Dinosaurs, "Star Wars" stormtroopers, "Harry Potter" wizards and "Halo" video game characters were all on display — sometimes in the same set — during Saturday's Lego/K'NEX competition at the Kern County Fair.
Builders ranging in age from 6 to 25-plus showed off their creativity and engineering acumen inside the fair's Hobby Building, with intricately detailed Lego landscapes ranging from fantastic worlds to realistic fair scenes, as well as a massive K'NEX construction.
Devon Haney, 25, estimates between 5,000 to 6,000 K'NEX pieces went into the making of his 6-foot-tall motorized Ferris wheel, which won best in show at the competition.
Haney competed at the event years ago, but when he went away to college he couldn't make it home during the fair, and his K'NEX skills languished. Now, however, he's back, and he decided to make a statement with this year's creation, by far the biggest on display.
Haney's 9-year-old sister, Haylee, was impressed.
"It's way taller than I expected," she said.
Nearby, Landon Trevino, 13, was putting the finishing touches on his Lego interpretation of various scenes at the fair, including a funhouse, concession area and farm animals. He decided to go with a fair setup due to this year's fair theme: "Fair Friends Forever."
Trevino said he planned ahead of time, drawing his ideas as he decided how to space the different areas out. He said he felt confident going into the competition as this marked one of the larger pieces he's put together from an original idea.
Aaron Ferris, 6, portrayed a pitched battle between dinosaurs and humans, with the dinosaurs attacking a castle defended by stormtroopers, Master Chief from "Halo" and Harry Potter himself, who stood on a balcony with wand at the ready.
Ferris said the humans would win.
Chase Fernandes and Joseph Newman, both 12, went with the theme of military weapons past, present and future. Their Lego sets showed jeeps, tanks and artillery from the World War II era, modern times and with "Star Wars" droids and lasers standing in for a future U.S. military force.
At least 1,000 pieces went into the display, Fernandez said.
A realistic representation of the fair's P Street entrance was featured in Suzanne Hansen's display, complete with Lego media filming fairgoers and a Lego figure holding a selfie stick.
The piece marks the first time Hansen, who would only give her age as "25-plus," has entered the fair competition. She said she's long thought about entering, but in previous years didn't have the courage.
This year, she told herself "no fear," and went for it, building the set exactly one day before the entry deadline. The work paid off.
"It actually feels amazing," she said.