The largest and most impressive of these Lego displays, which
ranged from a life-sized Darth Vader to Sponge Bob, were the two tables
displayed by the New England Lego Users Group, a group for adults that love to
build with Legos. “We’re just a club; we do this as a hobby. We all have real
jobs,” said longtime member Joe Comeau, who said he “primarily builds amusement
The New England group’s display featured a motorized amusement
park – complete with whirling teacups and a dragon with flapping wings – houses
and buildings and a train running throughout.
Some of the buildings were several feet tall, and included clear
plastic Lego windows. One had two towers connected by a mostly clear walkway,
many stories above the ‘ground.’
Lego lovers from around New England founded the group “almost
exactly 10 years ago” in August 1999, said Eric Kingsley, one of the founding
They now have about 60 members “in all six New England states,”
The group is mostly made of men, although “there are a few
women,” Kingsley said.
Kingsley thinks the gender imbalance is mainly because Legos are
marketed towards boys. He said the group would like to see the company also
market the building toys to girls.
However, there are some women, and they are just as excited about
Legos as the men are.
“This is just very cool,” said Linda Dallas, a five-year member.
Her husband is also a member, she said.
She said her first group project was a “bug build” at the
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. The children’s hospital
wanted the group to construct some insects to fit in a rainforest theme.
In the Hartford show, Dallas provided the teacups in the
amusement park and a pirate scene.
In construction, the group uses square Lego base plates –
measuring 32 “bumps” by 32 “bumps” – on tables, said Kingsley.
Lego Kidsfest at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
“The members each make their own buildings,” said Kingsley. “We
try to maximize the amount of stuff on the table.”
Club members bring their own Lego structures to the show and set
them up according to a color-coded map created using a computer design program.
The increase in members over the past few years has made the
arrangement more complicated.
“It’s become hard to fit everything into a layout,” Kingsley
Kingsley’s main contribution to the event was a huge, multi-story
train station that moving Lego trains could pass through.
Kingsley said he tried to incorporate features of other train
stations into his structure, including Grand Central Station in New York City
and another in Boston, near his home.
“I took different elements from different buildings,” Kingsley
Although in real life he is a computer professional, Kingsley
doesn’t use computer programs to help in his designs.
“I do it all from my head and from pictures.”
Despite the complexities, or perhaps because of them, the members
still love to build.
“This is definitely a passion,” said Comeau. “It’s a blast.”