Out of all the LEGO series available, I love Nexo Knights the best because it’s funny, awesome and in some bits (if you know where to look), it can teach you stuff. Stuff about yourself, and how you can build with others.
There are five main characters in LEGO Nexo Knights: Aaron, Clay, Macy, Lance, and Axl. Each of these characters have their own personalities, with traits any kid can relate to. For example, Clay trains every day and he has ideas for all the knights. That means he is bossy and that could be something to cut down on. Try to not be as bossy. Aaron (my favorite) is always up for more adventure, excitement, fun, thrills. Basically more anything! My advice would be to never give up, like him. Final example would be Lance. He’s famous and he wants all the “squirazzi” (a squirebot paparazzi) to take photos of him. He has taught me to never waste valuable time doing stuff like making your hair look perfect, like him.
Recently, I was reached out to Samuel Johnson, creator of LEGO Nexo Knights, and asked him a few questions about this awesome world he has brought to life. Sam is a great designer. He has worked on many products, including Doctor Who, Ninjago, and Chima. He knows his LEGO—when he was a kid like us, he wanted to work for LEGO. He wrote a letter to LEGO, asking what he needed to do to score a job as a designer with them. They gave him some great advice, and inspired him to study hard to work at LEGO as an adult. Since he started, he has designed 47 different LEGO sets!! Sam is now happy to share that same inspiration with the next generation of LEGO lovers—like you and me!!
Here are the questions I asked, and the answers by Samuel Johnson, Senior LEGO designer:
1. How did you conceive the ideas for each NEXO power?
In LEGO Nexo Knights, we have a huge power system created by the digital wizard Merlok 2.0. To create this, we started with the decision that we wanted to bring a distinct new digital aspect to classic LEGO building to create a new type of play for a new generation of builders. Creating the Merlok 2.0 app meant we needed a huge number of powers for the players to engage with. We spent ages coming up with fun ideas for powers and silly names which you can find in all kinds of LEGO products and media.
2. How did you do/think of the effects of a NEXO power (not animation)?
When we started out on LEGO Nexo Knights, the ideas for NEXO Powers started out in the concept models for what you now know as “Ultimate Nexo Knights” sets. We made models with all kinds of crazy functions and the digital design team working on the Merlok 2.0 app too inspiration from there. And that’s where all this craziness started!
3. How and why did you use different main colors for each NEXO knight?
We actually started out with all the knights being a unified team all dressed in blue, but the problem was that you couldn’t tell them apart even though, upon close inspection, they all appear very different. So we tried out all kinds of different colors for the knights and they all ended up with the colors that you know now. To make the models more “signature vehicles” for each knight, we carried over some of their colors onto the vehicles.
4. How did you animate things like Aaron going to ultimate Aaron?
I actually designed the Ultimate Aaron set. It was one that appeared in the very early stages and was so cool, we just had to keep it. I was then told the names of the three powers he would have, so I made his other accessories match those… As for animation, we really wanted to have the “Ultimate Nexo Knights” appear in our animated series, so I helped the studio (M2 Film) come up with the idea that they could fold up into a tiny backpack and only come back when a strong enough Nexo Power was downloaded to the Knights
5. How did you make the visor on each helmet flick up and down by itself?
In animation it’s easy to do a lot of cool things like this. I wish the real thing could do that too!
6. How did you animate Aaron blasting at full speed on his hover shield?
When we have cool effects like these, we help the studio create Neo-like effects such as pixel flames (seen in Merlok’s library), magic smoke (like in the Book of Monsters) etc. It’s a very interesting process.
7. Aaron is my favourite character in NEXO knights, so who’s yours?
Aaron is a great choice, but my favourites are Macy and Lance. Macy is such a cool role model and I can’t wait to show my daughter how cool she is. And Lance… who doesn’t love Lance???!!!
It was a great insight into the creative process of LEGO. Talking to people like Sam is always a great thing for kids like you and me; they are always encouraging us to let our imagination fly! Sam has lots of great advice and tips, with his main one being “JUST BUILD!”
Photo by EG Mum
EG Nefarious is the fourth member of the well-moustached EG Inc, and son of GeekMom writer Evil Genius Mum. Nefarious is 7yo, loves LEGO, recently won the class award for science and dreams of being an astro-physicist / mechanical engineer. One day, he will build his own TARDIS and take over OTHER worlds, while his family take over this one!