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  • Jan Beyer
    Hi all, got this message from my LEGO House colleagues.
    "Since the opening of LEGO House it has been an important milestone to create exclusive products that relate to LEGO House and adds to the LEGO House experience for the guests. The first exclusive product launched was the LEGO House Architecture (21037) in 2017, followed by the LEGO House Tree of Creativity (4000026) in 2018, and then the LEGO House Dinosaurs (40366) in 2019.
    LEGO House has now decided to discontinue the LEGO House Tree of Creativity – in order to make shelf space for a new exclusive product arriving in late May 2020.
    The Tree of Creativity was originally launched as a great reproduction of the 15,6 metre tall Tree of Creativity in LEGO Square. The most iconic features were resized into the retail model. LEGO enthusiasts will know that the LEGO Group also launched a Tree of Creativity model back in May 2017. That particular model was developed as the surprise gift for the participants of the LEGO Inside Tour.
    Due to the popularity of the product  and the iconic link to LEGO House, the model was chosen to become an LEGO House exclusive product. LEGO designer Steen Sig Andersen is the designer of the retail version in LEGO House and had great focus on the details.
    The LEGO House Tree of Creativity will be sold until out of stock. However, a special agreement has been made to ensure that the product is available during the AFOL Day in LEGO House on the 24th September 2020."
     
    So make sure to get a set for your collection before it leaves the assortment.
    Jan


    Jan Beyer

    Happy Patent Day

    By Jan Beyer, in LAN Blog,

    Dear all,
    62 years ago, today – on January 28, 1958 – LEGO® owner Godtfred Kirk Christiansen applies for a patent regarding an invention which is without a doubt one the biggest milestones in LEGO Group history.
    But – contrary to what many might think, the patent application is not about to the invention of just one specific type of brick.

    Rather, the patent covers a building system or a building method in which two or several interlocking plastic building elements “...could be put together in a great number of mutually different positions...” (Quote from the original Danish Patent application).

    For that reason, the patent also covers several different brick designs, some of which can be seen in these photos. The common denominator for these different brick designs is that each and every single one of the designs ensure that the brick has just the right clutch power, and thus the bricks have the ability to stick together – as if they were glued.

    So: Happy Patent Day – to the LEGO brick – but especially to the awesome interlocking principle that combined with the LEGO System in Play provides us with endless building possibilities 😉





    Jan Beyer
    Dear all,
    I like to remind you about the next LEGO House Fan Evening upcoming March 13. We have invited 3 very know LEGO Designers who have been former members of the AFOL Community so it should give you great insights and discussions.
    We still have a few open spots please see for more info and to sign up to join here:
    https://legohouse.com/en-gb/what-s-on/fan-evening/
    Thanks
    Jan

    Jan Beyer
    Dear all, my first trip in 2020 has taken me to Bricks LA in Pasadena, CA, USA which is the first AFOL Networking Event each year.
    It was a fantastic experience - so many happy AFOLs, great MOCs, exciting games, lots of fun and socializing and an awesome location.
    This is definitely an ANE that cater for all AFOLs and can be strongly recommended to put on your bucket list.
    Big thanks to Ayleen and her fab team for making this event happen.
    I need to be back.


















    Sara Skahill
    Every year, The LEGO Group gives its employees a holiday gift, you might have read that this year’s gift is 4002019 Christmas X-Wing. When these gifts are given to employees, a Christmas Card is included.
    This year, the official LEGO employee Christmas card is decorated with a photo created by Joseph Cowlishaw of the recognized community Toy Photographers. Recently the LEGO Group has been featured more fan created images and videos on their social media channels but featuring AFOL photography on a holiday card is an exciting new opportunity!

    Here is what Scott Neillands, Associate Creative Director in the LEGO Agency, says about this year’s Christmas card:
    “We were looking for inspiration for this year’s LEGO Christmas card and discovered all the great Christmas-themed images that were already being created by the Toy Photography community. It just made so much sense to tap into what they were doing and use one of the great images for our Christmas card. I’m sure it won’t be the last time we’ll be working together with them.”
    The photo from the holiday card is just one of many LEGO holiday photos shared with us by Toy Photographers. Here you can see some of the other photos that hopefully will spark joy and inspiration as they’re shared on LEGO channels throughout this holiday season.

    On behalf of the team, we wish you all a FANtastic holiday 🎅

    Helene Teichert
    We receive questions about the LEGO Certified Program all the time and while we have information available in LEGO.com it is not very elaborate. The objective of this blog post is therefore to hopefully answer all the questions that you might have.
     
    History
    The LEGO Certified Professional program has been around for 12 years and counts 20 LEGO Certified Professionals (LCP) globally. Today LCPs are only admitted into the program if their business can help solve a specific business need for a local LEGO office.
    The LCP program is divided into an 1-2 year entry program where the LCP and the local LEGO office get to know each other. If the working relation is a success; the LCP is moved into the actual LCP program.
    The latest addition to the LCP program is the Danish LCP Caspar Jensen Bennedsen who I want to congratulate!
     
    What does it mean to be a LCP?
    I might not be the right person to ask, but I believe if you are a LEGO fan it has to be dream job. All LCPs have businesses which allows them to work for the LEGO Group, 3rd parties, and on own projects and exhibitions.  They can use the LCP logo which show affiliation to the LEGO Group, and we even pass 3rd party requests unto them.
     
    What do LCPs do for LEGO Group?
    Historically the LEGO Group used LCPs to build 3D LEGO models. In the last years, the demand is changing to also cover new business areas.  
    One example is our Chinese LCP Wei Wei, Shannon Gluckman (Playable Design) who is working with LEGO China’s local community and social responsibility team to teach “learning through play” that can facilitate learning in young children to improve their creativity, educational careers, and life chances.  
    Another example is our Australian LCP Ryan McNaught (the Brickman) working on the Australian LEGO Masters show, where building LEGO models is only part of his job as he is also supporting the show backstage (designing contests etc) and in front of the camera as a judge on the show. 
     
    What does it take to become an LCP?
    Due to the dynamic nature of the business, we are unable to provide a check list for people who would like to become a LCP. Additionally it is impossible for us to predict and share any future plans for inviting new LCPs into the program.
    Current we have the below requirements looking for candidates based on his or her:  
           Enthusiasm for the LEGO brick and building system
    Working business model and ability to organize and drive building projects and / or event
    Strong business plan and match with the need of the local LEGO office
    Strong collaboration skills and personal dedication to core LEGO values
    Professional approach towards other LEGO fans and the broader public
    The best tip we can give you is to find out what motivates you and brings you joy. People that can combine talent with purpose and meaning are often the best candidates.
    Learn more about the program and most of the LCPs in the program. 
     
     

    Jan Beyer
    Past Saturday we welcomed almost 90 happy AFOLs (and a few TFOLs and KFOLs) from 10 different countries to the yearly Fan Christmas Party at LEGO House.
    We had as usual great talks and good food as well as a few nice presentations (Cesar talked about the design process of the LEGO Ideas Tree House and Wes showed the new 2020 Modular building LEGO Creator Bookshop) as well as an after hours visit to the red zone in LEGO House for some building fun and photo opportunities.
    Thanks to all for being so great guests and to my colleagues to give us all such a great time.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.
    Jan
    P.S. The date for next years Christmas Party is December 11 2020 - hope to see you there.








    Sara Skahill
    Acquisition will strengthen the LEGO® Group’s engagement with its growing community of adult fans.  
    BILLUND, Denmark, November 26, 2019:  The LEGO® Group today announced it has acquired BrickLink Ltd (www.bricklink.com), the world’s largest online community of adult LEGO fans from NXMH to strengthen its connection with its important adult fan base.
    The BrickLink platform has more than one million members and comprises an online marketplace of more than 10,000 stores from 70 countries; a digital building software where builders can design and showcase their creations; and a vibrant online community where fans share ideas and builds.
    The platform was founded in 2000 by Dan Jezek as a way to connect like-minded adult LEGO fans from around the world.  It was acquired in 2013 by NXMH, which is owned by Korean entrepreneur Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim. BrickLink is headquartered in Irvine, California. 
    The LEGO Group CEO, Niels B Christiansen said: “Our adult fans are extremely important to us.  They are passionate, committed and endlessly creative.  We have worked closely with the community for many years and look forward to deepening our collaboration.  We plan to continue to support BrickLink’s active marketplace and evolve the digital studio which allows our talented fans to take their creativity to the next level.”
    Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim, owner of NXMH, said: “It has been a privilege to lead the transformation of BrickLink during the past six years.   I am grateful to the community for being so welcoming, supportive and constructive.  I am constantly amazed by everyone’s endless creativity and their love for building.  I am confident the platform will be in good hands with the LEGO Group. As a fan myself, I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
    The LEGO Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Julia Goldin, said:  “BrickLink provides the LEGO Group with a unique opportunity to connect with adult fans through new channels and exciting experiences.  We’ve recently collaborated with BrickLink on a range of crowd-sourced sets to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the brick.  We learned a lot and are keen to explore more ways of working together to create value.  We look forward to collaborating further with our adult fans, while retaining and nurturing the independent spirit of the digital platform.”
    The acquisition also includes Sohobricks which makes small batches of building elements.
    Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Closing is expected to occur before the end of 2019. 
     
     
     
    About the LEGO Group:  
    The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO® bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine.  The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words LEg GOdt, which mean “Play Well”.  Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. However, its products are now sold in more than 140 countries worldwide. For more information: www.LEGO.com.
    About BrickLink
    BrickLink is an online marketplace for LEGO® products and represents a vibrant adult fan community. The website was founded in April 2000 and currently has more than 1 million members. For more information: www.bricklink.com and @bricklink on IG and Twitter.
     
    Read an interview with Julia Goldin, Global Chief Marketing Officer at The LEGO Group with Brickset and the Brothers Brick.

    Helene Teichert
    We are happy to share that we have welcomed Graeme (Dymond Bricks) from Canada to the LCP Entry program while Wei Wei (Playable Design) from China and Balazs (DÓCZY BALÁZS EV) from Hungary have moved from the Entry program into the LCP Program.
    Today there are 20 LCPs in the LCP program of which 4 are in the Entry program (Casper from Denmark, Kevin from UK, Jay from South Korea and Graeme from Canada). If you want to know more about the LCP program and the LCPs please visit this site (note some LCPs still have to be added).  
    The LCP program evolves and while building models is at the core of the program we are happy that LCPs are broadening their capabilities by working more and more with other activities incl hands- on engagement with kids, online content and supporting the production of LEGO Masters to mentioned a few. We encourage this development and are happy to see that new business opportunities are embraced by LCPs.

    Sara Skahill
    Voltron, Defender of the Universe, just would not stand up.
    ”This was heart-wrenching. It was a possibility that the model might be declined, as it was far from meeting The LEGO® Group’s strict quality requirements,” Samuel Johnson, design manager says of the first Voltron exploratory model.
    LEGO Ideas 21311 Voltron started its journey as a fan model built by Lendy Tayag. Lendy submitted his model to LEGO Ideas, where it gathered 10,000 submissions and entered the LEGO Ideas Review. But you probably already know that part.
    As part of the review, LEGO Designers explored the feasibility of the model. Could it be built? Was it stable? Are the elements used still active in the LEGO portfolio of elements?
    “A few of the designers had looked over the photographs of Voltron and each of them had the comment ‘It can’t be done!’… Overhearing this, I said, ‘Give it to me! Of course it can be done!’” says Sam.
    Sam’s wish was granted and his team got to work – only to find creating Voltron was harder said than done.
    “Lendy’s model looked fantastic and was ultra-poseable, which was super eye catching, but when we tried to replicate it by building our own copy, the model would just NOT stand up,” Sam explains.

    The first exploratory model
    So they built another one – which stood up better, but had a tendency to lean forward…a lot. So that wouldn’t do either.

    “It was at this point that we had seen Lendy himself building smaller Voltron models, so we got to thinking, ‘maybe ours should be smaller,’” Sam recalls. Hoping this would fix the stability issue, the design team started experimenting with a different scale.

    Designer Niek van Slagmaat built the model on the left, while at the same time, designer John Ho built the model on the right.
    Which lead the design team to…

    Which stood up! But was a far cry from Lendy’s project….

    “So, we sat back and all agreed that this little thing was definitely NOT what Lendy or the 10,000 voters wanted,” Sam recalls.  “This is not our Voltron. We have to go big or not at all!”
    The team rallied, and aspired to create the model the project deserved.


    Pictured the Design team (left to right starting at the top): Samuel T. Liltorp Johnson, Design Manager; Niek van Slagmaat Designer;  Mark Tranter; Graphic Designer, Hans Henrik Sidenius, Model Coach; Jean-Marc Laniox-Warrer, building Instructions Developer
    They returned to Lendy’s original model, and with great care, attention to detail, input from the IP partner and a whole summer of work, Niek created…

    Ta-da, the almost final model. It still had to go through a vigorous round of quality testing. This includes testing with young kids and teens to see if the transformation was easy enough, and also to ensure the model could be handled by consumers without breaking. Then, the model was heat tested to look for weak points which were corrected and…

    The LEGO Ideas 21311 Voltron you know today was born!
    “The volume of elements used is so complex that we used 16 bags to create the build flow,” Sam explains. “This is one of the first times that a ‘sub-build’  in a LEGO set has its own artwork on its building instruction manual.”
    This means you could build the model yourself, or with a team of up to five people building simultaneously, because, as Sam says, “team work is the true essence of what Voltron is all about.”
     

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