Spotlight on Mel Caddick, LEGO designer of the 40450 Amelia Earhart Tribute [Feature]

Melody Caddick or better known in the community as Mel Caddick is a prominent LEGO designer who has worked on or designed creations for a number of sought-after Gift Promotions issued with LEGO purchases. The demand for the Gift-With-Promotions not only has its allure of being a scarcity and something which cannot be purchased off the shelves but also for the unique one-off design concepts and themes that do not need to fit within the current design themes of any given LEGO set in production.

Mel is of Australian descent and her path to LEGO began with a move to a totally different continent and with humble beginnings as an assistant and working her way up to be in the ranks of a highly sought after role many fans dream of, a LEGO designer. The journey to the coveted role even though already being a LEGO employee is no different from someone applying for the role as an outsider.

She has been with LEGO since August 2008, and some of her early personal creations from 2010 when she first stepped into the role of a LEGO designer is still shared on Flickr, where die-hard LEGO fans still share creations to showcase custom creations or more referred to as MOCs (My Own Creations).

These vignettes remind me of the popular Bricktober sets that were part of Toys R’ Us exclusive items from 2014 and 2015 from her LEGO design portfolio – featuring sets she’s designed or worked on in some way or another.

A few other standout designs include the 40139 Gingerbread house from 2015, which is still very much a sought after set, just by looking at its aftermarket value. We still do recommend Bricklink for a better bargain if you’re on the hunt.

Favourites of mine include the fun and functional Christmas themed designs of a Snow Globe with a pull-out drawer and the LEGO Ideas 40335 Space Rocket Ride for its simple kinetic feature to bring more fun in a tiny set.

Mel is back this year with another winning design with the LEGO 40450 Amelia Earhart Tribute set, and in conjunction with International Women’s Day, the LEGO team interviewed Mel to get her insights and inspiration behind this new masterpiece.

Question: How would you describe Amelia Earhart? What does she represent to you?

Answer: Amelia Earhart was a great icon, a pioneer and an author. As the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic, she was clearly very adventurous and determined and I think her story inspires anyone who wishes to pursue their dreams.
Amelia Earhart taught us that passions, aspirations and courage know no gender – a legacy not passed on by many, and for that, I think we found the perfect personality to celebrate for 2021 International Women’s Day.

Question: What inspired you to create this model?

Answer: We were inspired by Amelia Earhart’s groundbreaking achievement of being the first woman to do a Transatlantic solo flight. The red Lockheed 5B Vega was the plane in 1932 that she used to cross the Atlantic alone. Naturally, this was the perfect model to represent her achievements.

Question: What did you want people to learn from this model?

Answer: I am hoping the model of Amelia Earhart can inspire and encourage, not only women but all people around the world, to be curious and brave about their passions and aspirations – especially when facing rigid traditions, structures or the likes, that tries to keep them down. Passions and aspirations are fragile, and they need nurturing, space and determination to unfold – and that is exactly what Amelia Earhart taught us.

Question: How did you approach the development of the model?

Answer: We started with some blueprints of the red Lockheed 5B Vega plane and tried to find elements that could help bring it to life. It was really important that we kept the model as true to the original as possible; to include the yellow lines, the decorations and the shape of the plane. We really wanted Amelia Earhart to be represented as a Minifigure, so we created an exclusive new design especially for her by including it in this model.

Question: What do you like most about working with the LEGO Group?

Answer: It is a childhood dream to be working here. I have been here since 2008 and for the past 10 years as a designer working with the LEGO bricks creating products. What I love about the bricks is that the possibilities are endless, only your imagination is the limit.
I love being able to work on many different products, especially with a strong and inspiring story like Amelia Earhart’s. It is a privilege to be able to create products that inspire children and adults of all ages all around the world

Question: What other projects have you worked on?

Answer: One of the latest products is Charles Dickens Tribute and Gift with purchase Vintage Car. What I really like about working on these projects, is in the same way with Amelia Earhart, you get to know people who are incredibly talented and passionate.

So many people are doing incredible things every day, but we only have so little time to stop, think and listen to the story of someone new. To these kinds of projects, there is just a deeper level of meaning, which I personally find very purposeful.

The promotion for this set is ongoing now, and there’s still a chance for you to grab the Amelia Earhart Tribute set with the minimum spend of US $100CAN $130UK £100


You can also check out our full review of the Amelia Earhart Tribute set to see if it’s something that would great to add to your collection.

Here’s our review of some of Mel’s recent designs.

LEGO Ideas 40448 Vintage Car

LEGO Charles Dickens Tribute: A Christmas Carol