With all the ingredients that made “A Christmas Story’’ a holiday tradition, a New York family that appeared at the Fayette County Fair has created a model inspired by the classic film and are hoping to make it an official LEGO set.
“It’s a long shot, but we’re going to try,’’ said Jason Middaugh, 43, of Syracuse, who created the LEGO set that features, Ralphie, his family and friends.
Hoping to drum up local support, Jason brought his wife, Tina, and daughter, Jane, to the Fayette County Fair where they were invited to the Youth Building by Steel City LEGO User Group for a technology day hosted by Penn State Extension and the 4-H program that also featured the Fayette County 4-H Robotics Club.
The Middaughs are on a mission to get 10,000 online votes for their project to appear before the LEGO review board. They’ve been up for review once before.
“I thought everybody likes “A Christmas Story,’’ said Jason, who acquired the necessary 10,000 online supporters for a 2017 review only to see his first project turned down.
Jason felt this model that featured the entire “Christmas Story’’ house was perhaps too big, requiring 2,000 LEGO bricks.
“We thought we’d give it one more try,’’ said Jason. “We scaled it down to 800 pieces.’’
The LEGO site offers a description: “This proposed set includes a full model of the first floor of the Parker family home complete with the leg lamp, radio, fireplace, and much more. Open the little cabinet under the sink or find a nice surprise behind the corner door in the kitchen. We triple-dog-dare you to build the flagpole scene, and Oh Fudge, don’t forget about the family car with a spare tire in the trunk and Christmas tree on top! The tree can also be easily removed from the car and placed in middle of the living room for Christmas morning.’’
The set includes Ralphie in his bunny pajamas, Randy, who can’t put his arms down; the Old Man, Ralphie’s Mother, the Bumpus hounds and Flick ready to stick his tongue to the flagpole.
The Middaugh family visited the fair to boost support for this new set, noting it doesn’t cost anything to vote. Jason explained LEGO approves three to five projects a year. Past projects have included “Ghostbusters,’’ “Back to the Future’’ and “Friends.’’
Jason is so enthusiastic about “A Christmas Story’’ that he also created a LEGO model that featured Higbee’s Department Store, including the scene where Ralphie visits Santa.
Jason brought these and other LEGO models he created on his one-day visit to the fair, including a replica of Notre Dame Cathedral, Bailey Savings and Loan from another Christmas move, “It’s A Wonderful Life’’ and the store from “Little Shop of Horrors.’’
Fairgoers stopped by the table to get closer glimpses of these pieces as well as works by the Steel City LUG.
People associated with “A Christmas Story’’ are supporting the project.
“We were invited to a cast party for the touring musical,’’ said Jason. “We’re good friends with the people who run the ‘Christmas Story’ house (in Cleveland) and donated kits to them. We’ve met two actors from the movie. We’re friends with Ian Petrella, who played Randy.’’
The Middaughs participated in an event in Chicago that honored author Jean Shepherd whose autobiographical book “In God We Trust, All Other Pay Cash,’’ served as the basis for “A Christmas Story.’’ Shepherd grew up in Indiana, outside of Chicago.
“Whether the project happens or not, ‘’ said Jason, “it’s been a really great experience for us.’’