BELLAIRE TOY & PLASTIC BRICK MUSEUM
(Admission: $8 per adult and $6 per child, 4 and younger free, $6.00 all Seniors)

Bellaire, Ohio is home to The Toy Museum being built one Lego at a time now known as the Unofficial Lego Museum of Bellaire Ohio. Housed in the old Gravel Hill School turned museum, a man by the name of Dan is on a mission. 

Dan Brown, founder of the Bellaire Historical Society and Toy Museum, boasts to have the world’s largest private Lego collection. Although that may be true, there is one distinction officially proclaimed by the Guinness Book of World Records that cannot be denied – The Bellaire Historic Society and Toy Museum is home of the World’s Largest Lego brick image. The museum now holds many other records such as the largest castle, longest castle wall and there will be more to come in the future such as the one being tried for now by building and breaking the tallest tower made of Lego. 

Although originally conceived as a toy museum, the Lego exhibit grew and grew. And GREW! Now instead of a Lego room in the museum, each room has a theme. If you enjoy the sea, there’s an “aqua” room complete with ships built from Lego’s.And there are other rooms like Lion's Den, a zoo, an old-west town,Star Wars (Has a real life size Darth Vader!), Mars Mission Room you will glow in,and don't forget Spider man that is life sized.. The last time someone checked it was estimated the total museum brick count exceeded 4 million! 

Although Dan Brown has had a hand in creating much of the museum’s displays, he has also been instrumental in acquiring one-of-a-kind pieces. Some of the one-of-a-kind exhibits feature Lego creations that were done for the NBA and Kellogg’s. Throughout the museum are eye-popping masterpieces demonstrating the engineering world of Lego. Some of the astonishing pieces even seem come to life with the use of animatronics such as a working band.
There are fascinating pieces from all over the world, and from artist such as Nathan Sawaya, Brian Korte (Brickworkz) and Dan Brown. There are adult Lego fan made displays as well as displays made by children from all over the world that came for a visit. Check out the map on the second floor that shows where all the visitors came from.
 

The museum will schedule private tours, as well as motor coaches, schools, churches, scouts and more. Walk through tours are welcomed. Birthday parties, weddings, retirement, red hat parties are all welcomed as well. The Museum does school programs, lectures, and builds. The Museum will do a build, or fun time for a festival, convention, or other. 

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Excerpt from January 2008 edition of OhioTraveler

LEGO MANIA STRIKES OHIO

Bellaire, Ohio is home to a museum being built one LEGO at a time.

Housed in an old school turned museum, a man by the name of Dan is on a mission. Dan Brown, founder of the Bellaire Historical Society and Toy Museum, boasts to have the world’s largest private LEGO collection. Whether or not that's true, there is one distinction officially proclaimed by the Guinness Book of World Records that cannot be denied – The Bellaire Historic Society and Toy Museum is home of the World’s Largest LEGO brick image.

“My dream of doing something unique finally came to pass and it was great,” said Dan Brown of the Guinness accomplishment that took more than 600 people and 2,000 hours to achieve. “We are way underfunded but having a blast!”

The LEGO brick image took approximately 1.2 million LEGO bricks and measured 44 feet by 21 feet. The image was that of a tractor trailer. About 250 kids participated in the record-breaking project. The previous record holder in this Guinness  mosaic category was a LEGO image of the Liberty Bell built to promote the 2001 ESPN Summer X Games in Philadelphia. The mastermind behind the record-breaking venture was Brian Korte, a lifelong LEGO enthusiast who was brought in by Dan Brown due to his reputation and success in creating previous LEGO mosaics.

Although originally conceived as a toy museum, the LEGO exhibit grew and grew. And GREW! Now instead of a LEGO room in the museum, each room has a LEGO theme. If you enjoy the sea, there’s an “aqua” room complete with ships built from LEGO’s. Other rooms include a classroom with life-size teacher and students, a zoo, an old-west town, and other pieces such as a life-size astronaut. An out-of-this world exhibit is illuminated with black lights and features the galaxy …in LEGOS of course. The last time someone checked it was estimated the total museum brick count exceeded 4 million!

Although Dan Brown has had a hand in creating much of the museum’s displays, he has also been instrumental in acquiring one-of-a-kind pieces. Some of the one-of-a-kind exhibits feature LEGO creations that were done for the NBA and Kellogg’s. As a big-time Star Wars fan, Dan Brown has not disappointed! The force is with the museum.

Throughout the museum are eye-popping masterpieces demonstrating the engineering world of LEGO’s. Some of the astonishing pieces even seem come to life with the use of animatronics.

“I build lots of stuff and have plenty of friends that do the same,” said Dan Brown. What started as a hobby has gone wild. Dan’s wife eventually put her foot down and said she wants the LEGOs out of her house. So Dan bought a school and is now determined to fill it with one of America’s favorite toys in the shape of …whatever the imagination dreams!

The Bellaire Toy Museum, featuring LEGO toys is located at 4597 Noble Street in Bellaire, Ohio 43906. It is open from Noon to 7pm Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $8 per adult and $6 per child (4 and younger free). For more information, call 740-671-8890 or visit www.brickmuseum.net.

By Frank R. Satullo