Brickmania builds history with Lego models

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By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Legos have long been loved for their ability to bring out the builder in everyone. The creators at Brickmania are here to show everyone that these toys are for children of all ages, and that they can be used to tell stories of our past.

Brickmania's 20th century historical Lego kits and displays bring historical events to life for young and old, bringing families together and giving them an interactive glimpse of history.

From Civil War weaponry to Vietnam War-era M1 81mm Mortar Packs and modern-day armored personnel carriers, Brickmania carries everything needed to create individual models or entire historic, military scenes. The company uses authentic Lego bricks, and supplements custom-made, high-quality pieces where necessary.

"A Brickmania kit is a project families can work on together, while also teaching family history," explains Brickmania's designer and founder Daniel Siskind. "Junior high and high school teachers are also buying Brickmania kits to use as props in their classrooms, because they are engaging as well as historically accurate."

Brickmania builds displays at museums, veterans' reunions, historical societies and other nonprofit organizations. The staff creates jaw-dropping, wall-sized mosaics and dioramas with thousands of pieces, depicting famous historical scenes for display at museums and more. the teams recently displayed a massive Battle of the Bulge diorama in a Chicago museum.

"We like to share our passion with the community," Siskind said.

Brickmania’s "World War Brick" is heading to Flagstaff today, Feb. 11. Proceeds from many of this event's activities will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Brickmania team is touring with their displays in other cities including Las Vegas, Nev., Provo, Utah, Denver, Colo., and Omaha, Neb.

Siskind shared some tips for starting your own historical model collection:

1.    Dig into the Lego bricks you probably already have at home:
"You may have Lego pieces that have been handed down for a generation or two," he said. "We include pictures and simple instructions in our books to get you started." 

2.    Follow the kit difficulty rating:
"Begin with the easiest," he said. "There is value in every set, even those that are for beginners. Just remember that age is not a consideration. I know of many 12-year-old Lego experts." 

3.    Look for quality:
"There are a lot of after-market products of dubious quality," he said. "No one wants to build something that will fall apart when you play with it. Choose kits that are labeled, ‘Assembled in the U.S.’ We use genuine Lego parts, whenever they are available. If not, we make them ourselves or use U.S. suppliers, many of which are family-owned companies."

4.    Look for historically accurate pieces:
"Many brands blur fiction with reality," he said. "They'd never be found at a VFW event or in a museum display. Because we have educated followers, we're always raising the bar on accuracy."

Brickmania releases a new kit about once a week, so there's always something available to add to a collection. To start your historically accurate Brickmania collection or to invite Brickmania to your museum, visit www.Brickmania.com.