Feature Finance Grant Davis Interview Jason Allemann LEGO LEGO Ideas News Pop-Up Book

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

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

Final weekend, The Brothers Brick attended the launch occasion 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 turned a actuality.

Each Grant and Jason (aka JK Brickworks) are gifted builders and have been featured on The Brothers Brick a number of occasions. For those who haven’t but, you must learn our official assessment of the set (spoiler: we liked it) and then dive into this behind-the-scenes dialog about creating the set. LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book is now obtainable from LEGO for $69.99 US.


The Brothers Brick: Thanks for chatting with us. We actually loved constructing and reviewing your LEGO Pop-Up Book. Are you able to inform us just a little about how the collaboration first started?

Grant Davis: I had an concept for a LEGO pop-up ebook in late 2014. I created a mannequin initially powered by LEGO rubber bands, nevertheless it was considerably extra inconsistent than what I knew a set ought to be. I ended up contacting Jason due to the technical talent I had seen in his creations, and as a result of he confirmed curiosity in my unique mannequin on Flickr once I posted it.

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

Jason Allemann: Grant received in contact with me in February 2016 by way of a message on Flickr. I, in fact, completely beloved the unique Pop-Up Book mannequin he had posted over a yr earlier, so when he requested if I needed to hitch him to develop an Ideas challenge based mostly on that idea, I jumped on the alternative.

TBB: Had you two ever met one another previous to this collaboration?

Jason: I don’t assume we’d ever met in individual earlier than the collaboration, however I used to be very acquainted with Grant’s work by way of Flickr. I do recall he left a touch upon my Particle Accelerator video on YouTube sooner or later, and I even gave him a shout out in certainly one of my comply with up movies for that mannequin, all lengthy earlier than we began engaged on the Pop-Up Book.

Grant: The first time that we truly met was at Brickworld Chicago 2017 after the Ideas venture had already launched and had eight,000-9,000 supporters. We each didn’t know that one another have been going to be attending. It was pure coincidence that we bumped into one another on the conference! We didn’t speak a lot concerning the challenge, however I do keep in mind that we performed some two-player arcade video games collectively as our first in individual bonding expertise.

TBB: What was your collaboration course of like?

Jason: We principally shared information by way of e-mail and the occasional Skype name. What I keep in mind most concerning the design interval was that it simply took some time. We have been each fairly busy with different issues, so it might typically be weeks between improvement updates, and it took a full six months earlier than we lastly submitted the challenge. We’re each straightforward going individuals, so working collectively was very nice, and we have been on the identical web page with a lot of the design selections.

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

Grant: The bulk of the preliminary contact was accomplished over e-mail. We fleshed out a whole lot of the nitty gritty particulars there in lengthy multi-point messages. We talked by way of what number of inserts we should always recommend within the undertaking (we recommended two, which is what LEGO themselves determined to stay with). We arrange a Google doc to work on the precise description for the challenge as properly, which helped reduce the quantity of e-mails.

There was even a prolonged dialogue on what precisely the venture must be referred to as. We talked by means of a number of title choices for the undertaking earlier than deciding on the straightforward title of “LEGO Pop-Up Book.” We at one level or one other thought-about “Brick Adventures,” “Brick Tales,” and “Brick Worlds.” The “Once Upon a Brick” title that’s on the ultimate mannequin of the ebook was thought up by the LEGO design group.

The first prototype of Grant and Jason’s LEGO Pop-Up Book submitted to LEGO Ideas.

TBB: The place have been every of you when LEGO first revealed to you that your undertaking was chosen, and what was the very first thing you probably did?

Jason: We have been each on a skype name with the LEGO Ideas workforce. The very first thing I did was in all probability say, “That’s awesome!” I say that lots. I used to be actually excited, clearly.

Grant: LEGO made us signal an NDA across the starting of 2018, proper when the evaluate interval started after the challenge acquired 10,000 votes. LEGO requested Jason and myself to hitch a Skype name with them to debate some “quick questions related to the model that will help inform the Review Board’s decision making.” I used to be in between courses sitting in my dorm room at school for the decision, when as an alternative of asking any questions they stunned us and stated it was permitted! That was one of the crucial superb moments of my life. I couldn’t cease smiling for a number of hours. I additionally wasn’t capable of speak to anybody about it, together with my mother and father and siblings for 5 months! I needed to wait all the best way till LEGO posted the assessment outcomes on the finish of Might. After a month or so of mendacity by means of my tooth about how “I didn’t know anything” and saying “it would be really cool if it got chosen,” I received fairly used to not telling anybody about it.

TBB: Are you glad with what the ultimate model that LEGO launched? Was there something that you simply we’re pleasantly stunned by the redesign?

Jason: I’m very completely happy with the ultimate mannequin. I feel it appears superb. The designers did such a very good job of taking our drab wanting mannequin and making it look lovely. Once we have been first proven the mechanism for elevating the beanstalk, I’m fairly positive I actually did say “Wow!” adopted by “That’s amazing!” I say that rather a lot too. I used to be pleasantly stunned once they confirmed us the printed tiles with our names on them too. I assumed that was a very nice contact.

Grant: I’m so glad with the ultimate design! Wes, the LEGO designer, took our unique concept and actually ran with it to make a wonderful last set. The largest factor that I used to be personally enthusiastic about was having my final identify printed on an official LEGO piece. The directions say that my favourite piece is the cheese slope, which is a false assertion now. How might my identify tile not be my new favourite piece? Cheese slopes should accept second place.

TBB: What a part of the ultimate Pop-Up Book are you most pleased with?

Grant: I’m undoubtedly most pleased with the issues which have remained unchanged since my unique mannequin, specifically a number of inserts, the overall look, and the dimensions of the guide general.

Jason: I’m fairly pleased with the truth that the primary pop-up mechanism is actually the identical as in our unique submission. Once I first got here up with that design, I assumed, “Okay, this seems good enough for now, but I’m sure the LEGO designers will come up with a better way of doing it.” For some time, I stored revisiting the mechanism to attempt and develop a greater one, however, because it seems, plainly it’s just about one of the simplest ways to do it.

TBB: Have both of you created extra customized inserts for the Pop-Up Book?

Grant: Sure, I made a steampunk Pop-Up Book insert to attempt to push the bounds of what might be achieved in a four-stud-wide area. Aside from that, I’ve not made any customized inserts not included within the unique submission.

Jason: I’ve created one new insert to date for the ultimate set, which is a remix of the 2 commonplace interiors to create a bigger model of the Big’s citadel within the clouds. I put collectively constructing directions for it too, which you will discover on my web site.

Jason’s customized Pop-Up insert combining each scenes within the official set.

TBB: Should you might do it another time, what would you do in a different way?

Grant: I can’t consider something I might change off the highest of my head besides perhaps make the unique mannequin nearer to what the ultimate set was because the LEGO designers did a terrific job making it look so good. However a lot of the items that I might have wanted to try this didn’t exist but!

Jason: I don’t assume I might change something. I’m actually comfortable with the ultimate model of mannequin we had for the Ideas undertaking. To me, it had an excellent stability of measurement and performance and was actually appropriate for personalisation. Clearly LEGO agreed, because the type issue of the ebook wasn’t actually modified.

TBB: How did you get into LEGO as a interest?

Grant: A pal of mine despatched me a hyperlink to one of many unique Legend of Zelda tasks on Cuusoo earlier than it was renamed LEGO Ideas. He knew I favored Zelda and LEGO, so I made an account and supported it. I ultimately started engaged on creating my very own castle-themed venture (it was horrible) and after a number of months I discovered a hyperlink to MOCpages and from there Flickr and the broader LEGO group together with BrickCon. In a way, I’ve made a full circle now from simply supporting random tasks on Cuusoo, to creating my very own LEGO Ideas and having it made into an official set.

Jason: I’ve beloved constructing with LEGO bricks for so long as I can keep in mind. In my teen years I might typically use LEGO bricks because the medium for college science and engineering tasks. When LEGO launched the primary model of their Mindstorms programmable robotics system and additionally obtained the Star Wars license, the mixture proved inconceivable to withstand and I turned a full blown AFOL (Grownup Fan of LEGO).

TBB: How did the AFOL group play into your collaboration, the design of the venture and remaining outcome?

Grant: I feel that the most important method the AFOL group contributed to the mannequin was by sharpening Jason’s and my very own constructing expertise earlier than we posted the mannequin. Had I submitted a mannequin to LEGO Ideas with out beforehand gaining the numerous expertise of seeing (and constructing) different good high quality MOCs, I don’t assume the Pop-Up Book can be a set as we speak.

Jason: With out the AFOL group, I’m unsure the collaboration would have even occurred. The undeniable fact that the LEGO group exists in any respect is the rationale why I used to be acquainted with Grant’s work to start with, which made it a no brainer to hitch him on this journey.

TBB Information Editor Dave Schefcik with LEGO Pop-Up Book fan designers Grant Davis and Jason Allemann.

TBB: What’s subsequent for every of you?

Grant: Numerous faculty for me. I make time once I can to construct somewhat bit right here and there, however I gained’t have the prospect to do something vital till summertime subsequent yr, save perhaps Christmas break. Once I do have time to construct nevertheless, I shall be engaged on honing my talent as a MOC builder, moderately than engaged on a brand new LEGO Ideas undertaking. I’ll solely submit one other undertaking when I’ve one other concept that I feel is worthy of the platform, in any other case, I’m content material simply being a builder for now.

Jason: I’m persevering with to design fashions as standard, and in fact that may now embrace extra customized Pop-Up Book inserts. I’m actually excited to experiment some extra with it, perhaps discover another mechanism designs and cowl types. So far as LEGO Ideas is worried, I’ve one different undertaking that’s presently gathering help, which I’ve just about ignored because the Pop-Up Book was authorised.

TBB: Thanks a lot on your time and perception, and we sit up for seeing your creations sooner or later!


LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book consists of 859 items and 4 minifigures. It’s obtainable now for US: $69.99 | Canada: 89.99 CAD | UK: £59.99.

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