EBSWF: Welcome Oky! How did your LEGO story begin? What are your favorite themes?
Well, it all started when I was born… (Don’t worry, I won’t go into my whole life story. ) I have always had a desire to express my creativity and have been building with Lego as long as I can remember. The earliest recorded instance of me playing with Duplo is a home movie from when I was 2 years old. At some point I transitioned over to playing with System and never stopped. I never really had a “Dark Age”, although there was a brief period during my early teenage years when I had limited funds for my hobby and couldn’t buy new sets even though I wanted to. Being a teenager sucks.
My favorite themes have always been licensed themes. It started with Star Wars, then Harry Potter, and now it’s Super Heroes. There’s just something about seeing my favorite franchises represented in the charming Lego style that I love. However, when it comes to buying sets and building new creations, I like to dabble in all themes to have some variety and take on new challenges.
EBSWF: You’ve been a member of Eurobricks for a long time already. How did you get involved here? What has changed over the years? What do you like most here?
I got introduced to Eurobricks the same way that most people get introduced to it: Google! I was looking for Lego news online and because I was living in Germany at the time, the first search results were sites like 1000steine.de and Imperium der Steine. From there, I followed a link to Eurobricks and immediately felt right at home. What I like so much is that the EB community is so friendly, helpful and massive, and it’s one of the places where Lego news hits first. I also love all the great creations, reviews, and contests. The contests are always fun to enter because it’s a nice challenge going up against so many other talented builders and it gives me the motivation to put my best effort into a build.
In a time where the internet is filled with hate and immaturity, it is comforting to know that there is still a place where you can have an intelligent conversation about your hobby with like-minded people all over the world. While the look of the forum has changed quite a bit over the years, the high quality of its content and members has remained the same. I did notice an increasing number of trolls and spam in recent years, but I think the moderators are doing a great job keeping the forums clean by dealing with these problems as soon as they arise.
EBSWF: You’re also a blogger for the Eurobricks Star Wars blog. How did that happen?
A long time ago, in a PM inbox far, far away… the creator of the blog, KimT, approached me along with Brickdoctor and Clone O’Patra when he couldn’t run the blog by himself anymore. I was very honored of course and accepted. At the time, I was writing reviews of Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes along with def and I carried that tradition over to the blog when def was unable to continue. This tradition still lives on today with our Star Wars Rebels Reviews.
EBSWF: What’s the best thing about blogging? Do you have a favorite moment or anecdote?
I’d say the best thing about the blog are our readers. I know that sounds super corny, but it’s true. Being able to share our opinions and finds from around the web with other Lego Star Wars fans is what the blog is all about and what motivates me for blogging. The best moment was when we reached 1 million views. It is humbling to know that so many people are interested in reading these silly little posts that we do.
EBSWF: Apart from long time active forum member and blogger, you’re a Reviewers Academy teacher as well. What drives you to share your thoughts on sets?
Like every Lego fan, I tend to have strong opinions about some sets and just feel the need to share that opinion with others to find out if anyone shares my opinion or not. Analyzing a set to see what makes it good or bad can be quite fun and allows me to let anyone who might be interested in the set know whether it’s worth buying or not. Also, as I have learned in the Reviewers Academy, writing a good review is an art form in and of itself and can be a fun challenge. Helping others master this art form by passing down my knowledge as a teacher is very rewarding.
EBSWF: What’s the favorite review you did? And what’s your favorite review by another reviewer? Any tips for beginning reviewers?
My favorite review that I have done is definitely that of 10246 Detective’s Office. Not only is it the largest set that I ever reviewed, but I also got the privilege to review the set before its release. The intro was a lot of fun to write and it allowed me to pay tribute to one of my favorite movie genres. It was a lot of work, but I am quite happy with the result.
It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite from other Eurobricks reviews. They are all so good, especially those from my fellow Academy teachers, and everyone has their own style, humor, and approach to their reviews, making each of them unique.
A tip for beginning reviewers? Join the Academy! It’s the best way to learn how to make quality reviews. And no, this is not a shameless plug at all!
EBSWF: The thing you’re most famous for are your hilarious, unparalleled single pane funnies. You are practically the reference in the genre. How did you begin making them? Where does the inspiration come from?
When Clone O’Patra started the Single-pane Star Wars Funnies thread, I liked the idea and just thought it would be something fun to do, so I made one… then another one… and I kind of just kept going. Honestly, I’m surprised myself that I have been able to keep it up for so long. Coming up with ideas for funnies has become an everyday game for me. Most of the time, they will randomly come to me when I’m commuting or in the shower or just lost in thought. Other times, whenever I watch a movie, I constantly think to myself: “How can I make fun of this?” The Actor With Most Minifig Representations thread is also a great reference for making fun of an actor appearing in multiple different movies/shows. After so many funnies, it’s getting hard to keep coming up with good jokes, but I still get a good idea every once in a while. I have taken a little break from making them lately, but I’m ready to get back into it!
EBSWF: We also see you MOCing quite a bit in a variety of genres, and notably Disney and Pixar oriented. You’re also very active in discussion threads about their movies. Even your avatar is largely inspired by them. How do they appeal to you?
If there is anything I love more than Star Wars, it’s Disney/Pixar movies. Their talent for storytelling and animation is outstanding and produces some of the best and most original movies out there. I grew up watching mostly Disney movies and shows and I love them to this day. Buzz Lightyear is my favorite animated character of all time which is why I modeled my avatar after him. It is my dream to work for Pixar someday, and since I am such a huge Disney fanboy, it is only natural that I like to build in that theme. Of course, I still like to build in Star Wars and other themes as well. My favorite thing to do is combining two themes I love, like my Star Wars minifigure mashups, or building one type of build in a variety of styles, like CubeDudes or my Superhero Racers.
EBSWF: Are you currently working on any projects, or do you have something of which you’ve always dreamed doing?
I recently moved into a new apartment and bought a coffee table that doubles as a display case, so I’m planning to make a large diorama to display inside of it. I am also planning to build some custom Brickheadz once they are released, and with the release of the Disney CMFs, I plan to make lots more Disney MOCs! Also, look out for some special reviews coming from me soon. One thing I have always dreamed of making is a feature-length brickfilm, but I don’t have nearly enough free time for such a large production. Maybe someday…
EBSWF: What do people who aren’t LEGO fans think of your hobby?
My family has always been very supportive of my hobby. They even let me use a closet in their house to store my collection and I still get at least one Lego set from them for my birthday and Christmas. My friends also think that what I do is pretty cool as they are impressed with the sets and MOCs that I have on display. I think the rise of mainstream geek culture and the success of The Lego Movie has helped making it “cool” to be an Adult Fan of Lego, even if the villain of the movie is an AFOL.
EBSWF: How has the LEGO hobby changed or impacted your life? Do you have any practical uses for LEGO?
I think Lego has had quite an influence on who I am today. I am a digital artist creating videos, animation, and other creative material for marketing. My desire to create videos for a living began when I started making stop motion films with the Lego Studios camera. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to go to art school as an animation major and even used Lego as a medium for some of my school projects. Even to this day I still use Lego as an inspiration for my work and to plan out some of my projects.
EBSWF: Other than LEGO, do you have any other hobbies or interests?
As you can tell, I am very passionate about animation. I love watching cartoons and going to comic/cartoon centered conventions. I like watching movies in general and go to the theater at least once a week. I also enjoy playing videogames every once in a while (mostly action-adventure, racing, and puzzle games) and eating junk food. You know, typical nerd stuff.
EBSWF: You’re many things: active member, blogger, reviewer, photographer, MOCcer… Where do you put yourself in the AFOL spectrum, and how do you see yourself evolving?
That’s an interesting question. I guess I am a little bit of everything. I just do whatever I feel like doing when I have the time for it. The important thing for me is to express myself, be it by sharing my opinion through a blog post, review, or forum discussion, or expressing my creativity through a photograph or MOC, and entertaining others while doing it. One way I could see myself evolving is by combining some of my talents in the future. Maybe someday I will combine my neck for video creation, Lego reviewing, and making jokes to start a YouTube channel for comedic Lego reviews. Meditate on this, I will.