Did you know, Lego has an Ideas section where fans can submit build ideas that can come to fruition as long as it garners the support of 10,000 supporters? This is how the new Lego Ideas BTS Dynamite set came about, based on the global pop phenomenon BTS' hit Dynamite MTV.
One of the highlights of my trip to Denmark when borders reopened in December 2021 was my visit to Lego House in Billund, known as the Home of the Brick, where Lego originated. It is a true dream come true for Lego fans, filled with 25,000 Lego bricks set in a 12,000-square-metre building. At the museum, I witnessed a gigantic Lego tree spanning a few floors and sweeping landscapes filled with vehicles such as planes, cars, spaceships, towering dinosaurs and more – all made of Lego bricks. It truly felt like I was a miniature in a Lego set. Lego House also offers four experience zones that allow visitors to try on the Lego building both physically and digitally, two exhibition halls, and the Lego museum showcasing the story and milestones of the brand. It was a truly hands-on and experiential museum worth the three-hour journey from Copenhagen.
My fondest memories at the museum were taking up challenges I never thought I would be able to – coming up with any design I fancied using the tens and thousands of bricks in the pool, designing a moveable car with my own hands and winning the race against fellow builders, on top of creating a 30-second Lego animation. The creativity of fellow museum-goers was next level, and the best thing about Lego House was how it brought together people of all ages and nationalities. No language barrier came in the way of creativity – visitors were held together via a shared love of creation. I surprised myself, as I had never seen myself as a designer or builder, but I came out of the museum confident of my untapped creative potential.
Based on the Dynamite MTV released two years ago, which currently has 1.6 billion views and counting, the Lego Ideas BTS Dynamite set is made up of 749 pieces, including figurines of each of the seven members; RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook of the popular BTS boyband. Expect a meticulous recreation of iconic scenes from Dynamite MTV, including the doughnut shop, ice-cream truck and record store.
Becoming a Lego Fan Designer can take up to several years and requires loads of tenacity, planning and perseverance to attain sweet success. Yahoo Life Singapore spoke exclusively with the two fan designers, Jacob Twerski, 23, and Josh Bretz, 22, who tapped into each other's skillset and collaborated to make the BTS set come alive. Read to uncover more about their creative journey and design process. If you wish to become a fan designer, read on to get tips from the two young collaborators.
About the Lego Ideas BTS Dynamite set fan designers
Twerski: Howdy! I'm Jacob Twerski, 23, from New York, and I plan to bring K-pop into the Lego world with more projects on Lego ideas. I want to become a professional Lego designer in the long run. My Instagram is @BangtanBricks.
Bretz: My name is Josh Bretz; I am 22 years old, a college student from Indiana, USA, but living in Los Angeles, California. I love sharing the fun, imagination, and creativity of building Lego bricks. I desire to inspire kids and adults to use their imagination daily.
Yahoo: What were your first experiences with Lego like? And how has that paved the way to creating the Lego Ideas BTS Dynamite set?
Twerski: My family had many Lego bricks before I was born, and since I have three older brothers, many of them were passed down to me over time. I always enjoyed playing with my brothers. That meant learning how to work as a team from a young age to make the best possible build. The skill of building as a team came in handy when designing the concept model with Josh.
Bretz: As a kid, my parents gave me Lego sets to play with, and I never stopped playing! It has been my dream to work for Lego as a product designer, so naturally, Lego Ideas was the next step in that process.
How did the collaboration and idea of building a BTS set come about?
Twerski: One random day in April of 2021, I got a message from Josh asking if I liked BTS. The rest is history.
Bretz: I knew I wanted to make an ideas project, and BTS seemed the perfect fit. So, I messaged Jacob with my opinion because I knew he was the ideal partner for this! It was easy going from there.
What is it that you love most about BTS and Lego?
Twerski: BTS has a wide range of incredible music. I have playlists of BTS songs for the gym, for when I'm sketching art, when I'm writing one of my books, or when I'm feeling down. Lego is a creative and artistic outlet that reminds me daily that my life can be whatever I want if I'm brave enough to make it.
Bretz: I enjoy the positivity from BTS. It just makes you want to get up and dance! Lego allows me to create things using my imagination and is an outlet for sharing my passions.
One of you is based in Los Angeles, and the other is in New York. What were the logistics like, in terms of discussion, planning and execution of the Lego Ideas BTS Dynamite set?
Twerski: It was super easy because from start to finish, we did ALL OF IT via messaging online, and when it came time to sit in with The Lego Group on crucial meetings about the set they set up video calls, I got to do everything from home and college.
Bretz: It was natural for us to communicate over the internet. The process was smooth, and executing the project online did not create any hindrances. Funny enough, Jacob and I still need to meet in person!
Could you share with us which aspect of the development of the Lego Ideas BTS Dynamite set each of you was involved in?
Twerski: I was the BTS expert, and Josh was the Lego expert. I conceptualized the idea of a BTS and he used digital Lego building software to bring it to life.
Bretz: I was the primary designer for the actual Lego model. As the BTS expert, Jacob provided me with the necessary tools and references. In addition, we both worked together on advertising the set on social media.
Which was the most challenging aspect of building the set, and how did you overcome it?
Bretz: Creating mini figure versions of each BTS member was the most challenging. Jacob and I wanted to get the project out as soon as possible, so we focused on their clothing. After that, I just drew on a render of blank mini figures using a sketching app on my smartphone.
How do you display your BTS set? Is there a particular favourite configuration?
Bretz: I plan on getting a quality display case for my set. I usually like to display collections with the figures interacting with the building as if they were alive and walking about the location.
Twerski: I have it built up and resting on top of its own box on my main desk. I have multiple copies, so I have two sets of the seven mini figures on display, seven on the stage and seven scattered throughout the music video scenes.
Both of you are very young. How has the fruition of the Lego Ideas BTS Dynamite set changed your life or mindset?
Bretz: Making this set a reality has opened so many doors for me. With every step I make towards becoming a Lego designer, I am more and more encouraged that one day it will become a reality!
Twerski: It has made me realize that you really can follow your dreams and that has made me decide to pursue a career in design over what I originally went to and graduated college from. It's a bold change, but I want to do what I love for a living.
Do you have anything to share with like-minded peers?
Twerski: To BTS fans in the Lego community, whether you are new to the hobby or have been here for a while: Please share your creativity! Show off what unique custom BTS displays you have built.
Bretz: Keep on doing what you love! Keep doing it, whether that is Lego play, art, architecture, sewing, or mathematics. Everyone has been put on this earth for a reason; the key is using your gifts to love others truthfully!
Everyone has been put on this earth for a reason, the key is using your gifts to love others in a truthful way!Bretz
Any tips for making their own Lego Ideas set?
Twerski: Go for it! If you have an idea and are genuinely passionate about it, do not hesitate to upload it to the Lego ideas website.
Bretz: I have been submitting ideas for the past nine years. I advise you to keep making things you love and not get discouraged when one doesn't work out how you want. If you need to, partner with someone as I did with Jacob. Things are more fun when they are a collaboration!
If you have an idea and you're truly passionate about it do not hesitate to upload it to the Lego ideas website.Twerski
Anything else you would like to share with Yahoo readers?
Bretz: If this is your first time, or it has been a long time, buy a Lego set! You won’t regret it. You can find me on Instagram: @joshbretzdesigns