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Astoria Lego designer featured in new documentary

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Astoria resident Cody Wells is building his dreams one Lego piece at a time.

Wells is the Lego designer behind the company C3Brix — which specializes in Lego mosaics, portraits, models and figures — and in the past year, he has seen an increase in success, including being featured in the documentary “A LEGO Brickumentary.”

His love for Legos started at a very young age, when out of fear of ghosts, he created a “Ghostbusters” ghost trap. Since then he realized that if he could imagine it then he could build it.

However, transforming his passion into a job didn’t happen until a few years ago when he was still in his home state of Missouri and was facing a difficult time in his life. He created with Legos as a way to keep himself happy and started noticing that after showing his creations to regulars at a local restaurant he worked at, that he was getting attention.

“I wasn’t making any money out of it; I was just doing it for fun,” Wells said. “I started pulling out the Lego and I’m like, ‘I think I got something here.’ It’s the only thing that makes me happy.”

At the same time, he met Katie Proctor, an actress from New York City and now his fiancée, who stopped at the restaurant. After showing her one of his Lego creations — a DeLorean — on their first date, she suggested that if he was going to create Legos as a job that he should move to New York.

So in 2011, Wells made the move to Astoria and began studying everything that had to do with Legos and also pieces that could work with Legos such as Mega Bloks, Laser Pegs and Kre-O.

“I wanted to know every piece ever made so if someone says I want that made, I can make it the best that’s capably, humanly possible,” he said.

A turning point in his life happened when he took a trip to the Lego store at Rockefeller Center and asked for one of his WALL-E figures to be put on display in its window. There he found out that the window was reserved for the Lego user group I LUG NY.

Almost a year later, he met two members of the group, Brian Wygand and Will Smart — who are now his best friends — at the Lego store in Queens Center mall and found out they had been looking for him after seeing the WALL-E figure, which the Rockefeller Center store put on display without Wells knowing.

He was then welcomed to be a part of the group, filled with individuals he had aspired to be like. He credits Wygand, Smart, Billy Murphy and Mike Bader for helping him feel like he was a part of something and not alone.

Although he continues to be a part of I LUG NY, Wells decided to go on his own with C3BRIX with the desire to not just display his creations but also to make a living and allow children to interact with the Legos.

“For me personally, I have to create because not only is this a source of income but I want to give [my kids] hope that you can fulfill your dreams,” he said. “I want to show my kids that there is more to life than the small town they grow up in.”

Since then Wells has been invited to participate in events such as the LIC Flea & Food in Long Island City, and he was also invited to create four models for the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair.

While attending the BrickFair LEGO Convention, where he took home first place in sci-fi moves with his Star Trek Enterprise model, he and two other designers were approached by the filmmakers behind “A LEGO Brickumentary” and were interviewed on their craft. The movie, narrated by actor Jason Bateman, was released on Friday and on Aug. 2 Wells will take some of his creations to the Manhattan premiere.

He also creates portraits, which resemble photographs, for families as presents and takes orders on just about anything.

“Whatever you can think of my job is to make it out of Lego. Don’t call me for Lego, call me for something you like and them ask me to make it in Lego,” he said.

For now Wells, continues to make his creations out of his Astoria apartment, with his children coming to visit from Michigan where they live with their mother. Both his children — Colton and Cydney — have also tried their own hands at creating pieces, with his son at times assisting Wells.

He has also started a partnership with the Manhattan store Little Shop of Crafts to help expand its activities for children.

“It’s cool to have a dad that nobody else has. Nobody else has a Lego designer job like he does. So it’s kind of cool to say my dad is a Lego designer in New York City,” his 12-year-old daughter said.

As his success continues to grow, Wells hopes to one day have a show such as TLC’s “Cake Boss” where he can take large orders from customers for special events.

And although Wells has no affiliation with the actual Lego brand, he said that he is thankful for what Lego has done for his life.

“I’m indebted to them for helping me through my childhood. I’m indebted to them for helping me create a career to influence my children and hopefully other children to follow their dream,” he said. “I’m one of the lucky few that did come to New York and believe the headlines that were told to me, and I’m living it.”

For more information on Wells and C3Brix, visit c3brix.com or www.facebook.com/C3Brix.


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