LEGO® Masters, season three was an epic train of amazing builds, crazy twists, and an awesome cast of AFOLs. Not only was it the first season with Canadian contestants, but it was also the fist time Canadians stole the show. While our LEGO® Masters coverage sadly comes to a close today, we get to end it on a high note. Along with other fan media, True North Bricks sat down for a roundtable session with season three winners, Nick and Stacey for an interview. I am SO thrilled to bring you this chat with the first ever Canadian LEGO® Masters!
Congratulations on being the first Canadian LEGO® Masters!
Nick: Thank you so much!
Stacey: It’s so surreal, it doesn’t feel real yet.
How did you come up with the bookshelf concept for your final build?
Nick: We actually stumbled on our idea a little last minute. We were very focused on each individual challenge as we were getting through them. When the finale came around, we wanted to make sure we were going to be working on something we were excited about. It’s 24 hours, you want to be very invested in what you’re building. We were stumbling with some different ideas, and we slowly built on top of each other’s concepts. I think we talked about a nightstand at one point, and then it became a bookshelf.
It slowly evolved into something that just really made sense. We liked the bookshelf idea a lot because it felt like it was a canvas. We would have loved to build all the individual things on the bookshelf. But had we just done that and laid it out, it would not have been an effective way to present it. The bookshelf was just a great canvas for us to throw on whatever we were excited and passionate about building.
Stacey: We started making a list. Everything you could think of from your childhood that you’re excited about. And the list was so long, we could have just kept going.
Nick: It was the opposite of a lot of challenges when we were struggling to think of an idea. We had way too many ideas.
Stacey: Too many ideas, we had to start narrowing them down.
Nick: Yeah, we thought the shelf must be a good thing for us to be going with because we were so excited about it. Any of the things on the list would have been so fun to build.
Stacey: It was so exciting to make something life-sized too. One of the cool things was that everybody at the finale built in different scales. Ours was life-size and our bookshelf fooled a lot of people on set. They thought it was a real shelf.
Nick: Some of the camera guys said they almost wandered into it or leaned on it. That would not have been ideal.
Stacey: At one point, someone set something on it.
What were some of the details from your builds that we didn’t get to see on TV?
Stacey: Starting with that final build that we did, we never got to see the back of our bookshelf. We had things like the missing sock that every kid has behind their bookshelf. We even sketched in “Stacey and Nick equals best friends forever.”
Nick: We had some crayon drawings on there too. Even the sides of the build, you didn’t get a great look at them. We put some wear and tear on them. I think every kid had those glow in the dark stars that you slapped all over your room, so we slapped some of those on the side. That was a little bit of a throwback to the tree house build too. Just some small nods to some of the past builds which were very quickly glossed over.
Stacey: There’s never enough time to show every single detail on the build. Which is too bad because we all put so much time and energy into them. We also incorporated a lot of our past builds into this final build as well that I would have liked to see a little bit more. Like our little spaceship shooting out the side.
Nick: And a corgi sitting on top of the LEGO® organizer.
Stacey: We had lots of fun details like that. And other than that, I would say episode one, the spaceship challenge was definitely one of our favorites. Inside our cockpit, we had a whole streaming setup. We actually had the lights light up the camera, and a computer station because we’re streaming to the galaxy. And then this beautiful tree inside.
Nick: Which was a maple syrup tree. The maple syrup is flowing out of the tree and powering those Canadian engines. We even had little space people floating in there which were supposed to represent our moderators. They go through all sorts of things trying to help organize and keep our streams under control. So of course, they were floating around in space, and all sorts of chaos.
I was also a little sad we didn’t get a closer look at some of the details in our castle build. We had a little bit of a challenging character because we had the Snow Guardian. What kind of castle can you really build for someone who lives in the Arctic, right? You really are kind of limited to just going with white. But we did take a lot of time to make sure that there were things that did stand out with our build. We built polar bears for the snow guardians to ride on.
Stacey: And Nick did all these Huskies. Nick is amazing at his character builds. They have so much emotion and feeling, and they were so perfect. People in the room were just like, “Oh, I love it. I want to take that home with me.” And you really didn’t get to see it.
Nick: And we actually had a bunch of light bricks at various locations around the build. You did get to see those as the camera walked around though. It was dark enough to see the bricks light up. It’s just fun little details like that you unfortunately didn’t get enough time to see. That’s with every build on the show. You guys have no idea how much you miss out on in everybody’s build in every challenge. It’s so sad.
Stacey: We need to petition that they don’t break down the builds after and let us take them home.
We’ve often heard from other contestants that show requires you to pivot frequently, be it due to comments from the judges or parts you can’t find in the brick pit. Are there any pivots that you are particularly proud of?
Nick: Immediately, I think of the Shang-Chi build. We were struggling a little with how to get him floating in the air. I was digging for other pieces when I noticed some string. Not that its uncommon or anything, but when you’re under pressure on the show, you’d be amazed at how many things you actually forget about in terms of LEGO® building and techniques. Luckily, they had some of the incredibly long string so we didn’t have to stitch together a bunch of small ones. We decided to see if we could build a hook for him to hang off of. We knew they would present it at a particular angle, so we used some “Hollywood movie magic”.
Stacey: And we had so much depth in our build, so its not like we could build straight off the back.
Nick: It was a lucky find in the brick pit that actually saved us in that challenge.
We recently heard that the Bricklink designer program is coming back. If they did a LEGO® Masters edition, which of your builds would you select to enter?
Stacey: I love our tree house.
Nick: Our treehouse would be one for sure.
Stacey: Is that not just the ultimate treehouse? Don’t you just want to play in there? It was a really fun build with the opening door and all the details in the back. Is there another you would pick?
Nick: The spaceship. I don’t think a kit the size of actual spaceship would be very good for most people, but a nice handheld one that you could really swoosh around. I definitely focused on swooshability.
Stacey: We definitely swooshed our ship!
Nick: Yeah, that’s one moment you actually missed. When we were carrying our build over to the station, I was fully swooshing.
Stacey: I didn’t quite carry it because I was in high heels, but I was making sound effects.
Nick: You’ve got to really live in the moment of the builds, you know? Embrace them!
What is it like building at home versus building on the set of a TV show?
Stacey: We’re just so lucky with how we already build at home, with live streaming most of our builds. So, I think that maybe gave us a little bit of an advantage; that we’re already kind of used to that.
Nick: It is still another level, for sure.
Stacey: It’s still another level. At home, we don’t have Will coming over making jokes with us and keeping things light on set. I really liked those moments that kind of break up the building. To just have some fun banter back and forth.
Nick: It is certainly a marathon experience. Exactly like Stacey said, having those little moments to just snap you out of it for a second and give you a chance to reset was such a positive thing to have.
Where do you get inspiration from when building with LEGO® bricks?
Nick: I think we just pull from the things that we love. I’ve always really enjoyed building replicas of the things that I enjoyed while growing up. That was a little bit more on the Star Wars side. I know Stacey loves Star Wars too, she’s done a lot of Star Wars builds. As I got more into gaming, I wanted to build more gaming stuff.
As I discovered different things that I was interested in and excited about, I found it really easy to want to build and invest time into bringing those creations into life. So, anytime someone asks me how to get started with LEGO® building, build something you really like to build, something you’re excited and passionate about. It will be so much easier to overcome any barriers that you run into while you’re working on it when you’re excited about getting to that end result.
Stacey: I think that’s what was so great about our finale build. We were excited about what we were building the entire time. We would have loved to just keep on building.
Nick: We could have gone on for hours and hours adding more things to that bookshelf.
Stacey: We could have made a whole bedroom.
What are the top qualities that make a winning LEGO® Master?
Nick: I would say the number one thing is positivity. No matter what you might be going through in the competition, you have to stay positive. Stacey did that for me for so, so much throughout the competition. I can’t sing her praises enough, or how much she kept us in the competition. I think I probably would have taken myself out of the competition all together had it not been for Stacey being there saying, “No Nick, we can do this. Let’s not give up, we have so much to offer.” That positivity was literally what kept us in the competition and took us to a great place.
Stacey: Positivity is so important. Also, teamwork. I mean, we’re both here for a reason. So, really lean on each other’s strengths, dive into those, and really encourage your partner to bring their best self to build.
Nick: Give your partner room to let those strengths shine. Like Stacey bringing out so much story, building a ballerina for a bull rider. I don’t think I would have thought of that on my own. I’m so glad Stacey suggested it. It was a build I would have never worked on in a billion years, but it was so much fun. I’m so glad that we got to do that. We did that for each other at different times. Then with the finale, it was like perfect harmony. We both were so excited and passionate about it.
Stacey: We had so much story and heart, and I think that’s really important. Because that’s what you’re doing when you’re building these LEGO® creations. You’re creating a whole world, a story to tell. So, really just dive deep into that and make it something fun.
What were relationships like with other contestants on the show?
Stacey: We all got close so fast. The filming days are so long and you’re doing so much LEGO® building. But the second we would get back to the hotel, we would all go to someone’s hotel room to keep hanging out.
Nick: Or we had a fire pit just outside of the hotel that we would all circle around. It was so nice to have people that were going through the same thing you are to relate on that experience. It’s like what Greg said when they exited the competition. Pressure really forges something special. It really was the environment for forging really special relationships.
Stacey: It was amazing and we’re all still so close. These are lifelong friends of ours.
Nick: We’re all counting down the days until the next LEGO® convention where we can hang out, catch up, and just celebrate all the amazing things we did this season.
Stacey: I’m really lucky because I’m on the West Coast. Emily has already been over to my studio a couple of times. I’ve done a couple of Nerdy Bartender lives with her. We just have to get Nick to come out and visit more.
It sounds like decompressing with the cast was important. How else did you handle the pressures of being on the show?
Nick: I think it circles back to Stacey’s positivity and her encouragement. And just remember that we are having fun. When you take that quick second to just look around and take it in. It’s amazing how quickly you’ll forget to do that, being caught up in the intensity of the experience. So, taking those little moments to look up at the LEGO® Masters sign, all the bricks, the lights, and the giant bricks that go up and down as you walk in and out. Those are all little things that you could very easily just forget about. Just taking those tiny moments to remember why you are there, why it’s so incredible that you get to be there, and how much fun you get to have doing all this stuff, that is what will push you beyond your limits.
Stacey: It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you can hold on to that and remember that, that will give you energy. And also, because I have the best LEGO® partner in the world, Nick would make me coffee in the morning! He knew I had a lot more to do to get ready and get out the door. He would have a coffee ready for me to go, that was really sweet.
Nick: Gotta be a team. Teamwork makes the dream work.
If you could design a LEGO® Masters challenge ideally suited to your team, what would that be?
Stacey: Maybe doing something with micro-builds? I would have liked to see some mini challenges inside the challenges. I’m not sure exactly what that would look like. Maybe you’ve got 30 minutes to build “x”, maybe it’s a micro-build. Then you incorporate it into a bigger build after. Something like that would have been really fun.
Nick: I would really be into that idea. I love doing very small-scale building. It was so nice on the finale, having a little more breathing room to take time and do that in certain places. So, just having a focused opportunity to get small and get detailed. One of the most amazing things about LEGO® is all of the wonderful little pieces they’ve added to really open up the possibilities of what you can do at a small scale.
Stacey: I thought of one more. Some challenges were non-elimination challenges. I think it would have been amazing to have us all come together and build something gigantic. All work as a team, non-elimination, and just build something epic.
Nick: Imagine the middle of that big room just becomes our canvas for every team to build something on? That would have been awesome.
What advice would you give to AFOLs emerging from their dark ages or just starting out in the LEGO® hobby?
Nick: One of the pieces of advice I like to go to is that I really love Creator 3-in-1 sets. I think they are really great because you have more than one thing to build from them. If you can find a Creator 3-in-1 set related something that you’re really into, you might find a little bit of inspiration from building all three models. You have a great selection of pieces to work with to build more as well. If you get a great Creator parts set, there’s infinite possibilities, not just a three-in-one set. There are infinite possibilities, it’s a billion-in-one set. So, I always like to recommend those as a great set to get started with.
Stacey: Absolutely, and again, just find something you like, there’s so many amazing LEGO® sets out there. Like if you’re a Star Wars fan, they’ve got you covered.
Nick: Don’t be afraid to slow down while you’re building those sets too. We all really enjoy the nice therapeutic process of building, and it can be very relaxing. But it also might mean while you’re building, you’re missing out on some of those finer details and techniques. If you step back and think about how to apply those techniques, or how the designer came up with a technique, that can be something you might be able to carry forward into your own building.
And that’s a wrap!
A special thanks to Nick and Stacey for all the time they took to answer our questions. Interestingly this marks the second time True North Bricks has collaborated with Nick. He wrote a guest article for us a while back. Check that out by clicking here. Of course, you can continue to follow both Nick and Stacey’s exploits online as well. You can find links to all of Nick’s socials over on his website, BrickinNick.com. Additionally, Stacey’s channels are available through her Linktree. Thank you all for following along with True North Bricks for this past season of LEGO® Masters on FOX.
Until next season,
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