We just wrapped up the final day of the LEGO Recognised Fan Media Days a few hours ago, and I was very lucky to have been able to speak to the LEGO Star Wars design team.
Sitting in on our interview was Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, Creative Lead LEGO Star Wars, Design Director, and Michael Lee Stockwell, Design Manager LEGO Star Wars.
We got given a sneak peek at some of the upcoming LEGO Star Wars sets which I can’t talk about much for now but can confirm that new and old Star Wars fans will be very happy!
A few days ago, I invited some questions from my readers for the LEGO designers, and we managed to ask a few questions from you!
Interview with LEGO Star Wars Creative Lead Jens Kronvold Frederiksen and LEGO Star Wars Design Manager Michael Lee Stockwell.
Is LEGO allowed to sell Star Wars minifigures on their own without a set, say as a Minifigure Series?
Jens: It’s actually it’s more complicated than that. The rule in our contract with Disney is that we can make construction toys for Star Wars and construction toys in this case is bricks.
Minifigures are a part of LEGO sets and they need to contain of a certain amount of construction.
So we cannot just sell minifigures.
What about magnets and keychains? That’s kind of different as they are merchandise.
There was also a rule that sets had to contain so many pieces for it to count as a construction toy, so no, we cannot sell minifigures on their own.
It’s not something that we decide we don’t want to do – it’s something we just can’t do.
Another question that we got from readers was about the fate of Battle Packs. Will we get more or are they done as we haven’t seen them in a while/.
Jens: It’s good that you brought it up – I was going to link it to what we talked about before. We use Battle Packs as a way to make minifigures accessible at a good price. You get several, and this is for the collector who wants to build an army.
Battle Packs are not gone forever.
There are many factors that decide what a LEGO Star Wars assortment looks like. In the overall picture, it (battle packs) just didn’t fit in this year, which is why there are no Battle Packs this year.
Without saying too much, you can definitely say that they are not gone forever.
Michael: Battle Packs will definitely return.
Jens: We know its a loved concept as its a way for us to offer minifigures at a good price.
With the back catalogue of Dave Filoni shows like Rebels now available on Disney+, are there any plans to bring back or revisit models from the past, in a way that we’ve seen in Ninjago Legacy? Particularly ships like The Ghost from Rebels and earlier Clone Wars ships.
Jens: That’s super interesting. It’s not something we discuss constantly, but we are definitely seeing everything as opportunities.
For example, older Clone Wars ships which would be interesting to do again. It’s the same with classic ship that we do over and over again because they’re great to have on shelf.
There are some things we’ve done in the past that are more niche and were popular when they were out because they were more relevant at the time that might not come back.
They might be too niche, even if everything is available on streaming.
But nothing is ruled out – that’s the only thing we can say.
Michael: The thing is, we have to balance between what’s hot and new, at the same time, always make sure we’re providing new Star Wars fans with iconic Star Wars products like X-Wings and TIE Fighters and Millennium Falcons because those are our Police Stations and Fire Stations.
It would be great to be able to go back and do things from Rebels or whatnot, so nothing is ruled out.
Lens: If we’re going to bring something back, I can almost guarantee that it would be an always be a brand new model. With the 20th anniversary models, we actually tested it out with the old Anakin Podracer.
The old Anakin’s Podracer, we took the old one from 1999 and people were like “well it looks a little bit blocky and old fashioned”, which is why we made a little bit more of an updated version of these classics.
Will we ever get an Aunt Beru minifigure?
Jens: Is that a wish from you?
It feels like an opportunity for more representation that’s been overlooked.
Well, her scene isn’t one of the most action packed sequences in the movie but we definitely know that its a character that we have overlooked.
The only thing we can say without promising anything is to wait and see.
Michael: we have a list of all those characters that we have continually overlooked, and we’re aware of some of them. We know we need to try and find a spot for them, and she’s been one of those characters. We will do our best.
Jens: Things could happen.
Even after the release of the original trilogy and the Clone Wars period, there’s certainly been a significant increase in the variety and number of female characters that are coming through every year (in Star Wars properties)
The good thing about that is that all the newer content for the latest Trilogy and also all the other new content that’s available, there are just more female characters. And so for us, it’s great and makes it much easier to be inclusive when we’re designing our products, which of course we want to be.
Special thanks to Jens and Michael for being so generous with their time and responses!
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the LEGO Star Wars Design Team, and forever puts to rest the misinformation surrounding why LEGO won’t ever sell standalone Star Wars minifigures.
It doesn’t help that influential Youtubers like Mandrproductions continue to spout all sorts of misinformation and poorly researched/sourced claims about the LEGO Star Wars Minifigure issue, so here you have it, direct from the LEGO Star Wars Creative Lead himself.
That said, LEGO’s current licensing agreement with Lucasfilm/Disney runs until 2022 (it will likely be renewed), so maybe this could change when they renegotiate the terms and amend the contract, so don’t rule this out forever as contracts and licensing partnerships are fluid.
Thanks for reading! Be on the lookout for more material from RLFM Days 2021 in the coming days as I sort through all the interviews and recordings!