8 May 2023

Brick by brick: The LEGO mastermind bringing his creations to Wagga RSL

| Jarryd Rowley
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Graham Draper and his team at Playwell Events are bringing some outstanding LEGO designs to the Wagga Wagga RSL Club. Photo: Playwell Events.

LEGO enthusiasts get ready! Wagga RSL Club is preparing to host the Wagga Brick Show, featuring some of the most impressive builds you will ever see.

Coming from the mind of Wollongong master builder Graham Draper, the Wagga Brick Show will have something for every LEGO lover including LEGO Friends sets, mosaics, interactive sets, Star Wars replicas and even a Hogwarts grand staircase.

Returning after a successful 2022 show, Graham and his team will be displaying more than 40 tables crammed with designs that promise to blow the minds of even the most experienced builders.

“We had something like 1800 people come down to see the show last year and we were blown away,” Graham said. “The show is on the 3rd and 4th of June and we would love to see somewhere between 1800 and 2000 people attend the event again this year.”

Graham began displaying his vast LEGO collection six years ago at a show in Wollongong.

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He used funds raised from the showcases to help support children’s charity KidzWish, a non-for-profit organisation that provides care and laughter to disabled and disadvantaged kids in the Illawarra.

“We have raised over $158,000 for KidzWish over the journey. It has been quite a special thing to know we have contributed something of that proportion,” Graham said.

“We have done smaller shows where we have also raised money for charities like Country Hope as well.”

Graham described his relationship with LEGO as a typical one.

“I remember playing with LEGO when I was younger but as like most teenagers, I felt like I grew out of it.

“It wasn’t until my son began playing with it that I began to reignite my passion for building.”

Man and child with a Lego set

Graham (right) has always loved sharing his passion for LEGO with others. Photo: Playwell Events.

Graham and his son began building together about 10 years ago. The pair shared their passion for the iconic bricks, building iconic sets while also creating their own custom designs.

“I believe it was about 2016, I came across a LEGO show,” the brick guru said.

“I’d never heard of these kinds of shows before; we attended the show, and I was blown away.”

Inspired by the show he and his son attended, Graham had faith that his creations were something that people would enjoy and be amazed by.

“I’ve been travelling with our creations for a number of years now and in the last 18 months or so I’ve been able to do it full-time.

“Ninety-five per cent of the builds that we have on show are custom builds but sometimes there is just those one or two awesome official sets that are just too good not to put on show.”

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After taking his show on the road to places such as Forbes and Tamworth, Graham and his team at Playwell Events will be returning to Wagga with some new pieces.

“I don’t want to give away too much, but we do have a couple of cool lenticular mosaics that are really popular and fun to look at; we also have this huge replica of Hogwarts from Harry Potter that I’m excited for people to see.

“There is honestly something for everyone at this year’s show and that’s the awesome thing about LEGO, there are so many things that can be made and for people to appreciate and I enjoy being able to show them off to people.”

The Wagga Brick Show will be at Wagga RSL Club on June 3 and 4. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

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