LEGO® Masters USA – Season 2, Episode 10: Flip My Block
Episode 10, titled Flip My Block, is a home renovation show with a LEGO® twist. Tonight’s
semi-finals, er, regular episode, challenges the 4 remaining teams to take a small house build and renovate it into something new and exciting. Their task is to completely reuse all the existing bricks on the base and create a new, fantastic home in its place. Each house is identical save for the colour scheme – and maybe a shrub here or there. They must also make it move, add as much motion and energy as they can. Motion is always a tall order for a challenge and this one is no exception.
Flip My Block gives our teams 11 hours to do their best to add some value to these properties. The market is hot right now after all 😜. Will does his best reno host look complete with tear away plaid sleeves (he hates sleeves!) And just for authenticity, everything is EXTREME! The camera cuts are extreme, the title cards are extreme, the high-fives….well those need work. This week also throws in another twist – albeit a small one. At the 7 hour mark Will brings in some tiny boxes via forklift (as one does). Inside is a random part that the builders must use ALL of in their model. And when I say random, I mean random: we have snakes, clown hair, mugs and skateboards. The part must also be used in a new way. Brickmaster Jamie explains this approach as NPU – ‘Nice Parts Useage’.
With only 4 teams left I will simply break everything down by build.
Jen & Natalie make a living doing home renovations – this seems like a perfect match of real-life and LEGO®-life for the DIY moms. They choose to rebuild the tiny suburban home into a wacky, colourful circus setting. Early on however we see them really struggling with the motion aspects of the reconstruction. The spotlights are a fun idea, but the long pipe pieces really seem to get in the way when activated. They select pink clown hair as their extra piece and out of all the teams, do the best with incorporating it. Pink clown hair = cotton candy. G-E-N-I-U-S. Cotton candy is even growing on bushes for that fun, whimsical feel. Ultimately there is some struggle with activating their motion elements, but it does finally get going. Even with things running, the judges feel the moving elements are too few and too simple. But overall a very fun and animated build with lots to admire.
Mark & Steven take their cute little suburban home and get spooky with it. Their design concept is a haunted house. And not some run-of-the-mill haunted house mind you, a Rock n’ Roll haunted house. I’m totally on board with Dracula being an obnoxious neighbour that parties too hard. They really have fun with the concept and embrace lots of quirky details. The NPU piece, a plain yellow mug, is used pretty well as railing elements. The home rebuild sticks pretty close to a traditional house shape, but with the right amount of themed embellishments. Movement wise there is a decent amount to help animate the build, but just barely. The raising roof and winding snake stand out, but I don’t recall too much more. Our judges are definitely impressed with their efforts.
I don’t know the question, but clearly for Zack & Wayne the answer is “when pigs fly!” The brothers really go outside the box this week with an epically wild build. We see them literally raise the roof. And the walls. And the plumbing most likely. Zack & Wayne make a giant, flying pig home owned by a wealthy man that is just keen to show off his wealth to all his guests. Of all the builds, this one has the most amount of movement, an absurdly cool amount. It spins in place, the wings flap and the propellers spin. Zack did not exaggerate his skills with technic building and motion creation. Skateboards are their NPU piece and are used to represent feathers for this piggy plane. The judges praise their technic skills but find the bulk of the pig structure (😂) to be very blocky. Minecraft design aside, it’s a very fun creation and really stands out.
Fresh off their win last week, Caleb & Jacob hit the slopes with a skiing inspired rebuild. Taking cues from their home state, they decide on a wintery chalet rebuilt complete with mountain and chair lift. But once they got snakes as their NPU, they had to pivot. I think they did a pretty fun job with the snakes, using them as roof details and most cleverly as lava. Oh, the mountain is a volcano now. Sadly we also see a very nervous Caleb this week. He is full of doubts and even calls the build the worst in the room. Will puts a stop to it right away and gives him a great pep talk, it was genuinely lovely. I think the twins rebound really nicely and finish a pretty great build. Ultimately the movement elements are really simple and the judges would have liked to see more details, especially the chair lift. The buildings are also fairly simple in design. Still a solid effort.
As our teams wheel their builds over for final judging we get a couple of tense TV moments. Mark & Steven hit a bump and the small roof of their building falls off. After a commercial break of suspense and nail-bitingness, it’s fine (of course) and the brothers recover quickly. They also FINALLY play the golden brick to keep themselves safe. Smart move with so little challenges left. Also fun is Caleb running back to his work station to grab one last piece, applying it to the final build literally at the buzzer. Great hustle. The judging proceeds and there’s mostly praise for all the contestants. Some movement issues here, some aesthetic issues there, but overall a strong showing.
In the end, the judges choose Mark & Steven as the winners this week. I have to say I am somewhat surprised. Based on the movement criteria, I would have bet on Zack & Wayne taking the win this week. They certainly held back their own surprise I feel. So it looks like it came down to overall presentation and design. While Zack & Wayne made the most amount of movement, their pig home lacked finesse. It was just too blocky and abstract. With that in mind Mark & Steven secure their 3rd win of the season. This episode, if you’re not in the top spot, you’re in the bottom. And after some more reality TV suspense-making, we discover NO ONE is going home. The second non-elimination of the season and plays out very similar to last season’s semi-final. So, next week is the officially the semi-finals. Maybe. Probably. We’ll see 😆
This episode played out not at all how I expected. On the whole I appreciated the twist. But if there was ever a moment to keep everyone safe it should have been LAST week. But I am highly biased so maybe don’t listen to me – I’m still not over it people 😑😑. Back to this episode, the builds were super fun but only Zack & Wayne really wowed with the motion elements. It wasn’t enough to secure the win and I think it shook them up a bit. Mark & Steven are definitely the top contenders based on stats, but the twins and DIY moms are still in the running with at least one win each. And as we’ve seen, the game can change at any minute.
- Snake pieces as deadly lava is something straight out of The LEGO® Movie. So funny
- But clown hair as cotton candy was the true star of the NPU
- Speaking of NPU, those tiny brick-built boxes are adorable and I want one
- Will is exhausted playing the character to the extreme. He is all of us
- Zack & Wayne had the face-crack of the season when they didn’t win 😬
- Will’s talk with Caleb was a great moment, showed a lot of heart
- Wheeling builds over is the same energy as splitting an atom, it’s all nerves
OVERALL SCORE: 7 / 10
What are your thoughts on this episode? Are you happy with the results? Did you think someone should have been eliminated? Who are you rooting for with just 2 episodes left? Please comment below and as always, keep on brickin’.
LEGO® Masters USA airs Tuesdays at 8:00 PM ET/PT on FOX in the US, and on CTV, CTV.CA and the CTV app in Canada.
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