Tucson ‘lego masters’ hoping to build on longtime hobby

click to enlarge Tucson ‘lego masters’ hoping to build on longtime hobby
(Fox/Submitted)
Emily Mohajeri Norris and Liam Norris are the first mother-son team on Fox’s “Lego Masters.”

Liam Norris has been playing with Legos since he was 6.

Starring on FOX’s “Lego Masters” with his mom, Emily Mohajeri Norris, the UA W.A. Franke Honors College freshman may parlay those talents into a $100,000 cash prize. They’re the first mother-son team on the show.

The third season of “Lego Masters” starts Wednesday, Sept. 21, and brings together teams of Lego enthusiasts to build items like a NASA-themed structure or a Lego dog show.

Besides $100,000, the competing pairs face off to earn a Lego trophy and the title of Lego Masters. The show is hosted by actor and executive producer Will Arnett. He is joined by judges, expert Brickmasters and Lego employees Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard.

“Being on ‘Lego Masters’ was pretty incredible,” Liam said.

“It was amazing to be in that space with so many other amazing builders and make those connections as well. I heard feedback from Amy and Jamie, the Brickmasters who are straight from Denmark. They actually work at Lego. They’re the real deal. Getting to meet Will Arnett was such an amazing experience.”

Liam and Emily may have a leg up on the competition.

“Even when I was 6, I was building my own creations,” he said.

“I’m not just building sets from instructions. It’s really taken off and become such a huge part of my life. The thing I really love about it is it’s art and kind of a puzzle. It also has that engineering component as well, which I find super engaging.”

Emily, however, didn’t grow up with Lego — at least none her brothers would share with her, she said with laugh.

“I should say, I was already a tween,” added Emily, who homeschools Liam’s two brothers. “It wasn’t as attractive to young teenage girls back then. When I had Liam, I went to yard sales and found the first bin of Lego and encouraged and supported him and listened to all of his awesome stories.”

As Liam got older, Emily coached a First Lego League team for him and helped mentor him through his teen activities in Virginia. The family also lived in Beijing.

Liam is so into Lego that he has dedicated a YouTube channel to it. Brixter Builds has 2,100 subscribers — but expected to grow after “Lego Masters.”

“I discovered this incredible online Lego community,” Liam said.

“It inspired me to start sharing what I built more widely so, since then, I have done a number of videos. For example, one year, I tried to upload a brand-new model every day—and they all used only 10 pieces. It’s called ’10 Bricks a Day.’ No, I do a variety of builds and set reviews. I also offer tutorials to help inspire younger kids and even adults to try playing with them a little differently.”

Emily said it was a thrill to watch her son build and compete—not just on the show, but throughout Liam’s life.

“I’ve seen him in his younger years falling in love with Lego and building crazy, amazing things that always entertained us,” Emily said.

“He quickly trained me to help him build and come up with ideas. I do have a creative side and I was able to add that. But to have a front-row seat while participating and see Liam in his dream environment that was such a dream for me. I was just super honored that he invited me to be his teammate.”

Liam said he feels just as fortunate.

“I’m so lucky that my mom was able to take that time and come and do that,” he said. “There haven’t been other mother-son teams on the show. It was really special to be able to share that time.”

“Lego Masters”

8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, on Fox

“Lego Masters:”

fox.com/lego-masters/

Brixter: youtube.com/c/BrixterBuilds

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