New York man leaving politics to take job as Boston’s Lego Master

Ian Coffey, of Albany, N.Y., speaks with spectators during round 3rd of Brick Factor at the Boston Public Library. (Jeremiah Robinson / Metro)
Ian Coffey, of Albany, N.Y., speaks with spectators during round third of Brick Factor at the Boston Public Library. Credit: Jeremiah Robinson/Metro

A 26-year-old man with a gusto for Lego is leaving his job at the New York State Senate and building a colorful new future out of the popular plastic bricks.

“It’s a very drastic change,” said Ian Coffey, whose enthusiasm for LEGOs is impressive to say the least.

The Albany, N.Y., resident was the winner of a two-day Brick Factor building competition at the Boston Public Library, put on by LegoLand Discovery Center.

More than 60 Lego enthusiasts put their skills and creativity to the test Saturday over multiple rounds of construction challenges. Coffey was one of 10 to make it to Sunday’s finals. With his victory comes a full-time, salaried job as a Lego Master Model Builder.

“When they called my name and my number, I was elated. I thought, ‘How could this be happening to me?’ I’m so happy,” Coffey said of the win.

“I’ve always loved building with Lego bricks. They’re incredible. My basement is covered with Legos. It’s a Lego city with Lego skyscrapers.”

Indeed, that’s a lot of Legos.

Clinching the win: Coffey’s Lego rendition of “Toy Story” characters Buzz and Woody; Winter Olympic ski jumps and a bob sled; and an easel “painting” of him and his dog.

In two weeks, Coffey will relocate to the Hub and start training for his new job at LegoLand Discovery Center Boston, which opens in May at Assembly Row in Somerville. Part of his responsibilities will include constructing new features, exhibitions and models at the 44,000-square-foot center, which will be the first and only attraction of its kind in New England.

“Honestly, this has been my dream job forever. I applied to [The Lego Group] in Denmark when I was first out of college, but didn’t hear back,” said Coffey. “So when I heard of this opportunity, bells and whistles went off, and I said, ‘This is it.’”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…