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Everything posted by jamieberard

  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

    Billund Trading Post

    Anyone up for trading sets while in Billund for the Eurobricks Event 2010? I would prefer to trade unopened for unopened sets. Sorry, no cash offers--LEGO is far more valuable as a currency :) Here are some sets I have to trade: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1817-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=2928-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4032-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3804-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4164-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4403-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4478-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4477-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4500-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4501-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4502-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4729-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4855-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4856-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4857-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4930-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4953-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=5378-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=6180-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6207-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6209-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6211-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=6210-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=6544-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=6558-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=6600-2 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=6769-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7103-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7111-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=7113-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7115-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7121-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7124-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7128-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=7143-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7150-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7153-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7186-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7214-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=7259-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7470-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7666-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7851-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=8288-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=8556-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=8781-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=9730-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10026-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10027-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10030-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10144-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10152-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10159-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=8466-1 Here are some of the sets I'm looking for: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1552-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1651-2 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1973-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=5571-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6339-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6761-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1472-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1952-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6388-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6481-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6396-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6399-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1581-2 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6347-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6440-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1772-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1773-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1775-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6543-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1831-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1818-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=2149-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1029-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4999-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=106-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=7745-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6277-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4547-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4549-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4564-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=8485-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=2140-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=2150-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=8480-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6204-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=8479-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3450-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=8002-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=1100-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=2718-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=10002-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=10029-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4756-1 http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4679-1 Feel free to send me a pm if you're interested in swapping. I like to use Bricklink average sale prices to compare values, but it's not completely necessary if we both agree on a fair swap. Cheers! jamie :)
  3. jamieberard

    10230: Mini Modulars Discussion

    You forgot one ;) http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2843338
  4. 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 ;)
  5. jamieberard

    Where is this minifigure from?

    He's from the Tyco Super Blocks sets from the 1980's.
  6. 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 :)
  7. 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 :)
  8. 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
  9. jamieberard

    Happy Birthday Svelte!

    Happy Birthday, Svelte! I've grown so use to Facebook birthday reminders that I almost missed this one
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. jamieberard

    REVIEW: 10194 Emerald Night

    I can imagine that you must have really been confused. It sounds like your box got the incorrectly updated building instructions without the pieces to support the changes. Well, actually, you really don't need the extra pieces until you choose to motorize your engine. That seems to be when the gear has an opportunity to work its way off. As a push model, it's highly unlikely that you'll experience the problem. Also, should you choose to motorize, you can use the 1x1 tan Technic bricks which you remove from the model to make room for the IR Receiver. Plus you can use the 1x1 gold round plate which we overdose (include an extra of) in the the set. This issue has been elevated to the appropriate people who will be sure to rectify the problem. Again, my apologies for the extra hassle. jamie
  18. jamieberard

    Modular Building 10211 Grand Emporium

    Hi Henri, I appreciate the compliments. Yes, I agree that the possibilities for future buidlings are endless. We'll all just have to hope they continue to sell well so that we can keep making more :) Hi Rich, Yes this has been discussed, but no it's not likely to happen anytime soon. Even if the printing and packaging were free, it takes a lot of resources to create alternative models and instructions. The Ultimate Collector's Millenium Falcon took 1 year in man-hours just to create the building instructions. If we were to try and make an alternate model with instructions, that would not only double the time needed for building instructions, but it would also take a whole lot more time from the designer and all those who help approve the model in a model review process. Long story short--Alternative models are great, but best suited to lower price points. It is true that the Cafe Corner is no longer in production. The currently available modular street includes the Green Grocer and Fire Brigade. Cheers, jamie
  19. jamieberard

    Modular Building 10211 Grand Emporium

    Hi Mr Hobbles, We are very careful to only show sets on the box which will be available during the time of the launch. Consumers get very upset when you show them models which they cannot buy or build. It's a similar reason why we don't show inspiration models anymore. When consumers see an alternative model on the box, they assume instructions are provided for it. When they can't get/build a model that they want, it's a huge let down. When the Fire Brigade came out, we almost didn't include the Cafe Corner on the box either because it was exiting the market soon after the launch. Now that both Market Street and Cafe Corner have exited the market, we unfortunately will not show the whole street in any visuals used to promote the line :( Well, that's not to say we couldn't do some sort of 'historical' overview some day. But it's extremely unlikely that would ever show up on a box or in building instructions. Cheers, jamie
  20. jamieberard

    Billund '10 trading post

    Hi everyone, I've not had much luck figuring out where to post this tonight, but here's a link to a list of sets I'm looking to trade while you're in town. http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?...st&p=664744 Please feel free to PM me if you're interested :) Cheers, jamie
  21. jamieberard

    REVIEW: 10194 Emerald Night

    Hi Thomas, Yes, it looks like you mounted it correctly. It's nice that you added the extra gray half-bushing. We did not add that to the set because it's pretty tricky to get in there. Cheers, jamie
  22. jamieberard

    Eurobricks Event 2010 in Billund.

    Sorry about that. I've moved the list over to the trades topic. Thanks for the suggestion :)
  23. jamieberard

    Eurobricks Event 2010 in Billund.

    (List Deleted) Sorry, wrong topic to post in :)
  24. jamieberard

    REVIEW: 10194 Emerald Night

    Hi j3tang, Sorry about the hassle with the 1x1 Technic brick. The issue stems from instances where the small tan gear can come off once the engine is converted with Power Functions. Under a load, the gear does not have enough contact with the 5 1/2 module cross axel and can work its way off the end. In order to prevent this from happening, we've added an extra 1x1 tan Technic brick and a 1x1 round gold plate to the latest production runs of the Emerald Night. This brick assembly should be placed on the 6 module cross-axel for the drive wheels in order to physically block the gear from falling off. The pdf on lego.com needs to be updated because it is not the latest version of the fix. I've spoken with our building instructions team who will work on updating the file asap. Again, my apologies for the inconvenience. jamie
  25. jamieberard

    Jamie Berard Appreciation Week

    Wow! Thanks Izzy and everyone for the kind words. However, I think we could easily have every week of the year booked up once everyone knew how many other fantastic designers and colleagues there are who work here at LEGO. I'm just the fortunate one who's been in the media and at LEGO fan events lately :) Another thing we shouldn't forget is all the other people who contribute to the creation of a LEGO set. I'm quite lucky to have a wonderful team of colleagues in LEGO Direct who all want to try and deliver some 'kickass' products for you guys. (Yes, that term actually showed up in our official documentation.) They really give me and the other designers a lot of creative freedom to dream of what LEGO could be. However, if it weren't for all their efforts (building instructions, marketing, packaging, production, supply chain, Shop@Home, etc) none of our ideas would ever make it to market. Finally, a big thank you to you the LEGO fans. LEGO Direct started out about a decade ago as a small experiment to see if the company could better understand this mystery shadow market of Adult LEGO fans. Today, LEGO Direct is stronger than ever and getting recognized across the company and throughout media channels as providing the ultimate LEGO experience. Huge thanks for supporting the exclusives line for all these years. I know our models can test the limits of any bank account or even sane relationships with spouses and loved ones. But your support has ensured a bright future for endless creativity! Cheers and many thanks again, jamie :)