April 19, 2023
At just 12 years old, a local Lego enthusiast emerged victorious from a brick-building battle, hoisting a giant trophy made of (what else?) Legos above her head.
Ava Mauger, of Limerick, Montgomery County, was crowned as champion of the first-ever Junior Master Builder Competition earlier this month at Legoland New York. Mauger's prize-winning piece will now remain on display at the theme park, located in the Hudson Valley outside New York City.
"It was such a cool experience," Mauger said. "I never thought that I could even win some sort of a competition. So it was really cool and exciting."
Legoland New York hosted the inaugural competition on April 1 to celebrate its opening weekend for the 2023 season. Children ages 8 to 12 were invited to apply, and hundreds of children submitted original Lego builds to be considered for one of the five spots.
Nick Della Mora and Stacey Roy, the Season 3 winners of “Lego Masters,” helped narrow down the finalists and also acted as judges for the competition. FOX's "Lego Masters" reality competition, hosted by Will Arnett, pits teams of Lego connoisseurs against each other in ambitious challenges.
Mauger, who has watched all three "Lego Masters" seasons with her family, found out about Legoland's junior version of the competition when her father saw a Facebook post about it by Della Mora and Roy.
During the junior competition, which took place in front of a live audience, the finalists faced a challenge titled "A Boatload of Awesome.” The competitors had one hour to build a ship inspired by a miniature Lego figure that was supplied.
Each junior builder also had to create a background story about the boat and character’s journey to Legoland. The builds were judged in four categories: story, creativity, originality and technique.
For her entry, Mauger was inspired by a mini figure she named "Daisy Glitterbot." Mauger constructed a boat for Daisy with a glitter cannon, a rainbow-colored sail and a unicorn at the front of the boat that acts as a "Gliding Pegasus System" (GPS).
"So the boat was inspired by my personality, because I love unicorns and all that, like glitter and stuff," Mauger said.
Della Mora and Roy were impressed by the creativity of Mauger's story, and she was crowned victorious. Mauger's Lego boat will remain on display at the resort, which she says she looks forward to visiting "all the time."
Along with meeting Della Mora and Roy, Mauger also got to chat with Dominic Forte, a Lancaster native who competed on Season 3 of "Lego Masters."
"It was really cool to meet Nick and Stacey," Mauger said. "And it was really cool to meet Dom from Season 3, because we're both from Pennsylvania ... Everyone was just so nice."
Mauger enjoys playing with Legos even when there isn't a prize at stake, specifically the "Lego Friends" sets or constructing detailed houses out of the toy bricks.
Along with building Legos, the sixth grade student at Saint Mary Catholic School in Schwenksville also enjoys being part of the library club.
"It was a very exciting day," Mauger's elementary school wrote in a Facebook post congratulating the master builder. "Way to go, Ava! We are so proud of you!!"
Looking ahead, Mauger hopes to one day follow in the footsteps of Della Mora and Roy as a competitor on "Lego Masters."
For now, Lego lovers can check out Mauger's work in Legoland New York's Junior Master Builder Competition through the live stream pf the competition below.
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