Zacchaeus Campbell Jr. hasn’t found a Lego set that he can’t build.
“My granddaddy tried to challenge me. He tried to buy a Lego that I can’t build, but I did,” said the 10-year-old, who soon turns 11 on June 20.
He began building Lego sets when he was 7.
“It’s fun to build,” he said.
The son of Zacchaeus Sr. and Christine Campbell of Greenwood, Zacchaeus Jr. is now an accomplished Lego builder. He’s confident in his ability, too.
When asked which of his Lego creations was the hardest to build, he simply responded, “None.”
Zacchaeus became interested in Legos after “watching people on YouTube building.”
“We were in Walmart one day, and he was like, ‘I want a Lego,’” said his mother, Christine.
So she picked one of the beginner level sets for her son.
“I just wanted to start building,” Zacchaeus said.
He said the first Lego set he built was a firefighter’s four-wheeler. From there, his Lego building continued, and Zacchaeus’ skill level advanced.
“He was just building them so fast, and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness. Let me find more pieces,’ so he wouldn’t build them so fast,” said Christine.
Zacchaeus has two shelves filled with his Lego creations. His mother estimates he’s made more than 30.
Zacchaeus is now at the skill level where he can build the 1,500- to 2,000-piece sets.
He’s built a haunted house, spaceships, the Statue of Liberty and numerous other sets.
One of the most challenging sets to build was the about 1,500-piece United States Capitol building, which is part of the Lego Architecture series for more advanced builders.
“It took the most time,” he said. “It had little tiny people, and it didn’t have any numbers. ... There were so many bags (of pieces).”
Christine said, “That made it a little more challenging, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t do.”
Zacchaeus said, “I think the haunted house was my favorite one to build, and the Star Wars spaceships.”
But then, with a grin, he said that he couldn’t pick just one because “all the other Legos would be jealous.”
Building Lego sets can become an expensive hobby over time for the advanced in skill.
Entry level sets can start at $5 or $10. But the harder it is to build the set, the more it costs. According to Lego.com, some sets that have 1,000 pieces or more can cost up to $100. Exclusive sets or ones with more intricate details can cost even more.
“It’s expensive,” said his mother. “The bigger it is and the more pieces it has, the more money.”
The ones with less pieces only take Zacchaeus about an hour to build.
“Sometimes 30 minutes,” he said.
Christine said her son has a passion for building.
“From 7 (years old) to now, I’m like this is him. This is what he’s going to want to do long-term,” she said. “He loves to do it. He’s awake before school in the morning time and builds before he went to school, and at nighttime, he builds before he goes to bed.”
Zacchaeus said his grandmother has asked for him to make her a Lego village with little houses.
“He said, ‘I need to get a green foundation for you grandma, and then we’re going to put the houses on there,’” said Christine.
Zacchaeus just completed the fourth grade at North New Summit School. He said his favorite subject is math. He enjoys playing sports, including baseball, football and basketball.
“But my favorite sport is football,” he said.
Zacchaeus’ younger brother, Carter Campbell, who is 7, is an aspiring Lego builder, like his big brother.
“He really started building when I started building Legos; he said, ‘Momma, I want a Lego, too, and then this dude don’t ever build it,” said Zacchaeus, who sometimes has to finish his brother’s Lego sets.
Zacchaeus can build his younger brother’s sets in no time.
“His little brother looks up to how he builds,” said Christine.
Zacchaeus is about to start a YouTube channel. He’ll make different types of Lego sets and has already filmed some of the videos. The channel will go live in June.
“I’m the video editor, and his dad is the one who comes up with the music to play in the background,” said Christine.
The videos will show the step-by-step process of how Zacchaeus builds.
Zacchaeus said when he goes to college he wants to study engineering, which was inspired by his ability to build with Legos.
“I want to work on cars and build robots and build houses or do the writing of the house,” he said.
But he also wants to continue building with Legos.
“When I get older, I’m going to still build Legos,” he said.
This summer, Zacchaeus will be participating in the University of Mississippi’s engineering and robotics camps. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the camps are being offered online rather than on campus, and each participant receives a kit.
Zacchaeus was a recipient of a full scholarship to attend the engineering camp.
“We applied in February, and they only select certain students, and he received a scholarship,” Christine said.
His mother said he’ll also be the only soon-to-be fifth grader in the camp, which is usually only open to middle school students.
“So that’s going to let him go to the next level with the big dogs,” she said.
Zacchaeus said he’s ready for the challenge.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Christine. “I’m amazed sometimes.”
She said she and her husband are in awe of their son’s work.
“We are just like, ‘Wow. ... He really did that. Zacchaeus, you are very talented; you are going to go places,’” she said. “He’s just good. He’s talented. I’m just amazed he really had the patience to do all of that by himself.”
Zacchaeus is thankful for parents who support his passion to build Legos.
“My momma and my daddy encourage me to build and encourage me that you can make it in life like that,” he said. And he’s thankful that “my mom pays for my Legos, and I’m glad to have a mom like her.”
• Contact Ruthie Robison at 581-7235 or email@example.com.