Most of you are aware of the newest LEGO CUUSOO set Back to the Future. But even less of you know who the man behind the model is. Who is he? Masashi Togami.
He's the founder of the LEGO CUUSOO Back to the Future Team. He's got quite a few models on CUUSOO now, and plenty more on the way.
I had the opportunity to get an interview with him over email. He let me know a little about his love for BTTF, his model design process, and he sent me some info and pictures of his upcoming models.
He's got some great stuff going on. You should definitely click the button below to read the interview. Or if you don't have the time now, read it later.
Masashi: When I was in elementary school, “Back to the Future” was the first movie I ever saw. BTTF, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015, continues to provide hope and dreams to viewers today.
From the present to the past, and to the future. Since I was a child, I always believed that the BTTF Time Machine was a perfect match for the world of LEGO [bricks]. Using bricks, I attempted to create the BTTF Time Machine countless times. However, I never had enough of the necessary bricks and, as a child, I lacked the building skill necessary for such a detailed project so I never succeeded.
20 years later, after becoming an adult, I met Sakuretsu, a minifigure builder. He listened to my childhood dream, and in 2011 Summer I added the BTTF Time Machine to LEGO CUUSOO.
BrickEnd: How do you choose which BTTF models to make for CUUSOO?
Masashi: At first, Sakuretsu made the sample model. He included the idea that our DeLorean Time Machine can transform three different type of car(movie part 1-3). In addition, He made it possible that Marty and Doc can sit on seats.
BrickEnd: How do you go about designing new models?
Masashi: I think it is highly completed. As Team BTTF, we would like to improve the following 2 points.
1. To enable Marty and Doc to sit down on seats.
Marty and Doc cannot sit on seats if you build with the instructions. However, if you use the remained parts of the product, you can make Marty.
Our solution is they can sit down on seats as the photo shown on the right side.
More detail(Only Japanese):
As for reference, it might be the better completion if it's built as the photo shown left side.
Brickend: What is your favorite model you've built, and why?
Masashi: My favorite model is DeLorean made of 6 studs. There is no sitting space for Marty and Doc but you can store the machine in the Doc's truck. If the size is big, you need more bricks and this affects the product price. And 6 studs can recreate the movie scene of the locomotive pushing DeLorean because the width of lane of the LEGO train system is 6 studs.
In the future, TeamBTTF is going to announce following projects as shown below:
August 2013: “Doc’s Big Truck with radiation suits on Marty and Doc”
September 2013: “Marty’s Toyota Pick Up”
October 2013: “Locomotive 131”
November 2013: “Griff’s Future Vehicle”
After posting those projects, Team BTTF needs 10,000 supporters each up to consider commercialization, so please vote and support our projects!
Masashi: I don't think that. As I answered in answer 3, you can make Marty and Doc to sit on seats with using the rest parts and there are measures of reforming the bonnet. The best thing about LEGO product is that you can be creative to build by yourself. So if you can't be satisfied the product with the instructions, you'd better be creative to build and satisfy you! That's the best timing for you to be creative!
BrickEnd: Can you give us any information about future projects?
Mashashi: Same as I answered in answer 4. For new information, please check our Facebook page.
BrickEnd: What are your thoughts on LEGO CUUSOO?
Masashi: LEGO CUUSOO is where wishes come true. Team BTTF will continue promoting the commodification of Back to the Future series. Now, Team BTTF is working on those projects as shown below:
“UCS DeLorean Time Machine”
“Jules Verne Train”
“Biff Tannen’s Ford”
“Hill Valley Courthouse”
Mashashi: I am really happy that my dream has come true. I strongly believe quotes from BTTF.
"If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."
"Your future is whatever you make it."
BrickEnd: What do you plan to do with the 1% of profit you get?
Masashi: I donate ALL of the proceeds I earn from this project to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
I would like to thank Mashashi for taking the time for this little interview. I love what he's done, and I can't wait to see what will happen in the future.
Mashashi's model is available from LEGO online (currently out of stock) or in LEGO brand retail stores. If you're a fan of LEGO and BTTF, this set is a must have! Plus, Masashi donates 1% of the total revenue from the set to Parkinson's Research.
Buy Back to the Future from LEGO Shop.