SOUTH PORTLAND — It may be the only photo on the Internet that can make your feet hurt.

Or, as George Takei of “Star Trek” fame wrote in a Facebook post Thursday, “The LEGO Firewalk is more treacherous than any fire …”

And with that, a photo from Bull Moose’s South Portland store went viral, with 186,000 likes and 76,600 shares on Takei’s Facebook page alone.

The photo shows a 12-foot-long carpet covered with sharp plastic Lego pieces. People who braved the treacherous path barefoot (no socks allowed) snatched the Lego movie at the store for about $10, half the regular price of about $20.

The “fire walk” lasted for only an hour Tuesday, the date of the DVD’s release. The Legos were cleaned up Tuesday night.

“We thought it was a fun thing to do that would be popular locally,” said store manager Mick Pratt, who took the photo. “Did I think George Takei would repost a photo I’ve taken in my lifetime? No, I didn’t think that would be a thing.”


Lifting a line from the movie, he said, “It’s true: Everything is awesome.”

Pratt posted the photo on Bull Moose’s Tumblr blog, where it got shared almost 53,000 times before someone posted it to Imgur, where it got a shocking 1.2 million views.

From there, the photo went to Reddit, where it got about 2,500 upvotes and hundreds of comments, including, “My love of Lego overcomes the pain Lego inflicts.”

At some point on the viral trail, one of Takei’s fans sent him the photo, which he reposted.

Pratt said the best part of his photo going viral is that one of the store’s employees, Katrina Vaughan, built the Lego cutouts of the characters Unikitty, Emmet and Benny that decorated the end of the walk.

“Her art is making it around the world,” Pratt said.


When the promotion started at 5 p.m. Tuesday, a dozen people were already in line at the start of the fire walk, mostly small children whose parents had to sign waivers before their tiny, fleshy toes could press onto the notoriously prickly bricks.

Sam Ellis, 24, of Portland walked the brick road for the discount.

“Four kids went before me,” she said. “They were kind of nervous. Bull Moose staff handed out Lego-shaped chocolate candies, so they felt better after that.”

On a scale of one to 10, Ellis ranked the Lego-induced pain at just a 2.

“I would do it again for the sequel,” she said.

Heather Steeves can be contacted at 791-6335 or at:

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