It's Monday morning, and that means a new 10K Club Interview! Today, we meet José María, a.k.a. hachiroku24, and his THE IRON GIANT project. Inspired, of course, by the animated classic, José is attempting for the second time to make this the next LEGO Ideas project selected! Show your support in the likes and comments!
- Who are you?
My name is José María, but everybody calls me Chema.
- Where are you from?
I’m from Seville, Spain.
- How old are you?
I’m 30 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
Right now, my job is on a YouTube channel where I share my LEGO creations, but I’ve studied Physics and a little bit of Fine Arts.
- What hobbies do you have?
I enjoy video games. Especially sandbox video games that allow me to do whatever I want (this is probably why I also enjoy building MOCs). Also movies, photography, drawing and comic books…
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
YouTube, Instagram and TikTok: @hachiroku24
- 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 made a really big amount of MOCs in the last few years because of my YouTube channel, but recently I made a couple of horror-themed MOCs that I really enjoyed. My favourite one is the subway monster. My dad helped me to tweak a few details of the final build.
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
I became a LEGO fan when I got my first set, 6446 Crane Truck. I was seven years old. I was amazed by the idea of a toy that allowed me to create my own toys. I have always been a LEGO fan, except for a couple of years when I was in high school (the infamous dark ages of a LEGO fan!).
- 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 means a lot, it isn’t a hobby anymore. I’m always building and trying to find new things to create and post them online. Thankfully, my family and friends enjoy LEGO building too, so I can share all of this with them.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
My favourite theme is Creator 3 in 1. I love how random this theme is, you can have a pirate ship, a castle, a space ship… Whatever.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
My favourite set is the Sopwith Camel 10226. It’s been over a decade since it was released and I’m still impressed by the working flying stick. I love other sets released recently, like the UCS AT-AT and the Tallneck (which was a big inspiration when designing this project).
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
At this moment, the 1x2 rounded plate with holes on the studs (35480). It’s a very fun element to use (to create curves, circles, and even textures in walls). I think I’ve used it in pretty much every moc since they were introduced.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Probably not a literal LEGO designer, but as someone who creates LEGO content online, I really like TD Bricks. I think it’s amazing what he has achieved with his YouTube channel. Also other fan designers like chubbybots, JK Brickworks, Jonas Kramm or ranghaal.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I use Brickset a lot because of their reviews and database. Also brothers brick, New Elementary, Tips and Bricks, the Brickshelf website, and I like to watch reviewers on youtube like Tiago Catarino, MandR or just2good.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
The Iron Giant is one of my favourite stories since I was a kid, especially the movie. I love the way it explains very human themes like life, death, weapons, etc using a character like the Iron Giant.
About the Iron Giant design, I’ve always been fascinated by it. I think it’s one of the best designs of a giant robot/mech in the science-fiction genre. Even if the movie wasn’t a big success back then, it has become a very iconic design after 25 years.
- 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?
It took a lot of time. I already submitted this project back in 2018 which couldn’t make it to the 10k, so the concept/structure of the Iron Giant was already done (which means that I didn’t spend too much time researching how a LEGO Iron Giant should look). But I made a lot of different modifications and additions to the first version of the project, and that took time.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The legs, definitely. The first version I submitted had knees, but it was very weak and the model was unstable. I tried different versions but I couldn’t improve the stability and the poseability wasn’t great either.
Later, in the last update and after adding the base/diorama to the model, I decided to completely remove the knees. I realised the project could be similar to the Horizon Tallneck set (which is a set I really like) and I think that worked very well. The model is very stable and the top half of the Iron Giant is completely poseable (arms, head, torso, holding the car, etc).
- 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?
To be honest, nothing. I think the way the project started, the updates I’ve been doing, the videos on YouTube/Instagram/etc, and the entire process of reaching 10k has been very enjoyable.
- 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?
As I said, the updates took me most of the time (the legs, the base, etc). But I used these updates as a way to create content about the project to promote it. So completing the model and promoting it were pretty much the same thing.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It was amazing. I never expected it would reach the 10K votes so quickly.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
Including the base and the accessories, 1345 bricks.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
My favourite part is the shoulders of the Iron Giant. The first version I submitted was a complicated and not a very sturdy build, but it ended up being something very simple and close enough to the original Iron Giant.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I built it physically, but I also made a digital version using Studio 2.0.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
I think the best advice is to have in mind your objective as a fan designer: to create a concept/sketch which is aesthetically good enough to make people support it, and to find the best ways to promote it.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
Mostly my YouTube channel. Also, Instagram and TikTok. When it reached 9000 supporters, I made a short video for TikTok and Instagram for the final push. That video has over 1,5 million views so it really helped.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
Of the already-released projects, my favourite is the Barracuda Bay, because I love pirates and pirate ships. I like both the Shrek projects that reached 10K supporters very recently, and the Godzilla project (I’m a big fan of the Toho movies).
- 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 the chance of being the fan designer of a real set. LEGO Ideas is the only way to make it possible (that, or working as a LEGO designer), but I also enjoy the challenge of reaching 10k supporters.
I think it’s very important to be sure that your model visually is engaging enough to make people support it. I think the main picture of your project can decide if it reaches 10k supporters or not.
- 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?
One never knows, but at this moment I’m not planning to submit a new project for a while.
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- 10k club
- the iron giant
- jose maria