Bricks World - Lego Certified Stores

Ask Me Anything with LEGO® Star Wars™ Creative Director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen

 

The LEGO Group held an 'Ask Me Anything' Q&A with LEGO® Star Wars™ Creative Director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen in Reddit's r/LEGO last month.

Get to know him more and find out interesting tidbits on what goes on in developing the iconic LEGO Star Wars sets!

 

"My name is Jens Kronvold Frederiksen. I am the Creative Director for LEGO Star Wars and the leader of the awesome LEGO Star Wars Design team. I started as model designer in 1998. The first project I was involved in was Rock Raiders. Launched in 1999, I designed two models for that theme - 4940 and 4990 - . Soon after I started on LEGO Star Wars, making the sketch model for the Y-Wing in set 7150. I have been working on LEGO Star Wars ever since! All these years later, I am still an avid builder and build all the products we create at least once! Beside model design, I have also sculpted many new elements, like animals, minifigure wigs, hats, and alien minifigures heads."
https://www.reddit.com/r/lego/

 

Q1:
Take us briefly through the design process... I have always wondered, do you guys do a top down design? For instance, do you formulate an idea and THEN figure out how to make it happen with the bricks/pieces available? Or is the LEGO engineering/brick building present at every point in the design stages? - u/
Willis2014

A1: 

We normally set the assortment first together with Lucasfilm. Then we create it in LEGO. We are always trying to make the models from existing LEGO elements, but sometimes we create new ones to get the design right.

 


Q2:
What is your all time favorite LEGO Star Wars set and why? - u/Drewboy810

A2:
I have many favorites, one is the UCS Millennium Falcon 10179, as it was the largest LEGO set at that time. Another favorite is the Death Star sets, because they have a lot of minifigures, and you can play out all the scenes happening on the Death Stars in the movies

 


Q3:

As an engineer, I am fascinated by the technical side of LEGO set design.  I know designers are constrained to using currently-produced parts and colors.  I would love to know more about the management of available parts and colors given that it’s actually a pretty limited set.

  1. Who decides the existing color palette for LEGO parts?  For example, what prompted the return of turquoise and the new coral color in the past year?

  2. What is the process for requesting an existing mold in a new color?

  3. When existing elements aren't enough, how does requesting a new mold for the set you're designing work?  I'm less interested in specialized parts like animals or minifigure accessories, more general elements like the recent element ID 36840 - u/Tusserte

A3:
The color palette is set across the company each year, and we are all working with the same palette. In the project we can decide to make pieces in new colors, and we often do.

When we are making new molded elements, in LEGO Star Wars most of these are used for minifigure parts e.g. wigs helmets. we are also making more regular LEGO elements, when we do that, we try to make them as universal as possible, so that they may be used for other things than what they were initially intended for.

 


Q4:
Did anything change much for you when Disney took over Star Wars? - u/Vandechoz

A4:
Actually, not much changed at all! The design process is the same, and we are working together with the same people from Lucasfilm.


Q5:
Which brick do you like the most? And which one is the most versatile in your opionion? - u/b3avis

A5:
The 2 x 4 LEGO brick is my favorite! it is the one that started it all, and with that brick only you can create almost anything. We are also using it as often as we can in LEGO Star Wars models!


Q6:
Was there a set you were fond of which never made it to shelves? I know lots love the Yavin IV set which was featured in one the books a while ago. - u/CX52J
A6:
We have a lot of ideas, and create a lot of sketch models. Therefore not all of them end up as products. We keep them in the office, for potential future use! That is also the case with the Yavin IV model that was shown in the book.

Q7:
Are you given a list of elements that you are encouraged to use because there are is a large number on hand? Or that they are easy for LEGO to produce? I'm thinking of the various colored parts that are hidden inside of builds, usually of contrasting colors to the rest of the build. - u/steve626
A7:
No we are not asked to use any specific colors for our models. The reason that we use a lot of colored elements hidden inside the models, is to give a better building experience. Imagine if you got a huge pile of only grey pieces! A model like that would be almost impossible to build! And finding the pieces would take forever!!

Q8:
Do you use 3D printers to prototype new models and pieces? - u/hoticeberg
A8:
We are using 3D printers, in the designing process. When we create new elements, we need them right away for building models, so it is much faster to 3d print, then wait until the mold for the element is ready.

Q9:
What’s your favorite theme other than Star Wars and why? Always wanted to know what a designer would think. - u/CadmusRhodium
A9:
I can only answer for myself here, and I like all LEGO, and very much LEGO Technic, I am amazed by the features and functions the LEGO Technic design team built into their models!

Q10:
What's your favorite Star Wars movie? - u/jd4syth
A10:
A New Hope.

Q11:

You said you’ve built every LSW set—Which set(s) did you find the most difficult/time-consuming to build?

Follow up: Which set was the most complex to design? - u/einch

A11:
Both questions have the same answer! The UCS Millennium Falcon is both the most time consuming built, it was also probably the most difficult one to design, because of the size and weight, and because the models stability is important, and it gets more difficult the bigger the model is.

Q12:
When the team is coming up with new designs/builds do you guys utilize some sort of secret digital designer that LEGO has created? Given that LDD is no longer officially supported by LEGO I've always wondered if they ditched it for something new and better. - u/WetWoolley
A12:
We do use a software made specifically for the LEGO designers. But I have to say that I have not used it, since I prefer to build with physical bricks.

Q13:
How did you guys in LEGO arrived to the decision that releasing a $800 set was a good idea? 75192 has been a huge success so it's interesting to see how it was done. - u/tavo2809
A13:

That decision happened almost automatically!

The first UCS Millennium Falcon 10179 was very popular, so we decided to make a new and updated version of that. We also wanted to add part of the interior, since it was requested by many. So when designing 75192 we very quickly saw that this would require a LOT more pieces, and with that, also a higher price. So we are of course happy that people appreciate the set, even the price is high.

 

Collect the LEGO® Star Wars™ 20th Anniversary Sets exclusively at LEGO® Certified Stores!


Share this post



← Older Post Newer Post →


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.