This Garden City Man Is LEGO’s Newest Designer

Mar 5, 2018

Jake Sadovich of Garden City, Idaho, had his LEGO design put into production by the toy manufacturer in Denmark, February 2018.
Credit Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

At an engineering and science festival in Boise in February, Jake Sadovich was showing children how to build a rocket ship.

“Do you want to do that on the second layer, too?" he asked. "I’ll just keep you guys doing that. So what’s going on there, on this cross-section, that’s going to be like the U.S.A. and the flag stuff on the rocket."

This rocket won’t be operational, but at 12-feet tall, it’s still impressive. It’s constructed entirely in LEGOs. LEGO, the little plastic building blocks, are child’s play to most. But for Sadovich, it’s serious business.

This 40-year-old Garden City man designed his own LEGO set that the European toy company has just put into production. His clever idea? A ship in a bottle.

Original LEGO design by Jake Sadovich, called "Leviathan," that was later manufactured by LEGO Ideas as "Ship in a Bottle," February 2018.
Credit Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Sadovich described the construction process: "You build the boat, then you build like half the bottle, stick the boat in, then you dump all the water elements in, and then finish the bottle, and then do the stand."

It’s a rare thing to get your design produced by LEGO, explained Sadovich.

"I think I’m the only one in Idaho so far. It’s the 20th LEGO Ideas set ... ever. Three to five of those people are in the U.S. and the rest are elsewhere in the world."

Sadovich’s idea earned thousands of votes in a contest among LEGO fans before it caught the attention of the corporate designers, who gave it the green light. And, he gets residuals on sales, explaining, "I get 10 copies of the set and I’ll make one percent on the net sales."

Right now in early March 2018, the kit is on a limited release at official LEGO sites, but in a few months, it becomes available at a variety of toy retailers.

Find Tom Michael on Twitter @tom2michael

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio