Thoughts on the Lego Masters Finale

Now that it’s been almost a week since the finale of Lego Masters I thought I’d share my thoughts. Like many I was disappointed that Mark and Boone didn’t win. They just had so much enthusiasm and seemed to represent the AFOL community as a couple of dudes. They were also the most entertaining and they seemed to win challenge after challenge. So I was both rooting for them and thought that based on the episodes I saw, they deserved to win.

Having said that, I’ve seen many episodes of the Great British Baking Show and am aware that each episode is judged by itself and doing well throughout the series is not enough to win the final episode. So with that in mind, everyone would have gone into the final with equal chances.

We got three very distinct builds which made the judges jobs that much harder or easier. If they had a specific style they liked, it would be easier to just choose that, but when you saw the three final builds it was clear it was comparing apples to oranges to pears.

Mark and Boone built like they always build, lots of minifigures and little stories within the build. They had a mechanical element to it with the rotating walls but it wasn’t connected to their and their main building was just a building. Their original concept looked really cool but they were warned off of it by the judges and changed course. So they had already been warned that just a building wouldn’t cut it. In the end, this wasn’t their best executed build but of the three, it was the most like a Lego play set. For me the one standout element were the “streams” of paint being applied to the building, that must have taken awhile to get right.

Sam and Jessica built an art piece made of LEGO. If it wasn’t the most creative it was the most beautiful I’d say. It had color and narrative, the two things the judges constantly asked for. But it didn’t have a single minifigure and I think that despite the challenge being “build whatever you want” this apparently wasn’t what the judges wanted to see.

And then we have our winners, Tyler and Amy. They built what I would call a “high MOC” style build. The kind of style most used for castle builds with high repetition of natural elements and large structures of rock and sections of blue for water. I remember discovering this style of building when I first started seeing castle MOCs and being impressed. All the little bricks together look pretty impressive. It looked like they had a few minifigures in their build to have some stories but they didn’t feature on the show. And then, the “pieces” de resistance the slowly flapping wings of the Griffin. Apparently that alone took 3 or 4 hours. When I saw that Tyler had managed to execute that part of the build I was pretty convinced they would win.

And ultimately as we know, they did. I was disappointed for Mark and Boone because again, they were so entertaining and joyful. They were just having fun building Lego, which is really what it should be all about. They were the kids in all of us when we build a lego set well into our adult years. As I thought about it, I did start to see that Tyler and Amy had a more impressive build given the unifying theme and especially the flapping wings. I think without that mechanical element it’s a different contest. But then I spoke to my friend who also watched and he thought Sam and Jessica should have won, pointing out that they were the most creative of the final three builds. As a non Lego builder he was looking less for a minifigure element probably. I was fairly convinced by this argument. So next time there is a finals on Lego Masters I think the judges should actually come up with a task and have a criteria for judging the builders.

Finally, the criticism that people are giving the judges or the winners and saying it was fixed is pretty ridiculous. All reality tv shows are fixed to an extent but I don’t think there was some conspiracy permeating the show. Let’s step back from conspiracy theories everyone. It’s a tv show, a reality tv show. And lets dial back some of the anger at the winners, especially Amy. True, she is not a life long AFOL but it is important to recognize that a lot of the criticism of her “LEGO skills” are based in sexism and NOT reality. I will agree that it rubbed me the wrong way when she mentioned the $100K prize but so did Sam and Jessica as I recall, that definitely seemed to be life-changing money for the contestants. Let’s not forget the role of the producers and editors in a reality tv show and the choices of what comments by the contestants to show and what not to show. For all we know, they asked the contestants about the $100K. And if you’re a producer, you’re pretty happy with the invented controversy because your show will make more news and get more viewers next season.

The best way to get over the outcome is to just honor Boone’s words – go build something amazing!