Legoland opens Lake Wales hub for lego models

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 18:03:17-05

Playing with toys as a job is a dream come true for people in Polk County.

Merlin Entertainment, the company that runs Legoland, just opened a new hub in Lake Wales where all its new Lego models are built and shipped around the world.

"It's a dream job scenario for sure," said Lindsay Wayne, who has played with Legos her entire life.

Wayne, who lives in Tampa, jumped at the opportunity when she learned Merlin was hiring dozens of local model builders for its new facility.

"Time goes by really fast because you're doing something you love. It's great. I love coming to work everyday," she said.

So far the company has hired seven designers and 38 builders. They work in a building that's off limits to the public, but has more than 50 stations set up for them to let their imaginations run wild.

"If they're good with their hands, if they're good with creativity, then those are the skills we are looking for," said Robert Griffin, Manager of US Production for Merlin.

The models start as a simple concept, a 3-D design on a computer that is then transferred into building instructions.

"We do get somewhat instructions; we get the picture on the computer screen. But it doesn't tell us what pieces we need to use, so that's on us to decide what will look best," Wayne said.

That's where their creativity comes into play. Each piece is glued into place and the final product is shipped to current or yet-to-be-announced Legoland parks around the world.

"We can test fit them, make sure they all work, and then we break them down into portions and we're able to ship them in shipping containers around the world," Griffin said.

The Merlin Magic Making hub in Lake Wales is the company's first global facility specifically designed for building Lego models.