10K Club Interview: The Shatterproof Tesla Cybertruck by BrickinNick!
BrickinNick on LEGO Ideas, has created the all electric Cybertruck from Tesla which rose to fame with it's reveal and interesting styling. Be sure to congratulate him in the comments below too!
- Who are you?
- Where are you from?
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada.
- How old are you?
27 years old.
- What do you do for a living?
I work part-time in retail and part-time as a creative LEGO builder, live-streaming on Twitch, creating a variety of content for other platforms, and creating community brickbuilding events for conventions and conferences.
- What hobbies do you have?
Outside of LEGO building of course, I enjoy gaming, attending fan conventions, am a big fan of sci-fi, and even bigger fan of electric
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
You can find my work on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, videos on YouTube, and watch my creations come to life live on Twitch, all found under my name, BrickinNick!
- Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
One of my all-time favourite builds is one I did of The LEGO Movie logo, which I built to celebrate the movie’s release. It was really challenging to shrink the movie logo and even more difficult to keep the weight balanced on the crane. The model includes two old-school LEGO boat weights to offset the weight of the logo. The build received an overwhelming amount of love and support when I first shared it. The icing on the cake was having it be displayed at The LEGO House between 2018 and 2019.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
LEGO building has been a life-long passion of mine. I first remember playing with Duplo at my grandmother’s house and couldn’t keep myself away from building. I loved having a medium that allowed for so much creativity within a system, and themes like Star Wars, space, and city were a big inspiration for my building growing up.
Around the time where many people lose interest in building, I discovered the online LEGO community, and remember being amazed at what people were creating, and couldn’t help but dive further into building myself.
- What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games.. or 'just' watch the cartoons.
I’m not sure who I would be or what I would be doing if it wasn’t for LEGO. Building with these little plastic bricks has come to be a huge part of who I am and brought me so many wonderful memories and opportunities. Whether it’s finding friends in fellow LEGO builders from around the world, the pride of completing a challenging creation, being able to inspire others through sharing my work, to LEGO starting to become a huge part of what I do for a living.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
Classic space. While I’ve never actually owned any of the original sets, as soon as I first laid eyes upon all the wonderfully retro, simple, and fun designs of that theme, I knew it had become my favourite. It’s certainly inspired my own building, as I find myself often matching the clean, simplistic style of those sets, though often using more advanced techniques to achieve a similar aesthetic.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
I had oddly enough not really had any interest in building it originally, but thanks to my community voting for me to build it during a 24-hour stream, I loved building Hogwarts Castle (#71043). I was blown away with all the amazing techniques and incredibly detailed interiors. I’d note of course there are many sets that come in close second, such as the UCS Falcon, Exo Suit, Wall-E, or the Mustang.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
The quite recent 1x3 jumper. It has very quickly become one of my most used pieces, I constantly seem to be running out of them. They’ve become incredibly useful for a wide variety of detailing and positioning within both small- and large-scale builds!
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Mark Stafford. I very often find he is the mastermind behind many of the models that I find myself drawn to, whether he is bringing entirely new creations to life within LEGO themes or masterfully updating fan designs for Ideas sets.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
It is not known for LEGO related content, but I’d have to say Twitch. It’s always exciting to find all sorts of people sharing their love for LEGO while live-streaming, whether they’re bringing sets or their own creations to life. Being able to ask them in real-time about what inspired them to live-stream with LEGO, why they enjoy building, or learn about techniques they’re using is always so much fun!
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
I have been a fan of Tesla Motors (and electric vehicles) for a very long time. As Tesla’s mission states, I believe our transition to sustainable transportation is extremely important in our journey to better take care of the planet. Being such a big fan, I had always wanted to build one of their vehicles, but had never quite felt comfortable tackling one of them for a project. I had been planning a 24 hour live-stream to celebrate a big milestone in November, and the Cybertruck reveal had just happened, so I had the crazy idea to try and build a large scale model of the Cybertruck within that single stream.
- 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?
I had decided on building the Cybertruck only a day or two before I started building it, so admittedly very little research and prep went into the initial design. I essentially did whatever was necessary to have a “finished” model by the end of the 24 hours. The LEGO Ideas project was submitted within 30 hours or so of the end of that stream. I slowly went back throughout the course of the projects’ journey to 10K and updated several parts of the model to better match the design and features of the actual Cybertruck.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The angles. While at first glance one may think the Cybertruck design is well suited to a LEGO model, the angles of the various faces of the truck are all extremely odd and diffcult to match with LEGO bricks. I had almost given up several times throughout the stream, but was glad I pushed through and was able to get to a completed design that is very close to the actual truck and is easily recognizable.
- 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 think I would tell myself to maybe not try to build it in a single 24 hour live-stream, hahaha. I think the build could have included more functions and features had it not been so rushed initially. Specifically, I really wish I would’ve left myself more time and opportunity to integrate motorization into the build. But I am glad the short time window kept me motivated to complete the build.
- 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?
As mentioned above, the intial build took place during a 24-hour live-stream, though I’d say only about 16 of those were spent directly working on the model. Otherwise, I probably spent about 16-24 hours making all of the various updates (door functions, interior, the Tesla ATV) to the project. I’d say I actually ended up spending much less time that I anticipated on promoting the project. The project found a lot of attention without my help, and I’m incredibly thankful to all the friends, family, blogs, websites, YouTube channels, and other social media pages that helped share my project.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It felt truly surreal to see the project hit 10,000 votes. As a long time LEGO fan, I had always known I wanted to someday have a shot at being able to call myself the designer of a LEGO set, as most fans surely do! Seeing a project I’m so passionate about be the first one to hit 10,000 supporters meant the world to me. The project got there in just 48 days.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
I don’t do any sort of planning or digital building for most projects, and don’t count how many bricks I use while I work on a project, but if I had to guess I’d say between 2,000 and 2,500 pieces.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
My favourite part of the model is the fenders. While they didn’t require any crazy techniques or even really stand out, it was the first part of the truck that I built, and really helped define the overall direction, scale and shape of the model. I very often let the first part of a model I build choose the path I’ll take for the rest of the build.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Find something that really excites yourself and others. As mentioned earlier, I’ve been a huge fan of Tesla, and passionate about EVs for a long time, and I do believe that’s reflected in the project itself. The hype and polarization of the Cybertruck, and my timing with the project after it was revealed, was no doubt extremely helpful in bringing in supporters for the project. However, I don’t think the project would have received as much support if it wasn’t apparent that I was passionate about what I had created.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I do feel that many people were drawn to the project because the idea of introducing and educating LEGO fans young and old on the sustainable transportation of electric vehicles would be incredibly impactful, and contribute to the LEGO Group’s own goal of making a positive impact on the planet. I of course made sure to post regularly on all of my social media pages, celebrating all of the milestones with updates to the model, and shared with as many friends and family as possible.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
Wall-E is easily one of my favourite. The fan designer’s connection to the build really makes it special! There have certainly been a few I’ve been sad to see not get picked, most recently the Seven Dwarfs’ House, as well as some of the video game inspired projects.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea
For fans to have the opportunity to see their creations become real LEGO sets. It’s pretty much every kids’ dream, and even just having a chance of having that happen is beyond amazing! While I would encourage people to take more time planning out their project than I did, I would say don’t let perfection hold you back from putting a project out there!
- 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 can’t really say I have anything in mind at the moment. Whenever the right combination of an idea and a passion collide, that’s when you’ll likely see my next project!
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