• Jordan Paxton
    Today at 1:30 pm the first Holiday LEGO Pop-Up Store opened in Manchester, Connecticut!
        
    Starting today the LEGO Group will be testing a new shopping experience for our consumers by bringing temporary LEGO Brand stores to additional markets. While this initiative is being tested in just six US markets this year, the LEGO Retail team is very excited to see if this business model can grow to support additional markets in following years.
    LEGO Retail has shared some preliminary design images for these six stores as well as insights on the two new concepts they will be testing. The stores will not be set up in the same manner as any of the existing LEGO Brand stores. Half of the stores will have their products sorted by age and the other half will sort their products by price. This will allow our insights team to test concepts that have been shared in focus groups to determine best practices.
        
    Each Pop-Up store will feature a play area, interactive play stations, and displays. The stores with products separated by age will feature four key sections 1+, 5+, 7+ and 10+ while the stores separating products by price have sections for Under $20, Under $30, Under $50, Under $100 and Big Builds.
    Every Pop-Up store will also be 100% unique is shape as these stores are each filling a empty store within a mall and have not been restructured. Among the changes are that stores will be carpeted while others tiled and some will have multiple LEGO statues and some just one.
        
    A few noteworthy items are how detailed the LEGO Retail designers are in making these Pop-Up stores an experience rather than a store. For those kids with a eye for detail, they will notice the trademark red 2x4 LEGO brick dropped in cracking the floor, just like the store dropped into their mall. They will also see a countdown calendar till the store disappears.
       
    Whats the difference between a Pop-Up store and a typical LEGO Brand store?
    Yes, you will be able to earn and redeem LEGO VIP points at Pop-Up stores. There is not a Pick-a-Brick wall or Build-a-Mini station. There are no LEGO Brand store Passport stamps available at Pop-Up stores. There will not be monthly minibuild activities or other in store events. The product prices will be the same at LEGO Brand and Pop-Up stores including any sales. Pop-Up stores will try to offer the same gift with purchase promotions. Pop-Up stores will have new employees but also at least one experienced employee from a local LEGO Brand store. Why is there a new for Pop-Up stores?
    While many LEGO fans live near a LEGO store there are more kids in the world that have never even seen a LEGO branded store or had the chance to experience the joy that comes from stepping inside. Some kids received a portion of this joy from visiting their local Toys R Us and without that option any longer this will allow more kids, and adults, the opportunity to get the true LEGO experience. While many families will be surprised to be walking through the mall and all of sudden see a LEGO store a few kids close to these six locations could even be getting their first piece of LEGO mail inviting them to come visit.
        
        
    What does the future hold for Pop-Up stores?
    There are some malls and markets that are unlikely to get a LEGO Brand retail store due to size of market and other factors. If this pilot program is successful our LEGO Retail team will have options. These six Pop-Up stores are located in areas with existing LEGO Brand stores in order to leverage experienced personel and distribution routes. This initiative has happened very quick and with the learnings gathered this holiday season their can be a case made to have increased Pop-Up stores in significantly more markets. It is unlikely to be on the scale of such stores as Halloween Spirit, but this will provide a conversation starter.
     
    What can you do?
    The LEGO Retail team wants feedback! It is likely that the most common request will be to do more markets or more likely a market closer to the person making the request. The team is looking for more constructive feedback though.
    Over the next few months try to visit a Pop-Up store. Talk to the staff, help a grandparent, find a new AFOL to invite to your next meeting, determine if you like the age/price product separation, post a picture on social media and have fun!
    In January, the LEGO Retail team will want your feedback, but until then let us know your experience below!
     
    Official Opening Dates:
    September 28, 2018:
    The Shoppes at Buckland Hills – 194 Buckland Hills Drive Manchester, CT (soft opening today)
     
    October 5, 2018
    Mall at Columbia – 10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia, MD
    Woodbridge Center – 250 Woodbridge Center Drive Woodbridge, NJ
    Smith Haven Mall – 313 Smith Haven Mall Lake Grove, NY
    Perimeter Mall – 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road Atlanta, GA
    Galleria at Tyler – 1299 Tyler Street Riverside, CA

     
    Click here to find a LEGO Store or Holiday LEGO Pop-Up store near you.
     
    For more behind the scenes stories, remember to follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button on the Blog main page.

    Jordan Paxton
    Let's Play
    Around the world the LEGO offices were closed Friday while employees took the day to remember what it is like to be a kid through play! Celebrations included concerts, food, arts & crafts, game shows, wellness activities, magicians, petting zoos and lots of LEGO bricks! One of the best parts is that every market/country celebrates differently! Whether it was a local office with 10 employees or Billund with around 4,000 employees the atmosphere was exciting and the options were plenty.
    Each activity was focused on one of 5 different key play values including cognitive, physical, creative, social and emotional skills. To help us visualize these key values we even all received a special lanyard and printed bricks!

    Social and Emotional play is important as well. Even if you are just coloring, relaxing on a giant bean bag or petting a pot bellied pig!



    Many employees were impressed to see the LEGO elements used in ways they had never imagined before.
    LEGO Power Functions Drawing Robots/Spirographs:

    Blind Builds:

     
    Flower Gardens:

    Physical Activities:

    It is unlikely we even realized that we were learning through play!
    Play Day is all about dropping the rule book and playing for a day to help stay relaxed, centered and focused. To view more images of Play Day, you can look up #LEGOPLAYDAY on social sites.
     
    If your LEGO Community takes a day to relax and play please share below.
     
    For more behind the scenes stories, remember to follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button on the Blog main page.
     
     

    Jan Beyer

    Svend Erik Saksun

    By Jan Beyer, in LAN blog,

    It is with the deepest regrets that I need to share the sad news that Sven Erik Saksun passed away last Friday loosing his long fight against cancer.
    Svend Erik has been a long term Ambassador, a very active and known member of the worldwide AFOL community, a great supporter for the LEGO Group and last but not least a dear friend.
    His death is a tremendous loss and our thoughts are with his family in these hard times.
    The funeral will be conducted this Friday - 14th of September 2018 - in Kundby Kirke (Kundby Church), Denmark at 11.00 am.
    Farewell my friend!
      

    Kim Thomsen
    10263 Winter Village Fire Station
    Ages 12+. 1,166 pieces
     
    US $99.99 – CA $129.99 – DE 89.99€ – UK £84.99 – FR 99.99€ – DK 799DK
    *Euro pricing varies by country.  Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.
     
    Enjoy a festive family build with the Winter Village Fire Station!
    Welcome to the snowy LEGO® Creator Expert 10263 Winter Village Fire Station, where the firefighters are enjoying the calm of the holiday season. This delightful LEGO set features a 2-level, holly-adorned building with an upper-level kitchen, complete with a red telephone, table, fold-down bed and a LEGO light brick. Behind the large red fire station doors, you’ll discover firefighting equipment and a fire pole, while outside there’s an ice rink with a decorative firefighter statue, a decorated Christmas tree with transparent star and gifts, plus a bench and lamppost. This set also features a classic red fire truck with a turntable ladder, hoses, toolbox and deep-tread tires. Gather the family and bring the magic of the holiday season to your home with this festive LEGO Creator Expert set. Includes 6 minifigures, plus baby and Dalmatian figures, and a brick-built snowman.
     
    * Includes 6 minifigures: 3 firefighters, ice hockey player, musician with saxophone and a girl with a scarf, plus a Dalmatian figure, brick-built snowman and a baby figure with a moose sweater.
    * 2-level Winter Village Fire Station comes with an array of brick-built details, including a detailed facade with decorative columns, ornate windows, large red garage doors and holly decorations, plus an ice skating rink with firefighter statue, decorated Christmas tree with transparent star, sleigh, bench, lamppost and a LEGO® light brick.
    * Also includes a classic red fire truck with a turntable ladder, hoses, toolbox and deep-tread tires.
    * Ground level features a garage area with a fire pole and firefighting equipment.
    * Upper level interior features a cozy kitchen with red telephone, coffee maker, dining table, radio, dog bed and a fold-down bed for a firefighter.
    * Raise the fire truck ladder and help the firefighters decorate the tree.
    * Build a cute snowman with a cool top hat.
    * Light up the fire station windows with the LEGO® light brick!
    * Gather the family and bring the magic of the holiday season to your home with this festive LEGO® Creator Expert set.
    * Accessory elements include ice skates, a hockey stick, gold-colored helmets, saxophone, hot dog and bun, dog bone, toolbox and tools.
    * This festive set includes over 1,160 pieces.
    * New-for-October-2018 decorated elements include a classic firefighter uniform and an adorable baby sweater.
    * New-for-October-2018 special elements include a 1x2 rounded plate, 2x2 plate with reduced knobs, 1x1 plant and 1x1 flower elements.
    * Fire Station measures over 9” (23cm) high, 9” (25cm) wide and 5” (14cm) deep.
    * Fire truck measures over 2” (6cm) high, 1” (4cm) wide and 5” (13cm) deep.
     
    Available directly from LEGO Stores & shop.LEGO.com from  13th September, 2018
                                   US Contact Center    1-800-453-4652
                                   CA (English) Contact Center  1-800-453-4652
                                   CA (French) Contact Center   1-877-518-5346
                                   European Contact Center   00-800-5346-1111







    Kim Thomsen
    Given the sheer number of AFOLs and events around the world, there is no chance I'll ever be able to go to all of them. Not even once, if I for example decided never to go to the same place twice. Luckily the AFOL Community drives some events which pull in tons of AFOLs in once place. Recently I was a BrickFair VA which pulled in more than a 1.000 AFOLs for the weekend. That was hectic and quite intense - but that is not for this blog post.
    No, this blog post is about the 2nd Fan Weekend - the one in Portugal which takes place every June. Or at least has taken place in June up until this year! We're all eagerly awaiting news on next year's edition so we can book our travels and negotiate budgets.
    The Paredes de Coura Fan Weekend is special, as all events are - no matter where or the size of them. There's something to an AFOL event which makes it like coming home. You're with "family" - people who know and who share the same passion. So that's not what makes it special. The weather is usually good, but this year it was more like a Danish summer with decent temperatures (in my Scandinavian opinion - the locals disagreed) and rain which I hadn't seen for months because of the drought back home. So that's not that special either. What makes it special is the fact that the entire city backs the event. All the way up from the Mayor's office and the Town Council to the people living in Paredes de Coura. They all love the PdC Fan Weekend.

    And you feel it when you're there. You can feel the connection and relationship between the city and Communidade0937 when you're there. It's not visible but you sense it - it's like some sort of electricity in the air which you can't really pin point. It's one of those events where everyone is happy and everyone pulls in the same direction.

    There's Talk Shows with prominent AFOLs and every now and then a LEGO designer or employee. I was lucky to get interviewed last year which was really fun. In the cinema (yes there is a cinema at the event) BrickFlicks are running throughout the day as well as presentations on all things AFOL.

    The New Elementary team did a Parts Festival workshop in the local Comunidade0937 workshop (yes they have a pretty amazing workshop in the city). Plus you get to meet all (almost) the famous and skilled AFOLs from around the world. 

    You can even get the "small" French Toast (?) at the local restaurant - which you should! Both restaurant and toast is worth the experience. A suggestion is to skip breakfast and evening dinner if you do though. Sorry about the blurry picture - my phone is in dire need of repairs. I'll get a better picture next year and that's a promise.
    There's tons of beautiful MOCs there - but you will have to go look for them yourself. Either at the event or by searching the internet. A lot of kind AFOL took much much better pics than my phone did and I will let their superior photography represent the MOCs rather than my blurry distorted images.
    So the final question is - are you coming next year? I know I want to and plan to.
    To learn more - visit the PdC Fan Weekend Facebook page and/or the official website
     
    Did you know that you can follow the LAN Blog? Just click the follow icon in the upper right corner on the LAN Blog main page and you're all set.

    IMG_3334.MP4

    Jordan Paxton
    In August we got the opportunity to leave Biznis Kitty at the door and have a Celebration Breakfast in the honor of Unikitty!
    Throughout the day each of us is probably goes through a spectrum of Unikitty personas and with great food and friends Queasy Kitty, Rage Kitty and Angry kitty were no where to be found!
    Today we were tasked with food and building LEGO® set 41453 Party Time from the Unikitty! theme. Our Denmark team was pretty food focused though and it appears they all followed the instructions. Emmet would be proud, Wyldstyle not so much.

    The vibe must have been different with the Enfield team though, as it looks like they were more inspired by American Gladiators!

     
    With Department Days and Skærbæk coming up our next Celebration Breakfast could be the entire team!
     
    For more behind the scenes stories, remember to follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button on the Blog main page.
     

    Jacky Chen
    It has been three weeks since the 2nd AFOL Festival taken place in Aug 11-12, but the heat is still around. People were still talking about it, some even started to plan the exhibits for next year. As for a year two baby, the accomplishment was amazing. The event attracts 100+ AFOL participants (vs. 60+ in LY), in which 20 of them made their own trip from outside of mainland China incl. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Philippines. In the post event survey, the participation NPS goes beyond 9.5 which is absolutely impressive. Here allow me to express my upmost gratitude to the event organizer and committee who made this happen. 
    Now, let's together take a look back at those stunning MOCs and other cool activities during the event. 

    Geng, drove 20 hours from Beijing to Shanghai with his stylish buildings. These are actually one-third of what he built at home. 

    Robin and his proposing gift for his fiancée Michelle. Such a romantic Technic creation that has done its work perfectly.

    Lu Sim and PHLUG members brought their mecha and Marvel Brickheadz creations.

    TonyToy with his Brickheadz creations featuring WOW characters. (of course my favorite ;p)

    The above three photos are all belong to one collaborative project led by Heroes Club "Futuristic City". Incredible details and amazing story in it.
    Given the length of the blog, I have to stop here but there are many more stunning MOCs on the event. If you are interested, please check out the post by AFOL Festival here.

    A bird view at the crowd. It was impressive to have so many visitors with limited promotion and distant location. Truly dedication!
    Also, we are also lucky to have Carl Merriam from the LEGO Design Team flying over from Billund, Denmark to visit the event and engage with the community. He made the workshops to talk about how he became a LEGO designer and touched about the fun stories in the design process. At the end of each session, he showed the AFOLs how to use LEGO bricks to build a huge toothbrush in a way that it's strong enough to carry and play. 

    Event concluded in two days, but the fun continues. We brought a group of 80 AFOLs to the LEGO Jiaxing Factory for a unique AFOL tour and some additional building activity.

    Looks familiar? It's exactly a mosaic replica of the LEGO Jiaxing Set (mosaic designed by Prince Jiang).
    At last, a few reflection from myself. Having the event like this and many other awesome AFOL events in the world, the community is evolving like a big family. Border and language are never the issue for AFOLs to share, inspire and grow. TLG is so blessed to have such an amazing community who loves the brand so much and exactly represents what the company is standing for - creativity, fun, imagination, learning, caring and quality. 
    I hope to see more of you next year! (photo credit to Frankfox)
     
    For more behind the scenes news and other articles follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button on the Blog main page.

    Alyssa Harrington
    We get a lot of requests from the Community for activities that engage kids at conventions, events and at home. One of the best ways to encourage kids to keep building and creating year round is by subscribing to the LEGO Life Magazine. There's still time to sign your child up to receive the special holiday edition if they sign up by September 24th! You can sign up by clicking here. 
    What is LEGO Life Magazine?
    If you don't know, LEGO Life Magazine is packed with activities, comic adventures, games and puzzles, building challenges and Cool Creations built by kids. It's perfect for your builder between the ages of 5-10.
    Sounds great! How much is it?
    I forgot to mention the best part. It's FREE and delivered to your home five times a year. I've included the latest issue right here in the Attachments section of this post.
    How do I help my child submit their Cool Creation?
    I've included the form in this post! Check the Attachments section. 
    Can I share this with my RLUG/RLOC?
    Yes! Help us spread the word so that we can get more Cool Creations submissions!  Share this link with LEGO families you know in your groups by clicking here. 
    Attachments
    Latest Issue - ll-us3-2018-digimag-lr.pdf
    Cool Creations Submission Form - US_Submission_form.pdf
    For more behind the scenes news and other articles follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button on the Blog main page.

    Jordan Paxton
    Today we celebrate a day that is easy to forget. We take for granted one of the most influential LEGO® creations, the minifigure.
     
    Occasionally we will hear a story from a parent or grandparent talking about how LEGO was just a bunch of blocks when they were kids, just like how they had to walk 20 miles to school in the snow and it was uphill both ways. Many of us will not know the period prior to the first minifigure as we have always been granted the ability to role play and create with a medium that we could embody. While most of us did not become astronauts, knights or pirates we did get to be one in our toy room and in our dreams.
     
    As kids we proudly exclaimed, "I am the blue space man!", "I am Iron Man!", or "I am the pirate!". It was the loud pour of the LEGO bricks onto the floor and the scramble to find the minifigures somewhere in the mess. It was a race to live the dream. Today this symbol is a key chain on our backpacks or a bumper sticker on our car. It is in the movies, on our desks at work and even in space! This creation is now the key to childhood and creativity no matter your age.

    Over the next few days be prepared for more behind the scenes and historical images than you thought possible. Check out your favorite Recognized LEGO Fan Media sites (some listed below) as we have shared advertisements, facts and prototype images from the 1970s documenting the journey the minifigure has been on.
    Please share your link if you also have published an article in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the MInifigure. With so many images released each site will most likely offer new content.
    https://brickset.com/article/38174/happy-birthday-minifigure
    https://www.thebrickfan.com/lego-minifigure-patents-for-various-countries/
    https://www.newelementary.com/2018/08/the-lego-minifigure-at-40-inside-factory.html
    http://www.jedinews.co.uk/lego/articles/celebrating-40-years-of-the-lego-minifigure/
    https://ramblingbrick.com/2018/08/29/little-figures-big-story-40-years-of-the-lego-minifigure-patent-documents/
    http://brickingaround.com/2018/08/29/happy-40th-birthday-to-the-minifigure/
    http://bricksfanz.com/celebrating-40-years-of-lego-minifigures/
    https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/165283-celebrating-40-years-of-the-lego-minifigure-old-minifigures-advertisement-1978/
    https://ramblingbrick.com/2018/09/03/minifigure40-trains-advertisement-archive/
    https://zusammengebaut.com/alles-gute-zum-geburtstag-40-jahre-lego-minifigur-56991/
     
    For more behind the scenes articles follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button on the Blog main page for more great articles.

    Jordan Paxton
    Plants from Plants has created as many questions as it has creations over the past few weeks and LEGO® employees around the world are taking part as well! Yesterday we got the opportunity to build with the “new” elements. As promised, we could not spot the difference and nor will our great grandkids when these are passed down.
      
    As many of you are doing, we are hosting our own MOC challenge as well. Employees around the world are encouraged to build their own plant superhero, and the winning entry will receive a copy of the first set with the new elements. Sadly, I don’t see being a designer in my near future!

     
    Obviously change creates questions and you might have a few yourself. You can learn more and participate in the conversation at LEGO.com/plantsfromplants and our social media channels.