Eddie & Asiza Interview

LEGO® Masters, season three is now two episodes in. I recently caught up with contestants Eddie and Asiza for an interview about their time on the show. They shared their experiences within the LEGO® community, how they got into the hobby, the origins of their “smile check”, as well as their advice to those just getting into LEGO® collecting. You can watch the interview below, or read on for more in our Eddie and Asiza interview!

Watch our Eddie and Asiza interview on YouTube.

How did you get into the hobby?

Eddie: I’ve got to say it started with me. I got my first set at five years old, and it took off from there. It’s been non-stop for 40 years now. I’ve always been into LEGO®. I had a massive collection by the time I was a teenager. A little bit after young adulthood, I accidentally lost that collection. I’ve spent years building that collection back up to what it used to be. But it’s just always been part of my life. It’s something I love from being a kid and I’ve always just stuck with it.

Naturally, because I was so deep into it when we were growing up as kids, Asiza and my other sister would join in with the fun too. Asiza was a Barbie kid. So, she had Barbies but she didn’t have the Barbie Corvette, she didn’t have the Barbie Dream House. That’s where I came in. I would build her a house. I would build furniture for her Barbies, or a car. That’s how we always just stayed together, playing together. It was the stuff that, I guess you can say, bonded us. It’s definitely something that’s been in our family for over 30 years.

I got my first set at five years old, and it took off from there.

Eddie Gooden (LEGO® Masters USA, Season 3 contestant)

Asiza: It’s always a gift that I know will be a winner for my brother. You know, he’s not lying. I would moonlight a lot. Any time that I know I’m going to spend time with him, I know I’m going to end up in his brick room. His brick room was my brick room for a really long time. Then, you know, I’m saying: “look what I did!” here and there as I picked up cute little sets, or something caught my eye, or caught my fancy. But now, I’m proud to say I have my own brick room. I’m proud to say we’re doing more collaborating. I’m bringing stuff to the table to say: “here’s where I got stuck. How can I enhance this and how can I add to it?”

I now have a toddler who’s two. So, we’re not quite ready for LEGO® yet. We’re still in the Duplo stage, which is actually quite delightful as well. It’s just one of those exciting things that we can do together. I think as an adult, my LEGO hobby kind of came out of necessity because I’ve always lived in smaller spaces. I mean, I have my own house now, but it’s still small. LEGO® is one of those things that you can create with and document however you want. For us, it’s photography. Then you can break it on down again and put that stuff away.

We’re still in the Duplo stage, which is actually quite delightful.

Asiza Sandoval (LEGO® Masters USA, Season 3 contestant)

I was a puzzle enthusiast for a while, but you run out of wall space. I display small sets, so it hasn’t overtaken my entire house. I’ve got some things nicely placed here and there. But I feel that as I move forward, that will probably become more of a problem than it is right now. I have been building a lot more lately than I have before now. It’s just a hobby that’s super convenient. Not cheap, so there’s that, but it’s a lot of fun. It really is a lot of fun to challenge yourself to take a line from a song, or from a book you’re reading, or whatever it is and see if you can make that come to life with bricks.

Eddie and Asiza
Eddie and Asiza (Photo used with permission. ©2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Tom Griscom/FOX)

Can you tell us the story behind smile check?

Eddie: Smile check. I wouldn’t call it “a thing” thing. When we grew up, we spent a lot time alone because our parents worked a lot, like most people. And those times, if we were down or not having a good day, mad, or whatever it may be, you have to keep that energy up, you just have to. Smile check was just something we’d throw at each other every once in a while, to be like: “Hey, I know you’re not looking right today, so do smile check! What’s the matter with you?” You know what I mean? It one of those little household things.

Asiza: It’s something that we kind of resurrected. I’m a thinker, and going into this, and I was like: there’s going to be times where it gets tough, and it gets intense. How are we going to signal each other? That lightbulb just came on to say, “Oh, hey, remember our little smile check from back in the day that we haven’t used in a while?” And then we just kind of resurrected it. It definitely fit what we were doing. I think its going to be around to stay because our kids love it.

Episode two build by Eddie and Asiza on LEGO® Masters, Season 3. Photo used with permission. ©2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Tom Griscom/FOX

If you could design a LEGO® Masters challenge in which you would dominate, what would that be?

Eddie: What I show on my Instagram is basically small scenery. It’s focused around minifigures. I feel like what I specialize in, what I am best at, is creating very detailed sceneries for minifigure stories, minifigure action photos, things along those lines.

Asiza: I don’t know if I could answer that definitively. Getting a theme or a prompt is really where I take my inspiration from. When I build, a lot of times it might be something that’s inspired by a song that I sing to my two-year-old 27 times a day. Or it might be a “Motivation Monday” that I see at work about the glass being half full. I just kind of pull from around me. I don’t know if that’s the best answer, but that’s the answer for me.

Asiza and Eddie center stage on LEGO® Masters with fellow contestants Kerry and Patrick. Photo used with permission. ©2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Tom Griscom/FOX

What is your advice for people just getting into the LEGO hobby?

Asiza: I would say start slow, because it really does get low-key compulsive fast as you’re growing that collection [laughs]. Secondarily, I’m an insurance person by trade. I work for an insurance company, and I always talk about making sure that you are properly documenting what you have. Take inventory, take pictures, because your homeowner’s insurance carrier is not just going to give you $30,000 because your house burns down and you say that you have that much in LEGO®, which you most certainly could. That is a reality there. So, my advice kind of goes to the more educational side of LEGO® [laughs]. It’s a collection that grows very quickly and its very valuable.

Eddie: If I had to give advice, my main thing is do you. I’ve been building, like I said, my whole life. But, as far as being a member of the LEGO® community, so to say, I’m pretty new. I only started my Instagram about two years ago. Up until then, my hobby has just been my hobby. Since joining the community and putting myself out there, I’ve met a lot of builders. There are thousands upon thousands of LEGO® pages. I’d say do your own thing, don’t follow a trend. Don’t try to do what everyone else is doing just for the sake of doing what everyone else is doing.

If I had to give advice, my main thing is do you.

Eddie Gooden (LEGO® Masters, Season 3 contestant)

LEGO® is the perfect toy in my opinion. It was the greatest toy ever invented because of the fact that it doesn’t matter how many people are out there, it doesn’t matter who you are. Every person who builds, if they do their own thing, brings something brand new to the table. That is what’s so awesome about LEGO®, there’s room for everyone.

So, do your own thing. Don’t feel pressure, or feel like you have to do more than what you’re capable of. Don’t feel like you have to do anything. Do what you want to do. And share that with the community because the community loves just that. I’m pretty confident that most builders would say the same thing. It’s just a way to release, a way to be creative. It’s a way to teach and it’s a way to learn. It is so multifaceted that you don’t have to play by any rules.

Keep that in mind when you’re building something, and you have an idea and it’s frustrating you. Put it down, leave it alone. Come back to it in two weeks. You’re not on a time schedule, you’re running your own race. There’s no clock, you know what I mean? We’re on a clock for a certain amount of time. Once your off that clock, don’t worry about the clock. Do you work at your own pace? Build what you want to build and don’t do it to please others. Do it to please yourself. Everything else comes naturally after that.

Eddie and Asiza during episode two of LEGO Masters, season three.
Asiza and Eddie on episode two of LEGO® Masters, Season 3. Photo used with permission. ©2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Tom Griscom/FOX

More to come!

A huge thank you to Eddie and Asiza for this interview. It is sad to see contestants leave so early in the season. Ultimately, you never get to see what they can bring. However, if you want to see more from this sibling duo, check them out on Instagram. You can find Eddie at @e.b_brixx and Asiza at @sunnybricksiz. It was a pleasure to be able to learn more about Eddie and Asiza in our interview. Be sure to check back because there’s more to come in our complete coverage of LEGO® Masters, Season 3!

Until next time,

-Tom

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