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LEGO blocks depict 50 state stereotypes

POSTED: August 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.
Jeff Friesen/

LEGO diorama of Alaskan cold.

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Jeff Friesen took "playing" to a whole new level with his most recent LEGO project.

Friesen and his daughter, June, worked to build LEGO blocks into stereotypical depictions of each state in the United States. The inspiration of the project came from Friesen's desire to bond with his daughter without giving up his belief that "toy playing have a purpose." The two made a compromise between fun and purpose by playing with LEGO blocks, but creating dioramas and taking pictures of each upon completion.

According to Friesen's website, The Brick Fantastic, the two builders began by arranging dollhouse furniture along with plastic animals. Friesen was then inspired to create his hometown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The scene became bigger and bigger until it became all the Canadian provinces. This soon came to an end after the 11 provinces were completed. The next creation would be the 50 United States.

The project came with its challenges. One of which was the amount of time it took to create each image. Friesen said the time he worked was often off and on during spare time, so it is hard to tell exactly how long the project took, but he estimated each image took around four hours or more.

Another challenge was photographing the scenes. LEGO blocks typically give off a more glossy look, and Friesen prefers photograph images with a "gloss-free look."

Much of the inspiration for each state came from first-hand experience as Friesen has travelled to 37 states. Friesen also lived in the US for two years.

The overall consensus from family and friends upon completion of the project seems to be unanimous as Friesen said, "Everyone finds it funny."

Friesen will soon be releasing his book "United States of LEGO: A Brick Tour of America." It features 40 additional pictures including a new picture of Utah based on the Bonneville Salt Flats. It's also available for pre-order.

Friesen said this project was a great way to bond with his daughter, June, and that their next project will feature LEGO London.


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