LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester's New Master Model Builder
From Stacking Shelves To Stacking LEGO Bricks
Does building with LEGO all day sound like a dream job? We sat down with LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester’s new Master Model Builder James Windle to find out how he secured one of the best jobs in the world!
What made you apply for the role of Master Model Builder?
I’ve always been a HUGE fan of LEGO ever since I can remember. When the job was advertised 40+ of my Facebook friends tagged me in the advert, saying it was the perfect job for me! I’ve always known I wanted to do something creative for a career, but was working in retail at the time.
This job ticks all those boxes allowing me to be creative, with all the different projects I’m tasked with. Turning what was just a hobby into an actual job is a dream come true - I went from stacking shelves, to stacking LEGO bricks for a living!
How did you get the job?
This was the most intense experience of my life, but a fun and exciting one. After sending in some of my LEGO builds, I was shortlisted to attend a ‘Brickruitment’ event held in a theatre.
All the potential candidates went through various speed build LEGO build challenges. These builds included me combing monster truck elements with a Unicorn, to make what I called “The Unicornator!!” which ate bad unicorns and turned them into glitter and rainbows, much to the delight of the judges – who happened to be kids aged 6 to 11.
We then had 45 minutes to build something that represented Manchester to us. I built a big music concert stage, with wind machines, big speakers and even LEGO backing dancers. I asked the judges who their favourite bands and singers were - involving the kids and their imaginations was key for me.
I made the top four and after a more formal interview, a 10ft LEGO Shark guy knocked on my door saying I was hired. Right then I knew I was in for the adventure of a lifetime!
What does a day in the life of a Master Model Builder entail?
No two days are the same, which is really fun! A typical day would include checking our Miniland first to see if it needs any repairs and planning for upcoming events such as our Christmas Bricktacular or Adult Fans of LEGO night. I also make current affair LEGO builds based on what is hot in the news that day - recently I built the Strictly Come Dancing trophy and remaining contestants.
The best part is often the meet and greet sessions, where kids can challenge us to build-offs and ask for LEGO help. You can really make someone’s day.
Why do you love working at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester?
Getting to play with LEGO is definitely the highlight of my job. Kids see us as real life master model builders like Emmet from the LEGO Movie, almost like super heroes - which is great! It’s really exciting to work with all the different LEGO bricks and see my creations come to life.
What are you most excited for in 2019?
The BIG one is obviously the LEGO Movie Part 2, I can’t wait to build and review the sets and make up epic scenes in our Miniland. I just want to continue building awesome builds for everyone to enjoy and develop my Master Builder skills further, and have lots of FUN FUN FUN along the way.