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!
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!
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.
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.
Earlier today, LEGO revealed 21315 Pop-Up Book as the next LEGO Ideas set. The ingenious set comes in the form of a book with two interiors based off of Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. The Pop-up Book comes with 859 pieces as well as four minifigures and one microfigure, and will retail for $69.99 USD when it goes on sale November 1st.
LEGO has revealed the next LEGO Ideas set: 21315 Pop-Up Book. Chosen back in May from the crowd-sourced LEGO Ideas platform, the book’s final design has been kept secret until now. LEGO has figuratively taken the covers off the set which includes 859 pieces to build the book and two stories that fill its pages, as well as four minifigures and one microfigure. The set retails for $69.99 USD.
The Pop-Up Book is the brainchild of two fans, Jason Allemann and Grant Davis, two names you may recognize. Both Jason and Grant are regulars here on The Brothers Brick, having a long history of building excellent creations. However, Jason’s name may ring a bell for another reason, since this isn’t his first LEGO Ideas set. Jason also created 21305 Maze. (Check out our interview with him about that project.) This brings Jason into the exclusive double-feature LEGO Ideas club, which was previously occupied solely by Ellen Kooijman who created 21110 Research Institute along with 21302 The Big Bang Theory.