What’s New at LEGOLAND?
So what’s new at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre you ask? Lots! Starting on March 7, 2015, LEGOLAND is featuring its new model display, depicting the First Battle of Geonosis from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
It’s a pretty impressive display and quite detailed; they also made it interactive as well. The Geonosis Arena is quite daunting, as it is made with over 100,000 bricks. It took a Model Designer 136 hours to design and two Model Builders 426 hours to create this scene. There are over 3000 mini figures in the Episode II displays, including 1000 Geonosians in the execution arena, where Obi-Wan, Padmé, and Anakin are trying to escape.
While you are in Legoland, feel free to say and say “Hi” to Noel Straatsma, Legoland’s Master Builder.
Noel how did you become a Master Builder?
Noel: “Becoming a Master Builder was a very interesting job interview. Basically what happened was, 230 applicants at the interview, a whole bunch of competitions, with time build. So you had 20 minutes to build this model or theme, 30 minutes to build that, 40 minutes to build that. It was a public competition as well, so people would be able to talk with you and watch what you were doing. What the judges were looking for was how you interacted with the people and your creativity, so if you did well in both you would progress to the different levels. There were four rounds in total, and I got to the final. I beat out all the other 229 applicants. So it was its pretty intense, but a lot of fun, definitely a lot of fun!”
How long did the process take to become the Master Builder?
Noel: “The whole interview competition was two days, so it was Saturday and Sunday. I started at 9 in the morning on Saturday and ended up at 5 or 6 on Sunday. There were lots of people, the top 25 were asked to come back the following day and we got to build household themes, so whatever you wanted to build on the theme. Lots of people built food, I built a complete dinner. Yeah it was a lot of fun, the final build was actually what best describes us, so put yourself into your creation. I am also a drummer, so I built an entire drum set and set up everything to go!”
What are some of the things we should be looking forward to at Legoland this year?
Noel: “We have our new Blackbox opening; it’s a Star Wars mini land, based on the second movie Attack of the Clones. So we have different themes in that made of Lego you can play with and build. We also have our big Star Wars event happening in November, so there will be models everywhere. There will be people dressed up, and we will have different builds.
In the summer, we have our summer activities. It is going to be a little busier this year, so check out our activities online. A lot of exciting things are happening. One is a 4D movie. We are planning on making a 4D movie based on The Lego Movie itself. It will probably be 10 – 12 minutes long, guests can watch it and hold characters, do voices, it will have a whole bunch of interactives in it.
What’s your favourite Lego theme/model coming out this year?
I really like the new Scooby Doo line they are coming out with. They are going to have the Mystery Machine in there, so that is really cool, and lots of the City stuff. I am a real big fan of the City line. They also have a new Pirate line coming out as well, with lots of new pirates.”
(photos by Phil)
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