Those who had the privilege of playing with LEGO as kids know how the brightly-colored building blocks can shape childhoods and set a child’s creativity in motion. It sparks our ingenuity and gives us the space to bring our wildest, cutest,
and fondest ideas to life.
That’s exactly what Filipino filmmaker Ivan Guerrero achieved with his submission to the LEGO Ideas website. His winning set, 123 Sesame Street, is the latest iteration to come out of the LEGO Ideas program, and could be in the running as the most beloved one yet. The proof? Just the fact that it sold out in just under four hours after its release to retail stores.
The unbelievably accurate, meticulously designed 1,376-piece Lego set takes cues from the adored childhood TV show set in the New York City neighborhood, complete with Bert and Ernie’s apartment, Big Bird’s nest, Cookie Monster’s quaint little kitchen, and even Oscar the Grouch’s trademark trash can.
Suffice to say, it took Guerrero months of painstaking work to achieve the set’s accuracy. He had to work through 2,945 LEGO brick in total to carve out the Sesame Street setting, both from reference and pure imagination. As a long-time fan of the show, it came to him naturally, even citing Jim Henson, the show’s resident puppeteer, as an inspiration.
But it took more than just artistic effort. When he submitted the design in October 2017, he knew that submissions had to hold a campaign to get to 10,000 votes. He achieved this feat by May 2019, with luck to partly thank for it. On the day of the final tally, the city of New York officially renamed one of its streets as Sesame Street. The show was also celebrating its 50th anniversary last year. The stars seemed to have aligned.
Prior to its scheduled launch on November 1, anticipation had already been building for the new set. Despite typhoon Rolly derailing its schedule, its release to retail stores the next day was still met with an outpour of support, selling out after just four hours. Fans were already begging for it to be restocked even before the day ended.
“Phones were ringing nonstop… All 100 autographed sets and 150 unsigned sets were sold out by 1:30 p.m,” said Sharlene Ortiga, business unit head of LEGO Certified Store. Don’t worry — LEGO Certified stores across the country will restock the prized set, and it will go for PhP6,999.75.
LEGO Ideas have brought 31 top-rated design ideas to life since 2008, but this is the first time that they have ever produced a Sesame Street-inspired blueprint. In 2018, another Filipino also received the honor of having his design turned into a real set by LEGO. Leandro Tayag, who designed a Voltron-themed LEGO set, drew his inspiration from another beloved childhood show from the 80s featuring giant Japanese robots.
(images from LEGO Ideas website)