Hello Huw, thanks for chatting with us. How long have you been building?
What got you into building initially?
What do you enjoy most about building with Lego?
What Lego set (or sets) excites you the most?
What part or set would you like Lego to make?
What inspired you to come up with Brickset? How long has it been running?
It started out in 1997 as a static web page on my internet ‘home page’ (remember them?) that listed the various promotional sets that were available at the time from the likes of Blockbuster video, Shell petrol stations, ferry and airline companies and so on. The information was out there, on the rec.toys.lego usenet newsgroup, but not in one place. So, the initial aim of the page was to enable me, as a collector of such things, to keep track of them. Over time its scope expanded to include all LEGO sets.
I registered the domain name Brickset.com in July 2000 making it over 20 years old now!
What was your biggest challenge in starting Brickset?
In those early days the technology was basic, to say the least, so the challenge early on was to learn and leverage the new technologies available as they came along to improve the site and add new features. The original static web page soon become a web page driven from an Access database using ASP (active server pages). When Microsoft launched ASP.net in 2001 I think it was, it was a huge improvement and it enabled me to take it on leaps and bounds.
Another challenge, one we still face to this day, is keeping the database up to date. I think by the time we were in the early 2000s we had a pretty complete list of every set made to date, so from then on it was just a case of keeping on top of new releases. But with hundreds every year, that’s no easy task.
What makes Brickset unique among Lego websites?
What features does your site provide and how can builders take advantage of them?
What building tip or advice do you have for builders?
Don’t get disheartened when you look at the creations at Brothers Brick, for example, and think that you could never build anything to the same standard. Study other people’s techniques, try incorporating them in to your own models and before long you’ll be coming up with your own. Three years ago, I hadn’t built a single GBC module, now I have dozens of my own designs and a few that have been replicated by other builders – the highest accolade in the GBC world!
That is indeed the highest of accolades Huw! We here at BB↑ say thanks for making such a great site and taking the time to chat with us. Stay awesome!
Images provided by Brickset, used with permission.
Interview edited for clarity.