Central social studies teacher has big beard, larger LEGO sets

Humans of Central: Michael Wilson


Courtesy of Michael Wilson

Naperville Central teacher Michael Wilson has amassed a large collection of Legos .

Stella Williams, Staff Writer

“I got some LEGO sets as a kid, and I really enjoyed them when I was younger and then during COVID. [In between my childhood and the pandemic,] I took a 30 year hiatus. I bought the “Home Alone” set because it’s one of my favorite movies and [from doing that LEGO set], I remembered how much I love LEGOs. So I’ve been doing it pretty steady now for two years.

I really, really enjoyed doing the medieval castle. I have two different roller coaster sets that were a lot of fun. I really enjoy cars and motorcycles. [They] are always fun too. I have quite a few of those.  I’d say my favorite ones to do are the actual buildings. They’re called the “Icons line,”.  Those ones I think have the most detail and they tend to take longer.I like to build sets that take a longer amount of time because it’s more rewarding to me. 

I bought this really expensive piece of furniture with the help of a friend that has display units on the sides and you have a TV in the center. Then I started building floating shelves in [the] room to display them,but I’ve since run out of space. [For my Christmas gift,] my dad is converting the closet in the room where the LEGOs are into a custom display center for all the LEGOs that don’t fit in display shelves now.

I would say I average doing probably one [set] every two weeks, so I’d say anywhere from 25 to 30 [sets] per year, especially because I’m only doing the bigger sets.

I would say the sets I buy are anywhere from $200 to $500 each. I coach basketball at Naperville Central, [and] I would say every dollar that I make for coaching basketball is spent on LEGOs in a given year. 

The most interesting thing [is] I’ll post some of my, LEGOs sets on Twitter, and then there’s this huge LEGO community out there that will talk to you and they’ll share their sets that they’ve made. When I go to the LEGO store in Schaumburg because they have a big selection. [When I’m there,] I always meet other people like me that are shopping around for sets they don’t have but also collect them. It’s interesting because none of them are like me, I never meet other teachers. It’s interesting because all the people have very different personal lives, but the one common theme they have is this obsession with LEGOs.”