5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old: LEGO Master Builders

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Welcome to 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old, the series where Zoey—our intrepid 5-year-old reporter—decides what she likes at the current moment and then corners someone who does that for a living! (Previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Today, Zoey chats with a pair of LEGO Master Builders.

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“Master Builder” is one of those terms that you hear associated with LEGO bricks if you spend any time with them or reading about them. Especially now, after The LEGO Movie made the term so popular.

But few people really know what it means. Are they really like Emmet, Wildstyle, Vitruvius, and Batman? Do they have superpowers? Are they really able to stop Lord Business, destroy the Kragle, and save the universe?

Not quite. But they’re still incredibly cool. Case in point: Jason Miller and Chris Steininger. Jason is a master model builder at LEGOLAND Florida, where he and a small team are responsible for all of the creations you see in the park (including the impressive Miniland). Chris is a master builder with The LEGO Group and builds some of the incredible models you see at the traveling LEGO KidsFest shows.

After Zoey’s chat with Jason, he was kind enough to give us a quick tour of the LEGO Factory, which is where the magic happens. This is essentially his workshop—it’s the space (normally closed to the public) where tens of thousands of LEGO bricks are stored and where models destined for various corners of LEGOLAND Florida are born.

Let’s take a quick tour.

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Neither Jason nor Chris makes any pretense about his job; both pretty much admit they play with LEGO as a career. Livin’ the dream.

Zoey caught up with them to find out what exactly Master Builders do. And make. And how one becomes a Master Builder in the first place.

Because this might be her career path at this point.

Bonus points to Jason for the STEM shout-out and to Chris for the on-the-spot, user-friendly explanation of injection molding and how LEGO bricks are made.

All questions are Zoey’s. I simply prompt her with “clue words” so she can remember. (Make sure you turn on subtitles if you can’t make out Zoey’s questions.)

Jason Miller at LEGOLAND Florida:

Chris Steininger at LEGO KidsFest:

Huge thanks to both Jason Miller and Chris Steininger for taking the time to chat with Zoey. Thanks also to Brittany Williams at LEGOLAND Florida and Tracey Weiss at LEGO KidsFest for helping to arrange the interviews.

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Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. When he's not knee deep in a convoluted grammatical mess of a sentence, he's likely on an adventure with his two adorable ragamuffins. You can check out more of his ramblings on The Roarbots, StarWars.com, and Babble.