LEGO Play Therapy Benefits Children with Autism
Practitioners and parents have discovered that the use of LEGO during play
therapy groups for children with autism leads to improved social skills and play
skills. Research confirms that this is the case. LEGO brand toy building blocks
offer a highly routine, repetitive, structured form of play that many children
with autism find appealing.
Activities using LEGO can be graded from simple step by step instructions to
free building that allows for creativity. During play therapy, however, group
activities can be designed around the use of LEGOs to help children gain skills
in both verbal and non-verbal communication, sharing, turn taking,
collaboration, and other social skills.
Research on LEGO play therapy was recently conducted at the University of
Cambridge. This study focused on children with both autism and Asperger
Disorder, and found that children who participated in LEGO therapy showed
improvement in social skills. Research into the value of using LEGO as a part of
play therapy are well documented.
Another study conducted in 2008 evaluated social skills interventions for 6-11
year olds, including LEGO therapy. Children with autism were randomly assigned
to intervention groups and therapy was provided for 1 hour per week over 18
weeks. Researchers found that the LEGO therapy group displayed more improvement
than the other groups on autism-related social interaction scores.
A report published in Autism in 2006 studied the long term outcomes of LEGO
therapy for children with autism. Children with autism who participated in LEGO
therapy were compared to children with autism who participated in another form
of therapy. The children who received LEGO therapy showed significantly more
improvement on outcomes measures than the non-LEGO group.
During LEGO therapy groups, participants agree on a project that is not too easy
or too difficult for group members. Each participant is assigned a job to do,
such as putting the bricks together, sorting and obtaining the bricks, designing
the project, etc., and these roles are rotated as the project progresses so that
each participant gets a turn at each role. The principles of play therapy are
followed during LEGO therapy sessions. Groups are held at regular scheduled
times and places. An adult facilitator assists participants with problem
solving, on task behavior, and providing positive reinforcement of appropriate
LEGO therapy groups encourage collaboration, pretending, and non-verbal
communication. These groups can also provide participants with a system of
rewards and praise when changes to the building project are completed, allowing
a child to successfully break from routine, repetitive patterns. This process
helps children with autism develop creative responses and improved coping
patterns when faced with changes in routine.
LEGO therapy groups range from simple, step by step projects to highly creative
endeavors. At the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health in
Voorhees, New Jersey, participants who gain advanced skills use group time to
film stop action videos using their LEGO creations. Some LEGO therapy groups
also utilize LEGO computer programs.
-end of report-
|Winning a Job at LEGO
Aspiring Designers Build Sets Under Pressure
By Jens Hansegard
Nov. 13, 2013
James Colmer, 46 years old, had a reason for spending two days building Legos in
Denmark, leaving behind his kids in Australia. He was applying for a job.
Mr. Colmer was one of 21 men and women who came from around the globe to the
small town of Billund last month to compete for a job as a LEGO designer. The
Danish company has an unusual method of filling this position. Rather than
conducting formal interviews, Lego invites the most promising applicants to its
headquarters to sketch and build Lego sets in front of a panel of senior
LEGO is the worlds No. 2 toy maker by revenue, behind Mattel. It has built its
success in recent years on a string of product lines based on hit movies, such
as Harry Potter, The Hobbit and The Avengers. Vital to its fortunes is a
steady flow of new play setsthemed kits of LEGO bricks meant to build specific,
sometimes ambitious, designs, step by step, such as a 996-piece Kings Castle
released earlier this year.
That means the company needs to continually build its design staff. Its 200
designers include people who sketch characters and people who literally just
sit and build Lego models, LEGO Design Director Will Thorogood says. By asking
recruits to design, we get to see people in a much more relaxed way than they
would be in a standard interview process, he says.
LEGO has run these two-day recruit workshops for seven years, but until now,
they have been kept under wraps. Aspiring designers apply online to take part in
the recruiting workshop, which Lego says takes place at least once a year,
depending on the companys needs. Legitimate candidates are identified via Skype
conversations and tests. Participants who are selected are sent a bag of LEGO
and told to show up in Billund with a creation that represents a direction that
LEGO should go.
When the candidates entered a conference room at Hotel LEGOLAND on a rainy
October day, the first order of business was to show off the homework. Among
their ideas: remote-controlled scorpion models, magical tree houses and a
high-tech music player.
Its an icebreaker, a way to introduce the recruits to each other and to us,
and to see what they would make out of the bricks, said Caroline Hansen,
director of the recruiting program.
Many of the hopefuls, flocking to Billund from countries including New Zealand,
Brazil, Taiwan, Indonesia and Germany, were seasoned designers. Mr. Colmer, a
46-year-old Englishman living in Australia, has worked in the entertainment
industry since 1988, designing the look of sets and other elements for movies
such as Superman Returns. He says, My son suggested to me that he wanted to
be a LEGO designer when he grows up and I thought, Hey, that would be a great
York Bleyer, a 49-year-old military veteran from Los Angeles, worked for several
years as a Mattel designer. Allan Faulkner, 48, of Inverness, Scotland, has
worked for Hasbro and as a designer in the medical industry.
Design degrees and experience arent required. Kurt Kristiansen, a 40-year-old
designer on LEGO Star Wars team, creating some of the most popular toys the
company sells, was a tractor mechanic before he joined LEGO in the 1990s.
Mr. Bleyer was surprised to find himself competing alongside men and women fresh
out of college. First, I thought, what the heck? Mr. Bleyer says. Ive
worked for years and youre making me go up against these kids? But then I
thought it was a really good idea. You bring your skill and show what youve
Most candidates were nervous when they arrived. I havent slept all night,
Daniel Sudarsono, a 33-year-old furniture designer from Indonesia, said. As his
homework, Mr. Sudarsono had built a complete magical-garden concept including a
water-breathing dragon who watered the garden and an evil wizard in the nearby
After the designers showed off their homemade creations, the real fun began. The
recruits were put through a series of challenges over two days, such as
sketching designs, designing minifigures, and creating a set for an
8-to-10-year-old. The challenges were timed.
Mr. Bleyer, the ex-military man, called the design challenges brutal.
In one exercisecreating a set that combines medieval- and space-themed LEGO
setsplastic bags of LEGO bricks and minifigures were distributedand quickly
ripped apartas participants got to work sitting at tables or spreading out on
the blue-carpeted floor. Some began by sketching with colored pens, while others
immediately started clicking together the plastic bricks, trying out their ideas
as they worked.
They had two and a half hours to come up with a LEGO toy concept. Nobody spoke,
and, aside from the clicking of plastic bricks and the sound of the occasional
airplane taking off from the nearby airport, the group operated in silence.
Senior LEGO designers observed them and scribbled notes.
Candidates were judged not only on the concept but also on elements such as the
designs color schemes and buildability. Not to mention the elusive element of
fun. You need to think in a way that adds a little bit of humor to a product or
a character or a story, and thats very important for us, says Mr. Thorogood.
The way contestants interacted with each other was also noted.
During breaks, LEGO informed the recruits about the practicalities of relocating
to Billund, a small town on the windswept peninsula of Jutland. The town has
6,500 inhabitants, and night life is limited to an Irish pub, the Highlander,
that is well-known for its Thirsty Thursdays.
LEGO also told candidates about Denmarks forbiddingly high tax system. The
company assured them that its wages are competitive enough to compensate.
Candidates put on a wide-ranging display of technical ingenuity. One applicant
created a car that could transform into a killer robot, with the tires becoming
LEGO doesnt look to produce these sets. It takes training for a designer to
create a set that is properly priced, targets the right age group and fits in
the LEGO portfolio, among other considerations. Typically, new hires will work
alongside a LEGO designer for a year before being charged with creating a small
Late last week, LEGO said it had decided to hire eight of the 21 candidates. It
didnt disclose who would get an offer; a Lego spokesman says it hadnt informed
some candidates yet. But recruits who are offered a job, LEGO says, will be
expected to start work as soon as possible, preferably the next day.
-end of report-
|LEGOLAND Considers Building Theme Park in Stafford County
October 22nd, 2013
By Katie Thisdell
LEGOLAND is considering building a new family-friendly theme park in Stafford
County that would be only the third of its kind in the nation.
Government officials are in the preliminary stages of considering an incentives
package to woo the park to the Centreport Parkway area off Interstate 95. The
decision could hinge on the financial impact the interactive, child-oriented
theme park could bring.
In an Oct. 2 letter to to LEGOLAND General Manager of development John Ussher
labeled confidential, County Administrator Anthony Romanello confirmed the
county is committed to meeting the companys needs, pending the outcome of a
financial analysis. A copy was anonymously mailed to The Free LanceStar this
Please know that Stafford is the right place for this development, and we
intend to become an extension of your team as you mobilize on this important
project, Romanello wrote.
The LEGO themed parks are owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments Group. The
British company runs other amusement parks and attractions, including the Madame
Tussauds wax museums and Sea Life aquariums across the United States. It is the
largest such company in Europe and the second largest in the world behind Walt
Disney Parks and Resorts.
Its quite noteworthy that a company like LEGOLAND has its eye on Stafford
County, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Susan Stimpson said Tuesday.
Other U.S. sites are also under consideration. A spokeswoman in LEGOLAND England
office said the company is nowhere near a decision.
The decision-making processes relating to the development of a potential major
new theme park is a very long and complicated one, and we would never comment on
any project until it is finally approved by our own Board, and we have obtained
agreements with all key stakeholders. No plans are at that stage for LEGOLAND in
the USA, Sally Ann Wilkinson, head of corporate affairs for Merlin
Entertainments, wrote in an email.
Should LEGOLAND select Stafford, the company could invest tens of millions of
dollars in the county and bring hundreds of jobs, Romanello said in interview
Stafford hired Washington-based Brailsford & Dunlavey to independently evaluate
LEGOLAND projected financial impact, including how much money visitors may spend
directly at the park, as well as area hotels and restaurants.
The ripple effects are endless, Deputy County Administrator and Economic
Development Director Tim Baroody said.
While saying there could be a dramatically positive impact on Stafford,
Stimpson noted that the board has not made a decision on whether to offer
incentives. Supervisors also want to know more about the impact on traffic and
other county services, she said.
LEGOLAND has two styles of entertainment venues. The theme parks offer
child-size rides and shows, along with interactive attractions and building
challenges. The smaller discovery centers are ideal for two to three hours of
Of the six theme parks worldwide, two are in Americaone opened in San Diego
County, Calif., in 1999, and the newest and largest opened in 2011 in Lakeland,
Fla., between Orlando and Tampa. A sixth park open in Malaysia last year.
LEGOLAND Parks are geared toward families with children between the ages of 2
and 12, who can let their imaginations run wild while exploring a world made of
the colorful toy bricks. Unlike many other amusement parks, roller coasters
arent the focus.
This isnt the first time LEGOLAND has looked at the Fredericksburg area for a
possible entertainment complex. Fitz Johnson, president of Johnson Realty
Advisors, said he showed LEGOLAND officials several sites along Interstate 95
more than a decade ago, but the company didnt pursue a local investment then.
The company is looking at land owned by Dan Melrod and The Peterson Cos. along
Centreport Parkway, according to Romanellos letter. Peterson is developing
National Harbor outside Washington. Melrod and Peterson officials couldnt be
reached for comment.
The Centreport Parkway corridor has remained largely underused despite the new
interchange being built nearly a decade ago to serve the Stafford Airport.
Romanello said he has consulted with his counterparts in Hanover and James City
counties, homes to Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens. He was told the amusement
parks are good neighbors and great revenue generators.
Earlier this year, Stafford received authority from the General Assembly to levy
an admissions tax at one unidentified economic prospect. That tax would be on
ticket salesup to 10 percent of the costat the entertainment venue thatd be
at least 75 acres, and it would expire in July 2015 if no venue exists.
Romanello said the county could ask the state to alter the deadline if need be,
if LEGOLAND does become a reality.
Over the past year, the Stafford Board of Supervisors has discussed LEGOLAND in
closed session several times. Stimpson said she and other members of the board
are familiar with LEGOLAND personally, having visited with their children.
It is a wonderful family place, she said.
Like the other locations, a Stafford park would likely be open dawn to dusk, and
wouldnt hold late-night events, Romanello said.
A team of economic development staff and county officials visited the Florida
location in January, and are continuing to build a relationship with the
The board is expected to review the results of the financial analysis in
November, and then will give direction as to what a next step may be. Romanello
would not identify incentives that might be offered, but the county could
provide something to LEGOLAND by the end of the calendar year.
Everything is very preliminary, Stimpson said, and were making ourselves
available to any and all business that want to locate here.
Note: Stafford County is in the State of Virginia.
As if November 2013, there are six LEGOLAND Parks around the world.
LEGOLAND Billund open in 1968
LEGOLAND Windsor open in 1996
LEGOLAND California open in 1999
LEGOLAND Deutschland open in 2002
LEGOLAND Florida open in 2011
LEGOLAND Malaysia open in 2012
-end of report-
|LEGOLAND Dubai to open in 2016
LEGOLAND Dubai is set to open in 2016, according to Merlin Entertainments, as
reported by Emirates 24I7. As per officials, the LEGOLAND Dubai will be opened
under a deal in which it would be funded by third parties, which includes Meraas
The group has also entered into an agreement with, amongst others, Meraas Malls
to develop and operate LEGOLAND Dubai under this operating model, Merlin said.
The initial development and construction of LEGOLAND Dubai is being funded by
third parties. Merlin has the right to manage and operate the park for an
initial term of 25 years, once open, it added.
The contract was signed in 2012, said the prospectus information. In a
statement, issued in June, it was said Meraas has launched Motion Gate,
featuring a movie-based theme park, a Bollywood themed park and a LEGOLAND theme
park that will be located within its master-development in Jebel Ali.
-end of report-
|LEGOLAND Operator Merlin Entertainments Plans IPO in London
By Clementine Fletcher & Ruth David
Oct. 21, 2013.
Merlin Entertainments Group Ltd., the private-equity backed owner of Madame
Tussauds and the London Eye, plans to raise 200 million pounds ($324 million)
selling shares in a London initial public offering.
Blackstone Group LP (BX), CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and LEGO Group owner Kirkbi
A/S are also expected to sell part of their stakes in the offering, the company
said today in a statement. The owners are seeking an enterprise value, or the
sum of Merlins equity and net debt, of about 4 billion pounds, according to two
people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the sale
has yet to be completed. A London-based company representative declined to
comment on the valuation.
Merlin comes to the market in a year when IPOs on European exchanges have raised
about $17 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, compared with $10
billion in the same period of 2012. Private-equity shareholders including Terra
Firma Capital Partners Ltd. and Permira Advisers LLP are selling their stakes in
companies via London IPOs as investors return to Europes markets on the
strength of an economic recovery.
Merlin, which also runs LEGOLAND parks, said it will use proceeds of the IPO to
repay debt and cover the expenses.
The directors of Merlin believe that the global offer will position Merlin for
the next stage of its development by providing the appropriate long-term
ownership structure, the company said in the statement. The global offer will
also assist the group in retaining and incentivising employees.
Merlin, which had net debt of about 1.3 billion pounds at the end of 2012,
abandoned a sale to the public three years ago in favor of selling a stake to
CVC, and opted against a New York IPO earlier this year, people familiar with
the matter said.
Merlin said today that revenue rose 11 percent to 889 million pounds in the 35
weeks ended Aug. 31, or 7.1 percent on a comparable basis. The company is
developing a Legoland site in Dubai and has identified potential locations in
Japan and South Korea. It also has longer term plans to expand in China.
At least 20 percent of the shares will be publicly traded after the IPO. Kirkbi,
which owns 75 percent of the LEGO Group, intends to remain a long-term
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc, along with Morgan Stanley, Citigroup
Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and Unicredit Bank AG are managing the Merlin IPO,
according to todays statement. Lazard Ltd. is financial adviser.
-end of report-
|For LEGO, rising wealth means more play - and business
By Eveline Danubrata and Laura Philomin
SINGAPORE. Thursday Oct 3, 2013
(Reuters) - The boss of LEGO Group carries two business cards - one the usual
kind and the other a LEGO mini-figure in his likeness, complete with beard and
glasses, with contact details on the back.
That kind of playful thinking has helped the Danish company become the worlds
second-biggest toy maker as it clicks with fast-growing Asia and builds on its
popular plastic bricks with video games and theme parks.
We are seeing a society where the wealthier it becomes, the more room there is
for what I call the business of play, Chief Executive Jørgen Vig Knudstorp told
Reuters in Singapore.
In that I will include the role of play in education, the role of play in theme
parks and family entertainment, the role of play in adult age.
Video games are big business and LEGO Group has a major role through licensing
arrangements but the digital realm is a complement, not a replacement, for
physical play, he said.
You can say that the fundamental patterns of play are unchanged through
generations but the technology and materials are changing, said Knudstorp, who
was a management consultant at McKinsey and Co before he joined LEGO in 2001 and
was named chief executive in 2004.
LEGO has a partnership with video game developer TT Games that has resulted in
titles such as LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Batman. Another game, Life of George,
combines building physical bricks with apps that can be downloaded on an iPhone.
LEG), whose name is derived from the Danish words leg godt meaning play
well, started 81 years ago in the workshop of carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen
and is now owned by the founders grandson and his children.
Rides, rollercoasters and replicas of famous landmarks are also part of the
strategy to target families.
Kirkbi A/S, the Kristiansen familys investment company, owns about 36 percent
of British-based Merlin Entertainments Group, which runs six Legoland theme
parks around the world.
Last year, it opened its first Asian theme park in southern Malaysia, a short
drive from Singapore. An onsite hotel is nearing completion and is due to open
LEGO is banking on people like Vanessa Lee, a Singaporean mother of four
children aged 8 to 13 who enjoy playing with sets such as Ninjago and Bionicle.
Its quite expensive but I dont mind buying it for them, she said. It takes
quite some time to build the sets, especially the big ones, so it helps train
Driven by China, South Korea and Japan, LEGO revenues were 10.4 billion Danish
crowns ($1.9 billion) in the first half of this year - a 13 percent jump from
the same period of 2012.
LEGO, which has overtaken Hasbro Inc and is now behind only Barbie maker Mattel
Inc in terms of sales, also boosted its share of the global toy market to about
8.8 percent from 8.6 percent at the end of 2012.
The company plans to build and operate its own factory in the Chinese city of
Jiaxing, near Shanghai, that will supply up to 80 percent of the LEGO products
sold in Asia by the time it is fully operational in 2017.
We dont have plans to open other factories in Asia because this factory will
be able to handle our volume for the many next years of expansion in the Asia
region, Knudstorp said.
-end of report-
|LEGO® set 10243 Parisian Restaurant
Ages 16+. 2,469 pieces.
Have an unforgettable evening at the amazing Parisian Restaurant!
UK 132.99 £
DK 1299.00 DKK
Its very busy in the Parisian Restaurant. As a scooter zips by, inside the
waiter rushes between the tables as the nervous young man gets ready to propose
with the ring! Its just as hectic behind the scenes, with the chef busily
preparing the food. This beautifully detailed building is the setting for so
many stories and is a great addition to the modular building series. The
Parisian Restaurant has a fully-stocked, blue and white tiled kitchen with
tableware as well as a cozy apartment with pull-down bed, kitchenette and
fireplace. On the top floor is the artists room with a studio that includes a
cast iron heater, easel, paintbrush and two works of art by the aspiring artist.
Outside, stairs lead down to the roof terrace lined with hanging lanterns and
flowers where the diners eat alfresco-style. This amazing Parisian Restaurant
model even includes a facade with croissants, clams and feather details that
recapture the feel of Paris. Includes 5 minifigures: chef, waiter, girl and a
Includes 5 minifigures: chef, waiter, girl and a romantic couple
Also includes a rat, seagull and 2 clams
Kitchen features blue and white tiled floor, lots of kitchen units and a
variety of utensils
Second-floor apartment features a pull-down bed,
kitchenette and fireplace
Top floor features an opening roof revealing an
artists studio with heater, easel, paintbrush, palette and artwork
lots of food items for the customers including croissants, a pie, 2 cupcakes, 2
grapes, 2 hotdogs, turkey, cheese wedges, milk carton and colored bottles
Also includes hard-to-find white croissants and bricks in olive green, dark blue
and dark red
Intricate exterior details include facade with croissant
detailing, bus stop, sidewalk, scooter and even a dumpster and trash can at the
Put up the printed restaurant sign and menu to entice the customers in
Collect and build an entire town with the LEGO® Modular Buildings collection:
10224 Town Hall and 10232 Palace Cinema!
Measures over 11 (30cm) high, 9
(25cm) long and 9 (25cm) wide
Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning
January 2014 via shop.LEGO.com, LEGO® Stores or via phone.
From LEGO YouTube channel.YouTube.com
|Unfortunately it appears that Medium Azure (as the color is called in the
Bricklink Database) is a new color that will likely replace Maersk blue.
While this color does more closely resemble the actual recent color of the new
Maersk line of ships... the parts wont have quite the allure and exclusivity
that Maersk blue had. :(
So I would think that Maersk blue may end up as a retired color... since non
Maersk LEGO products cannot have this Moller-Maersk trademarked color.
Get your Maersk colored LEGO while supplies last!
P.S. Heres a little background on Maersk and their early years with TLG (from
my next DVD/download)...
|LEGO® set 10241 Maersk Line Triple-E
The set was officially unveiled at LEGO Fan Weekend in Skærbæk.
Ages 12+. 1,518 pieces.
Build the Maersk Triple-E container vessel a true giant of the seas!
UK 109.99 £
DK 1199.00 DKK
Presenting the largest ship in the world the record-breaking Maersk
Triple-E. Built from over 1,500 bricks, the model recreates the real vessel in
amazing detail. Our LEGO® designers have included rare colors such as medium
azur, dark red, sand blue and sand green. There are rotating gold-colored screw
blades leading to the brick-built twin propeller engines, which you can view
through the window built into the port side of the ship. You can even customize
it by adding or removing the containers. This authentic set includes a display
stand and fact plaque with detailed information about the ship and, as a
finishing touch, theres the gold coin that is added under the mast of all
Maersk Line ships for good luck on their voyages. This model is perfect for LEGO
Features include rotating gold-colored propeller blades, brick-built twin
8-cylinder engines, viewing window into the engine compartment, adjustable
rudders, detachable lifeboats, removable containers, rotating crane arms and a
special good luck coin.
Includes rare medium azur, dark red, sand blue and sand green colored
Play with the model on carpeted surfaces or mount the model on the
Building instructions also include interesting facts about the
real ship Includes 1,518 bricks
Ship (mounted on stand) measures over 8 (21cm) high, 25 (65cm) long and 3
LEGO channel. Video link: YouTube.com
Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning January 2014 via
shop.LEGO.com, LEGO® Stores or via phone.
|LEGO Launches Wrist Watch Collection For Adults
Written by Ariel Adams for ABlogtoWatch.com on October 2, 2013.
We are proud to be the first to announce a new collection of LEGO brand watches
for adults. Thats right, LEGO, which has had a large collection of kids watches
for years, will soon launch a comprehensive collection of timepieces for men and
women in November 2013. These are among the very few plastic watches we would
wear. What is fun is that despite being sized (and styled) for adults (at least
adults in terms of age), the LEGO watches for adults have as many fully
swappable parts as the kids versions have.
Officially, these timepieces are referred to as the LEGO Watch System because
pieces such as the bracelet links and bezels can be interchanged with each
other. The links for the bracelet can be arranged in a series of colors and
styles, but we think most people will enjoy them in solid colors (as they come
out of the box). Though, it is fun to play. I grew up with LEGO models so this
watch collection is sort of a big deal. While inexpensive and cheeky, it is a
fun reminder of something that had a big impact on my youth.
While I was able to get a hands-on look at the pre-production watches, I dont
have all the specs. I would say the cases are probably 40mm wide, and made out
of plastic. Most LEGO watches are either white, blue, yellow, or black in color.
Though some select models come in pink, orange, or red. The variety of colors
and styles is really impressive as they range from silly to rather sensible.
As you can see, LEGO is offering both analog and digital dials for its new
collection of adult watches. We suspect most people will gravitate toward the
analog dials as they better serve to promote the LEGO theme. What is better than
LEGO building brick hour indicators (LEGO Brick watch)? Or, my personal favorite
model, the LEGO Fan Club whose dial features raised LEGO person faces with
various facial expressions as the hour indicator which strikes me as the best of
honoring your youth of brick laying the friendly silliness of the brand as
evidenced by the upcoming LEGO movie.
Other models include the LEGO Happiness, and LEGO Skull, the latter having a
LEGO brick skull on the dial. What is it with skulls that even LEGO has to have
one? Youll notice that some of the customization options go beyond mere color
In addition to watches featuring just the time, there are adult LEGO watches
with a day/date complication, chronograph, and calendar. Some versions even have
a magnifier lens on the crystals to help read the date more easily. Legibility
is pretty good on all the watches, and the novelty value is very high...
People who grew up with LEGO bricks and models will probably instantly be into
these watches. I have to say that I am going to seriously considering not
wearing a high-end Swiss watch to wear these for a while. Speaking of which, the
watches (produced in China) will contain Japanese quartz movements. The cases
are mostly in plastic, but some are also partially aluminum or steel. The
crystals are mineral glass, and the watches are water resistant from about 50
meters to 100 meters depending on the model.
ClicTime, the same people who make the LEGO watches for children will be
producing the LEGO adult watches. I for one am pretty excited about these and
think they will do very well. Perhaps most people wont take advantage of the
customization features of the watch, but I think theyll enjoy the variety of
the designs well enough. LEGO Watch System adult watches will be available
starting November 2013 with a price range of between $85 - $185.
Images and pictures of the watches are on the website.
-end of report-
|First ever official LEGO® Model of the UN completed by Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General puts finishing touch to LEGO model of UN Headquarters
NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon today added the last LEGO element to a large scale LEGO model of the
United Nations Headquarters, as part of the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit
focused on Architects of a Better World. The Leaders Summit is the flagship
event of the worlds largest sustainability initiative, designed to bring
business and civil societies together in support of UN goals.
The completion of the 1.65m tall model followed a series of exercises in which
global CEOs used specially-designed creativity kits of LEGO bricks to build
their vision of a stronger future for education, human rights and the
environment. The Secretary-General finalized the UN model with the Chairman of
the LEGO Foundation, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, and Foundation CEO, Dr. Randa
Grob-Zakhary by his side.
Inspiring and helping children to develop is at the heart of everything the
LEGO Foundation does, said Mr. Kirk Kristiansen. Id like to thank the
Secretary-General for all of his efforts to bring focus to the importance of
global education and the value of quality learning experiences. Quality
learning, like quality play, has an absolutely fundamental role in inspiring
children and helping them to develop the vital skills that they need for todays
Just as the UN is a symbol of how we can come together to try and build a
better world, I hope that this model will serve as a symbol of the LEGO
Foundations commitment to unlocking every childs potential, said Mr. Kirk
Following the ceremony, the LEGO Foundation signed the UN Global Compact, a
policy initiative that commits businesses to align their strategies and
operations with 10 universally accepted principles.
The UN Global Compact represents the LEGO Foundations shared ambition of
ensuring that learning environments foster the creative and critical thinking
skills needed to empower our builders of a better tomorrow, and we look forward
to exploring with the UN ways of collaborating in reaching this mission, said
LEGO Foundation CEO, Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary of the signing.
About LEGO Foundation
The LEGO Foundation, endowed by the LEGO Groups founding family, is dedicated
to inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow. Its work is about changing
the perception of play and increasing awareness about its transformational role
in learning across our lifespan. Through redefining play and reimagining
learning, the Foundation is demonstrating the link between play, creativity and
learning in the eyes of thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents with
a focus to equip, inspire and activate champions for play. Learn more at
SOURCE LEGO Foundation
Video of the event on:
-end of report-
|MASSOLUTION NYC 2013: LEGO ON INSPIRING THE BUILDERS OF TOMORROW
By Eric Blattberg
Sept. 19, 2013
NEW YORK Onstage at Massolution NYC 2013, LEGO Senior Business Developer
Troels Andersen highlighted some of the companys crowdsourcing initiatives and
explained how they work alongside and in some cases inform - its more
traditional product development processes.
The Denmark-based LEGO Group is an old company with an established business
model: founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, LEGO has been selling its
trademark LEGO bricks for over 50 years. Today, LEGO sells its products in more
than 130 companies, making it the second largest toy company in the world.
But despite its success, the privately-owned company has remained agile and
innovative, blazing a trail for other enterprises in the crowdsourcing arena.
In the weeks following the initial launch of the LEGO Mindstorm product,
thousands of hackers cracked the hardware kits and did things LEGO never
imagined with the programmable robots. Instead of pushing back, LEGO embraced
the open ideal and built easy access into future versions of the product. It
also inspired LEGO to explore other crowdsourcing ventures.
We wanted to investigate crowd-based business models and find out how they were
working together with the big corporate machine, said Andersen.
In 2008, LEGO launched an open innovation platform called Cuusoo, which allows
fans to submit product ideas to the broader LEGO community. Although the
platform is still in beta it just opened up to a non-Japanese audience in late
2011 - Cuusoo already has 412,000 registered users who have collectively
submitted more than 5,500 product ideas. If an idea reaches 10,000 votes of
support from the community, LEGO will consider turning it into an official set.
The difference between a fan-made model and a LEGO designer-made model isnt
that great, because they understand how we make our products, noted Andersen.
Several community submissions have already made the jump from idea to realized
product, including the extremely popular LEGO Minecraft set. Although LEGO owns
the IP for all the ideas Cuusoo users submit, the company shares one percent of
revenue generated from product sales with the community creators.
LEGOs crowdsourcing initiatives will co-exist alongside its traditional product
If we are interested in getting mass retail behind a product, we need to tie it
into shelf spaces in stores, said Andersen. It doesnt work with Toys R Us
when we say, Ok, were going to come out with a new product in three months,
but Im not sure what its going to be.
The way were mitigating that is to work with online retail for launch
it proves its potential to stay around long enough, we decide to offer it to
more traditional retailers.
LEGO recognizes there are risks to opening up its product development to the
crowd a very vocal community gets to see (and sometimes criticize) the
companys decision-making in near real-time but believes the benefits vastly
outweigh any potential drawbacks. The LEGO Groups mission is not only to
inspire and developer the builders of tomorrow, but to be inspired by that very
-end of report-
|In NASA LEGO Contest, Students Aim For Space
By Elizabeth Howell
Sept. 15, 2013
Designed to gaze at the sun, a proposed satellite called Sunbeam has the usual
radio dishes and rocket engines you would expect of a spacecraft. The difference
between it and other orbiting craft? It is entirely constructed of LEGO bricks.
Sunbeam was one of the winning student designs picked out of a NASA design
contest this summer in conjunction with The LEGO Group, a Danish company that is
world-famous for its tiny construction bricks aimed at stimulating childrens
The contest invited budding aerospace engineers, generally ranging in age from
elementary to high school, to submit their ideas for space or aerospace designs
that could be used in the future.
NASA LEGO contest
photos, and LEGO blocks in space
Our intention was to unleash everyones creativity and inspire participants to
combine real NASA research with imaginative flights of fancy, said astronaut
Leland Melvin, who is now NASAs associate administrator for education, in a
Looking at the winning designs, its clear we did just that, Melvin added.
Sunbeam, which was designed by Jay Semlis from England, took the grand prize
in the Imagining Our Future Beyond Earth category. NASA said the satellite is
intended to look at the suns outer corona, or the envelope of gas surrounding
the sun that is most easily visible during solar eclipses.
Runners-up in the category included The ORACOM, a Mars spacecraft made by the
United States Sergio Parra, and Asteroid Initiative, an idea to pick up and
move asteroids by Peter Hollander, also from the United States. NASA has an
initiative before Congress to robotically capture an asteroid and tow it near
the moon so astronauts can study its properties.
The Flying Extinguisher 4000 Fish Eagle, a winner in the Inventing the Future
of Flight category, is a long range supertanker that puts out wildfires. Image
released Sept. 5, 2013.
Credit: Composite by NASA/Jim BankeView full size imageIn the aerospace
category, the students were also required to write a technical paper explaining
how the model was put together, and how it takes advantage of the ideas NASA is
working on and, possibly, even improves upon them, NASA said.
In the aerospace category, the students were also required to write a technical
paper explaining how the model was put together, and how it takes advantage of
the ideas NASA is working on and, possibly, even improves upon them, NASA said.
The overall (age 13 and above) winner was Swedens Claes Sundstrom, whose
Hydrogen Powered Regional Airliner used a hybrid wing body and
hydrogen-fueled, turboelectric engines. The design is intended to cut down on
noise, fuel usage and emissions.
In the young student builders (age 13-18) group, the winner was a firefighting
airplane called Flying Extinguisher 4000 Fish Eagle; An Aerial Firefighter
of the Future, built by William Nodvik from the United States.
The winners will get a LEGO trophy and a gift package from NASA that includes a
crew patch from one of Melvins shuttle missions. Melvin flew on STS-122 in 2008
and STS-129 in 2009.
-end of report-
|LEGOLAND® California Water Park is Getting Bigger
By Lori Weisberg
Sept. 12, 2013
LEGOLAND California three-year-old water park will grow by more than two acres
next year when it introduces a new themed area tied to LEGO® Legends of Chima
product line. Courtesy of LEGOLAND.
CARLSBAD, CA - In what will be one of its largest investments, LEGOLAND
announced Thursday that its water park will undergo a major expansion next year,
modeled after a popular LEGO product line and cartoon show, Legends of Chima.
The 2.5-acre addition, while a part of LEGOLAND existing water park, will be a
distinctly new area that will include an interactive wave pool designed
specifically for the parks key demographic -- families with young children. The
announcement, made at a morning news conference at LEGOLAND California, follows
the opening in April of its new 250-room hotel, the parks largest investment
since opening in 1999.
This will feel like a very contained, themed area, and the children will get it
quickly because of the Chima product line, said LEGOLAND California President
Peter Ronchetti. Our sister park in Florida opened a Legends of Chima area on
the dry side of the park, and we chose to go with the same product line because
it gets heavyweight support from the LEGO toy company, and the cartoon is on the
Cartoon Network. Its the No. 1 new product for LEGO.
He acknowledged there isnt much more open land at the park to expand further,
although built-out areas could be re-purposed in the future.
The expansion, expected to cost an estimated $12 million, will be located on the
northeastern side of the water park next door to the 1.5-acre Pirate Reef
attraction that opened in 2012. While the theme parks owner, London-based
Merlin Entertainments Group, typically doesnt divulge project costs, Ronchetti
said the Legends of Chima attraction will be very similar in cost to what was
spent on the original water park. The $12 million investment in that project was
disclosed at the time it opened in 2010.
Admission to the aquatic attraction, including the new addition, will remain
$15, over and above the charge to get into LEGOLAND, which is $78 for adults and
$68 for children. It is a seasonal attraction that is open between Memorial Day
and Labor Day and subsequently, weekends through November.
Final sketches of the project have not been completed yet, but LEGOLAND revealed
details on four of the eight principal areas of the new water park, each tied to
characters in the Chima story line. Chima, as LEGO describes it, was a once
pristine, natural paradise that has been transformed into a battleground where
animal tribes vie in a mystical land for control of the precious energy source
known as CHI.
The centerpiece of the planned water park is Lion Temple Wave Pool, where
water will cascade down a 30-foot-tall floating Mount Cavora that depicts the
various creatures representing each animal tribe.
Craggers Swamp will be designed as a hands-on water play area where kids will
be able to ride water slides, blast water cannons and slide through the head of
a huge crocodile.
Eglors Build-A-Boat, similar in style to the existing water parks
Build-A-Raft attraction, will give children the chance to build a boat while
learning how to adjust the currents, create and dodge obstacles and race against
A fourth area, called Wolves Cantina, will be devoted to food service in an
environment populated with collectibles belonging to the wolf tribe.
If you combine the sounds, the sights, the rock work, the brick theming, it
will give children the feeling theyre walking into this world with a lot of
interactive activities, said Ronchetti. The wave pool in Florida (not
Chima-themed) is extremely popular so were very excited to have one of our
LEGOLAND regularly introduces new attractions on an annual basis, but larger
investments like the Chima park are not as frequent. The park is banking on the
new project to help boost attendance, especially now that it has its own themed
hotel to attract guests who want to spend more than a day at the park. Not long
after the first season of the water park, LEGOLAND officials noted that the new
attraction had helped lift attendance by double digits.
The theme parks latest initiative is not only in keeping with a nationwide
trend to expand aquatic attractions, but it also makes good business sense given
its tie-in to a popular LEGO product, said theme park expert Dennis Speigel.
In that Southern California market, with that weather band, this is a logical
type of expansion, and LEGOLAND is capitalizing on their existing relationship
with Legends of Chima, which is very popular with their demographic, so its a
smart move, said Speigel, president of Ohio-based International Theme Park
Service. This will boost attendance.
Merlin makes it a policy of not revealing actual attendance figures, and
Ronchetti declined to say how the parks attendance is currently trending. The
hotel, however, experienced a very successful summer, he was quick to point out.
If you had tried to book a hotel in June, July or August, you would have found
us full, Ronchetti said. This was a massive project, and we feel compelled to
go into another large-scale investment so you can assume from that its been a
very successful launch.
-end of report-
|LEGO® Education Looks to Inspire Writing Skills in Elementary Classrooms
Company Launches Storytelling Essay Contest in Celebration of National Literacy
PITTSBURG, Kan., Sep 09, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) - NEWS HIGHLIGHTS:
LEGO® Education StoryStarter is a language arts product for grades 2 through 5
that teaches students the basic mechanics of a well-composed story.
The Its Your Adventure, Where Will You Go? storytelling essay contest will
ask classrooms to submit 100- to 200- word creative stories using the LEGO
Education StoryStarter product.
Submissions are due by October 21, 2013 at 5 p.m. CST and one grand prize
winner will receive a model build of their school mascot.
In celebration of National Literacy Month, today LEGO Education announced its
storytelling essay contest for grades 2 through 5, Its Your Adventure, Where
Will You Go?
The contest will encourage teachers to leverage the LEGO Education
StoryStarter solution to have students creatively construct and write a storys
beginning, middle and ending.
Students will respond to an essay prompt with a 100- to 200-word creative
story. Teachers will work with students to build the story with StoryStarter
LEGO bricks, upload photos of those builds into the StoryStarter Visualizer
software, and then write their story for submission.
Public, private and home education classrooms are encouraged to participate,
submissions are due Oct. 21, 2013 by 5 p.m. CST. Winners will be announced on
Nov. 4, 2013.
The grand prize winner will receive a model build of their school mascot, and
two runners up will receive a $1,000 gift card.
To join the contest, classroom teachers and home educators must complete the
online registration form with contact and classroom information. In order to be
eligible to win, all submissions must be the original work of the entrant, the
LEGO Education StoryStarter product must be visible in your entry, student or
classroom involvement must be represented, and each entry must include one
teacher or administrative facilitator. Final submissions should be sent in PDF
format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our panel of judges includes Melissa Taylor, a teacher, esteemed writer, blogger
and published author on literacy and education issues; Marisa Kaplan, a teacher,
writer, and education consultant in New York City and Stephan Turnipseed,
President, LEGO Education North America.
For all LEGO Education news, please visit the newsroom.
About LEGO Education
Since 1980, LEGO Education (LEGOeducation.us) has delivered hands-on,
curriculum-based resources for teachers and students worldwide. LEGO Education
believes a hands-on, minds-on approach helps students actively take ownership of
the learning process and develop 21st-century skills such as creative thinking
and problem solving through real-life, engaging experiences.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, are trademarks of the LEGO Group. (C)2013 The LEGO Group.
SOURCE: LEGO Education
-end of report-
|LEGO was first introduced to Asia in 1962, when sales started in Japan,
Singapore and Hong Kong. Sales started off very slowly, and remained so for a
very long time.
One of my new chapters in my LEGO DVD download (free to current owners when the
upgrades are available) describes the struggle that LEGO had in Japan. It
wasnt just a cost issue, it was also one of culture. Just like Japanese
feeling that Japanese cars are superior to foreign built... the same culture
happened with toys and other household goods.
When the Ahashi Corp. first imported LEGO from Denmark in 1962, sales were very
poor. It wasnt until the Fujisho Company took over in 1969 that sales improved
somewhat, but that was partly due to the 1970 importation of OLO... a TLG
produced half priced LEGO clone that almost exactly duplicated Minitalia of
Italy. By 1978 sales were still not significant in Japan, and that was the year
LEGO A/S (the overseas subsidiary of TLG) took over sales in Japan. It wasnt
until 1986 that a LEGO Dacta type set was introduced in Japan that sales started
to increase, as toy stores were being deluged by parents of children who ordered
a set thru their grade schools. A big part of the problem with LEGO sales in
Asia was problems with the distribution network, and the reluctance of toy store
owners to supply a foreign toy. (This is Deja Vu all over again of the 1955-56
scenario of Danish LEGO imported into Germany for the first time.)
It wasnt until the new millenium that sales in Japan and elsewhere in Asia
started increasing significantly. Today... although Japan is LEGOs leading
market in Asia... other lesser countries (and China) are increasing sales... and
thats where sales increases this past year have left TLG in the #2 spot. Sales
in Japan, USA and Europe have been somewhat flat by comparison.
The TLG Archives have very little information on LEGO sales in Asia in the early
years... but I have had some contacts with Asian collectors that have helped me
to expand on history of LEGO sets and parts from 1962 onward for my LEGO DVD
download. There are some very interesting sets, parts and LEGO catalogs unique
to the Asian market back then.
|LEGO® Beats Hasbro as Worlds No. 2 Toymaker Amid Asia Sales Jump
By Christian Weinberg,
Sept. 5, 2013
LEGO A/S, the Danish building-block maker, said first-half sales jumped 13
percent with the strongest growth in Asia amid a slower start to 2013 in the toy
markets of North America and Europe.
LEGO first-half revenue rose to 10.4 billion kroner ($1.84 billion) from 9.13
billion kroner in the same period a year earlier, according to a statement
published today by the Billund, Denmark-based company.
LEGO, which estimates the worlds children spend 5 billion hours a year playing
with its toys, said it won market share on rising sales of its new
building-block line Legends of Chima and its LEGO Friends sets. The latter
series, introduced in 2012, is Legos sixth attempt over the years to target
girls and the most significant new product in a decade, Chief Executive
Officer Joergen Vig Knudstorp has said.
Its a very satisfactory result in view of general developments in the world
toy market which has had a slow start to the year in the largest and most mature
markets of North America, Europe and Japan, Knudstorp said in todays
Sales growth in LEGO Friends was significantly higher than the company
average, LEGO said. Legends of Chima, introduced this year, has become one of
LEGO largest products and the company said it expects sales will continue to
grow. The range features animal tribes battling for control of a world and
offers a number of different sets.
LEGO, which is closely held, said it boosted its global market share to 8.8
percent in the first half from 8.6 percent at the end of last year. The company
is controlled by Denmarks richest man Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the grandson of
LEGO founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen, who has a net worth of $6.4 billion,
according to Bloomberg rankings.
LEGO first-half sales were higher than those of Hasbro Inc. (HAS) The Pawtucket,
Rhode Island-based toymaker reported sales of $1.43 billion for the same
six-month period on July 22. Mattel Inc. (MAT), the worlds largest toymaker
which is based in El Segundo, California, on July 17 reported a 4 percent
advance in first half revenue to $2.16 billion.
LEGO net income grew 18 percent in the first six month of 2013 to 2.38 billion
kroner, making the company bigger than both Mattel and Hasbro in terms of
-end of report-
|Cartoon Network, LEGO launching Mixels
Cartoon Network partnered with Danish toymaker The LEGO Group to start Mixels
A new concept involving small creatures that can mix and combine with one
another in creative and unpredictable storylines.
Mixels debuts in 2014 with animated content (primarily shorts), games, a
collectible building toy concept and more, the companies said. Animated content
will air on Atlanta-based Cartoon Network and on www.cartoonnetwork.com.
A collectible portfolio of low-priced mini building sets will come out in three
waves in 2014 and an app-powered game will put players inside the sprawling
world of Mixels.
Mixels will inspire new ways for young people to engage in immersive
entertainment content that fuels sustainable, creative physical and virtual
play, the companies said in a news release. Fans and the audience will become
creators and active participants in the process, creating new characters and
-end of report-
Note: LEGO has launch Mixels official page: Mixels
Looking at the images from other sites and information. Target market age range
might be 5-12. Cool new parts and colors.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, and MIXELS are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2013 The
LEGO Group. All rights reserved. TM & © 2013 Cartoon Network.
Mixels might be IP owned by LEGO partnering with Cartoon Network. Additional
information, Mixels.com, .net and .org domains are registered by Turner
Broadcasting Systems, Inc.
|The Making Of LEGO Marvel Iron Man
From Spike.com website. Video link:
Standing at 6 feet and 5 inches tall, the LEGO Marvel Iron Man is simply a
masterpiece. Erik Varszegi, the model designer/master builder behind the magic
dishes out the details on what it took to build this tribute to Tony Stark.
The LEGO model displayed to the public at San Diego Comic Con SDCC 2013.
|THE LEGO GROUP EXPANDS MINECRAFT COLLECTION
Two additional models based on the popular virtual 3D world make their debut at
Comic-Con International and will be on shelves this September.
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO (July 17, 2013) - Delighting LEGO® and
Minecraft fans across the globe, The LEGO Group today announced it is extending
its relationship with Swedish game developer Mojang to build on the blockbuster
success of its first LEGO Minecraft building set to add two new models that will
be released September 1, 2013.
LEGO Minecraft provides the opportunity to build, reconfigure and create new
Minecraft micro-worlds in a physical LEGO way. The two new 3x3x3 models, The
Village and The Nether, are on display for the first time at Comic-Con
International in San Diego. Fans can also enjoy and take pictures with a large
interactive 3D mosaic complete with Micromob character props at the LEGO booth
LEGO Minecraft is a perfect example of how peoples passions can be amplified
when digital and physical interests are combined, and there couldnt be more
synergy between the engine that drives the Minecraft gaming experience and the
creative fuel of a LEGO building experience, said Michelle Wilson, senior brand
manager for LEGO Systems, Inc. We are thrilled to continue our collaboration
with Mojang to create new Minecraft characters and environments in LEGO form so
that fans can get as creative as theyd like in their physical world as in their
Theres no doubt about the connection between LEGO building and Minecraft not
only the design similarities, but the immense creativity that our fan bases
share, said Lydia Winters, Mojangs director of fun. Given how well received
the first model was last year, we cant wait to see what fans think of these new
LEGO Minecraft New Product Highlights
With this model, fans can create and customize their own Minecraft village with
LEGO bricks. Just like the game, fans can build houses, grow crops and beware
the mines in their own micro-world as well as play out their own storylines with
Pig, Villager and Zombie constructible Micromob figures.
Builders can create the Minecraft Obsidian Portal and The Nether to explore the
newest biome with this micro-scale LEGO model, complete with Netherrack, gravel,
flowing lava and bedrock. This model includes two Ghasts and one Zombie Pigman
constructible Micromob figures.
The new LEGO Minecraft micro-scale models can be split into four sections and
reconfigured for different play experiences. They will be available beginning
September 1, 2013 with a suggested retail price of $34.99.
Info from LEGO.
-end of report-