The team at the official Star Wars website recently spoke to Global Head of Product for LEGO Star Wars Mike Ilacqua, Creative Lead for LEGO Star Wars Jens Kronvold Frederiksen and Chris Gollaher, director of product design at Lucasfilm. Topics included the upcoming 75313 AT-AT and how the theme mixes models aimed at adults and children, or in some cases both, as well as how the LEGO Group confronted the view that sets were just for kids.
“There’s been a concerted effort the last few years to design products that are centred around passion points,” said Mike Ilacqua. “Of course, Star Wars is a huge passion point with adults and we’ve had a really strong adult audience for some time,”
“There was a perception that we needed to overcome that LEGO building was just for kids, when in fact it has so much appeal when you’ve had the experience. The biggest challenge we had was removing or overcoming that barrier that LEGO building is just for kids. You’d have to be a passionate LEGO builder to go after a 7,000-piece set. How can we bring some models to life that are more accessible?”
“I think Jens and his team have done a fantastic job in how they approach the design and features between sets that are geared for younger audiences,” commented Chris Gollaher “The kid-directed sets tend to be more mini-figure driven. They have features, they have play opportunities – once you build them, you can play with them.”
“The adult-targeted set tends to have less of those features built-in, and more of the display details. The amount of small detail that goes into it comes out in those adult sets, I think, in a fantastic way,”
“That’s where the focus is. That’s where the number of bricks, the way we use it, the way we do the build is designed to be as accurate as possible to that vehicle or that helmet or that moment. Whereas in the kid set, play comes first. Obviously, we still want to be accurate. Jens and his team do a fantastic job – interpreting the physical thing into a brick form. But there are play factors built in there.”
That combination of play and display-focused builds is clear in LEGO Star Wars with models ranging from smaller battle packs such as the new Snowtrooper variant coming in 2022 to the most expensive creations ever made that even feature specific display stands.