Together with our friends at HispaBrick Magazine, we got the opportunity to talk to the LEGO designers behind the new LEGO Star Wars Buildable Helmets. We spoke to Niels Mølgård Frederiksen (Designer), Jens Kronvold Frederiksen (Design Director & Creative Lead), and César Carvalhosa Soares (Designer).
HispaBrick Magazine/Jedi News: Why was it decided to create an adult line for LEGO Star Wars?
Jens: Even though we primarily make LEGO sets for children, we know that there are a lot of adults that appreciate Star Wars and LEGO Star Wars.
We have always offered special products mainly targeted that audience, like our Ultimate Collector Series and Master Builder models. But we thought it could be great to add to this something as iconic as these helmets.
HBM/JN: How did you settle on the helmet concept?
Jens: We experimented with several model concepts, but early in the process we saw that this helmet concept had a huge potential.
The Star Wars stories are character driven, and many of these characters wear cool and iconic looking helmets! And with the scale and size of these LEGO Star Wars helmets, we can make highly detailed models that are easy to display.
HBM/JN: Why did you choose these three particular helmets?
Jens: We picked these three helmets out of a series of prototypes we developed. We wanted to make three helmets that were well known, worked well as LEGO models and were visually different in both shape and color.
HBM/JN: Would you revisit Darth Vader’s helmet at some point? Very few people were able to get the Celebration/Target exclusive set from 2019.
Jens: We know of course that Darth Vader and his very recognizable helmet is a popular subject. As you might expect, we cannot say anything about future products, you will have to be patient and wait and see!
HBM/JN: What challenges did you encounter during the design of these helmets?
Cesar: In the Stormtrooper helmet it was the eyes. They needed to be in the right shape but also angled across the sides of the face. In the TIE Fighter helmet the most challenging was the hoses. We really wanted to incorporate them in the model and so we used train wheels and flexible tubing to achieve the final result. But I would say that, in general, getting the correct shape and proportions of all the helmets was very hard because of their organic nature.
HBM/JN: No new elements were created for the helmets; did that pose any issues?
Cesar: no, not at all. Actually, it is more fun and challenging to me personally to try and find solutions with existing pieces instead of relying on new elements. Of course, that there are instances were a new element is really needed, but the LEGO element portfolio is so vast that usually it is not an issue to find a suitable way to design a set.
HBM/JN: Were there any new elements that would have enhanced the final product?
Cesar: When designing sets there is always room for a new piece here and there that would work well. But this is where the LEGO System shines: we have a very large selection of existing pieces that allows us to make pretty much anything, as long as we are creative and ”explore” the most out of the bricks shapes, functionality and colours.
HBM/JN: Was consideration given to creating UCS like plaques with vital statistics on?
Cesar: we wanted the plaque to be as simple as possible but at the same time that would be a nice add on to the model and so we felt that simply having the Star Wars logo and the name of the helmet would be enough.
HBM/JN: What makes the new box design special?
Jens: With the new box design we wanted to show that this is something different. The helmets are targeted mainly the adult audience, and we wanted to communicate that, not just with the 18+ age marking but with the overall look and feel of the box also.
HBM/JN: What helmet did you work on?
Cesar: I worked on the Stormtrooper and the TIE fighter Helmets.
Niels: And I worked on the Boba Fett Helmet.
HBM/JN: What’s your favourite Star Wars helmet?
Niels: I’ve always liked the helmet of Boushh. AT-AT Driver is also a personal favorite of mine, and when it comes to Rebel helmet it’s probably the B-Wing and Y-Wing helmet. I just love their weathered look and many different painting styles and decorations.
Cesar: the ones I worked on: Stormtrooper and TIE fighter! 😊
HBM/JN: What other Star Wars helmet(s) would you like to see added to the line in the future?
Niels: well of course I would love to see the Boushh helmet, as it’s one of my favourite helmets in the Star Wars Galaxy. The Scarif Trooper helmet could also be super cool, as I really liked the design and colour of that one.
Thanks to the LEGO Star Wars design team for taking the time out to answer our questions. Thanks also to our friends at HispaBrick Magazine for sharing their interview slot with us.