Yelm resident and substitute teacher to compete in ‘LEGO Masters’ series

Season premiere set for Sept. 28 on Fox


Amie Thaler, a 21-year Yelm resident and substitute teacher in Yelm Community Schools, is a competitor at heart. She’s competed in Ironman triathlons, marathons and now has her sights on a new competition.

Thaler and her friend and teammate Karen Bludorn will compete in season four of Fox’s LEGO Masters, where competitors are given different prompts or topics and challenged to create their visions with Legos. The duo is LEGO Master’s first team of grandmothers, Thaler said.

Despite picking up Legos for the first time ever last December, Thaler said she was excited for the new challenge of competing on television on LEGO Masters.

“My LEGO experience is very minimal. It surprised me. I was a little trepidatious going into it until I arrived and met some of the other contestants. A lot of them are as new to LEGO building as I am,” Thaler said. “I’m competitive in nature, so when (Bludorn) asked me if I wanted to join her team, I was like OK, I always give 100 percent in my training,’ and I bought the LEGO sets. I was in 100%.”

Thaler described her teammate Bludorn as being a master LEGO builder. Last winter, Bludorn originally approached Thaler, who “just happened” to be recovering from a foot injury. After learning some more details of what the competition’s process would look like, Thaler said she was all in. She began building LEGO sets in December of 2022.

There was a tryout process for LEGO Masters, which included a building competition over Zoom. Thaler said she and Bludorn were “super happy” after learning they were cast on the show, but she remained nervous because of how new she was to building Legos.

“One of the first people I talked to when we started filming and I was feeling insecure about my skill level, I talked to a grandfather from a grandpa-grandson team, and he told me that he didn’t start building until December, too,” Thaler said. “I said ‘hey, me too,’ and felt a lot better after learning that.”

Since she began building LEGO sets last December, Thaler said she’s found that her favorite sets are typically Disney. She also likes working with LEGO Duplo blocks, which her grandchildren enjoy.

“I have three granddaughters, and the oldest is 3. I have two in Utah and one in Florida, and I bought my 3-year-old some Duplo sets,” Thaler said. “I decided to film myself putting together the sets my granddaughter has and put them on YouTube. I started this Duplo-building YouTube channel.”

Her videos go from unboxing the LEGO Duplo set, to building it piece by piece. She said it has been “an awesome process” of posting her Duplo videos on YouTube, and added that her channel is building fast.

“Right now, my favorite thing to do is build a Duplo and wait for the pictures and videos of my granddaughters building them to come in,” Thaler said.

Thaler originally moved to Yelm in 2002 and eventually became a substitute school bus driver. After taking several years off, she returned to the district but as an emergency substitute teacher. She said her first day of substitute teaching was the same day everything shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the 2021-22 school year, Thaler taught second grade. She’s currently teaching physical education at McKenna Elementary in a substitute role.

All four of Thaler’s children graduated from Yelm High School, and she said the Yelm community is a great one.

LEGO Masters is hosted by actor and Executive Producer Will Arnett, and Thaler said he keeps the show fun and entertaining. Though the show was filmed during the spring, Thaler said she couldn’t go into much detail about the upcoming season, but that it’ll be “amazing as far as builds go.”

“Everything I do, I give it my all. I always do my best, I went into it like I’d go into Ironman training or marathon training,” Thaler said. “I was doing something every day in preparation for the show.”

She said she planned to have a “watch party” with a friend and her sons for the season 4 premiere of LEGO Masters.