Build it and they will watch: family favourite is back
IT'S the show putting real back into reality TV and Lego Masters is building on its runaway success.
The family-friendly series was the surprise ratings hit of last year, beating the My Kitchen Rules grand final with its debut episode.
"The numbers are whatever they are. For us the lovely element is we had so much fun making it and we're stoked the fun we had translated on to the screen and it became a show people like to sit down and watch with the whole family," host Hamish Blake says.
"If we can add a bit of distraction and inspire some kids to sit quietly on a mat building some worlds, then that's great."
Returning for its second season, Lego Masters challenges eight new teams of AFOLS (adult fans of Lego) to let their imaginations run wild.
"You don't want someone who would happily apply for 10 different shows. That's exactly what I love about our contestants," Blake says.
"They don't want to be on TV necessarily; they just want to be building Lego on Lego Masters. It makes it so much easier for the show to be about Lego and the fun we have in the competition."
A staggering 1.32 million more pieces of Lego were added to the Brick Pit this year, but Blake admits a few pieces may be missing.
"I've thieved so much Lego (laughs)," he says. "I said to the executive producer 'You know I'm stealing a lot in there right?'. He's like 'We can see you on camera. We've just come to accept it's part of the cost of the show'. Like The Shawshank Redemption, I smuggle out a little bit every day."
Despite playing a key role in making it cool to play with Lego as an adult and rubbing shoulders with Ryan 'Brickman' McNaught, the show's judge and the Southern Hemisphere's only Lego Certified Professional, Blake still considers himself a brick-building rookie.
"I think I've been accepted (by the AFOL community) as much as you an be without being able to build," he says. "I will never have their full respect because I can't build but I'm at like tier two, silver-level acceptance. I can never be gold or platinum."
Expect even more jaw-dropping creations as this year's contestants push the limits of Lego and are tasked with even more complex briefs such as an underwater-themed challenge in which contestants are tasked with creating a build that will be submerged in a giant tank of water.
"Not taking anything away from the season one cast, but no matter where that bar was set in season one it's just natural that now everyone in season two has seen season one and naturally wants to beat it," Blake says. "They have some idea of what's possible in 10 or 15 hours. Everyone on the show was keen to see if they could raise the level."
The new season also features a new secret brick, separate to the golden brick, which comes with its own unique advantage.
"We really started from scratch last year and built the show on the fly," Blake says.
"The golden brick started as a joke in one of our meetings last year when I said 'What if i made a big deal out of a small piece of Lego?'.
"This year we have a bit more structure to work with and we've tried to expand in certain areas.
"We've had so much fun coming up for ideas on this show."
Season two of Lego Masters premieres Sunday at 7pm on Nine.