Build ‘em up: Local Lego lover cast on Fox show
Fletcher: ‘I hope my experiences will inspire people’
For children, Legos can be simple toys to put together and smash, and for parents, Legos can be the cause of colorful language when left on the floor — but for Kara Fletcher, Legos are life.
Fletcher, 49, and long-time friend Jessie Rex, 47, former Eagle Rock residents who founded the Eagle Rock Lego Club in 2013, are putting their skills to the test in coming weeks on the new Fox show Lego Masters, which begins a 10-episode run on Feb. 5. Fletcher and Rex, whose team is named “The Higher the Hair, the Closer to God,” are one of 10 teams competing for a cash prize, Lego trophy and the title of Lego Masters.
Fletcher lived in Eagle Rock for 25 years before moving to Rogers in January 2019.
“Jessie, [who moved to Hawaii in 2016], and I have been friends for 20-plus years, and as our kids got older and loved Legos, we got to share with them our personal hobby,” Fletcher said. “Then, we opened it up to the community [with the Eagle Rock Lego Club]. We approached the community association and they thought it would be a great addition to their other programs.”
The club began in 2013, and Fletcher said she has only missed two of its meetings.
“One of those was because [I had an illness in the family], and the other was because I was at Lego Masters,” she said.
Fletcher is a University of Arkansas graduate with an elementary education degree. She previously worked with special needs children in Green Forest and now works in landscaping.
“I originally went to school for architecture, but I have a passion for children,” Fletcher said. “That’s one reason I love Legos. It levels the sandbox when you throw a bunch of bricks on the floor and see what kids can do with them. I even use a Lego-based curriculum in my church’s children’s youth ministry, and working in landscaping is like working with really large Lego materials.”
Fletcher grew up in Kansas City and recalls playing with Legos with her childhood best friend.
“We always said when we died, we would take our Legos to heaven with us,” she said. “I was 7 when I moved, and I probably started playing with Legos when I was about 4 years old.
“A big part of that was because I was so hyperactive. The sorting bricks and building things is really relaxing to me, even today.”
Fletcher took that childhood passion and turned it into a lifelong dream by applying and being accepted to compete on Lego Masters.
“I am in several trade groups and Lego users groups and they posted about the show, and I was immediately intrigued,” she said. “Other people also said I needed to apply. So, I filled out the 12-page application, and as I completed each answer, I realized how huge of a role Lego has played in my life. It gave me so much confidence because I could say, ‘I know this.’ I can literally talk so much about it because I know so much with how long it’s been in my life. I have been working for [being on Lego Masters] my whole life, I just didn’t realize it.”
Fletcher said it was a real treat to be on the show with so many other amazing Lego creators.
“There’s so much talent,” she said. “It’s also great to be surrounded by people with the same passion. People may think Legos are just a toy, but there is a large population of adults who love them and use them in different ways.”
Fletcher said she is also a super competitive person, which made the show even more fun. She also sees benefit in competition for youths to grow mentally.
“When I started the Lego Club, I reached out to Lego and they donated a bunch of bricks,” she said. “In the letter, they played down using Lego in any competitive nature, and I was disappointed in that because life is not all about competition, but it does give you a drive that you don’t get otherwise.
“If I’m going to play, I want to win, and I don’t accept defeat well. I also learned at Lego Masters that there are just some elements that are out of your control.”
Fletcher hopes being on the show will inspire children in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.
“They may think they are nothing special, but an ordinary person like myself with an intense passion can achieve their dreams if they set their hearts to it and work hard,” she said. “I hope my experiences will inspire people to think how big the world is and have the passion to follow their hearts.”
Despite her competitiveness, Fletcher said however the show turns out, she was happy to be on the ride.
“A lot of people encouraged me along the way, and I’m thankful,” she said. “I’m glad I got out there, and however it turns out, I hope to inspire someone.”
Lego Masters will run for 10 episodes on Fox beginning on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. central time. There are a number of celebrity guest stars throughout the series, such as Mayim Bialik, Terry Crews, Nicole Byer and “The LEGO Movie” Writers and Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Special appearances will also be made by BB-8, C-3PO and R2-D2 in a Star Wars-themed episode. The show is hosted by Will Arnett.
“Will Arnett is a great host and a kid at heart who loves Lego,” Fletcher said.
Challenges in each episode are different, with themes like Star Wars, dreamland theme park, bridges and destruction.
“The destruction challenge was the most challenging to me because you have to build something to be destroyed,” Fletcher said. “So, you have to have a perfect balance of strength and structure.”
Fletcher said plans are for the Eagle Rock Lego Club to watch the show together.
“I will tape it and we’ll all watch,” she said. “I also brought some things back from the set so they can relate to the show a bit better.”