CNN

Boy with autism builds world’s largest Lego Titanic replica

Apr 17, 2018, 8:58 AM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:00 pm

Brynjar Karl Bigisson's Titanic replica is 26 feet long and 5 feet tall. Brynjar's grandfather Ludv...

Brynjar Karl Bigisson's Titanic replica is 26 feet long and 5 feet tall. Brynjar's grandfather Ludvik Ogmundsson helped him plan the replica.

(CNN) – The world’s largest Lego replica of the doomed Titanic liner was built over 700 hours — 11 months — by a 10-year-old boy from Reykjavik, Iceland, who is on the autism spectrum.

It will make its American debut Monday at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Brynjar Karl Bigisson, now 15, built the replica with 56,000 Lego bricks. It’s 26 feet long and 5 feet tall.

Brynjar remembers playing with Legos for hours when he was 5. “I sometimes built from instructions, and sometimes, I used my own imagination,” he said.

At the time, he was obsessed with trains, but that changed when his grandfather Ludvik Ogmundsson took him fishing on a boat, sparking an interest in and appreciation for ships. By the time Brynjar was 10, he knew everything there was to know about the Titanic.

“When I traveled with my mom to Legoland in Denmark and saw for the first time all the amazing big models of famous houses and planes, locations and ships, I probably then started to think about making my own Lego model. By the time I was 10, I started to think about building the Lego titanic model in a Lego man size,” Brynjar said.

The project was a family affair, with grandfather Ogmundsson, an engineer, and mother Bjarney Ludviksdottir helping out. Ogmundsson scaled down the original blueprint of the Titanic to Lego size and helped figure out how many tiny toy bricks would be needed to create the model.

Ludviksdottir served as his personal cheerleader. “If she had not supported my dream project, it would have never been a reality,” Brynjar said.

Donations from family and friends enabled him to buy all the Lego bricks.

Brynjar says he was able to embrace his autism through building the Titanic replica.

Before starting the project, he had difficulty communicating, which he says made him unhappy and lonely. Now, he has confidence and is giving interviews about his accomplishment.

“When I started the building process, I had a person helping me in school in every step that I took, but today, I’m studying without any support. My grades have risen, and my classmates consider me as their peer. I have had the opportunity to travel and explore and meet wonderful people,” he said.

Brynjar’s mother said that when she started raising her son, she felt totally blind as to what his future would look like because of his autism, and she worried about the obstacles that many children on the autism spectrum have to overcome. She is now proud to share with other parents of children on the autism spectrum that it is possible to achieve their goals.

“When your child comes to you with an interesting big crazy dream, mission or goal, he or she would like to reach and needs your help. Listen carefully and make an attempt to find ways to support the child to reach that goal. It might be the best investment you ever make for your kid,” Ludviksdottir said.

She believes it can be hard for children to follow their dreams, whether they are on the autism spectrum or not. They may face financial hindrances or lack of support. But she believes in the significance of dreams.

“Dreams keep us going. That is something nobody can take away from us. It’s something good to have when you are feeling a little bit stuck or sad. You can always dream.”

The Lego replica was shipped from Iceland in three large pieces and then carefully reconstructed before its American debut. It will be anchored at the Titanic Museum Attractionthrough December 2019.

Brynjar’s grandfather said he believes there are lessons to be learned from what his grandson has achieved.

“Autism does not have to be scary. Many great scientists and national leaders had and have autism. What matters is that such individuals get understanding and support, because everyone can learn from these people if they listen to what they are saying,” Ogmundsson said

“When Brynjar was growing up, I often helped him with projects that called for thought and hard work that I thought would be good for him. Then he got this crazy idea to build a 6-meter ship from Lego cubes. Today he speculates a great deal about complex things that require technical understanding.”

(2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.)

KSL 5 TV Live

CNN

A local organization is keeping kids away from crime and drugs one bike at a time. (KDRV via CNN Ne...

Rocky Walker, CNN

Familia Unida: Keeping kids away from drugs and crime by teaching them to work with their hands

A local organization is keeping kids away from crime and drugs one bike at a time. Familia Unida is a nonprofit that teaches children to channel aggression and negative experiences into healthy and constructive life skills through activities such as bike and car building.

5 hours ago

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an official health advisory warning about ...

Jacqueline Howard, CNN

CDC warns access to ADHD meds may be disrupted after arrests of health-care startup executives

People taking medications for ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, may face disruptions in accessing treatment after the arrests of two health-care startup executives that distributed such drugs to adults across the United States.

6 hours ago

The family said the doctors told them she may have experienced what is known as a cryptic pregnancy...

Mike Bergazzi , Jon Burkett

Unaware she was pregnant, this mom gave birth at Taco Bell: ‘A miracle, out of nowhere’

A woman was shocked when she went into labor at Taco Bell. She didn't know she was pregnant.

13 hours ago

Emergency vehicles surround the hijacked bus after a harrowing chase through two Atlanta-area count...

Shawn Nottingham, Nick Valencia and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

Bus passengers frantically texted loved ones as gunman hijacked an Atlanta commuter bus

A gunman had hijacked a commuter bus with 17 people inside and shot one of them with the passenger’s own gun, authorities said.

2 days ago

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan testified in front of senators Tuesday. (Andrew Harnik/Gett...

Blake Ellis, Melanie Hicken and Audrey Ash, CNN

‘A deep moral rot’: Coast Guard leader grilled by senators at hearing on sexual assault cover-up

Senators leveled accusations at the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan on Tuesday, alleging that she fostered a "culture of concealment."

2 days ago

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator is taken into custody Monday outside Dodd Hall at UCLA.
(Etienne Lau...

Jillian Sykes, Holly Yan and Taylor Romine, CNN

27 protesters arrested after pro-Palestinian encampments formed on UCLA campus, university says

A total of 27 people were arrested after setting up multiple pro-Palestinian encampments on UCLA’s campus Monday that police said were unlawful, according to a statement from UCLA leadership.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Boy with autism builds world’s largest Lego Titanic replica