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  • Jan Beyer
    It is over!
    The past weekend the Skærbæk Fan Weekend 2018 took place in Denmark with more AFOLs than ever.
    865 AFOLs and TFOLs representing 75 recognized communities from 27 different countries participated and almost 500 MOCs were on display - this is a record and it was so much fun and mind blowing to meet you all, talk to you, see your fantastic creations and get all the input from you - short - it was an awesome but as always way too short weekend.
    A huge thank you to the SFW steering group and all their helpers - you did so well to welcome all and make everything happen and of course a huge thank you to all of you who displayed MOCs and participated - it could not be done without you.
    We had an awesome Saturday evening AFOL dinner as well as a great Ambassador meeting with very good discussion and very valued feedback.
    So if you like to join a weekend full of great fun, networking and great company from all over the world mark you calendar September 27 - 30 2019.
    See you there!

    Jan Beyer
    Dear all, being now on the other side of the Skærbæk Fan Weekend 2018 I would like to draw you attention to the 2 great activities we will have at the LEGO House so check it out and join if you like - I would be really happy to see you there.
    Fan Evening about the 40th anniversary of the LEGO Minifigure
    Nov 2, 2018, 16.00-20.00
    We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the LEGO Minifigure. Join us for a cosy fan evening in LEGO House that is especially held for our LEGO Fan Community on Nov. 2, 2018. The evening will consist of a mix of interviews, hands-on building activities and time to chat. You can see more about the program and book a participation following the link below.
    Fan Christmas Dinner
    Dec 8, 2018, 16.00-21.00
    Join us for a cozy Christmas event in LEGO House that is especially held for our LEGO Fan Community on Dec 8, 2018. We offer fun LEGO Minifigure builds, After-hour photo opportunities in one of the LEGO House Experience Zones, time to chat and mingle with great people and we will serve traditional Danish Christmas food.
    Booking link:
    Click on this link https://www.legohouse.com/en-gb/whats-on Scroll down the page until you see the section “Event & Tour calendar” and the field where you can select a date Select Dec 8 in the date field Below the field you will see the events on Dec 8. Choose “Christmas dinner” and click on “Book tickets” Select the time 16.00 Choose the amount of people you would like to book a ticket for. Finish the booking and print your ticket

    Jordan Paxton
    Around the world birthdays are celebrated with local traditions and the 1st birthday for the LEGO House has been celebrated in true Danish fashion. As an outsider looking in, a lot of the celebrations might not make sense, but this birthday is as authentic as it gets.
    Today was celebrated with flags, treasure hunts, more flags, cake and obviously more flags!
    As you can see in nearly all the photos there were thousands of Danish flags (Dannebrog) and very few balloons as typical with other cultures. These flags were not only inside the LEGO House but were all around Billund. The Danish flag is not just symbol for national pride but is the symbol for a celebration. Whether it is a new employee at the LEGO Group, a birthday or a graduation the flags come out in full force. The moral of the story, the more flags the better! Throughout the LEGO House you would see flags added into scenes and giant flags being built by visitors. Every flag you see was specifically added for this celebration and will be removed after the celebration is over.
    Treasure Hunts
    All month visitors could also explore the LEGO House in hopes of finding all the hidden cakes. Seeking out these cakes required a keen eye and encouraged play throughout the building. The reward was worth it! Did you realize that having a treasure hunt is another Danish birthday tradition?
    In many cultures you might have many different cake options but in Denmark there are a few simple rules. The cake should be a layered cake and the birthday host provides their own cake.
    While the LEGO House could not make a cake, we were lucky enough to celebrate the LEGO House birthday party with an award-winning baker Annemette Voss. Outside of Denmark you might not have heard of Annemette but she won the second season of “Den store bagedyst”. This Danish baking show has kicked off Annemette’s career which you can follow on www.annemettevoss.dk and shop.annemettevoss.dk.
    What did Annemette and todays visitors make for everyone? Obviously, a Danish flag birthday cake! You could even have a slice once the cake was done.

    Sunny or Dreary
    Did you know that the LEGO House was responsible for the weather today? It is a Danish tradition that the weather reflects your behavior over the past year.  You can tell by the weather if the birthday celebrant was good (sun) or bad (dreary) this year. The morning started without a cloud in sight, we can speak for the rest of the day, so we know the LEGO House was very good this year!
    We all know that the LEGO House was good because of the joy and inspiration that it helped bring to thousands of fans. Employees in the LEGO House also stated that they see more parents getting involved and setting aside their phones for the day. Perhaps the LEGO House is even helping to get some of these adults out of their dark ages and back to building!
    Mark Your Calendars
    If you were not able to join the LEGO House this year for their birthday day celebration don't worry because there are many other unique Danish birthday celebrations coming up in the years to come. The Danish have fun traditions for celebrating “round birthdays” (20, 30, 40, etc.) as well as cinnamon and pepper birthdays. I am not certain what the LEGO House will have in store for us in the years to come but if they continue to follow Danish traditions they will have some exciting events planned for us.
    See you in Billund on September 29, 2019 and until then please let us know if you incorporate any fun Danish traditions in your next birthday party!
    For more behind the scenes stories, follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button on the Blog main page.

    Radovan Pekarek ( Kostky )
    At classic MOC exhibitions, we noticed that children want to play mainly so we tried a new concept for our 2018 events. The shows have now been focused mainly on playing with LEGO and children and less focus on displaying MOCs.
    30% exhibition of the MOC of our RLUG (MOC, joint project)
    70% competition for children, interactive LEGO models, play zones (LEGO blue bricks, LEGO lose bricks, LEGO Minecraft, DUPLO)

    After the first two events and 4090 visitors, I can say that this new event type has been clearly positive with our LEGO User Group members and the cities where these events were hosted.
    We prepared different tasks for children. We offered children different focused building areas where they are as interactive as possible. We made the LEGO simple board games (pexeso, domino, lady).

    We also try to think about the littlest children. Many activities focus on them. For example, get to know a pet with DUPLO animals.

    Not all adult visitors are LEGO builders, so we have been using simple constructions to show some physical principles and basic building techniques.
    The truth is that the adult visitors were a little surprised because they expected a classic show exhibiting some playground, so they will be able to leave with children for an hour. Once inside children did not want to leave the show because they were having so much fun.
    Our members have really enjoyed the new set up as it allows their creations to be on display but also get the hands-on experience with kids and adults for shared inspiration and excitement! Some of members who do no build as much also enjoyed this style of event more as they were able to assist in the different kid focused activities. These events are also good for recruiting new people into RLUGs and shifting members from a "regular member" to "exhibitor".
    We have done two participation events with one more in the autumn. We will make minor improvements and adjustments based on the space available in the particular city. Everything does not fit everywhere. It also depends on how many AFOLs participate in the given action in the given location.
    Our next event is Kostkovani Pardubice on 6-7.10.2018. We hope you can come visit or assist as we are open for cooperation.
    For more behind the scenes stories, remember to follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button on the Blog main page.

    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

    LEGO Play Day 2018!

    By Jordan Paxton, in LAN Blog,

    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 Ellekjær 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 Ellekjær 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.


    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.

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