Building the Next Generation of Fandom at LEGO Kidsfest

LEGO Master Builder demonstrates at LEGO Kidsfest

Building the Next Generation of Fandom at LEGO Kidsfest

Story and photography by Matt McCloud

Everything was indeed awesome at the LEGO Kidsfest last weekend at the Kentucky Expo Center! Kids of all ages turned out to try their hand at every type of brick in the building as displays and demonstrations exploded onto the convention floor. Kids were hands-on building with every theme imaginable (with the noted exception of Bionicle, currently undergoing a refit). Duplos, Marvel and DC Heroes, Friends, Architect, Star Wars, Dimensions, Disney Princess, and hordes of others had their own “Block” in Lego City. Toddlers, tweens, teens, and even adults lined up to assemble planes, ships, cars, robots, and pretty much anything they could imagine.

The Star Wars Hangar Bay Relay was one of the biggest attractions at LEGO Kidsfest, in which teams of 2-5 relayed through a mock hangar bay to collect five ship parts at one end and assemble them using plans at the other.  Stand-up figures of classic Lego Star Wars icons, like Darth Vader, served as obstacles in the relay. The Master Builder Workshop was directly behind that, where one of only eight Master Builders in the world gave a short demonstration and history of LEGO, starting with its name which means “play well” in Dutch.  

Other Fun Facts learned while at the expo:

  • A brick made today can still fit perfectly with the first standard plastic brick design from 1958
  • Every person on earth owns an average of 86 LEGO bricks.
  • If the all the LEGO people where an actual population it would be over 4 billion—the largest on earth!

Chris Steininger, one of the Master Builders in attendance, described part of his job as “being out in the public to help inspire kids to push the boundaries of what they do with LEGO and to inspire them to be creative with their imaginations when playing with Lego kits.” He said he is very proud that “the LEGO motto is ‘only the best is good enough,’” which explains their tough quality standards. Steininger said that LEGO is still relevant after 60 years for a reason. 

“LEGO is tapping into the fathers who grew up playing with LEGO and really passing on their love of LEGO. And, mothers, too.” he said. “Everyone loves LEGO as a childhood memory.”

Shelby Craven, a youth worker who brought a group of kids with Youth Ministries to enjoy the kidsfest, expressed her awe for LEGO Kidsfest. 

“I was not expecting this much stuff to do here–it’s very hands on,” she said. “My favorite statue is Groot and Rocket. I’d definitely do another outing next year.”  

Morgan Fogle, a counselor bringing his friend described LEGO Kidsfest as, “a little kid’s dream come true.” Morgan and Zane exemplified the Master Builder’s idea of passing on their love of creativity and imagination with the new–which in itself is a pretty wonderful thing.