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10K Club Interview: MULTI TOOL by Tall Guy Bricks

Happy Monday! Today we meet the newest member of the 10K Club. Meet Jacob Egan, a.k.a. Tall Guy Bricks and his innovative MULTI TOOL project. I'm sure every builder out there would love one of these at home! Let Jacob know how much you love his ideas in the comments!



  1. Who are you?
    My name is Jacob Egan.

  2. Where are you from?
    I live near Los Angeles, California. 
  3. How old are you?
    I am 37 years old. 
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I study ways to continually feed my LEGO addiction without running out of display space… oh and I am an engineer. 
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    In addition to the LEGO hobby, I enjoy reading, 3D printing, and building small gadgets. I also love travelling with my family and keep hinting at taking a trip to Billund for the LEGO Inside Tour someday. 
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    I post my builds to r/lego on Reddit (u/TallGuyOnReddit) although I recently started posting some of them to Flickr (TallGuyOnReddit) as well.

  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 am still very fond of my first MOC which was “Scooby & Shaggy’s X-Wing” since it was particularly challenging to stay in a Medium Azure, Lime, and Orange colour pallet. Although since then, I have created other Scooby Doo cross-over vehicles (Y-wing, Batmobile, etc.) but the X-wing still holds a special place in my heart. 
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    I was fortunate enough to have LEGO sets as a child and I have lots of fond memories from that time. My interest waned as I grew older but was rekindled when my parents brought my childhood LEGO over so my son could enjoy them. I spent the next couple of nights rebuilding my old sets, and both my son and I have been hooked ever since.
  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.
    I find building LEGO sets is wonderful at relieving stress. Whether it is assembling an official set, or designing something from scratch, the hobby provides so many avenues for creativity that I am never bored with it.
  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?
    My favourite theme is actually one that I completely missed out on. It is the Scooby Doo series which, unfortunately, was released during my non-LEGO building years. I really enjoy the look of those designs and still hope to acquire that entire series at some point. 
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    Forbidden Island (Set 6270). Many of the sets I had as a child were from the classic Pirates theme and I thought the trap door in that set was the coolest thing ever when I was growing up.
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    The hinge plate (Design ID: 1927) in Medium Azure. I have a love/hate relationship with this piece. I needed eight of them for a MOC but they were only made in one, out-of-production set so tracking them down without spending a fortune became something of a quest that I still remember to this day.

  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    In terms of official designers, Niels Milan Pedersen for his design work on the classic Pirate sets and many other contributions to LEGO in general. In terms of fan designers, Jason Allemann @GreatestMechanicalJellyfish is a favourite. I built his orrery design when I first got back into LEGO and it is sitting on my desk at work. Every engineer who sees it can’t help but turn the crank and comment on it.
  14. Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by? 
    There are several enjoy I visiting. The Brothers Brick for interesting MOCs, Brick Nerd for LEGO facts, Jay’s Brick Blog for set reviews, Tips & Bricks for building techniques, and r/lego on Reddit for community interaction. 


  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I own several multi-tools and always find them useful. Also, when I build with my son, he often requests a brick separator (or “orange tool” as he calls it) and I’m usually scrambling to find one. That got me thinking that this classic piece is useful in so many builds but has never been prominently featured in one.

  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?
    Given its low piece count, the process wasn’t that long. Most of my research was focused on finding a combination of bars, clips, and axles that ensures the design has solid construction and can be opened and closed reliably. 
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The biggest challenge was finding a way to mount the brick separator, which is a very odd shape, in such a way that would allow the design to articulate while also remaining relatively compact. Originally, I used an out-of-production piece to achieve this, but just before reaching 10,000 supporters, I found an alternative approach using currently available pieces.
  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?
    Think about how you plan to promote the design prior to submitting it. There are many great submissions that seemingly stall out because they get lost amongst all the other designs. Early momentum via supporters and comments can help your idea appear on the “Most Popular” search results and may help with the “Staff Pick” selection (although that is just speculation on my part). 
  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 idea for this set was something I was thinking about for quite a while but the actual design and build process was fairly short once I actually tackled it. It was definitely shorter than the “Gathering Support” phase. 
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take? 
    I feel very fortunate that the community responded the way it did and helped the project reach 10,000 supports in 70 days. My family and I were on a road trip the day it happened. After driving for several hours, we arrived at the hotel and I checked the webpage for the first time that day and it was at 9,997. I refreshed the website and it had reached 10,000 so I feel lucky to have caught it at that exact moment. 

  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model? 
    No approximations are needed, the model has exactly 41 pieces. In addition to being one of the smallest builds submitted to the Ideas platform, it is the smallest design to ever reach 10,000 supports. While I thoroughly enjoy the larger sets, I think this shows the community is looking for Ideas sets that span a variety of piece counts and price points.
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    My favourite piece is the brick separator. It is already a multi-tool of sorts by itself so it seemed fitting that it would be included in the design of a multi-tool set. I am also secretly hoping that if the design gets selected maybe we’ll get a brick separator in a new color to give the set a unique flair.
  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I use Bricklink Studio for all my digital builds prior to ordering physical bricks.
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    The LEGO logo I incorporated into the build is from a real LEGO sticker. That said, I did have to cut it to just get the logo and not some of the background… maybe I should have included a handcuff key in the Multi-Tool since I might be going to LEGO jail for doing that. 


  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Based on my experience I’d say, don’t be afraid to submit something a little out of the ordinary. The Multi-Tool is one of the smallest piece count sets ever submitted to the Ideas website and it made it to 10,000 supporters. It goes to show that while large sets are wonderful, people appreciate simple, well-executed designs too.
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    I started by posting the design to Reddit and based on the positive feedback, I submitted it to Ideas. I created a Flickr account to advertise it there as well. Other than that, I was fortunate to be selected as a Staff Pick which I think helped visibility. It was also featured by a few non-LEGO websites after that although I’m not sure if that resulted in any new supporters.
  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 enjoyed building the Tree House (21318). The individual rooms have unique details and the tree itself incorporated interesting SNOT techniques. There are several builds I’m surprised don’t have more supporters and I’d feel bad just naming one without mentioning the others.
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    What attracts me is the notion that with the right concept, anyone can become the designer of an official LEGO set. I absolutely encourage everyone with an interesting idea to submit it but my advice would be to have realistic expectations of the outcome. There have been over 40,000 submissions to the Ideas program. Of those, a little over 550 (or 1.4%) have achieved 10,000 supporters. If you don’t make it to 10K on the first go-around, don’t be discouraged. Continue to make updates, tweak the design, and no matter what, never stop being creative.
  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 have no immediate plans to submit another design. That said, I hadn’t planned to submit the Multi-Tool until I received a lot of encouragement from the online community so who knows, maybe my next MOC will end up here too.



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