mid (111 of 146)Becoming an official LEGO set designer is the stuff of every child’s’ dreams, and the only way to do that was to get a job at LEGO in Billund, Denmark. Not any more, thanks to LEGO Ideas. LEGO Ideas uses a very simple concept to allow builders to have their model reviewed by LEGO to be turned into an official set with worldwide distribution. To get to review, builders have to gain support from 10,000 people, by way of votes.

Terry and Ben Fisher, with the help of the lovely Linda Fisher, are on that roller-coaster right now, and are over half way to the golden number with over 5000 votes so far for their Mark III Land Rover model. I sat down for a chat with Terry to find out more about their experience so far.

Hi Guys, we’re glad to have you on board for Block Con, Hull. I’ve been dying to ask, but why the Land Rover?

I’m a big classic car fan, as is my son, Ben.  We came up with the idea for the Land Rover when were pottering around with some LEGO bricks we had when I was off work on long term sick back in 2015, and I came across some different parts now available from LEGO that weren’t around when I was a child.

We started off building a vehicle and then realised that LEGO don’t make a 4×4 model, so we set about building one. There was only one 4 x 4 woth building in our view, so we set about creating the Series III with the bricks we had to hand. It was a multi coloured version and not quite correct but impressive enough to recognise that we had built a Lego Land Rover. I then searched the internet to get the bricks required to rebuild in the colours we had decided on, which was the classic green and white.

So what led you to putting your fantastic Defender MOC on the LEGO Ideas website?

We were watching The Secret World of Lego on the television when we found out about LEGO Ideas by way of Thomas Poulsom‘s LEGO Ideas Birds. We had built the Land Rover in the knowledge that Lego don’t make a 4×4 in their Creator range, and as people we had shown our model to were impressed with it, we decided to give it a go on the Lego Ideas forum to see what other people thought about it and see how we got on.

Can you tell us a little bit about the LEGO Ideas experience so far? How hard has it been to gather support to get you over half-way?

It has been a great experience so far. We started off going to exhibit at Land Rover shows where we got lots of great feedback, and that is what led to us doing an update with the Defender model as lots of people had asked for us to build that one, even though they liked the Series III.

You do have to put the work into the process, you can’t just sit back and think the votes will just come. My Wife, Linda has been posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as joining numerous forums, and trying to keep them up to date to hopefully entice new supporters. Now of course we have discovered the LEGO exhibiting side of things and it is like a new lease of life for us. It’s great that all of these shows, both LEGO and Land Rover, are something we can all do together. Now that we are over halfway we feel much more positive and can see that we do have a chance of getting to the 10,000 votes required so if anything getting halfway has made us more determined than ever to do what we can.

What do Ben’s friends at school think about your model? Are they all supporting you?

Ben has taken the Land Rovers into school to tell the school all about his project. The children and the teachers loved it and he handed flyers out to encourage support for the project. He said that the children loved the detail of it and that it was amazing. The Head Teacher has tweeted about it and put it on Facebook as he supports it and thinks it is a great thing for Ben to be involved in.

You’ve built a few variants of the Land Rover, which I was lucky enough to see in person at the Yorkshire Brick Show. Clearly LEGO in your house is a family experience. Who leads the charge when starting a new project and do you have any plans to build anything else in the near future?

I would have to say it is me who comes up with the idea of what to build. At the moment we are concentrating on the Land Rover models. Our big update that we’ll be adding soon will hopefully be a remote control version where people can just modify the chassis of their model to convert it. Then we’ll start work on a new project. Our goal is for Ben to be able to walk into a Lego Shop and see his Land Rover model there on the shelf for sale and be able to say “I built that with my dad”.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, we look forward to seeing your project at Block Con, Hull. One last question. Have you learned anything from the experience that may help anyone who is considering a LEGO Ideas Project?

I would say make sure you get your main page correct when you are submitting your project as you can’t amend that once its published. Any updates on an update page, so getting that first page right is very important.

You will always find room for improvement. We know from going to the initial Land Rover shows when we first put the Land Rover on Lego Ideas that people will give you constructive feedback and suggestions for improvements which we’ve now put into the model.

It is quite hard trying to make people aware of your project, and it’s kept Linda busy on social media, but she loves the interaction from people about our project and has made quite a few new friends through the project. If success on LEGO Ideas was measured on likes from Facebook then we would probably have the 10,000 supporters by now,  but a lot of people have told us they are put off voting by the process that they have to go through on Lego Ideas. If it was just a click the vote button people would probably do that but there obviously has to be some kind of restraint to ensure every vote is a new one.

We are determined and have lots of shows coming up so we will keep going and hopefully get to the magic number then it is out of our hands!

You can vote for Terry and Ben’s Land Rover project on their LEGO Ideas Project Page.