The world’s most massive Titanic Lego replica is 26 feet long and 5 feet tall. It took 700 hours (11 months) to build, and the person behind it – a 10-year-old boy with autism from Reykjavik, Iceland.
Now 15 years old, Brynjar Karl Bigisson, is on the spectrum of autism, but his condition didn’t stop him from reaching his goals. Brynjar built the largest Titanic Lego replica anchored at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It took 56,000 Lego bricks for Brynjar to create the gigantic Titanic model scaled from the original blueprint of the historic ship.
“I sometimes built from instructions, and sometimes, I used my own imagination,” Brynjar recalls in his interview with CNN when he was playing with Legos at the age of 5.
Brynjar’s grandfather, Ludvik Ogmundsson, sparked the interest of the young boy for ships. At that time, Brynjar was obsessing about trains, but when his grandfather, Ludvik, brought him fishing on a boat, it ignited the kid’s fascination about ships. When Brynjar turned 10, he knew everything there is to know about Titanic.
“When I traveled with my mom to Legoland in Denmark and saw for the first time all the amazing big models of famous houses and planes, locations and ships, I probably then started to think about making my own Lego model. By the time I was 10, I started to think about building the Lego titanic model in a Lego man size,” Brynjar said in his interview with CNN.
Brynjar is lucky to have such a supportive family. Both grandfather and mother of Brynjar helped to make the project possible. Brynjar ‘s grandfather, Ogmundsson who is also an engineer, scaled down the actual blueprint of the Titanic to determine how many Lego bricks would it need to create the replica model.
Brynjar’s mom, Bjarney Ludviksdottir, gave her all-out support and served as the kid’s cheerleader. “If she had not supported my dream project, it would have never been a reality,” Brynjar said in the interview.
People close to the family including other relatives, and friends supported the project. They contributed donations to help purchase all the Lego bricks Brynjar need to build the Titanic replica.
The Titanic replica is more than just a project. It helped Brynjar embrace his autism. Before the project began, Brynjar had a hard time communicating and talking with others. It affected his life, which made him sad and lonely. After completing the Titanic replica, however, it boosted his confidence, especially when he does interviews about his achievement.
“When I started the building process, I had a person helping me in school in every step that I took, but today, I’m studying without any support. My grades have risen, and my classmates consider me as their peer. I have had the opportunity to travel and explore and meet wonderful people,” Brynjar mentioned in the interview.
Bjarney, Brynjar’s mom, said she hopes that her child’s accomplishment could help other parents who are raising autistic children. According to Bjarney, when she was starting to raise Brynjar, she didn’t know what to expect about her kid’s future. She admitted, she worried about the challenges that Brynjar could face in life while dealing with autism. However, Bjarney is now proud to share that these kids, although dealing with autism, can achieve their goals.
“When your child comes to you with an interesting big crazy dream, mission or goal, he or she would like to reach and needs your help. Listen carefully and make an attempt to find ways to support the child to reach that goal. It might be the best investment you ever make for your kid,” Bjarney, mom of Brynjar said in the interview.
Bjarney Ludviksdottir believes that it can be hard for children to reach their dreams, whether they are on the autism spectrum or not. Obstacles towards the children’s goals can occur such as financial issues or lack of support. But Bjarney believes in the power of dreams.
“Dreams keep us going. That is something nobody can take away from us. It’s something good to have when you are feeling a little bit stuck or sad. You can always dream,” Bjarney added.
The largest Titanic Lego replica was shipped to the US from Iceland in three pieces. It was carefully reconstructed before its American debut last April 2018. The model will remain at the Titanic Museum Attraction until December 2019.
Brynjar’s grandfather said there are valuable lessons to be learned from his grandchild’s achievement.
“Autism does not have to be scary. Many great scientists and national leaders had and have autism. What matters is that such individuals get understanding and support, because everyone can learn from these people if they listen to what they are saying,” Ogmundsson said in the interview with CNN.
“When Brynjar was growing up, I often helped him with projects that called for thought and hard work that I thought would be good for him. Then he got this crazy idea to build a 6-meter ship from Lego cubes. Today he speculates a great deal about complex things that require technical understanding.”
Here is short video showing the replica: