Lego wonderland not just another brick in the wall
He is a dairy farmer with a passion for building - but not the building you might expect.
Gore man Jimmy Paton describes himself as a "Lego purist" and his Lego collection is worth about $60,000.
Paton, 41, probably looks more like a biker than someone who collects the little coloured bricks adored by children (and some adults) for more than 80 years.
His dairy farming mates think his collection is impressive, but don't say much else, he said.
"No-one is game enough to say it's a kids thing because I'm too big."
His land of Lego is on display in Gore this weekend as part of the first Southland Brick Show, an event Paton organised.
He remembers the first Lego set he bought when he was eight years old.
"My grandparents gave me money and I went out and bought a little yellow truck with a man and a broom."
Paton has been collecting Lego ever since, even reserving a room in his house just for Lego.
There are numerous large plastic drawers individually labelled for different types and colours of Lego.
He said he enjoyed Lego because there were no rules to it.
"You build what you want to build. It's all up to your imagination."
Paton spends a minimum of three hours a day working with Lego.
"I would love to spend all my spare time with it, but I've got responsibilities."
Those responsibilities include raising his two daughters, Leah, 10 and Amber, 13, and running a dairy farm.
Yesterday, Paton brought the cows in for milking at 5am before heading to Gore to set up for the brick show.
His main display, which takes more than seven hours to assemble, is a town which measures 1.8m by 7m, and includes farms, an airport, a zoo, an industrial area, a port and so much more.
The Southland Brick Show is on at the James Cumming Wing in Gore on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
It features Lego collections from Gore, Dunedin, and Lumsden, as well as a display from Toy World Invercargill.
Entry is $2, under 2 years free.
The Southland Times