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Merton 12-year-old wins national inventors award

Greyson MacLean's Lego decals earn him award, interview on 'Conan'

Nov. 28, 2011

Town of Merton - It's been a big couple of weeks for 12-year-old Greyson MacLean of the Town of Merton.

MacLean, a sixth-grader at Swallow School, is the inventor of BrickStix, a line of removable, reusable cling decals for Legos and other building-block toys. MacLean came up with the idea about three years ago, and BrickStix were introduced to consumers this February.

Last Friday, MacLean was chosen as the Young Inventor of the Year at the TAGIE Awards, an annual event hosted by the Chicago Game and Toy Group considered by some to be the "Oscars of the toy business." The MacLean family - which includes parents Amy and Matt and sisters Lily, 9, and Annie, 6 - was stunned by Greyson's win, said Amy MacLean.

But perhaps an even greater experience than winning the award - and probably more fun - was his recent appearance on the "Conan" show.

Booked to discuss his invention and nomination for the TAGIE Award, MacLean got big laughs when he matter-of-factly explained to host Conan O'Brien that his friends were planning to record his appearance and watch it later because the Packers game was on at the same time.

"I'm very sorry, but that's just how people think in Wisconsin," MacLean explained.

While BrickStix is run by his mom, the business was originally born out of Greyson's frustration with the regular stickers made for Lego sets, which were difficult to scrape off when he wanted to take apart a creation and make something new. As Amy MacLean recalls, Greyson said he needed some kind of decal that he could easily take off and put back on his Legos.

After repeatedly telling his mom that they should really do something about it - "we'll call it brick sticks," he said - Greyson researched the idea online, then started playing around with the UV protection cling decals used for sunglasses and testing all sorts of other static things, Amy MacLean said.

"All of a sudden, we were doing it," Amy MacLean said.

The product was launched with three sets of BrickStix - metro, transport and space - each designed around a popular building theme. Since then, three new sets have been added, and a new line of products called Mod Stickers has also been introduced, targeting adult fans of Lego.

Greyson said that creating and launching a new business has been exciting, but it's also taught him a valuable lesson.

"If you really set your mind on something, you can do it," he said.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Spring Seedling Sale & Greenhouse Open House: 10 a.m. May 23, NuGenesis Farm, N68 W33208 County Road K, Oconomowoc. A variety of organic veggie and herb seedlings to plant in your home or community garden this spring will be for sale. All plant sale profits will benefit the Giving Garden initiative.

Memorial Honor Celebration: 8 a.m. May 23, Wisconsin Harley-Davidson, 1280 Blue Ribbon Drive, Oconomowoc. Daylong event begins with reveille and breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by color guard and the national anthem. The event also includes military and veterans organizations, interactive displays and vehicles, food and beverages and entertainment. Evening showing of “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.” on a big, outdoor screen.

"Small Space Container Gardens" Seminar: 11 a.m. May 23, Ebert’s Greenhouse Village, W1795 Fox Road, Ixonia. Free educational seminar by gardening expert Melinda Myers. Melinda, who will also be available to answer gardening questions. Enter to win a $500 Ebert’s shopping spree with Melinda.

Tyke Hike: 10 a.m. May 23, Lapham Peak State Park, W329 N846, Delafield. Children and their families will hike with a guide and a representative of the Delafield Library will share books, songs and a craft to enhance the experience. Meet at the Lapham Peak Tower. State park sticker is required.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings

 

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