Canberra's Michael Ryan reveals what happened to the Bricksmas LEGO trophy he won with Today reporter Brooke Boney

Brooke Boney and Canberra's Michael Ryan on the set of the LEGO Masters Bricksmas special. Picture: Supplied
Brooke Boney and Canberra's Michael Ryan on the set of the LEGO Masters Bricksmas special. Picture: Supplied

Canberra's Michael Ryan was allowed to keep the incredible trophy after he and Today show entertainment reporter Brooke Boney this week won the inaugural LEGO Masters Bricksmas special.

"Brooke was kind enough to let me keep it. But she might be getting a replica," Michael said.

The trophy now has pride of place on a shelf behind his desk at home.

"It's been a bit of distraction in all the Microsoft Team meetings," he said with a laugh.

Working in a collaboration of celebrity and builder, Brooke and Michael took out both challenges on the family-favourite Christmas LEGO special.

Straight to the pool room: Brooke and Michael hold the Bricksmas trophy aloft. Picture: Supplied

Straight to the pool room: Brooke and Michael hold the Bricksmas trophy aloft. Picture: Supplied

They created not only a beautiful Christmas-themed window display, but also a fairy "toad-school", which judge Ryan "The Brickman" McNaught judged to be the most original, playable and desirable for kids counting down the days until Christmas.

"It's a bit surreal," Michael said, of winning the special.

"It was a little bit of redemption, proof that we were good enough on our season, if we had just dug a little deeper. It was acknowledgement that Canberra is full of good builders and we're more than capable as well."

Michael and his long-time friend from Canberra Grammar days, Harrison Barnett, came achingly close to winning LEGO Masters Australia earlier this year, eliminated in the 12th episode.

"Harry loved it," Michael said of the Bricksmas win.

"He was absolutely stoked that one of us got to go on the show and to get the trophy at the end."

And just after the trophy presentation, "snow" fell. Picture: Supplied

And just after the trophy presentation, "snow" fell. Picture: Supplied

Michael, a physiotherapist who know works for KPMG, was living in Jerrabomberra when the Bricksmas special was filmed in Sydney, deep in COVID chaos, making it easier for him because he didn't have to cross a border into NSW.

The two episodes took five days to shoot. The teams, which also included celebrities Scott Cam, Sophie Monk and Michael "Wippa" Wipfli, had 12 hours for their first build and 15 hours for their second. Michael estimated at least 20,000 bricks went into the fairy toad-school, alone.

"We had the usual breaks for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea but unlike the usual season, we also had dinner breaks because we were working so late. 'Working' seems like a funny word to use because it was just fun," Michael said.

Michael said he lucked out scoring Brooke as his building partner as she showed a natural talent for LEGO

"Brooke was a legend," he said. "From the beginning she asked, 'What can I do?'. She very quickly picked it up and ran with it. I know I'm biased, but I definitely had the best partner."

And since the show aired, he is again a star in the Canberra offices of KPMG.

"People from work love it. A lot of people have young kids so they were watching. One of the directors sent me a photograph of his daughter playing LEGO while watching the show," he said.

"I think that's what the show is all about, inspiring kids to create and build something, whether it's with LEGO or something else. It's all about flexing those creative muscles."

Michael and Harrison will be appearing at the Canberra Brick Expo in April and Michael is also planning some builds with Henry Pinto who he met for the first time on Bricksmas. Henry and building partner Cade Franklin won the first series of LEGO Masters Australia.

"We just got on like a house on fire," Michael said of his friendship with Henry.

"Bricksmas wasn't as competitive and there was a lot of helping each other out as well as a good amount of playful banter."

And, yes, Michael has ventured into the new LEGO store at the Canberra Centre. Maybe more than once.

"I've spent way too much money in there," he said, with a laugh.

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This story Michael brought home the LEGO Bricksmas bacon first appeared on The Canberra Times.