LEGO Masters has aired its third episode last week, and sadly another team went home. The Brothers Brick had the opportunity to sit down with them and talk about their experience, how to maintain a positive outlook under stress, and what the reaction has been to appearing on the reality show.
In the interview conducted jointly with Brickset, BZPower and True North Bricks, the team talks about how all the contestants felt like a family, what challenge they would have been awesome at, and what advice they have for contestants on LEGO Masters Season 2. If you haven’t yet watched the episode, be warned that there will be spoilers!
If you’ve watched the episode, by now you’ll know we’re talking about the “Brothers Who Brick” Travis and Corey.
Where does your positive outlook and energy you shared on the show come from?
Corey: To be honest, we were the heart of the show. Everybody came with their own personality and had positive vibes, but I feel like my brother and I kind of meshed everyone together to try and bring out the best in everyone. And that’s something that me and my brother took to heart. Growing up as kids we always tried to give off positive energy when there is negativity around us. We came from a loving household, so wherever we go, we want to create that same environment. Yes, they are our competitors and we want to win, but at the same time we wanted to create that loving environment.
Travis: We do bump heads from time to time. It’s not like everything is always sunshine and roses because life is not like that, but I love the fact that my brother and I always come together. I’ve had friends who had brothers who seemed like they were always at war with each other, and though my brother and I might disagree on something, we always respect each other’s opinions and we always try to make it work. I’m really grateful for my brother. Yes, he’s is the older one and sometimes I’ll be stubborn, but it is just natural for us to be positive and support each other.
On the set, what was your interaction like with the judges, Will Arnett and the guest stars?
Corey: The experience was wonderful! Interacting with Jamie and Amy was like… imagine you being a freshman in high school and they’re the seniors. They’ve been through everything, they’ve seen everything, they’ve done everything, and we’re getting to hang out with them. I didn’t see them as judges. I just saw them as our older peers, like those upperclassmen. They’re where I would like to be one day, and their advice was helping me to become an upperclassman myself. That’s how I saw them. And Will Arnett, oh my gosh, he was one of us. He was one of the guys. We actually taught him our handshake that we do throughout the show. Surprisingly enough, every time he came over to see us he would do the handshake without practicing in one shot. That was pretty cool to have that kind of connection with Will Arnett, something that the other contestants didn’t really have I think.
Travis: When I met the Brick Masters I was a bit in awe. I was really impressed with who these guys were. I didn’t know them before. They were great at giving us positive feedback, helping us become better builders on the show. Will Arnett, I’ve been a big fan of his since Arrested Development. Plus he’s LEGO Batman — knowing he was going to be the host, just blew my mind away. I work with kids as well as their parents. The parents, they don’t really ask me much about the show, they ask me what it’s like to meet Will Arnett. A lot of them are big fans of his too. So that was kind of fun.
What was the interaction like between the teams?
Corey: We became a family. As much as we were competitive, we were also very supportive of each other. We still are. There were times when we were looking around the room and noticed, “Oh my gosh, they didn’t even get this much done,” or stuff like that. So when the cameras were not looking we’d go over and say, “Guys, listen, you are doing awesome–maybe you should try this” to try and help out. We were really supportive of each other. The meaning of LEGO is “play well” so we play well together. And that’s exactly what we did on-set and off-set. We all stayed at the same hotel, so it was very, very hard not to interact and not be in each other’s spaces, so it was a family. We’re still family. We still talk to each other.
Travis: When we first got there, we weren’t sure how we should be because of the competition, and we thought “we gotta be competitive.” It might take being mean or maybe posing a threat to the other teams. But the first time we met the group during casting, we just clicked. It was hard to want to see each other fail. We wanted each other to do amazing builds. When Mark and Boone’s roller coaster didn’t work, we all felt it. We all cried that time. We wanted each other to do well building LEGO.
Corey: We’re season one. We’re the first season of LEGO Masters in the United States. That made us even more family. Because we all have the same experience. We are the first.
In an early episode, you had mentioned a pact you made that if you weren’t happy with a build you would change directions. Why didn’t you follow that route with the pinata?
Travis: On a personal level, I don’t really regret the decision to stick with it. I have a tendency for changing directions and not really seeing something through, while my brother might be a little more stubborn than me [laughs]. He’ll just want to do something and commit to it. I think in the Space Smash challenge, we didn’t really change directions–we just tweaked it and it worked. In our opinion, we had a pretty good build. For the next challenge, we decided that no matter what may happen, no matter what obstacles we may face, we’d just stick with the direction and go for it. It didn’t pay off in this episode.
If you could have designed one ideal challenge for your team, what would it have been?
Travis: I think my ideal challenge would probably be a bodysuit-type challenge where you have to make something that you have to wear. I think we would have been really excellent with that. Just in terms of creativity, my brother really knows how to make stuff that can attach to someone. I’ve gotten much better at designing, so I think a wearable suit challenge would have been awesome.
You’ve told the kids you teach to not smash the LEGO. How did they react when they saw Will Arnett smashing everyone’s builds on TV?
Corey: I primarily work with kids and with LEGO. It just so happened the other day in one of my classes, I had a student come up to me and say, “Hey, LEGO Corey, didn’t you say not to smash LEGO?” He was holding this Baby Yoda that I helped the students make for one of their projects. I said yes, but then he said, “But you allowed people to smash the LEGO!” He was totally trying to work me over a little bit. I told him that was only for TV and that was TV magic. But we live in real life, so you shouldn’t do it in real life. TV is a different story. He was okay with that. I kind of dodged a bullet there, but I feel like it’s going to happen again.
What were the pins you both were wearing on the show?
Corey: The pins are called Brego. That’s part of a personal company I started two and a half years ago called Samz Brego. My nickname is Samz, and I made the name Brego from combining “broach” with “LEGO.” It’s basically a broach, boutonniere, or a lapel pin made out of LEGO. I was thrilled that the show allowed me to wear it. Our outfits were very dressy—we get it from our father. One thing I always like to do is to step out and be unique. I brought about 25 different Brego in lots of colors and shapes and wore them on the show, and was blessed to give a few away to the Brick Masters and Will Arnett. With the show, my brother is involved more so it is a family business now.
What are you taking away from LEGO Masters?
Travis: The biggest takeaway that I received from being on the show is never to doubt yourself. I say the same to the kids at my job. Try before you cry. The show really made me realize that’s a true saying, not to give up. Just keep on going even when you feel like giving up. Especially during that challenge, I felt like giving up a lot. Just having my brother there to remind me to keep going and that, even with all these other amazing builders, we were there to give it our all. I think that was definitely the takeaway and something that I am going to utilize in my life going forward.
What advice would you give to future LEGO Masters?
Travis: The advice I would give is that once you find out that you might be part of the show, or even that the show is coming back, just build. Build as much as you can and keep on building. Hone all your techniques, your creativity, your storytelling, and watch season one. Get a feel for what to expect. We set the bar high with a lot of the builds. So for the next contestants, they are going to have to really watch all of the things that we have done and try to outdo that. I think it really begins at home with your teammate, building that relationship and that bond that’s really going to help carry you to the end.
Corey: Here’s the biggest piece of advice that I learned from the Brick Masters that I will share with everybody: let your piece speak for itself. One thing that me and my brother made a mistake on, especially with our last build, is that we were doing more explaining of what the build was as opposed to letting the build speak for itself. When someone looks at your build, it has to be like a comic book cover or a movie cover. When you look at a movie cover, you can tell exactly what you are about to watch. It should be the same thing when you look at your build. As soon as you look at it, you should be able to see exactly what it is, what it’s about, and everything that’s coming from it.
LEGO Masters showed us how you started building with LEGO as a kid. Did you go through a “dark age” where you stopped building between then and now?
Travis: I definitely went through that dark age of not building. Not that I didn’t build at all though. I am a pre-school teacher, so I work with kids. We use LEGO in some of the STEM programs that we do, or just in recreational building and whatnot. So, I would build miniature robots for the kids from time to time – different Transformers and stuff. Obviously, nothing on the scale of what we had to build on LEGO Masters, but that’s the amount of building I was doing.
My brother stopped building for a time. I’m not 100% certain if he wasn’t building as a hobby. But, once he started his business, Brego, he really got into building again.
What brought you out of your dark age?
Travis: Definitely, the show has brought me out of the dark age. I didn’t even realize that LEGO had gotten so extensive with all the new parts. There is even apparently a brick named after me, the Travis brick, and I didn’t know any of this stuff. Being a part of the show really reintroduced me to LEGO and building again. Corey started building again maybe two or three years prior to the show because of his business.
What are your favorite LEGO sets?
Travis: My favorite sets have become the Creator Expert sets. I just love taking something huge and making it miniature and being creative with the pieces and how they connect together. Brick Master Jamie was someone who was really influential in that line. I think that is why we clicked a little bit on the show.
Corey: My favorite LEGO sets right now are the Speed Champions. I’m a huge car fanatic. I like working on cars in my spare time. So I’ve been collecting since its inception around 2014 I think (I could be wrong) but I’ve been collecting them since then. Oh, and I also love Marvel Superheroes as well.
Have either of you attended a LEGO fan convention or participated in the broader AFOL community?
Travis: We just recently we went to BricksLA not as full attendees but just as general public and fans. It was an amazing experience to see all of the other builds and meet incredible people who build with LEGO. I expect to join a LUG when I can. There aren’t many in New Jersey that we know of, but New York is nearby. I’d love to build something for a LEGO convention in the future too.
Corey: I’ve been to BrickFest in Jersey for a few years. I haven’t displayed anything as of yet. I only went as a fan to see the LEGO and to purchase assorted LEGO. But the plan is to get more involved in our local LUG meetings when we have the opportunity to. We’re also excited to visit a few more conventions across the US.
Do you have any comments on diversity within the LEGO building hobby?
Travis: I think the show did a very good job casting a diverse group, however, I don’t think there are many minorities that participate in LEGO because of the stigma. But I believe LEGO Masters will help change that.
Corey: I would add, as LEGO gets more popular more diversity will start to show. I think LEGO Masters did a great job allowing us to be us and representing our race.
Where can we follow you and your future LEGO creations online?
Corey: We have a couple of sites and social media pages. Our Instagram is @brothers_who_brick, just like our name from the show. We also have a YouTube channel. After our elimination, we were very determined to continue to be LEGO Masters, so we continued to do the challenges. For some of the challenges, we had an idea of where they were going just based on the commercials. So, we were able to figure out the amount of time it would take to build the project. We actually did the challenges between my home and my brother’s home. So, we’re going to be sharing that on our YouTube channel, which is Brothers Who Brick. We also have Twitter where we will display some of the MOCs we do as individuals and collectively, which is @BrotherWhoBrick. Pretty much everything is Brothers Who Brick (laughs).
For the Brego business, we have a couple of social media sites. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all @samzbrego. We also have a website where you can purchase your own Brego which is samzbrego.com. We also have an Etsy site if a website is not your thing. The Etsy site is the same thing: SamzBrego.
My brother has his own personal Instagram which is @deceptively_awesome.
Anything else you would like to add?
Corey: I just wanted to say real quick, thank you guys for taking the time to speak with me and my brother. Thank you for the support from the LEGO community. This has been a huge experience for me and my brother, and we are not taking this journey lightly. We’re getting back into LEGO, and we’re going to definitely make our presence known so that we can hold that moniker of being a LEGO Masters contestant. So, we just want to thank you guys for being here and supporting us. We’ll see you at the next convention, hopefully!
Images courtesy of FOX, Travis and Corey, and The Brothers Brick.
LEGO Masters airs in the US on Wednesdays after The Masked Singer on FOX. Stay tuned to The Brothers Brick for more interviews from the set, and check out these other LEGO Masters articles:
- Hosting LEGO Masters: Interview with actor and entertainer Will Arnett
- Judging LEGO Masters: Interview with LEGO designers Jamie Berard and Amy Corbett
- Making LEGO Masters: Interview with executive producer Anthony Dominici
- Building LEGO Masters: Interview with Brick Artist Nathan Sawaya
- Visiting LEGO Masters: Behind the scenes tour with Challenge Master Brent Benedetti
- Everything you want to know about LEGO Masters judges Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard
- Leaving LEGO Masters: An interview with the first contestants to leave, Kara and Jessie