The second season of FOX‘s LEGO Masters will premiere on June 1, and Vital Thrills got a chance to chat with Brickmasters and LEGO employees Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard. They gave us the scoop on what we’re going to see, the most coveted LEGO bricks, and stepping on LEGO!
In each episode, host and executive producer Will Arnett, alongside expert Brickmasters and LEGO employees Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard, will encourage the two new pairs of LEGO enthusiasts, introduce incredible challenges — including an earthquake tower challenge, a demolition derby, a LEGO fashion show and more — and put their creativity and skills to the test.
The competing pairs who impress the Brickmasters the most will progress to the next round, until the finale, to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur LEGO builders, win a $100,000 cash prize, the ultimate LEGO trophy and the grand title of LEGO Masters.
Amy Corbett is a Senior Design Manager at The LEGO Group, where she drives the development of brand-new product lines, bringing new groups of people of all skill levels into the world of LEGO.
Jamie Berard is a Senior Design Manager and Creative Lead at The LEGO Group, where he is responsible for working on the LEGO Architecture and LEGO Ideas lines as well as a variety of products for adults, teens and super fans. He is a life-long LEGO fan and has been an employee of The LEGO Group for more than 14 years.
Berard gave us a look at what’s coming in Season 2 of LEGO Masters. “Well, I think, all the best of Season one and better. We do have a formula that works pretty well because there are some really talented teams, and this year exceptionally talented teams.
“I mean clearly the first season brought out people’s energy to want to get on the season. So it definitely brought some awareness for Season 2 and brought us some great builders.
“We’re definitely going all in. We’ve had some great challenges – like the fashion challenge is one that Amy and I particularly found really fun. We’ve still got lots of chaos and destruction and Will Arnett is on the set, you knew that was going to happen, but also just the balance of really creative challenges where people get to really show their creative side, and not just have demolition all the time.”
We asked Corbett about the demolition challenges on LEGO Masters. She said, “I mean, it’s always a little bit painful because usually when you hear the sound of LEGO bricks or the LEGO builds, or LEGO model being destroyed, is something that’s not meant to happen – so if we hear that in the office, we know something has gone very wrong, and I think our heart stops a little bit.
“On the show, I think the way we set up the challenges, the way we designed them – It is so fun and entertaining to see them being destroyed. And the fact that the teams already know from the start, they’re building something to be destroyed.
“It’s all about making an amazing destruction. I think it frames it so that everyone can deal with it a little bit better, but you can hear whispers of people being like, ‘Please don’t make us destroy this!'”
Berard agreed. “The difference is that you know it’s coming, then you can celebrate it, but you know, it’s those moments that you’re not expecting it, those can really be devastating.”
We asked if there has been an uptick in LEGO fans since the show. Berard said absolutely. “Amy’s quite active on social media, so she probably gets them more than me, but it’s really brought everybody out of the woodwork, not just LEGO fans.
“I’m getting contacts from people that I haven’t heard from in years – people that I went to high school with, that are just like, ‘oh yeah I saw the show, and then I got all excited about LEGO again, and I dusted off my old collection or found an old set,’ and I just find that it’s a show that even people that were not even into the LEGO brand before the show, somehow got into this show, and now they’re excited by it and they’re starting to say, ‘oh I had no idea that this was something that I could do as an adult.’ Also kids coming back into it is really a broad range of people that the show is connecting with.”
Corbett added, “I think it’s really ignited people’s passion and kind of made it cool to play with LEGO again, I think, and a little bit more like everyone can do it. I think some of the contacts I get that I, that melt my heart the most are from parents talking about their little kid, or speaking behalf on their kid who was like, ‘oh I yeah, I didn’t realize that was a real job,’ [or] ‘I feel really inspired to create.’ They’ve got into LEGO again, and they’re exploring their creativity, a young age and I think for me, that’s something really awesome that the show has really brought.”
Corbett said there were a lot of changes, shooting during COVID, but that, “everything happened behind the scenes, so in front of the camera, what you will see is almost exactly the same as Season 1… you know, so many people found solace in the show in Season one, during the pandemic, and it was an escape, so we wanted to continue that in Season 2.
“But behind the scenes, there was a lot of safety measures going on to make sure that COVID did not reach the set, but also just to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable. Jamie and I kind of talk about it as our little bubble that we were in, and it was just so nice to walk on set in front of the cameras and you were kind of forgetting that COVID was happening, and you just had this moment of just enjoying the creativity just having fun and just really being able to relax actually which is not something we’ve been able to do for such a long time.”
The LEGO Masters teams last year were so much fun to watch, so we asked about the new crop for Season 2 and how attached they get to them. Berard said, “We can’t help ourselves, but fall in love with so many of the teams. I mean they’re they’re just not only talented but they’re just great personalities, and they have wonderful stories to bring to the show.
“And so along the way… the more you get to know them, the deeper the relationship grows, it’s really hard to have to potentially send somebody home, especially when they’re actually delivering really great models or they’re making really great builds. And that’s the real challenge I think was [that in] Season 2, you’re going to see the caliber of builders is quite high.”
He said that it was hard to put anyone on the bottom with such great builds. “We definitely struggle with it each time. I have to say that this season was no different, especially since we were even closer, being in that little bubble. You did feel more of a connection with them”
Corbett agreed. “It’s a great cast we have this year – very diverse. We’ve got siblings, we’ve got husband and wife, we’ve got friends, we’ve got all different ages and backgrounds, and I think it’s a really fun cast, I’m excited for you guys to get to meet them and over them.”
We asked the Masterbuilders about the biggest mistake contestants make on LEGO Masters. Berard said, “I think the biggest mistake people find is the time. They just run out of time and they’re always surprised by, like, how did this happen? ‘You know we were doing so well.’
“So I would say that’s probably the biggest challenge, because it’s really weird – most people that are still building at home as adults, it’s a leisure thing, and something for fun that you’re doing and you can spend all the time in the world. But when you’ve got a giant clock, you’ve got Will coming over talking to you, and then we come over and talk to you, there’s so many reasons to be distracted that I think some people can lose sight of, oh, we still got to build this, or their ambition is so big, they don’t quite calculate out I’ve got to build another 15 of these in order to finish off my model. Time’s running out. So I’d say that’s probably the biggest challenge that people often overlook.”
Talking about Will Arnett as a host, Corbett said, “We love that he just brings the energy to the show. He helps energize us because it’s really long days… we love that energy and, and he’s such a cheerleader for the team, like no matter how tough things are he always managed to find a positive side and make everyone smile and I think that’s just so fabulous.”
Berard and Corbett are experienced LEGO Masterbuilders and their work is all over the world. Berard said of one installation, “I had the privilege of going to China, we were launching the Shanghai skyline… just as a fluke of walking down the main street of the shopping area, and I went inside one of the large department stores or malls, and they had a life size version of the Winter Toy Shop, one of the sets I made years ago, and people were actually experiencing it as part of their holiday tradition, that they could go inside a full size version of this little LEGO house that I made years ago… I just wasn’t expecting it, and then it’s just this wonderful experience of seeing something that I worked on, that was just in my hands [gestures] this big, and now I’m actually walking around in it as if I’m a mini figure that was just mind blowing for me.”
Corbett said, “I have to say every time I go into a LEGO store and see a kid picking up one of the steps I’ve worked on, that is a very magical moment, and it gets me every single time, no matter how many times that happens.”
Finally, we had to ask about stepping on LEGO bricks, the worst pain that exists. Corbett laughed, saying, “Don’t walk barefoot around way. That is my number one tip.” Berard said, “That was a lesson from Season 1 when we saw [someone] you know running around without shoes we were just the whole time like, ‘No!'”
Jenna Busch has written and spoken about movies, TV, video games and comics all over the Internet for over 15 years, co-hosted a series with Stan Lee, appeared on multiple episodes of “Tabletop,” written comic books, and is a contributing author for the 13 books in the “PsychGeeks” series including “Star Wars Psychology.” She founded the site Legion of Leia and hosted the “Legion” podcast.