Meet the Filipino designer whose Sesame Street LEGO set will be sold worldwide

Published October 24, 2020, 1:20 AM

by Angela Casco

  • Ivan Guerrero’s childhood favorites have been turned into a LEGO playset.
  • His ‘dream come true’ started in 2017 when he submitted his Sesame Street set design to LEGO Ideas, the toymaker’s community-based website, which accepts suggestions and gives designers a chance to convert them into actual sets.
  • Eventually, his design got the approval of the toy production giant and it was given the green light for commercial production and release worldwide.
  • On Nov. 1, the sets will be on the shelves of LEGO stores around the world.
  • The 1,367-piece Sesame Street set includes mini figures of Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, and Elmo, with Guerrero’s proposed characters, all set around the apartment building often seen in the episodes.
  • The Sesame Street LEGO set will be available in the Philippines this Nov. 1 via LEGO Certified Store PH. The first 100 boxes to be sold will be autographed by Guerrero.

Filipino designer Ivan Guerrero whose Sesame Street set will be sold worldwide starting Nov. 1

It’s not often that a fan’s LEGO design gets the green light from the Danish toymaker for commercial production and release worldwide, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. There’s Filipino designer Ivan Guerrero, for example, whose Sesame Street set is about to be sold worldwide.

Guerrero is the second Filipino to achieve this feat, after software engineer Leandro Tayag’s Voltron set got the green light in 2017.

His Sesame Street set that is about to get worldwide exposure credits the show he grew up watching – where he learned the ABCs and 123s – for much of the creative inspiration he has now as a commercial director.

He first submitted his Sesame Street set design in 2017 to LEGO Ideas, the toymaker’s community-based website, which accepts suggestions and gives designers a chance to convert them into actual sets.

The program requires a submitted design to earn 10,000 votes before it can be considered to undergo a selective review process.

Eventually, his design got the approval of the toy production giant and this year, on Nov. 1, the sets will be on the shelves of LEGO stores around the world.

The 1,367-piece Sesame Street set, based on the show which first aired in the 1960s, includes mini figures of series mainstays such as Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, and Elmo, with Guerrero’s proposed characters, all set around the apartment building often seen in the episodes.

The 1,367-piece Sesame Street set includes mini figures of series mainstays , with Guerrero’s proposed characters, all set around the apartment building seen in the episodes

At the back of the main apartment building, the interiors of Ernie and Bert’s room, as well as Elmo’s room, can be seen.

Another building, which LEGO later decided to add in the design, has character Abby’s secret garden and Cookie Monster’s apartment room.

Guerrero’s playset is also the first to have an original mold for the mini figures unlike the standard design, which includes a studded-head, body, and legs.

For many fans of the show, it’s a chance to relive memories of watching Sesame Street as a kid.

For Guerrero, who spent months researching and designing the set, it’s also an opportunity to bring the long-running series’ most memorable episodes and the lessons that came with it.

Apart from Easter eggs and a UFO on the roof in reference to The Martians called the Yip-yips, Guerrero has included a piece bearing a caricature of Mr. Hooper. It’s a nod to episode 1839, where the character, played by Will Lee, dies after Lee’s passing, in an attempt to teach young viewers a lesson on death and grieving.

Though he initially hoped that it’d coincide with the show’s 50th anniversary last year, Guerrero says the set’s release, nevertheless, is a dream come true.

“As a long-time fan of the LEGO Group and Sesame Street, it has been a dream come true to be able to merge my two passions into a memorable set for fellow builders to enjoy,” he says in a statement.

“LEGO bricks and Sesame Street shaped both my childhood and adult years, and the opportunity to work with the LEGO Ideas team to bring this quintessential New York street to life has been thrilling.”

The Sesame Street LEGO set will be available in the Philippines this Nov. 1 via LEGO Certified Store PH. The first 100 boxes to be sold will be autographed by Guerrero himself.

Meanwhile, the filmmaker has also submitted a LEGO set based on James Cameron’s Avatar and it currently has about 9,500 votes. He’s hoping for its approval in time for the movie’s sequel set for a 2022 theatrical release.

 
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