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10K Club Interview: SONY WALKMAN by Jerac

Happy Monday! Welcome back to another 10K Club Interview. Today we meet Jarosław Książczyk, a.k.a. Jerac, and his SONY WALKMAN project. Jerac has a rather unique story behind this creation which is enough to excite and enthral any LEGO fan.  Read here to find out more...



  1. Who are you?
    Jarosław Książczyk.

  2. Where are you from?
    Łódź, Poland
  3. How old are you?
    Late thirties.  
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am a software engineer/team leader specialising in unusual web-related projects. The weirder the better!
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    Aside from the obvious one - the LEGO hobby - I am also dabbling in game development, learning piano, playing board games and reading or playing through some horror stories. If only any of these involved *not* sitting on a chair! 
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Plenty! But for simplicity let's just use my Instagram.
  7. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud of it and do you have a photo of it?

    Quite a few! So sometimes you just want to go big. As a kid, I dreamed about building two-meter long Imperial Star Destroyer mace out of LEGO bricks, and eventually, I was able to do so! The ship has been touring exhibitions for good few years and I wouldn't be surprised if it had more mileage than my car! 

    The second one is the last work in a recent series of studies on human body proportions. This has always been my weak point - but Eero Okkonen's work inspired me to try and build a humanoid figure. The latest build is an archetypical fantasy angel - with huge wings and golden shining armour! 
    The third one might be a little silly and yet I still love it. It is just a mouse trap. A proper lightning-fast mouse trap for catching pokey fingers of people ignoring "please do not touch" signs at the exhibitions!  

  8. What is the LEGO hobby to you? What does it mean to you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    It evolved from being a toy, through being a hobby to a proper artistic medium. I am a member of several online AFOL groups, a few LUGs, and also a founding member of a proper court-registered LEGO association. Although COVID somewhat curbed our local meetings, I still love attending exhibitions - three so far this year - and all the interactions with the public.

  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?
    Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! The early 90s and earlier space series. My favourite MOCs I find on the web are still usually spaceships, bonus points for grey chassis, blue body and yellow cockpits! 
  10. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    Sorry, I won't be able to pick one! Saturn V, Tallneck, Van Gogh, Mega Core Magnetizer, the first motorized bulldozer, the light blue GT40 from Speed Champions line... there are quite a few to pick from!  
  11. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    The smaller the better! I think the Travis Brick - a 1x1 brick with 4 studs on all its sides - is still the clear favourite though. Useful through 30+ years of my building, it is a crucial SNOT element for any small build. 
  12. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    Eero Okkonen. His characters are an absolute masterpiece. He is the single person who made me start dabbling with human characters, showing me how broad the possibilities are.  
    I also love going through galleries on Instagram and Flickr, looking for particularly interesting MOCs and people. Recently Discord is a fantastic place to look for AFOLs and collaborate with them. I highly recommend joining a group or two if you did not do so yet! 
  13. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    Instagram is taking the place of Flickr recently. Various groups on Discord, and Bricklink for buying all the pieces I need. I'd say Instagram is currently the best place to follow the most famous fan designers.  



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    There is a bit of a story behind the Walkman! So, this was not even intended to be a LEGO Ideas project initially, and it contained some custom electronics! 
    In one of LUGs I am a member of - - there is an annual contest for Golden Stud awards. There are several categories in which people are submitting their works from the entire year, and the overall best category. In the overall best I was tied with Insomnia, and instead of doing just another voting round we had a bonus round of building. 
    The theme was: the eighties! 
    And what can be more eighties related than the little gadget which made people, kids especially, able to finally easily take their music with them outside? I'd say this was the first major component of the "smartphone life" we have today! 
    The model won the round, and ended up being popular enough that I finally agreed to all the people asking to put it on LEGO Ideas and - after some optimization - well, there it is!

  2. How long was the process of making the project, 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?
    Generally, it would be quick if I could find my childhood Walkman (which was also my dad's adulthood Walkman), but I could not. So, I had to find blueprints instead. This was not a very challenging build, but it still had its quirks... more on that later. I wanted the cassette to seamlessly fit the Walkman and reproduce as many details as possible without stickers. The very first version, for our contest on Zbudujmy.To had also custom electronics so the Walkman was actually playing music!  
    For LEGO Ideas I made it 99% purist, with only custom stickers adding crucial details on the buttons, and of course the logo. Because the logo is a white-on-red print, my office black-and-white printer was not up to the task. After trying some ideas, I ended up going to the store and buying a printer. Just to make that one sticker... 
    How often do you buy a printer to finish a LEGO MOC?
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The carrying strap. THE STRAP. You can't imagine how frustrating it was. Using a technic chain seemed to be a trivial and obvious solution, but once you try it, you realize that it curls and bends in an unnatural way. Plus, the chain does not really have any way of connecting it's end to something. It is always used in loops. So, what I made instead was that I treaded the 10 stud long rope with studs piece between the last and penultimate piece of the chain, and connected the rope-with-studs piece to the cassette player's body. This solved both the bending and connection issue! 
    The second challenge, perhaps even harder, was the thin strip connecting the headphones. You see, in the original cassette player this was just a thin piece of metal. This was, after all, meant to be cheap. There is no LEGO piece like that. A pair of flexible hoses seemed like it would look alright, but how to connect them? The usual way would be using the binoculars piece, but the tiny amount of grip they have is not suitable for a wearable item. Instead, I've used a City vehicle tyre to secure the flex hoses to a long 1x10 slope. I am not sure if this still counts as "purist" but it does work and I am quite proud of the solution! 
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell them? What do you know now that you wish you knew then? 
    "Go for it, it is not stupid." 

    I was so close to not even trying because the idea seemed so little and silly. Thankfully my LUG members and then 10k followers on LEGO Ideas have proven me wrong! 

  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? 
    Few rounds of a few hours each. This model was all about the ideas, not building time itself. It was all about figuring out how to make the cassette, how to make that sticker, how to make the strap, and how to make headphones. Once I had a workable idea, building it was trivial. 
    Regarding promoting - I'll be honest... I am much better at building than at marketing. Still, people loved the Walkman posts on my social media, and eventually, some of them got reposted by well-known AFOLs which really helped. 
    The ultimate promotion though was the Staff Pick. It is so immensely powerful I couldn't even believe how strongly it affects the results. So huge, huge thanks for it! 
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    About a year, give or take. The journey to 5K was swift and joyful, I somewhat lost hope between 5k to 7k and the final 3k was a matter of days. I went from "this is going to be a hit" to "eh, fail, will try something bigger next time" to "wow, staff pick and 10k!" 
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    Just about six hundred! This is a small model, even without all the accessories.
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    The 1x6 blue tile wedged between the slopes, which holds solely due to friction between elements - the uneven slopes' surface helps here, and the connection of the chain to the Walkman's body. This was not the first time I had this problem and here, finally, I have found a solution! 
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    Bricklink Studio. Even though quirky and somewhat buggy, it is still by far the best, most complete LEGO design software I have ever used.
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them? 
    I talked about this a bit before. Generally - you can buy printable adhesive paper, both in transparent and white variants. You have to pick the proper one, inkjet vs laser, and for LEGO models you ideally want it to be as thin as possible. Currently, I'd say inkjets offer better results compared to colour laser printers, but be sure to get one with refillable ink tanks... it is, not joking, easily 10x cheaper to use. 
    As for the design of the stickers - Photoshop for the rescue! Those were ultimately easy stickers, mostly basic shapes and texts. Matching the red colour was a bit trickier - I printed a gradient first and then found which colour matched LEGO original red the best.  



  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    I'd say mostly the same as for a successful LEGO MOC; the idea itself is by far the most important. A well-executed but generally poor idea may gather some attention but that's it.  
    You, of course, need to consider what could be a set and what could be not, whether similarly themed items were released before, and things like that, but ultimately - the idea itself is the most important thing. Now for the next Ideas project, I'd spend a few days on writing down ideas and talking about them with some friends to gauge initial interest and start building only when I know I have something good. 

  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    Social media, and the model itself on the exhibitions. People liked it quite a lot, though convincing them to go to the LEGO Ideas site, register and vote was not easy!
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    Van Gogh! I hope more art gets LEGO treatment.  
    As for overlooked, I am not sure if this is a proper word, honestly. You just can't manufacture everything, right? But let's say that I really hoped for the Stargate set, especially considering there are ways to animate the portal which would make it look really interesting!  
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    It is a great place to find MOCs of awesome quality, and of course, the fact some of them may end up on shelves is a big aspect as well! Not even for monetary reasons, but you know, the fame, the glamour! 
  5. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint of what that might be?
    Yes, but no hints, sorry!
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • sony walkman
  • jarosaw ksiczyk

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