Saturday, September 30, 2006

AFOLs and the LEGO Group..

I spotted a LUGNET postthat asked why TLG isn't hiring AFOLs who make custom sets to do LEGO sets, and it struck me.

There is a history of AFOLs who have been involved with TLG for some time. The first set made available by an AFOL was the Blacksmith's Shop in 2002 by Daniel Siskind. From there, James Mathis made the Santa Fe in 2002.

There has been a long lull since in terms of sets, but AFOLS went off to different projects as volunteer consultants:

LEGO Factory - which was initially a micro project.  AFOLs involved included  Ashley GlennonBrian Muzas, Sean Kenney, J. Spencer Rezhalla, Ross Crawford, John and Ross Neal, and others that I can't recall for the moment. Oh yeah, I was in that project too!

Train - The Signal Group, which was a code name for some train AFOLs who have provided consulting, especially about the new IR trains.

The highest profile LEGO/AFOL group is the LEGO Ambassadors Program - they essentially provide TLG with insight from the AFOL community.

Actualy, I'm wrong - the highest profile group is the MINDSTORMS Developer Program - the Centurians who beta tested the NXT system.

Some notable AFOLs have also gone on to become LEGO set designers:

Jamie Berard, from NELUG.
Nate Kuipers, from Denmark (he was one of the winners of the LEGO Factory contest last year)

So how does one get into these projects? That's a good question. I can say that being a good builder isn't enough. It helps to be at events and display, and it really helps to have a Brickshelf account!

One has to be a positive asset, as in positive attitude and image projected online and off, and be able to work with constraints and non-disclosure's not easy.

But it really is a lot of fun, and very rewarding!

No comments: