Judging LEGO MASTERS: Exclusive Matthew Ashton interview

LEGO Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton shares the secrets behind being a LEGO MASTERS judge with Brick Fanatics

The first series of LEGO MASTERS saw the LEGO Group’s Vice President of Design, Matthew Ashton, judging the entries of the various contestants. Given his extensive experience overseeing the designers at the LEGO headquarters in Billund, he knows his bricks. Now that the show is back for Series 2 and he is back in the Build Room with fellow j

What was it like coming back for a second year, with all of the experience from the first series?

It has been really nice and honestly I’ve missed it, even though it is always intense having to juggle this and the day job. It’s like a real breath of fresh air as well because you get to meet LEGO fans, see what they do and give them that opportunity. To spend so many weeks with people and then to see the magical things that they can create by just being given a brief, a set of number of hours and go wild.

When I first walked in to the Build Room this time, I was like “I’m home”. That was really nice, I hope it goes on for a long time so I can continue doing it.

When you started with the LEGO Group, a little while ago…

Yes, 18 years now…

…did you ever imagine you would find yourself judging on a primetime television show?

When I was really little I remember playing with my LEGO with my brother in his bedroom, and thinking I want to be a toy designer when I grow up, then you think that’s not a real thing. That’s what Santa’s helpers do or Tom Hanks does in Big, it is not a real thing. I didn’t lose that dream, it was always in the back of my mind.
I studied fashion design, then got spotted at an exhibition that we did in London where I did a miniature version of my catwalk collection out of Barbie dolls. Some head hunters from LEGO were there going to visit somebody else, they walked past my stuff, spotted it and liked what I did.

Ultimately I ended up getting this job completely by accident 18 years ago and at the time, I was like on my gosh, this is an absolute dream job. I never would have thought to apply for LEGO, even though it was one of my favourite toys as a kid, and just this chance meeting between me and some LEGO people ended up me getting this job.

The fact that I already landed a dream job that I had as a seven or eight year old, then being part of a TV show and helping make movies, well that’s like three dream jobs in one go. I couldn’t imagine a better combination of things to do because also having all three things going on constantly inspires me and I get to see other peoples’ perspectives on what we do.

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More LEGO MASTERS coverage:

Series 2 Episode 1 – review
Series 2 Episode 1 – verdict

Meet the teams:
Adam and Odette
Catherine and Patrick
Paul and Lewis
Jayden and Kato
Chris and Joseph
Nathan and Tom
Harry and Ollie
Izzy and Stuart

 

Graham

Graham is the Editor of BrickFanatics.com, with plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. If you would like to get involved with Brick Fanatics, as a builder, writer or photographer – then please contact Graham at graham@brickfanatics.com.

Graham

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