OGDEN — In the world of Lego, it can take elite builders anywhere weeks or months or sometimes even years to create large custom displays worthy of showing off at conventions.
That reality is what stunned Karina Queen about last week’s first episode of the “Lego Masters” competition reality show on Fox — the two-person teams were given a measly 15 hours to construct a section of an amusement park.
“Fifteen hours is no time at all,” said Queen.
Karina Queen knows firsthand how time-consuming custom Lego creations can be, something she and husband George Queen regularly collaborate on in their Ogden home.
Their latest creation is a massive “Harry Potter” scene complete with train station, Diagon Alley and Privet Drive, something that’s wowed fans at multiple conventions in the past year.
- George Queen looks at his “Harry Potter” scene in Ogden home on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Laura Seitz, Deseret News
- Privet Drive is reproduced in Lego in George and Karina Queen’s “Harry Potter” scene in Ogden on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Laura Seitz, Deseret News
- George Queen holds some of his first Lego builds in his Ogden home on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Laura Seitz, Deseret News
- Karina and George Queen are pictured with their “Harry Potter” scene in Ogden on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Laura Seitz, Deseret News
- A Ford Anglia is suspended in George and Karina Queen’s “Harry Potter” scene in their Ogden home on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Laura Seitz, Deseret News
For George Queen, the massive modular train station modeled after the King’s Cross Station in London is what he’s most proud of. A self-described functional builder — someone who still has the first Lego Technic set released in 1994 when he was 13 — George Queen loves the challenge of figuring things out.
When he needed to double the width of the “Harry Potter” train station for a collaborative display at last year’s BrickSlopes convention, it was a challenge he conquered in beautiful detail, complete with Platform 9¾.
For Karina Queen, the precise details of Privet Drive is what she’s most proud about.
“You wouldn’t think making this exact same building over four times is hard. But if you look at it, everything is exactly the same,” said Karina Queen.
When Lego released a “Harry Potter” minifigure series of 18 last year, it helped their display come to life in amazing detail.
Aside from occasionally playing with her brothers’ Lego sets when she was a kid, Karina Queen said it wasn’t until she met her husband that her Lego interest blossomed. It’s been a life-long passion for George Queen — except for his “dark ages” that he said spanned ages 17 to 24.
He came out of his dark ages in 2006 when his sister bought him the Prehistoric Power set in 2006. His passion has exploded over the past decade. Technic is still his favorite line, and he still loves building new Lego releases like “Jurassic Park” T-Rex and the new 1989 Batmobile, which are proudly displayed in his home. But custom builds are the top priority.
Having a spouse of nearly four years to collaborate with has made the process that much more fun.
“We thrive together. I do the functional stuff, and she makes it pretty,” said George Queen, who’s the Lego Ambassador for the Utah Lego User Group.
Added Karina Queen, “It’s a lot more fun to come up with your own stuff. To have an idea and then it actually translates into Lego better than you perceived it, that’s the coolest thing to me.”
Their large displays over the past few years have included a Disney build focused on the princess sets, a Hogwarts castle and a large jungle scene modeled after the jungle sets released a couple years ago.
As the Queens watch “Lego Masters” over the next couple months, who knows what other custom ideas might pop into their heads.
The two will most definitely be watching the second episode of “Lego Masters” this Wednesday. Based on the massive roller coaster creation the Bearded Builders from Oregon created in the first episode, both the Queens think they’re the team to beat.
In future episodes of “Lego Masters,” George and Karina Queen are hoping the show goes into more details on the techniques the builders use.
“I like to learn from other people, their processes of how they get to a conclusion of how they’re going to do something, and their techniques,” said Karina Queen.
Either way, like most AFOLs (adult fan of Lego), they’ll keep watching to be inspired by others in their hobby.