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Build Excitement... Build Your Brand... Build Your Dreams!


part count: 1,332

dimensions (cm): 34(w) x 68(L) x 10(H)

There are places in the world whose history belies their humble appearance. Places grown shabby with time which shine with an inner magic that echoes the souls touched and hearts healed. This next Playwell Bricks commission is one of those special places.

The SLEWTH (Science, Learning, and Exploration with the Help of Sea Lions) Facility, part of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Monterey, California, was built by Animal Training and Research International in 2004 to replace a former facility not far down the road. The facility was originally a trash heap that the SLEWTH crew cleaned up and built with pieces both new and brought from their former facility. In order for the space to be both functional and act as a teaching stage, the fences around the pools were made to be removeable, stairs doubled as bleachers, and the planking along the pools was made of plastic wood so it wouldn’t rot.

Inside the pools, rescued sea lions happily splashed while animal behavior students interned and classes of grade school students arrived on field trips. To connect education with action, the kids arriving at the facility would spend a half hour cleaning debris from the beach itself, disinfect their footwear, and then enter the perimeter of the facility to meet and interact with the sea lions as a reward.

There’s a special quality that blooms in places where animals and humans interact with affection and respect, a magic that seeps into the wood and feel of a place. It’s the kind of thing you never forget. That’s why, when news came that the facility was closing, a staff member reached out to Playwell Bricks to create a custom playable bricks model of the place that meant so much to so many.


Playwell Bricks designer Petrus Gartler began the design using photos of the space from the ground and satellite images from above to recreate the facility in microscale. He built the custom set with removable roofs and gave the building open sides along the edge of the model to provide a glimpse inside of the well-loved offices and fish kitchen. The only thing he couldn’t include was the beautiful views of the wild sea lions and whales in Monterey Bay itself.

Our client was thrilled with the finished design and ordered four sets to give to their coworkers to memorialize the place where they’d spent so much time and created so many memories. These days the sea lions are living in the Houston Zoo and the facility itself is quiet, but the staffers will have a version of the space to hold on to, keeping those memories alive and the magic never far away.

If you have a special place you’d like to see memorialized as a custom model made with genuine LEGO® bricks, please hit that contact button and tell us your ideas. Let’s build your dreams!

Use coupon code WELCOME10 for 10% off your first order.


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