The life-sized figure of a man made of Lego pieces was found washed up on a Florida beach, and people are scratching their heads as they try to figure out where it came from and what it could possibly mean.
Jeff Hindman reportedly found the bright red, yellow and green “man” as he walked on the Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota County around 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to a report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The fiberglass figure measures about 8 feet tall, and weighs about 100 pounds, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. In a light-hearted press release, the department said it had taken the giant Lego man “into protective custody.”
The front of the figure’s bright green “torso” bore the cryptic message: “NO REAL THAN YOU ARE.” On the back appear the numeral “8″ and the words “Ego Leonard.”
Just who is Ego Leonard, you ask?
It’s apparently the alter ego of a Dutch artist. A visit to the website, “Prescription Art,” shows a gallery of paintings for sale that all feature the Lego figure alongside pithy messages such as “I Love You,” “Play by the Rules” and, coincidentally, “No Real Than You Are.”
Converting the currency from the prices listed in British pounds, the paintings range in price from $3,407.19 to $4,238.90.
There’s also an Ego Leonard book — “No Real Than You Are” — that you can snag for just $11.18.
A message on the site, purportedly from the mysterious Ego, reads:
“My name is Ego Leonard and according to you I come from the virtual world. A world that for me represents happiness, solidarity, all green and blossoming, with no rules or limitations. Lately however, my world has been flooded with fortune-hunters and people drunk with power. And many new encounters in the virtual world have triggered my curiosity about your way of life. I am here to discover and learn about your world and thoughts …”
Other large Lego figures have previously washed up on beaches in England and Holland.
The Siesta Key Beach figure drew many stares before authorities removed it.
“Mr. Leonard is being kept in a secure environment until his owner comes forward,” the police statement added.
The makers of LEGO, the popular plastic toy bricks and plastic figures, have disavowed any knowledge of, or involvement with, the figure. Legoland Florida, a theme park, opened earlier this month in Winter Haven, Fla.
In a statement to the Sheriff’s office, the LEGO Group said: “This activity is in no way sponsored or endorsed by The LEGO Group or Merlin Entertainments, who run LEGOLAND attractions.”