LEGO fan interview with Steve Guinness, aka TheBrickConsultant
LEGO typewriter by Steve Guinness (aka @thebrickconsultant)

AFOL interview with @thebrickconsultant – Steve Guinness

21 March 2020

Steve Guinness – aka @thebrickconsultant – won’t need any introduction for many AFOLs in the UK, but for those who do – he’s a long term adult fan of LEGO and lives in Chester in North West England.

Steve was winner of series one of the LEGO Masters UK television show alongside Nate Dias, and is a prolific builder – particularly of LEGO minifigure habitats at the moment! He’s a member of Northern Brickworks LEGO User Group.

So, enjoy this AFOL interview with Steve about his LEGO hobby and fandom.

What was your favourite build from the LEGO Masters TV show?

Steve's favourite LEGO model - the final build on LEGO Masters UK

Our final build was my favourite as it is probably the biggest creation I have ever made using LEGO. At two meters square it probably contained around 100,000 pieces. It also told a personal story of me as a teacher trying to balance time spent at work whilst making time to play.”

It was superb – everything was so well transformed in to life-sized models. I loved the toy box particularly – something quite “Toy Story” about it all!

Many adult LEGO fans build alone; what was building with Nate on the show like?

Building collaboratively with Nate was really good. We had built a few collaborations before going on the show, and we work really well together, having strengths in different areas we are able to support each other whenever we come across an issue in a build and work out the best solution.”

You can find Nate on Twitter as @LEGO_Teacher.

What is your favourite LEGO set of all time?

“My favourite set of all time is probably a fond childhood memory I have of opening the Classic Space set 6971one Christmas morning, having written it on the top of my Christmas list. I remember it being so exciting shaking my presents and listening for the classic LEGO sound! I don’t have the set any more but recently saw an unopened copy in the LEGO vault over in Billund.”

If you could bring back a LEGO theme, which one would it be?

I’m not a great fan of licensed themes – Star Wars etc. I love the original themes that LEGO comes up with. Mixels was a theme that me and my son really enjoyed; we collected every single one and were really disappointed when they came to an end!”

LEGO Mixels collection by Steve Guinness and son

You’re currently building “minifigure habitats” for each of the collectible minifigure series. What started this epic task?

Steve Guinness' LEGO minifigure habitat builds

“I spotted the idea on a competition hosted by Rambling Brick [a LEGO blog by Australian AFOL Richard Jones], I made a few and quickly got hooked! I have now made approaching 100 and don’t plan on stopping any time soon! Its a simple and fun way to express my creativity, which is what I love to do in all my LEGO builds. With a minifigure habitat, I try to squeeze unique detail in to an 8×8 square and I love to make use of unusual parts and pieces wherever I can.”

What was your first LEGO set?

Steve's first LEGO set

“I have a picture of me and my sisters, when I was just 4 years old, with a LEGO train set. The picture was actually featured in the instruction manuals for the Build Bigger Thinking sets a couple of years ago.”

You used to be a Teacher, what do you currently do?

The Brick Consultant - logo

“Yes I was a Design and Technology School Teacher in Secondary School for 18 years, but just over a year ago I decided to stop teaching and set up my own business called The Brick Consultant. I now do a range of things including making bespoke LEGO model commissions, run workshops in local Museums and visitor centres, and I have recently trained with the LEGO Education Academy out in Billund and gained certification to enable me to go in to schools and run training days with LEGO Education products.”

The LEGO Education Academy sounds like great fun to me!

What is your favourite LEGO element, and why?

Steve's favourite brick: the humble 2x4 LEGO brick

“My favourite  element has to be the classic 2×4 brick. It’s what started it all over 60 years ago, it appears on the original patent, and it is still really useful and versatile today. I often run Big Build workshops where we will build a large scale model mainly using 2×4 bricks.”

Your typewriter made 10,000 votes on LEGO Ideas – what does that feel like?

@thebrickconsultant's LEGO typewriter on LEGO ideas

It was fantastic to reach 10,000 supporters after a couple of years of hard work, coming up with the idea, prototyping a number of different models and then gathering support. It means a lot to me to have so many people support the idea, and my fingers are crossed for the LEGO review board decision later on this year. I think it would be a totally unique set, that could appeal to a range of people. It would be a dream come true to walk in to a LEGO store and see my own set up on the shelves for sale!”

You can find Steve’s brilliant LEGO typewriter on LEGO Ideas here. I really love the keys!