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LEGO Masters is Back & Now Casting for Season 2

The first season of the US version of the LEGO Master reality competition television series was so successful that a second season is already planned. The LEGO Masters competition was first held in the UK three years ago, and then it branched out to other countries like Germany, Australia, the United States, The Netherlands and Belgium, Sweden, Colombia, Chile, and Poland. Some of these countries already held one season, while others will have their first season next year.

In case you haven’t watched the first season, LEGO Masters pits teams of two against each other in a LEGO building competition that lasts through ten episodes. In each episode, the teams get new challenges and a limited time period to finish a specific task. After the allotted time, the teams demonstrate their creation to the host and judges (in the first season the host was Will Arnett and the judges were Amy Corbett, a senior design manager at LEGO, and Jamie Berard, who oversees the LEGO Creator Expert and LEGO Architecture lines. In each episode, the judges name the winning team, and the losing team who is then eliminated from the competition. The team that ultimate wins receives a LEGO Masters trophy and $100,000.

The first season of LEGO Masters featured some well-known and less well-known names from the LEGO fan community. The competition was intense but great fun, and watching it was enjoyable too. I have even heard from LEGO fans who took up the challenges themselves as they were following the show (albeit at a smaller scale – the contestants had access to practically unlimited LEGO bricks). LEGO fan media also closely followed the competition and I particularly enjoyed the exit interviews with great insights from the competitors.

As I mentioned above, the US is already planning their second season, and currently there is a casting call for participants at LEGOMasters.tv. If you’re interested, please consider the following eligibility requirements to ensure that you and your proposed teammate are eligible to apply.

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old as of 1/01/2021. For all applicants who are under the age of 18 at the time of application submission, the written consent of parents/legal guardians is required.
  • All persons selected are required to verify identity and eligibility to participate in the US and fulfill the requirements of the production in the US.
  • You will need to be available for a period of 5-7 weeks between February and April of 2021. (Exact dates of filming are to be determined.) You must be willing to travel to Atlanta, GA and/or other locations as part of production. If selected for the series, travel and accommodations will be provided.
  • In the application, you will be asked to identify a “Team Name” so that your application can be easily matched with your teammate. If you do not have a partner put N/A for team name.

If you’re eligible base on the requirements above, then you can go to LEGOMasters.tv to apply. The questionnaire you need fill out is quite long with a few serious and many fun questions so the casting crew gets to know you better. Read through the form and fill it out carefully. After that, you just need to wait until they get back to you.

I anticipate that we will see some excellent builders in the second season of the show, just like we did in the first one. If you would like to watch or re-watch the first season, you can do so at Fox.com/LEGO-Masters.

What do you think? Did you watch the first season of LEGO Masters? How did you like it? Are you looking forward to the second season? And do you think about applying as a contestant yourself? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!

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Brick Breakdown: LEGO Ideas Barracuda Bay

(Written by William)

Yo-ho! A pirate set! When I first heard about the #21322 LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay, I was stoked! We finally get to see what happened to the crew of the Black Seas Barracuda. Personality oozes from every side of this set. And to make it even better, it’s a two-in-one set with an awesome pirate island as well as a beloved pirate ship!

When building this set you get a sense of nostalgia due to the hybrid construction. And by hybrid I don’t just mean combining the island and the ship, but how LEGO designers combined the thick chunky parts and basic colors of the past (i.e. using yellow instead of gold for the ship), and modern elements and techniques. The result is a ship that looks classic but with plenty of modern details.

From bow to stern and all the wrecked parts in between, this set is a love letter to LEGO Pirates of old. As such, the building techniques don’t try to do anything too fancy. What is novel though, is how this set masters the art of presentation. Those are the techniques I would like to focus on. But before we do that I will share more of my general thoughts on the two versions of the set (pirate island and ship), then we will discuss the techniques. So, climb aboard and set sail, and wreck this ship on some building knowledge!


There are a number of examples of horizontal modularity in LEGO sets. The LEGO Creator Expert Modular Buildings, for example, feature connection points at their bases that can lock them together and form a unified street. Another example is that any time you build a LEGO train, each section of that vehicle is essentially a modular piece that can be connected with the rest. But what happens when you make a large model that needs to move around freely while still remaining modular? This presents some concerns for maintaining stability.

In the case of a train, the model does move, but it is along tracks, which keeps violent shifts to a minimum. The links of the train are also designed to absorb motion, thus protecting the stability of the modules, but not necessarily the entire train.

Buildings merely need a method to hold the position of each section together. If you want to move them, you will probably detach each model from the whole. Again, this modularity protects the individual segments but not the entire whole.

In the #21322 LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay we have chunks of the ship that are modular and can form parts or the island or could be used to assemble the ship. In addition, it’s likely that LEGO fans will want to move the ship around as a whole instead of in parts, so in ship-mode, the modules will need to stay together as one unit. To make all of this to happen, two distinct building techniques were used.

First, the modular sections are secured high and low. The lower sections use LEGO Technic pins to attach the various hull parts together. Then the upper level of the ship uses modified plates to bridge the gap between the three separate sections. The stern and middle of the ship connect these plates on the side, while the front of the ship is connected on the ship’s deck. Additionally, the front of the ship uses ball-joints to connect into the middle of the ship for even more security.

Attaching high and low covers the most area of a model as efficiently as possible. These are also the areas that will have the most amount of stress placed on them if the modules try to separate. If you are using this technique yourself, it may be wise to add a few other points to secure the sections together, based on the mass of your creation.

The second important technique is that the connection points at the top and bottom are different. This is to build in another layer of stability. For instance, let’s say the pins begin to fail because the ship is under a certain type of pressure. Well, if the top were also pins, they’d be under the same pressure and therefore likely to also fail. However, since they are plates using studs, the model would need to be under a very different type of stress to weaken that type of connection.

The end result is that these forms of modularity allow you to create a model that still uses very few connection points, but does not give up much in the way of its structural integrity. That’s not to say it is as strong as a ship that is built as a single piece, rather it addresses some inherent weak points when making something that is horizontally modular.


Over the years, we’ve seen countless LEGO sets that feature 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 models. Sometimes this number is even higher. In the traditional LEGO Creator sets with alternate models, the alternates tend to follow the same narrative as the main model; sea creatures, vehicles, robots, buildings, and so on. This approach makes a lot of sense as all models use the same pieces, so you will more likely end up building similar things with them. In general, LEGO fans like these sets, but aren’t really blown away by them because the narrative is weak and predictable. You don’t really need one model to tell a story about the alternates.

I think the impressive nature of Pirates of Barracuda Bay has to do with how the design handles the narrative. For example, the ship version of the model is in its prime, while the other is the same ship in its wrecked form. This is an extremely enticing narrative. You get two very distinct moments in time that are both fun to explore. Each version of the set informs the builder as to what things are and how they are altered.

And if you really stop and think about it, there’s even a third option for fans. Consider if Red Beard and his crew wanted to leave Barracuda Bay. What would the ship look like if they had to make some haphazard repairs? Fans have the opportunity to not only have fun with this narrative, but they can participate in it with their own version of an overgrown and debilitated ship.

It is rare for me to say that using this technique means you are just a better builder. After all, building is highly subjective. But if your goal is to create something engaging, you will want to consider the narrative of your creation. What is the story that is being told? Can a fan engage with it? If you can answer these questions solidly, then you are a better builder. This is something I struggle to remember to do myself in my own models, yet it is a technique that virtually takes no building skills. So, I highly recommend it as the basis for your own projects.


When you want to build something large, it often helps to create modular sections. There are two purposes for this. One is that you want to be able to move around the model easily, and another is that you want better access to the model’s play features. As you can tell with horizontal modularity, the goal was never to make each section fully secure. Rather it was about determining the bare minimum needed for a stable model. Builders can often lose sight of this, especially when they have a creation with significant structural concerns.

We also discussed how we should attempt to secure a model on its extreme points. In this case, attaching the boat high and low. This is fairly obvious. What’s less obvious is the use of different types of attaching techniques. Consider how you’d need to pull a piece to remove it. If it’s different than the other connection you make, then you’re on the right track.

From a building standpoint, modularity is useful for transporting and accessing your creation as stated above. However, from an artistic side, one can create new options narratively. The thing is, an artistic approach is subjective so it’s a bit hard to define it in absolute terms. It’s better to consider the narrative you create as context for your piece.

Consider works of art. We can point at something and say, that’s a sculpture, that’s a painting, that’s a dance performance, etc. These are forms of art and thus give the piece a sense of context. It’s this context that gives people viewing your piece a way to understand what you have made. So, if you have a strong story in your model, you are essentially providing more context and making it easier for other people to enjoy your creation. This is why I feel it is one of the best skills you can develop as a builder!

What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Ideas Pirates of Barracuda Bay? Do you have the set already? Have you played out different scenarios with it? And what do you think of the building techniques we discussed here? Are there any other techniques that you really liked in the set? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!

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