The New Stuff

Giant LEGO Man Appears On Florida Beach

SIESTA KEY, Florida ~ (BoingBoing/ Yahoo News) ~ People have found all kinds of things washed up on beaches: bottles with messages, illegal drugs and now even an 8-foot tall LEGO man.

Jeff Hindman was strolling on Siesta Key Beach when he found the 8-foot, 100-pound LEGO man in the pre-dawn light. When he got closer to it, he realized the statue was made of fiberglass, similar to a boat hull. He took a photo, then dragged it out of the water and stood it upright. A gathering crowd soon had a number of theories as to where it came from, ranging from an artist's statement, a toy that fell off a boat, or possibly a marketing campaign for the new LEGOland amusement park near Orlando?

"It doesn't make sense," Hindman said. The only identifiable markings on the statue were the enigmatic and grammatically challenged statement, "NO REAL THAN YOU ARE" emblazoned on its front torso, and on the back was the name "Ego Leonard" and the number 8. Ego Leonard is the name of a Netherlands artist but it wasn't clear if Leonard was responsible for the statue washing up on shore. The header on Leonard's website, written mostly in Dutch, is "no real than you are" and his home page features a LEGO man. An e-mail sent to Leonard was answered in the first person, cryptically saying, "I am glad I crossed over. Although it was a hell of a swim. Nice weather here and friendly people. I think I am going to stay here for a while. A local sheriff escorted me to my new home."

Amanda Santoro, Assistant Brand Relations Manager at LEGO declined to make a comment but did say the "stunt" was "in no way endorsed or sponsored by the LEGO group or its affiliates". Strangely enough, this is not the first time a giant LEGO man has washed up on a beach. In August of 2007 a very similar LEGO man appeared on the beach at the Dutch vacation resort Zandvoort. That same figure, or possibly a twin, also appeared on a Brighton beach in the United Kingdom. For now, the LEGO man is in custody in the Sarasota County Sheriff's property room. If no one claims him within 90 days, Hindman will become the owner, and said, "I'll put it on eBay."

Photo credit: Jeff Hindman

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