LET'S GO LEGO! Ruby Haigh, 7, of Goonellabah, loves Lismore
LET'S GO LEGO! Ruby Haigh, 7, of Goonellabah, loves Lismore Marc Stapelberg

Creative minds battle with Lego

THERE has been some serious Lego building at Lismore Shopping Square as 120 contestants battled it out in 20-minute sessions to create the most stunning creations.

Four heats have taken place each day, with kids aged three to 14 getting their hands on 3500 pieces - or about 1600 litres - of Lego, their own board and the chance to win glory and some major Lego prizes.

Northcoast Productions manager Simon Griffiths said anyone could enter for free and it was really about having fun.

"The creativity never ceases to amaze me as there is always something new," he said.

"One year we had a finalist create a full-size Darth Vader mask, and last week we had something completely new - a dancing strawberry.

"Girls and boys compete equally and it's anyone's guess who's going to make it into the finals.

"It is interesting how they are influenced by their surroundings - we have a lot of waterfalls, beaches and mountains."

Ruby Haigh, 7, of Goonellabah, has about 35kg of her own Lego at home and thought it was a great holiday activity. This year built an aeroplane for the challenge.

"Last time I built a house," said Ruby.

The finals will be held tomorrow and consist of 20 participants from the 3-7 age group and 20 participants from the 8-14 age group, all of whom have been triumphant during the week's heats.

Mr Griffiths calculated that over the 20 years of running the Lego challenge, organisers would have seen 100,000 children put their creative minds to work, which roughly calculated to one million fingers trawling through the coloured blocks.

But fear not - all children get a dose of hand sanitiser before entering the building area.

Prizes totalling $800 have been presented during the week and $100 creator sets will be given out at the finals, which start at 11.30am.

When it comes to Lego, Mr Griffiths is no idle bystander.

His favourite thing to build is rocket engines and they have occasionally become huge structures.



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