Former Sheffield teacher Michael LeCount is such a LEGO fanatic, his wife suggested to buy a second house to keep it all in.
But this isn’t just any old house. The property has been converted into a personal museum room, store room, archive room, dumping room and modelling room.
From what started as a hobby, Michael is now one of Britain’s leading builders and collectors. He’s living the dream after packing in his job as a teacher at Charnock Hall Primary School around two years ago and he now runs a LEGO shop in Hillsborough. But his hobby turned career, has seen him jet set around the world to places like Dubai, Oman and Switzerland. The 50-year-old from Middlewood, has over 4,000 different sets dating back to the late 50s and from every decade all perfectly boxed and stored in pristine condition. LEGO marks it’s 60th anniversary tomorrow and Michael’s passion has not wavered since he was introduced to the building blocks as a tot. Stepping into his ‘LEGO house’ Michael take us on a tour. One room looks more like a toy shop store room with piles upon piles of of merchandise with classic, rare and modern sets. Into the modelling room, two iconic Sheffield builds sit proudly on the table. A Supertram his son Samuel has built along with Michael’s own constructions of the ‘Cheese Grater’ car park and the city’s tallest building, St Paul’s Tower. His collection grew so big, his extremely understanding wife Lucy suggested getting another house to keep it all in. “It would’ve been better if we got a bigger house but it got to the stage where it was unmanageable and a solution needed to be found,” Michael said. “It’s slightly inconvenient, it’s a second house but it’s not too far away from where I actually live. “There’s a couple of times where we may have our moans but on the whole she’s accepted it it’s what I am. “Occasionally she makes me think twice when I do something but I couldn’t have collected to this level if it had not been for her support!” Michael’s two children Rebecca, aged 16, and Samuel, 14, are all in favour of their dad’s hobby. Samuel himself, a ‘keen builder of trains and rollercoasters’, is also a fan of LEGO. Michael said it was difficult to pack in teaching but he now has the ‘best of both worlds’. “It was something at the time where I did miss teaching but luckily now with the other work I do through RightBricks, the company which is licensed by LEGO where they do big commercial model, I get to go into schools and do events with them. “I’ve got an element of still working with children and I’ve got my love and hobby.” LEGO is still as popular as it ever was and the building block community spans across the world. Michael adds he now has friends he would never have if it wasn’t for LEGO. “There’s a big group, a growing group of people like me. There’s a Sheffield group and others all over the world, LEGO enthusiasts who meet up and chat. “The community side is incredible - it’s not just about collecting LEGO there’s people I’m now friends with from New Zealand, Australia, America all across the world and I’d have never have met these people if it wasn’t for a small plastic brick.” LEGO is 60 on Sunday and Michael said the building blocks are still as big as ever. “It’s about the longevity and the fact it’s survived and adapted over the years. The bricks that came out in 1958 and you could use them with what they’re producing today. “My passion for LEGO started when I was one or two when my father was in the forces and he brought back what was the LEGO Duplo range - I got it for Christmas and birthdays and I never really grew out of it. “The collecting came later and it’s been a huge part of my life and it always will be.”