Fast Cars, Little Men, Theft, Models and One Very Happy Worker

15 Mar

Sponsored by Digital Parents Collective – This week I attended the launch for a range of six exclusive Ferrari model LEGO cars. The showpiece of the event was the unveiling of a life-size Ferrari F1 racing car made entirely from LEGO. Having glanced over the invite the words “unveiling 6 foot Italian model draped in red satin” jumped out at me and I was left a little ‘deflated’ when I realised my error. The model was apparently made up of over 200,000 bricks but I checked and only counted 199,999.

One or two of the lovely ladies in attendance seemed to be suitably impressed when Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso showed up to defrock the car, please don’t quote me on this but I may even have heard the unmistakeable twitch of ovaries. Yes they were devilishly handsome, charismatic, talented, rich and powerful men but I would prefer to focus on how small they were, they were jockey small!
Shell at the Australian Grand Prix
Whilst everyone else was pumping the tyres of the two petrol heads dressed in red onesie’s I snuck off to the back of the room in search of my own hero. There he was in all his glory, this man would not be seen dead in a red onesie. This was The Brick Man, not a tradie as such although there is a bricklaying company out there somewhere who must be kicking themselves for not getting in there first. The Brick Man or Ryan McNaught to give him his less exciting name is one of only 13 professional LEGO constructors in the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere.

You will never meet a man more happy in his work than Ryan and who can blame him? Imagine being able to introduce yourself at parties as a LEGO professional. Imagine telling your previous employers that you will no longer be clocking on because you will be far too busy ‘playing’ with LEGO. Imagine being in a room of fairly important people and being pestered by an adoring daddy blogger, sorry Ryan there has to be some drawbacks. As well as being a very interesting man to talk to, he was an absolute gent and all-round good guy.
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I have always had a love affair with LEGO, it’s such an iconic brand and it’s Danish and everything that comes out of Scandinavian countries is just a little bit cooler than everywhere else. I think my childhood collection amounted to about 6 bricks but I still had an impressive repertoire of damned good walls in my arsenal.

As we were getting ready to leave a little voice in the back of my head started piping up, “take one of the little cars” it said. “No I don’t want to” I said. “Stop being such a wimp and take it” it said. “Okay” I said. Seeing my opportunity I wedged a little red LEGO car into my unusually tight jean pocket. This lent itself to the wonderful line “have you got a LEGO model in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me”. Just to clarify in case anyone did clock it, it absolutely was a LEGO model.
Shell at the Australian Grand Prix
I was then presented with a gift bag by one of the lovely ladies from Shell, crammed full of little red LEGO cars. I was then racked with guilt and proceeded to un-steal the little red LEGO car with about as much grace as I displayed in getting in and out of the full-size Ferrari car. Fortunately when you see a grown man grappling around the crotch area people tend to look away so I got away with it. All in all I had a great time, I stuffed my face with delectable little canapés, got stuck into the media scrum like a seasoned paparazzi and got to put a face to some of the other bloggers that I’ve come across on my travels.

That evening I was able to justify not letting Max build any of the cars because he is too young. Instead I tipped all the pieces out on the rug and pretended my name is Brick Man. Nostalgia washed over me followed by mild frustration as I struggle to construct a simple child’s toy. The cars were a lot of fun and its always nice to embrace your inner child and race little cars around your living room, even with your wife looking on with a mixture of curiosity and pity.
Shell at the Australian Grand Prix
From Monday 18 March, customers will be able to purchase the six exclusive Ferrari model LEGO cars at Shell Coles Express sites across Australia when they make a $40 purchase of fuel. A new model will be available each week for six weeks.

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18 Responses to “Fast Cars, Little Men, Theft, Models and One Very Happy Worker”

  1. Dorothy March 15, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Sounds like you had a fab time. Did anyone see you unsteal the little car?

    • daddownunder March 15, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      I think I got away with it Dorothy, if you see a grown man grappling around the crotch area people tend to look away. It was lots of fun Dorothy, thanks for reading and commenting

  2. Martine@themodernparent March 15, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Well I never saw that little act of theft so it must have been pretty discreet! i am inspired to get the lego out again and may just have a bit of a “lego off” in my house to see who can come up with the best creation….not that I am at all competitive!

    • daddownunder March 15, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      My money is on you winning Martine sounds like you’ve got the eye of the tiger

  3. Poppy March 15, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Sounds like a lot of fun! Who doesn’t like Lego? 🙂
    I live in Denmark, and yes, Lego is huge here. Everyone wants to work for them, and I envy everyone who actually does. Especially when they are so creative like Mr. Brick Man, probably he is the most envied man of all 🙂
    I have been to Legoland once (was before I got my kids, we haven’t been there with them yet, my son is still too young for such an overwhelming experience) and also went to see the Lego museum in Billund, it was so fun to see how the bricks developed through the decades. It all started out as another wooden block, tower building thingy and look at them now, how far they got from there!

    • daddownunder March 15, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      Poppy your back! I missed you ; ) I miss Europe so much, give her a kiss from me. Hope your all good and thanks for commenting

      • Poppy March 15, 2013 at 9:38 am #

        Oh thanks 🙂 I will definitely kiss Europe for you 😀

  4. Wendy March 16, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    Sounds like fun 😉 I was also wondering about the unstealing but see you have answered that question 🙂

  5. Vic @ The Melbourne Dad March 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Awesome! I’m envious! I’ve decided to relive my childhood by buying my Bub a sizeable collection of Duplo. I’ve painstakingly built a dollhouse for her, which she subsequently likes to destroy on a daily basis. Cool, can’t wait to buy these Lego cars from Coles Shell Express… should be easy to rack up $40 as I fill up on Shell Optimax..

    • daddownunder March 17, 2013 at 1:43 am #

      I think there’s a lot of parents out there rekindling their inner child through their kids toys. They are very cool Vic and have little pull back motors in them

  6. em @ snowingindoors March 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    We got my daughter her first proper Lego kit the other week and she is hooked, I think the chance to sit in a car made of Lego may have actually blown her mind 😉

    • daddownunder March 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

      Mine was completely blown and I’m a fully grown man, allegedly. Great your little girl has got into it, according to Brick Man girls make for much better Lego builders. Thanks for the comment

  7. mumabulous March 18, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    Do you remember James May’s Toy Stories? – the life size Lego house was too cool for school!

    • daddownunder March 18, 2013 at 1:16 am #

      I do actually, I think we’re all just big boys at heart, we just don’t have time to indulge ourselves anymore. Thanks for the comment Brenda!

  8. Kate Says Stuff (@katesaysstuff) March 18, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    SUCH a fun day 🙂 My big boy is still sulking that he wasn’t invited too, but we’ve stashed the set of Lego cars in his room and I’ve told him that for once he doesn’t have to share, so that kinda made up for it.

    I totally didn’t see you steal or unsteal the car either… stealth!

    • daddownunder March 18, 2013 at 3:12 am #

      I’m going to hold onto them until Max is old enough not to munch on them and then I will tell them that I bought them, just to get extra dad points. Turns out I must be an accomplished thief, who knew?

  9. Charmaine May 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    2 Christmas’s ago I gave my hubby the huge Lego Transformer Optimus Prime. He loved spending all day (2 days later when he we had a chance to relax a little) sorting pieces and putting the truck together. But I will never forget the first lego I gave him. I purchased 2 mini transformer Legos for our Nephew for Christmas, and the look on Hubbies face when I showed him what I had picked was a cross between happiness and disappointment. He was disappointed that he didn’t get to play with the Lego, but happy at the gift choice. After wrapping Nephews 2 pressies…. I walked out and caught him staring at the 2 gifts under the tree, I dropped a Mini Optimus in his lap and listened to the squeals of an excited child come from my hubby… he then got the mega lego on Christmas day to which was met with the same squeals lol.

    • daddownunder May 8, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Love it Charmaine, proof that we are all big kids at heart, particularly men.

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