Fans of 80s cartoon TV shows, you must be familiar with a certain robot named Voltron
The Defender of the Universe probably made your Saturday mornings livelier and your childhood more memorable.
Well if you’re a fan of the popular TV show and brick toy Lego, we’ve got superb news for you.
More than three decades after Voltron premiered on our TV screens, the Super Robot is getting itself immortalised in the form of a Lego figurine!
The Lego Voltron is part of the Lego Ideas collection, an online program where fans can submit their own ideas for Lego sets.
Each submission must garner a minimum of 10,000 votes from the community and the Lego review board will then decide to produce the set (or not) based on a set of strict criteria.
Now, the best part about the Lego Voltron set is, the idea was actually conceived in Malaysia and designed by a Malaysian-based designer!
We sat down and spoke to the man behind every man’s childhood dream – to own a giant-sized Lego Voltron.
Meet 41-year-old Leandro Tayag
, who managed to get the Lego community to rally behind him to help him make his vision a reality.
A Lego Dream Come True
The first thing that popped into our mind was, of course, the question: “Why Voltron
Leandro explains that it is something he really liked as a child and he grew up with it. So, thanks to him, he’s actually helping make every 80s kids' dream come to life.
Leandro tells us that as a child, he used to play with Lego sets (who doesn’t), but eventually stopped as he grew up.
As fate would have it, he was re-introduced to Lego back in 2014 and he has never looked back since.
The software architect first submitted his Voltron
idea in April 2016 and within 22 days, it managed to rake in over 10,000 votes
Who would've thought that two years later, he’d be signing boxes of Voltron Lego sets for a huge crowd at the Lego Certified Store in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
Ninjago Fan At Heart
Let’s be honest, Lego sets can be costly, especially licensed ones, so it’s no wonder that some fans are frugal or selective when it comes to buying them.
This also applies to Leandro, as he says that he actually only has a small Lego collection, around five of them.
“When I buy them, I see them as parts not (Lego) sets”, Leandro tells Rojak Daily
And the sets that dominate his collection is actually Ninjago
“My kids and I love Ninjago
. We are big fans of the show and we’ve watched from the first season to the latest one,” he proudly reveals.
But the classic cartoon series, which featured five robot lions coming together to form a giant sword-wielding robot, holds a special place in his heart.
Once In A Lifetime Opportunity
“When I shared the news with my family members that a Lego Voltron set design was happening, they were very happy for me and proud of me,” Leandro says, as his son came up and hugged him during our interview session.
We asked his shy son whether he was proud of his dad, and he nodded in agreement.
Well, who wouldn’t be proud to say that their dad designed a Lego Voltron set which had hundreds of Malaysians queueing up to buy even before the store opened, right?
It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Lego fan, who's also fondly known as Lendy.
After Lego greenlit Leandro's idea, he worked closely with the company's designers to bring Voltron to life.
“Lego was amazing, their designers were really kind to me.
"They took in whatever feedback I gave during the design process and actually incorporated it. They’ve been wonderful to work with.”
And if you’re curious what Lendy gets out of all this, well, apart from being a hero in the Lego community, Lego actually gave him 10 Lego Voltron sets which, he tells us, have already distributed to his family members.
For Future Lego Ideas Contributors
So, for you budding Lego builders out there, we’re sure deep down in your heart that you’d like your own creation to come to life and have thousands of people supporting you.
“This was something that I have never would’ve imagined happening,” Leandro admits, but he was thankful for the support he was given.
For all you aspiring Lego fans no matter how old you are, the man has a few words of wisdom for you.
“Just keep the passion, keep on building what you like. Make sure you can accept feedback and criticism. Do whatever you want and always be passionate about it.”
Leandro surely didn’t see it coming when he first submitted his idea on the Lego Ideas platform.
If you've always wanted to design your own Lego set, you should start doing it now and who knows, a few years later we’d be here to celebrate your Lego creation coming to life!
The Lego Voltron set is available online, at all Lego Certified Stores and Legoland Malaysia for RM848.96