10K Club Interview: Meet Leandro Tayag of Voltron: Defender Of The Universe
Following a short break, we are thrilled to be back with the next round of 10K Club Interviews that tell the absolutely fascinating stories of the LEGO Ideas members whose projects are currently in the Second 2016 LEGO Ideas Review.
To kickstart the next round of 10K Club Interviews we've heard from Leandro Tayag, a.k.a. len_d69, the talented Philippine-born fan designer responsible for the impressive Voltron - Defender Of The Universe project that racked up 10,000 supporters in just 3 short weeks! Leandro created numerous updates to his already cool MOC, and shares his insights into his LEGO Ideas journey and other passions in this 10K Club Interview.
Help us congratulate Leandro on becoming a part of the LEGO Ideas 10K Club!
- Where are you from?
I’m from the Philippines but live in Malaysia.
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
I’m a software architect.
- What hobbies do you have?
Toy collecting :-)
- Super Robots (Voltron, Voltes V)
- Marvel, DC figures
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
I used to play with LEGO bricks when I was a child but was re-introduced to it by my brother in 2014.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Temple of Airjitzu - it’s very creative and looks very impressive on the shelf.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
I guess I would say tiles since I can cover up most of the studs and have a clean smooth look .
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
LEGO MOC Worldwide, Philippine LEGO Users Group, LOM (LUG Of Malaysia) & Brick Sanctuary.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I’ve always been a big fan of Super Robots from the 70s/80s. My parents bought a Voltron toy for me when I was a child and I have been hooked on it ever since.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The challenging part was getting the details right. I can’t remember how many times I redesigned the lion heads trying to make them look as close as possible to how they were in the anime/cartoon. The lion legs were also a pain since I had to make sure they are able to fold nicely when combined as Voltron as well as look good enough in their lion forms.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
I actually started the initial design 2 years ago but couldn’t get the head design right so I put it aside. I started with it again in March this year. If I remember correctly, I worked on it for roughly 2 hours every night after work over the course of around 3 weeks.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes?
I was very happy about it as I wasn’t really expecting it to reach 10,000. It was actually nerve-racking at times, in a good way, especially when it was featured in the Voltron Podcast where they interviewed WEP President Bob Koplar (License owner of Voltron). It was great to know that he knew about my LEGO Ideas submission and that he found it cool. I was also interviewed by the same podcast in the following episode.
It took around 22 days to reach 10,000 (From April 11, 2016 to May 3, 2016). Initially, I was just hoping for it to reach 1,000 and get an additional 6 months so I can work on improving the design. I was planning on updating the joints, in particular how the lions connect to each other as well as improving the lions’ legs. I was also thinking of a way to fit a minifigure (or the smaller ones like those included in the Avengers Helicarrier set) in each lion. The support/votes were coming in so fast I had to rush some of the updates and didn’t have time to improve the rest including the connection points (of course no complaints here).
On a side note, I was on the way to LEGOLAND Malaysia the moment it reached 10,000 supporters. I wanted to post a thank you update for the supporters but didn’t make it on time as I was driving.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
It’s roughly around 2,100+ bricks.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
- Work on something you really like and that you are passionate about
- Find a subject with a good fan base
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
Rolling BB-8, WALL•E, Ghosbusters, Back to the Future, Macross VF-1 Valkyrie +Fast pack / Armored parts.
- You have other projects on LEGO Ideas, 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 a great platform and provides us fans with a great opportunity to share MOCs with the rest of the LEGO community.
There is no right or wrong in terms of the projects you can submit. But it helps if the subject of the project has a large fan base