Sunday, March 28th, 2021 at 11:27pm by Danny, BZPower Reporter
The LEGO House has run a number of exciting virtual events over the past year, including Friday's "My way from AFOL to LEGO Designer" featuring Marcos Bessa, Milan Reindl and Justin Ramsden. We'll have more about Friday's event below the fold, but they also announced a few upcoming events: get ready for another virtual AFOL Day on 9/23/2021, a virtual Christmas event on 12/10/2021 (possibly accompanied by a physical Christmas event), and a new series of virtual history tours (dates to be announced). Prices and times for the upcoming events are yet to be announced, but they're all sure to be enjoyable and informative attractions.
Like previous events, Friday's event was hosted on Microsoft Teams - but this time, instead of running as a livestream-style live event, it was set up like a meeting. This naturally brought the usual issues with needing to make sure everyone was on mute, but it did allow for the three panelists (and two hosts - Astrid Mueller at the LEGO House and AFOL community favorite interviewer Are Heiseldal) to call in from remote locations and each speak separately.
Unfortunately, I missed the very beginning of the session because I was suddenly bumped from the call (the first of several such incidents for me, and judging by the chat section, a common problem for other attendees as well). Things picked up quickly, though, with Are interviewing Justin, Marcos, and Milan separately before switching to a roundtable format. After the roundtable, the 50 participants were randomly moved to breakout rooms (one for each designer) for a brief but intimate opportunity to ask additional questions.
The individual interviews conducted by Are were researched nicely, giving insight into the unique paths each designer took into the LEGO hobby, the AFOL community, and the LEGO design department. There was some fun overlap, since Marcos mentored Justin and both have taken similar approaches to working (and networking) across multiple teams and themes. Milan's longer dark ages and rediscovery of Technic as an adult was more unique, but his story of working as a teacher before joining LEGO was the real surprise. Milan actually was not able to take the first call from LEGO that let him know he got the job - the call came in during a part of the school day when answering the phone was not allowed!
These LEGO House virtual events are always a treat, and I'd highly recommend them. I suspect that the small cost associated with some of them makes many AFOLs (especially more casual fans) hesitate, but that also means that the people who do attend are more excited to be there and tend to ask better questions than the general public does. I'm already excited for the next few events:
virtual AFOL Day on 9/23/2021
virtual Christmas event on 12/10/2021 (possibly accompanied by a physical Christmas event)
virtual history tours (dates to be announced)
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