Face of Defense: Marine Sets Lego World Record

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. — While many have a hob­by, few have the dri­ve and ded­i­ca­tion to turn that hob­by into a world record. But Marine Corps Capt. Kyle Ugone not only has that dri­ve, but also the cer­tifi­cate declar­ing him as the Guin­ness world record hold­er for the most com­plet­ed Lego sets in a pri­vate col­lec­tion, with an aston­ish­ing 1,091 sets.

Marine Corps Capt. Kyle Ugone achieved the world record for the most com­plet­ed Lego sets in a pri­vate col­lec­tion with 1,091 sets. U.S. Marine Corps pho­to by Cpl. Aaron Dia­mant
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While his record offi­cial­ly stands at 1,091, Ugone actu­al­ly has 1,251 sets. But some did not count toward the record because they are repro­duc­tions or don’t have the orig­i­nal instruc­tions, Ugone explained. His vast col­lec­tion start­ed small and at a young age, but has grown in size and num­ber, includ­ing one set that con­tains more than 5,000 indi­vid­ual pieces. 

“I got my first set as a gift when I was 5 years old,” Ugone said. “It’s a wind­mill, and I still have it today. From there, I kept get­ting more and more sets.” 

Rooms in his Yuma home look as if they belong in a Lego Land theme park, con­tain­ing hun­dreds of com­plet­ed Lego sets sep­a­rat­ed by genre, such as space, trains, cas­tles and “Star Wars” sets, dis­played on tables and shelves. 

Lego is a line of con­struc­tion toys con­sist­ing of col­or­ful inter­lock­ing plas­tic bricks and an accom­pa­ny­ing array of gears, mini-fig­ures and var­i­ous oth­er parts. 

Lego bricks can be assem­bled and con­nect­ed in many ways to form vehi­cles, build­ings, and even work­ing robots. Any­thing con­struct­ed can be tak­en apart to make oth­er objects. 

The toys orig­i­nat­ed in the 1940s in Den­mark and have achieved inter­na­tion­al appeal, with an exten­sive sub­cul­ture that sup­ports Lego-themed movies, games, video games, com­pe­ti­tions and five amuse­ment parks. 

It was­n’t until 2009, when Ugone was talk­ing to oth­er Lego enthu­si­asts online, that he decid­ed to go for the world record. 

“I was talk­ing to a guy who said he want­ed to build every set Lego has ever made,” Ugone said. There are more than 5,000 sets, he added, some of which are extreme­ly rare and oth­ers avail­able only in cer­tain areas. 

Ugone con­tact­ed offi­cials at the Guin­ness Book of World Records and found that no such record exist­ed. He was told he would need at least 500 sets to claim a record. 

“At the time, I had about 600 to 700 sets, but I want­ed more,” Ugone said. “So I spent a lot of time scour­ing the Inter­net to pur­chase more sets and build them.” 

After a Lego expert vis­it­ed Ugone’s home to ver­i­fy his pletho­ra of build­ing-block mas­ter­pieces, 1,091 of his 1,251 sets were authen­ti­cat­ed for the record, earn­ing him the title as the man with the most. 

Now, Ugone is slow­ly tak­ing the sets apart for stor­age to regain some of the square footage in his home. He’s tak­ing a break from col­lect­ing Lego sets, plan­ning instead to focus more of his atten­tion on restor­ing a clas­sic mus­cle car. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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Team GlobDef

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