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Friday, November 8, 2019

What Am I Doing?!

I may seem a bit quiet on the content front at the moment, but don't worry, all is well.  I'm not in a motivational rut and there's no other problem behind the scenes, but at the same time there's no big-bang MOC I'm secretly working on or anything.  This is the most dramatic new product release lull of the year, with the trans-holiday rush looming over the horizon, and I always use this time to work on mundane chores that nobody else cares about.  Most of these "between" seasons have delayed starts as normal work goes overtime, and that has resulted in a significant backlog against which I'm now making as much progress as I can, while I can.  For those curious, here are some of the major groups of chores currently underway:

  1. Reviewed set processing
    • These days I publish a lot of the pre-review work that goes into each set in the form of build videos.  What you don't see is all of the stuff that has to happen afterwards.  Every product goes from short- to intermediate-term staging areas, then gets sorted into "keep," "sell," and "donate" queues.  Nearly everything in the "keep" bucket gets broken down to individual parts, which then get painstakingly sorted & stored for future MOC making.  Items to be sold are disassembled, packaged, recorded, and further processed.  Sets to donate are either disassembled or packaged as is, depending upon size and the specific needs of the benefactor (this year I'm giving LEGO Replay a try). All of this takes not only time, but a life-impacting amount of space.  Oh, and let's not forget about all of those empty boxes.
  2. Studio upgrades
    • I make substantive alterations to the main white void filming area at least a couple of times per year.  Most are intentionally subtle enough on camera that nobody notices until they go back a few years and observe the cumulative differences. This year I conducted several new lighting experiments which I'm now consolidating & finalizing while I also extricating a significant pile of equipment that some newer pieces have rendered obsolete.  Instead of just improving the finer technical details of producing videos with my standard anything-on-white style, this time I've actually given myself some new options to modify that style.  One of these was even teased in a few recent videos, but nobody has noticed, yet.  (They will, though; all noticeable changes, temporary or otherwise, are always received with some level of drama/trauma.)
  3. Technology upgrades
    • There's a bunch of stuff related to computers, software, and service providers that's always looming over me like a slowly growing dark cloud, and I'm presently knocking a heaping load of it off my plate.  I'm talking about everything from changing out older surge protectors throughout my house to resolving video editing program plug-in update incompatibilities.  The recent California blackouts and specter of their long-term continuation have also introduced a need for additional electrical and security backup considerations.
  4. Commissions
    • A bit of work dragged on from my recent LEGO build commission for a couple weeks after I talked about it, but that's now 99% complete and a final invoice has been submitted.  In the meantime, I've picked up another unexpected, paid project!  This one's a bit smaller & less glamorous, with a bit less of a time crunch.  The non-disclosure period for this one should end before I can share details about the earlier gig as well.

That's about it for now.  I can barely walk through my office thanks to all of the cords & light stands & power supplies & other detritus, so I'm going to keep at it.  The next release season isn't too far away and I want to make some substantive MOC progress soon, in addition to starting the plan for a whole new LEGO layout (!!).


  1. You mentioned boxes. What do you do with them- flatten them for space or keep them as is (for keep/sell/donate times)? I've got a bunch myself and am not sure what to do with them. Is it more of a hassle to keep &/or sell, or vice versa? If I do sell, do you have any idea does an empty "Lego" box sell for? Any space saving/money making box idea from you would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. Dont worry I saw the part about a new Lego layout. Can't wait to see whatever progress you give us when you can give us..

  3. A new Lego layout!!! That is exciting news, and another commission is also interesting to hear about. I wonder if the new Lego Master show coming out will increase that sort of work for you and other creative builders. It is interesting to get an understanding (and an appreciation) for the scope of your Lego work life in posts like this as your job is quite unique. Thanks for the insight:)

  4. Jang, have you ever though of doing Bricks and Bits with J2G, brickitech, and MandRproductions?

  5. I've been wondering why there have been pauses between content releases. Good to hear that your taking care of stuff that while we don't see it, is extremely beneficial to the channel. Super excited to learn more about the new LEGO Layout!

  6. Hey jang love your content as it is what sparked me to get back into lego. I can fully understand the life changing impact of storing a large number of sets. I have been collecting for almost 2 years for when my kids get a bit older and i have busted shelves and a garage that barely fits my harley in it. Have you ever thought about starting from a completely blank slate with your city again?

    much love from Australia

  7. Love your YouTube videos. Be curious as to your thoughts on LEGO purchasing bricklink

    Just don't see how them having significant influence over secondary market is a good thing

  8. now I know you're busy with plenty of other things but is it possible you could do a commission when you get the chance?

  9. Hey Jangbricks, love your content, and don't really care that there have been more frequent breaks. Hope that there are more cool buildings and skyscrapers to come to your city.