BrickUniverse bringing Lego convention to Columbus


COLUMBUS, Ohio — If it's true what they say and idle hands are, in fact, the devil's playthings, Rocco Buttliere has never had that problem.

"I don't think so," he said, laughing.

Buttliere grew up with Lego. He also had a love for architecture. Now, at 24 years old with a degree in architecture, he's putting his two loves together.

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He's a Lego artist. He travels to different Lego fan conventions, like BrickUniverse this weekend in Columbus at Kasich Hall at the Ohio Expo Center. His creations are Lego replicas from Chicago, New York, San Fransisco, Toronto and London.

"Just landmarks from all over," he said.

Landmarks that took him 10 years to build. Buttliere says he started some of them while he was in high school.

"I have about 50 models on display here," he said. "There's well over half-a-million [pieces] at this point."

Paul Hetherington says his 12 displays at the convention also total about half-a-million pieces.

"It's a lot of pieces," he said. "My fingers hurt when I think of putting them all together."

He's been a Lego fan since he was a child. He started building scaled versions of real-world objects, but then that changed.

"I like to tell people it's like walking through the inside of my mind," Hetherington said.

Hetherington's creations range from Gotham City to a playful Ferris wheel, to a giant Lego mini figure and a small Lego city.

Hetherington and Buttliere say it's creativity that sparks the interest of those who attend conventions.

"It's great to be able to see, I think, for kids and parents what you can do with Lego and how far you can take it," Buttliere said.

"It's pretty cool to see people smile and point and make all these comments," Hetherington said. "Things like maybe you hadn't even thought about when you were building it just to get peoples' different perspectives."

Attractions at the Brick Universe Lego Fan Convention include Lego displays, merchandise vendors, Lego Star Wars building areas and Big Brick Building for younger visitors to enjoy. The convention runs Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information on ticket prices and the convention in general, click here.