Jim

LEGO Fan Media Days 2017 - Interview with Mikael Psiaki

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What I think is the most interesting part, is that he did the interview about modulars when actually his modular (Downtown Diner) was already in production but not released at that time. And he is talking about colors like dark azure, knowing that he is bringing back teal in sets. So I think there is more behind this interview than you think at first.

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Good point, julesvincent. I'm sure there's loads he knows that he just can't reveal yet because the plans, sets, goals, etc haven't officially been announced.

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51 minutes ago, julesvincent said:

What I think is the most interesting part, is that he did the interview about modulars when actually his modular (Downtown Diner) was already in production but not released at that time. And he is talking about colors like dark azure, knowing that he is bringing back teal in sets. So I think there is more behind this interview than you think at first.

Maybe it's just because we discussed the Beetle and the Beetje was on his desk. I really don't think there's more to it than that.

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Millions of thanks for this great interview! That’s really great to see how much importance you attach to the EB community :classic: Great selection of questions as everyone said and I learned a lot of new things! 

22 hours ago, Jim said:

but in the future you can probably expect to see some module built by me...we'll see

He was correct!

22 hours ago, Jim said:

But yeah we do have a list of buildings that we have kind of made our dream list of...eventually we need these things.

It’s great to hear that!

22 hours ago, Jim said:

The building style you choose is obviously depending on the model you choose. But like you said you chose a restaurant and then it turned into a Parisian restaurant. How does a process like this go?

Great question @Jim, was wondering that for many months now!

22 hours ago, Jim said:

I was looking at that and thinking, yes please do that. Like with the Saturn V. Please do that.
I think it's the difficulty with something like that, of course they're really amazing models and they would definitely be really cool. But how do those fit in when we have the regular Modular Building line. If we introduce something like that, are we taking people away from the regular Modular Buildings.

Here’s the reason they’re not approving any modulars on Ideas... 

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Thanks guys!

For the record; most of the great questions have been suggested by our loyal EB members. So no credit for me in that department. I will take credit for the last two awesome questions :laugh: :tongue:

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I wonder if there will be more space themed sets with the talk about Mars...the desinger didn't say yes or no

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He didn't say yes or no about a lot of stuff, we haven't got a categoric answer about any kind of space theme. As far as we know, LEGO might... or might not be planning something. However, if you're looking for a Mars theme from LEGO, our little yellow minifig friends have already gone there ;) http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/Mars_Mission

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On 13-3-2018 at 6:37 PM, Digger of Bricks said:

By the way, will you or any other Eurobricks staff members be interviewing any Lego designers or employees at this year's Media Fan Days event? 

We just got an invitation, so there's a fair chance there will be someone attending again this year.

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5 hours ago, Jim said:

We just got an invitation, so there's a fair chance there will be someone attending again this year.

OK, awesome! :sweet:

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54 minutes ago, Digger of Bricks said:

OK, awesome! :sweet:

I will let you know if we need more questions :wink: 

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16 minutes ago, Jim said:

I will let you know if we need more questions :wink: 

Alright, thanks! :classic:

I'd imagine if you did interview anyone, it wouldn't be Mike again. Right?

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Thank you for the great interview. Definately worth the wait :p It really offers a lot of insight despite the obvious restrictions in what Mike can say. 

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If the approach taken towards AFOL demands for Castle is "give them the bricks in Modulars and let them build their own," that may also be the approach taken towards AFOL demands for Space, but Space parts are more suited towards regular children's play lines like Star Wars, Ninjago, and Nexo Knights.  Hence the abundance of nice Spacey parts like trans-yellow and trans-orange windscreens we've had lately.

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Concerning Mike's comments concerning the Modulars as being analogous to Castle in their eyes, that's an interesting perspective, a connection that I never would have made personally. I've always seen them as elaborate extensions of LEGO City, 'Deluxe City' if you will.

Concerning Space; I agree completely that much of Star Wars is still driven by nostalgia for the Original Trilogy. Those movies influenced the Prequels, and now the new films carrying on from where the OT left off. They are three of the most influential films in film history, and their influence will probably still be felt generations from now. Personally, I don't feel the new movies have the same wow factor or staying power as the originals, and perhaps that's just because of over inundation. I don't know. What I do think is that people will still be buying Millennium Falcons, Snowspeeders, X-Wings, AT-ATs, etc fifty years from now, but you probably won't see many of the vehicles from the last two movies in any kind of demand. Just a gut feeling.

Concerning Classic Space, I'd be very interested to see how Benny's Spaceship did sales-wise. I own three copies. Moreover, I've been buying select sets from the new Nexo-Knights sets largely out of nostalgia for their very Blacktron 2 color scheme. CS aside, I've also bought the majority of all their past homegrown Space themes, b/c I love space stuff, and I feel that there's room for both SW and LEGO Space in my collection. Like many here, I'd love to see CS make a comeback, even if it's just a limited run- something like a modern take on the old Galaxy Explorer. That would have been a fantastic anniversary set, IMHO. And, if it sparked interest and sales were good, perhaps it could inspire an expansion on the theme. B/c let's face it, space and sci-fi are very popular; I just think LEGO needs to change its approach from the conflict-only philosophy into something with more playability and expansionism- cargo, terraforming, exploration, base-building, with a little conflict here and there. The modularity of Blacktron still stays with me as a cool gimmick as well, and that's something else that could be re-introduced for added play. And mecha, b/c when they're well executed, are very cool.

Thanks to Jim for providing the interview. I've been looking at Mr. Psiaki's models for years, so I was very heartened when I learned he'd become a Designer. Good for us all.

Edited by M'Kyuun

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38 minutes ago, M'Kyuun said:

What I do think is that people will still be buying Millennium Falcons, Snowspeeders, X-Wings, AT-ATs, etc fifty years from now, but you probably won't see many of the vehicles from the last two movies in any kind of demand. Just a gut feeling.

Exactly. There are very few new "iconic" vehicles to begin with. I find the new LEGO sets particularly meeeehhhh. While I absolutely love the UCS models. Partially because they are UCS, but for the better part because they are what they are. Don't get me wrong; I do like the new movies, but the love for the vehicles still comes from the old movies.

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Me too. Of the last two Episodic movies, the majority of the 'cool' designs, i.e. the new X-Wings, the FO TIEs, the Heavy Imperial Walkers, and the new FO Star Destroyer (set 75190), are all derivative of iconic OT vehicles. Only two of the new vehicles from Ep VII stood out to me, the Resistance Transport and the Quadjumper- there just seemed to be a lack of innovation for that movie where ships and vehicles are concerned. To me, this was Lucas' greatest contribution to his franchise- he's a very visual director, and has a great eye for designs. From Ep VIII, the vehicles that stood out to me were the Crait Skimmers, the Heavy Walkers, the cool but ineffectually utilized Resistance Heavy Bombers, Snoke's command ship (The Supremacy), and Kylo Ren's TIE. Of these, the Crait skimmer  (no idea what they're actually called) is the most original idea, and I dig it, regardless of how it was used in the movie. Sometimes a cool design can be appreciated by its own merits, and that's generally how I judge the things I like anyway. 

Anyway, straying a bit off topic, so I digress. From the interview, I find it interesting, too, that Jamie Berard, although lead of the Creator Team, continues to be the primary designer behind the Modular Series, with the Town Hall and the new Diner as the most notable exceptions that I'm aware of. One would have thought he'd have passed the reigns awhile ago. Just the same, he's a brilliant designer, and these buildings seem to be his forte, so no complaints here. And as far as CS, and CS influenced sets are concerned, we know that many of the set designers now working for LEGO are CS fans, and would likely love to renew the theme in some way, but research or some other factor has prevented that thus far, Benny's Spaceship being the exception (Thank you Chris Miller and Phil Lord!) However, Space Police 3 was a great theme, and a step in that direction, and as I mentioned, if you take a look at the bad guys' vehicles from the latest wave of Nexo-Knights, there's a strong Blacktron 2 resemblance there. Moreover, the color scheme for the Knights has strongly resembled the old Ice Planet Space sets. So, if they can't make new Space sets, I'm happy to see them homaged in some way in new themes. It's better than nothing.

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1 hour ago, M'Kyuun said:

Resistance Transport, Crait Skimmers, Resistance Heavy Bombers

To me those were all just rehashes of the B Wing.

I did like the Quad Jumper though.

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A very interesting interview. You obviously really put thought into asking questions right on the edge of what he could answer. You didn't waste his time with questions he obviously couldn't answer about specific upcoming sets, nor did you ask questions that could easily be answered through other sources. Thanks for all the effort you put into this. 

In regards to the Classic themes making a comeback, I was a child of the '80s but for whatever reason Classic Space never clicked with me (I had sets but never played with them).

I loved Classic Pirates as a child, but I would have to agree that there is only so much you can do with the theme (ships that don't look that different than what came before, island forts, that's about it) and I think it's had its day. It would be great to have historic ships from different time periods or different parts of the world, which is why i was so excited to see the Ninjago Movie version of Destiny's Bounty. 

Castle is the only theme that has stayed in my interest, partly because it is so easy to combine it into a City theme by having it as an old building in your town, or in my case where I plan to use the Kingdoms era King's Castle as the walls to an Amusement Park.

I would absolutely love for a historic theme to make a comeback, it doesn't have to be Castle related, but I'd be ready to admit it's Nostalgia in myself as the primary driver for wanting this in the same way Classic Space people clamour for a comeback of that theme. Certain sets in the Ninjago line are the closest thing we have to that. 

But one can hope and dream, and I think if people are really clamouring for the themes of their childhood to make a comeback, they should get MOCing rather than wait for LEGO to service your needs. The designers, as shown in this interview, would dearly love to help you all out, but for whatever reason management don't think it is economical

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Fantastic interview! Well done! From the picture it looks more like a cross exam though. :laugh: "You know what you did!"

Edited by MysticModulus

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An excellent read! I found his view on the modulars and set design in general very insightful. Also good to hear there is still hope for classic themes. And the CMFs tell the same story.:classic:

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23 hours ago, danth said:

To me those were all just rehashes of the B Wing.

I did like the Quad Jumper though.

Actually, at least the transport, was influenced by the B-Wing (read an article somewhere as one of the production folks was talking about cobbling different parts of things together to come up with the look of that ship. They also mentioned they took a Chinook helicopter and turned it on its side). But yeah, I see the B-Wing in all three of those designs, too. But they are new designs, technically, even if they are derivative.

As much as I like the various Classic and post-CS themes, and wouldn't mind seeing them updated, I'd be happy just to see LEGO do their own Space theme as an evergreen; it can be all new from the ground up, but at least they'd be free of the constraints of a license, and could come up with all sorts of ideas. The internet is full of space concepts, both LEGO and not, so there are plenty of things that could be done in a homegrown theme. Frankly, I'm starting to tire of Star Wars a little. It's even more frustrating when I consider some of the AFOL work done by a number of the LEGO Designers- such an incredible pool of talent, and it's somewhat wasted so far as an independent space theme goes. I'll single out Mr. Mark Stafford, as he's one of the designers who contributed to Space Police 3 and Galaxy Squad, both of which had some really cool models. SP3 was one of the best Space themes, IMHO. Just brilliant.

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