Lego Man

Allison Schwartz, Assistant Page Editor

When Jeff Hindman, a regular beachgoer of Florida, took his usual morning walk on the Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota County around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, October 25, he was in in for a real surprise.

Aside from the shining radiance of a Florida sunrise, Hindman came upon a life-sized discovery. Greeting him was an 8-foot-tall, 100-pound, fiberglass sculpture of a giant, yellow, red, and green Lego man. On its stomach, it sported a grammatically incorrect, “NO REAL THAN YOU ARE”, a curious message.

Additionally, on its back appeared a giant numeral 8 and the words “Ego Leonard.”

Who is this giant man and where did he come from? Similar Lego figures to the one found on Siesta Key Beach were found in Zandvoort, Holland, and Bright, England in 2007 and 2008.
We do know that this Lego man has no assosciation with Lego or the Orlando Legoland park that it recently opened. Lego has denied releasing the figure as a publicity stunt, but Julie Estrada, the spokeswoman for the company, says it was a “brilliant guerrilla PR stunt.”
As it turns out, Ego Leonard is the name of a Dutch artist that has been creating paintings and sculptures featuring giant Lego figures for years.

His other paintings include depictions of Lego men as the Statue of Liberty, solving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, or wearing shirts with messages like, “HELLO! HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY.”

A message was sent to the artist, to which he responded, in character, “I am glad I crossed over. Although it was a hell of a [swim]. Nice weather here and friendly people. I think I am gonna stay here for a while. A local sheriff escorted me to my new home.”

Leonard is also staying in character on his Twitter and Facebook pages.

While this stunt was fun for all, the giant toy has been taken into “protective custody” by the Police department, and will be held there for 90 days. If no one claims the figure in this time, then Jeff Hindman will be the lucky owner of one giant Lego man.

He has stated that he will probably put the Lego man on eBay if he gains ownership.
Whatever message or statement this artist was trying to portray, he surely put a smile on faces everywhere.

Only time will tell where the next Lego figure will wash ashore. Keep your eyes peeled for any tall and boxy creatures.