CHA-CHING! Welcome to today's 10K Club Interview! Introducing Mehdi Rustamov, a.k.a. dimexart and his ANTIQUE CASH REGISTER. Inspired by a brief appearance in Home Alone 2, this fantastic Idea will be sure to appease any antique enthusiasts! Show your support in the comments!
- Who are you?
My name is Mehdi Rustamov a.k.a. dimexart.
- Where are you from?
I'm from Azerbaijan. I was born in Baku.
- How old are you?
- What do you study or do for a living?
3D modelling and graphic design are the main parts of my work life.
- What hobbies do you have?
My main hobby is LEGO building. We always loved to build sets with my wife. Recently my daughter (she is 3 y.o.) has become very interested in LEGO play, too. First, she loved DUPLO. She has some sets, but then time passed and she became interested in LEGO sets that I bought for me. Now we spend time with LEGO sets in trio participation.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
I don't have a website, but I have a social media page on Instagram, where I always share my work.
- 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 always make MOCs and I love it. There are too many MOCs of mine are belonging to my own country and its own traditions. There are lots of architectural buildings, national musical instruments, Old City (Baku) balconies (these are some of my favourites). Sometimes, I love to make some stuff from cartoons. But my favourite MOCs I like to create are vintage things.
- How and when did your interest in LEGO products come about?
My first LEGO experience started in 1997. I was 8. I started to improvise some builds out of several LEGO sets, not mine. I found it really interesting. And so, that is how all this has been started. Now I am 32 and LEGO building is the best way for me to make performances.
- What is the LEGO hobby to you? What does it mean to you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games or 'just' watch the cartoons.
It means a lot! It became my lifestyle.
- 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 really liked LEGO Technic before, but then I discovered some new skills in myself in building with classic bricks. Now the LEGO Speed Champions, Ideas, Harry Potter, Architecture and Creator Expert are my favourite themes.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
There are a lot of sets, that I love so much. But now, my favourite one is 10300 set Delorean. I grow up with Back to the Future as one of my favorite movies of all time, with Doc Brown and Marty McFly! Maybe I watched this movie over than thousand times. That's why I really love 10300 set.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
I can say with complete certainty, that Flex Rod and Lamp Holder (part number 4081) are my favourite LEGO elements. These parts give me an infinite number of ways to create something really wild and futuristic. I have some amazing ideas, I am working hard on this, so I will share them soon.
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
Today, I see a lot of talented builders around the world and each of them has their individual style and this is great! If we talk about official LEGO designers, then I can say, that I really love sets from Mike Psiaki, the amazing VW Beetle and the incredible Carousel. Also, I like the amazing creatures and their techniques from Joss Woodyard aka @jayfa_mocs and Ralf Langer aka @ranghaal with his fantastic techniques in creating old buildings.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO-related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
Not sites, but a lot of social media pages related to The LEGO Group.
ABOUT YOUR PROJECT
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
My wife and I have a big love of vintage stuff. We are always looking for something really old. So one day, when we watched Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, we saw an interesting old cash register in Duncan's Toy Chest. Then I said, "Wow, we need to find the name of this cash and get as much information about this as we can because I definitely want to make it from LEGO bricks". Finally, we found out, that the history of this cash register has been started 110 years ago, in Ohio, USA. The big history - that is what I appreciate and love most of all. That was a great inspirational moment for me.
- 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?
It took me a month or more to think about how I can build this. I was searching for videos from restorations of National Cash Registers, photos, and 3D models to discover more angles to see all its details.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
The first phase was to create the outside view of the cash, its main shapes and details. Then the second and difficult phase was to create the mechanism of it. That was really hard, to create a method of positioning and holding the working buttons in their right directions in the small space inside the cash register.
- If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell them? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
I would say - "This is too difficult. Your neck will hurt you, your eyes will be so tired, but I don't like easy tasks. Go for it, 'till the end!" Now I know, that if I started this again, I would start to build the inside working mechanism. Because you never know, how much space you'll leave inside for this.
- 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 2 weeks to create the exterior of the cash register. During this time I changed lots of details. As soon as I finished it, I submitted the idea on LEGO Ideas and shared it on my social media page. That was not so quick and not so long. I think it took moderate time to reach 10,000 supporters.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
Oh, that felt great! The feeling when people support you is definitely great.
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
Approximately 2565 bricks. This includes both exterior and the mechanism.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
I think this is the turning of the handle to open popping up the cash box, which is always stretched by the rubbers. This popping-out effect makes it feel like a real cash box opening and closing.
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
Honestly, this was hard, to build this model only with one software. I used both Mecabricks and Bricklink Studio only for modelling. For rendering, I used Blender engine.
- If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them?
Also, I made custom stickers digitally. I create all of them in Adobe Illustrator, and then integrate them into Blender for the final 3D model.
ABOUT LEGO IDEAS
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Make a creative and playable idea, and make a beautiful presentation. That's all.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
I mostly share my work on my Instagram page. Honestly, I have not tried to make any active effort to promote for voting. Сonversely, I would like to see the audience's reaction. This means a lot to me. And when I saw, how people met and shared my work with great comments, I see and understand that this is exactly the best part of what I made, and this is a big success for me.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
My favourite LEGO Ideas product is Home Alone. And about the overlooked sets, I think "SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS - THE KRUSTY KRAB" by ExeSandbox and as a fan of all retro - "RETRO ARCADE" by If You Build It, were really beautiful ideas.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
I think this platform is amazing. This is a big chance for everyone to become a part of The LEGO family and community.
- 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?
Of course I have! I have a lot of ideas in my mind. Definitely, I will share all of them soon.
- 10k club
- 10k club interview
- product idea
- cash register
- mehdi rustamov