"I get Paid to be a Kid" - Building Careers in the LEGO Model Shop

Natalie Mallory

We've all seen those incredible LEGO® Models - the majestic Sky Lion in LEGO® Mythica Land, giant figures in LEGOLAND® Hotels, and the famous buildings replicated uncannily in Miniland.

Each model you see is made entirely of LEGO® bricks, with hours of planning, care, and precision going into each project.These models are then delivered to Merlin Entertainments attractions and Resorts, delighting thousands visitors around the world!

It takes very creative and dedicated teams to pull this off - from the Designers, to the Project Managers, the Model Builders, and more. All of these people are part of our 'Merlin Magic Making' department - the part of the business that creates the magic Merlin is famous for. This department is full of fun - but doesn't always get the publicity it deserves...

So we spoke to a colleague from the LEGO® Model Shop in Florida to find out more about what they do.Building the 'Sky Lion'​ at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

Brenden Atkinson - LEGO® Model Designer

Brenden has worked for Merlin Entertainments for six years, starting his career as a Model Builder before spending the last three years as a Model Designer. I asked him to tell us a little about himself...

"Hmm a bit about myself… I get paid to be a kid basically. Though there are grown up aspects to this job as well I suppose. For the most part the job entails recreating famous buildings and sculptures out of LEGO® ."

What initially attracted Brenden to the role was what tends to attract most people - he gets to make awesome pieces of art that'll seen by thousands of people, and he gets to make it out of LEGO® ! But what Brenden and the team do is more than just a job to them - they're sparking inspiration in young children and model enthusiasts:

"We show kids and even adults what’s possible with their bin of LEGO® at home. Anyone could recreate these buildings if they had the pieces and time. Just showing the possibilities can really light a spark of creativity in people."

However, just because a job is fun, that doesn't mean it doesn't come with challenges, and for Brenden it's the dreaded paperwork!

"For such a fun and unique job there’s always the dreaded paperwork! What’s more challenging than having fun playing with LEGO bricks only to have to stop and do paperwork?!"