Tag Archives: C3Brix

Astoria Lego designer featured in new documentary

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Astoria resident Cody Wells is building his dreams one Lego piece at a time.

Wells is the Lego designer behind the company C3Brix — which specializes in Lego mosaics, portraits, models and figures — and in the past year, he has seen an increase in success, including being featured in the documentary “A LEGO Brickumentary.”

His love for Legos started at a very young age, when out of fear of ghosts, he created a “Ghostbusters” ghost trap. Since then he realized that if he could imagine it then he could build it.

However, transforming his passion into a job didn’t happen until a few years ago when he was still in his home state of Missouri and was facing a difficult time in his life. He created with Legos as a way to keep himself happy and started noticing that after showing his creations to regulars at a local restaurant he worked at, that he was getting attention.

“I wasn’t making any money out of it; I was just doing it for fun,” Wells said. “I started pulling out the Lego and I’m like, ‘I think I got something here.’ It’s the only thing that makes me happy.”

At the same time, he met Katie Proctor, an actress from New York City and now his fiancée, who stopped at the restaurant. After showing her one of his Lego creations — a DeLorean — on their first date, she suggested that if he was going to create Legos as a job that he should move to New York.

So in 2011, Wells made the move to Astoria and began studying everything that had to do with Legos and also pieces that could work with Legos such as Mega Bloks, Laser Pegs and Kre-O.

“I wanted to know every piece ever made so if someone says I want that made, I can make it the best that’s capably, humanly possible,” he said.

A turning point in his life happened when he took a trip to the Lego store at Rockefeller Center and asked for one of his WALL-E figures to be put on display in its window. There he found out that the window was reserved for the Lego user group I LUG NY.

Almost a year later, he met two members of the group, Brian Wygand and Will Smart — who are now his best friends — at the Lego store in Queens Center mall and found out they had been looking for him after seeing the WALL-E figure, which the Rockefeller Center store put on display without Wells knowing.

He was then welcomed to be a part of the group, filled with individuals he had aspired to be like. He credits Wygand, Smart, Billy Murphy and Mike Bader for helping him feel like he was a part of something and not alone.

Although he continues to be a part of I LUG NY, Wells decided to go on his own with C3BRIX with the desire to not just display his creations but also to make a living and allow children to interact with the Legos.

“For me personally, I have to create because not only is this a source of income but I want to give [my kids] hope that you can fulfill your dreams,” he said. “I want to show my kids that there is more to life than the small town they grow up in.”

Since then Wells has been invited to participate in events such as the LIC Flea & Food in Long Island City, and he was also invited to create four models for the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair.

While attending the BrickFair LEGO Convention, where he took home first place in sci-fi moves with his Star Trek Enterprise model, he and two other designers were approached by the filmmakers behind “A LEGO Brickumentary” and were interviewed on their craft. The movie, narrated by actor Jason Bateman, was released on Friday and on Aug. 2 Wells will take some of his creations to the Manhattan premiere.

He also creates portraits, which resemble photographs, for families as presents and takes orders on just about anything.

“Whatever you can think of my job is to make it out of Lego. Don’t call me for Lego, call me for something you like and them ask me to make it in Lego,” he said.

For now Wells, continues to make his creations out of his Astoria apartment, with his children coming to visit from Michigan where they live with their mother. Both his children — Colton and Cydney — have also tried their own hands at creating pieces, with his son at times assisting Wells.

He has also started a partnership with the Manhattan store Little Shop of Crafts to help expand its activities for children.

“It’s cool to have a dad that nobody else has. Nobody else has a Lego designer job like he does. So it’s kind of cool to say my dad is a Lego designer in New York City,” his 12-year-old daughter said.

As his success continues to grow, Wells hopes to one day have a show such as TLC’s “Cake Boss” where he can take large orders from customers for special events.

And although Wells has no affiliation with the actual Lego brand, he said that he is thankful for what Lego has done for his life.

“I’m indebted to them for helping me through my childhood. I’m indebted to them for helping me create a career to influence my children and hopefully other children to follow their dream,” he said. “I’m one of the lucky few that did come to New York and believe the headlines that were told to me, and I’m living it.”

For more information on Wells and C3Brix, visit c3brix.com or www.facebook.com/C3Brix.


Staycation at the LIC and Astoria Fleas

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

lic flea

Have a beach day at the LIC and Astoria Fleas this weekend with sandboxes, mini pools and more summer fun.

Enjoy the sun while you shop for jewelry, fashion, gifts and more, and take a break to sample food, drinks and desserts from a diverse group of food vendors.

For jewelry, visit Vivian Jewelry at both flea markets. Vivian Park’s line emphasizes unique, handmade craftsmanship that makes each piece seem like a work of art. Imran Jewels imports high-quality gemstones and crystals to make bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings.

Looking for unique fashion pieces to stand out from the artsy western Queens crowd?

Look for Zachary Alexander Fashion, where the designer’s handmade items have a feel of nature, femininity and Americana.

The flea markets offer a huge variety of gifts, from bath products to plants to art to Legos. Taproot Organics offers chemical-free, organic shampoos and quick-shave bars for men. Spruce up your apartment with help from Cork Buds, which plants hardy succulents in upcycled corks and turns them into magnets and more that can add some green to your space with little care. Artist Ceil Witherspoon, who was born and raised in Long Island City, makes her artwork into items such as greeting cards, bookmarks, magnets and coasters. And C3Brix offers custom Lego models and figures, which are sure to delight both kids and kids at heart. Also check out items available by El Dorado Gift.

To find these vendors and more, visit the LIC Flea & Food on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue and the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.




LIC Flea & Food celebrates opening of 2014 season

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Dominick Totino Photography

The 2014 season of LIC Flea & Food has finally begun.

The popular Long Island City flea market celebrated a weekend of success during its grand opening on Sat., April 5, and Sun., April 6, at the same outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue. Items for sale at the market included food and drinks, collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts, fashion and more.

Visitors of all ages joined LIC Flea & Food during its opening weekend, where many food vendors sold out of their treats with fans enjoying every cuisine.


“Our kick-off weekend was a huge success. The amount of people who visited the market demonstrated how much people enjoy the market and how great our vendors are,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “It was great to see people visit Long Island City from all over and spend money to help small businesses.”

Along with many LIC Flea favorites and new faces bringing visitors a wide variety of foods and other items, opening weekend had activities for soccer fans and Lego lovers.

The New York Cosmos soccer team, which starts its season against Atlanta on Sunday at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium, were on site bringing activities for kids and families. The Cosmos truck was at the LIC Flea with an inflatable kicking game for children, along with merchandise and tickets available for sale. Fans were able to meet the New York Cosmos Girls, and Cosmos players were present signing autographs.

Designer C3Brix showcased his Lego art during the LIC Flea, leaving visitors delighted with characters like Elmo, Cookie Monster, Snoopy and Smurfs made completely out of Lego pieces.

Some returning vendors included The Nomad Truck, An Artistic Taste, Tea & Milk, Bill’s Balls, Vint & York, Oconomi, Imran Jewels, Vivian Jewelry, Luke’s Lobster, Jam Jar NY, J&L Farms, and vintage items and vintage-inspired original designs by 1926.

New vendors include King of Falafel & Shawarma, Grateful Bread Company, Vintage-Dealers Choice Jewelry and Nyan Soaps.

“We’re looking forward to a great season ahead and having people visit us every Saturday and Sunday,” Schneps said.

LIC Flea & Food will run through October every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Applications for vendors are still being accepted for the new season by registering online.