Lego club kids show off their stacking prowess

Posted May 20, 2011, at 11:54 p.m.

CAMDEN — Last month, thousands of Brazilian children broke the world record for the tallest Lego tower at 102 feet. Last week, 20 Camden children — despite their best efforts — couldn’t top it.

“It took a cherry picker to do the biggest one [in Brazil]. My mom saw it on Google. She showed me. It looked hard,” said Rex Radford, 6, of Belfast.

Indeed.

Perhaps the largest tower built at the Camden library Lego Lovers Club meeting Wednesday, May 18, was a respectable 3-foot-tall piece, complete with a guard, rocket launcher and roof, stacked by 9-year-old Jesse Bifulco of Camden.

“I’m good at making stable things,” Jesse said. “Mine has a lot of bases to make it stable.”

Every 3 to 5 inches up the skinny tower, Jesse sculpted large, wide platforms. This, he said, is absolutely necessary.

Rex and Sam Skovran, both 6, of Camden sat on the carpeted library floor next to Jesse. Sam’s tower had just crumbled into a pile of plastic bricks.

“It’s not a tower anymore. It’s a broken submarine now,” Sam said.

“My tower is done,” Rex said back.

“You could make it touch the ceiling,” Sam said, looking at Rex’s 2-foot-tall masterpiece.

“No. I’m only this tall,” Rex said, standing — far below the ceiling.

Sam suggested Rex get a machine to build the structure taller, like they did in Brazil last month.

“The library doesn’t have a machine,” Rex said.

True.

Watching over the tower building was mom Lisa Brott of Camden. Her 7-year-old son Emerson never misses a Legos Lovers Club meeting, which are held monthly on Wednesdays. “He’s obsessed,” she said. “He has thousands. Maybe hundreds of sets. Our whole living room is Legos.”

Most recently, Star War’s Battle of Endor was re-enacted in the living room.

“You don’t think when you have kids your life will change. But now I know what the Battle of Endor is. I didn’t expect that,” Brott laughed.

Star Wars seemed popular among club members. Just about every boy who brought a box of Legos had a jedi and a wookiee ready.

Rex owns Batman and Star Wars Legos. But he won’t mix the sets. Luke Skywalker never fights the Joker.

“I don’t even own a Joker. I have the Penguin, though. He has small pants,” Rex said.

Amid the playing, Amy Hand, the head children’s librarian stood up. In the corner, she said, were Lego books, Star Wars books, super hero books and more. Immediately, some children rushed over to flip through them.

The Lego Lovers Club is the way Hand tricks little boys into coming to the library regularly. It works. She has a devout following of boys who do not miss the club. Not as many girls.

The group started last summer. When Hand saw that children in Brazil had recently broken the world record for tallest Lego tower, she knew Camden had to try.

“It’s larger than anything we could ever build — and I thought, that’s what I’m going to do. It adds focus to our Lego club,” Hand said. “It’s been fabulous. I’ve had so much fun. The kids have had so much fun.”

The Lego Lovers Club meets monthly. To see when the next meeting is, visit www.librarycamden.org/.

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