continued The first day of the competition was on Saturday, Jan. 25, with nearly 100 people entered for the first round of the competition.
Coffey said the time leading up to the competition was nerve-wracking. No instructions were given about what the contestants would be asked to build, and he also didn’t know what type of bricks would be available, how many or in what colors.
“It was very hot in the room, and as they were counting down to begin, my hands started shaking,” said Coffey. “ I had no support. It was just me. My parents weren’t there and my friend who signed me up was in the hospital. But it was also calming because then your friends and family aren’t there staring at you.”
In the first round, contestants were given 30 minutes to build something from their favorite book. Coffey said the first thing he thought of was a book he liked as a kid based on Pixar’s film “Toy Story.” He decided to try to build the characters Woody and Buzz Lightyear.
“I really had no idea what I was doing. I’d never built them before,” said Coffey.
He made it through to the next round, which dropped the number of contestants down to 40. They were then given another 30 minutes to build something from a favorite vacation spot. Coffey opted to build the ski jumps and luge slide from Lake Placid.
Coffey said the second round was much more comfortable. He knew the bricks and he knew how much time he would have, which kept him more focused on his project.
“I never thought I would make it to the next day,” he said. “I didn’t get to ski, but I’m fine with that now.”
The third day of the competition was a little different. In the morning, each of the 10 contestants remaining went through a formal interview process before going on to the final stage. Coffey brought with him a portfolio that included pictures of all of the projects he had set up in his basement.