Tag Archives: Jason Allemann

This one’s a real page-turner! [Video]

When you build something really interactive, you naturally want to show off how it works. At conventions you might spend a whole hour repeating a demo. Then another. And another. And another… Until you realize you haven’t eaten all day. Of course, leave it to Jason Allemann to find a truly impressive solution to this problem. After he and his wife’s arms got tired opening and closing the LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book, she told him it was time to make an automated, page-turning bookstand. So he has! And it’s brilliant!

Motorized Pop-Up Book Stand

As usual, Jason has developed a genius and inspiring mechanism. Just watch the video for the full explanation of what’s going on behind the scenes of this elegant lectern. I don’t know about you, but I find it mesmerizing!

While you’re here, check out Jason’s excellent addition to LEGO Creator set 31088 Deep Sea Creatures!

A new “swim” on LEGO Creator set 31088 Deep Sea Creatures [Video]

Inspired. That’s all I can say about how I feel every time I see one of Jason Allemann‘s new creations. And maybe a little jealous at how talented he is. Recently, we wrote and article about his update to the LEGO Forma mechanics with a custom shark. This time he has taken a recently released official set, LEGO Creator 31088 Deep Sea Creatures, and brought it to life. It’s done so well that you would think the set was always intended for this purpose.

Swimming Shark Redux

With the turn of the crank or an attached motor, the drive mechanism of this build gives the shark an appearance of organically gliding through water. The most impressive part (as always with Jason’s builds) is how smooth and seamless the motions are. Truly fluid! And as a bonus, this creation isn’t just for admiring from afar! He has kindly shared these (and many other) instructions on his website so that others can build it too!

31088 Deep Sea Creatures is actually on sale at Amazon right now, along with LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book, the official set that both Jason and Grant Davis collaborated to design!

Sit tight Santa! Travelling at 1800 miles per second isn’t easy. [Video]

Not many have figured out that Santa’s portly figure is dreadfully important to making sure he stays firmly in his sleigh at the speeds he needs to cover the world in a single night. A slight miscalculation on dietary needs lands him in trouble. Jason Allemann never ceases to amaze me with his elegant and magical mechanical LEGO builds. They’re often very simple but always hit a home run by capturing just the right details to make to hypnotize. This build has a playful theme with Santa Claus on a sleigh pulled by four reindeer that sway from side to side above a tiny village. It shouldn’t be too hard to spot Rudolph among his other mates and Santa hanging on for deer life.

Pursuit of Christmas

Play the video below to see it in full action

Interview with LEGO Ideas Pop-Up Book fan designers Grant Davis and Jason Allemann [Feature]

Last weekend, The Brothers Brick attended the launch event for the LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book in Portland, Oregon, and we chatted with fan designers Grant Davis and Jason Allemann about their collaboration and how the set became a reality.

Both Grant and Jason (aka JK Brickworks) are talented builders and have been featured on The Brothers Brick multiple times. If you haven’t yet, you should read our official review of the set (spoiler: we loved it) and then dive into this behind-the-scenes conversation about creating the set. LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book is now available from LEGO for $69.99 US.


The Brothers Brick: Thanks for chatting with us. We really enjoyed building and reviewing your LEGO Pop-Up Book. Can you tell us a little about how the collaboration first began?

Grant Davis: I had an idea for a LEGO pop-up book in late 2014. I created a model originally powered by LEGO rubber bands, but it was significantly more inconsistent than what I knew a set should be. I ended up contacting Jason because of the technical skill I had seen in his creations, and because he showed interest in my original model on Flickr when I posted it.

Grant’s first iteration of his LEGO Pop-Up Book using rubber bands and bendable minifigure legs.

Jason Allemann: Grant got in touch with me in February 2016 via a message on Flickr. I, of course, absolutely loved the original Pop-Up Book model he had posted over a year earlier, so when he asked if I wanted to join him to develop an Ideas project based on that concept, I jumped at the opportunity.

TBB: Had you two ever met each other prior to this collaboration?

Jason: I don’t think we’d ever met in person before the collaboration, but I was very familiar with Grant’s work via Flickr. I do recall he left a comment on my Particle Accelerator video on YouTube at some point, and I even gave him a shout out in one of my follow up videos for that model, all long before we started working on the Pop-Up Book.

Grant: The first time that we actually met was at Brickworld Chicago 2017 after the Ideas project had already launched and had 8,000-9,000 supporters. We both didn’t know that each other were going to be attending. It was pure coincidence that we ran into each other at the convention! We didn’t talk much about the project, but I do remember that we played some two-player arcade games together as our first in person bonding experience.

TBB: What was your collaboration process like?

Jason: We mostly shared info via e-mail and the occasional Skype call. What I remember most about the design period was that it just took a while. We were both pretty busy with other things, so it would often be weeks between development updates, and it took a full six months before we finally submitted the project. We are both easy going people, so working together was really nice, and we were on the same page with most of the design decisions.

Jason’s first prototype of the pop-up mechanism and an early idea for minifigure storage.

Grant: The bulk of the initial contact was done over email. We fleshed out a lot of the nitty gritty details there in long multi-point messages. We talked through how many inserts we should suggest in the project (we suggested two, which is what LEGO themselves decided to stick with). We set up a Google document to work on the exact description for the project as well, which helped lessen the amount of e-mails.

There was even a lengthy discussion on what exactly the project should be called. We talked through several title options for the project before settling on the simple title of “LEGO Pop-Up Book.” We at one point or another considered “Brick Adventures,” “Brick Tales,” and “Brick Worlds.” The “Once Upon a Brick” title that is on the final model of the book was thought up by the LEGO design team.

The first prototype of Grant and Jason’s LEGO Pop-Up Book submitted to LEGO Ideas.
Click to keep reading our interview with the fan designers of the LEGO Pop-Up Book

Reverse engineering the LEGO Forma shark with a brick-built “skin”

Last month LEGO revealed Forma, an experimental kinetic sculpture set designed to target the adult market. The product was launched via crowdsourcing platform Indiegogo but is currently only available to buyers in the U.S. and U.K. The product was of interest to Jason Allemann since he enjoys building LEGO kinetic sculptures. Because Jason lives in Canada and is unable to order the Forma set, he decided to reverse-engineer the design well-before its official release!

Swimming Shark

Jason’s shark is more than a direct copy, as it contains his own personal touch. Since the Forma skins are not currently available, Jason created a stunning brick-built skin. The brick-built shark body doesn’t interfere with the model’s functionality and will likely appeal to LEGO fans who were not impressed by Forma’s plastic skins. Jason modified the mechanism to achieve a more realistic swimming motion, and the lower level consists of a small school of fish swimming beneath the shark. Finishing off the entire model is an attractive coral reef base, which offers a nice splash of color.