn’t know what a MOC was before I applied.
I especially love the pirate themed sets, having cool things displayed around my house (like the Pirates of the Caribbean Black Pearl). I love to build at home on the floor where I can tip out the whole bucket of LEGO and rummage through it looking for the bits I need.
Trent: As a toy collector, I’m more of a set builder. I like to build the sets from the instructions. I generally build in the lounge room or on the dining room table. I also build with the kids (I have 2 boys aged 7 and) … and this is always on the carpet in any room in the house!
I love the modular sets, buildings that are so beautifully designed and realised. I love building these and seeing all the ingenious ways the designers have utilised new and interesting building techniques. 10246 Detective’s Office is one of my favourites, complete with a secret passage to smuggled barrels of ‘cookies’ from the kitchen on the second floor, through the barber shop and into the bar on the street level.
Do you collect LEGO sets and/or bricks? Do you have any other creative hobbies?
I am also a writer (I have just finished writing a fantasy novel called the Dark Epoch: The Lost, which is going through the editing process as we speak. At 110,000 words it has been a two year journey, and is only the first in a trilogy. I also host a podcast called Toy Power Podcast. We talk about our love of toy collecting and interview many different guests from the toy industry on our show. A new episode comes out every week, and so far, we have done 166 episodes!
Josh: I wouldn’t call myself an avid collector as I only have a few sets here and there that I love. Trent, who I built with on the show, is the collector out of the two of us and has lots of sets in his house.
I love being creative in lots of ways and dabble in many different creative outlets like drawing, singing and design. I really love gardening as well and expressing my creativity in weird and wonderful ways using plants.
Were you confident going into the LEGO MASTERS auditions?
Josh: I honestly didn’t expect to get as far as the auditions, so to get the call up was surprising. It was at that point that I thought ‘this is pretty cool’ and was happy to not get any further. I went into the audition already feeling like a winner, so without the pressure I was able to have fun and I guess that’s why they liked me in the end.
Trent: I’m generally a confident sort of guy, but I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to build anything good. Because of my affinity with building LEGO sets, I have never really done creative builds. In fact, I had to google what a MOC was because to me it means ‘Mint On Card’, a collecting term referring to a toy in its original packaging.
In the end, all the skills I had learned building all those sets, plus my big kid imagination, meant I was able to build something that got me through the audition process. In fact, I found the audition lots of fun.
How did you prepare for the show?
Trent: I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the show due to work
and family commitments. I built a few sets and practiced a few MOCs and new
techniques. But really, I just had to fly by the seat of my pants!
Josh: I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the show once I knew I was going to be on either, so I re-watched season one of the show and took notes of things with a different perspective to your average viewer. I also started to look up all sorts of cool techniques and skills that I hadn’t seen before and that really prepared me.
What was it like stepping into the build room for the first time?
Trent: It was surreal. I had watched Season 1, so it was so odd being in
a place I knew from tv. Then, seeing Hamish and Brickman standing out the front
made it super real.
Josh: It was a very surreal experience honestly. To go from thinking I would never get on the show, to auditioning and being successful, it all felt like a dream. I definitely had to stop and soak it in. It was such a luxury to have all those bricks, so to come home to my very small collection made me want to buy a lot more!
The next episode of LEGO MASTERS Season 2 will air on Nine in Australia on Tuesday, April 21 at 7.30pm.
Graham was the BrickFanatics.com Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education.
Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.