Long term Canberra residents, Matt and Tam, and their two children, are active members of the LEGO fan community in Canberra. Matt spends a lot of time running the trains at LEGO fan events and Tam can usually be found next to an award winning MOC.
Matt’s love of LEGO was firmly established as a child. From the age of 4 to 14, he was a regular builder. Tam, on the other hand, only had one incomplete LEGO set so was not really a fan of LEGO. She did, however, have a passionate interest in arts and craft and, to her, LEGO bricks are just another medium. Together, Matt and Tam joined the AFOL community when their children expressed an interest in LEGO around 4 to 5 years ago.
Most of their LEGO elements are stored in clear portable storage boxes with removable dividers. They sort by colour first, then shape or function. This means they might have 8 “white” trays with one tray holding tiles of various sizes, another with hinges, and others with bricks, plates, slopes and ’round shapes’ etc. The trays used to be stored in a hall cupboard, but have now overflowed into their ‘spare room’ (it was formerly a guest room but they have recently conceded that it’s really their LEGO room). The majority of their MOCs are stored in a purpose-built cupboard in their garage along with a few unopened LEGO sets.
Tam’s favourite thing about being a LEGO fan is the creative process of turning an idea into an object, knowing that she is limited by the available shapes and colours produced by LEGO. She tends to build brightly coloured fairytale-themed MOCs that, on the the surface, appeal to a younger audience but also appeal to an older audience due to the advanced building techniques. Tam is currently experimenting with novel parts use as was seen in her recent MOC of the “The Butterfly Ball” at the Canberra Brick Expo. She also enjoys participating in LEGO fan shows and believes they are great opportunities to meet interesting people and learn techniques from other exhibitors. Like a lot of other AFOLs, Tam enjoys seeing the reactions of the non-AFOLs and answering their questions about how a particular technique was achieved. Her least favourite thing about being an AFOL is having to build to a deadline to have a MOC finished in time for a LEGO fan event.
For Matt, his favourite thing about being a LEGO fan is being able to create an object to which he and others can relate from just a random assortment of LEGO shapes. Like Tam, Matt also dislikes having to build under pressure in order to meet a deadline.