Based on the hit British reality-competition series of the same name, LEGO Masters sees contestants face off with a supply of 5 million LEGO bricks in awe-inspiring building challenges. Twelve teams of two compete for a $100,000 cash prize, the ultimate LEGO trophy, and the title of the country’s most talented amateur LEGO builders. The show’s second season premieres on June 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
LEGO Masters is hosted by Will Arnett (who plays LEGO Batman himself), alongside expert Brickmasters, LEGO employees, and judges Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard. Season two will bring on incredible challenges with the help of consulting producer and certified LEGO Master Builder Nathan Sawaya. Fans can watch contestants put their creativity and skills to the test in an earthquake tower challenge, a demolition derby, a LEGO fashion show, and more.
“We have a whole new set of builders … and a whole new set of challenges,” Corbett tells the Toy Insider. “We’ll be pushing them to their limits to test their creativity, storytelling, and technical ability, and we have some super-fun challenges to do that. Expect to see LEGO bricks as you’ve never seen them before with extreme strength tests, awesome character building, and even a challenge that pushes our builders into the world of fashion.”
“The first season clearly created a lot of interest and awareness for the show, so the caliber of talent for season two is really high,” Berard adds. “That means that we have to push the limits even further with our ambition for the challenges … LEGO Masters don’t need instructions and can work as a team to create brick-built experiences that are outrageously amazing. They only see creative opportunities and can solve even the toughest challenges with a smile.”
Sawaya collaborated with challenge producer Brent Benedetti to ensure that the challenges were up-to-par with the LEGO Masters standard and to really stir up the competition between contestants. It seems that the crew isn’t letting contestants off easy this season!
“We had fun pushing the limits regarding certain challenges’ levels of difficulty, as well as how much time should be allotted for the contestants to finish the challenge,” Sawaya says. “In addition, viewers will see that certain props used in the challenges that could have been done in a more traditional and easier method are, in fact, also built out of LEGO bricks.”
LEGO lovers beware, because with LEGO construction comes LEGO demolitions. The first season featured an explosive amount of LEGO art shattered to bits — and Arnett isn’t letting up for this season. He’s determined to bring LEGO Masters back with a bang through an entire demolition derby segment. “If Will is involved, there’s sure to be destruction,” Berard jokes. “It’s just a part of him that we’ve all grown to appreciate and to watch out for.”
Demolitions aren’t entirely new for LEGO builders. Even Sawaya — an award-winning and world-renowned brick artist — destroys his own pieces, but it’s unlikely we’ll get to see that on television. “For me, it’s part of the creative process. If I don’t like how something looks, it may need to be completely demolished,” Sawaya says.
Creating intricate LEGO art on a time constraint isn’t for just any LEGO enthusiast: One truly has to master the craft. Last season saw impressive builds from theme parks to giant space aliens, complete with moveable details and intricate craftsmanship. Last year’s LEGO Masters champion duo, Tyler and Amy, built a medieval tower scene featuring a flapping griffin defending its nest against a huge, green dragon.
Sawaya himself constructed a life-size cheetah sculpture to display on this season’s set. His advice for contestants is to have a well-thought-out plan in place during their building sessions because they’ll need to think a few steps ahead to save time. “Over the course of my career I have created some very detailed and intricate art pieces out of LEGO bricks and those were usually done in my art studio over many weeks or months,” Sawaya says. “When it comes to executing LEGO creations under tight deadlines for LEGO Masters, the challenge was to find a way to produce fast builds that still have the intricacy that my work is best known for.”
When asked how he would fare as a contestant on the show, Berard said that he would struggle against the clock above all else. “If I had 10 hours to do something, I would probably think and plan for the first 3 or 4 hours and then speed build the last 6 hours — the whole time wishing I had 3 or 4 hours more building time. All that planning would probably make for terribly boring TV.”
Judging is integral to assessing the execution of these amazing builds, but Corbett and Berard see themselves less as judges and more as coaches for LEGO Masters contestants. They even draw inspiration from the teams and incorporate it into their work as LEGO employees. Both judges are full of ideas during the challenges and are sometimes itching to get their hands on the bricks themselves.
“We genuinely want all of the teams to succeed and bring us — and the U.S. — their very best builds, so we try to find ways to push them to grow and get better with each challenge,” Corbett says. “Sometimes that’s being a little tough and other times, it’s giving them tips and tricks or a bit of a pep talk to help inspire them … I always come away from filming full of energy and inspiration. Watching the teams’ process and creativity in the builds sparks so many ideas and their passion for the bricks really fills my heart and reminds me just how awesome my day job is and how lucky I am.”
Berard says that there are a lot of similarities between his role as a design lead and as a LEGO Masters judge. “Both roles ask me to work with teams of amazingly talented builders where I give feedback, offer guidance, and ultimately make tough decisions.”
Following the tail of a wildly successful first season, the cast of LEGO Masters is hoping to deliver all the brick-building (and destroying) goodness that fans are eagerly anticipating for season two. According to Berard, kids will take inspiration from super-talented builders and the near-impossible array of LEGO creations, families will fall in love with the teams while rooting for their favorites to make it all the way to the finals, and adult collectors will get the greatest collection of dad jokes ever assembled by the comical Arnett.
Corbett, Berard, and Sawaya even shared some advice for this season’s contestants to give viewers an idea of what they’ll be looking for in the next LEGO Master.
“I always encourage our teams to listen to the challenge closely and what we are looking for, but ultimately, I think it’s important to have fun,” Corbett says. “If you are enjoying a build and really get in the flow, that’s when the best ideas come and I always think it shines through in the final creation.”
“Look around the room and get inspired. Always think of how you can stand out and don’t be afraid to take chances to show us just how much you’re growing from one challenge to the next,” Berard says. “But most important of all is to make sure to have fun. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share your passion with the world, so you might as well have fun doing it.”
“First of all, I hope the contestants relax and enjoy the journey. It’s an honor to be on this show and I know it comes with a lot of pressure at times, but they are getting to build with a toy on TV and I hope they have fun with that,” Sawaya says. “As for specific advice, I hope they remember to use a lot of colors. These judges react well to creative and robust colors in the builds.”
Catch the season two premiere of LEGO Masters on Tuesday on FOX. May the ultimate LEGO Master prevail!