Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Builder Interview: Mike McCooey a.k.a "mmccooey "

Here is the first of I hope several interviews of serious Lego designers.  I am not sure what I will find along the way but I do hope to reveal a bit more about the amazing people I have met in the Lego community.   

MMccooey is an extremely talented Lego craftsman in a rarely ventured field of design: Large ScalePose-able Figures.  Rare enough in fact that I don't think I have ever seen another do it and talented enough that his Spider-Man was picked as one of this weeks Cuusoo Staff Picks.

http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/24061


MMccooey has used his talents to recreate a variety of heroic characters including Deadpool, Symbiote Spider-man, Batman, and my favorite of his builds: Iron Man
  
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/32157

The detail and articulation of these builds would certainly cause a crowd anywhere they would be displayed.   
As for Cuusoo, well, mmccooey's subject matters are already licensed to Lego, but I think mmccoey's proposals are treat the IP in a fantastic manner totally divergent from Lego's current practice and stand are exemplary examples of bringing something new to Lego's table.  



Interview


Please Introduce yourself with as much biographical data as you would care to share: Where are you from? How old are you? What do you do for a living? 

First Name: Mike McCooey Hence the uncreative moniker mmccooey 

From: New Hampshire Aka "The Shire" USA 

Age: Just turned 30 (But will forever be the mental age of the suggestions on a Lego Box)

Employment: Graphic Artist/ Designer Specifically T-shirts I work for a company called Eastern Mountain Sports. Here's a link to a video my company did on my work.




Are you known on any other social media platforms? Please provide links to your profiles?

I'm on Twitter but Never use it (It's linked to my cuusoo, but dormant) I'm active on Flickr, I have a Facebook but it got hacked, and I basically washed my hands of it!
You can also Find my stuff on MocPages.


When did you first become interested in LEGO bricks?

As long as I could remember I was into Lego I inherited some sets when I was a little kid in the 80's and quickly started building my own Mocs.


How have LEGO bricks influenced you?

I'd have to say without question, Both Lego and Comics equally inspired my Career, as well as my extra curricular activities. The concept of using your creativity and limited resources/parameters to create something is literally what I do every day!

What inspires your Lego building process?

Comics and of course other builders! I'd say I always wanted to be a comic book artist or Lego Designer Growing up, so I combined the two to scratch that itch!
I also Love Highly detailed/articulated action figures, especially HOT TOYS brand. I love that the things I love are finally being taken seriously. 


Could you describe your MOCing process? Do you start with an idea and work towards it? Draw it up? Just play with Lego and see what evolves? 

Lego has come out with parts in the last 10 years or so (wedges and click hinges) that allow for pose-ability and realistic shaping of human anatomy. So as those parts came out I realized I could potentially make action figures with them, so individual parts are actually a big part of the process. I do all of the above, sometimes I work it out by hand sometimes I Sketch sometimes I use Ldd. 


What LEGO builders do you admire? How do they inspire you?

Too Many to count, so if I left anyone out I apologize. I have to call out my fellow figure builders- MoodSwim and Mortal Swordsman, I like to think of them as the 6" action figure equivalent to my 18" figures. Although  they are smaller, their stuff is probably more challenging because they have a much smaller canvas to create. Mr Xenomurphy is a fellow Designer/ Lego Builder, and of course we have similar subject matter. And of course Orion Pax, Legohaulic, Nannan Z, Lego Duo Moko, Arvo Bros, Orche Jelly, Shawn Snyder, Chris Roach ETC.


Do you have a favorite official Lego set? Theme? Minifig?

I loved Spyrius and Exoforce, and of course, The Latest Comic book themes, my recent fave was the Arkham Asylum. Favorite Minifig would have to be Deadpool!


Your actions figures builds are really quite impressive. 

Thanks! 

How long do they take you to build?
Varies, each one is a new challenge, but between my personal life of being a Daddy for a little girl and my Professional life my time is fleeting! I've spent a lot more time building Lego friends sets and Princess Castles than I have action figures lately. But I'd estimate that if I had the free time about 1 month, between experimentation, bricklink waiting and photography. The Hulk has taken close to a year, however as he is twice the size and requires a whole different frame.


How many parts are involved?

Varies, I don't keep track, but I'm currently building Spidey in LDD and just one leg and foot into it and I'm well over 100 parts, so safe to say: a lot!


Do you work on more than one character at a time?

I do, am working on the Five remaining Avengers right now as well as Wolverine and a gray and black Batman, I have a lot more in my mental sketchbook.


How much does one of your builds cost?

A lot, mostly because I am rather imprecise when I buy parts, I always buy more than I need and a wide variety of parts to try out what works, I also use a lot of Dark Blue, which is rare and Pricey.


How long have you been developing your figure template?

About a year or two now, Deadpool and Batman are the old frame, Spiderman Is the Super Poseable Frame, Iron Man and Cap are modified Spidey Frames. Black widow is a slimmer female frame, and of course the Hulk is a wormgear and At-AT joint monstrosity.


Do you have any more characters you are working on?

In addition to what I mentioned above, Down the Road I intend to do the Ninja Turtles as Well as Robocop. I have lots of wips on my Flickr account.

Are you a member of a LUG?  If so which one?

Nope, I should be though!


How did you get started in the Cuusoo community and what does that community mean to you?

Someone on a comment thread had suggested it, I did it as an afterthought initially, My Batman had gone Viral-ish so I thought I should capitalize.

But now that I am involved, I am very involved! I love that the community is very polite and generally courteous, that is a rare thing on the internet!


What is your motivation behind posting to Cuusoo?

Same as everyone else, a childhood dream come true to have one of my creations sold as an official set. A pipe dream perhaps, but I'm the type that would rather try and fail then not try at all.


What are your favorite projects on Cuusoo, besides your own of course?

Yours and Darth Ky's Wayne Manor is hands down my current favorite. I also love the human skeleton and the Tyrannosaurus Rex


What have you learned from your time on Cuusoo?

That a quality project that is unprompted will go NOWHERE fast! Also Lego has a very nontransparent review process, so even if I hit the mark I know my chances are slim!