It was once his favourite toy, now a former Marlborough Boys’ College student has landed his dream job – at Lego.
As a young boy, former Blenheim man Regan Petrie, 25, spent hours perfecting his Lego creations.
Now he’ll get the chance to do so again after beating off competition from hundreds of other hopefuls to head to Denmark after landing a sought after position as a designer.
He says landing the job is the “biggest thing” to happen to him.
“I’m very, very stoked.
“It’s probably the biggest thing that’s happened to me in my life.”
Regan prepared for his interview by surveying the young and young-at-heart in Blenheim.
Although now based in Melbourne, Regan’s parents live in Marlborough.
“As a kid, I played with Lego a lot.
“When I was a kid, I remember I was quite jealous of a friend who had a bigger set than me.
“I would always go around to his house and make stuff and then play in each other’s worlds that we built.
“We played a lot with Lego City, being able to build massive cities.
“I had this map with a city layout, and we would build around that. It was pretty cool.
“It’s quite phenomenal being able to give back to the next generation and build something that’s used internationally,” he says.
Regan studied a master’s degree in design, focused on innovation in virtual and augmented reality at Victoria University in Wellington.
He was fast-tracked in his application to join the global institution.
While he doesn’t speak Danish, come September Regan will be moving to the birthplace and headquarters of the colourful brick, Billund in Denmark.
Regan says the management at Lego were happy receiving feedback from the southern hemisphere.
“Getting a response from the other side of the world is quite interesting to them,” Regan says.
Regan did a lot of work to help ensure he was the successful applicant, including surveying people in Blenheim.
“[Lego] said here’s one of our products, what would you do if you were going to re-release this product next year.
“Using that survey, I pulled out what people liked most about their product and tried to reflect that with the product I designed.
“It was really helpful, it gave me some data that said, this is what I’m going to design, and this is the reason why I’m going to design it”, he says.
Regan’s role at Lego involves visualising what could be possible for new sets a decade from now.
He says children have moved towards playing more digitally than they did a decade ago.
“It’s working with new technology, digital tech, the role is pretty crazy.” he says.
“It’s an amazing company and I’ll be creating fun in peoples’ lives.
“The focus is on digital experiences and how technology can be used to create more engaging experiences for kids”.
But before he begins designing, Regan will have a lot to learn.
He says Lego have been great putting plans in place for him when he arrives.
“They’re helping me a lot relocating and understanding the culture.
“Helping me with critical things like my taxes, driver’s license and Danish culture classes.
“They’re very much like, hey we want you to stay, we don’t want you to just work here we want you to live.
It’s a very personalised relocation.”
He is also looking forward to work meeting as, he says, every meeting room has a set of Lego that you can play with.
“When I went into a meeting room with them, they started playing with Lego. That’s not something you see in every office”.