TEWKSBURY — Tewksbury Lego enthusiast Donovan Conway was selected recently to participate in Brick Fest Live, a Lego enthusiast touring event making its way around the country this fall.
Conway participated in the tour at its stop at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough in September. A year-long event, Brick Fest showcases local Lego builders and hosts their elaborate displays with the goal of educating and inspiring kids and adults about the possibilities of Lego.
Conway, who has been interested in Lego since age 3, considers himself a city designer.
“I like to build my own designs and create cityscapes,” said Conway, a student at the Wynn Middle School.
Conway said there are many project kits available from Lego but prefers to deconstruct them and use the parts to make his own landscapes. Conway estimates he has over 100,000 Lego pieces and will only use original parts.
“I don’t want to use 3D printed parts, just original Lego,” said Conway.
With his application accepted, Conway set about dismantling and transporting his 30”x 8’ cityscape, which he works on improving all the time at home. Sections of the city were packed in boxes stuffed with paper to prevent breakage, and then reassembled at the venue.
Among the participants at the expo were Lego Entertainment live streamers, celebrities from the Lego Masters program, along with multiple events such as Lego trivia, a Lego derby, and several interactive stations where attendees could create their own designs and contribute to large installations such as a giant Lego mosaic.
There were many Lego vendors and merchandise dealers at the convention along with the displays from individual contributors like Conway. There were also regional groups, known as Lego User Groups, or LUGs.
Conway’s city is a combination of custom building and sets.
“Many kids liked the ice cream truck and the construction site,” said Conway.
Attendees would ask the exhibitors questions and recognize pieces and parts that they had themselves. Conway’s display provided inspiration for how to use their own parts differently.
Some of the features of Conway’s design that were popular included a Bob Ross billboard, a skyscraper, and a construction zone. Conway said that other exhibitors had full Lego creations of Egyptian landmarks, British landmarks such as Big Ben, and notably a giant, detailed airport which took the entire weekend to assemble.
Conway said in order to keep up his skills he watches online videos, reads books about the craft, and practices.
“I try to keep my cityscapes to Lego people-scale, so it requires me to plan out and think about what I am doing,” said Conway.
Conway encourages anyone interested in Lego design to look to online marketplaces to buy used Lego, then start building.
“Lego is not just for kids and there are many user groups for those over age 18,” said Conway, noting that participants in the convention ranged in age from child to adult. “It’s a great hobby.”