For the love of Legos: an interview with Mike Wasilewski on his brand crush
Here at Frank Collective, we asked the staff to tell us about their “brand crush.” Essentially a brand you fell in love with and are crazy about. It seemed right to start with Co-Founder and CCO, Mike Wasilewski. Plus he put his hand up the fastest and said “ME, ME, ME!!!” over Slack, so I went with him as the first interview. We chatted over zoom about what made him fall in love.
Mike: I don’t know how Zoom ready I am.
Jiffy: You’re fine. Just think of this as an intimate conversation about Lego bricks.
Jiffy: When and how did you first discover Legos as a kid?
Mike: My earliest memory is having had one of those little poly bag Legos. It was a little Santa. I got it as a stocking stuffer at my grandparents house. It made a little abstract Santa Claus. And I pulled that thing apart and reassembled it over and over again, probably for the better part of the next 18 months. I was three years old, definitely too young for the actual size of the pieces, but it was the 80s, so people just didn’t care.
Jiffy: Were you a Lego kid?
Mike: I was as much as I could. Legos have always been kind of a premium thing.
Jiffy: When and why did you put them down?
Mike: Became a teenager. Other things started being cooler. BMX bikes, skateboarding, snowboarding, dumb movies, girls, things like that, college…
Jiffy: And when and why did you most recently come back up?
Mike: The pandemic is a simple answer. I was sitting here, literal cabin fever sitting here in upstate New York. I just could not see myself sitting in front of yet another Netflix series or binging a video game or doing screen time. I needed to be away from it, but I like to fiddle and make something. There’s something that’s nice about Legos in that. You don’t necessarily have to be creative. You just follow the plan and build something and you feel accomplished. So it was nice to just unwind at the end of the day, to follow the directions and assemble this. And then I have a little trophy to put on my shelf.
Jiffy: What was the set that you started on?
Mike: An Audi Quattro Reveille car replica from the late 80s, early 90s. It’s kind of like that iconic yellow and white rally car that I just saw and was like, oh, I’ll put that together. Thinking it was going to take like two, three hours to put together. I put it together in about 30 minutes and that just sparked it. It all came back to me–the unboxing it, I was amazed by the directions, the detail of it. And I immediately finished it and I hopped on Amazon and I bought the replica of the new Land Rover Defender that had just come out. I think I paid a premium for it. So I found that Amazon is not where you should buy your Legos. You go to Lego.com. That’s the best experience. Yeah, and then the brakes were off. I think by the time the Defender showed up, I already had bought three more sets. And now I have a closet full of Legos.
Jiffy: What do other adults think? When you tell them about the Lego stuff?
Mike: Everybody initially pokes a little fun, but then they come around. It’s no different than if I did adult coloring books or cross-stitching or some sort of craft. People get it. It’s funny, actually, how people now associate me as the Lego guy, like, oh, he’s obsessed with it. I mean, I kind of am.
Jiffy: Have you gotten other friends involved in it or are you in any kind of social group?
Mike: I have, yes. A couple of people actually got into it too and then we just started chatting, and so now I have a group chat called Blockheads with some of my other friends. We read blogs about it. I’m up on the sets. I’m learning about “MOCs”–people who build their own versions of Lego sets and then sell the instructions on how to build it.
Jiffy: What has been your favorite set so far?
Mike: Oh, man. I gotta look around the room. I got my hands on this guy–the Lego haunted house. It’s a collector’s edition. It was available to Lego VIP’s and then it sold out and then it sold out like three more times, I put it on my wish list and every day I was refreshing my watch list. And I got it.
Jiffy: Are you a VIP?
Mike: You can just sign up for it, so yeah.
Jiffy: What is the dream Lego acquisition that you have in your sights?
Mike: I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but I think I would love to be able to build the giant Millennium Falcon and also the Death Star. I would love to have it. It’s like a trophy to say–I did this.
Mike: The funnest thing to build was easily the T-rex, that was the coolest thing. They hide Easter eggs. Because they splice in some frog DNA in order to create the dinosaurs. There’s a hidden frog early in the instructions. When you build the racks, there’s a frog that you put into place where the heart goes. It’s in the first 40 steps.
Also the haunted house. It has really quirky, weird things in it. Like I kept calling Brooke over. I’m like, look at this. And she’s like, OK, (pat on the head), thinking my 38 year old husband is acting like a 12 year old right now…Okay maybe 7 year old.Back to Blog