Rock and roll secrets of the LEGO® Ideas Fender® Stratocaster™ guitar
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LEGO® Ideas Fender® Stratocaster™

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Rock and roll secrets of the LEGO® Ideas Fender® Stratocaster™ guitar

We may be biased but we think the LEGO® Ideas Fender® Stratocaster™ totally rocks. It’s packed with tons of cool details that pay tribute to a special piece of musical history.

Instead of running you through all the cool features that make this LEGO Ideas set so awesome, we thought we’d ask LEGO Design Manager Samuel Liltorp Johnson to do a solo for us, so over to you Sam…

“The LEGO Fender Stratocaster was ‘born’ differently to how we normally do a LEGO Ideas set. This time, we launched a LEGO Ideas competition with the question

‘What does music mean to you?’. With over 1000 submissions from fans, the Fender came out as the winner. “What’s so cool about the model is that it doesn’t just focus on one band or one artist. As an instrument it has a bigger part in music history that gives people with different musical tastes a connection to it.”

The silhouette and scale

“One of the biggest challenges was translating the distinctive curves and fluid lines of the Fender® Stratocaster® into LEGO bricks, which are pretty square by nature. One day in the post, we received the real guitar from Fender with a note saying, ‘Here’s your reference material.’

“It was great for the model designers Ricardo Dias and Marin Stipkovic (who are also guitar players) to hold it and see which details were important.”

“We wanted to make something affordable. It’s a memento or gift for someone that fits on a desk or in your music studio, maybe on top of your amp.”

More than a replica

“We were trying to design a model that is more than just a replica, that is an experience. We achieved this by asking ourselves, what does this object mean to the fans? Why is it important to them?

“We worked hard to put in the details and feelings that make you want to display it and show it to your friends.” For example:

The headstock

“We thought, where does the headstock place in the timeline of the Fender Stratocaster? At one point Fender scaled down the head of the guitar, but we couldn’t scale the brick to be smaller, so we ended up going with a larger headstock and thus creating the 70s model of the Stratocaster.”

The amp

“The amp is a faithful replica of a Fender 65 Princeton Reverb Amp, right down to the jewel. We were kind of joking about a little detail for the jewel light, saying ‘wouldn’t it be funny if it were the LEGO jewel?’ Fender loved it, so we kept it.”

“Our model designer, Marin, wanted to build the amp as a homage to the way the amp is manufactured, so he built the body – and then you build the speaker part of it and mount that inside. There’s also a small circuit board inside the model.”

The strap and sticker

“Fender provided us with an image of their best-selling strap. Our graphic designer Beatrice Amoretti replicated the design, but with a twist. She scaled it to the LEGO system brick scale and imprinted a LEGO brick pattern on the fabric. Fender was impressed and wanted to turn it into a real guitar strap.”

“Although that didn’t happen, this sparked the thought of “what if Fender made the real version of our LEGO guitar?” They did – and that’s how we got the red Fender guitar used in our promotional shoot!

“Their best-selling product is a Fender logo sticker, so for the set we made an exclusive one that you can stick on your amp or guitar case. We’re acknowledging how people use guitars and how they embrace music.”

Working with the fan designer

“Something we really want to do in LEGO Ideas is keep that original fan vision alive. The fan designer, Tomás Letenay, became a member of the design team and saw to every detail. He is the actual rockstar of this project!

“He had this idea that if you were to buy a Fender Stratocaster, you would decide the color, so his original idea came in several colors. To honor this, the guitar comes in black and red, with a foldable stand like the original design, plus guitar picks using a piece from LEGO DOTS.

“That’s the best thing about LEGO Ideas: We wouldn’t have made any of these products if someone hadn’t submitted them.

“This set came from a special competition part of LEGO Ideas, and although it was not voted for by fans like normal LEGO Ideas sets, they’re telling us what they love and what they want to see.

“Fans submitted ideas inspired by instruments, bands, musicians, a moment that’s important to them, song-related ideas – there was really no limit and that’s how the LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster was born.”

How we made The Beatles out of LEGO® bricks

Find out how our designers were able to make wall art of The Beatles by inventing a brand-new building technique!

Looking for more?

Check out the Adults Welcome homepage to see our collection of adult-focused sets and articles!

FENDER, STRATOCASTER, ESQUIRE, TELECASTER, PRECISION BASS, PRINCETON, and the distinctive headstock shapes commonly found on Fender guitars are trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and/or its affiliates.