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Building blocks: putting a tonne of Lego to good use

Lego fanatics Charlie Bigg-Wither and his son Ted (9) at their home in Turner. Click for more photos

LEGO House in Turner

Charlie Bigg-Wither and his son Ted are fanatical about LEGO Photo: Rohan Thomson

When Charlie Bigg-Wither says he has a tonne of Lego, he's not joking - he literally has a metric tonne of it in his Canberra home.

He said he measured it with his wife and children when they were moving into their new house 18 months ago.

''We put it in little boxes, of about five kilograms each. All together, it was over a tonne,'' he said.

It's a good time to be a fan of Lego, the endlessly reusable coloured building bricks which originated in Denmark, with The Lego Movie released in Australia on Thursday.

Mr Bigg-Wither, who runs the Green Shed recycling facility at Canberra's Mugga Lane tip, said he originally got the Lego for his three children. But as they grew up and lost interest, the 42-year-old said it became a method of relaxation for him.

''It used to be an obsession for the kids, but they've grown up a little bit now. So I didn't want to give it away so it became my obsession, my therapy,'' he said, laughing.

''[Now] all their friends come over and they see Charlie's doing his therapy. 'He's had a bad day'.''

The entry way to Mr Bigg-Wither's house in Turner has tubes of Lego running down the hallway, and giant Lego heads in the window.

On the way to the door is a fountain surrounded with Lego figurines and a letterbox partially made up of Lego bricks.

''My son's friends were all over here for a sleepover so we got them to build a brick each for the letterbox,'' he said. ''So it is family time, to a certain extent.''

Mr Bigg-Wither said most of the Lego was bought second-hand, from kids shops and garage sales over 25 years.

He said since he had bought and renovated the derelict house, and filled it with Lego, it had become a fixture for the neighbourhood.

''When people come by they come up and talk to you and kids stop and play with the Lego.

''People have come up to us and said they didn't know there was a house here, it was so overgrown,'' he said. Mr Bigg-Wither said he and his children were excited about the movie, saying he was planning to make it a family event. ''We're all waiting to buy the tickets.''

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