10K Club Interview: Meet Marcel and Jonas of the M&M's Chocolate Candy Dispenser

For today's edition of the 10K Club, we have another international collaboration: Jonas Guldberg Andersen and Marcel Bonnici (a.k.a. EDxAS) of the M&M's Chocolate Candy Dispenser idea. They started collaborating online in LEGO Digital Designer, but ended up traveling across the ocean to finish the project together. Now THAT'S dedication and teamwork!

Please help us congratulate Jonas and Marcel, in the comments below, on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club and for sharing their story with us!



About Yourself 

  1. Where are you from? 
    Marcel: Rhode Island, USA 
    Jonas: Denmark
     
  2. How old are you?
    We are both 19 years old.
     
  3. What do you study or do for a living?
    Marcel: I am a Robotics/Mechatronics Engineering Student (go CCSU!)
    Jonas: I just finished danish Gymnasium (equivalent to American high school) and I’m currently enjoying a sabbatical year.
     
  4. What hobbies do you have?
    Marcel: As a YouTuber, creating videos is a big hobby for sure. Secondary interests include playing the piano and reading finance books.
    Jonas: I enjoy creating videos on my Youtube channel ElectryDragonite as my primary hobby. I also play table tennis.
     
  5. Do you have a personal portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Marcel is on YouTube as astonishingstudios
    Jonas is also on YouTube as electrydragonite
     

  6. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    Marcel: One of my uncles was—and still is—obsessed with LEGO, so the interest is in my DNA. I’ve been buying sets for as long as I can remember, but only learned how to build from instructions when I was 7.
    Jonas: Been playing and building with LEGO Duplo since I was maybe 3 years old, so it has really been a big part of my childhood. I’ve been posting LEGO videos to Youtube on and off since I was 11 years old.
     
  7. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    Marcel: Indiana Jones and the Lost Tomb (7621) will forever be my #1, as it sparked my obsession with LEGO’s playability features.
    Jonas: Lego Technic Bulldozer 8275 that I got for christmas when I was 10 - I just had a great time overall building it.
     
  8. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Marcel: Panel 6 x 6 x 9 Corner Convex (6002) deserves high praise, and much respect to LEGO for including 4 with the Ship In A Bottle!
    Jonas: Going with the simple 2 x 4 basic brick - since it always serves a good function in my builds.
     
  9. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    Marcel: Jonas’ early LEGO videos inspired me to join YouTube and create my own machines. It’s awesome to know we are close friends now.
    Jonas: I was also inspired by several LEGO Youtube videos, specifically the early communities surrounding money operated mechanical LEGO candy machines, which Marcel has also been an important part of.
     
  10. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    Marcel: Besides keeping tabs on my favorite LEGO YouTube channels, I don’t visit LEGO fan-sites often.
    Jonas: I also follow and find inspiration from many people on Youtube who also build LEGO machines. I rarely visit LEGO fan-sites. 

About Your Product Idea

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    Marcel: When a friend and I visited M&M’s World in New York, where we were astonished by the towering dispensers decorating the wall. Given the international presence of M&M’s, I knew a LEGO recreation of the color wall held a great chance of succeeding on LEGO Ideas’ site.
    Jonas: Marcel proposed the initial idea to me, and I thought it was a great. I saw it fitting that LEGO Ideas finally received an idea from the LEGO Machine community.
     
  2. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    Marcel: Finding pieces that were available in five of the M&M’s colors—red, orange, yellow, green and blue—took a while, as well as finding plates to cover the curved towers.
    Jonas: Debating whether or not we should keep the custom decals - in our videos you can see I peeled off the side decals on the red dispenser, while Marcel kept his intact on the yellow dispenser.
     


     
  3. How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time?
    Marcel: I was tinkering with it half-heartedly for weeks, but once we sat down and committed to the model, it came together in a few days.
    Jonas: I actually flew all the way from Denmark to the USA so that we could finish the project together. When we had finished adjusting the model in LEGO Digital Designer, we both acquired the necessary bricks from the part list and built it for the first time on camera - which is the timelapse you see in our initial videos.
     
  4. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    Marcel: The project required over two years of steady grinding, bridging our teenage years to adulthood, to reach 10,000 supporters. It felt relieving to join the 10K club!
    Jonas: I’m grateful that Marcel kept marketing the project even years after we started, as I must admit I had almost given up. Hitting 10K was a really good feeling, something I thought would never happen.
     
  5. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    Marcel: Let me pull up the LEGO Digital Designer File…
    Jonas: ...it has 309 pieces. 
     

     

About LEGO Ideas 

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas Project?
    Marcel: I reached out to Jason from JK Brickworks for tips in 2016, and his advice to actively promote the project stuck with me. I particularly encourage others to promote their project on social media and get active in the LEGO Ideas community, like frequently replying to comments on your project.
    Jonas: I think collaborating with other creators really maximizes your potential to reach more people. As a bonus, you also get to meet new people and acquire new friendships.
     
  2. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
    Marcel: The stunning “LEGO Foosball” from ElijahMize. I have yet to find a foosball recreation that is as small as stunning as his.
    Jonas: I think the “Stitch” product idea from Tyler Clites (legohaulic) is a really simple and cute looking model that brings back memories.
     
  3. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    Marcel: The platform makes the attractive dream of becoming a LEGO set designer accessible to anyone with bricks and a vision. To everyone thinking about uploading an idea: have a game plan, no matter how general, to promote the project once you release it.
    Jonas: Agreed. Over and out. 
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