This is part 2 of our interview with Kevin Hinkle aka MrHinkleDraws. Kevin use to work for LEGO for 12 years in stores, corporate / marketing and as the community manager for North and South America. Kevin is now pursing Art and Graphic design that he formally trained in.
This part of the interview will focus more on social media, particularly streaming, Kevin’s interest in LEGO as a building product, along with some of his cool MOCs he has created. Of course we’ll finish off with why they don’t bring back classic Space, Pirates, Castle, Trains, Monorails etc.
You don’t necessarily need to have watched part 1 but it is here:
The first part of the interview focused more on Kevin’s career the day after he left LEGO and building up his Graphic and Illustration business.
Time codes to interview.
0:00 Social Media & Streaming – Doodle Stream – Bricksmith78 – Philadelphia Brick Fest – Entering the world of streaming
3:23 First Stream
3:59 Online vs in person – new area of the community
5:03 Origin of the podcast – Forever Sorting and 2019 Resolution to stream
7:13 The origin of “Backlog building” on every Friday during 2019
8:33 Launch of Doodle Stream and only stream in 2020
10:03 Evolution of Doodle Stream, themes and multiplayer version
11:03 Return of LEGO Brick Building stream due to popular demand
12:38 Challenges of Home Schooling
14:18 24 Hour Streams and earning your stripes
17:03 Boxed Coffee to keep you going
18:18 What are your hobbies outside of LEGO and Drawing? Retro Gaming… particularly Nintendo
20:23 Earthbound – all time favorite game
22:34 Favorite Super Mario Game
23:53 Custom Super Mario MOC “Series”
27:23 Long Term Streaming Goals and limitations
28:13 Angry Video Game Nerd
29:58 Favorite LEGO Set and double speed play back
31:04 Favourite Theme?
31:34 Theme glad that it is gone
33:03 Like Technic or Not
33:28 MOC that you are proud of
36:38 Talking about MOCs… or not
38:53 How big a space for LEGO & LEGO Room Tour (EP1)
41:03 Kevin Who? Playlist
42:59 Estimate Number of LEGO Pieces
44:00 Theme you wish they would bring back
44:17 LEGO Super Mario and Zelda
46:46 Favourite build of the last year
47:29 Favourite LEGO Resource
51:11 “IP Locked pieces”, what that is & weirdness
55:26 Set you wish you bought but never did
57:02 Any AFOL groups you are a part of
57:51 Why are you into LEGO?
1:01:43 Contact Details
1:03:06 Big Goals for the Year
1:04:59 Why don’t they bring back Space, Pirates, Castle, Trains, Monorail?
1:06:47 LEGO Focusing on the new, not the old
1:08:23 Its turned into a joke
1:09:48 You could change topics every couple of seconds
Partial Transcript from the Show
Just one question that which , I remember seeing somewhere one of the questions you get a lot , or use to as the LEGO rep was “when are they going to bring back space, pirates, castles and monorail?”
Yes, all the time
You had an interesting answer in particular for trains and the monorail that part of it is because the older people who have it, the cost of them maintaining the sets are quite high , or turning it over when it breaks. I didn’t quite understand that answer so particularly with monorail and trains.
Oh, I don’t even know. I’m trying to remember what I may have said back then.
I had like a really good prepared answers for things and over time you know, they all start to mix together. I mean that the reality is that over time a lot of people from the community have a lot of demands. Is should say and a lot of those demands focus on bring back x,y or z.
Bring back the Café Corner – huge one. Bring back Monorail – huge one. Bring back classic fill in the blank. So it would be classic space, classic pirate, classic castle and there is this ongoing mentality of bring back this, bring back that.
And LEGO itself doesn’t really like to focus too much on reguriating the same thing over and over again. They really try to chase what is new. Not necessarily saying that is the right thing or the wrong thing , that is just what they do. Its like “what is the new innovation?” “what is the new play mechanic?” whats the new this? Whats the new that?
Every now and then you’ll get a product designer or a graphic designer that is keenly aware of the communities interests and nostalgia and their the ones that hide in the interesting homages in the sets that people are like “that is so cool that LEGO put a like a nod to Bionicle in this set”, or they . That is usually a very specific product designer or a very specific graphic designer that knows the fans will like this when I do this.
The company as the big engine, they are not necessarily really ever interested in “what can we bring back?”. Its always “what new thing can we bring to market?” And so they get very turned off when they hear “bring back anything”. You can put anything in there. A lot of marketing executives will immediately stop listening to you when you are like “bring back…” whatever.
Its a lot about, in the marketing corporate world how you phrase things. I’ve been in meetings where I literally say the same thing but use a lot more flowery language and it gets a whole different response. Its like I could say “That’s a stupid idea” and everyone thinks I’m rude. Or I could say “I don’t believe that is the best strategy for that proposal” and I’m a genius.
Its like it’s the same thing but you know, monorail in particular, its also kinda difficult cause I feel like half the people that ask about it aren’t even serious. Its kinda almost evolved into a joke. So like some of the people say it just to see what kind of a response they will get from whoever LEGO rep they ask.
And some of them have even admitted that. They go like “I don’t even care I just wanted to see what you were going to say. And its like, that isn’t very constructive. And I mean I’ve had those side conversations with people where I’m like “that’s not very constructive. Think about all the people in the audience who are genuinely confused as to why you keep asking every time I’m out here”.
But yeah I’m trying to think of what I would have even said about. I’ll go back and have a look as I think it was on an M and R stream that you did. Oh maybe. That was like what 2 years ago now maybe on the podcast Bricks and bits.
I mean that is, there is something in the equation about cost of upkeep of 9 volt trains. I don’t remember what I said. I’m sure it was really well articulated and right on the money. But I don’t remember.
Its just one of those things. I think it was more cause of the way the question got asked and gave an answer but then they chopped to something else. It may be, that happens a lot.
Over my time, it’s a huge deal when someone is like “We’ve got the LEGO guy, hit him with everything” so you could change topics every couple of seconds [fingers clicking] and you are like “what are we doing”. Your PR brain is like, “hold on, we’ve got to readjust to what messaging is next, what messaging is next?”.
Rapid fire. The community will test your PR skills every day of the week.
Kevin Hinkle Links
Home Page https://www.kevinahinkle.com/
Mr Hinkle Draws Patreon https://www.patreon.com/MrHinkleDraws
Instagram Personal https://www.instagram.com/mrkevinhinkle
Etsy Store https://www.etsy.com/Shop/MrHinkleDraws
Kevin Hinkle LEGO Room Tour
Kevin Who Playlist
Tuesday Night – Brick Building
Friday Morning – Doodle Stream
21,430 Piece Mario
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