A new toy company has put an LDS spin on building blocks.
Suzanne Calton, founder of Brick’em Young, offers families and youngsters a toy brick-building kit of the Salt Lake City Temple.
The kit is a fun challenge even for master builders, with 1,725 pieces. The average completion time is around six hours. The set is designed to be a replica of the temple, but the bricks are also compatible with blocks from other toy manufacturers. When completed, the set stands at 12 inches high, 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.
Calton, who currently lives in China with her husband Tim and their five children, has made it a priority to keep photos of temples hung up in the home. She said the toy idea came to her after observing her son playing with blocks. Rather than piecing together a pirate ship or castle, he was building the Salt Lake Temple using a picture as a reference.
“I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was an Angel Moroni piece that we could put on top, or have white blocks with spires and windows,'” She said. “I then thought about how many other kids besides my son would enjoy building the temple.”
Suzanne says one of the goals behind making this kit for kids was to offer an opportunity to youth to gain an appreciation for the architecture, planning and amount of work that was sacrificed by pioneers to build the temple over the course of 40 years.
The kit is marked for children ages 12 and up, but ideally, Calton says, it was designed to be something families can enjoy together.
When asked why the Salt Lake temple was chosen as the first model, Calton said, “The Salt Lake City Temple was chosen for its long history, unique beauty and symbolism of commitment by pioneers to that which is sacred.”
BYU human development student and mother Mariah Gibbs expressed her fond feelings of the product. “I think it’s a tool that can be used for missionary work; it would make a good gift for nonmembers and members alike,” she said.
Though there is only one temple kit currently available for purchase, Brick’em Young is hard at work to expand the number of temples available. The Nauvoo Temple kit is planned for release by the end of the year, but the next move for the business will utilize some online feedback. Calton has decided to ask her audience what temple they would like to have available for purchase by opening a web-based poll. The winner will be put into production.
“I will be voting for the Bountiful temple to be built next,” said BYU linguistics student Ivan Bueno. “They should make it so I can build it.”
To see a time-lapse video of the Temple kit construction, or to vote on the next temple kit available for purchase, visit brickemyoung.com.