Oddities And Ends: The Bellaire Toy And Plastic Brick Museum

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There are 62 Lego bricks for every person in the world, according to National Geographic.

In the small town of Bellaire in Belmont County, more than one million of those Legos were used in 2008 to create the world’s largest Lego castle.

The castle wall was made almost entirely with yellow one-inch-by-two-inch bricks and runs more than 40 feet long inside the world-record-holding Toy and Plastic Brick Museum. The wall is even adorned with a blue Lego guardsman, and a mosaic bedecks the castle room floor.

Brian Korte, a Lego enthusiast and founder of Brickworkz LLC (a custom Lego mosaic company), helped museum owner Dan Brown win the world record. Korte says when he arrived at the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum, he simply “sat down on the floor with a few other people, slowly stacking bricks to add to the massive yellow wall.”

Along with the largest Lego castle, the museum also holds the record for the largest Lego image in the world. Korte says it took two and a half weeks just to plan the details of the mosaic. Once the 525 baseplates of design instructions were finished, Korte, Brown and the rest of the building team went to work on the physical product.

The museum occupies all three stories and 36,000 feet of the former Gravel Hill School. The record-holding mosaic was made in the school’s old gym, according to Jon Bizzari, manager of the museum. “An entire high school basketball court floor is one huge mosaic out of Lego tile,” he said.

Bizzari explained that the museum bought the previous record-holding Lego mosaic and added to it. The picture, which now looks like a giant semi-truck, uses every imaginable Lego color.

Brown and Bizzari also had the idea to give some children a one-foot square and Legos to play on, and they added their designs to the mosaic.

Brown is currently working with the museum’s team to earn his third world record: the world’s tallest freestanding Lego structure, which is now more than 45 feet high. The structure is an egg-shaped tower made of Technic Brick supported by 1-foot- by-2-foot wooden boards. Brown hopes to keep working to make the structure reach about 110 feet high.

Established in August 2007, the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum is now the world’s largest private, unofficial exhibit of Legos that exists on a permanent basis.

Each of the 20-plus rooms inside the museum has a theme such as the aqua room, zoo room, old-Western room, glow-in-the-dark Mars mission room and more.

Pop culture enthusiasts can enjoy life-sized model Lego statues of Darth Vader, Spider-Man, The Simpsons, Dora the Explorer, Diego, Scooby Doo and R2-D2. There’s something for everyone here.

During peak season, the museum attracts from 500 to 700 visitors each week. Located at 4597 Noble Street, the winter hours at the museum are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays and 12-5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children.

Visit www.brickmuseum.net for more information.

This article originally appeared in the Winter/Spring 2013 edition of Southeast Ohio Magazine.