Saturday, July 25, 2015

Flashback - The LEGO and Star Wars collaboration - part 1

A color layout of the minifigs behind the Star Wars logo

Back in late 1997 I got one of those phone calls that you can only dream about. 
At that time we at ADVANCE only dared to dream about what would happen if LEGO started to work together with some of the big film IP’s of the world like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, any of the Superheroes or others. But that was only wild fantasy.

Working at ADVANCE I had been doing many different LEGO launches until then and was heading the Art Direction of LEGO Technic . I had done some concept development on different new projects including my own test project “Cybots”. 

But then one morning this call came through!. I can’t remember the exact words but it was something like “Would you like to start working on the design for a new project we are starting up? It includes travling to San Francisco to have the first meeting with Lucas arts at The Skywalker Ranch to have design discussions and see the first glimpse of the new film “Episode 1”. 
“Wh-wh-What….YES!!! of cause” was my prompt answer.

As this was the first collaboration with a major IP we needed to make a clear connection between the 2 brands LEGO and Star Wars. I suggested to make a mini figure logo where the 2 sides of the conflict meet behind the Star Wars logo. That would blend the 2 brands perfectly. My good friend Jan Kjær who was then my assistent made the final version of the logo.

I might have forgotten the details but the approval process went extremely easy and both Lucas and LEGO were happy with the layouts. So it was just to go and put it on paper and cardboard (the web was not up and running yet). 

One thing is certain. My experience with Star Wars gave me a lot of inspiration for what came later in the form of Bionicle.

The very early logo sketch together with
my treasured Skywalker Ranch mug:).
The final box front design of the 1999 LEGO X-Wing Fighter
with the minifig logo in the upper right corner

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Will you Escape RIG21 in time?

Here is a teaser for the upcoming app game #EscapeRIG21. The game is the first introduction to the #RebelNature universe and it is currently in production.
Get ready to join Res Waveborn as she tries to get out of this maze of machines and tower of technology. She has a plan but one thing is planning another is carrying it out and make it in time!



Monday, July 20, 2015

Getting inspiration and sketching Goodman Rock Research Station. A new RebelNature location

#GoodmanRock Research Station is taking shape. It is build on a rugged rock formation jutting out of the deep ocean. This is one of the important locations in the #RebelNature universe. It is part of the prehistory of #Rig21. The story is being build like a giant unfinished puzzle so the adventure and mystery grows with every piece.
 Vacation time is also inspiration time so here I am at the small Danish island Bornholm where the rocky formations gives lots of inspiration for Goodman Rock.
In the picture of the cave I have just been 70m inside a very narrow cave where apparently lives a very big cave spider that bites:) Found out about that after I came out and my Iphone and only lightsource ran out of power half way out.
Enough Indiana Jones for that day.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The expanding Rebel Nature universe

This concept drawing is part of the expanding Rebel Nature universe. This is not a post apocalyptic world where a natural disaster or atomic catastrophe has left the world totally changed. It is not aliens that have invaded. This is a snapshot from a extreme locations that could exist on planet earth right now. The suited up character at the well in the foreground is one of the characters that will play a vital role later in the story.
He is the leader of the CAT tribe (Carrying A Tree) and known as “the gardener”.
The nickname of the truck is “Eden” because it contains a small living biotope. A single tree with animals and birds and a watering system. The tree is the centerpoint of a tribe of scientists that follows the “Eden” truck around to the automated water wells that are spread over this wast desert area. The tribe is hoping for the tree to bear fruit so they can plant a new tree but until now no fruit has appeared. In this spot the drilling expertise and technology is all about finding water. The exact opposite of the oil production of Rig21 in the southern ocean where there is nothing but water on the horizon.

How “the Gardener” is connected with Res and Scraper on the Coil Rig21 in the middle of the ocean is just one of the many mysteries of the #RebelNature story.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Turaga beach on "pause" for a really good reason

Dear blogreaders. You may be wondering why the unboxing of the Bionicle legend has taken such a longer break and why you havn’t heard news about the promised giveaway for a long time so now I think I owe you an explanation. 
To put it short, I got a call from Billund. A call that I kind off was hoping would come for many years.
As you may know a new LEGO House is under construction in the center of Billund. 



Here the past, present and future of the LEGO brand and brick is going to be in focus and part of the exhibition will be a walkthrough of the LEGO history. 
The phonecall confirmed that Bionicle will have a prominent place in that history since it was the “The toy that saved LEGO” (quote from Jørgen Vig Knudstorp) and suddenly all my Turaga beach crates full of old sketches gets interest. 
In august I will take a meeting with the LEGO heritage department and run through all the early material that went into creating not only Bionicle but everything that came before including the early test concept “Cybots”, Voodoo Heads, Slizer, Roboriders and whatever I have in the crates. 
Nothing is certain about what and how the exhibit will be but this is fantastic news because it means that this material finally will be part of the official history and that it will be accessible for everybody. On the other hand I will have to pause the Turaga beach giveaway because many of the sketches that I planned to give away now probably will be part of a permanent exhibition in the most perfect place imaginable. 
I hope you all agree that this is the best place for this material. It is a homage to all the loyal fans that have been with Bionicle since the early start. Bionicle is part of the rebirth of one of the most fantastic brands in the world and who knows what the future holds:)…

Monday, May 18, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Turaga Files - Unboxing the Legend - Exhibit 023 - Video 1


From "the time before time". This video shows footage of the 1999 concept models called VooDoo Heads. As you probably all know this would later evolve into the Bionicle concept.
https://youtu.be/AjbiNuEv60c