Alumni sees LEGO set hit the shelves
Crafts graduate Tom Gerardin has landed his dream job at LEGO, with his first set hitting shelves at the beginning of this year.
Tom’s set, ‘The Heartlake Downtown Diner’, is part of the next generation of the popular LEGO Friends range, introducing eight new characters. This new diner set includes a moving jukebox and arcade machine, sandwich-making ingredients in the fridge, and an outdoor seating area. There’s even a mischievous cat who sometimes visits the diner to steal food.
The Heartlake Downtown Diner, available in stores and online now
Tom graduated from BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts (now known as BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices) in 2021 and went straight into a designer role at LEGO in Billund, Denmark after taking part in LEGO MASTERS, a Channel 4 TV series aiming to find the best LEGO builders in the UK and Ireland.
Tom (left) with teammate Nathan on LEGO MASTERS
Tom said, “When I was 4 years old, I received my first LEGO set (the 7200), and ever since then it’s been my dream to be a LEGO designer. Growing up with this dream, I’ve received many knock backs from people telling me it would never happen, it’s not a real job or try to sway me away from my dream, but LEGO was my dream and nobody could change that. It was hard to stay positive about a dream like this because sometimes I had to be real and think, what if it doesn’t happen, what then? But it’s thanks to some very special people in my life that encouraged my dream. All of those people, my Mum, my fiancé, my new found family at LEGO Masters, they each played a part in helping me achieve my dream job and because of them, and with my love for the brick, I joined LEGO as a designer in August 2021.”
“To me, LEGO is everything. It’s the tool that I use to bring my imaginative creations to life in a way that I can with no other. It’s my escape from everyday life and it is my biggest passion. I interact with LEGO bricks every day in one way or another. Nothing made a mark on me as LEGO did, and I don’t think anything else ever will.”
You can buy Tom’s ‘The Heartlake Downtown Diner’ in shops, online and through the Lego website.
Students at Arts University Plymouth have many opportunities to collaborate with students with other specialisms on campus, including graphic designers, photographers and filmmakers. To find out more, visit the next Arts University Plymouth Open Day on Saturday 11 March, from 10am to 2pm.