Mike Rayahwk

Knights' Kingdom

* - Knights' Kingdom™ and the Knights' Kingdom™ logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group.
All images in this section are copyright ©2003-2005 The LEGO Group.
Although LEGO® material appears here, this site is not endorsed by or associated with The LEGO Group.
Please visit http://www.lego.com/knights.

Knights' Kingdom™ 2004: Vladek Concept | Castle Concepts | Playset Comics | Trading Cards
Knights' Kingdom™ 2005: "Constraction" Comics | Trading Cards | LEGO Magazine Comics
Knights' Kingdom™ 2006: "Quest for the Tower" Illustrations

 

My main job at LEGO is in concept design and product development, so with very few exceptions, all of my work in that capacity is necessarily kept secret.

Luckily, in 2003 I was doing development work on LEGO's upcoming Knights' Kingdom™ theme, and I got assigned to produce a bunch of supporting artwork for Knights in addition to my regular duties. By the end of the year I was heading up a small team of artists dedicated to the production of Knights artwork, and as a result I've ended up with a lot of work that I can show publicly.

 

Vladek
Vladek Concept

Vladek Concept (2003), concept work shown with permission, Copyright ©2003 The LEGO Group

This concept shot of Vladek, the villain of LEGO's Knights' Kingdom™, was the painting that first got me hired onto the Knights team in January 2003. I would have loved to have gotten to do all the Knights illustrations in this painting style, but it was decided that a cartoony style was more appropriate to our age group, and you can see that in the images from the following years.

Normally I'm not allowed to ever show product concept work like this piece, so I was lucky to get specific permissions to show both this Vladek concept and the castle concepts below.

Castle Concepts
Castle Concepts

Knights' Kingdom™ 2004 Castle Concepts (2003), product concept work shown with permission, Copyright ©2003 The LEGO Group

These are some of the very early castle concept sketches for 2004's "The Castle of Morcia" playset, which went on to win a Toy of the Year award from the Toy Industry Association and an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.

Also on this page: A Maya animation of the concept castle's magic transformation from King Mathias's good lion castle to Vladek's evil scorpion castle.

Morcia Development Sketches
Morcia Development Sketches

Knights' Kingdom™ 2004 Morcia Development Sketches (2003), Copyright ©2003 The LEGO Group

A big part of my early career at LEGO was spent developing the look and feel of the Knights' Kingdom™ world of Morcia, designing all the characters and locations that weren't intended to be made into products (although many of them later managed to work their way into the product line).

In the process of nailing down the visuals, we generated whole books' worth of sketches. Here's a few of the ones for the Knights elements that made it out into the official public storyline.

2004 Playset Comics
2004 Playset Comics

Knights' Kingdom™ 2004 Playset Comics (2003), Copyright ©2003 The LEGO Group

For the 2004 sets, we did a series of comics narrating the storyline of Vladek's betrayal and the Knights' heroic quest to defeat him. The playsets got special minifigure comics to help show off the playset features.

2004 Trading Cards
2004 Trading Cards

Knights' Kingdom™ 2004 Trading Cards (2003), Copyright ©2003 The LEGO Group

Along with all the comic promotions in 2004, LEGO also decided to explore making collectible trading cards for the Knights theme. Through a maddening sequence of unrelated events, this turned out to be my craziest job to date.

2005 Comics
2005 Comics

Knights' Kingdom™ 2005 Comics (2004), Copyright ©2004 The LEGO Group

When the Knights Kingdom theme got approved for a second production year, it was time to make more comics for 2005. These ended up being a lot more high-profile than 2004's comics, getting printed on the outside packaging as well as in the instruction booklets for all the 2005 playsets.

2005 Trading Cards
2005 Trading Cards

Knights' Kingdom™ 2005 Trading Cards (2004), Copyright ©2004 The LEGO Group

The trading cards for 2005 went a lot more smoothly than the 2004 series, with our art team pumping out material like a well-oiled machine.

LEGO Magazine Comics
LEGO Magazine Comics

Knights' Kingdom™ comics for LEGO Magazine (2005), Copyright ©2005 The LEGO Group

With so much Knights artwork already on our hard drives, drafting up a series of comic pages for LEGO Magazine was a snap.

Quest for the Tower
"Quest for the Tower"

Knights' Kingdom™ illustrations for "Quest for the Tower" (2006), Copyright ©2005 The LEGO Group

I'm an official children's book illustrator! For the 2006 line I got to do the illustrations for Scholastic's "Quest for the Tower" by Michael Anthony Steele.

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All material on this site is Copyright ©2000-2005 Mike Rayhawk, unless otherwise specified.
All Knights' Kingdom material is Copyright ©2003-2005 The LEGO Company.
Although LEGO material appears here, this site is not endorsed by or associated with The LEGO Company.