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12 Year Old Lego Fan Builds Intricate Models Of German Soccer Stadiums

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's an Englishman who builds exquisitely detailed models of his favorite German soccer, or Bundesliga, stadiums. He's built over a dozen. Each takes between three and 6,000 little tiny bricks, and he builds them without any access to plans or blueprints. His models are so intricate, several teams have asked if they can incorporate them in permanent displays.

We have the artist behind these models on the line with us from Sussex, England. The artist is Joe Bryant. His medium is Lego - lots and lots of Lego. Mr. Bryant, thanks so much for being with us.

JOE BRYANT: Thank you.

SIMON: Why German football stadiums and not Wembley or Old Trafford?

JOE: Well, when I was on holiday in Turkey, I watched a lot of German football. And then at the time, I wanted to build Lego stadiums. And because I liked the Bundesliga, I decided to build Bundesliga stadiums out of Lego.

SIMON: And, I mean, how do you do it? I don't know any nice way of asking. You know, the detail is exquisite.

JOE: Well, I don't use a plan, but I ask the fans or the club for pictures if I haven't already visited the stadium. And then from those pictures, I will try and build the stadium out of Lego.

SIMON: About how many Lego go into a stadium, would you estimate?

JOE: About 5,000 to 6,000 bricks.

SIMON: Oh. And how long does it take you to put one together?

JOE: About six weeks because, like, it takes a certain amount of time for the bricks that my dad orders for me to come.

SIMON: Yeah. I understand your mother might have, actually - how do I say this nicely - not contributed to your building effort once.

JOE: Yeah, when I had finished, I was - like, my mom was Hoovering it...

SIMON: Hoovering it as in vacuum cleaner.

JOE: Yeah. And then it just completely fell over and, like, clattered Augsburg. And - because Augsburg is like - it was probably the flimsiest stadium I've done. It just fell to pieces (laughter).

SIMON: Oh, my. You put it back together?

JOE: Yeah. Well, it's Lego, so you can always rebuild it.

SIMON: Do you ever put little fans in the stands?

JOE: I do put people outside. And then, sometimes, I will put a few Lego figures in the stands. I feel like it brings it, like, as if it was before a game day. And then also, I do add flags to the stadium, and I think all of the people like it.

SIMON: So I'm going to do something for you now. And I think international soccer fans will understand what I'm doing. But I just want to see if you react. Ready? (Singing) Ole, ole, ole, ole.

JOE: (Laughter).

SIMON: How was that?

JOE: Not bad (laughter).

SIMON: Thank you very much. Thank you (laughter). It does seem to me - when this pandemic is over, the Bundesliga ought to have you come on over there and make a tour of the stadiums that you have rendered so beautifully. Does that sound like fun?

JOE: Yeah. I visited a few stadiums already before lockdown. And they're really kind and generous to me. And I'm a mini-celebrity over here. But over there, like, I'm really well-known, and it's, like, really nice and cool.

SIMON: Joe Bryant, builder of impressive Lego German soccer stadiums, thank you so much for being with us. Best to you and your family.

JOE: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF CALVIN HARRIS FEAT. RIHANNA SONG, "THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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