From computer dude to Lego dude, Robin Sather has had a passion for Lego since he was a little boy and his interest has led him to being Canada’s only Lego Certified Professional — building Lego full-time.
Sather, based in Abbotsford, said his interest with Lego never stopped.
“I was a kid and I grew up and even went to college and did all the things that people usually do, but I never really stopped building with Lego,” he said with a laugh.
Sather originally had a job as a computer consultant and programmer for many years, but eventually wanted to do something more fun, and something where he could channel his creativity.
Enter Brickville DesignWorks, a company he started in 2004.
Brickville is involved in Lego-based events, displays, exhibits and creations. All of its employees are Lego Certified Professionals that are independent (not Lego employees).
Sather later approached Lego around 13 years ago, and went through a certification process to become a Certified Lego Builder, the only one in Canada. There are 15 of them worldwide.
Sather’s event in Sidney over the Family Day long weekend was typical for him, as he does lots of events regularly.
He was in the Mary Winspear Centre building what he calls a ‘big build,’ a six-foot tractor made of thousands of bricks.
His work was a replica of a 1949 Masey Harris pony tractor — the same one that’s on display at the Sidney Museum.
Sather’s many Lego creations stem from his lifelong interest in Lego.
“I do remember a little 500 milliliter old honey container that was from a secondhand store full of used Lego, and I think that was my very first Lego,” said Sather.
He later got his very first set a few years later, a police station with a police car and helicopter.
“I used to like to build dragsters, little race cars. That was kind of my thing,” he said, adding that wheels were also a pretty big deal for him.
He also likes building castles, pirate ships and towers.
“I always used to try and use all my Lego bricks to build as tall a tower as I could.”
Over his many years in the world of Lego, it was the creativity of Lego that kept him coming back.
“I often used it with other toys so I would make a ramp for my Hot Wheels or I’d make a castle that I could put stuffed animals in and have a big monster attacking my G.I. Joe figures or something.”
He said it’s also a creativity that’s safe, a creativity that has limits and rules, and that it’s not intimidating.
“It’s not like your modelling something out of clay. I think that’s the lasting appeal of the bricks because you can put a bunch of bricks down in front of somebody of almost any age and their fingers will just automatically start making the pieces go together.”
He said as one gets further into it, they will find the challenges of building the most unusual things out of the bricks.
“New challenges always present themselves and new pieces come out, new colours come out and so it’s almost like opening whole new vistas as time goes on.”