LEGO memes are in abundance, but not many of them surface more often that the idea that stepping on a LEGO brick is painful. One of the best-known iterations of this meme is a comic that’s been making the rounds on the internet for years featuring a brick-general giving training to other brick-soldiers gathered around a plan of attack diagramming the human foot.
If you’re a fan of LEGO, chances are good that you’ve seen it at some point in time and probably even had it shared with you more than once. But did you ever stop to think, who created this? Well, perhaps I’m more inquisitive than most, but that’s what piqued my interest. So let me share with you the journey of discovery that I took…
The Brothers Brick enjoyed LEGO Space: Building The Future — the book of wonderful sci-fi creations from rockstar Space builders Tim Goddard and Peter Reid. When the guys got in touch to say they’d penned and illustrated a new tale set in the LEGO Space universe, we got very excited. Even more so when they asked if we’d like to host the tale as exclusive downloadable content for our readers.
Click here to download a free PDF copy of LEGO Space: ICE Titan.
We picked up with the guys to find out more about the creation of this new chapter in the LEGO Space saga…
Click to read our interview with some of the creative team
While in Billund earlier this month, we had an opportunity to chat with LEGO designer Carl Merriam. Carl is still an active AFOL within the LEGO community, although he is now a professional LEGO set designer. Most recently, Carl Merriam co-designed 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V and has been working on LEGO Boost that has just been released for pre-order.
We sat down with Carl at LEGO headquarters to chat about how he became a LEGO designer, along with some of the LEGO projects he’s worked on since joining the company.
Read the full review with LEGO set designer Carl Merriam
The Brothers Brick were fortunate enough to spend some time talking with LEGO Designer Jens Kronvold Frederiksen who is the Design director for Star Wars theme, and Jakob who is a LEGO graphic designer within the Star Wars theme. Jens has designed sets for the Star Wars theme for 18 out of the 19 years he has been working for LEGO—an unusual situation, he admits, but one he is very happy with. Right at the beginning back in 1998, when Jens heard that LEGO and Star Wars were going to be collaborating, he felt it was a perfect combination of a fantasy universe with sets and vehicles that would work well with LEGO along with a strong storyline about good versus evil.
Jens Kronvold Frederiksen is famous for designing the UCS Millenium Falcon, a product he created back in 2006. Designing the biggest LEGO set at that time under the Star Wars theme was very exciting for him. It is no wonder it remains on his short list of favourite sets, along with the Death Star, which is a set he considers a ‘family build’ (when an adult can help a younger fan to build a complex final creation). He has a hand in lots of sets now as Design Director, but explains that although he oversees the designs, he can’t help but continue to build and get involved with the model designers.
The Brothers Brick were at the LEGO Idea House in Billund, Denmark yesterday speaking with LEGO designers from the Star Wars, Ideas, Boost, Creator Expert and Architecture teams, along with the TT Games team behind LEGO Worlds.
Star Wars Creative Director Jens has spent 18 out of the 19 years he has worked for LEGO dedicated to the Star Wars theme. You will be able to hear about Jens’ “dark side” moments of saying “no” to certain set ideas, plus his opinions on stickers, UCS sets, and much more.
Carl Merriam, one of the co-designers of the new LEGO Ideas Saturn V set, gives an entertaining view of the new LEGO Boost theme. We had a chance to play with Vernie the expressive robot and Frankie the harmonica playing cat. Frankie loves cuddles and will purr or squawk depending on your cat carrying technique.
The LEGO Ideas team in Billund, Denmark revealed the first images and box art for the next Ideas set 21310 Old Fishing Store earlier today, and The Brothers Brick was on location at LEGO headquarters to meet the team behind this set. The set was revealed in a small restaurant in Billund as part of the LEGO Fan Media Days that TBB is currently attending. LEGO graphic designer Mark Tranter, fan designer Robert Bontenbal, and LEGO designer Adam Grabowski were on hand to talk through some details.
Click here to read the interview!
For long-time Star Wars fans, perhaps the most exciting thing to emerge from the current batch of LEGO Star Wars sets inspired by the Rebels animated TV series is the new Grand Admiral Thrawn minifigure, released as part of the 75170 The Phantom set, which depicts the modified Trade Federation shuttle that replaces the first Phantom part way through season 3.
Grand Admiral Thrawn himself was created by sci-fi author Timothy Zahn in Heir to the Empire, the first book in Zahn’s epic Thrawn Trilogy. TBB spoke with Timothy Zahn at Emerald City Comicon recently, and got his first impressions of the Thrawn minifig, which we’ll share later in our review.
Read the full review after the jump!
Our continuing adventures led us to track down and interrogate Amado Canlas Pinlac (aka AC Pin). Amado was born in Angeles City in the Philippines, and works in the Information Technology field with previous employment with overseas airlines. He has called East Brunswick, New Jersey home for the last fifteen years, where he lives with his wife Marleth and their three sons, Milton, Marlowe and Myreon. Amado credits the support of his wife for being where he is today!
TBB: Can you tell us how you got into LEGO?
AC: First and foremost I’ve been a Star Wars fan/geek way before LEGO introduced the SW line, as I collected the Star Wars action figures, vehicles, and sets. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who’ve known me over the years that I love to build Star Wars dioramas. In fact I’ve done Action Figure dioramas and was affiliated with various SW fan sites which featured them before I even started with LEGO. One of the problems/drawbacks that I’ve had to contend with the Action Figure dioramas was there was very little or none of the re-usability factor. Around that time, when I was growing disinterested with Action Figures, LEGO started producing the first SW sets.
This week we headed up to our great neighbor to the north to track down Tim Schwalfenberg. Tim lives in Canada, is 21 years old and is currently studying Materials Engineering at his local university. He also likes to publicly smash his LEGO builds too, but more about that later.
TBB: Hi Tim! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with the Brick?
Tim: Sure! I have found LEGO to be a great creative outlet when I need a break from all my calculus or physics courses. While I’ve been building almost as long as I can remember, it wasn’t until my first year of university that I started to look at LEGO with the intention of making anything beyond the rainbow-warrior spaceships of my earlier years. Through a combination of some inspiring creations I stumbled upon through MOCpages and finding myself with too much free time on my hands, I decided that to try out this LEGO thing more seriously. Thousands of pieces and hundreds of creations later the LEGO hobby has become an incredibly important part of my life. The itch to build has become a constant companion that is easily rewarded by long hours tinkering away on a table-scrap covered table.
This week our travels take us to South Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. There we tracked down František Hajdekr, a builder known for his small builds of big vehicles and equipment of all kinds. František lives in the town of Bavorov, with his wife and three sons. He is 39 years old, teaches high school and runs his own Youtube channel, which is loaded with lots of “how-to” LEGO videos. Let’s explore his mind a bit, shall we?
TBB: Hello, František! How you got into LEGO and what was your first set?
František: My first set was the classic Town 6621 Fire Truck from 1984. And for a long time it was the only set that I had. Lego was not so available in my country, so I built mainly with different building blocks – Seva or metallic Merkur (Czech made).
This week we got to sit down with British builder Jeremy Williams (aka “Bricking It”). He lives in Leicester with his wife and two young sons (ages 5 and 6). He travels frequently, consulting for accounting firms and training their accountants. However, I was able to catch him between road trips and pick his brain. Come explore the mind of a builder with me!
TBB: Hey Jeremy, can you tell us how you got into LEGO?
Jeremy: Sure – I got into LEGO as a kid, and Classic Space was my era. I spent every evening building and playing with spaceships! I also got slightly into Technic, but never Castle or City. I then abandoned LEGO as a teenager and only picked it up again six years ago after my first son was born. I figured I had an excuse again!
This week we talk with Aran Jitsukawa-Hudson (AKA Cole Blaq) about his art, philosophy and his life. Aran was born in Great Britain and grew up in Germany. He lives in Düsseldorf with his wife and three kids, is a cancer survivor, and attended university as an Art History student. We interviewed him 6 years ago here on The Brothers Brick, but there’s a lot to catch up on since then. He is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to publish an art book based on his Enter the Brick series. Let’s go explore the mind of a builder.
TBB: First of all, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? What got you into LEGO and what kept you there?
Aran: My real name is Aran Jitsukawa-Hudson, as some might know. My alter ego as an artist is Cole Blaq, which is a reference to a comic character and an adaption to Hip Hop language.
I am British by origin but mainly grew up in Germany. With my wonderful wife being Japanese, we’re a rich blend of cultures! Now I live in Dusseldorf, Germany, which is located at the river Rhine, north of Cologne.