Teen who broke records with Jenga skills inspires heartwarming Hallmark Christmas film

By Aliciamarie Rodriguez
Published
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Auldin Maxwell’s talent for stacking Jenga blocks first earned him a record title when he was just 12 years old – and now his heartwarming story has inspired a movie.  

He first took the internet by storm when he successfully balanced 693 Jenga blocks on top of each other in November 2020, earning the record title for the most Jenga blocks stacked on one vertical Jenga block

Four months later, he impressed the world yet again by breaking his own record - more than doubling the original amount and stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks on one vertical block. 

After a generous gifting of Jenga GIANT blocks from Jenga, Auldin replicated his original Jenga record with these larger blocks by balancing 500 giant Jenga blocks on a single block, earning an additional record title for the most Jenga GIANT blocks stacked on one vertical Jenga GIANT block.

Auldin, now 15, re-broke both records in 2023 with a respective 1,840 count with the original Jenga and 900 with the Jenga GIANT version.

His story is one so touching that it’s inspired the festive Hallmark movie A World Record Christmas, which debuts later this month. 

Auldin, who is on the autism spectrum, first discovered his incredible talent by chance.  

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“I had one or two Jenga sets, and I just started building different designs and came up with stacking ideas,” he said. 

After doing some stacking, I came across videos of different Jenga block records, and I realized that I had enough Jenga blocks to attempt to break the most Jenga blocks stacked on one vertical Jenga block record.

Auldin had always had his sights set on breaking a record, so he decided to go for it! 

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Although he discovered that he had a natural knack for stacking the blocks, he did make some tiny tweaks and came up with a couple of different patterns through trial and error to balance out the tower. 

The most difficult part of stacking the Jenga blocks was forming a sturdy base to ensure the structure did not topple.  

However, once he was halfway through, it became much easier to assemble. 

After achieving his first Jenga stacking record, Auldin knew he had more to give.  

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“When I got my first record, I knew I had more in me. I kept running out of Jenga blocks, which motivated me to push myself further,” he said.  

I kept buying Jenga boxes until I found the number where I needed to practise a little more.

“That number turned out to be around 1,400, and with that, I earned my second record.”

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Auldin says his favourite thing about Jenga blocks is their versatility.  

He doesn’t just see them as a game, but rather as tools that can be used for building all sorts of structures.  

“It’s like having a unique set of blocks that allows endless creativity,” said Auldin.  

“For me, it’s an engineering challenge, and using them really taps into my creativity!” 

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Auldin gets ready for each attempt by mentally preparing with enjoyable activities like riding his unicycle or playing basketball with his stepdad.  

He also listens to music during his attempts, which helps him concentrate better and allows time to pass. 

When a tower topples over or when Auldin feels it is about to collapse while he’s building it, he will take a break for 30 minutes to an hour.

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“During this time, I reset my mind and pretend that I never built that tower,” he said.  

It helps me approach it with a fresh perspective.

Auldin says one of the best parts of his stacking records is the reactions it elicits from people.  

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“I get lots of amazing reactions from my little cousins, and they always go to school bragging about me to their friends,” he said.  

“Some of my newer friends get pretty excited when they hear that I’ll be on the news or in a newspaper.”  

Auldin is overjoyed and thrilled with his Guinness World Records titles and says checking such a significant item off his bucket list at just 12 years old felt like a dream come true. 

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A World Record Christmas 

Auldin’s incredible feats have also inspired the Hallmark movie A World Record Christmas, which will debut on 16 November.  

In the movie, a neurodivergent boy named Charlie is determined to set a Guinness World Records title by stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks.  

His mother, Marissa, who is played by Nikki DeLoach, and stepfather Eric, who is played by Lucas Bryant, encourage him to chase his dream.  

When the family receives the news that Charlie will have an opportunity to break the record on Christmas Eve, they organize a fundraiser where the townspeople donate and decorate a Jenga block, with the proceeds benefiting children with autism.  

In the end, Charlie’s Jenga stacking world record isn’t just a win for him, but a win for the entire family who is drawn closer together. 

* Images courtesy of Selina Metcalfe / Ihana Images 

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