Passion for the sea and jellyfish helped to create his first 10k project! Rafael Ponce (Brick Dangerous) presents his MARINE LIFE project with a floating jellyfish, clownfish, and seahorse, to represent the life that exists in coral reefs. The hidden system provides mobility in the inclination of the entire animal and then specific solutions for each model.
- Who are you?
Rafael Ponce de León Martos
- Where are you from?
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
I work in a decoration store.
- What hobbies do you have?
I love spending my free time playing with my children, reading comics, and building LEGO!
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
I have a profile on Instagram where I upload all the designs I make. @brick.dangerous and recently I have also created a YouTube channel to share my projects. The channel is called Brick Dangerous.
- 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 have created several, one of the projects I am most proud of is The Ice Cream Shop since it was my first MOC and I use a technique that simulates melting ice cream, something I have never seen before. That project is in LEGO ideas and this is the link: https://ideas.lego.com/projects/3faf06e8-bf5e-4855-9e92-2c056859a980
- How and when did your interest in LEGO come about?
From a very young age, I was maybe 4 or 5 years old and my parents gave me a bucket of basic pieces and that's where it all began. By the way, I still have the finger puppets from that set, do you remember them ?!
- What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play games, or 'just' watch cartoons.
LEGO has meant a lot in my life. When I was little I was given more basic sets with which to recreate my own home and this was the nerve center of all my gaming adventures. Later, I used to play LEGO video games when I was a teenager, and now that I am a father, I teach my children how to assemble LEGO and we have a small town! I am excited to see what my children can do when they are so young and I remember my childhood!
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
I think LEGO city is infinite and there are always very good sets that complement each other, if I had to choose a theme it would be that. But currently, the line of LEGO ideas seems surprising to me, very varied and from which a lot is learned in each construction.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Without hesitation the 6090 set. That medieval castle is great, it was the biggest set I had when I was a kid.
This is something emotional, I still remember that Christmas and the illusion that made me open that gift.
To this day I keep it perfectly and I build it with my children. I am very proud that they can play with this set!
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
The endless options that any set gives you, today can be a house, tomorrow a base on the moon, the limit is in your imagination, and that only happens with LEGO.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Yes, Justin Ramsden.
I saw a documentary where he told his story since he was a kid with LEGO and how he managed to work in the company. His nobility and enthusiasm made me quickly identify with him personally. But I also love their designs, the Sanctum Sanctorum set and the Monkey King Warrior Mech look great to me!
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I spend a lot of time watching Instagram and YouTube videos featuring creations by other LEGO fan designers.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
In my family, we love the sea and we live in a coastal city. My passion for jellyfish led me to create this model, later I decided to accompany the jellyfish with a clownfish and a seahorse, to represent the life that exists in coral reefs.
- How long was the process of making the project did, 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 total design was 2 weeks, at first, I built a jellyfish quite similar to the final design since in my mind the idea was quite clear. Later I did a lot of research on the colors of the jellyfish and also what kind of animals could accompany her in the other two glass bells since it seemed like a good idea to have two more models accompany her. I did a lot of research on coral reefs and thus was inspired to create the clownfish, the seahorse, and also the marine flora of each base.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I wanted to make the animals pretend to be floating and moving. For this, I created a hidden system to fasten the hood (behind each animal) with which I had to do many tests until I found the final result. It was very difficult to come up with that idea. Now everything seems to be floating without restraint!
I also wanted to simulate movement and for each builder to be able to give their animal the desired shape. There, give the hidden system possible mobility in the inclination of the entire animal and then specific solutions for each model. The jellyfish moves its tentacles, the seahorse moves its tail and head, finally, the clownfish can turn on itself to simulate that it is swimming.
All of this makes the whole look much more organic and less rigid.
- 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 wouldn't tell myself anything, not even a hint. I enjoyed all the complications that arose during the design and I think that challenge is reflected in this result. I have a great time facing these kinds of challenges!
- 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?
It took two weeks to do it, maybe it was a week and a half and a half week of design with renderings and photography tests.
I promoted this project a little, shared it on Facebook and little else. But soon I got some news from blogs interested in meeting me. I even did interviews on YouTube (beyond the brick) !!
The voting process was quite fast. The project reached 10k in a month and a half. I could not believe it.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It takes a month and a half to reach 10,000 supporters. Everything was very fast and I could not believe it.
For me there are two key dates with this project, one is when the design reached 10,000 votes, which I celebrated with the whole family. And another very special moment and, perhaps when I realized that it really had possibilities, was when the design received the Staff Pick. It was my first Staff Pick and I couldn't believe LEGO liked my project!
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
I am very proud of the animals represented, for me, it was a challenge since it was the first organic creation I made. But I think the hidden system that makes them appear to float is the great novel idea of this project.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
BrickLink Studio 2.0
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
Just create the poster where the name of the represented species is put. I did them with photoshop.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Yes, it is advice that I give myself every time I build something.
Set a challenge and enjoy building until you achieve it. If you don't have fun in the process, it won't be a great design.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
The first day I advertised the design on Facebook groups.
Then I had an interview on the YouTube channel Beyond the Brick and once I reached 10k, I have also continued to have interviews, for example on the YouTube channel 24 Collection from Mexico.
- 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 treehouse set.
I really wish the Futurama ship could go on the market.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
I was attracted to the idea that a company as large as LEGO, is able to listen and appreciate what external people create with their products, to the point that they can commercialize these designs! It's great!
To those who hesitate to upload their ideas, I tell them to dare to do so. In the community, they are very respectful of the work of others. I have learned a lot here and have also made friends!
- 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?
Yes, in fact, I have already uploaded an idea of a square in Mexico and some decorative arrows that can be hung on the wall or placed on a flat surface.
My clue is that I love decorative objects, I think the Marine Life set is also very decorative!
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea