Friday, June 24, 2011

Gavin MacLeod Surprises LEGO “Love Boat” Creator

When we were kids my younger brothers had LEGO building blocks, but their “creativity” mostly extended to leaving them scattered on the floor where they often jammed our mother’s Hoover. If only they had been more determined, and had more blocks, they might have come up with something original like the remarkable 9.5-foot-long replica of the original “Love Boat”–Pacific Princess–that not only attracted the attention of fans at this year’s Brickworld convention in Chicago, one of the world’s largest LEGO conventions, but even caught the eye of the famous television show’s captain, actor Gavin MacLeod.

MacLeod, a Princess Cruises ambassador, paid a visit to the convention to surprise the LEGO “Love Boat” creator, Ryan McNaught. One of the few master LEGO builders in the world, McNaught had no idea he would come face to face with the real “Love Boat” captain. Their meeting was captured on the video below.

McNaught, who was even presented with his own captain’s hat, called the experience “mind blowing–especially after seeing him on TV for all those years.”

In return, MacLeod was astounded by the extraordinary ship constructed from more than 250,000 LEGO bricks. It’s the largest single project ever undertaken by McNaught, the son of a Melbourne, Australia travel agent, and a cruise fan himself.

The model features the exterior of the famous ship on one side, while the other side is an open cutaway revealing all the action inside-from chefs in the kitchen to passengers working out in the health club. Flashing LED lights for the disco and tiny motors powering the propellers and elevators complete the replica.

MacLeod was also especially interested to see the ship features the TV show cast, with LEGO models of his own Captain Stubing, as well as purser Gopher, cruise director Julie, and even some of the show’s most famous guests.

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