Graham Draper organises a two-day LEGO fundraiser show

First published on 26th February, 2018 by Ben Langford

Meet Graham, an AFOL.

That’s an Adult Fan of Lego. Although when models use more than 90,000 pieces and your hobby involves regularly importing thousands of pieces from Germany, it’s safe to call it an obsession. 

Graham Draper, 42,  got back into the Danish building bricks and “more serious builds” about four years ago, and since then has transformed the garage of his Dapto home into a Lego emporium with building space, carpet and display cupboards.

He’s working on a 2.4m model of the Interlace building in Singapore – containing 14,500 windows.

Other large models include Star Wars characters and favourite buildings from around the world.

Graham and other Illawarra-based Sydney Lego User Group members are organising a two-day show at Kembla Grange in March to raise money for KidzWish.

“Last year we put on 13 or 14 shows and raised about $21,000 [for schools and charity],” he said.

“We build these models, we keep them for a year, we take them to shows then the parts are always re-usable.”

Fans of The Lego Movie take heart – the film’s villain was a tyrant named President Business, standing for an overbearing Lego-obsessive dad, who glued models together so they stayed perfect.

Not this AFOL.

“I don’t use glue,” he said. 

“Never have – except for one time when a piece wouldn’t stay on.”

Excitingly, he now has a child to to share his Lego with. One of his children wasn’t interested, another has grown out of it, but now his five-year-old son has gone mad for Lego and regularly goes to shows and meetings with him. 

— Ben Langford