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About jamieberard


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  1. jamieberard

    10243 Parisian Restaurant

    Hi Jasper, I'm really happy to hear that you like the Parisian Restaurant. It means a lot to me coming from you because I respect your work. I just wanted to clarify one of your remarks about me using your idea for the feathers because I’m sensing your disappointment and frustration. The feathering technique used in the Parisian Restaurant actually was developed back in 2007 when I was working on the Green Grocer. I hold onto many things that were originally intended for other projects but didn’t quite work out. They are my misfit creations. They make me happy, so I hold on to them sometimes for years with the hope of using them some day when the timing is right. The tricky part is making sure they aren’t discovered by you guys first before the sets get out! That seems to have happened here and highlights just how cool it is to have so many thousands of builders around the world trying to build similar details at the same scale with a limited palette of bricks. Coincidences are inevitable and exciting because they validate good ideas and the builders that discover them. My naïve side hopes the 30+ models that I’ve worked on show the level of integrity I work hard to maintain. Please rest assured that the last thing I would ever want to do is to take someone else’s clever idea and claim it as my own. Half the fun of my job is surprising you guys http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=5965446 I wish you many years of building fun! jamie
  2. jamieberard

    10230: Mini Modulars Discussion

    You forgot one ;) http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2843338
  3. jamieberard

    Where is this minifigure from?

    Hehe, it's important to know all the competitors past and present to make sure we're on top of things ;)
  4. jamieberard

    Where is this minifigure from?

    He's from the Tyco Super Blocks sets from the 1980's.
  5. jamieberard

    Creator Set 4939 Alternative: Aircraft Carrier

    That's really cool! It looks very clean considering how much you've managed to add to the detailing. I like it a lot :)
  6. Heya! I'm looking to build a copy of the Model Team set 5571 Black Cat. The box can be beat up, opened or even missing. But I'm hoping to find a copy with sealed bags with new/unused parts and decent condition building instructions. I have a whole bunch of sets that could be combined for a trade. However, an easy one for one swap could be for my new 10030 UCS Star Desroyer Or my new 8466 4x4 Off-Roader If you'd like to see other models which could be combined for a trade, my list is located here: Trading List Cheers, jamie :)
  7. jamieberard

    REVIEW: 10211 Grand Emporium

    Wow, Svelte. You've really outdone yourself! Thanks for putting so much effort and personality into your review. It really is a treat to read. Your pictures are superb and the humor and level of detail are top notch. You've even convinced me to go out an buy another one :) I agree that your plants are far better than mine. A big smile came over my face when I saw them for the first time. Now if only we could get those dino-flippers back into production! I too prefer tiled floors, but as mentioned by others, there are some issues with balancing interior/exterior details with cost on these sets. I've also heard from many fans and through reviews on lego.com that many consumers actually don't like having to use so many tiles like the 1x1 tiles for Cafe Corner sidewalk. Since you've done such a beautiful job with your own department store, I'd actually really enjoy seeing what your ideas are for the interior floor. Bonus points if you can work other dino parts into the design ;-) Many thanks again for the wonderfully thorough an creative review! jamie
  8. jamieberard

    Happy Birthday Svelte!

    Happy Birthday, Svelte! I've grown so use to Facebook birthday reminders that I almost missed this one
  9. jamieberard

    2010 Train Sets

    Hi Mark, Sorry for the delay, but it took me a while to find time to head on over to chat with the technology team. The one guy who is an expert on our motors is unfortunately away on business. However, not wanting to let you down, I asked around the department and was able to collect a bit more insight into your question. Yes, it seems you are correct that the 8866 train motor and 9v train motors have slightly different performance specs. I won't pretend to have a full understanding of our motors' inner workings, but there could be several explanations as to why the 9v motor seems to have more torque/pulling power. The first reason could be due to the fact that the 9v motor gets its power from the tracks. This is a rich and constant supply which can allow the 9v motor to overpower most obstacles. The 8866, on the other hand is limited to the output of a battery box. The second variable comes from the traction provided by the rubber rings on the drive wheels. We did have an issue with a lack of friction from the rubber rings on some of our plastic wheels for the 8866. This 'slipping' issue was looked into and addressed. There may also be a difference in the performance of metal wheels on metal track versus plastic wheels on plastic track. Another consideration is the actual motor inside the 9v train motor case is different than the one inside the 8866. The internal gearing also had to change a bit in order to accommodate cross-axle-attached wheels. This could account for the subtle variation in speed and torque that you've mentioned. Finally, it's important to note that the 8866 motor is not a 'drop-in' replacement for the 9v train motor. It was designed and intended for the battery powered trains which were launched back in 2006. Just as the 9v train motor was an evolution and not a drop-in replacement for its 4.5 and 12v predecessors, the 8866 is intended for trains constructed with the supporting the RC battery train components. I'm not aware of suppliers or production locations for either of the two motors. I hope this helps clarify a bit. jamie
  10. jamieberard

    Modular Building 10211 Grand Emporium

    Hi Brickster, We are quite lucky to have many good resources within our team to draw inspiration from. However, I often find the best ideas come when we step out of the office and see the world outside of Billund. Inspiration is all around us. Many times when I'm traveling, I often find myself taking pictures of beautiful old buildings and marvelous details. There's loads of potential out there. Inevitably, I find myself looking at the world through LEGO lenses. Some days I just can't wait to get back to work so that I can try and recreate with LEGO something that I had just seen. The Cafe Corner was actually just an idea I had floating around in my head. It just kinda developed as the bricks fell into place. The Green Grocer is loosely based on a cross between pictures of San Fransisco houses and an interesting building I found in the downtown part of Kolding, Denmark. The Fire Brigade is an amalgamation of several references I found on the internet. Eric Brok told me Market Street was based on houses he had seen back in the Netherlands. The Green Grocer and Fire Brigade are the only two modular buildings currently being offered by Shop@Home. I cannot comment on the future of the line beyond that. Hi Merman, The exclusives are held to the same standards as our other product ranges, however you bring up an interesting point about element usage. Yes, we do always try to limit the variety of bricks/elements in any given model. We especially try include mutiples of each element & avoid pieces in the same color that look similar to one another. This helps reduce the search time for bricks and improves the chances that the model gets built correctly which also reduces our consumer services calls and improves the overall building experience. That having been said, yes there are certain elements in any model that really help 'sell' the model. Even in a lower price point set, we often include single valuable pieces like a food item, unique minifigure, an iconic accessory or an animal which we know will act as a story-starter and excite the child's imagination. The advantage of the exclusives range is that we can better choose those unique elements to cater to a more mature or nostalgic consumer. Perhaps a female minifigure hair piece is not so exciting for a young boy, but is very valuable to an adult. Another difference with the Direct models is that we often are at a high enough price point to afford putting in multiples of those elements you normally would see sparingly in other sets. ----------------------------------------------------------- As much as I've enjoyed answering many of these questions over the past week, I'm unfortunately going to have to reduce my participation in these forums. We're in the thick of our super-busy season at work, so I'll likely have just enough time to check in every so often, but not really have much time to comment. Definitely feel free to contact your ambassadors when needed :) Cheers! jamie
  11. jamieberard

    Jamie Berard Appreciation Week

    Thanks everyone for a wonderful week! You've managed to create quite a buzz within the PMD building where I work. I even bought cake for my team in order to celebrate the occasion I'll look forward to meeting many of you at future fan events. In the meantime, please keep up the creativity and don't ever hesitate to let your ambassadors know how we're doing. Your feedback helps ensure that LEGO continually exceeds expectations for innovation and imagination. Cheers, jamie
  12. jamieberard

    Modular Building 10211 Grand Emporium

    Hi Merman, Our inspiration often comes from the ambassadors, fans & from within our own department. We work in teams (I'm based in the CREATOR team) where is is very common for us to have brain storms or idea boosts. Once a bunch of potential ideas are agreed upon, most of our reference material comes from searching the internet, checking through our own library of books and sometimes (albeit rarely) through going off-site to actually see the thing we are trying to replicate/get inspiration from. The CREATOR team has visited a local zoo to get inspiration on animals. When creating the 10187 VW Beetle, our designer got to visit the VW museum in Germany in order to get the most accurate reference possible. The Modular buildings can grow as big as our consumers would like (and afford ) I'm not sure I fully understand your third question. Yes I can confirm that the modular buildings often utilize several pieces which you would be less likely to see in a standard retail set. We intentionally add these rare and often expensive elements because we know they mean a lot to our adult consumer. From initial concept to box, our development times can vary from 1 to up to 3 years. Of course, keep in mind that there are many more things which go into selling a model beyond just designing it. We also have element design, building instruction development, packaging, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, etc. The modulars average about one year from concept to box. In order to get the inside scoop on each of the modulars, I would recommend reading some of the articles we've contributed to in previous issues of Brickjournal. Here are some headlines for concessions: 10182 Cafe Corner - No interior due to concerns that our main consumer (males) would not want a 'doll house' experience. CREATOR houses traditionally have limited/no interior. 10190 Market Street - Limitations with the LEGO Factory brick palette restricted design choices we had with the model. 10185 Green Grocer - Limited interior on upper floors to maintain attractive price point. Also a compromise with those who were still reluctant for us to add details (costs) which the consumer could not see on the box shot. 10197 Fire Brigade - Limited use of dark tan color due to availability of elements in that color Thanks for the kind words, Eric! I think we're both pretty darn lucky to have such fun jobs! Target for $30 Cheers! jamie
  13. jamieberard

    Eurobricks Event 2010 in Billund.

    I'm really hoping to meet up with everyone at some point during your visit. I'm just not sure yet when that would work out best. Cheers, jamie
  14. jamieberard

    Modular Building 10211 Grand Emporium

    How could I not take advantage of this special week?? But it is true that I'm putting an extra effort this week to respond as much as possible. I'll likely be a bit more quiet soon in order not to take away from the next designer's week
  15. jamieberard

    Modular Building 10211 Grand Emporium

    Hi Henri, Some of the others are correct in answering that I cannot comment about sales or volumes of the sets. All the designers who work on retail & Shope@Home exclusive sets are here in Billund. The company works very hard to make sure we're all on the same 'campus' in order to promote innovation and knowledge-sharing. In addition to the Billund team, we also have concept designers around the world who are helping dream up ideas for future of LEGO. Plus we have amazing model builders and designers in Enfield, CT USA, the LEGOLAND parks, and model shops here in Europe who make amazing sculptures and special models used around the world to promote the brand or selective partnerships. Designers in Enfield are the ones who often create the giveaways for brand retail store openings plus they handle alternative model and inspiration model designs shown in the Brickmaster & LEGO Club magazines. The physical models given with a Brickmaster sumbscription, however, are designed here in Billund. Sorry, but I am not allowed to show images of my work desk/area due to the fact that I'm surrounded by many things which have not yet been released to the market. If you've seen the video announcing the launch of the Emerald Night, that show's a glimpse of where I work. In particular, starting at around 1:12 you can see our new element shelves: What's even better than that is a video done with Markus. It gives a very fun overview of some of our design process. Cheers, jamie