LEGO creator Billy Burg hit me up by email a little while ago with his modest idea for a LEGO Ideas concept, but he didn’t tell me the real reason behind the set until I dug a little deeper.
Billy’s LEGO Ideas concept pays homage to the classic space sets of my childhood with a modern twist and use of more recent brick designs. He’s stayed faithful to the colour combinations with primarily blue and grey vehicles with a hint of yellow.
The concept, in Billy’s own words, is: “entitled Lunar Exploration Geological Outpost and is intended to be a fun self contained play set. There is a larger Galaxy Patroller space ship, a 6 wheeled Lunar Utility Vehicle, a Lunar Surface Skimmer for zipping across and mapping the lunar surface, together with a total of six minifigures, dog- and hover-bots plus other accessories. Including the base-plate, there are just under 800 pieces in total”.
It’s a cute looking set, perfectly functional and fun to build and play with, but not, perhaps, filled with the exuberance of some of the sets we’ve featured on The Unheard Nerd before. But something Billy wrote in his email piqued my interest, just a passing note: “If you would feature it, I would be forever grateful as I would intend the royalties to go to my Dad.” So I wrote back to find out why the gesture to his father, should the set make it to production. The response was honest.
“The reason I’d want any royalties to go to my Dad is because for the last 12 years I’ve been generally housebound, sometimes bed bound with a tick borne infection called Lyme disease. It’s a controversial disease. We’ve tried the UK (where I live) treatment options, but now as a last resort I am seeing one of the best doctors in the world in Washington DC. The costs we have spent and are still likely to spend are high. I’d like the royalties to go to Dad as he has been footing most of the bills. I’d like to give something back if possible.
Lego, even though I’m an adult has been a real life saver. I used to be research chemist. So making things has alway been something I’ve done.”
So Billy’s L.E.G.O. concept may not pay tribute to nostalgic pop culture or burst with exuberance, but it is honest, practical, fun for all ages, boys and girls, men and women. But most of all it has heart and good intentions at its core.
At present Billy’s LEGO Idea has 219 days to reach the 10,000 backers required to make it to production, and he’s a long way off that total, but it is a set worthy of just a few moments of your time to back, and the ramifications of having his set manufactured could go a long way towards doing some good in the world.
Visit the LEGO Ideas website to back this project and to find others hoping to be green lit.