"Get Your Brick On" with LEGO Masters' Amy Corbett 🧱 (1)
Bethany Van Delft 0:02
Is there a new LEGO set on your holiday wish list? It's so tough to choose one when everything is awesome. Today we're getting our brick on with an official LEGO Master. I'm Bethany Van Delft. It's Saturday, December 11th. And this is the Ten News gets Extra.
Various Voices 0:21
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Bethany Van Delft 0:29
Are you a LEGO masters fan? You know, the TV show hosted by Will Arnett where for the past two seasons, teams of LEGO builders have competed to create the most amazing LEGO creations. It's so cool. The show has two very impressive judges, Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard, LEGO architects who have been behind some of LEGO'S biggest launches. Wow. Well, hold on to your bricks. Because Amy Corbett joined The Ten News to speak to our executive producer Tracy Leeds Kaplan, about being a part of the show, and all things LEGO.
Tracy Kaplan 1:10
Welcome to the Ten News. We're so excited to have you here today. We know that you are zooming in with us today from Denmark. So, can you tell us a little bit about what your day is like working at LEGO?
Amy Corbett 1:25
Yeah, well, first I say I'm super excited to be here with you. So thank you for having me. But my day at LEGO, one of the fun things is that every day is a little bit different. Because as a designer, we're always solving different challenges. But every day involves building with bricks, you will be happy to hear. So we're thinking about different ideas in the team, maybe in the morning, and then in the afternoon, we'll go out we'll build them. And we'll see what we can come up with or bring them back together. And then we also love testing out the ideas with kids. So we have kids in the office quite a lot just playing with the different ideas we've come up with.
Tracy Kaplan 2:00
So tell us, did you just grow up one day and you said, you know, I love playing with these LEGO bricks? I'm going to go work at LEGO. How did this all happen?
Amy Corbett 2:08
I think the thing is, I never quite grew up, I get to be a big kid, which is great. But no, I always loved being creative and art and I also loved math. So I was looking for something when I went to university that could combine both. And then I thought okay, being a designer is pretty cool. I can also use my math. And then toys are the most fun way to be a designer in my perspective. So, that's how I ended up at LEGO.
Tracy Kaplan 2:31
And you're famous in this household for being the brains behind LEGO Friends. How did that come about?
Amy Corbett 2:38
Yeah, so I spent a long time when I first started in LEGO and the LEGO Friends team. And we saw an opportunity was always a lot of girls, maybe at the time that wasn't feeling like LEGO was for them. And they couldn't find see themselves in other products. So we tried to kind of tackle that problem and see how we could create a product line that would reach more girls and more kids? Really, and it took off. We're super excited about it. And we're so happy that it's still going strong to this day.
Tracy Kaplan 3:05
Do you have a favorite LEGO friend set?
Amy Corbett 3:07
I love so many of them. So it's hard to say but selfishly my favorite is probably the ski lodge because there's a little Amy in that set based on my ski outfit. So I am super excited by that. That is still my claim to fame. I feel.
Tracy Kaplan 3:23
Oh, I'll have to look at that. I think my favorite is when there are little cups of coffee in there. I feel like that's for me.
Amy Corbett 3:29
Details are good. Right? And, the coffee is certainly good there.
Tracy Kaplan 3:32
That's great. So how did you go from your amazing job to another amazing job becoming one of the hosts of LEGO Masters?
Amy Corbett 3:40
Yeah, I'm guessing it was a little bit of fate in the air. But as soon as I heard of the show being made in America, I was like that looks really fun. I would love to be a part of this and talked to a few people, did a couple of auditions. And luckily it was there, Jamie and I that were picked to be on the show. And actually, Jamie and I had never worked together before we were on the show. But we have so much fun working together which is super lucky. And I think we balance each other out really well because I love making the playful kids' designs and Jamie you know, makes huge sets for adults. So we have both sides of the skills there.
Tracy Kaplan 4:16
It seems like the two of you have known each other forever. There's such great chemistry. And then also with the host, Will Arnett, the three of you just seem to be having a blast.
Amy Corbett 4:28
Oh, we have so much fun together I think. Yeah, I think it's as much fun behind the scenes as it is on camera. And actually seeing the brick builds come to life in real-time is very exciting. But yeah, we have a little giggle, we have a little joke and we get along really well.
Tracy Kaplan 4:42
We're always debating the story that some of the contestants come out with and the creativity versus the technical skills like Zack and Wayne and the creations they put together. How do you judge? I mean, it's also the two of you. So do you ever get stuck in a tie?
Amy Corbett 4:58
Oh yeah, a little lot of the time, we spent a lot more time than you see on the camera back and forth discussing who's winning, we always try to think about what we set at the beginning of the challenge. So what have we asked the contestants to do? Who has really delivered on that? And what's the mix of storytelling, creativity, and technical ability? And yes, there are a few heated discussions, and behind the scenes, and sometimes we have to put it down to the tiniest little details. And it's a big process, actually.
Tracy Kaplan 5:28
Sure. Now, now, do you and Jamie build your own versions of each challenge?
Amy Corbett 5:35
Unfortunately, they keep us so busy behind the scenes that we don't have time to build. But you can always find me, Jamie, and sometimes Will, hanging out in the corner saying, you know if I could just get my hands on the bricks and take part in this challenge. This is what we'll build, or why doesn't the team just do this? Or how cool would this be? So, we can never stop thinking about the ideas and have to confess, we do a little side-building. So we do mini-builds ourselves because we cannot keep our hands off the bricks.
Tracy Kaplan 6:01
So as a parent, I, of course, watch this and think who puts everything away at the end, so do the creations get put somewhere and saved for the season or does someone come through at night and kind of break everything down?
Amy Corbett 6:16
A little bit of both. So we tend to keep the winning builds, we take really good photos of everything. But we do have a team who takes the builds apart at the end of the day. And they work really, really hard to take these creations apart. And it's quite sad, actually, sometimes to see them be broken down. But at the same time, I very strongly believe that LEGO bricks are designed to be reused and rebuilt and make other creations.
Tracy Kaplan 6:40
That's great. Okay, so now we want to know, there have been some great costumes during this past season of LEGO masters. I mean, I don't know if you were supposed to be in the suit of armor, and Jamie lost the bet and had to be in the suit of armor. But, how involved are you in your wardrobe choices?
Amy Corbett 7:01
We have a fabulous wardrobe team. But I have to confess that I just love trying on the different outfits so much that I probably have more say than the wardrobe team is happy with. So there is a really fun day at the start of this season where you just have a room full of clothes, and you try everything on. And I love that day. And then when we have some fun challenges, and we have a chance to wear costumes, then Jamie and I are very upfront and love having a little bit of fun and picking a costume. So, the princess one for me was super fun. But I really wanted to be a strong Princess, hence why I had the LEGO belt, bow, and arrow. And Jamie is the suit of armor. I mean, we had a little discussion of who should be in it. But he was so excited about that. And I think he pulled it off. So well. It was hard to work. That thing was heavy.
Tracy Kaplan 7:37
I'm sure. Yeah. So that's a great segway into just talking about, you know, women and girls involved in LEGO. And I think you know, one of the things with seeing you is that strong princess with your LEGO bow and arrow. How has that changed for you since doing the show of really being a role model for young girls?
Amy Corbett 8:10
Yeah, I mean, I have to say is one of my most is the thing that goes the biggest smile on my face is when I get a little message from someone, and especially from girls, or dads of girls or moms of girls who said that maybe their kid didn't realize that LEGO was something for them. And since seeing me on the show, they now realize that they can build. Of course, it makes me sad that someone would ever have thought they couldn't build, because everyone out there you can build with LEGO bricks, you have permission. But I think it's really nice. It's really nice to have visibility out there. I also want to say we have lots of great female designers in the LEGO Group. I'm certainly not the only one. And there's lots and lots of us. But it's also great to see strong female builders in the competition. I think for me, that is also super exciting that they're out there. I think there are so many more of them out there that haven't popped up yet. And so many more kids are building with LEGO after seeing the show. So it feels like a big responsibility, but I also feel super proud and excited to be the face of that.
Tracy Kaplan 9:11
So, you have your role every day at LEGO. There have been so many sets. What do you think about what you know, what you do next? Or what you bring back in the LEGO Universe?
Amy Corbett 9:24
Hmm, is a very good question. I think there are lots of different ways where we try to very much see what the kids at home and fans are wanting so we're very much aware of what's going on in the LEGO community and what people are talking about. And but every year we kind of have a certain number of months in the summer, where we're just all about ideas. We try new things. We play with different ideas, we build stuff and the office really looks like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory with all the different ideas. And then at the end of that, we really try it with kids and consumers and see what is the most exciting about what has the most potential. And then from there, we move forward with some ideas. But unfortunately also means that some ideas that we love, or that you at home might love, don't make it through because there are just so many different opportunities that we can come up with. It's just amazing how many times though, that our team of designers can reinvent the LEGO brick in different ways. And I think that's so exciting.