Although every brickhead out there builds LEGO for their own reasons—many chasing their childhoods, like LEGO Pirate Ships against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past—builder Paul Ufema loves speed. He’s so fast, in fact, he’s now the proud holder of a Guinness World Record for fastest time to build the LEGO Colosseum: a set that has over 9,000 pieces, and bruised Ufema’s fingers mercilessly.
NBC 12 picked up the new LEGO Guinness World Record. Ufema told them Guinness actually contacted him with the idea to go for a world record. The builder himself selected the Colosseum; a jumbo $550 set that has 9,036 pieces—more than any other set in existence.
“I’m telling you it was not easy,” Ufema, who lives in Forest, Virginia, said in an interview he posted to his YouTube channel. The build took him an exhausting 13 hours 37 minutes 36 seconds, which would equate to approximately 11 pieces placed per minute. Ufema also stood the entire time, and only took two bathroom breaks; together totaling only 10 minutes.
The two most difficult parts for the builder, it seems, were the way the pieces began to bruise his fingertips and the construction of the final portion of the Colosseum’s interior platform. In his behind the scenes video (below), Ufema reveals how he struggled to figure out how to place the Colosseum’s platform correctly; working through the kind of brain fog that only builders of giant sets—like the LEGO Saturn V—can imagine. (Or anyone who’s ever had to, say, study for an algebra test.)
Although Ufema’s build time is certainly impressive, it’s not likely to hold for long. Both the speed builder and Guinness World Records are now encouraging challengers to beat the record. In fact, if you have the set, or can get your hands on it, you can easily apply to break the record yourself. Do keep in mind that you’ll be going up against the best speed builders in the world, though. And you’ll have to place every piece exactly right, not only to satisfy judges, but also, presumably, mini figure Maximus Meridius.