Nexo Knights is one of LEGO’s biggest and most exciting new themes this year. The original new theme a bold mashup of futuristic technology and medieval knights! For the lowdown on Nexo Knights, check be sure to read my “What is the LEGO Nexo Knights theme” post. ‘
Initially, I was a little apprehensive about the entire theme as it looked kinda “kiddy” but after seeing and building some of the sets myself, I’ve warmed up to the theme considerably. Expect some reviews soon when I get around to photographing and building more sets.
I recently got the chance to interview Frederic Roland Andre, one of the LEGO Designers who worked on NEXO Knights, which I’m very excited to share! This is the first time I’ve been able to interview a LEGO designer and I’m very honoured to be given the opportunity. Frederic played an integral part in the design and concept development of NEXO Knights.
Previously, Frederic has been involved with a few Star Wars sets and also worked on Galaxy Squad, having a hand in designing one of my favourite builds from the set, 70708 Hive Crawler. He’s also a prolific MOCer and has a knack for putting together some really cool Space-inspired designs. Check out his body of work on Flickr.
I really hope that you enjoy this read!
How did the concept for Nexo Knights come about?
We tried to give a futuristic twist to the traditional castle universe and create a brand new LEGO universe. We kept a lot of icons from the knights: the weapons, armour, horses and castles and added elements such as holograms, computers and hover technology into it.
What are some of the things that the team drew inspiration from during the design process?
We drew inspiration from basically every thing – from recent movies to furniture design! We try to incorporate current trends into our models so they look fresh and appealing to kids. We also took a look at older Castle and Space LEGO themes to see how we could improve them.
Nexo Knights is unique in the way it combines LEGO bricks with an app and a television show seamlessly. Can you tell me more about how the design process took these elements into consideration?
We developed all 3 aspects of the Nexo Knights experience at the same time so we could have constant communication between us. We also developed the Nexo Shield Powers and tried to tie the TV show, the app and the toys around them.
LEGO Fans can roleplay digitally just as they do physically with the toy. They can play as any of the 5 heroic knights to battle the Lava Monsters that they see in the toy line and TV series. They can also activate in-game special effects with the physical toy by scanning in the 150+ powers, with each one having a unique effect to use when battling the Lava Monsters.
Can you tell me more about the Nexo Knights LEGO sets and how the design team came up with some of the more outlandish and unique models like the Mecha Horse and Clay’s Rumble Blade?
We designed the good guys’ vehicles around their favorite weapons. Clay is the master of the sword so we tried a few ideas around this theme which resulted with the Rumble Blade. Same goes for Lance and his Mecha Horse. The most iconic thing for the spear was jousting so we made Lance a horse. We tried to infuse iconic castle elements like horses and knights with high-tech gear but kept the bad guys very medieval and magical to contrast them.
Were there any designs that were too “out there” that didn’t make the cut?
Yes, of course! We tried so many different ideas for the knights, the bad guys and the Nexo Knights universe in general. Some were way too big, some were too futuristic or too medieval. But we kept everything as we are still exploring ideas for possible future releases.
Nexo Knights seems like it’s mostly targeted at younger children, but what can AFOLs look forward to in the theme that might not be immediately apparent?
I’m an AFOL myself and we created a lot of new elements to give the theme a fresh and unique look. My favourites are the new pointy elements such as the 1 X 1 Pyramid and the 4 X 4 slope that will provide new shapes for adult LEGO fans to explore.
Which is your favorite set of the theme and why?
The Fortrex without a doubt. It was made by Senior Designer Luka Kapeter and was the model that really gave Nexo Knights its flavour. I love the way it opens and becomes a “real” castle. I also really like the King’s Mech by Senior Designer Junya Suzuki.
What is your favourite LEGO set and theme of all time?
I’m a Space fan and my favorite set ever is 6985 Cosmic Fleet Voyager. It was the first set I got and the one I have the most enjoyable memories of.
I liked it so much I made a more personal version of it some time ago.
Thank you very much to Frederic for taking the time to do this interview. It was a huge honour being able to pick the brain of a LEGO Designer and was wonderful to hear about the design process and concepts that went into Nexo Knights.
LEGO Nexo Knights sets are available throughout Australia at all major retailers and toy shops. They’re also available online via LEGO.com. If you’re thinking of picking some Nexo Knights sets up, I highly recommend 70327 The King’s Mech or 70315 Clay’s Rumble Blade. The King’s Mech is in my queue of sets to review, so look out for it soon!
Update: The entire range of LEGO Nexo Knights are now available in Australia at long last, but certain sets are exclusive to different retailers.
- 707327 The King’s Mech is a Big W exclusive
- 70324 Merlok’s Library 2.0 is a Kmart exclusive
- 70325 Infernox Captures the Queen is a Toys R US exclusive