How many children do not dream of it? Playing with their Lego set, building fantasy after fantasy into a reality, how beautiful would it be to ever be able to work for that great brand? Or, no, better still, to be able to design new Lego constructions yourself…? But as the years go by, the dream vanishes because other things seem to become more important. Or because we will have to accept its unfeasibility.
Well, that’s how it works for almost everyone. But not for Niek van Slagmaat and Mark Tranter. They may now call themselves the proud designers of Voltron Defender of the Universe. For Niek, this means a dream from “when I was 3 or 4 years old”, finally came true. “Back then, I already knew: I wanted to become a Lego designer. And that has never changed since. That’s how I also chose my education in Industrial Design at the TU Eindhoven. That gave me the opportunity to do an internship at Lego and that way I could eventually be employed.”
Voltron became available in Lego shops at the end of July. His creation puts Niek in a beautiful place in the Eindhoven makers’ tradition. In the video below, together with graphic designer Mark Tranter, he explains what designing a complex figure like Voltron – including 5 lions that are part of the design work – involves. “We had to make sure the individual pieces work, as well as the bigger robot. With over half a kilo of Lego resting on two legs, that was a bit scary, especially at the joints. But we found a way.”
In this video, Niek and Mark explain how they made it work: