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10K Club Interview: MINIFIGURE GUMBALL MACHINE by Goosestore

Welcome to another addition to the 10K Club! Today we meet Rob, a.k.a. Goosestore, and his MINIFIGURE GUMBALL MACHINE project. Inspired by the classic gumball machine, Rob has created this innovative idea by exchanging candy with bricks! Show your support, and find out more below.


 

ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Who are you?
    My name is Rob Vangansewinkel. 

     
  2. Where are you from?
    I live in Oudsbergen, Belgium.  
     
  3. How old are you?
    I’m 43 years young. 
     
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I’m a secondary school teacher. I primarily teach English (so let’s hope I don’t make any spelling mistakes here or my students will never let me hear the end of it!)  

    I’ve also written three children’s books about a boy called Wout who becomes a superhero. Unfortunately, the books have only been published in Dutch. 

  5. What hobbies do you have?
    Besides Lego, of course, my biggest hobby is basketball. I still (try to) play every week. 
     
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    At the moment I don’t, but my profile page on Lego Ideas actually shows most of the builds I’ve made. 
     
  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?
    I’m really proud of my beach house. It has had a nice run on Lego Ideas. Recently, I made a Lego store MOC for my city. 
     
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    As a child, I played with Lego a lot. My favorite theme was Classic space. 
    After visiting Legoland Billund with my son 7 years ago I rediscovered my old love for Lego. Since then my dark ages were over.  
     
  9. 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.
    To me, Lego is the perfect way to be creative. I like the challenge of turning my ideas into brick-built models and searching for ways to use the bricks in new and creative ways. 
    I also like to collect and build various Lego themes like the modular buildings. Unfortunately, I haven’t got the early ones. 

     
  10. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    I really like Lego Ideas because it covers so many different models; from past favorites like 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay to sets inspired by TV-shows and movies like 21336 The Office and 21330 Home Alone.
    And I really like the concept that anyone can become a Lego designer. 
     
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    My favourite set when I was young was the 5590 Whirl and Wheel Super Truck. I switched between the two models of the set so many times.
    Recently I absolutely enjoyed building 10300 Delorean Time Machine from Back to the Future and 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1. Both of them are sets of my favourite movies when I was young.
     
  12. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    I regularly visit the Dutch website: bouwsteentjes.info for the latest Lego news.  


     

ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    When I was young, I had a real gumball machine at my parents’ house. I loved to give it a spin and eat the chewing gum. 
    I don’t know exactly where the idea came from to make a version in Lego, but at one point I just thought how cool it would be to have a working gumball machine that dispenses minifigures. 
     
  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?
    I first designed a digital version of the Minifigure Gumball Machine and posted it on Lego Ideas. It gained a lot of support early on, but I wasn’t sure if the mechanism to dispense the gumballs would really work. 
    I decided to build the machine with real bricks. As I suspected, it didn’t work properly. So back to the drawing board I went. Building the final version took approximately two months. It involved a lot of tinkering and tweaking to get it just right. 
    As research, I dismantled my real gumball machine to study the mechanism.  

     
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The most difficult part was the inner mechanism. I think I must have tried at least 20 different versions before it got it right. The gumballs got stuck so many times and it was frustrating to completely open up the gumball machine every time.  
     
  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?
    First, I would tell myself to build a version with real bricks immediately and not post the digital version first. 
    And secondly: “Get ready for a lot of promotion!” I was rather naïve when I posted my idea. I thought that everybody would love my project and that it would reach 10K immediately. But it took a lot of promotion to reach the goal. 
     
  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?
    Designing the digital version took 3-4 weeks. Building the Minifigure Gumball Machine with real bricks took 2-3 months. I’ve been promoting my idea for the entire 22 months it took it to reach 10K. 
     
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    It took almost 2 years to reach 10K. It was a long journey and the reward of reaching the goal was fantastic. For a long time, I didn’t reach the required daily votes. When the amount of votes started to increase and it became clear that I was going to reach the goal, I was so happy.  
     
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model? 
    I used approx. 950 bricks to create my model. 
     
  8. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used Studio 2.0 to create the digital version of my model. 





     

ABOUT LEGO IDEAS

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    I think it’s important to build something original. Try to find something that is new and hasn’t been done before. 
     
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    I used a lot of social media platforms to promote my idea: Facebook, Reddit, Flickr, Instagram, and TikTok. Facebook and Reddit offered the best results to gain votes. 
    I also got help from several Facebook pages like Brickmuseum and Beyond the Brick who were so kind to feature my idea. 
     
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    My favorite is 21310 Old Fisherman’s shop. It has such a cool style with lots of details.
    There are many great projects that reach 10K. It’s hard to pick one that has been overlooked. They all deserve to become a real set. I’m glad I don’t have to make the choice of which project is selected.   
     
  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’s such a great concept. Everyone who has an idea can build it and try to gain 10,000 supporters. And the possibility that your idea is selected and can become an actual set for everyone to enjoy, is fantastic. As a fan, it’s the closest you can get to your favourite brand!  
     
  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?
    I started creating a new project, but halfway the build I noticed that the IP wasn’t allowed anymore. It was Disney’s Coco.
    So at the moment I’m in the ‘thinking about my next idea’ phase.  

     
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • goosestore
  • minifigure gumball machine
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