Emily Caron, 12, with her entry Sunday at her family’s house in Lisbon. She is a finalist in the Junior Master Model Builder Competition at the LEGOLAND New York Resort. She and her parents will travel Saturday to the competition in Goshen, New York. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

LISBON — Emily Caron and her family are planning to head Saturday to the LEGOLAND New York Resort for the Junior Master Model Builder Competition.

Caron, 12, of Lisbon is one of five top competitors chosen from among many 8- to 12-year-olds submitting original creations for the competition, which is inspired by the popular television show “LEGO Masters.”

Caron’s winning submission is a bit meta: A recreation of a moment from a “LEGO Masters” episode is on the first base plate, and a recreation of Caron’s living room in the second plate.

When aligned correctly and viewed through the television she has built into her set, it looks like a still shot from “LEGO Masters.”

James and Catrece Caron said Emily, their older daughter, has vision. With about 500 sets and totes full of LEGO pieces, Emily has designed more than a few of her own sets. Two of her proudest creations, aside from her LEGOLAND submission, is a habitat she made for all of her LEGO animals, and a custom theater featuring around a dozen Muppets characters she has collected from “blind bags,” a mystery character bought separately from sets.

Every shelf, desk, nook and cranny of Emily Caron’s bedroom is filled with LEGO creations. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Emily said she began developing an interest in LEGO plastic construction toys — with her father’s enthusiastic support — when she was about 5 years old. James Caron said he did not have LEGO toys as a child because they were too expensive, but as an adult, he began indulging in the pastime with Catrece as they began to have a family.


“I started playing LEGO Dimensions on Nintendo Wii. I’d put these cars together and Emily would ask, ‘Well, can I put them together?'” James Caron said. “That’s kind of where it started. But when the first LEGO movie came out, (Emily) loved it, and that’s when she really got into LEGOs.”

One of Emily’s favorite things to do is making stop-motion videos on some of the more intricate sets she has, including Diagon Alley and Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter, and one of her new Super Hero Girls sets.

Emily said it takes from an hour to build certain midsize sets to three or four hours to build her own creations or work on larger sets.

Emily Caron’s father, James, shares her love of LEGO plastic construction toys. Above, James Caron discusses his LEGO collection Sunday afternoon, which is displayed in the living room at the family’s house in Lisbon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Catrece Caron said the whole family is hooked on LEGO toys. Everyone, including Emily’s younger sister, Courtney, are LEGO fanatics, which makes for strong familial bonding.

“They all build together. They build different sets, and Emily likes things just so,” Catrece Caron said. “So, whenever a set is missing a piece out of the box, which does happen on rare occasion, Emily’s the one who has to go hunt down the piece. We call her ‘Pick-A-Brick Emily.'”

Emily said details of the LEGO competition in Goshen, New York, are still a mystery. She only knows each competitor will get a set amount of LEGO bricks and pieces and will have an hour to build an assigned subject.

Emily said her biggest worry is the time allotment and not knowing how the pieces will be presented — will they be separated by color or type.

The methodology she uses for her unique builds, however, is fairly simple.

Said Emily, “I take out my bins of LEGOs, think of something I can make and set (out) some more special pieces to use.”

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