By Yolanda Salazar
La Paz, Oct 1 (EFE).- Architect Edwin Lazarte started crafting unique Lego figures inspired by Bolivian heritage, comic culture and even politics, to “kill time” during the long months of Covid quarantine, but the hobby soon became a successful enterprise and he now sells dolls to fans in Colombia, Chile and the United States.
Lazarte tells Efe that he was keen to take advantage of his free time during the pandemic so he started making the Lego figures for his collection but when he showed other collectors, the orders started trickling in.
The first doll he made was of Cantinflas, one of his favorite Mexican characters, and which in his opinion turned out “ugly”, although he still keeps the doll given it is what sparked the project.
He has lost count of how many he has made, but he has sold over 500 unique figures.
For Lazarte, the hours-long process of making the figurines is like “therapy” and his meticulous approach has him entranced.
The 32-year-old spends a long time working on facial expressions, clothes and poses to create high-quality objects.
Lazarte’s most striking creations are those that represent the diversity of Bolivian dances and their vibrant costumes.
“I wanted to do what was most representative of Bolivia,” he adds.
Lazarte has made Lego figures of the emblematic Cholitas – indigenous women who wear pleated skirts over layers of petticoats, colorful shawls and small black bowler hats.
He has also modeled the dancers of the Bolivian cueca, who wear a streamer around their necks and other more elaborate ones such as the Andean jester who wears a colorful mask with spikes.
As well as representing the rich and diverse Bolivian folklore he has also created characters based on Ekeko or the God of Abundance, who is the protagonist of the Alasitas festivity in Bolivia.
Internationally renowned characters have not escaped Lazarte’s grasp, with Pirates of the Caribbean’s Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland also being immortalized as Lego dolls. EFE