A Dialogue with CEO Bali Padda

The Recognised LEGO Fan Media Days provided a great opportunity to meet representatives of other LEGO Fan Media from around the world.  In conjunction with the team from RevistaBricks, and HispaBrick Magazine, we reconstructed our meeting with then CEO Bali Padda.  The article that follows is reproduced from HispaBrick Magazine 28, which is now available for download.

As part of the LEGO® Fan Media Days at the end of May 2017, the represented LEGO® Fan Media organisations were joined by the CEO of the LEGO® Group, Bali Padda, for a dialog. He has been with the LEGO® Group for 15 years, initially based in the United States, and then in the UK, where he has been in the role of Chief Operations Officer.

While the appointment of his successor, Niels B. Christiansen, has already been announced, Mr Padda gave us some interesting insights into some of the issues currently facing the company:

RLFMs: You have now been in your new role for around six months. What do you think are the challenges in this new role?

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Share Something Star Wars and Enter the Draw To Win ‘Escape from the Space Slug’

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Lets celebrate the release of the largest version of the Millennium Falcon (75192) ever released as a set by giving away the set containing the smallest Millennium Falcon ever produced in a set…

Now, thanks to the LEGO® Community Engagement Team, The Rambling Brick has some copies of Escape the Space Slug (6176782),to give away.  This is an exclusive set from 2016 that was previously only available as part of a VIP  event. This set contains the smallest official rendition of the Millennium Falcon, depicting her thrilling escape from the mouth of the Exogorth, in The Empire Strikes Back. While containing only 161 pieces, predominantly in light grey and dark tan, it is a limited edition of 3500 worldwide. Creative microscale modelling sees a recognisable Millennium Falcon, despite only six elements used in its construction.

Entries open on 16th September, 2017, and Close at midnight 30th September 2017.

How to Enter:

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Meeting Mette: LEGO Rebrick at the RLFM Days.[Interview and new Contest]

In which I have a conversation with Mette Hansen about the LEGO® Rebrick program: whats been popular, where in the world you can enter from, and the challenges of running contests when there is a seperate owner of the intellectual property. Of course things have progressed since this interview in June, and with the announcement of the new UCS Millennium Falcon, there is a new contest on Rebrick, with the new set as a prize!

I have mentioned some of the contests featured on Rebrick here previously. As the LEGO® Group’s official contest platform for teenage and adult builders, the prizes on offer for the contests can be quite exciting. As part of the Fan Media Days earlier this year, I had a chance, along with Christian Breinbauer from Revistabricks.com, to meet with Mette Frøkjær Hansen, one of the team who has been working with the LEGO® Rebrick platform.

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Mette Frøkjær Hansen, explaining some of the details about the Rebrick Platform at the 2017 LEGO Fan Media Days.

Rambling Brick: So far we have seen competitions covering multiple themes, from Cars to Batman, Technic, Friends and Modular Buildings. The MiniModular competition, however, offered such an amazing prize pack it appeared to have a lot of interest online.[That is to say, the winner would receive the entire 10 year run of modular buildings from Cafe Corner to Assembly Square.] Was it the most subscribed competition that you have had to date?

Mette Hansen:It was actually the second most popular contest that we have had: the one that was the most popular, and got the most entries was actually LEGO® Bionicle, last year. We had that last fall, as an ode to the theme being discontinued.

Had the fact that the theme was going to be discontinued been announced at that stage?

Show us Your Makuta – entry by TolerantAxe97

No, at that time it hadn’t officially announced, but we wanted to do something for the Bionicle fans, because they are just so amazing, and so creative. The Bionicle contest got over two thousand entries! It’s sometimes hard for us. We have no idea when we publish a contest: will this get two thousand entries, or a hundred entries? Now, we are starting to get some more learnings, because the Rebrick platform has been around for a bit of time now, but it is still relatively new: we launched in March 2016 with this specific contest platform. We are still excited to see which contests will get a lot of entries, which ones are less popular. But for us it is not necessarily about the volume of entries. It’s also about people being excited about the theme, and if only fifty people or twenty people are really excited about the topic and they build something amazing and they contribute and upload and help to inspire the wider community, that’s enough. That’s Mission: Accomplished! Continue reading

Making Some New Friends (The design drafts and review): Stephanie’s House 41314

sh 41314 drafts2.pngWhen we last met, we caught up with Fenella and Ricardo, from the LEGO Friends design team, and we spoke in part about the preliminary models from Stephanie’s house, and how some things came and went during the design phase.

Today, I thought we would put this set together, and look at some of the features that make these sets so popular with the target demographic.

This is one of the larger sets in the first wave of  Friends sets to be released in 2017.  It has 613 pieces, and a recommended retail price of $AUD99.99/£64.99/$US69.99/€69.99. It comes with 3 minidolls: Stephanie, her mother Alicia  and father James. It is laden with accessories and play features, as one would expect with a Friends set of this size. Continue reading

Making Friends, with Fenella and Ricardo: LEGO Friends’ Designers (Interview)

At the start of June, as part of the LEGO Fan Media Days, I had the opportunity to meet Fenella Charity and Ricardo Silva, who are both part of the LEGO Friends design team.  Fenella’s back ground is in industrial design, and Ricardo came to work at LEGO via the fan community. Our conversation rambled over a variety of topics relevant to the Friends line: including storyboarding the  sets and animated stories;  stickers vs printed elements; gender balance; designing Stephanie’s house and starting the trip down a slippery slope by using tan walls  in the pizzeria. But before we started on that path, I had to ask something…

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The LEGO Friends sets have be inspirational for introducing buildings around town that aren’t fire stations, banks being robbed or police stations, as are de rigour in LEGO City. But something I have been wondering… Are we going to see a police station?

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How Did The Dinosaur Get Its Roar?: Iconic sculptures for an Iconic Space

On the top level of the LEGO House, when it opens in September, you will find the  Masterpiece Gallery: a space filled with models contributed by AFOLs from around the world. This space has eight skylights, arranged as the studs of a 2×4 brick.  In the space between the studs, there will be three round podiums representing the tubes in a 2×4 brick: each with a very special model in position.
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Stuart Harris,Senior Designer for the LEGO House announces the iconic models to go into the Master Piece Gallery in the LEGO House at the recent Fan Media Days.
At the recent Fan Media Days, Senior Designer in LEGO House, Stuart Harris, was able to reveal that the three giant models on the three podiums in the gallery will be a LEGO®DUPLO® dinosaur, a LEGO®TECHNIC® dinosaur and a LEGO® SYSTEM® dinosaur. Building the same dinosaur in these three systems will result in a very different result reinforcing the message about the endless possibilities of the LEGO brick.
Input for these models was received from a group of 26 AFOLs from around the world, and specific aspects of interest to their design was taken to the model design team.  Look out for the Neat Parts Usage in some of the photos below.

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