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10K Club Interview: RobinHoodBricks, creator of the Fast Food Corner

Let's meet RobinHoodBricks, the creator of Fast Food Corner and our 10K Club member in focus today. It all started with a pair of Juniors panel pieces from LEGO set 4655 Quick Fix Station that sparked the idea for this delectable building.

Please do help us congratulate RobinHoodBricks in the comments down below!

About Yourself

  1. Where are you from?
    Nottingham, UK although my LEGO city, which features on my YouTube channel, is called Brick Nottingham.
  2. How old are you?
  3. What do you do for a living? 
    I work in finance.
  4. What hobbies do you have?
    Running my LEGO YouTube channel, RobinHoodBricks, is pretty much a full-time hobby at the moment. I’m designing, building or buying bricks in every spare moment.
  5. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Check out my YouTube channel as I make sure to include every aspect of what I do there. It’s important to me that I show all aspects of the hobby to my viewers so they can get inspired or even live vicariously if they don’t have the time or space to build a LEGO city themselves.

    My city, Brick Nottingham, is a multi-layered city inspired by the old LEGO catalogue pictures, and it’s still under halfway to completion!

  6. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
    Recent MOC builds that I’m most happy with have been my:
    - Powered Concrete Mixer Cargo Train Car (which spins whilst the train is in motion. It’s hypnotic!),
    - A Crab Fishing Boat inspired by the program Deadliest Catch, and
    - My subway station and train that runs underneath my whole city.
  7. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    I always loved LEGO as a child and went through a typical evolution of Fabuland to Town to Space sets but the bug never really left me. Although I then didn’t buy a set for two decades I still would check out new sets whenever I passed a toy shop.

    Then, after a particularly gruelling period of work was over, I decided to treat myself to the white Fast Passenger Train 60051 and that triggered my full-blown submersion back into the LEGO world.
  8. What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games.. or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    For me, it’s all about the physical bricks and putting them together in a way that causes me to be happy. Although I really appreciate the benefits of modern computer-aided design, there is nothing quite like making a physical build with a funny scene that then raises a smile every time you look at it. That’s partially why I had to build Fast Food Corner in real bricks rather than just making a digital LEGO Ideas submission.

    This journey has now morphed into documenting all the development of my city, Brick Nottingham, and fantastic interactions with thousands of wonderful subscribers, on my YouTube channel, RobinHoodBricks.
  9. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    Although I love a wide range of themes, I think my favourite has always been City. I’ve always loved the wide catalogue pictures that LEGO produced showing the entire range all integrated together. That’s something I always wanted to replicate myself and, now, that’s exactly what I’m doing in Brick Nottingham.

    As for building style, I do try to build in the City style. It looks the most fun. I prefer it to real-life accuracy and I don’t mind open-backed buildings, visible play features and so on. They make it more fun to engage and interact with.
  10. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    That’s almost an impossible question but I will have to say the white Fast Passenger Train 60051 as without that set I may never have embarked on my current LEGO journey which has ended up here, with Fast Food Corner quickly reaching 10,000 supporters.
  11. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    I guess my favourite single LEGO element would be the humble “1x1 brick with stud on one side”, 87087. Surely this piece has opened up more possibilities than any other. It allows tile or bar pieces to be added conveniently to a wall, it allows us to change the whole directions of builds, and it’s also a humble headlight.
  12. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    I look up to hundreds of fellow LEGO designers across the world. What the community has achieved in LEGO bricks constantly amazes me. Sometimes it is quite humbling when you see something you could never have created in a thousand years. For me, the peak of that is designers of technic creations with fancy gearboxes, and so on, that I don’t even understand outside of LEGO!
  13. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    I spend ages trawling through BrickLink looking for cool pieces that may inspire a whole build and BrickSet is a good resource. Otherwise, I see pictures and videos in all the familiar places.

About Your Project

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    The idea for Fast Food Corner all started with a pair of Juniors panel pieces from set 4655. They were very large and hard to use effectively but I saw that as a challenge, as they looked very much like the windows of a small fast food outlet that you’d find in any city of the world. I started building that ground floor element and it grew into a full modular from there.

  2. How long was the process of making the project did, and what did you have to research as well. What kind of prep, research and design phases did you go through to produce your creation?
    The process was very long and utilized many a late hour across several weeks. I couldn’t even estimate how long in total but it took a lot of effort and numerous versions to streamline every section until I was happy.

    What I included in the model was largely driven by the pieces I had to hand with no use in my city. I had a lot of ornaments and treasures, that formed the basis of my Pawnbroker shop, and lots of leisure equipment like canoes that I had no way of using until I had the Outdoor Adventure shop.
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The biggest challenge for me was getting as much as I did onto one 32x32 baseplate. Density was the aim here so I set the target, early on, to create a minimum of four businesses with separate doors and without shared stairways.

    Also, creating easily removable modular layers that were strong whilst still looking good was also a challenge.
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him/her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
    At the time I wasn’t designing this to share, as a LEGO Ideas submission, or even to build it in real life. It was purely for my own enjoyment. If you’d have told me I’d be building it in real life, on my own YouTube channel and then submitting it successfully to LEGO Ideas I wouldn’t have believed it so I guess I’d say to my past self, “Keep going, this is going to be awesome!”
  5. How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time? And how did the build time compare to the time you spent promoting your Product Idea to reach 10,000 supporters?
    The design process was quite long as I was fitting it in where I could. The creative process can’t be rushed so I’m glad it worked out that way. Next came the sourcing of all the bricks and it turns out I’d picked some quite uncommon colours so I had to go far and wide to get the ones not on Bricks & Pieces.

    The build itself was spread over seven weeks, but that was just so I could film it well and share the process with all my subscribers. The biggest issue was that I had all the parts in bags and I had to resist the urge to put it all together in advance.

    I still can’t believe I saw it built, for the first time, at the same moment as they all did!
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    It was such an amazing feeling. Originally I had massive doubt over my creation. I wasn’t even going to share it on YouTube, let alone submit it to LEGO Ideas. I guess we all figure our own creations aren’t as good as other people’s.

    After a lot of encouragement by everyone that saw it, I finally plucked up the courage to submit it so, when it hit the 10,000 supporter level in 47 days I was ecstatic.

    I couldn’t believe it was so popular, and the comments were just lovely to read through. So many people want my build in their modular row!
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    It uses 2,700 bricks approximately, including minifigures, a lot of stock items in the stores, and a lot of 1x1 pieces.

    That’s just less than the Town Hall modular, way fewer than Assembly Square, but more than many other modulars because of the level of interior detail I added.

    I guess that could be rationalised but I’ll leave that to LEGO to decide.
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    My favourite part of Fast Food Corner is how it looks like it’s grown, over many years, into its current setup. My aim was for the model to have buildings that looked believable and had a back story.

    The oldest element of the build is the Pawnbroker shop and the more recent main building wraps around it using all the space available. Since then the newer side has been carved up from its original purpose into several commercial units.

    So now we have four businesses with their own 3D signage, in two shared buildings, but in one cohesive corner plot with lots to see and do.
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used LEGO Digital Designer which I still use for the majority of my designs as I find it really user friendly and quick.

  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    All of the stickers and prints used in Fast Food Corner are official LEGO ones from a wide array of sets over the years. Picking up interesting stickered pieces and fixing them using my “Patented Hot Tea Technique” (see my channel) is a fun part of the hobby for me!


About LEGO Ideas

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Have belief in yourself as what you think is awesome will be mirrored in others who will also think it is great. It also helps to design digitally as you can do countless versions and experiment with all the pieces you don’t own as well as the ones you do.
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    Well as this was never originally intended as a LEGO Ideas submission the build and design videos had already featured on my YouTube channel over eight weeks. As a result, I was very lucky to have the benefit of quite a groundswell of support firstly to push me to submit it and then to propel Fast Food Corner over the line to where it is now. I didn’t have to do any further promotion.
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    I simply love the Old Fishing Store 21310, and the recent Barracuda Bay is also a great set. I would very much like to see more smaller Ideas sets get released, perhaps as “Gifts With Purchase” like the fantastic Space Rocket Ride 40335.
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    The wide array of brilliantly executed ideas makes the LEGO Ideas website very dangerous. Hours can go by while you are glued to your screen. I think it’s a fantastic showcase for the hobby, so long may it continue. Add to that the tantalizing fact that your idea could be made into a real life set and there’s some real positive energy as a result. So, if you’re considering submitting something, just do it.
  5. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint what that might be?
    Yes, I’m sure I will now I’ve caught the bug. I have a few ideas but they’re all way too underdeveloped to share now.
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