Brooklynite to compete in TV LEGO-building competition

May 14, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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A Brooklynite is about to show his building skills nationwide in the form of LEGO.

Writer and DJ Richard Dryden, 39, was a huge LEGO fan when he was a child and rekindled the passion after he became a father.

Now, he will be a contestant on the second season of the hit building-competition series, LEGO Masters on Fox.

The show, hosted by comedian and actor Will Arnett, pits teams of two LEGO builders to go head-to-head, with infinite possibilities and an unlimited supply of LEGO bricks.

Dryden, a Gowanus resident, was discovered by the show and was asked to audition after he wrote for the popular LEGO site The Brothers Brick. 

“This was my first time on a reality show,” he said. “It’s something that I really enjoy doing, and to do it with the resources that were provided by Fox and LEGO, it really made me imaginative.”

His first set as a child was an M-tron set, which was a small spaceship. After that, he started collecting regularly.

“I got a space monorail for Christmas one year,” Dryden said. “That’s the biggest set that I had. I still have most of this set to this day. I enjoy keeping a lot of those vintage sets because it brings me back to that very pure joyous innocent time in my life where I just wanted to have fun.”

He then stopped collecting LEGO for many years, but got into it again when his son was old enough to collect. Dryden became a contributing writer for The Brothers Brick, where he reviewed fans’ unique creations. This helped him learn about the world of building LEGO.

“I’m one of the few writers of color that they have,” Dryden said. “I was coming at it from multiple levels — getting immersed in the LEGO community as a fan and journalist and someone who represents a pretty marginalized group within the LEGO community.”

When he was announced on the show, he started looking for a teammate and selected Dave Kaleta from Chicago.

“I’ve been following his work online and saw that last summer [he had] a LEGO build in support of Black Lives Matter,” he said. “It really resonated with me and I haven’t seen anyone do something like that. To have an emotional and political stance and one grounded in reality, I think it was really profound for him to do that.”

Season two of LEGO Masters premieres on Tuesday, June 1 on Fox.

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