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Last week I had the big pleasure of attending San Diego Comic Con 2018 together with a big contingent of other LEGO colleagues, although I was at SDCC for Voltron and content that we would produce around it. The LEGO Ideas team present at SDCC 2018 consisted of Darryl Kelley (Marketing Manager), Sam Johnson (Design Lead), Niek van Slagmaat (LEGO Designer) and we worked closely with Billy Trotta and Steve Marucci from the LEGO FanTube channel who were on hand to film and edit lots of great content! It was my very first San Diego Comic Con (or Comic Con for that matter), so it was very exciting to be a part of it. And I can guarantee it won't be the last time I go either - despite the crazy crowds. ^ There was fortunately still time to have a bit of fun and check out all aspects of the LEGO booth and the rest of the convention floor 🙂 The LEGO Group had a large centrally located booth consisting of a store on one side and an experience zone on the other, in addition to a small upper floor where we held interviews and filmed content. The experience zone had a couple of large LEGO sculptures including a mighty Thanos, Aquaman and Ultrakatty, which drew a lot of impressed eyes and selfies, but also had scaled up versions of the Deadpool and Black Lightning exclusives packaging for fun photo-ops (I got in on the Deadpool action as can be seen above). Besides this, the booth also included a mosaic building experience for each day, where fans could build small sections of larger LEGO Movie 2 mosaics, as well as glass cabinets showcasing new/upcoming sets. As part of LEGO Ideas' presence at Comic Con from Wednesday (Preview Night) until Sunday, we were selling a limited quantity of LEGO Ideas Voltron sets each day and we must say we were positively surprised by the very large turnout and number of inquiries for the this set. It was very rewarding to see, hear and experience all the positive reactions, comments and questions from fans. It's always great to chat with LEGO fans! To make these sets a little extra special we had Sam Johnson and Niek van Slagmaat sign the hundreds of boxes we had brought along, with some fans requesting additional personalisation when they spotted Sam and Niek next to the store front. For background, Sam Johnson initiated the process of building Voltron to determine the feasibility of Lendy Tayag's original submission after which Niek took over and worked endlessly on perfecting the design. Throughout the days we had at Comic Con, we had planned a series of videos in collaboration with LEGO FanTube (subscribe if you haven't already), one of which is published already (see below) and is an interview with the Executive Producers of the Voltron: Legendary Defender show, Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery, who also happen to be LEGO fans. Besides this I had the chance to host a session together with Sam, Niek and Darryl and a separate one with just Niek and Sam. We also had visits from Let's Voltron, the official podcast of Voltron, who spent time talking to Niek, which you can hear more about here, as well as Norman Chan from Tested.com, who also interviewed Niek (some people - deservedly - get all the attention 😉). During the event we had decided that we would give away the built version of Voltron that we had been using during our interviews and show-and-tells and were determined to find a random, passionate LEGO Voltron fan (who had not managed to get a hold of one of the signed boxes) to give it away to on the last day of SDCC. To leave our SDCC 2018 mark on this particular Voltron we signed the different lions as well. We enlisted the help of some of the staff at the LEGO booth who had seen some fans come and go each day without any luck and found the unlucky, but lucky today, Francis - a 15 year veteran of San Diego Comic Con. We invited him, and his family, to join us upstairs where, to his big surprise, we presented him with the signed Voltron model and a few other LEGO treats. It was wonderful to have a chat about Voltron, LEGO and LEGO Ideas with him and as it turns out he was an early supporter of the project on LEGO Ideas. We know that this Voltron has found a good new home! Darryl, Niek and myself fortunately also had time to sneak away from the LEGO booth to attend the panel held by members of the Voltron: Legendary Defender show (which you may have seen on Netflix). This included Executive Producers Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery, story editor Josh Hamilton, and several of the voice actors. It was incredibly interesting to hear their perspectives on as well as their vision for the show, characters and their development and, unfortunately, to hear that there will only be 26 episodes left!! We were also very happy to see that part of the panel included a presentation showing a slide about the new LEGO Voltron set! I did manage to spend a number of hours walking the isles of the convention floor spotting beautiful artwork (unfortunately I didn't have the luggage space or space at home to buy some) as well as wildly impressive cosplays everywhere that I looked. Below are some of those cosplays that I spotted (sorry...totally LEGO unrelated)! 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Last week we learned about friendship and teamwork in the Enfield office by taking a break to watch the first couple episodes of Voltron Legendary Defender (can you believe some of us hadn't seen it?) and build the new LEGO Ideas set 21311 Voltron. One of the many wonderful things about this set is that each of the five lions comes with its own instructions booklet, allowing the four of us to each build a lion. I took on the blue lion, while Darryl did the yellow, Tim did the green, and Alyssa did the red. Tim finished first and had the honor of building the black lion – who is much bigger than the others, while Darryl got to do the sword and shield. Then, in the spirit of teamwork and coming together and other wholesome themes from the show, we assembled Voltron. It was kind of a big deal.
Today I built the new LEGO Ideas set #21313 Ship in a bottle together with my son. It is a very nice build with a lot of details and pretty good looking. A lot of transparet elements used in the bottle so that can be very interesting too. Also all decorated elements are printed which is very nice - the box as well as the instructions look Ideas typical high quality and include details about the fan designer as well as the LEGO designers involved. Building time approx. 1 1/2 hours. We had fun - check out the pictures.