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Lego Crowns Master Model Builder In Yonkers

Jeremiah Boehr, Master Model Builder in Kansas City and judge of the Westchester competition, dumps a bucket of LEGOs on the head of Michael Tocidlowski after he was named master model builder of the Yonkers store Sunday at Ridge Hill.
Michael Tocidlowski poses with his Lego models after being crowned Master Model Builder Sunday at Ridge Hill.

YONKERS, N.Y. – What started as a fun way to spend a weekend turned into a dream job opportunity for a Patterson, N.Y., man.

Michael Tocidlowski was named winner of Legoland Discovery Center Westchester’s "Brick Factor" competition and crowned Master Model Builder Sunday in Yonkers.  The 22-year-old electronics store worker said he never expected to win the challenge or the full-time position that comes along with the title.

“I thought it would be really cool if I won but I never really figured I would,” Tocidlowski said. “I was completely caught off guard.”

Tocidlowski was one of more than 60 applicants to take part in the two-day tryout for Master Model Builder, a full-time salaried position, at Ridge Hill in Yonkers. Each was tasked with building various models in a series of time challenges and judged on creativity, design and audience interaction.

By Sunday, judges had whittled the field down to a final 10 applicants who were put through a formal interview before the final challenge.

In the end, judges said they selected Tocidlowski’s to be “the face of Legoland” because of his building skill and ability to interact with the audience.

“It was a very difficult decision to make,” said Chris Mines, judge and general manager of the Westchester Legoland store. "The standard was exceptional."

Over the course of the two-day "Brick Factor," Tocidlowski created models of the Statue of Liberty, a sea monster, a motorcycle and a boat.  But making intricate designs out of the plastic bricks is nothing new for him.

Tocidlowski said he had been building with Legos for as long as he could remember.

“We probably had Legos before I was born,” he said.

Now, Legos will not only be a hobby, they will be Tocidlowski’s job. As Master Model Builder he will design and build models and be in charge of a number of holding workshops for children at Legoland Westchester when the store opens in the spring.

Tocidlowski said he was looking forward to the opportunity.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m excited to see what comes. I’m excited for everything they have lined up for me to do.”

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