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10K CLUB INTERVIEW: Brooklyn Nine-Nine 99th Precinct by Ben Fankhauser

We're back with a new round of interviews and celebrate the creators whose product ideas are currently in review!

Congratulations to huge Brooklyn Nine-Nine fan Ben Fankhauser aka @SweetRazcal018 and his first 10K Club creation Brooklyn Nine-Nine: 99th Precinct! This sitcom model set in the iconic Brooklyn Nine-Nine precinct includes many characteristic features such as the bullpen, Captain Holt's office (including Terry's portrait and Kwazy Kupcakes), and many more easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans! Learn more about Ben's journey and leave a comment to support his idea!



  1. Who are you? 
    Ben Fankhauser

  2. Where are you from?
    Melbourne, Australia
  3. How old are you?
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I’m studying Secondary Education at university and currently work in hospitality.
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I enjoy working on creative projects and exercising.
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    Mainly my Instagram which is in my LEGO Ideas bio; all of my stuff is uploaded to LEGO Ideas!
  7. How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
    I grew to love LEGO products very early on in my life. My parents had combined all of their own LEGO pieces from their childhoods and I would use these pieces to build and be creative. My passion grew when I started to get sets for birthdays and Christmas and it has never died down!
  8. What does the LEGO hobby mean to you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    I really enjoy the mindfulness aspect of sitting down in peace and building a LEGO set. It’s a way of relaxing and being in the moment. I also enjoy displaying the bigger sets that were either challenging or took a long time to build.
  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?
    Definitely LEGO Harry Potter. Harry Potter is one of my favourite franchises, so it’s always amazing to see how it’s reimagined into LEGO form. I got my first LEGO Harry Potter set back in 2007 with the 5378 Hogwarts Castle, and a lot of my childhood was spent recreating my favourite scenes with that set. I really enjoy how the sets have always been highly compatible in a way that some other themes aren’t. I would say – as this is the theme I build the most from – a lot of my techniques, building style and knowledge may have come from this theme. Who knows!?
  10. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    I can’t really choose just one! It’s a bit of a four-way tie between the 5378 Hogwarts Castle from 2007, Diagon Alley released in 2020, the UCS Millennium Falcon, and (a bit obscure) the 2008 Police Headquarters.
  11. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Either the new wand piece or the lightsaber hilt piece. Both of these pieces almost always come with a cool character.
  12. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    I love people who create MOCs on YouTube. I have been watching David/SolidBrixStudios for a decade now and love his Kashyyk MOC.



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine and it’s probably one of my favourite shows ever. The interest in the model came up around when the Friends Central Perk set came out. There’s something great about getting your favourite shows in LEGO form.

  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?
    The build itself took around a week to two weeks to get the large bulk of complete. Of course, I’ve been adding to it a lot since the original launch of the project. The main thing I tried to research well were the tiles on the floor of the precinct, as the pattern is quite obscure! The most time was spent trying to get the minifigures looking as close as possible to the characters, to this day I’m still trying to nail them down.

  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The biggest frustration came when I got a new computer and forgot to import most of my minifigures, which was a real bummer. The most difficult part to create would have to have been the desks in the bullpen or the pool table in the break room.
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him/her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
    I would tell myself to take my time and always update the project whenever I can!
  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?
    If you added together the time it took for me to build the model, it really didn’t take all that long, maybe a day combined. This is absolutely nothing compared to promotion. I’ve been promoting pretty much every single day for the past 8 and a half months straight.
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    Every new supporter felt just as amazing to me, so getting to 10,000 was no different to how great it has felt every other day. I actually felt a little sad that I would no longer be able to check in on how many supporters my project has gotten each day; it’s become a massive part of my daily routine! It took just under 9 months to get the set to 10,000 supporters. I think it would have taken far less time had I embraced certain promotion methods a bit earlier on.
  7. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    It’s changed a lot. I’ve been revising the set a fair bit, so the piece count could be anything between 2,000-3,000 over the course of the project. I guess we’ll just have to see how many pieces it has when it becomes a set!
  8. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I love the water coolers, they were a fun little creation of mine, as well as the microwaves!

  9. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    I used by Bricklink to create the bulk of the project. I used Gimp, Paintbrush and a number of other programs to design custom prints for the minifigures. I also used PartDesigner which is another Bricklink program to add prints to minifigures.
  10. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
    I utilised PartDesigner to add stickers/custom prints to the minifigures as mentioned above, but I also used it to create pseudo stickers for my set.



  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Be passionate about the project that you’re creating. There’s a lot of projects on the platform and it would be hard to get your project off the ground if you don’t have a passion for it. Presentation is also very important; I find myself being drawn to some projects over others purely because of the way it is presented. The most useful advice though, is to advertise.
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    I mainly used Facebook and Instagram. For Facebook, I advertised in relevant Brooklyn Nine-Nine and LEGO groups. For Instagram, I posted on my own account and was very fortunate to be shared by heaps of people! I also used Twitter and Instagram to reach out to the cast of the show, heaps of them responded and shared the project which gained heaps of supporters each time. Getting your project to 10,000 is 1% building and 99% promoting!
  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 love the Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Avatar Returns project by @ky-e which is coincidentally in the same review stage as mine. Avatar is one of my favourite shows. I think that it’s a real shame that previous Avatar sets have been overlooked in the past. I think it has huge potential to become a theme again. I also loved Spongebob Squarepants - The Krusty Krab by @ExeSandbox which was rejected a few reviews ago. All this being said, I know it’s not always straightforward with 3rd Party IPs!
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    The community aspect of the platform is just amazing. Everyone is very supportive and cooperative. There’s also a healthy competitiveness I think which spices things up a bit. For anyone thinking about uploading an idea, I’d make sure that you’re uploading something that you’re really passionate about. It’s one thing uploading the project to the platform, but if you aren’t passionate about it, you’ll have a hard time promoting it. I would also recommend that you create your own Instagram page and upload new photos regularly, reach out to other creators and like-minded people to share your project, and keep showing people why they should vote for your project!
  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?
    Not at the moment. I think I’ll be taking a well-deserved rest now that this project is at 10,000 supporters. If the set gets approved, I would love to brainstorm some new ideas to upload! Otherwise, if it’s not approved maybe I’ll have to give it another crack on the site and see if I can get it to 10,000 again!
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • product idea
  • ben fankhauser
  • brooklyn nine-nine

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