Noana aho, friendly readers!
Another week has gone by. I’m hoping it was a good one for you. It was a great one for me! This week the contributors held their annual five day conference to figure out the vision for the year and such things. I wasn’t too interested in the meetings themselves. Andrew said that there were lemur issues on the agenda, which got me rather concerned. I looked it over and didn’t see anything. Maybe some got on his copy. Anyway, the real highlight was the catering. It was so incredibly scrumptious and they just kept bringing in more and more! They even had a table in the corner just for me! It was set up in the middle of a lovely blue tarp, which made it so much easier to take the leftovers back to my room at the end of each day.
I love this place!
Anyway, enough about me. Let’s get to your questions.
What is a LEGO Certified Professional?
LCPs are builders who have made a full-time job out of their LEGO building and are jumped through the proper hoops to be certified by LEGO. They are not employees but have a business relationship with the company. I believe there are currently 12, but the number is subject to change. Each LCP runs their own business but it has to fit within certain guidelines from the company.
The LCP website says that selection is based on building proficiency, enthusiasm and professional approach. “Enthusiasm” and “Professional Approach” seem rather vague. I’ve been told that “Professional Approach” has mostly to do with what kinds of things they build and such. I’m not sure how “Enthusiasm” is judged. Perhaps one of the current or former LCPs will chime in below.
What do they actually do? Some of the LCPs do free-lance work for the LEGO company, others run events or create private commissions. Some also have done traveling exhibitions, others have developed new markets for LEGO (such as the Architecture series) or done educational and community outreach work. I’m working on a Lemur Certified Professional program but there hasn’t been much interest as yet. Stay tuned.
Why do so many LEGO sets have extra pieces?
Because LEGO loves you and wants you to be happy. That and the extra pieces are generally the smallest ones. The bags in the sets are not packed by hand, they are packed by robot (how cool is that?). The robots are programmed to know the weight of each LEGO element and which elements are supposed to go in each bag. The smaller elements can be problematic in regards to the margin of error. In order to ensure that the correct pieces get into each bag, they tell the robots to put in one extra of most small pieces to ensure the weight is correct. Since the smaller pieces are most likely to be lost or fall out, this keeps the buyer happy and resolves many customer-service issues before they begin.
What do you think about glued models?
Glue (Kragle, if you are a fan of the LEGO movie) is somewhat of a controversial topic for some people. For others, it’s a non-issue because it wouldn’t even occur to them to use it. Personally, I’m anti-glue, but let’s discuss it. Most people do not use glue on their models for the simple reason that they want to reuse their LEGO bricks. LEGO has incredible clutch power and that is enough for the vast majority. The use of glue is mostly confined to those builders who make a living from building. If someone has commissioned a LEGO artist to build some huge or complex item, they probably don’t want it falling apart or getting damage. Therefore, glue is often used. Model builders who work for LEGO in various capacities use glue because their builds have to stand up to weather and/or being handled by the public. Glue is appropriate for that. However, glue is not really needed by most hobbyists or small commissioned pieces. I think it takes away from the LEGO aspect of a build. It also doesn’t taste very good. Glue is nasty.